The Destructive TikTok Trend of ‘Devious Licks’

Eiman Mir

Whether it’s clogged toilets or stolen soap dispensers, a recent trend on TikTok by the name of the “Devious Lick” has been promoting the vandalism of school bathrooms.  

According to Urban Dictionary, licks are successful thefts that result in “an acceptable, impressive and rewarding ‘payday.’ The reward being referred to is the online attention given to students who participate in this trend. In fact, according to Know Your Meme, the original video posted by user @jugg4elias video got 7.2 million views before it was taken down. This reveals how social media users will do almost anything in the hopes of going viral. 

But online attention is only temporary. Schools across the country are cracking down on students engaging in the devious licks trend. In Marion County, Florida, nine students were arrested on misdemeanor vandalism charges. In Boone County, Kentucky, the sheriff’s office announced that eight juveniles were charged for vandalism or theft in relation to the trend.

Trends such as “devious licks” can be disruptive and harmful to the school environment. Mr. Farley wants students to know, “An authentic sense of safety here at school is essential to the successful engagement, learning, and growth of everyone here at East. While I am disappointed with the actions of a limited number of individuals, I am thankful for our student leaders and staff that communicate, model, and lead through our school’s values every day.” 

Although most Brookfield East bathrooms are currently open, bathrooms were initially limited in access until a safe environment could be ensured. Brookfield East has indicated that they are not afraid to take action to protect the school from vandalism. Principal Farley adds, “Disruption of a learning environment and vandalism here at school is something we take very seriously.”

A safe school environment is crucial and it is important to remember, as Mr. Farley says, “Every student deserves to feel safe, stretched, and supported in their path towards success. The actions of a limited number of individuals compromised this essential pillar of our learning community.”

The Devious Lick Challenge is one of many damaging social media trends. Trends like the tide pod challenge, cinnamon challenge, and the blue whale challenge have led to dangerous situations and serve as examples of peer pressure at its worst. Today, social media has the potential to influence large audiences and promote harmful messages. It is important to consider the effects of participating in these trends solely for likes or views and remember that despite seeming like a joke, these trends can have serious impacts.