Dating, Family, Friendship, Marriage, Relationships, What's trending?

The Viral Relationship Challenge that is Better than Therapy: Sharing Your Icks

catching the ick

This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s fall editorial intern Brianna Allison. Find her on Instagram at @ballison7. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at

We’ve all been in a situation where we are spending time with someone, maybe it’s your significant other, your parent, your sibling, your friend or cousin, and they do something that just bothers or disgusts you. Sometimes you can look past it, and sometimes you can’t – maybe they chew loudly, maybe they leave their fingernails around the house, maybe they talk during movies or maybe they leave their coffee they were “going to drink” in the fridge for a few days. 

We all have our pet peeves, which TikTokers have now called “icks.” And it always seems like the people around us know exactly what to do to get under our skin and have us catching the ick. Recently, TikTok has been full of people sharing their icks about someone in their life. Some users are sharing that it is even better than therapy! Why? Let’s take a closer look at the trend and why it’s been so popular!

What is “catching the ick?”

Disgust Reaction GIF by CBS - Find & Share on GIPHY

The term “ick” has just become a part of our vocabulary these days, but its meaning is ever-evolving. I’m sure that the term has been used throughout the years and the “ick” feeling has been around forever. However, it became popular after contestants on Season 3 of the reality dating series, Love Island, regularly used it when ending their relationships. In this case “the ick” meant a turn-off that happened unexpectedly and quickly. It could be the smallest action or sound that takes over, and once you see it, you can’t unsee it.

But since season 3, which aired in 2017, I feel that the term “ick” can be used to describe more than just a turn-off that may end a relationship. Now, you can use catching the ick or “the ick” to describe something unpleasant or offensive that someone in your life does. Basically, it just makes you cringe. And it doesn’t need to just be a romantic partner, it can be a family member or friend.

What is the trend?

If you look at your For You page on TikTok, I’m sure that it’s full of this viral relationship challenge. Couples, parent/child duos or siblings are taking time to think about their partner’s icks before recording themselves sharing them with one another. The video then shows each person’s reaction to finding out the icks their partner has against them.

The videos are usually funny, some have arguing and some are definitely a little awkward. But they all are very honest and telling. And if you don’t think that this sounds enjoyable, everyone has been adding the new voice filter to their video called trickster. It makes every voice in the video high-pitched and just adds more humor to the TikTok. So do you want to try it?

How to do it


idk if this was as helpful as we thought it would be 😂 #couplechallenge #icks #voiceeffects

♬ original sound – The Marellis

The trend is easy, so let’s break down how to do it. First, you’ll need a partner, one who is willing to have some of their secrets/quirks shared on the internet and who is comfortable sharing their icks about you online.

Next, take time to think about what you want to share and make a list of your partner’s icks. Now, I would personally recommend talking to your partner to agree on the number of icks that you’re willing to share. Because otherwise you might come up with a list of 10 and they could come with 4. Then, you’d have to deal with the awkwardness of having more icks written down about them.

Now, you’ll want to record your video through the TikTok app. And here comes the hardest part – sharing your icks about the other person in the video and then listening to them share theirs about you. You’ll want to be prepared because you might have some hurt feelings after this, but try not to take it so seriously! It should be fun and not cause too many problems with your partner!

Lastly, once you’re done recording you’ll want to hit the audio editing button. This is where you can change the voice filter. As I mentioned earlier, this trend uses the trickster filter, but feel free to use whichever one you like!

Why is it popular?

The trend became popular overnight. And I was surprised since it’s not the nicest trend that TikTok has had. But I think people originally started doing it because they thought it would be fun, but now people are recognizing the benefits it can have on their relationships. Many people who have done the trend say it’s better than therapy… and it’s definitely cheaper.

It feels like therapy because you’re being honest with your partner. When you share the icks you feel about them, it allows them to become aware of the things that they say and do that bother you. Doing this can start a conversation about how they can change what they’re doing to make it better or share why they do what they do to make you understand them just a little bit more.

It also proves that catching the ick doesn’t have to end the relationship, but it can make it stronger. It helps you to realize that your partner isn’t perfect, you aren’t perfect and that being imperfect is okay.

Happy The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air GIF by HBO Max - Find & Share on GIPHY

Sharing your ick can be a great opportunity to strengthen your relationship . . .  or maybe even end it if it’s too hard to look past. Either way, catching the ick shows that sometimes the people we love are the ones that drive us the craziest, but communication is key! 

Will you try this trend? What’s your biggest ick? Share with us in the comments below!

More Relationship Articles

Lifestyle Articles

Health + Wellness Articles

Pop Culture Articles