What is the ‘lemon pie’ story that’s taking over TikTok and making everyone cry?

People on TikTok have strong feelings over something known as the “lemon pie” story, which tells the sad tale of an imaginary couple’s breakup.

Last week, TikToker @sappoop, who wrote in their bio that they are an artist who writes fictional stories, shared the story for the first time. Though the lemon pie story isn’t real, something about it has struck a nerve on social media.

The lemon pie story uses text in a slideshow to tell the story, which has become an increasingly popular format on TikTok. It begins with the simple yet straightforward line, “hey, we need to break up,” which presumably comes from the girlfriend in the relationship.

The boyfriend asks what’s wrong and if he did something to make her upset. According to the girlfriend, it’s not his fault.

“no, you’re perfect,” she replies. “it’s me.”

The story continues like this, with each slide showing two parts of a text exchange between the soon-to-be former lovers.

The girlfriend describes she feels “in no condition to love right now,” but the boyfriend feels confused and blindsided.

“what does that even mean?” he asks before calling her by her pet name, “Lemon.”

It’s at this point that the girlfriend asks if he remembers the night they first met — which, coincidentally, was the night she first earned the nickname of “lemon.” According to her, she was stealing lemons out of the boy’s lemon tree when his mother caught her. Instead of letting her get in trouble, the boy convinced his mother to let it all go.

As a thank you, the girl baked them a lemon pie — which did not turn out well.

Now, months or years into the future, the girlfriend tells her boyfriend that it’s over with barely an explanation. She even blocks his number mid-text.

Just one day later, the boyfriend uses a burner phone to contact her, but his ex makes it clear that she’ll be blocking this one, too. Before she does, she makes a promise that stays with him forever.

“will you promise to regularly contact my number, even with both of your phones blocked?” she asks. “update me about your life? even if the texts don’t go through, at least i’ll have some hope in heart that you didn’t forget about me? ask me how my day was and pretend I’m responding back. will you promise to take my heart and claim it as your own?”

For days, his texts go unanswered until finally, one comes back. Except this time, it isn’t “Lemon” writing him — it’s her mother, telling the boy that her daughter has died. The cause, she says, was heart failure.

In the months and years that follow, the boy grows into a man, falls in love again and marries. Every few years, he texts that same number, updating “Lemon” about his life and promising never to forget her. But just seven years after her death, he shares a tragic update of his own: A heart cancer diagnosis. He wonders about their heart’s connection, after all.

In the end, the boy dies just as his girlfriend did of heart failure. But in his final days, he picks some lemons from his mother’s lemon tree and promises to make things right when he sees his former love again — presumably in the afterlife.

The story has more than 6 million views and has people breaking down all over TikTok.

“i’m on the toilet at school sobbing rn,” wrote @zombehcorpse in the comments.

“HELLO?? THIS IS SO SAD,” added @lovelarissa.

“Yoinks this one’s got a little kick to it,” joked @zahleaa.

Dozens of others said the story reminded them of a similar internet tale known as “I peeled my orange today. It which went viral earlier this month. Just like the “lemon pie” story, it centers around the breakup of two fictional people. Instead of one character dying in the end, the sadness comes from their final text.

Both stories are part of a growing trend of text-based storytelling. The popularity of the orange peel story sparked conversation on TikTok about why the fictional tale resonates so deeply with millions.

That said, now that the lemon pie story is taking over TikTok, a lot of users are saying that it’s even more emotional than the orange peel story.

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