What does the “ice in my veins” TikTok pose mean and where did it come from?

Ice in my Veins TikTok

At any given moment a new trend, challenge, or pose can go viral on social media, and if you’re not up to date on all things relevant, then you could be left in the dark. While some viral trends and poses are self explanatory, others such as the “ice in my veins” pose require a bit of explantation.

The pose is relatively new on TikTok but its origin has existed since 2016. As is customary, the viral sensation has taken on a life of its own, garnering a whole new meaning than its origin, and while it might appear to some as just people pointing to their forearms, it’s actually a tad more complex than that.

What is the “ice in my veins” pose?


Answer @im_siowei Thanks for keeping me cool 😎Can’t believe this has over 11 Million views!! #momsoftiktok #momtok #sheesh #iceinmyveins

♬ original sound – Chantalle

The pose is as simple and simple gets. You just point to your arm with your index and middle finger and stay like that for several seconds. Some people have been quick to assume this refers to doing drugs, such as TikTok user @stretchymom in her video above, but actually the pose is a comedic form of truth-telling, if you will. Allow us to explain.

TikTok users do the “ice in my veins” pose by recording themselves staring at or around the camera with an accompanying text that says something about themselves or someone else. Then the next clip is them doing the “ice in my veins” pose with a different text that contradicts the previous one. The point of this is to poke fun at themselves or someone they know, and it usually accompanies the song “Hayloft” by Mother Mother.

TikTok has become rife with users using the “ice in my veins” challenge to unveil bits of truth about themselves or their friends and family. It’s unclear how the pose took on such a meaning when it’s origin is something very different entirely.

Where did the “ice in my veins” pose come from?

It began in 2016 when NBA basketball player, D’Angelo Russell, broke an eight-game loosing streak for the Los Angeles Lakers by scoring 39 points. In celebration, Russel looked at the camera, and pointed to his arm with his index finger and said “ice in my veins!”

In an interview published by GQ, Russel said: “It’s something my dad said growing up. He always said you have to be prepared for big moments, you gotta have ice in your veins. You have to have no feelings. You have to go out there and play your hardest and do what you do. That was the celebration what I performed well and knowing he prepared me mentally.”

After Russel’s use of the pose, other athletes started incorporating the gesture to their celebrations. It wasn’t until 2021 that TikTok users started using the pose to spin a whole new meaning onto it.

It’s always good to be a trendsetter,” said Russel to GQ, and that’s exactly what Russel did. The “ice in my veins” pose has amassed multi-million views on TikTok and although it’s died down slightly, it’s by no means gone away.

So whether you’re celebrating or making fun of yourself, feel free to point to your arm. If someone doesn’t know what you’re talking about, just say “ice in my veins.” One way or another, you’ll be sure to start a conversation.

About the author

Cody Raschella

Cody Raschella

Cody Raschella is a Staff Writer and occasional Editor who has been with WGTC since 2021. He is a closeted Swiftie (shh), a proud ‘Drag Race’ fan (yas), and a hopeless optimist (he still has faith in the MCU). His passion for writing has carried him across various mediums including journalism, copywriting, and creative writing, the latter of which has been recognized by Writer’s Digest. He received his bachelor's degree from California State University, Northridge, which he has done absolutely nothing with ever since.