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We all know what it means to flex. Not in the literal sense of the word, which is to “move or tense a muscle by contraction,” but the slang definition that means to “stunt or show off,” according to Urban Dictionary, and which gained mainstream popularity through rap music. So by proxy, “weird flex” would logically refer to something odd or questionable to brag about.
And that brings us to the latest evolution of lingo taking over the internet: “weird flex but ok.” Essentially, you could say it’s like the phrase equivalent of Jim from The Office cocking his head and squinting his eyes with a tight-lipped smirk into the camera.
The phrase began popping up here and there on Twitter over the summer, as you can see in a handful of examples below.
Weird flex but ok https://t.co/jM1zImIkjp— cool (@ka5sh) September 21, 2018
Every animal at the aquarium: *does the thing that makes them unique*— ariana (@abila_ariana) July 20, 2018
Allison: weird flex but ok
This dude is the definition of “weird flex but ok” https://t.co/X9NWkbv1Jv— Phantuums (@Phantuums) July 29, 2018
weird flex but ok https://t.co/0bcXXiLnBg— s (@skrongmeat_) September 14, 2018
Nba Twitter be like— Adam Schefter (@WallOfWizards) September 14, 2018
Person 1: *says something*
Person 2: cringe
Person 1: ironic
Person 2: weird flex but ok
Person 3: slayyyy
Weird flex but ok wear a turtleneck— JIMMYBUCKETSSZN (9-7) (@iccyyphilly) September 12, 2018
my bf shows me off by posting how fast i eat with the timestamps on snapchat... weird flex but ok— ( ͡°ᴥ ͡° ʋ) (@joboblu) September 21, 2018
The phrase didn’t really go viral, however, until earlier this week when YouTube personality Sarah Schauer used it to make a joke about U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh telling Fox News that he was a virgin in high school and “many years after.”
Weird flex but ok https://t.co/zyVQ8Oj0xo— Sarah Shower (@SJSchauer) September 24, 2018
Kavanaugh made the odd claim to refute allegations that he had attempted sexual assault on accuser Christine Blasey Ford at a party in high school, and exposed himself to another woman when he was in college. The punchline, of course, is that neither woman alleged that Kavanaugh had intercourse with them—forced or otherwise—which made it sort of eyebrow-raising information to volunteer.
Now it’s safe to say that “weird flex but ok” has become fully ingrained in the lexicon of the internet, as you can see in some of the recent examples, post-Schauer’s tweet.
Me: I've ridden this many roller coasters and know a lot of facts about theme/amusement parks— local coaster enthusiast (@redfirtree) September 25, 2018
Everyone: weird flex but ok
I can’t stop saying “weird flex but ok” irl the entire time I was at this skatepark there was a man sleeping in his car with his ac turned on and that was my response— kadeem 26: Otakon bound (@politetobugs) September 25, 2018
Weird flex but ok— chunt (@calebhunterr) September 26, 2018
And then there’s this timely example, that roasted President Trump getting laughed at by world leaders during his United Nations General Assembly speech on Tuesday:
Trump: my administration has accomplished more than any other administration in the history of our nation— rocio (@sweatiestwoman) September 25, 2018
The UN: weird flex but ok
Or this one, making fun of Lil Xan’s Hot Cheetos overdose hospitalization:
Weird flex but ok https://t.co/tto1JKHgfg— Jordan (@jordangabrish) September 26, 2018
Some people are saying “odd flex” instead of “weird flex,” but the message is still the same.
odd flex but ok https://t.co/hI01wcOlK7— travis (@travisisapain) September 21, 2018
So next time you catch wind of someone low key bragging about something they shouldn’t be, hit ’em with one of these. Friends don’t let friends “weird flex but ok.”
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.