It’s not always about the pasta — at least to TikTok teens. It’s no secret that teens routinely change up their slang, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that teens saying, “I had pasta tonight” has nothing to do with meals. “I had pasta tonight” and similar lines are actually a call for help.
“I had pasta tonight” really means that the person posting the TikTok is suffering from depression, anxiety, or experiencing suicidal thoughts.
On a platform where pranks and challenges go viral, this code — which started making the rounds this summer — is a stark contrast from the usual lighthearted content. While teens feel uncomfortable talking openly about their mental health, the code allows them to find support on the platform.
The New Set of Codes
Along with “I had pasta tonight,” TikTok users are also using “I finished my shampoo and conditioner at the same time.”
Yahoo reports that the phrases’ meaning comes from an online post titled “Don’t kill yourself today.” Originally posted on Wattpad, a storytelling platform commonly used by teens, the post details different reasons for the reader to not commit suicide.
One line reads, “So don’t kill yourself until you finish your shampoo and conditioner at the same time.”
Another line reads, “Don’t kill yourself until you tell someone your best pasta recipe.”
Those who are aware of the lines’ true meaning flood a TikTok user’s comments with positivity and check to see if they’re okay.
One TikTok user (@kaityjaine2) made a video and wrote, “Told my mom about my favorite pasta recipe and she made it for dinner tonight.” Her video has gotten over 61,000 comments, giving her reassurance and applauding fellow commenters for their positivity.
“You’re so loved. Your mom made that because you said it’s your favorite. Imagine how heartbroken she would be,” said one commenter.
In a follow-up TikTok, @kaityjane2 addressed all the unexpected attention her video received. She explained the she usually posted about her depression and anxitey, but had never had that kind of response. She clarified that she wasn’t joking, and that she’s keeping the video up so that everyone can access the positivity.
In her caption, she wrote, “The comment section is so beautiful. You guys are so amazing. Thank you so so much.” The video has since been deleted.
Like @kaityjane2, many other TikTok users used the code in their videos. One TikToker used another part of the poem, writing, “Finished my shampoo and conditioner at the same time…you know what that means.”
- Signs Your Child or Teenager May Have Anxiety
- Top Signs of Depression in Teens, and What’s Causing It
- FCC Recommends New Suicide Prevention Hotline Number