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Explore the Internet’s long love affair with cake

From ‘Portal’ to cakebarring, the Internet has a long history with this confectionary creation.


Mike Fenn

Internet Culture

Every Nov. 26, society puts aside its petty differences and comes together to mark one of humanity’s greatest achievements: cake.

Well, diabetics probably don’t join in. But everyone else does.

Cake is one of the Internet’s most-beloved foods, second only to bacon. We have sliced through your favorite sites and memes to serve you a comprehensive list of the ways online communities have celebrated this timeless confectionary.

1) Reddit’s Cake Day

Each time the anniversary of your first-ever Reddit login rolls around, it is officially referred to as your “cake day.” A small slice of cake appears next to your username for 24 straight hours and, supposedly, your fellow redditors are obliged to pump up your karma points by upvoting any links you submit and any comments you make.

In August 2011, the subreddit r/cakeday was created, encouraging celebrators to post any content they want for karma.

Screengrab via Reddit

2) The Cake Is a Lie

One of the Internet’s most popular catchphrases traces its roots to the video game Portal. The phrase is scrawled on a wall in the game, alerting players suffering through a series of tests and experiments at the hands of GlaDOS that their sugary motivation is, indeed, an empty promise. 

Internet users quickly adopted the game detail to describe non-Portal-related tasks that did not deliver on the ultimate promise.

Image via Tilemahos Efthimiadis/Flickr

The cake of Portal also spawned the meme “Get the Cake” (or “Get the Delicious Cake”). Internet users created several images of performing ridiculously dangerous tasks to get the “delicious cake,” mimicking the in-game commands.

Image via dorkly/Tumblr

3) Nicolas Cage Wants Cake

Who is more deserving of the world’s best dessert than the world’s best actor? 

In the 2000 film The Family Man, Nicolas Cage‘s character returns home wanting a piece of cake, only to discover that his wife, played by Téa Leoni, is already scarfing it down. This leads to a playful exchange that ends with Leoni smashing the piece into Cage’s face.

The Internet quickly built parody videos, GIFs, and images from the scene, with Newgrounds user Harry Partridge leading the charge with his video “Nicolas Cage wants cake.”

4) Apology Cakes

Let’s face it: Sometimes the only thing that can make “I’m sorry” stick is a whole cake.

First appearing in a Homestar Runner cartoon, real-life apology cakes began circulating around the Internet thanks not only to social media sites, but also blogs such as Cake Wrecks.

Speaking of apology cakes, I think the Brothers Chaps owe us several apology cakes for the lack of updates to Homestar Runner.

Image via konacan/Tumblr

5) Cake Resignation

Cake is common for departing co-workers. One employee, however, introduced the cake a little early: He wrote his resignation letter on it.

Flickr user Neil Berrett exploded on the Internet after handing in his resignation—on a sheet cake. Hopefully, in this instance, Berrett really did eat his words.

Photo via Neil Berrett/Flickr

Stansted Airport employee Chris Holmes took a similar tack when quitting his job this past spring, but his story had an extra layer of icing on top: He left to open his own catering business.

6) Cakebarring

When a couple ties the knot, one of the centerpieces of the wedding ceremony is the elaborate, multi-tiered cake. So why shouldn’t the beginning of a relationship feature the same thing?

Blogger Audrey Shulman decided to woo potential mates at 50 different Los Angeles bars with cake, a process she dubbed “cakebarring.”

To date, her efforts have been unsuccessful, but we’re sure she’s made plenty of people happy—and full—along the way.

Photo via Audrey Shulman/Sitting in Bars With Cake

Happy National Cake Day, everybody.

Main photo via Janine/Flickr

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