Ice In My Veins Pose depicting NBA player D'Angelo Russell pointing to his arm.

Ice In My Veins Pose

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Ice In My Veins Pose, also known as the TikTok Arm Thing, is a pose in which you touch the underside of a lowered arm with your index and middle fingers as if checking your pulse, optionally biting your lower lip, used to signify that you are "cold-blooded." The pose was started around 2016 by NBA player D'Angelo Russell as a post-basket celebration before being adopted by TikTokers in early 2021 as a show of pride.


The term "ice in your veins," meaning "cold-blooded," has been used in basketball and other sports to describe skillful players who don't fold under pressure since at least 2012 when the phrase was first defined on Urban Dictionary,[1] specifically mentioning Kobe Bryant in the example.

On March 1st, 2016, the New York Nets played against the Las Angeles Lakers in an NBA game.[7] The Lakers won, with player D'Angelo Russell scoring 39 points against the Nets. After successfully shooting a three-pointer with 30 seconds left in the game, Russell celebrates by pointing at the underside of his arm and saying "ice," as if to say he has "ice in his veins" (shown below). This is the earliest recorded use of the pose.

In a December 2016 interview with GQ,[8] Russel describes what the celebration means to him, saying:

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.

He also describes how he used to do the pose back in high school. Russell has continued to use the pose throughout his career (compilation shown below).


On November 22nd, 2016, Lakers player Nick Young, known for the Confused Nick Young meme, paid tribute to Russell by using the pose after scoring the Lakers a three-pointer in the last 10 seconds of the fourth quarter in a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, saving the game (shown below). On November 23rd, Ball Is Life[9] reported on the tribute.


In early 2021, TikTokers began using the "ice in my veins" pose in a variety of videos. It's unknown who started this, but one of the earliest trends to use it, set to the song "Hayloft" by Mother Mother, sees TikTokers[2][3] use the pose to humorously and often ironically represent someone or something as "cold-blooded" (examples shown below, left and right). The trend began in late February 2021.

The context of the pose has been somewhat lost in its move to TikTok, with many unsure of its origin or what it means, often referred to simply as the "TikTok arm thing" by those out-of-the-loop, assuming the pose was started on the platform (example shown below).[4]

The pose saw significant use in videos using the sheesh sound effect on TikTok[5][6] in March, used most often to show pride (examples shown below, left and right).

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