At this point, I’d like to assume that most of us are familiar with the latest, yet unsurprisingly foolish TikTok trend-of-the-week. If you were not present for the recent warning at O’Plaine or simply don’t frequent the popular video-sharing app, allow me to explain. “Devious licks”, also commonly known as “diabolical licks” or “dastardly licks”, is a viral internet trend in which students upload clips of them allegedly stealing items from their school (usually from the bathroom) or vandalizing property. According to Urban Dictionary, a “lick” refers to a “successful type of theft which results in an acceptable, impressive and rewarding payday for the protagonist”. On the other hand, the word “devious” describes the usage of underhanded schemes to achieve a goal.
The trend is believed to have originated with a TikTok video captioned “A month into school… devious lick”, posted by TikTok user jugg4elias in which they claimed to have stolen a box of disposable masks. Since then, similar videos have flooded users’ feeds. With approximately 94.2 thousand clips set to a sped-up version of Lil B’s song Ski Ski BasedGod commonly associated with the trend, most depicted stolen or damaged items were soap and paper towel dispensers. Although thousands of videos have been uploaded to TikTok under #Deviouslick and #Devious, many more instances of vandalism go unpublished, with news of such actions spreading by word of mouth only.
Across the nation, high schools, in particular, have been reporting increases in this type of behavior, many of which are threatening legal action if one is caught “hitting” a “devious lick”. In Marion County Public Schools in Florida, nine students have been arrested on misdemeanor vandalism charges for damages to a hand dryer, paper towel dispenser, and urinal. A similar incident occurred in Boone County, Kentucky, sheriff reported eight individuals having been charged in weeks prior for offenses related to the trend. These are only two of several mass arrests made, with districts nationwide urging parents to warn their children of the ramifications of participating in the trend.
As a response to the uproar, TikTok formally banned the trend, removing commonly used hashtags and videos identified as breaking their community guidelines. Although users have found ways to circumvent the ban, the number of “devious licks” videos has drastically decreased as a counter-trend, “angelic yields”, arose in response to the growing vandalism.
“Angelic yields”, intended to be the exact opposite of “devious licks”, often involve users donating goods to their schools typically to replace that which has been stolen following cases of trend-related theft. It also consists of performing small acts of kindness.
Despite this, given its popularity, it should go without saying that Warren was not going to avoid being affected. Specific details have not been released, but photos have been circulating amongst the student body that appear to “show” evidence of “devious licks” that have been performed around the school. Given an announcement made in the morning at the O’Plaine campus around two weeks ago reminding students to be respectful of school property amid current trends, it wouldn’t be farfetched to assume that some incident took place.
The takeaway? Lest you want to hear more about the “Warren Way” (or potentially face criminal charges), I’d say it’s best to refrain from “hitting” a bathroom “devious lick”.