Devious Licks: The Next Pandemic?

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Chris Nosek '22, Author

Stolen soap? Mirrors in the toilets? Chaos has struck schools around the country as a new TikTok trend hits peoples’ For You pages. At the beginning of September, a new trend surfaced on the social media app TikTok, and quickly became popular among high schoolers. The trend consists of a challenge where kids steal different supplies from their schools and then post a video of their “devious lick”. The challenge originally started through simple thefts, such as pens, notebooks, and textbooks. Yet, it has grown to absolute extremes. Some of the grander items stolen consist of soap dispensers, fire extinguishers, $500 microscopes, and has gone as far as kids stealing the shoes off of other people while they use the stalls. 

So with the extreme hype surrounding “devious licks” all over the country, it is no surprise that the trend has landed right here at the High. Yet the whole trend has seemed to take a new image here. In early September, rumors of kids stealing property from the school bathrooms began to circulate. But the mayhem soon elevated to students pouring hand soap containers in the toilets and taking mirrors off the walls.

We decided to talk to a student in the Metro-Detroit school system who has participated in the “devious licks” trend to get a deeper understanding of why a person may participate. All interviews conducted have been promised to remain anonymous. The interviewee no longer participates in the trend, has returned all stolen items to the school from which they were taken, and urges people to not participate as well:

 

Question: What were your motives behind playing into the Devious Licks trend?

Devious Lick

Answer: “To be fair, when I first saw the trend I had no intention of participating, however, when I saw a bag of soap on the window sill, I thought it would be really funny to take it. I saw a lot of people doing it too and I really wanted to join in on the joke. It’s funny what can I say.”

 

Question:  Why do you think the devious licks challenge is so appealing to young people everywhere?

Answer: “Because, like I said before, it’s really funny. Plus, everyone wants to join in because it’s exciting to

 

 try and not get caught. I had a friend who took a mirror and when they posted a vid on TikTok they got like 200k likes.”

Question: So you believe TikTok fame plays a really big part? 

Answer: “Oh most definitely. Plus so many of the kids participating don’t actually have a concept of serious punishment and how much trouble they could get into. Like, I know a kid at my school got expelled for stealing a fire extinguisher and he didn’t think that would happen so… it’s serious and no one is really thinking.”

 

Question: Do you think that schools around the country are justified in their reaction to lock school bathrooms due to the high volume of students that are stealing from them?

Answer: “To be fair, yes, because they can’t regulate the issues happening. Plus, I don’t know how hard or expensive it is to ship soap bags in to refill the bathrooms, so I feel like they have no other option since putting cameras inside bathrooms is illegal.”

 

Question: Do you think this trend will die out soon, or be replaced?

Answer: “I think that the trend will probably die out, I mean it already has. Kids are getting in serious trouble and are really scared. So I think it’s going to stop because I know I definitely will not be doing this ever again. Plus, kids are like already becoming bored with it so who knows what will come to replace it.”

Last weekend, a parody of the “devious lick” trend emerged on TikTok. This new trend, the “angelic yield”, involves leaving free stuff in schools, mostly in school bathrooms. The hope that users have in this trend is for forgiveness to be given, especially considering the amount of backlash that the original challenge

received. Students are now attempting to make right what they wronged by leaving items, such as toilet paper and soap, in school bathrooms. So schools can finally take a breath of sweet relief now that students have begun participating in this new trend, leaving their devious licking in the past.

 

The trend originated on September 1, 2021