'I was like, ‘Try to smile more when you’re on stage,’' Milligan shared.
There are instances when your wishes come true and you end up regretting them. Ann Milligan found herself in such a scenario when her attempt to get her nine-year-old daughter Evie to appear more enthusiastic during her school musical produced hilariously disastrous results. "My daughter had her final rehearsal for the school musical yesterday. This is how it went," Milligan says in a video shared on TikTok, which shows footage of her daughter's blank expression on stage. "Afterward, I regrettably said the one thing that no female *ever* wants to hear. 'Try to smile more.'"
It was an especially long day since some pupils were absent due to illness and substitute students had to step in and pick up their lines, 40-year-old Milligan told TODAY, adding that "[Evie] looked miserable." When it came time for the actual performance, Milligan taped her daughter on stage and found that "she took [her] advice *exactly* like you'd expect." The video then jumps to Evie's performance, in which she can be seen grinning maniacally, eyes protruding, neck contorted and nostrils flaring. She maintained the expression throughout the performance of "Beauty and the Beast Tell All," while staring right at her mother in the audience. "I'm pretty sure the other parents are pissed right now," Milligan joked. "And I can't even be mad at my kid... because I’ve never laughed so hard in my life."
"One little girl who was next to her whispered, 'You don’t have to smile that big,'" Milligan shared. "When she looked into the audience, I had mascara running down my face from laughing — that’s when she decided she was going to do it the whole show." Evie admitted that this was exactly what happened.
"I love making her laugh,” the third grader said. "I don't think she's ever laughed that hard." The comments responding to Milligan's video were equally hilarious. "Omg, I am DYING! If that's not the best response to 'you should smile more,' I don't know what is," one person commented. "She's a legend and not even out of Elementary School," another joked. "As a feminist, she understood the assignment," another chimed in.
Evie's mother was thrilled when the video, which has already received 2.9 million views, went viral. The next day, she returned to TikTok to answer some questions. She assured everyone that her daughter herself decided to participate in the play and that she had a good time.
She added that Evie was not in trouble for her maniacal grin since her parents found it amusing and because they let their children be who they are. "For those of you who said that I’m raising a psychopath and encouraging disrespect," Milligan said, "honestly, just by that comment, I can tell what generation you guys are from. Clearly, you don’t understand that obedience and respect don’t have to go hand in hand all the time." You do you, Evie.