The Untold Truth Of TikToker Katie Ritchie

The following article includes mention of addiction, suicide, and allegations of sexual assault.

Katie Ritchie comes from a humble background, but she's well on her way to living a lavish life like that of fellow social media star Alix Earle. Both women are beautiful, blond, and have millions of fans aspiring to be just like them, all thanks to TikTok.

During the app's early days, young content creators like Charli D'Amelio got famous on TikTok by filming dance videos. However, Ritchie's offerings are a mixture of "Get ready with me" (GRWM) videos, vlogs about her daily life, and comedic content. But what has arguably helped her stand out is her authenticity about her tragic backstory; Ritchie has overcome a lot and has become one of those TikTokers who fans would love to be friends with.

On the "Was that TMI?" podcast, Ritchie told host Sadie Crowell that her first viral video was a skit with a friend. However, the 2019 TikTok was inspired by a real-life incident. The aforementioned friend was unhappy because she thought Ritchie looked too pretty while they were taking a photo to send to a guy she was into. "She was like, 'Wait can you like look ugly for a second?' and I was like, 'Wait a minute, that's funny. Say that in a toxic way,'" Ritchie explained, with the video quickly reaching 1.9 million likes. Ritchie's TikToks have become more polished since then, and she has kept fans captivated by mining her past for material while giving them almost daily peeks inside her present-day life.

Her parents had drug problems and legal issues

Katie Ritchie spent her early years in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Her stepfather struggled with drug use and believed that moving the family out of their small-town trailer park and heading to Tennessee would help him kick his habit, which didn't turn out to be the case. "My stepdad was always relapsing on drugs or losing his job or getting put in jail," Ritchie recounted on the "C&Whit Podcast." Because of this, the family mostly lived out of hotels. 

Ritchie's mother developed a drug problem of her own after suffering a concussion in a car accident and taking prescription pain medication. "I don't blame her as much," Ritchie noted on how her parents' drug usage turned her life upside down. Her mom eventually went to rehab and got sober, and Ritchie celebrated their mother-daughter reunion with a sweet TikTok of the two of them eating takeout. "Truly never thought things would be like this again," she captioned the May 2023 video.

Ritchie occasionally shares anecdotes about her stepfather's drug issues and legal problems. In one of her popular "storytime" videos, she recalled how he once became so intoxicated that she found him passed out in the bathroom — where he was using her cat's dirty litter box as a pillow. In another TikTok, she described how her stepfather and a neighbor started printing fake money on the family's home printer, but were arrested after the neighbor used some of the counterfeit cash at a Starbucks.

Katie Ritchie spent her school years living with friends

Because Katie Ritchie's home life was so unstable, she bounced between living with different friends starting at age 13. On the "C&Whit Podcast," Ritchie revealed that she met one of her besties, Olivia, during her sophomore year, which is when she quit school and got her GED. It's a minor miracle she managed to make friends when her window to get to know her fellow students was so small. "I'd been to like over 30 different schools before my freshman year," she says in a GRWM video. For Ritchie, stability was getting an invite to move in with her boyfriend and his mom when she was only 14.

After she and her boyfriend broke up, Ritchie resumed living with her family during one of the rare occasions when they had a house. On "Was That TMI?," she revealed this was when a friend introduced her to one of her future besties, Lucy. "She has a very broken family like I do, so we just related a lot," Ritchie said. This new friendship was tough on Olivia. "She felt replaced," Ritchie explained.

But her two besties were willing to share; On TikTok, Ritchie revealed that she used to alternate celebrating Thanksgiving with their families. In another video, Ritchie recounted how she moved in with Lucy after her friend told her dad, "If Katie goes, I go." Both Lucy and Olivia have continued to appear with Ritchie in her TikTok videos.

Her father and stepfather died tragically

Some celebs were dealt an unfair hand in life but succeeded, anyway. On the "C&Whit Podcast," Katie Ritchie revealed that she didn't have a close relationship with her father after he went to pick up a cake for her baptism and never returned. Instead, he moved to California. "He ran off with some girl," she said.

When Ritchie was 9 years old, her father attempted suicide and asked Ritchie's mom if she could visit him in the hospital on the West Coast. Her mother denied this request, which is something Ritchie didn't learn until later on. Ritchie remembered how she refused to talk with her dad on the phone when he tried to arrange a call with her because she had started dating a boy at age 9 and was worried about what he would say. Her mom relayed Ritchie's message to him via text, and a printout of the message was discovered in one of his pockets after he died by suicide. "When I heard that, it broke my heart," said Ritchie.

