The New TikTok Trend: “Devious Lick”

The social media app where users can share short clips consisting of skits, dances, recipes and more, otherwise known as TikTok, is known by almost every American high schooler out there. Trends (usually appearing in the form of hashtags) spread quickly and vastly through the app and even make their way into our everyday lives and conversations. However, one of the most recent of these trends, labeled the “Devious Lick,” has resulted in school items being vandalized and/or stolen.

“[The trend] is basically where you steal [or vandalize] something belonging to the school… find a way to take it outside school [property]… and then make a TikTok about it,” said YeMyah Smith (9). Popular items that are targeted for this trend include fire extinguishers, soap dispensers, and the damaging of lockers and toilets. “It’s been fun to joke about it with friends because it is just that ridiculous,” said Smith.

Unsurprisingly, it hasn’t taken too long for this trend to spread to our school, and many of Palmer Ridge’s staff and students have noticed it. “I heard about it on the announcements,” said Diya Suri (11). “They said that people who were stealing for… the TikTok trend were going to be punished to… the fullest extent.”

Suri’s comments are spot on, as this TikTok craze has ended up in expensive damages and suspended students all over the nation. In fact, this is exactly what Lance McCorkle, Athletic Director and Assistant Principal, intends to do: “…When we do [find the students who have done this trend in Palmer Ridge,] we will prosecute for vandalism… They will also be suspended, and they’ll have to replace what they broke,” he said.

Lance McCorckle, Palmer Ridge’s Athletic Director/ Assistant Principal.

While the participants of this new trend haven’t yet been found or punished, it is important to note that should this trend continue, it will be at the detriment of other students in ways that may have not been considered before. “We [the school] insures ourselves… So, any damage like that takes funds away from things that are needed [in schools] such as books, such as important repairs that need to be made… things like this take away from those needs and even the fun stuff we want to do… If we don’t have money to run a dance [because of this trend], we won’t be able to run a dance,” said McCorkle.

On the flip side of this, there has also been a counter-trend going around called the “Angelic Yield,” where students, instead of stealing or vandalizing, actually give something to the school that it did not have before. For example, if a roll of toilet paper or a soap dispenser was stolen from the bathroom, a participant in the “Angelic Yield” trend would replace it. While it is not advised that you participate in this trend either, it is more widely accepted than the “Devious Lick.”

TikTok has been around and thriving since the start of the Covid-19 quarantine in the summer of 2020, but it can become dangerous when trends that involve illegal activities, such as the “Devious Lick” and more, become popular.