Viral TikTok Showing USPS Driver on Break Hassled by ‘Karen’ Was Actually a Staged Prank

Devan Jones and Michele Houstman have known each for other years, the duo tells Inside Edition. Jones' widely circulated TikTok showed Houstman banging on his mail truck as he ate lunch, earning her the "Karen" moniker.

After a California mail carrier went viral on TikTok for enjoying his lunch while ignoring a woman banging on the window, the two have come forward to reveal: it was all in good fun!

“When she wants her mail but it’s your lunch break,” says the original video, which has since been viewed more than 14 million times.

Devan Jones’s video quickly went viral, with thousands cheering him on, while others labeled the woman, Michele Houstman, a “Karen.” Some also blasted Jones. “No wonder packages are always late,” one commenter wrote.

Millions shared the video thinking it was real. But it turns out, the video was a gag that quickly backfired, Jones and Houstman tell Inside Edition. 

“I am not a Karen. This is one of my dear friends,” Houstman said. Jones confirms: “She is not a Karen.”

The two have actually known each other for other years. Jones says Houstman often makes him lunch and shoots his TikTok videos. After the backlash, Jones posted a new video of the pair, hugging to the song “Reunited.”

But that wasn’t enough to quell the storm.

“I didn’t like the backlash she was getting, so we did a video to say, ‘Hey, we made peace.’ But that wasn’t enough. Now it was, ‘I was doing that to save my job,’ or ‘She’s doing it to save her job,’” Jones said.

Jones says the gag was meant to show people, in a humorous way, that even mailmen need lunch breaks. Now they want everyone to know — he’s not rude, and she’s no Karen.

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