TikTok debates whether this college student is cheating on his girlfriend

TikTok’s debate over “couch guy” stemmed from a viral video of a girlfriend surprising her boyfriend at college, which has since accumulated almost 60 million views.

The video’s success is not due to any heartwarming reasons but because TikTok is convinced that, based on the boyfriend’s reaction, there’s something wrong with the relationship.

User Lauren Zarras uploaded the seemingly innocent clip to her TikTok account on Sept. 21. The video shows her walking into an apartment or college dorm, where she finds “couch guy” — her boyfriend, Robbie — sitting on the couch with three other women. Robbie gets up, and they hug.

“Surprising my boyfriend at college,” Zarras wrote in the overlay text.

Commenters lost their minds over the 19-second clip and alleged that the footage was an example of “dating red flags,” and some suggested that Robbie was cheating on her.

“You can FEEL the awkward tension bro,” one person wrote. Almost 700,000 people liked the comment.

“Nah, those boys def set him up,” another added. “He legit secretly grabbed his phone from the girl next to him.”

“OK sis, I was really on your side until the 20th time watching this,” someone said. “Girl’s hand really did slide ya man his phone.”

What people are posting under #couchguy

The fascination with Zarras and Robbie’s relationship has exploded into “couch guy TikTok,” where thousands of TikTokers have taken it upon themselves to investigate and parody the original video. The hashtag #couchguy has over half a billion views on the platform.

Part of the hashtag’s popularity has to do with people uploading their own investigations and breakdowns of the original video and trying to figure out what Robbie’s relationship with the other women on the couch could possibly be.

User Haille Fitzgerald recorded the video, froze it when Robbie and Zarras hug, and zoomed in on the fact that Robbie looks to have a hair tie around his wrist.

“Here for couch boy slander,” she captioned the clip.

Others have been filming their own reenactments of the video. User Gabbi Kraus staged the interaction with “couch guy” adjusting his shirt before pushing a different girl back into his room. The parody has over 40 million views.

“That’s Robbie behavior right there…” Kraus captioned the video.

@gabriellekraus

That’s some Robbie behavior right there… #couchguy

♬ still falling for you – audiobear

Even brands are getting involved

Depop, the online reselling marketplace, posted Zarras’ video with the text overlay: “When you didn’t really want to sell the item but the buyer is thanking you in the DMs.”

Apparently, Tinder’s TikTok account commented on a #couchguy video saying, “I need to find this girl and give her Tinder gold or something.”

Lauren and Robbie respond to #couchguy TikTok

In a pinned comment on the original TikTok, Zarras expressed that it “breaks my heart that people can watch a special moment and bring so much negativity.”

In a follow-up video she posted on Sept. 24, Zarras addressed the rumors that the girl next to Robbie on the couch handed him his phone when Zarras walked in.

“Y’all are driving me crazy with this phone comment,” she said. “You can see that his phone is in his lap, and he pulls out his phone.”

@laurenzarras

Reply to @jizzzlleeh love y’all 😘

♬ original sound – laurenzarras

“These comments are getting ridiculous, and I don’t know why you guys are assuming so much about my relationship,” Zarras added. “My boyfriend and I are literally obsessed with each other and are in contact with each other every minute of the day.”

Robbie, the couch guy himself, posted a response on Oct. 2 asking followers to not “be a parasocial creep” and to remember “not everything is true crime.” He included the infamous couch in the background of the TikTok for good measure.

As of now, TikTok users aren’t entirely unconvinced that there isn’t something awry with the relationship. But the least they can do is thank #couchguy for saving us from “berries and cream” TikTok.

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If you enjoyed this story, read about this TikToker who was unnerved by her online shopping mishap.

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