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.
“You can FEEL the awkward tension bro,” one person wrote. Almost 700,000 people liked the comment.
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.
“That’s Robbie behavior right there…” Kraus captioned the video.
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.”
“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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