What does ‘devious lick’ mean and why is it all over TikTok?

Social media is obsessed with scoring a “devious lick.” But here’s why this meme is probably better to observe than partake in. 

The “devious lick” trend started up in September and has since become an internet sensation. It all began with a TikToker’s hilarious (and kind of sketchy) video about stealing a box of face masks. Hey, in the pandemic era, that’s a pretty valuable loot. Now you can’t go on any of your social feeds without people talking about “devious licks.” 

What does “devious licks” mean? 

The popular slang phrase “hit a lick” means to “find a quick way to make money, usually illegal,” according to Urban Dictionary. It’s unsurprising then that people refer to their petty thefts as “devious licks.” 

What is the “devious licks” trend on TikTok

On September 1, @jugg4elias uploaded a video that inspired the meme. The video has either been made private or has since been deleted.

“A month into school absolutely devious lick. Should’ve brought a mask from home,” he wrote in the caption.

He then unzipped his bookbag to reveal a box of masks he stole from school. The video racked up 7.2 million views in two days and spawned other TikTokers to show off their devious licks. A notable part of the trend is that the stolen goods do not have a very high monetary value or aren’t very flashy. 

However, it should go without saying that posting a video of something you’ve stolen could be considered incriminating evidence. So participate in this meme at your own risk. 

Examples of TikTokers’ devious licks

TikToker @jadenflick bragged about his devious lick: a contactless paper towel dispenser he stole from his school bathroom. 

“One week into school I’ve already hit a devious lick,” @JosephMeade22 tweeted with a stock photo of a school drinking fountain. 

The Twitter user @chowosen opted for stealing a supermarket shopping cart for their devious lick. 

Similar to the milk crate challenge, TikTok isn’t too happy with this trend.

“We expect our community to stay safe and create responsibly, and we do not allow content that promotes or enables criminal activities,” a TikTok spokesperson told In The Know. “We are removing this content and redirecting hashtags and search results to our Community Guidelines to discourage such behavior.” 

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