Malicious Mystery

Ignatius Bathroom Victim of Devious Lick Prank

Dean Johnson, Staff Writer

Students recognized that the faucet handles went missing in the Ignatius Hall boy’s bathroom during early October. The boy’s bathroom was void of two of the three faucet handles, leaving only one sink operational for nearly two weeks; the only explanation is the devious lick.

The term ‘devious lick’ is a trend and an adaptation of the polysemous term ‘hit a lick’. Basically, to ‘hit a lick’ means to steal, make money, or otherwise commit a malicious act. Although ‘hit a lick’ originated from phrases meaning joy and immediate appreciation, more recently, it has been synonymous with crime and mischievous activity.

This term was only mildly popular up until this year when the ‘devious lick’ went viral, emphasizing the mischievousness of the action. The term ‘devious lick’, almost always including purple devil emojis, has become the namesake of a new trend shared throughout TikTok. A devious lick is the act of stealing bathroom appliances (or other items) from a school and flexing the product of the thievery. The trend started with the first devious lick video, created by TikTok user Jugg4elias on September 1st of 2021, when he stole a bundle of masks from his school.

One example of a devious lick a student goes into a school bathroom, steals a soap dispenser, films the dispenser stuffed into their school bag captioning the video ‘Devious Lick’, and then shares it on TikTok. Since it is estimated by Statista that 7/10 American teens use TikTok, it was only a matter of time until the trend hit Seattle Prep. It is not just Prep though; the trend has swept schools across Seattle and the country. While arguably entertaining in some cases, the impacts of this trend vary drastically; students steal anything from minor objects like faucet knobs to entire toilets. The trend promotes destructive action, and although some countermeasures have occurred, like ‘angelic licks’ and videos getting banned, at some schools’ students have been arrested and face major repercussions.

Emma Gunter ’25 gave further insight on the viral trend’s impact at other schools in Seattle as she explains the situation at Eckstein Middle School “There was a Tik Tok trend going around about stealing soap dispensers (that students participated in). By the end (of the trend) there was no soap left in the bathrooms so teachers were requiring boys to bring hand sanitizer, and nobody could go to the bathroom during passing period”.

Regardless of history or etymology, the devious lick trend raises the question: will this first incident in Ignatius be the last devious lick at Seattle Prep or is it only a matter of time before it happens again?