Hot sauce trend

@katherinee_310/TikTok LightField Studios/ShutterStock (Licensed)

Men are weaponizing incompetence on TikTok and can’t clean up hot sauce

Once you become familiar with it, you start seeing it everywhere.


Tricia Crimmins


Posted on Jan 24, 2024   Updated on Jan 25, 2024, 8:34 am CST

In each edition of web_crawlr we have exclusive original content every day. On Tuesdays our IRL Reporter Tricia Crimmins breaks down the trends on the popular app that will make you cringe in her “Problematic on TikTok” column.  If you want to read columns like this before everyone else, subscribe to web_crawlr to get your daily scoop of internet culture delivered straight to your inbox.

Weaponized incompetence, or pretending to not know how to do something to get out of doing it, is a concept that once you become familiar with it, you start seeing it everywhere. Because it is everywhere—especially on TikTok.

For example, last year we saw that some blue collar husbands pretend to not know how to cookclean, or trim their toenails, according to their wives. And now, TikTokers are showing us how their husbands are pretending to not know how to clean up hot sauce.

“I dropped some hot sauce and asked my fiancé to clean it up,” a TikToker says in her video that shows her fiancé smearing hot sauce on a counter with a paper towel. In her video’s caption, she says that her partner’s cleaning technique stressed her out, “that’s why [she does] the cleaning.”

Commenters on her video told her that her fiancé was employing weaponized incompetence to get out of cleaning in their home. Some commenters even told the TikToker she should break off her engagement because of the incident.

Another TikToker posted a similar video. One woman even showed how her husband flat out refused to clean ketchup off of the counter.

Other TikTokers posted videos of their male partners doing the bare minimum, like making an honest attempt to clean the hot sauce or actually just cleaning it without complaint or frustration.

And of course there are some parodies of the trend, too. 

Why it matters

Weaponized incompetence can damage relationships, but of course we don’t know enough about the relationships shown to evaluate whether or not weaponized incompetence is at play.

That said, the trend is a good reminder to reflect on the dynamics between you and your partner: Are you doing more of the historically menial tasks like cooking and cleaning? When you ask your partner to help you do those tasks, are they willing to? If so, do they actually follow through?

And most importantly: Do they say that it’ll be more efficient for you to do some chores because they don’t know how to? 

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*First Published: Jan 24, 2024, 6:00 am CST
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