Why everyone is talking about how ‘they did surgery on a grape’

Modern medicine is a marvel—it cured polio, allows doctors to perform heart transplants, and even let doctors do surgery on a grape.

Wait, what?

The da Vinci Single-Site is a robotic surgical system used by hospitals around the world to perform delicate, minimally invasive surgical operations—like on, say, a piece of fruit—with teeny, tiny mechanical claws. The da Vinci itself isn’t exactly a “robot” however, as the system is controlled by a surgeon operating from a console.

Developed by the American company Intuitive Surgical and approved by the FDA in 2000, the da Vinci has since been used to perform hundreds of thousands of surgeries, typically hysterectomies and prostate removals.

To demonstrate this incredible technology to the average person, it’s not uncommon to see videos of the da Vinci doing an “operation” on a grape. Heck, we even once covered one on this very website!

Of course at face value, performing surgery on a grape seems kind of silly. This fact was pointed out by the humor/meme Instagram account SimpleDorito last week using a Cheddar screenshot. “They did surgery on a grape,” the caption said, simply.

View this post on Instagram

They did surgery on a grape

A post shared by They Did Surgery On A Grape (@simpledorito) on

The source of the post appears to be a video uploaded to YouTube by Edward Hospital all the way back in 2010, but that didn’t stop it from quickly going viral in 2018.

From there, screenshots of the Instagram post began circulating on Reddit and Twitter, and it didn’t take long for “they did surgery on a grape” to become a full-blown absurdist meme. A subreddit to the meme even eventually surfaced, since the internet couldn’t stop talking about how “they” did surgery on a grape.

https://twitter.com/easeftbroods/status/1066141037784113153

And then “surgery on a grape” intersected with other popular Twitter memes, such as “don’t say it,” the ranking meme, and Trump yelling at the lawn boy—as well as plenty of creative Photoshops.

https://twitter.com/yalllism/status/1066325329202069505

Even the Wendy’s Twitter account got in on the “they did surgery on a grape” action:

One thing is for certain: The internet will never look at grapes the same way again.

Stacey Ritzen

Stacey Ritzen

Stacey Ritzen is a reporter and editor based in West Philadelphia with over 10 years' experience covering pop culture, web culture, entertainment, and news. You can follow her on Twitter @staceyritzen.