When getting a new electronic device, it’s not uncommon for there to be a protective plastic film covering the screen. This prevents scratches and keeps the screen looking brand new until it gets into the customer’s hands.
That is if there’s actually a protective film. Sometimes, what appears to be a protective plastic layer is part of the design, as many Samsung Galaxy Fold users learned upon trying to remove the phone’s screen protector (it was actually the screen itself).
Now, a TikTok user’s story about making a similar mistake with her TV has gone viral. In a video with over 2.6 million views as of Saturday, TikTok user Kelsey (@kumalashstudio) claims that, upon peeling off part of her TV’s “screen protector,” she discovered that what she was removing was actually integral to the TV’s function.
“We thought this was the protective plastic because it really looked like that,” she says in the video, which shows a plastic film being removed from a TV. “So, we started peeling it off, and we did not realize that that was the actual screen that we were pulling off.”
As Kelsey notes in the video, she is not the first person to have accidentally done this. There are numerous posts across the internet of people doing this exact same thing, only in Kelsey’s case, she says that Samsung ended up replacing the TV.
@kumalashstudio I feel like I can talk about this now since its been a while. WHY was there not a sticker on the front that said this is not a protective plastic. Do not remove 😭 #movingtospain #usatospain ♬ original sound – 🇺🇸KUMA|Life & Lashes in 🇪🇸
In a follow-up video, Kelsey explains why they ended up pulling off the polarization film. First, she says that the film appeared to already be pulling up slightly, and she claims that it initially could be removed with such ease that she assumed it was designed to be taken off.
Second, she notes that the TV was not plugged in when they started to do this; they only realized their error upon plugging it in part of the way through removing the film.
“This would be such an easy fix, to just put a small sticker that just says, like, ‘not a protective screen,’ or, like, ‘do not pull it,’” Kelsey says. “But there was nothing there.”
Kelsey stated in another follow-up that it is not uncommon for TVs to come with protective plastic films and that she personally has purchased several TVs with such protective layers.
@kumalashstudio Replying to @Lulu ____• Answering all your questions about why & how we ripped off the screen to our new tv #usatospain #movingabroad ♬ original sound – 🇺🇸KUMA|Life & Lashes in 🇪🇸
@kumalashstudio Replying to @clarissa the great protective plastic debate. Why do people think tvs do not come with protective plastic? #usatospain #movingabroad ♬ original sound – 🇺🇸KUMA|Life & Lashes in 🇪🇸
In the comments section, many users claimed that they had either done the same thing or were understanding of Kelsey’s mistake.
“Why would they make a screen where you can find a peelable corner in the first place,” wrote a user.
“Design flaw. the screen should be underneath the frame so the edges aren’t exposed, making them peelable,” added another.
“Omg I did the same when I got my new tv,” shared a third. “Thankfully I realized pretty quickly and only did a little corner.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Samsung via email and Kelsey via Instagram direct message.
*First Published: Jan 13, 2024, 9:00 am CST
Braden Bjella is a culture writer. His work can be found in Mixmag, Electronic Beats, Schon! magazine, and more.