- TikTokers are posting videos claiming to have stolen school equipment like paper towel dispensers.
- On the app, they refer to thefts as “licks” usually described as “devious” or “diabolical.”
- Some schools have taken to social media to warn students against participating in the trend.
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TikTok creators are claiming to have stolen school equipment including paper towel dispensers, soap, and SMART boards just weeks into the school year, calling the thefts “devious licks” as part of a trend going viral on the platform.
Now, schools are warning students to stop stealing school equipment, cautioning arrest as a possible consequence.
“Only 2 weeks into school and got this absolute devious lickk,” TikTok user @jadenflick wrote in an onscreen caption of a since-deleted video showing them pulling what appears to be a Georgia-Pacific hands-free paper towel dispenser from their backpack and setting it on a couch.
The video, which had 2.3 million likes in under a week before it was taken down, was accompanied by a single hashtag: #devious. A subsequent video on the account appears to show the paper towel dispenser attached to a wall.
Videos of a similar ilk, all accompanied by a sped-up version of Lil B’s song “Ski Ski BasedGod,” have flooded TikTok in recent weeks in attempts to claim the most “devious” or “diabolical” licks. A January entry on Urban Dictionary defines “lick” as a “successful” theft resulting in “an acceptable, impressive and rewarding payday.” In the case of this trend, the reward for the “lick” is TikTok engagement.
According to Know Your Meme, TikTok user @jugg4elias posted a video on September 1 that showed them taking a box of disposable masks from their backpack along with the caption, “a month into school absolutely devious lick. Should’ve brought a mask from home.” While the video appears to have since been deleted, Know Your Meme reported that it gained over 239,000 views in a week.
The TikTok audio with “Ski Ski BasedGod” that’s most closely associated with the trend was uploaded by the user @minttea, according to its landing page on TikTok, and has been used in approximately 94,200 videos, many of which have amassed millions of views and likes.
As Mashable reported, there’s a hierarchy of “licks” – essentially, the bigger, the better, and more devious. Students are claiming to have stolen everything from projectors (which can cost hundreds of dollars each) to toilet paper roll shields and plastic spoons on the app.
The trend has also circled around to parody, with people posting jokes about stealing their entire school, or “hitting the least diabolical” ones by taking just a paper clip.
Schools are asking students not to participate in the trend
Schools and parent-run organizations are warning students not to participate in the trend.
“DO YOU KNOW WHAT A ‘LICK’ IS?” reads a Monday post from the principal of River Ridge High School, located in Florida. “We are experiencing bathroom and school destruction that students are performing on Tik Tok and calling it a devious lick or just a ‘lick.'”
The principal said the school would “investigate every single video” and “use social media to catch the students responsible,” and warned that “law enforcement” would also be involved.
Additional Facebook posts from schools and parent associations in Florida, Georgia, and California have also called out the trend, warning parents to speak to their children about the consequences of vandalism.
Those kinds of announcements are seemingly going viral on TikTok as well. One TikToker @drexerss posted a video that now has approximately 3 million likes and purports to include a school announcement warning against the trend and announcing the closure of a bathroom.
“For those who are participating, please know when we do catch you, we will discipline you to the fullest extent and you will be arrested, and you will be responsible for any of the monetary damages that have been done,” the announcement says, before continuing to say that one of the boys’ bathrooms was closed and two others were without soap.
Local news reports have also emerged of schools reporting vandalism potentially connected to the trend. San Antonio-based outlet KSAT reported that bathrooms at multiple high schools in the North East Independent School District were vandalized. The district’s executive director of communications told KSAT that soap and paper towel dispensers in the bathrooms had been “ripped off the walls,” along with mirrors and light fixtures.
TikTok did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.