Her stepfather's death, which occurred after he left rehab in 2023, was also tragic. On "Was That TMI?," she revealed that he was found dead of a fentanyl overdose in a storage unit he was living in. When her mom learned about his death, she was doing her own stay in rehab. Ritchie has created TikToks discussing her father and stepfather's deaths, and one has reached over 1.3 million likes as of this writing.

She has shared some embarrassing stories about her past

Katie Ritchie shares much more than stories of her heartbreaking past with her followers. She also enjoys entertaining them by revisiting some of the most humiliating moments in her life, such as a sleepover at a boyfriend's house that went horrifically wrong.

At age 14, she was dating someone whose mom was cool with Ritchie staying the night, as long as the young lovebirds slept in separate rooms. During one of these stays, Ritchie had an accident because her stomach was torn up from taking too much melatonin. She was making frequent visits to the bathroom all night but eventually had to tell her boyfriend that she couldn't make it to the bathroom while they were sitting in bed. To make matters worse, her boyfriend asked his mom to clean up the dirty sheets while Ritchie was in the shower, and Ritchie overheard her saying, "This s*** stinks."

In another video, Ritchie recalled getting some heart-stopping news in high school: she was flashing the camera in her prom photos. On top of this, it was her then-boyfriend's parents who noticed her wardrobe malfunction, and they alerted other parents about it to stop photos from being posted online. In a follow-up TikTok, Ritchie showed off her dress, explaining that it featured a high slit that reached her stomach. She also assured her fans that she had worn underwear, but the thin garment didn't provide much coverage.

She used to have black hair

Katie Ritchie's fans are kind of obsessed with her blond hair. "I could literally post the most traumatizing story about myself, and y'all would be like, 'Okay, but how do you get your hair so blond?'" she said in a 2022 TikTok. Her secret? Just bleach. In another video, Ritchie revealed that she rarely uses toner because she's happy with the results she gets from stripping the pigment from her naturally dirty blond hair. "Some people's hair just like goes brassy, but mine just like does not," she explained.

But getting her hair that perfect gold-tinted platinum shade took a lot of work before she became TikTok famous. In a video chronicling her "hair journey," Ritchie revealed that she went through an "emo" phase and used box hair dye to make her waist-length hair as black as that inky mascara that she's known for applying before curling her lashes.

When she attempted to go back to blond, it was quite an undertaking. She spent $200 at a salon before trying to lighten it herself. "[I] bleached my hair four or five times total," she recalled. "It was literally falling out in clumps." She found its orange tint annoying, so she experimented with the colors pink and purple before seeking the aid of a professional. Eventually, Ritchie got her hair to the point where she could bleach it without it turning out brassy. In a 2022 video, she revealed that she was getting her roots touched up at the salon monthly.

Her crazy food cravings

Katie Ritchie is a junk food fiend who enjoys chowing down on some interesting culinary combinations, such as pickles slathered with peanut butter. "I swear I have pregnancy cravings without the pregnancy," she said in a 2023 video. She was showing off her breakfast: salt and vinegar potato chips with a pickle juice chaser, which she guzzled straight from the jar. For the most important meal of the day, she has also microwaved a bag of buttered popcorn and smothered it with generous amounts of white cheddar popcorn seasoning and Louisiana hot sauce.

Out of everything, Ritchie seems particularly fond of pickles. She gets the single-packaged jumbo variety when she makes a gas station stop, and she loves Sonic's pickle fries. Another favorite snack of hers is a bright red chamoy pickle with hot chips stuck in it. 

Ritchie has joked about her excessive consumption of the food coloring Red 40, and her morning trips to Dunkin' Donuts are well-documented. She also shared her haul from the first time she went shopping for groceries alone: Chow Mein noodles, Gushers fruit snacks, Cheddar & Sour Cream Pringles, chocolate Pocky sticks, ramen noodles, microwave mac and cheese, string cheese, and frozen deep dish pizza. She consumes so much junk food that she has had to defend her diet. "I'm probably one of the pickiest eaters in the world," she said in a 2023 TikTok. "I don't like a lot of foods, so what I do like, I'm gonna eat."

Her siblings were placed in foster care

Katie Ritchie has an older brother and three younger siblings. During her September 2023 appearance on the "C&Whit Podcast," she revealed that her three younger siblings had all been placed in foster care and were living with an uncle. She said this was because her stepfather had put methadone in a bottle of Gatorade, which her youngest sibling, Eli, took a drink from. While giving her TikTok followers the short version of her life story, Ritchie said that the drug almost killed him, and her mother and stepfather were ordered to undergo court-ordered rehab.

