Dear God, Make This Grocery Stunt Stop

Licking ice cream is a cheap stunt for video views. And it just keeps happening.

These days, getting a high view count on your TikTok or Instagram posts can translate to serious internet clout, which in some rare cases can translate to actual money. In most cases, though, it's only so much useless social currency among people who really need to put down their electronic devices for a while. And one TikTok prank that has proliferated for years really needs to stop, because it's not making anyone a star.

TMZ reports that one couple has revived the awful "prank" of heading to the grocery store freezer aisle, picking up a pint of ice cream, removing the lid, licking the surface of the ice cream, then putting it back in the freezer case—and filming the whole thing for an internet audience. That is, all of this was posted to social media. It isn't the first time someone's done this, but dear god, we hope it's the last.

A brief history of TikTok’s ice cream licking trend

In the fast-paced world of internet fads, this scheme is practically ancient now. Let's take a time machine back to 2019, when people started posting videos of themselves dragging their tongues across the surface of some ice cream that some unknowing consumer would eventually purchase.

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In one case, Blue Bell Creameries, a leading grocery ice cream brand, frantically identified one store in which the prank occurred and replaced all the vanilla ice cream there, since that was the flavor this particular TikTok user licked. And in another copycat case in 2019, CNN reported that one ice cream licker was caught and sentenced to 30 days in jail for criminal mischief, as well as being slapped with a $1,000 fine and a requirement to pay $1,565 in restitution to Blue Bell. We hope that internet clout was worth it, because being known as "the guy who went to jail for licking ice cream" doesn't seem all that materially useful otherwise.

In some of these cases, the perpetrators admitted they actually purchased the ice cream they licked, so they took it home after licking rather than replacing it on the shelf. That doesn't make this any less stress-inducing and stupid, however.

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Make this ice cream licking fad stop

It's now 2023, and the man responsible for the latest video has already admitted it was a hoax. A follow-up TMZ article explains that he had copped to purchasing the tub of ice cream, and for evidence, he even showed everyone the tub in his home kitchen (which was mostly empty by then).

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Is this absolution? Absolutely not. Is it relieving? Somewhat, yes. But it's downright dumb that this keeps happening. Why not try to start a fresh trend instead? One that might not necessarily be considered, oh, I don't know, biological terrorism and a crime?

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