TikTok’s ‘devious lick’ trend aggravates local schools

Tierra Linda and Central bathrooms closed due to Tik Tok trend


Andrew Shu

Students are vandalizing bathrooms by trashing the facilities with toilet paper, breaking appliances, and stealing items for the ‘devious lick’ TikTok trend.

A new TikTok trend is putting needless stress on nearby schools by vandalizing bathrooms and stealing appliances. 

The “devious lick” trend has students at schools all around the globe stealing a mixture of items from soap dispensers and paper towel holders to mirrors, doors, and urinals. Students following the trend will post a video on TikTok showcasing what they stole. TikTok has responded by removing hashtags and songs associated with these videos. However, acts of vandalism continue to happen. 

At Tierra Linda Middle School, a student stole a soap dispenser from the girl’s bathroom, leaving Principal Kristen Ugrin displeased. 

“It’s frustrating because we’re in the middle of a pandemic, and we want kids to be safe and wash their hands,” Ugrin said.

Central Middle School was also a culprit of the trend. Toilet paper and spit wads were thrown against the walls and floor in the boy’s bathroom, and a soap dispenser was ripped off the wall and stolen. In the girl’s bathroom, a soap dispenser and sanitation napkins were thrown in the toilet basins. 

The trend was started by user @jugg4elias when they posted a video of a box of masks they had stolen from the school. 

The name of the trend comes from the Urban Dictionary definition of a lick. “A successful theft which results in an acceptable, impressive, and rewarding payday for the protagonist.” 

At most schools hit by this trend, including Tierra Linda and Central, bathrooms were closed to ensure theft would not continue to happen. Only the office bathrooms were left open at both middle schools, allowing students using the bathroom to be monitored by staff. 

“We had to keep the bathrooms closed for about a week. And that usually takes care of it because it inconveniences the students, and they don’t like that,” said Thomas Domer, the Central Middle School Principal. 

Like Domer, Ugrin shared that closing the bathrooms at Tierra Linda took care of the problem.

“Nothing else happened,” Ugrin said. “You know that kind of, that was it, we just had the bathrooms closed for a week.” 

Student complaints confirmed the two administrators’ assessment of the success of the bathroom closures. Many students were frustrated by the nuisance the lack of available bathrooms caused and irritated by the actions of their peers. 

“Going across the school to use the bathroom takes away from class time and is a huge hassle. All of us get punished for the actions of a select few,” said Eve Campbell, a student at TL.

TikTok has been known for its many trends, but nothing has been as hurtful to schools, students, and staff as the “devious lick” trend. The stolen items and disastrous messes not only inconvenience students and employees but create unnecessary costs for schools. 

“It’s the cost of, you know, replacing the soap dispenser,” Ugrin said. 

Schools across the nation are now trying to prevent these thefts by placing signs in bathrooms and locking up many bathroom items such as garbage cans. 

There have been some small acts of vandalism at Carlmont High School, including students throwing toilet paper on the ground. But the school has yet to close the bathrooms or comment on the trend. However, signs have been placed in bathrooms to remind students to be respectful and avoid vandalism, especially during these trying times of the pandemic.