Throughout our lives, we’ve all learned a few general rules about how to function in society. Maybe there was a time you wanted to steal from the candy store — but you probably didn’t. Maybe you desperately wanted to pull your friend’s hair — and you probably refrained. And hey, maybe you thought it would be cool if you licked items in public, but by the grace of whatever force is out there, you managed not to.


Is the impetus to lick things in the public eye really that strong? According to a slew of viral trends, it is. But there was also a time where people were eating Tide Pods or doing that dangerous Kylie Jenner lip challenge. We can’t believe this had to be said, but just because you see it on the internet doesn’t mean you should go doing it, folks. There are already plenty of people who have licked items in public, and we really don’t want the list to get any longer.

Here are some of the most infamous times people have licked items in public. Some (okay, most) of these stories are pretty gross and ridiculous (looking at you, Ariana Grande), but they are somewhat entertaining, giving that we don’t have to directly deal with the consequences of their actions ⁠— at least if the licker in question isn’t performing their viral saliva donation at your grocery store.

Here are some of the weirdest times people have licked items in public, ruining everything that is good and pure in this world.

1. Ice Cream

For some reason, so many people hopped on this gross trend.

Okay, so this is a long story — with plenty of copy-cats — because for some reason people things it’s important to copy a crime that is disgusting on every possible level. During July 2019, people started taking ice cream cartons out of grocery store freezers, licking the product, and then returning it to the shelf — something that is, despite its silliness, a fast track to the police.

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In early July, a video of a woman licking a container of Blue Bell ice cream went viral.

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And people lost their minds.

The video was posted to Twitter and revealed a young woman — probably in her 20s — taking a container of Blue Bell ice cream, popping the top off (there was no seal) and proceeding to a nice big lick of the ice cream. Unacceptable! And like no biggie at all, she puts the container back in the fridge. This is truly the stuff of any germaphobe’s nightmares.

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So why doesn’t Blue Bell have a seal, you might ask?

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It’s a great question. Apparently, the way their ice cream is made creates a “natural seal,” according to a company statement. Of course, they probably also assumed that people wouldn’t be licking their product without buying it. There are some brands that include seals, and they made sure the general public knew after the whole Blue Bell incident.

Haagen-Dazs is potentially safe from lickers.

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Of course, people the world over tried to find the licker.

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Naturally, Twitter has been in a flurry over it.

The tweet, which shared the video and asked, “What kind of psychotic behavior is this?” has seen gotten about 29,174 Retweets and 69,943 Likes. It’s a good sign that people are outraged by this act — and that they tried to figure out who it was. According to Today, the suspect was actually identified and will be dealt with by the juvenile justice system.

Blue Bell released a statement after everything went down saying, “this type of incident will not be tolerated.”

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Imagine if someone bought the rogue ice cream?

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Afterward, Blue Bell went into the Walmart location and removed all tubs that contained the vanilla ice cream flavor licked on camera. To be specific, this ice cream also contained chocolate and peanuts. Yes, it’s delicious — but no, you don’t have to go licking it! We’re glad that the store and the brand took this precautionary measure, though.

Of course, because evil sometimes prevails, people have turned the licking into a challenge.

Apparently, people wanted to be just like the original licker, so they started copying her (and getting in big time trouble for it). Honestly, this is ridiculous. The Bottle Cap Challenge — cool! Licking products and putting them back? Completely not okay. This isn’t like the potentially fatal Tide Pod Challenge, so that must be a win, right? Still, licked items in public is not something we want to deal with.

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But licking ice cream can be fatal. No, seriously.

As one Twitter user puts it so succinctly, “This “licking Ice Cream Challenge” is awful. Children can have autoimmune diseases where their bodies have a hard time fighting colds and flus. If these children get sick due to DIRECT CONTACT TO SALIVA they could die. This is not a joke. This is not funny Please, Don’t do this.” Lickers, take note!

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Lesson learned: Remember to double-check that your ice cream’s peel-off seal is intact and un-licked.

