calamari memes


Rhode Island goes global with ‘calamari comeback state’ memes

The DNC’s breakout moment was… unexpected.


Siobhan Ball


Thanks to the coronavirus, the Democratic Convention rollcall had to happen online this year. Different state representatives decided to bring a little bit of state flair to their video moments late Tuesday, ranging from the meaningful to the utterly memeable—with Rhode Island’s calamari cameo absolutely stealing the show on that front.

"#DNC2020 roll call was fascinating to see what each state chose to highlight. My top three:  1. Rhode Island’s plate of calamari 2. Vermont not acknowledging Bernie in the background 3. Tennessee’s use of hot girl appeal   Honorable mention: Ohio’s Random man in field" screen shots from the roll call videos described

Referring to Rhode Island as the “Calamari comeback state” Joseph McNamara, the Rhode Island Democrat party chairman, spoke about Rhode Island’s fishing industry, praising Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo’s handling during the pandemic that allowed fishermen to sell directly to the public. Standing next to the executive chef from nearby Iggy’s Boardwalk who was holding a full plate of Rhode Island-style calamari, McNamara also made a point of stating that Rhode Island calamari is available in all 50 states—sparking a thousand memes in the process.

"A rare photo of Roger Williams and his calamari founding the colony of Rhode Island" close up of the chef holding the calamari

"WHICH WAY TO THIS “RHODE ISLAND”?" image of Cthullu coming out of the sea in the middle of a storm
"“We the state of Rhode Island....”" screenshot of Admiral Ackbar from Star Wars
"me, a rhode island resident waking up to find that the rest of the country is afraid of our state because of calamari....... the power that has" Lucille Bluth gif where she's drinking tea and saying 'good for her'
"Rhode Island Bane is bringing it. “You merely adopted the calamari, I was born in it, breaded it and fried it”" close up of the masked chef

Twitter user @StevenStashwick noted that Rhode Island using its slot to “hawk calamari” was the most on-brand moment of the night.

"So far Rhode Island's use of its DNC state roll call primarily as an opportunity to hawk calamari is the most on-brand of all the states and territories." screenshot of McNamara and the calamari
Rhode Island turning their vote into an ad for calamari was the best part of the roll call so far.
"Rhode Island showcasing its two biggest exports: - Calamari - Rejected Mortal Kombat characters" still from the roll call video

Because this is the internet cats got involved, with Twitter user @pantoea sharing a picture of his cat trying to steal some of the famous Rhode Island calamari.

"In honor of Rhode Island calamari's current national spotlight, please enjoy these pictures of my cat trying to steal mine." two pictures of a black and white cat sneakily reaching for calamari

One woman had even written an entire Ph.D. thesis on Rhode Island calamari and thought she was done with the matter until her husband sent her the memes and brought it all home again.

"i sent my wife the meme last night that was going around and she being the PHD who had already done deep dive into literature about calamari and Rhode Island she was like, no, he's the guy who made Rhode Island calamari happen." screenshot from the video with 'me trying to stop thinking about calamari man so I can go to sleep and move on with my life' written over McNamara and 'calamari man' written over the chef

The Calamari Man may not be the DNC breakout star the Democrats wanted, but he’s the hero Americans were thirsty for all the same.

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