The definitive history of Stranded Bae, a tragicomedy for the internet era
It’s a tale as familiar and relatable as any of Shakespeare’s sonnets. In fact, it’s so beautiful and tortured, it reads like one of his plays, albeit with more reaction GIFs.
Two lovers, unsure of how one started following the other on Twitter, exchange favs and DMs until they begin FaceTimeing. When they meet through their front-facing iPhone cameras, they quickly realize they’re incompatible. Fights occur, tempers flare, and volatility reigns. But love prevails, and one buys the other a ticket to Washington, D.C. After a few days that go relatively well, a fight leaves the two refusing to speak with each other.
A day and a half later, the guy takes the girl to the airport, where she says she missed her flight, and a meme is born.
You may know it as Stranded Bae, or the outrageous Twitter saga 10,000 people quote tweeted with bug eyes emoji. It took over Twitter late Sunday night and stayed part of the internet’s focus for the entire week. While both have shared their version of events in excruciating detail on Twitter, there were plenty of gaps and conflicting details in their accounts.
@__iamqueenk claims @KashMoneyKanee dropped her off at the airport just 25 minutes before the flight he booked for her, refusing to tell her when it was or what airline she took. Kanee tells the opposite—that he dropped her off nearly three hours before she was supposed to take off and that after she got to the airport, she wasn’t his problem anymore. The story only gets more volatile from there.
The two spoke with the Daily Dot to tell their sides of the story. It’s a tragedy. (Comments have been edited for clarity and length. Both @__iamqueenk and @KashMoneyKanee requested to be referred to only by their Twitter alias, due to privacy concerns.)
The two met just a month before the saga occurred and began talking on Jan. 10.
@KashMoneyKanee (KMK): I don’t know exactly who followed who first, but I know we were both following each other and one day she liked all my pictures. The next day, she jumped in my DMs with a [picture] of Stephen Curry shooting the words “Hey” into a basketball hoop and it went from there.
@__iamqueenk (QK): After we exchanged numbers, we were talking every single day, on FaceTime every single night. The relationship definitely moved very fast, because within like four days of us exchanging numbers, not even, he was kinda like, “I wanna be in a relationship with you.” So I’m like “okay, let’s try it out” because I’m not one to say you have to be with someone for five or seven years for you guys to have to decide you want to be in a relationship.
KMK: She was my girlfriend, I did tell her I loved her, all of that is true, I never hid the fact that I was in a relationship with her, that I flew her out, that I bought her all that stuff. I never hid any of that.
After a little less than a month of talking, @KashMoneyKanee decided to fly her out for Valentine’s Day with him. But before the trip occurred, both of them saw what they described as sides of the other person they did not like.
QK: We got in a really big fight on FaceTime and I broke up with him. I [told him] you’re too disrespectful, I don’t want anything to do with you, and he literally went crazy and punched a hole in his door. [I said] “I’m about to hang up on you, I’m done with you,” and he’s like, “Why would you do that, you told me you loved me. You’re supposed to be coming here.” So I already knew he had a temper. [But it] seems like every guy has a temper. You know guys punch wall and stuff like that.
KMK: Prior to her coming, I had seen a lot of red flags and stuff, and I knew she was going through things, just as well as I was going through things, but I didn’t let those things deter me from the relationship. But closer to the time she was coming here, we started fighting a lot more over the phone, and I started doubting it, but I still wanted to give it a chance because possibly in person things could have worked better.
Their first few days together in D.C. was the stuff of IRL fairy tales.
QK: Valentine’s Day was perfect. He had candles lit, on the ground were rose petals going to the bedroom, going up to the bed, everything was perfect.
KMK: Everything was cool.
Two days later, things started to sour, with the two offering different stories of a fight that turned physical. Neither party filed a police report over the alleged domestic violence, and neither can really pinpoint what started it. Not surprisingly, given what followed, one of them says Twitter.
QK: Everything was fine until Thursday night, which is the video of me banging on the doortrying to get in the room. He posted that video to make it seem like I’m crazy. We had gotten into an argument; it was something small, but it got into something big. He just had like a really bad attitude. I’m like “what’s wrong with you.” So I go to his room, and next thing I know, he comes in the room, [saying] I’m ungrateful, that I don’t appreciate him, and [he starts] throwing stuff across the room, I’m still in chill mode, it’s like whatever, I don’t even care.
KMK: So Thursday, we are sitting on the couch, watching TV and she just gets up, out of nowhere. I don’t know what’s the matter. She goes into the bedroom. That’s when I wonder what’s going on, so I go over there to ask what’s up and she tells me nothing. I get back on the couch and look on Twitter and see her talking stuff about whatever.
When you love someone you don't treat them bad.— $ (@__iamqueenk) February 16, 2017
She brings everything to Twitter, and I always have to talk to her about it. Maybe like two hours later [she comes out of my room], waking me up, asking me when we are going to leave [to go somewhere] and I’m like, “What do you mean when are we going to leave? I’m not going to take you nowhere, you got an attitude.” So then she gets mad. When that happens, I’m just like, I’m going to lock you out of my room. Because I don’t feel like talking about this, so that’s when I’m trying to lock the door, she rushes me, and pushes me up against the wall, and my face smacked against the wall. I grabbed her and moved her out … of the room. I stopped her from trying to hit me, so then she starts hooting and hollering.