Sadly, her stepdad died of an overdose not long after his rehab stint ended. Ritchie was present when her siblings learned the news. "Dylan, the one I basically raised, like that was actually my child, was the same age that I was when I found out my dad died," she said on "Was That TMI?"

In addition to losing her husband, Ritchie's mother was unable to regain custody of her children immediately. But after an August 2023 court hearing, a tearful Ritchie took to TikTok to tell her followers that the kids were returning home with them. "I literally can't stop crying," she said. She revealed that her siblings had spent over a year in foster care. In another video, Ritchie confessed to being removed from the courtroom for wearing a dress with spaghetti straps. Luckily, they brought along a long-sleeved blouse that made her outfit dress code compliant.

She changed her last name before finding success

Before Katie Ritchie gained a massive following on TikTok, she attempted to convince her classmates that she was popular on Instagram. In one of her TikTok confessionals, she admitted to using a like-for-like app to gain followers. One of her legit followers was a cheerleader from the middle school she had recently started attending. "She literally comments, 'Did you buy your Instagram likes?'" Ritchie recalled. "When I tell y'all my heart sunk down in my a**hole." 

The cheerleader and her friends began tormenting Ritchie at school, and one of their favorite taunts was poking fun at her last name. At the time, she was going by her Romanian father's surname. She reacted to the teasing by changing her moniker on her social media accounts, revealing that she chose Ritchie because it is her mother's and younger siblings' last name.

Ritchie got the best kind of revenge on those mean girls by finding social media success, but she never set out to become a TikTok star. On "Was That TMI?," she shared that she wanted to gain a different kind of fame by becoming an actor. However, it wasn't her acting in her skit videos that made her blow up on TikTok. "I really got the most followers when I talked about my siblings and foster care," she said. Properly monetizing her successful account took some time; in 2022, she told her followers she was so desperate for money that she was considering selling pictures of her feet.

Her mom humiliated her after her suicide attempt

Katie Ritchie's teenage years were tough. With little parental supervision, she was engaging in some behavior that was not healthy or safe for a young girl. "I had to do sugar daddies when I was 13 because I had no money. Like, I did it online," she said on the "C&Whit Podcast." What she did have during that time period were the friends who were willing to shelter her when her parents could not.

But then she was forced to move with her family when her stepfather got a new job. "I was just completely isolated," Ritchie recalled. On top of feeling lonely, living with addicts was starting to take a serious toll on her. "I knew my parents were on drugs really bad. There was just no one there for me," she said. Ritchie grew so depressed that she attempted suicide before her 15th birthday, but her mom caught her while it was happening.

Ritchie had to be transported to the hospital on a gurney, and her mother decided to capture this traumatic moment on film. As if that wasn't bad enough, she shared the photo on Facebook along with details about what happened. "Why would she do that?!" Ritchie joked in a TikTok video that includes the gurney picture. "She told everyone I was going to the mental hospital, exactly what I did. Like, that's so embarrassing." At least Ritchie could reflect on the moment and invite her fans to laugh about it with her.

She gets lip injections and was a tanning addict

Katie Ritchie is one of the few TikTokers who let fans see her without makeup. She even shared a 2019 video of herself crying because her acne was so bad that she couldn't bear to go inside a grocery store. She also makes funny videos about having thin hair and lets her fans know she's aware that some people think she looks like Cindy-Lou Who.

Ritchie's fans love her for not always trying to put forth a veneer of perfection, and she has also been refreshingly honest about her plump pout getting a little help. She has shared vlogs following her getting lip flips and her first experience receiving lip filler. She told her fans that she paid $300 for half a syringe of filler, and she showed off the numbing cream that was smeared on her lips before the procedure. "This is embarrassing. I keep drooling," she said.

Ritchie has become a bit of a beauty influencer, and she's not too proud to admit when she's wrong about something she believed was making her look better. In a 2024 GRWM video, she revealed what made her finally realize that tanning every day was a bad idea. "People would be commenting on my videos, like, 'Girl, you look old,'" she acknowledged. "Honestly, I can't even say they were wrong because it was aging me, and fast."

Videos about tampons and UTIs aren't TMI for her

One way Katie Ritchie appeals to her audience is by disclosing information about herself that many people wouldn't be comfortable sharing with the world. An example is when she wound up in the hospital in 2021 thinking she had COVID-19. However, she was actually suffering from toxic shock syndrome because she had forgotten to remove a tampon for three weeks.

