Why Are Dudes Pretending to Get Arrested on TikTok?

Welcome to the cringey world of boyfriend POV videos

A pair of silver handcuffs with a key placed next to them.
The trend involves a bunch of dudes pretending to get arrested ... sexily.

A cringy new trend has been circulating on TikTok, inspiring a bunch of copycats and hilarious parodies. There’s no official name for it, but it looks like this and involves a bunch of dudes pretending to get arrested … while sexily.

Yes, a bunch of guys on the video-sharing app are acting out scenarios in which they are “shoved” up against a wall, then struggle while being “handcuffed” before seductively looking into the camera your eyes. You might even get a wistful “I love you” before this smoldering fugitive is thrown into a would-be cop car and taken downtown.

According to the Daily Dot, the trend was started by Gage Bills, a TikToker who regularly participates in a popular TikTok genre I like to call lip-syncing while being handsome. It’s a popular category of content on the app where thirst-trap influencers (conventionally attractive teens and adults) will lip-sync to a song or a line from a movie while trying to look as hot as possible. Sometimes, though, they don’t even say anything at all and just do some creepy thing with their lips. As the Daily Dot explains, there’s often some crossover with these thirst-trappers and what’s known as “POV roleplay TikTok”:

“POV roleplay TikToks depict a fictional scenario from a specific point of view (POV). Some subgenres are well-suited to thirst trap influencers (ie. romantic boyfriend POV clips) while others can be much darker, like last year’s trends for morbid 9/11 fantasies and domestic abuse roleplay. The new “getting arrested” trend falls somewhere in between …”

Apparently, there is a pretty big market for boyfriend POV content. While it’s certainly widespread on TikTok, there are entire ASMR YouTube channels that post “Boyfriend Roleplay” content where a deep, unidentified male voice will nurse you back to health or get into an argument with you.

So the video that started this obscene “getting arrested” trend falls in line with this sought-after type of content. In his now-viral video, Bills can be seen cosplaying as JJ from the Netflix show Outer Banks. The TikTok video has so far racked up 22.4 million views with 3.1 million likes and has inspired other dudes to film themselves getting fake arrested.


#pov The brothers in crime turned themselves in #fyp #foryou #xyzbca @jesseziorr

♬ son original – FYP🖤

#pov We tried to rescue you but… @tommaso_donadoni

♬ son original – FYP🖤

They’ve also, of course, prompted countless parodies. Because how could you not clown these guys.

But besides being horrifically embarrassing, the trend has been criticized for romanticizing or making light of getting manhandled by law enforcement.

Overall, it’s not a great look, guys. Do us all a favor and go back to flexing your eyebrows.

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