Viral ‘3 drink theory’ describes the ultimate beverage trifecta

A sound on TikTok about staying supremely hydrated has become more than a trend — it’s a way of life.

On Oct. 11, 2021, Sophia Wilson Pelton, a Brooklyn, New York cafe worker, comedian, writer and model, tweeted a thought that would eventually become an internet phenomenon.

“To me, the height of luxury is drinking three liquids at once,” wrote Wilson Pelton, who uses they/them pronouns, in a tweet that garnered over 34,000 likes. “One for hydration, one for energy, and one for fun (ex: water, matcha, spindrift.)”

Wilson Pelton then re-created their tweet in TikTok form a couple days late, reiterating the same thought but adding a little bit of additional context, and then the clip went viral in a very unique way.

“It could be water, matcha, Spindrift. It could even be water, vodka, Red Bull. It could be bloody mary, coffee, water, whatever you want. But, in those moments, I just feel like I have it all,” they said in a TikTok that has more than 438,000 views. “I’m living large and I am a little prince. It’s like, caffeinate, alleviate, hydrate.”

Commenters enthusiastically agreed with the creator, with some sharing their own experiences with their " “emotional support beverages.”

“Caffeinate, alleviate, hydrate is the new live, laugh, love,” commented one TikTok user.

“1) coffee (to temporarily forget i’m depressed, 2) mint tea for coffee breath/ quells caffeine anxiety, 3) emotional support water bottle, untouched,” another TikToker said in a comment, to which Wilson Pelton replied, “Killer line up.”

To this day, Wilson Pelton’s words have inspired others to come out as staunch supporters of the three drink theory. Since this video debuted on the internet, its sound has been used an astonishing 12,000 times in other TikToks, creating a liquid movement of sorts.

“How else am i supposed to live laugh love in these conditions,” wrote one TikToker in the caption of their video.

The video shows a bevvy trifecta — a smoothie, cucumber water and a coffee — while using Wilson Pelton’s voice in a video that garnered nearly 8 million views.

Other folks have used the sound to accompany videos of them showing off their desk drink trio of coffee, water and Coca-Cola, or taking an impromptu video while out to eat at a restaurant with a mimosa, a water and a Coke, or even while studying in the library with tea, water and a Starbucks drink.

Singer Mazie used the sound to show off her hangover beverage trio. In fact, the three drink theory even inspired a song called “Beverage Goblin.”

“A beverage goblin needs at least three drinks at a time. She needs them while she’s working for her body and mind,” sings TikToker @thecenteredlife in a little ditty that garnered nearly 7 million views. “One to hydrate, one to energize and one just for fun.”

Creator Unnecessary Inventions even designed a special cup with three compartments to go with the sound. And, of course, brands like Jack in the Box, Williams Sonoma and Chobani grabbed hold of Wilson Pelton’s words, using them for their own marketing purposes.

For the originator of the three drink theory, Wilson Pelton says there has recently been a renewed interest in the sound, adding that they noticed pretty quickly that it was going viral for the first time back in 2021.

“I always like to have a lot of drinks and like constantly peeing and constantly consuming. That one just really caught on,” Wilson Pelton tells “I was just alone in my room and thinking about it because I can’t have coffee without water. It just felt like it was true.”

“I think it was just literally people who truly just had three drinks in front of them and then were just watching the TikTok and being like, ‘Oh, I’m doing this right now,’” they say.

For Wilson Pelson, the virality of their theory is an ongoing adventure, two-plus years in the making. “I’ve had people tell me that they’ve had people say it to them in real life, like it’s a joke that they just came up with,” the creator continues.

“People are regularly still liking and still commenting on and still engaging with it, which is an interesting experience. For a long time, I don’t think I was fully aware of how viral it really was,” Wilson Pelton adds. “I would say that I created an internet meme at this point. It no longer belongs to me, it belongs to the internet.”

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