A woman tweeted about buying a house on Twitter and no one got the joke.

Udo Schröter/Flickr, Kate Lewis/Twitter

A woman referenced the ‘financially stable meme’—and Twitter freaked out

When the internet doesn't get your joke.


Jay Hathaway

Internet Culture

Published Feb 20, 2018   Updated May 22, 2021, 12:19 am CDT

There’s a certain popular, self-congratulatory style of social media post where teens brag about financial success and homeownership, taunting their peers who are struggling under the Baby Boomer legacy of no jobs and high student debt. These posts are infuriating, and that’s what Kate Lewis was mocking when she posted this on Twitter:

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Unfortunately, no one got the joke.

Her post has thousands of comments, and nearly all are either attacking her over her privilege, accusing her of leaning on rich parents or sarcastically answering the “what have you done?” question. The knives are out for poor Kate.


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People were so quick to criticize an 18-year-old’s apparent success that they didn’t stop to check whether she was joking. Either that, or they’d simply never seen the type of puffed-up rich kid post she was mocking. And there are many:


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It’s a popular enough joke that there’s a Spongebob Squarepants meme about it:


Kate’s friends were in her mentions expressing disbelief that everyone missed the humor:

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And Kate is just kind of rolling with it, laughing at the absurdity of it all:

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The reaction to her joke is wild to see, and it’s a perfect illustration of Twitter’s tendency to collapse context and leave only impotent anger in its place. A whole lot of people were very mad about something that wasn’t true and wouldn’t have affected them regardless. They saw a young, attractive, seemingly wealthy woman and lashed out at everything from her boyfriend’s shoes to the landscaping outside “her” house.

Maybe her critics thought they were “punching up” at a wealthy, privileged target—or maybe they didn’t think that hard about it. Many are quick to scrutinize the smallest detail of young women’s online lives, and the reaction to jokes on Twitter is skewed heavily in favor of men. Kate Lewis didn’t do anything to deserve the vitriolic reaction she received.

But even if her joke didn’t land the way she expected, she scored a genuinely viral tweet. And at a time when fame is no longer distinct from attention, that’s … something, anyway.

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*First Published: Feb 20, 2018, 7:24 am CST