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‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ accounts got into the best Twitter beef of 2016
This is a trainwreck.
This is the tale of two parody accounts, both alike in dignity. One is @Thomas_Reacts. The other is @ThomasReacts_. They do the exact same thing, which is to mine the children’s TV and film franchise Thomas the Tank Engine for images that can be recontextualized with semi-relatable captions to create what we in the content game might call a “meme.”
Sadly, the Internet wasn’t big enough for these two titans of Twitter comedy: @ThomasReacts_ stole jokes from @Thomas_Reacts.
This, of course, did not go unnoticed by @Thomas_Reacts—which, by the way, self-identifies as “The *ORIGINAL* reactions page for the number one children’s TV show Thomas & Friends” in its bio. So step off.
Sadly, the bigwigs at Twitter Inc. were unable or unwilling to stanch the tide of brazenly duplicated Thomas the Tank Engine memes, otherwise the feud may have ended then and there. Instead, there was bloodshed. And even as @ThomasReacts_ deleted its cavalier replies to charges of plagiarism, @Thomas_Reacts doubled down with a vengeance.
The one-sided attacks from @Thomas_Reacts got so intense, in fact, that trolls on the sideline started firing back.
Eventually, BuzzFeed’s Alan White was able to broker an historic peace accord between the two reaction shot accounts. But the damage was done.
Is it honestly worth tweeting from this account again? I feel the pinnacle may have been reached today.
— Thomas Reactions (@Thomas_Reacts) February 22, 2016
Fear not, though. In short order, @Thomas_Reacts was back to tweeting timely, top-shelf, and, above all, original stuff. Like this:
Hmm. What’s an image that says “time to log off forever”?
Ah, yeah. That’s it.
Screengrab via Thomas & Friends/YouTube
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'