The best friends and Office costars disagree over the sound
2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party
Credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak are on opposite sites of the viral Yanny/Laurel war.

The best friends and Office costars weighed in on the great Internet debate in a text conversation that Kaling, 38, posted on her Instagram Stories.

“Hey. We’ve had a long friendship. You mean a lot to me. But if you don’t hear Yanny, it’s over,” she wrote.

“Obviously Laurel … who hears Yanny?” Novak, 38, responded.


Earlier this week, someone posted a cryptic Instagram video of the sound in question and a poll asking “What do you hear!?!,” prompting people to vote for “YANNY” or “LAUREL.” The content was shared to Reddit and has since set Twitter ablaze.

“I hear ‘Yanny.’ The sound isn’t even close to ‘Laurel’…I do not hear the ‘r,'” one person tweeted.

“laurel wtf,” another replied.

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Others are more passionate. One user created a Team Yanny t-shirt on Amaon and wrote, “when you not a peasant and hear yanny instead of laurel.”

Twitter user @wiscoinferno seems to have cracked the case: “If you pick up on the higher pitch it’s Yanny amd the lower pitch is Laurel. I heard Yanny 10 times before I could hear Laurel.”

This theory is supported by Vox, which reports, “whether you hear ‘Yanny’ or ‘Laurel’ hinges on whether you’re attending to lower or higher frequencies of sound. Delete the higher frequencies and ‘Laurel’ becomes more pronounced. Do the same with the lower frequencies and ‘Yanny’ emerges.”