photo of skeletons eating around a table

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The viral journey of the ‘skeleton brunch’ meme

Twitter's hottest new fake trend is skeleton brunch.


Audra Schroeder

Internet Culture

Posted on Mar 2, 2022   Updated on Mar 7, 2022, 9:22 am CST

Skeleton brunch isn’t, as the New York Post labeled it, “a dangerous TikTok hoax.” There aren’t any videos about it on the app. Sadly, your teen isn’t at risk of going to a skeleton brunch.

But that didn’t stop it from morphing into something believable. I mean, there are photos!  

If you’ve seen the phrase skeleton brunch recently, it’s likely been on Twitter, where it became a meme in the span of a couple days. On Feb. 27, bear_wrongdoer tweeted “I’m going skeleton brunch,” in a direct attempt to become a “viral meme.” 

tweet about skeleton brunch

While that particular tweet didn’t get much engagement, “skeleton brunch” did: Soon there were fake DMs from Rudy Giuliani about skeleton brunch to help spin this nonexistent trend into something more believable. Others got creative with fake alarmist headlines about the trend on TikTok; one People headline claimed Julia Fox left Kanye West because he “wouldn’t let her go to skeleton brunch.”

There was even an apology regarding who originated the term.

And there was a warning.

Meowmeowmeuw told Mel that the phrase is “stupid and meaningless in the sense that it didn’t really exist for a purpose other than to just see if it could become viral. And all it took was a few of us posting about it as if it’s a thing for like 36 hours.” A meme makes it easier for someone to accept that something is true, especially if it’s being repeated in an organic way. The last week of content around the Russia-Ukraine war has proven how platforms like Twitter and TikTok are struggling with the scope of misinfo.

Joyce Carol Oates has not yet commented on skeleton brunch. 

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*First Published: Mar 2, 2022, 11:47 am CST