What Does "Let Him Cook" Mean on TikTok? Sit Back and We'll Explain

TikTok users are wondering what it means when someone says "let him cook." Here's the meaning behind the viral phrase and when to use it.

Melissa Willets - Author

Nov. 10 2023, Published 12:54 p.m. ET

The Gist:

  • The term "let him cook" is all over TikTok.
  • Users are wondering what it means — and it's not too deep.
  • Here's when to use "let him cook" and why the phrase is already worn out in some people's books.
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If you are on TikTok, you're probably coming across a new term every day that may leave you scratching your head. Examples include "air mattress Ashley" and "I peeled my orange today."

Or perhaps you are seeing TikTokers call users "acoustic," or "bop."

The latest term that we have to decode is "let him cook." Let's explore what it means and when people are using it.

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Jungkook cooks - "let him cook" meme
Source: TikTok

South Korean singer Jungkook seriously cooked

So, what does "let him cook" mean on TikTok?

When someone says "let him cook," they don't mean that a man should get a fair shot in the kitchen. The term has nothing to do with actual cooking that involves food.

Instead, as the BFWF podcast explains, the term means you need to let a person prepare to be awesome. So, whether it's in the gym, or on the soccer field, the concept is to basically allow space for someone to improve themselves to be their absolute best.

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Don't worry if the term is a little confusing at first — because you aren't alone if you don't know how to use it right away. Others have expressed confusion about "let him cook."

To boil it down (sorry, we couldn't resist), essentially cooking is the prep phase before a person shines. Or, as someone else on TikTok put it, you're giving "someone time and space to hone their craft." Or, "like trust the process."

Make sense?

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Here's how TikTok is using "let him cook."

All over TikTok, users are sharing examples of the "before" and "after" moments when you allow someone to cook to perfection.

One main area where the phrase seems to really land is in bodybuilding.

You can find many TikToks that feature reels of images or video of someone working out to achieve a seriously "cooked" or jacked look. Many other TikToks are build-ups of professional athletes working to reach their peak moments, or showcase video game sequences that are, well, basically awesome.

Every "let him cook" video also includes the same man's voice yelling the phrase in a kind of grating, intense way. And, it's a lot. Sorry.

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"Let him cook" is already annoying some folks.

Much like many other overused phrases on TikTok, you'll find people who are tired of them and felt they are either dumb or it's time for them to go away.

"People with TikTok humor," one person virtually eye-rolled over the phrase on one video.

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Other people just use the phrase as a jumping-off point for making fun of whoever is supposedly cooking, employing some rather impressive word play. "Cooked medium rare," is an example of a jibe a commenter used on a weightlifter's TikTok that said "let him cook."

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"Overcooked," said another TikToker about the same athlete, while another video features comments such as, "Bro cooking with the wrong recipe."

"I think you've burnt the food by now," someone else ribbed about a bodybuilder's routine.

Judging from what we saw on TikTok, "let him cook" isn't going anywhere anytime soon, so get used to it. That is, until the next phrase or trend distracts us sufficiently.

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