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TikTok New Trend: Attacking Males?

In the viral, “ketchup challenge” fad, TikTok users purposely dump ketchup on the kitchen counter and ask their boyfriends to clean it up


The Response

After a look of astonishment or an outburst over the squandered ketchup, the partners, who are mostly men, have fairly mixed replies.

Some people don’t blink an eye and wipe up the condiment until the countertop is clean, sometimes using cleaning spray. Others adopt a messier approach, smearing ketchup all over the counter with a paper towel, resulting in an even greater mess.

Men who are more diligent in their housekeeping practices continue to suffer criticism.

Light-hearted joke turns into TikTok chaos

TikTok user @debbiekval’s video of the “ketchup challenge” demonstrates ineffective cleaning. In a video shared earlier this month, her boyfriend spreads the ketchup all over the counter in a circular motion, prompting one commentator to remark, “ok why is he polishing with ketchup.” Many people commented on how unsanitary his manner was, hoping it was merely a skit.

User @katherinee_310 appears to have begun the trend with a TikTok she posted in December. In her version, she asks her fiancé to wipe up the spilled spicy sauce. Again, he simply swirls it around the counter, without using any water or cleaning solution.

Many users have commented on multiple TikToks that the men are exhibiting “weaponized incompetence,” which occurs when someone purposely performs a task poorly in order to avoid being asked to do it again.


Is this the real test to a relationship?

TikTok user Jules received virtual acclaim from viewers after filming her partner successfully cleaning up the mess by wiping the ketchup with a paper towel and rinsing the residue with cleaning solution. Jules can be seen beaming at the camera as her boyfriend uses the cleaning spray, certain that he passed the exam.

“I think this is the first guy I’ve seen actually use spray and wipe after wiping the sauce up,” according to one user.

The hashtag #ketchupchallenge has received over 209 million views on TikTok, with videos featuring women mocking their male colleagues’ abilities to clean up a sticky mess.

“One point of argument is that it’s all about domestic labor,” Iman continued in her video analysis of the trend. “You have to have some level of knowledge – and a little bit of common sense – to know how to clean up ketchup, rather than smearing it into a counter.”

Iman noted that she does not feel the exam evaluates the quality of someone’s significant other, but rather initiates a conversation about cleaning within the household.

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