A Complete Guide To Couch Guy TikTok

This headline may be cryptic to some, but if you're an avid TikToker, the words "Couch Guy" most likely stir up strong emotions. What was meant to be an innocent video of a girlfriend surprising her long-distance boyfriend at college created a tangled web of conspiracy theories and seemingly turned the entirety of TikTok into a mix of amateur sleuths and relationship counselors. 

Let's break this down. On September 21, 20-year old Purdue University Lauren Zarras posted a TikTok of herself surprising her long-distance boyfriend Robbie McCoy at the University of Virginia (via Elite Daily).

The video was posted with an unassuming caption — "Robbie had no idea" — and with Ellie Goulding's "Falling For You" playing in the background (via TikTok). The video shows Zarras, with the help of some of McCoy's friends, entering a dorm room door with a suitcase. In the room, McCoy is sitting on a couch with three other girls, and when Zarras walks in, he takes a moment before standing up and hugging her. It's an innocuous description, but the amateur sleuths of Tik Tok decided that the vibes were off. Keep reading for a full run-down of the internet-consuming drama created by a video that's less than 30 seconds long.

People are convinced Couch Guy is cheating

You may be thinking to yourself: Why is the internet so obsessed with this video? The answer lies in the nuances of the video. People have observed a lot of subtleties that may not catch the eye at first watch — including, but not limited to, the fact that it looks like the girl closest to McCoy had her hand on his back when Zarras walked in, and that the boys who let Zarras in the room are laughing, almost as if they set McCoy up (via Elite Daily).

Others have shared the theory that the girl sitting next to McCoy actually had his phone in the beginning of the video, as it appears in the video that she slips it back to him when Zarras walks in the door. 

While it's rare for internet audiences to agree on anything, the comment section of Zarras' video seems to show they do agree on this video. Among the litany of comments telling Zarras that McCoy's behavior is a red flag are comments like, "he hugged her like she was his aunt at Christmas dinner" and "I've never seen someone so unhappy to see their girlfriend" (via TikTok).

Couch Guy parodies are everywhere

Lauren Zarras' original video of her surprising her boyfriend Robbie McCoy at the University of Virginia currently stands at over 36 million views, according to Insider. While many of those views come from people who dissected and analyzed the body language and behavior in the video, others watched it and saw an opportunity for comedy. "Couch Guy Tik Tok" has now become its own genre, with many of the videos under #couchguy being parodies of the original in increasingly bizarre and hilarious situations.

A TikTok posted by user Gabbi Kraus uses the same song as the original video and shows her approaching a dorm room door. When the boy she's "surprising" walks out and hugs her, another girl walks out of the room, but the boy pushes her back in. Some of the parodies are more bizarre, such as one posted by a user with the name @hahadylan that shows a similar scenario, but instead of a girl walking out of the boyfriend's room, it's a man wearing nothing but a Speedo bathing suit and a large fake shark head.

Lauren and Robbie are still together

If you didn't know about Couch Guy before, after learning all about him you may have the same question as the rest of us: Are Lauren Zarras and Robbie McCoy still together? It appears that the answer is yes. When the TikTok originally went viral, Zarras responded to the comments immediately, saying, "Breaks my heart that people can watch a special moment and bring so much negativity. Please think before you assume anything about my relationship" (via Today).

Couch Guy himself responded to the accusations and even made his own TikTok to do so. McCoy posted his first TikTok on October 1, in which he urged people to stay out of his and Zarras' relationship. The text in the post reads, "Couch guy here. Ur welcome for getting u off berries & cream tiktok, but remember: Not everything is true crime. Don't be a parasocial creep. Go get some fresh air. Take care." He also accused TikTok users of "gaslighting" him and his girlfriend about aspects of their relationship.

So, despite everything, McCoy and Zarras seem to still be going strong. In fact, Zarras has taken the moment of fame to turn a profit by creating "Couch Guy" merchandise (via Today).