‘Skeleton Brunch’ Isn’t a Real Trend, But Maybe It Should Be

Want to go viral with your message? You just need a nonsense phrase, and some friends who are willing.

Ever come across headlines announcing a trend that doesn’t seem quite believable? Is the phenomenon being blatantly attributed to younger generations or users of a social media platform with little to no evidence? Does the whole thing revolve around a phrase which feels not only confusingly odd but also randomly generated? Then trust your gut: It’s all a mirage.

*desperately trying to think of a viral meme voice

I’m going skeleton brunch

— Care Bear Barney Criminal🐻🦕 (@bear_wrongdoer) February 27, 2022

Here’s a fun little case study in how something goes from a tossed-off joke to a digital event that prompts media coverage. @bear_wrongdoer shared the following words on February 27th “skeleton brunch”to their Twitter followers. It was Not the first time this expression had found its way onto the internet, but the tweet — by offering up “skeleton brunch” as a phony, calculated fad — inspired others to astroturf the concept. Soon we had a fake headline that incorporated the gag into a People story on Julia Fox and Kanye West’s recent breakup. This was actually a reference to a prior. Viral edit of that same headline by @meowmeowmeuw, who had changed it to say that Fox and West ended their relationship over Fox’s habit of going “goblin mode.”That image was Erroneously citedVogue and Fox, as well as the Instagram account, refuted the claim. 

@DoctorPenisBoob delivered yet another round of false headlines about skeleton brunch the next day. He added imagery and suggested a moral panic to the story. @meowmeowmeuw contributed as well “screenshots”Rudy Giuliani sent Rudy Giuliani an invitation to the skeleton brunch. Both faked confusion at the contents of their posts, no doubt to make it appear authentic. An @ProtonInspector apology to @bear_wrongdoer about fraudulently accepting credit in the invention of skeleton breakfast added another layer of intrigue.     

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That you won’t find any “skeleton brunch” videos on TikTok doesn’t matter: The meme has entered the bloodstream. With each reference, it travels further from the original meta-commentary that generated it, and as the in-group behind this organic prank seeds the anxiety of being too uncool or out-of-the-loop to know what skeleton brunch is, others are earnestly trying to figure out whether it’s real. At no point has anyone offered a definition of skeleton brunch — beyond pictures of skeletons sitting at tables, sometimes with food or beverages — but aggregation sites have barfed up attempts to capture search traffic for it. 

The worst thing about covid? I haven’t been to skeleton brunch for two years.

— i bless the rains down in castamere (@Chinchillazllla) February 28, 2022

Wanting to be hip and young but afraid people will discover that I don’t know what skeleton breakfast is.

— A. Marmot 🌱Underground🌱 (@_Anunnery) February 28, 2022

Popping my pussy at skeleton brunch

— Bev in the Notre-Dome Cathedral (@BevVirginia) February 28, 2022

I don’t believe anyone knows.
It seems like people started talking about it as if it were real, and no one bothered to verify it.

— Xezian (@bb_jeremiah) February 28, 2022

Of course, I have my role to play in this: The web culture reporter who pokes around for context and reassures you that you aren’t losing your mind. There are many tweets about skeleton brunch. Many more could be coming. They exist, however, for their own sake, indicating no actual trend — besides the trend of making up trends to see which outlets can be duped into accepting them at face value. 

Except there’s always the chance that sheer repetition will force an idea into fruition. It seems plausible to me that Twitter’s subsection jumped onto the platform. “skeleton brunch” not only because it’s such an arbitrary, amusing combination of nouns, but because we actually want to go. I mean, don’t you? This sounds like a great party. It’s a very exclusive party. Boy, I’d hate to be the loser they don’t even talk about at skeleton brunch.

I went to the Skeleton Brunch and nobody knew who you were.

— lawngnomesorceress (@lgsorceress) February 28, 2022

Miles Klee

Miles Klee is MEL’s resident tank-top dirtbag, shitposter and meme expert. He’s also the author of the novel ‘Ivyland’A story collection ‘True False.’

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