Things That Make You Go Hmmm...

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"Things That Make You Go Hmmm..."
Single by C+C Music Factory
from the album Gonna Make You Sweat
Released June 23, 1991
Recorded 1990
Length 5:23
Label Columbia
  • Robert Clivillés
  • David Cole
C+C Music Factory singles chronology
"Here We Go (Let's Rock & Roll)"
"Things That Make You Go Hmmm..."
"Just a Touch of Love"
"Here We Go (Let's Rock & Roll)"
"Things That Make You Go Hmmmm..."
"Just a Touch of Love"
Music video
"Things That Make You Go Hmmmm..." on YouTube

"Things That Make You Go Hmmm..." is a song by American dance group C+C Music Factory. It was released in June 1991 as the third single from the album Gonna Make You Sweat. The single features Freedom Williams and he is also seen in the song's music video. The song inspired a running gag on The Arsenio Hall Show, where Arsenio, while allegedly on a long drive, pondered certain thoughts and referred to them as "things that make you go hmmm...."

The C+C song was a success in the US, reaching #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #31 on the Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart. It also reached #4 on the UK Singles Chart. The song contains samples from the songs "I'm Shook" by James Brown, "My Thang" by James Brown, and "Apache" by the Incredible Bongo Band.[1] The song was certified gold by the RIAA on August 13, 1991 for sales of over 500,000 copies.

Critical reception[edit]

Music & Media wrote about the song: "The secret behind the success of these dance/pop providers is the good hook in their songs. This time it's the saxophone part, which is repeated after each line."[2]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Marcus Nispel and the style of the video was a major trendsetter in the early 1990s. It featured silhouetted animation of dancers jumping and dancing in front of a white background, with a stage visible, but also in silhouette. The story of the song was also interpreted with black and gold cut-out animation that was a departure from the in-vogue 3D CGI animation of the time; however, these 2-D cut-outs ended up being even more progressive.

In popular culture[edit]

In American advertising, Coca-Cola was one of the first to advertise special promotions featuring the group in a special, brief cut of their music video. A version of the song was also used in a series of ads for McDonald's.

The ABC television network was one of the earliest media outlets to jump on the C+C bandwagon, advertising their spring 1992 prime-time programming under the takeoff banner, "Shows that make you go...", using a custom version of the song and running ads with a woman posing in front of a white background. Then, for their 1992-93 network campaign, ABC brought out many of their stars to do a complete take-off of the song and video for the It Must Be ABC banner.

The song was heard in the short-lived U.S. TV show Surviving Jack in episode six, "She Drives Me Crazy", as well as in the British television series Brainiac: Science Abuse.

The British girl group Stooshe covered the song and released it in 2013 as a B-side to their single "Black Heart", under the title "Things That Make You Go Mmm". The single reached #3 in the UK and #4 in Scotland.

Charts and certifications[edit]

Preceded by
"Such a Good Feeling" by Brothers in Rhythm
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
August 31, 1991 - September 7, 1991
Succeeded by
"The Whistle Song" by Frankie Knuckles


  1. ^
  2. ^ "New Releases: Singles" (PDF). Music & Media (1991-07-27, page 11). Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Things That Make You Go Hmmm...", in various singles charts (Retrieved April 10, 2008)
  4. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 
  5. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 
  6. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5. 
  7. ^ German Singles Chart (Retrieved April 10, 2008)
  8. ^ Irish Single Chart (Retrieved April 10, 2008)
  9. ^ "Single top 100 over 1991" (pdf) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved 13 April 2010. 
  10. ^ UK Singles Chart (Retrieved April 10, 2008)
  11. ^ "End of Year Charts 1991". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 3, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1991". Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  13. ^ US certifications (Retrieved August 5, 2008)