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Back in the ’90s and early 2000s, people would react to a shocking or offensive display with the sassy phrase, “Oh no you didn’t!” That’s somewhat dated now, though, and in need of a good replacement. So thank goodness for gay pornography, which just gave us one of the best internet catchphrases of the year: “Are you serious?! Right in front of my salad?”
The quote comes from Private Lessons 3, a gay porn compilation released in late July on men.com. In the relevant scene, a man has hired a chef to make a special salad for a woman. While she eats the meal, the man casually penetrates the chef from behind. The salad-eating woman can’t believe how disrespectful these guys are being. She exits in a huff, without even finishing her food.
Here’s the original video clip, which is probably not work-safe, although you can’t actually see any genitals in it.
Taken out of context, “Right in front of my salad?” can be used to express indignation at basically anything. There’s an entire Twitter moment full of people using it this way.
Are you guys really going to start talking about back to school? Are you serious? Right in front of my salad?? pic.twitter.com/UFPmnJqGES— Jamie Ridolfo (@JamieRidolfo) August 2, 2017
so y'all gone be misogynistic? right in front of my salad? pic.twitter.com/dKRbEmVEhp— mango (@swazikills) August 2, 2017
why are you being so rude? right in front of my salad? pic.twitter.com/29jf2ucI8g— michael (@Michael5SOS) August 3, 2017
when there's a fight in the cafeteria— j u a n (@jvaaann) August 4, 2017
"right in front of my salad" pic.twitter.com/BzP7KJVjB5
Priest: you may now kiss the bride— Apollo (@thisisapollo) August 2, 2017
Me, from the back pew, forking romaine lettuce and croutons into my mouth: RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY SALAD?
“Right in front of my salad?” is the latest in a series of porn scenes that have made the jump to safe-for-work(ish) memes. Porn star Riley Reid revived the trope earlier this month with the line “put it back in,” which proved surprisingly funny in a non-porn context.
Before that, the Tori Black line “it’s so fucking big” was a meme, and so was a cropped photo of Elsa Jean performing fellatio, captioned, “What you see vs. what she sees.”
Meme makers have long understood the comedic potential of porn: bodies smushing together is inherently hilarious, and so is a lot of the over-the-top dialogue in these scenes. But because Facebook and Instagram have become primary meme vectors, and neither site allows nudity, converting porn jokes into shareable, safe-for-work formats is a savvy way to go viral.
“My salad” takes this principle to the next level: sure, the image of the woman’s angry face is funny, but the dialogue can also stand on its own. A good catchphrase, especially one about something as innocent as salad, works on any platform with no fear of censorship.
Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.