Brittany Tomlinson drinking kombucha(l), Facial reactions(c+r) for kombucha girl meme story

@brittany_broski/Tiktok

The ‘kombucha girl’ meme, explained

Brittany Tomlinson was thrust into the spotlight after her viral TikTok video got her fired from her job.

 

Alexandra Samuels

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Posted on Nov 29, 2023

Brittany Tomlinson, one of the most beloved creators on the internet right now, went viral on TikTok in August 2019 after she posted a video of herself trying—then hating, then kind of liking, and then hating again—kombucha for the first time. The video, and then two-panel and three-panel shots from the video, became the “kombucha girl” meme, perfect for people who wanted to communicate that particular journey.

@brittany_broski Me trying Kombucha for the first time #foryoupage #foryou #fyp #AllBrandNew ♬ original sound – Brittany

She’s since turned that short video into a lucrative career as a content creator. But how did she get there? And how did the ‘Kombucha girl’ meme get so popular? Follow along; we’ve got answers.

How did the ‘kombucha girl’ meme come about?

Tomlinson said that she was inspired to try kombucha after watching a YouTube video about it. “I watched Cody Ko’s video and thought ‘what the actual f*ck is this bacteria water,” she said in an interview with BuzzFeed.

Still curious, Tomlinson bought a cherry cola-flavored kombucha from Walmart. “When I tasted it,” she said, “it literally tasted like expired coke.” She recorded her genuine reaction to the drink and the rest was history. In fact, her TikTok video landed among the site’s list of the top 10 viral videos of 2019.

Part of the reason for its virality, though, is because Tomlinson’s reactions are too relatable: Her face whiplashes back-and-forth between utter disgust and contemplation that the drink might actually be … good? (She later decided that it tasted terrible.)

It wasn’t long after this that Tomlinson became known as ‘the kombucha girl.’

How did the video spread to other sites?

According to Know Your Meme, a shortened video of Tomlinson drinking the kombucha—or two still images showing both her revulsed and introspective face went viral on X (formerly known as Twitter) shortly after the original TikTok was posted. 

On August 9, 2019, X user @PopstarDave reuploaded the video, along with the caption: “when I tasted c*m for the first time.” His post has over 31,000 reposts and 125,000 likes.

Two days later, another X user, @DemetriusHarmon, posted the video with the caption: “the first time i stole from self checkout.” His post went viral, too, garnering 12,000 reports and 70,000 as of today.

From there, Tomlinson became an internet sensation. One site wrote a post declaring that the ‘Kombucha girl’ meme was “the TikTok reaction meme you’ve been looking for.” Later, Mashable published a story highlighting some of the best tweets that used the original reaction video. 

How are people using the ‘kombucha girl’ meme?

We’ve compiled some of the best examples of people using the ‘Kombucha girl’ meme here:

Of course, you can make your own ‘Kombucha girl’ memes, too, using generators such as this one or this one. (You might have to hunt around to get the right combination of images, be it hate-like, like-hate, or hate-like-hate.

Where is Tomlinson now?

On both TikTok and Instagram, Tomlinson now goes by ‘Britney Broski.’ On TikTok, she has over 7.4 million followers. Since that 2019 post blew up, she’s now a full-time content creator. But that wasn’t always her goal. 

According to a recent interview Tomlinson gave, she worked at a bank in Dallas and was fired shortly after her kombucha video went viral and en route to becoming the kombucha girl meme.

“It was like, well I guess I have to make this lucrative somehow ’cause I have bills to pay,” she said, adding that she later relocated to Los Angeles. “I knew that we were on minute 14:59 of my 15 minutes of fame, and so I was just pumping out other content.”

Since then, she’s gained an even bigger following, and TikTok isn’t the only platform where fans can find her. You can also find her YouTube, Instagram, and X, too, where Tomlinson has hundreds of thousands of followers.

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*First Published: Nov 29, 2023, 6:42 pm CST