QK: So I don’t know if he’s playing, getting in my face, I’m like, don’t put your finger in my face, and he puts his finger in my face, like he’s so close to my face his lips are touching my face. We’re still fighting, he pushes me, like he full force pushes me on the ground, after he does that, he locks himself in his in his room; I’m livid. I’m trying to get in the room because at this point I’m not gonna let you put your hands on me and think it’s OK. No. That’s not gonna happen. I’m crying upset, yelling screaming, so he comes out of the room. It gets physical; we’re outside the apartment at the elevator, he tries to throw me on the elevator. It was just crazy … it got to the point where he ended up not coming home that night.
KMK: I figured it was best I leave. By this time I’ve given up on the relationship because of the way she acted. She’s done that over the phone, but to see it in person, and not really wanting to deal with that, and me already having my doubt about the relationship, and so, I just decided then that I didn’t want to be with her, and told her then I didn’t want to be with her.
They both agree that Kanee returned on Friday and that nothing really happened until the day of her flight, Saturday, when #strandedbae started. But whose at fault, even after talking to the two of them for over hours is still unclear.
Both agreed they were on the couch until about 2pm. Around then, KashMoneyKannee said she went back to his room and began telling to tell him that she was getting evicted and that she didn’t have a place to go when she got home.
KMK: So immediately when she tells me that, I’m going, even if she isn’t [thinking this], I’m thinking she’s trying to stay here.
SB: He said, I don’t know what time your flight is, but I’m going to bring you to the airport, and you can just find out what time your flight is there. And I’m like, “but what if we get there and I miss my flight because we don’t know what time it is?” We are looking for screenshots of what he sent me of my flight time. All he had to do was send me the screenshots, so I could look at the confirmation number. Neither of us knew what time the flight was. And that’s what makes me mad when he says I tried to miss it on purpose. You’re saying you gave me more than enough time, you didn’t even know what time my flight was, neither of us knew, because the only information we both had, was from the day I flew into D.C.
QueenK said he either couldn’t produce her flight email or wouldn’t show her when her flight was. He booked her flight to D.C. on Delta and a flight back on American. But she says, because he didn’t tell her otherwise, she assumed it was on Delta.
KMK: She’s supposed to leave Saturday at 6:15, which I sent the itinerary to her, she posted the texts with both. [When asked about this, QueenK said she only found that confirmation email after going back through her Facebook account after they fought.] I sent her both itineraries. If she didn’t have her itinerary, how did she even get on the plane [to come here in the first place]?
@__iamqueenk said that she only had her itinerary for her first flight because she sent it to her sister and that whenever they fought, she would delete all her texts, so even if he did text it to her, which on a second conversation, she admitted he did, she didn’t have it the day of her flight.
QK: I come to find out, I flew through Delta when I came to D.C., my flight is through American, but neither of us knew that. That’s why [the lady at the check-in desk] couldn’t find my flight when we were looking for it because we were at the Delta desk.
KMK: I dropped her at the airport at 3pm. She knew all of this.
SB: I was at the airport about I wanna say like 25 minutes before my flight took off, not even 30 [minutes] I wasn’t at the airport for a long time before we figured out my flight wasn’t through American and not Delta.
They both agreed that Kanee had a meeting at five he had to go to. In our first conversations, they both mentioned it. When that was pointed out, she initially said she didn’t know when she was dropped off, but then later, conceded she was at the airport before five, but insists she never knew her flight was at 6:15.
SB: This man never told me my flight left at 6:15. Me and him were both clueless. [And] if you wanted me to go home so bad, you’re gonna make sure that I knew simple shit like it’s [on] a different airline.
KMK: I dropped her off at the American Airline gate.
SB: Even if I did know that my flight left at 6:15, I wasn’t calling him [saying I missed my flight], when I first initially started calling him. I called him because [he had promised to pay for my bags]. That’s why I initially called him.
KMK: We never had a conversation about me paying for her bags. Twenty-five dollars for a bag? And honestly, the flight on her way here, when she got to the airport, she realized her stuff wasn’t free, and she covered it. So there, never had a talk after that.
@__iamqueenk said that Kanee ignoring her calls and not coming back to pay for his bags is what led her to miss her flight.
QK: My thing is it’s still a fucked up situation. Because [he was] ignoring my calls thinking [I was calling trying to come back to his house] when I was just calling [him] telling [him] to come back to [pay for my bags]. That was it.
In our first conversation, QueenK said it didn’t take long for her to realize she was on American. In later retellings, she claimed that by the time she did find out her flight was on American, it had already left. Regardless, she said that had just answered the phone, she would not have missed her flight.
The rest of the night played out the same way it unfolded on Twitter. She stayed at the airport, he didn’t respond to her, she went to his house— although there is another disagreement on that, with QueenK claiming he told her to come to his place, and Kanee denying it—and then she went back to Houston on Sunday.
And then they both started tweeting.
That just leaves one final question: the mouse. QueenK said it was real.
QK: I think the mouse set him off because what really could you say. Lie and say that’s not your house, there’s nothing that he can really do, which is why he went so far about lying about the thread he put up.
KMK: I haven’t seen a rat in my apartment since I got here. My bro just brought that up today. What if she brought it. It’s funny she recorded this mouse in my apartment; I haven’t seen a mouse, at all.
There you have it: The unabridged saga of #StrandedBae, a tragicomedy for the internet era.
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]