The Internet has cycled through an insane amount of trends over the years. From the Cinnamon Challenge of 2012 to the Milk Crate challenge of 2021, these trends are just as entertaining as they are dangerous. Now enters the new trend of conversation, the “devious lick” TikTok challenge. This trend shows students taking items, such as wet floor signs, microscopes, and clocks.
The name is based on an Urban Dictionary definition, which claims that a “lick” is lingo for a “successful type of theft which results in an acceptable, impressive and rewarding payday for the protagonist.”
Origin of the Trend
The trend, which is also referred to as “Diabolical Licks” or “Dastardly Licks”, originated after TikTok user @jugg4elias posted a video of himself pulling a box of disposable masks out of his backpack with the caption, “A month into school absolutely devious lick. Should’ve brought a mask,” according to meme database Know Your Meme. That video received roughly 239,000 views in a week.
#stitch with @dtx.2cent poor ross bro
Copycats soon sprung up, racking up millions of views, including one user who garnered 2.6 million views for posting a microscope as his “devious lick.” Days after @jugg4elias posted his video, another user, @dtx.2cent, posted a video showing that he had allegedly stolen a hand sanitizer dispenser, according to Know Your Meme. That video reportedly earned 7.2 million views. Popularity spiked when students started one-upping each other by removing items as small as notebooks to whole sets of lockers.
Parental and Law Enforcement Concern
At least 13 students across the United States are facing criminal charges for their involvement in the popular “Devious Lick” challenge as authorities urge parents to speak to their teens. Sunlake High School in Land O’Lakes, Florida, posted about the challenge on Facebook, telling the community that “while kids may think this is a harmless prank, it is indeed criminal activity which will lead to serious school consequences and arrests.”
“Soap dispensers, exit signs, safety signage for fire rescue, and classroom telephones are just a few of the items that were removed and stolen this week,” the school wrote. “We love our Seahawks and we do not want to see any of them arrested so PLEASE talk to your kids. If they are participating in this activity you will be hearing from an administrator and our School Resource Officer. Let’s work together to put a stop to this now.”
TikTok Bans the Trend
TikTok confirmed it has banned content around the “devious licks” trend, in which students post videos of items they allegedly stole from their schools. Those who attempt to search “Devious Licks” on TikTok will now find an error message that reads, “No results found. This phrase may be associated with behavior or content that violates our guidelines. Promoting a safe and positive experience is TikTok’s top priority.”
A New Trend Cycle
After the destructive ‘Devious Licks’ trend comes the new ‘Angelic Yield.” These social media posts acted as a way to atone for school vandalism in a joking manner. The Angelic Yields Trend or Reverse Devious Lick Trend is a TikTok trend where people film themselves returning stolen items or giving new items to their school after taking part in the banned Devious Licks trend, which saw users steal things from school and upload the proof to TikTok. The trend began in late September 2021 following TikTok’s removal of videos following the Devious Licks trend.
On September 17th, TikToker @j.uher7 posted a video where they enter their school bathroom and place a roll of toilet paper on the toilet. The post reads, “Just hit the most angelic yield.” The video gained over 4.1 million views in three days and appears to be the earliest example of it.
Just Stop and Think
The major advantage of TikTok is that it serves as a great source of entertainment with unique talents and daring art. There are other people like doctors or teachers on TikTok utilizing the platform to teach new things every day. Young students have been finding remote volunteering and internship opportunities directly from TikTok. It truly is an engaging platform. Sadly, that means that only one person has to take a trend too far or say one wrong thing before the entire Internet becomes a smart mob. So just be smart kids… and leave the school clocks where they are.