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What is TikTok’s ‘Burned Toast Theory?’

Move over, “glass half full” — there’s a new way of looking at the world that’s been popularized by TikTok. TikToker Ingrid, who posts under the username @offthe__grid, shares the meaning of this philosophy:


Monday morning thoughts… shoutout to the internet for sharing this wisdom so passing it along 💖❤️‍🩹 #therapytiktok #advice #anxiousattachment #fyp

♬ original sound – Ingrid

“Burned toast theory is the idea that if you burn your toast before work and it adds five to 10 minutes to your trip, it’s actually saving you from something catastrophic,” she says. 

It could be burned toast, it could also be a construction delay causing you to be late to work and missing a fire alarm. Or, being forced to wait because the barista has to remake your morning coffee results in you meeting someone who gives you a new job opportunity.

The Benefits of Embracing ‘Burned Toast Theory’

Essentially, the burned toast theory reframes life’s inconveniences as part of a bigger plan. “It’s about giving reason to the moments of frustration or pain and it’s us telling ourselves that no matter what happens, the universe has our back,” explained Shaeden Berry in Refinery29.

What’s elegant about the burned toast theory is that it opens the possibility of avoiding something bad or receiving something positive out of a frustrating situation. For instance, you could accidentally forget to set your morning alarm and miss a catastrophic car accident. Or, you could be running late and meet the person you end up marrying. 

“[This] is the idea that inconveniences in our lives, or when something releases us in the universe, it’s either saving us from something more detrimental, or pushing us in the direction that we need to go in,” said Ingrid.

More Examples of ‘Burned Toast Theory’

In the comments and in stitched videos, TikTok users have embraced this state of mind. User Keirsten (@k3irst1n) uses it in her dating life. “If somebody ghosts you, great, they just spared you from their inability to communicate,” she says. “Someone tells you they’re just not feeling it? Awesome. Frees you up to find someone who is.”

No matter how you interpret the burned toast theory, it encourages us to see life’s inconveniences for what they are: small moments that won’t last forever. The burned toast theory maintains the positive outlook that better days are ahead. And, there’s something really lovely about taking a frustrating part of your day and reframing it as part of a bigger plan. 

Whether you’re a burned toast or glass half-full person, it’s all about having the right mindset and a healthy sense of perspective. 

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