TikTok users are turning to the app not only to make entertaining content but to talk about mental health.
As the New York Post explains, “The phrase ‘I had pasta tonight’ has become code for experiencing depression or suicidal thoughts on the short-video platform. The innocuous-seeming statement and slight variations on it are now a way platform users can signal for help and support without being blunt.”
For example, in a recent video from @kaityjane2, she captions it, “Told my mom about my favorite pasta recipe and she made it for dinner tonight.” In the clip, which has over 3 million views, Kaity is quiet and looks sad.
In the comments, viewers are listing things worth living for. One writes, “There’s so many dogs you haven’t pet yet,” while another adds, “Wait wait wait but have you tried EVERY ice cream flavor?” One user even writes how helpful the app has been. “This comment section is my new therapy. Thank you,” she says.
The New York Post says that the trend is inspired by a poem called Don’t Kill Yourself Today. “The poem lists a variety of relatable reasons why life is worth continuing, including ‘Don’t kill yourself until you tell someone your best pasta recipe’ and ‘Don’t kill yourself until you finish your shampoo and conditioner at the same time.'”
The outlet adds that someone commenting and referencing finishing their shampoo and conditioner at the same time is also another code when someone is experiencing dark feelings on the platform.