Ritchie somehow managed to make getting a pap smear look like a fun experience, but she was bawling her eyes out in a Walgreens parking lot when she had a UTI. "I'm so sick of being a girl. I'm so sick of having a vagina!" she wailed in a 2023 TikTok. Ritchie explained that she was having a nightmarish experience trying to get a prescription for her UTI filled; She was told at two different pharmacies that she was too late to pick it up. She was much happier in a later video when she revealed that the Doxycycline she was prescribed had cleared up her skin.

Ritchie even turns pregnancy scares into comedic TikTok content. "One thing about having a friend that had a baby: I was like, 'Uh, my nipples are sore,'" she recalled. "And she was like, 'You know that means you're pregnant.'" She has filmed herself opening an eight-pack of pregnancy tests and picking up the morning-after pill from a pharmacy. She joked that it was part of her "breakfast haul" along with her Dunkin' Donuts order.

Her relationship started in a shower

In a 2023 TikTok, Katie Ritchie shared the romantic story of how she first met her boyfriend, Cody Mashburn, an analyst for Outer Boston Region Investing. She was supposed to meet up with a Hinge match at a party, but she and a friend stopped by a party Mashburn was hosting at his house first. While drinking, Ritchie got absorbed in an hours-long conversation with Mashburn. "I get a little drunkie, I tell him to show me the shower," she recalled. "We didn't do anything but clean our bodies," she assured her followers. She also confessed to blowing off the Hinge guy.

Ritchie later explained on "Was That TMI?" that she asked to see the shower because she knew it was super fancy and had a mirror inside. "My friend was in there like taking nudes at one point," she recounted. However, Ritchie initially believed Mashburn wasn't interested in seeing her again. She later received a text from him asking her out on a date, which was a surprise to her since she didn't recall giving Mashburn her number.

Ritchie filmed a video of herself showing off the little black dress she wore for their first date in June 2023. "I almost canceled bc I was so nervous," she captioned it. But she decided to go, and Ritchie and Mashburn returned to where their love story started to film a September 2023 TikTok.

Ritchie loves bragging about her boyfriend

Soon after Katie Ritchie and Cody Mashburn started dating, he began making regular appearances in her TikTok videos. He seemed at ease filming with her, and he soon had Ritchie's followers swooning over the way he treated his girlfriend like an absolute queen. In one of their first videos together, the couple danced on a street as a saxophonist played "Isn't She Lovely." In a follow-up stitch, Ritchie revealed that Mashburn had gotten the saxophone player's contact information because he wanted the musician to play at the couple's future wedding.

The couple created a joint TikTok account to share some of their adventures, but Ritchie's own page has almost become a Mashburn stan account. There are videos of him bringing roses to her and putting furniture together for her. Ritchie has bragged about her man offering to go to Sephora to buy her a tube of the lip gloss that she lost and taking over vlogging duties from her when she didn't feel like doing it herself. "I feel like my boyfriend was literally trained to ... date a girl with daddy issues," she said in one video before beaming over how he complimented her for combining two different shades of lip gloss.

She responded to allegations about her boyfriend

Cody Mashburn joined the list of TikTok stars embroidered in scandals in 2024. When a TikTok user named Jane created a video accusing an unnamed Nashville influencer's boyfriend of sexually assaulting her, some Redditors deduced that she was referring to Mashburn. In a screenshot of a comment addressing the speculation in the r/katieritchiesnark subreddit, someone claiming to be Jane confirmed that the video was about Mashburn. She alleged that he had assaulted her in 2022 before Mashburn and Katie Ritchie were a couple and that she had a sexual assault evidence kit performed at a hospital afterward. "I never wanted it to affect Katie because it's not about her, but she knows the truth now," the since-deleted comment read.

The accusations became a hot topic of discussion on the Reddit thread, where members shared screengrabs of Jane and Ritchie's TikTok comments. "Yeah I'm not gonna break up with my bf over a lie yall are so weird," Ritchie wrote in response to one user. After Jane deleted her posts about the allegations, she seemed to suggest that she had been threatened with legal action. "I won't be speaking about it again," she wrote. "I know what happened but I literally cannot afford to do anything about it."

Ritchie addressed the allegations in a March 2024 video, saying, "As a woman, I know firsthand how serious of an accusation like this is, but with there being evidence of this being a false claim, it will be dealt with legally, not on TikTok."

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, has been a victim of sexual assault, or is struggling or in crisis, contact the relevant sources below: