Before you get too worried, let me be perfectly clear – I am not writing this because Lil TerRio pulled an Icarus, flew too close to the sun and perished. According to all information I can find, he is still alive and well.
TerRio Harshaw rocketed to fame in the summer of 2013 as the Boy-King of Vine. A cherub-looking chubby little 10-year-old doing his funny dance and being cheered on by his camera wielding cousin, Maleek.
Vine died off as it should have, and with that went all the premium TerRio content. We were all so engrossed watching this little kid dance in these six seconds windows, so let me answer some questions for you. First of all, TerRio was not, in fact, a portly 10-year-old when he got famous; TerRio JUST turned 10. He was SIX YEARS OLD when he rose to fame. That is so insanely young for all of what happened to him. Musicians and athletes shouting him out, major news broadcasts showing his clips, him becoming a pop culture staple overnight — it all happened to a kid that was just 6 years old. Also, I intend no disrespect whatsoever when I refer to the kid’s weight. He is the absolute best at owning who he is and killin’ it.
To dispel another big misconception, Maleek, who we can credit with the classic “Oooh killem!” line, is not actually TerRio’s cousin. According to a 2013 phone interview with Complex’s Foster Kamer, Maleek and TerRio were just neighbors. And while Maleek will probably never get recognized walking down the streets for any of this, he deserves his praise for this phenomenon. His backing vocals and (obviously) the fact that he actually recorded everything is what made this so great. Perhaps TerRio would have meant nothing to any of us had he just danced on a silent street; perhaps Maleek yelling “Oooh killem!” at a ballet recital would have never brought joy to anyone.
TerRio’s peak probably came in May of 2014 when he released “Oooh Killem” on the LilTerRioVEVO YouTube channel.
The original video has amassed over 1.7 million views and is the only content released on said channel to date.
Over time, the spectacle wore off, and Lil TerRio faded more and more into obscurity. Celebrities stopped pulling him on stage, and he stopped appearing in music videos. He did make some headlines fairly recently, though, when the Pittsburgh Steelers brought him in for some quality PR.
Unfortunately, the bio of the @lilterrio Instagram states, “HACKED at 900K+,” which is a damn shame. In a time when being a social media personality, or an online “influencer,” is a feasible way to make a living, your social following is key. If he did truly lose access to his far more popular account, he is surely suffering financially because of it, and there is probably not going to be another wave of TerRio popularity to help him restore his almost 1 million followers.
I really have no idea what the future holds for the kid. Apparently he’s down in GA and making some money charging appearance fees, but who’s to say how long that will last? Monetizing grown-up child stars is enough of an enigma, but throw in the fact that he is one of the first child stars from the internet, literally the first child star from Vine, famous not really for a performance of any kind, and didn’t need to speak a word on camera for anyone to pay attention and I honestly don’t know where he goes from here. Most people reading this have never even heard TerRio’s voice. But no matter what happens, I’m pulling for the kid. Cream rises to the top, and I hope that one day that little bastard will grace our screens once again. But until then, let’s raise a glass and remember the good times, with Lil TerRio..