“The viral video is a chilling reminder that it can be difficult to know where your food has been,” Today said. Do you sense a horror movie in the making? It’s totally possible. This is almost scarier than Freddy Kruger or those twins from The Shining! A haunted hotel? Not our favorite thing ever. But eating another stranger’s saliva? Hard pass. 

2. Tongue Depressors

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If you think licking ice cream is weird, imagine licking tongue depressors at the doctor’s office.

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Yep, you can add doctor supplies to the licked items in public list. In fact, one young girl in a Florida doctor’s office licked an entire tongue depressor and put it back in the jar! Imagine going to your doctor’s office to get a check up, only to have your doctor put a saliva-covered tongue depressor into your mouth? Talk about contagious! This is serious stuff, folks. Germs are no joke, and if someone’s seeing the doctor, they are likely already compromised and vulnerable.

The video first appeared in July 2019, and people were up in arms.

Afterward, of course, she placed the depressor back in the jar. WHO DOES THAT, you might be wondering (again)? Of course, there was a sign right in the doctor’s office that read “Please do not touch medical supplies! Thank you.” The doctor’s office location wasn’t released, but news sources say the place had to sanitize the entire office.

Guess who took the video? Her mother.

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Yep. The girl’s mother was the one who caught the act on camera so she she could share it to Snapchat. The mother said she wanted the video to stay between friends, but someone shared it to Facebook. She also said that the doctor was running late and so, “this is how I’m gonna let my kids act,” WFOX reports. The video caption also said, “Don’t tell me how to live my life.”

Sadly, the family has received death threats after the video went viral.

We do not condone violence of any sort, and these death threats are even worse than the act of licking a depressor itself. Rather than harass the family, we should be spreading messages around what kind of risks are posed with licked items in public. We don’t think anyone should go to prison for this, but it is a questionable life choice!

 3. An In-Use Soup Ladle

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A man ate soup — from the ladle at a market — in public.

Classy, dude. One guy actually ate soup from the ladle in a grocery market. According to Today, a man was caught slurping down hot soup at a buffet-style market. The man held a bag of rolls (did he bite these too, we wonder) as he stood at the soup counter. The man then lifted the soup to his mouth and tried it. This is seriously shameful stuff!

And then he did it again. And again.

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We are absolutely not kidding! The guy eats the soup again and again. Of course, everyone lost their minds on social media.

And yes, he can be prosecuted for this.

Although it doesn’t seem like a serious crime, it’s a gross act against humanity — not to mention to breaks a dozen health codes. According to a Today post, some people pointed fingers at the person who filmed it for not saying anything. And we’d like to second that. If you see something, say something! Don’t let these monsters strike again!

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4. Donuts

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Remember when Ariana Grande licked a donut in public?

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Unacceptable, Ariana!

Back in 2015, Videos surfaced on TMZ showing Ariana Grande at a donut shop licking the pastries, turning away and laughing. She also said,  “I hate America,” presumably because people eat lots of junk food? So, why was she there? Is she some sort of donut-licking hypocrite?

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People were outraged at her privilege and audacity.

According to Guardian, the donut-licking debacle “cost Ariana Grande a prime gig performing for Barack Obama at the White House gala last September, according to several email exchanges exposed by WikiLeaks.” We think this is pretty fair! Just because you’re a celebrity doesn’t mean you get to do anything you want.

Thankfully, Ariana apologized.

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Public lickers ought to apologize!

In a statement Ariana posted to Twitter, she said, “I am EXTREMELY proud to be an American.’ She went on to explain that her comments were meant to detail her feelings about American consumption, health, and food waste. She also said, “I need to clean up this mouth of mine & set a better example for my babes. i apologize and i love you. always learning.”

In the end, you can’t just go around licking things.

Tongue depressors. Donuts. Ice cream. Soup! It’s all off the table! Be decent, keep your tongue in your mouth and if you see something, say something!