TikTok trend explained: The couch guy

TikTokers love a good mystery. So when a possible cheating scandal hit their For You pages hinting at infidelity, the sleuths were on to it.

"The Couch Guy" went viral on TikTok after a video was posted of a young woman surprising her boyfriend in college caused worldwide speculation.

The video now has gotten more than 57.5 million views, with thousands of users duetting, stitching, investigating and parodying the original video since it was posted on September 22.

Screenshots of the original video of 'the couch guy' showing the girl walking in to surprise her boyfriend. Source: TikTok/@laurenzarras
'The couch guy' has taken over TikTok. Source: TikTok/@laurenzarras

Where does the trend come from?

The video shows a girl walking into a room, wheeling a suitcase behind her, with the text "surprising my boyfriend at college" written over it.

The original TikTok was posted by user Lauren Zarras, the long-distance girlfriend of "couch guy", Robbie.

Viewers then see a man, presumably her boyfriend, sitting next to three women. He stands up when he sees her and they hug. Still Falling for You by Ellie Goulding plays in the background.

"Robbie had no idea," the caption reads.

People immediately began analysing the 19 seconds of footage and some viewers suggested that Robbie's body language was guilty and that “even his friends’ faces were ready for him to get caught".

What is the actual trend?

The hashtag #thecouchguy is trending on TikTok, with millions of views on the thousands of videos posted.

Although it kicked off with users duetting or reposting the original video, people soon began breaking down the video, explaining why they think Robbie could be cheating on Lauren.

Lauren later commented on the video, saying it "breaks her heart" people were being so negative.

"Please think before you assume anything about my relationship," she commented a few days after it blew up on the app.

"The couch guy" trend soon evolved into people recreating their own versions (both serious and parody versions), and has quickly become a subculture on TikTok.

It's also being used as an adjective, with some TikTokers using it to describe surprising friends or family, or simply being reunited with someone after a long time.

“I’ve never seen someone look so unhappy to see their girlfriend,” one user commented.

“I can FEEL THE AWKWARD TENSION!” added another. “Homegirls on the couch are literally laughing.”

"Ok sis I was on your side until at the 20th time watching this... girls hand really did slide ya man his phone," another wrote.

Lauren responded in follow-up video a few days after the original post went viral, explaining herself and Robbie had been dating long-distance for a year and are still “literally obsessed with each other”.

"I've known all the girls since last year," she continues. "And my boyfriend and I are in contact every minute of the day".

Biggest videos of the trend so far

The original video has millions of views, as do some of the first to break down the video in their investigations.

Another TikToker, Hallie Fitzgerald, went viral when she posted a video freeze-framing and zooming in on stills of the original TikTok video coming to the conclusion that Robbie is wearing another girl's hair tie on his wrist.

Why is it so popular?

Let's face it; people love a drama that doesn't directly impact them and this has it all — cheating, scandal and at-home investigating.

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