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She’ll destroy you and laugh about it.
Burger chain Wendy’s has established itself on social media as smug and sarcastic, willing to burn critics and rivals with sick, well-considered comebacks. That attitude has earned the company a zealous following on social media, and with fandom comes fan art that turns concepts (or companies) into cute anime characters. “Smug Wendy’s” is the latest of these anthropomorphic creations, and the sheer quantity of drawings people have created of her over the past couple of weeks is breathtaking.
Smug Wendy’s was born in this tweet by artist ProfessorSugoi, who is “100% convinced that Wendy’s is a smug anime girl.”
— vsock (@professorSugoi) April 14, 2017
Personifying companies, countries, or abstract concepts is nothing new in anime fandoms. The Hetalia series turns the great powers of World War II into anime characters, and people have recently created a whole “channel-tan” fandom around anime versions of their favorite TV networks.
The “smug anime face” is a trope frequently seen in Japanese animation and celebrated on 4chan, and it makes a great reaction image to use when attempting to express superiority over one’s online opponents. And Wendy’s has been absolutely crushing its online opponents lately. The brand’s Twitter account has flamed Hardee’s over its copycat 4-for-4 deal, iced a troll who claimed Wendy’s burgers are frozen, and gotten into some fresh beef with McDonald’s.
Basically, Wendy’s is this girl:
she's s a v a g e pic.twitter.com/6PXSaDRtC4
— Monomogi (@monomogi) April 24, 2017
— Faolan (@TheCoffeeSnolf) May 3, 2017
Here’s a drawing of Smug Wendy’s delivering a variant of the infamous one-liner, “you forgot refrigerators existed there for a sec.”
Smug n cozy corporate anime girl Wendy's pic.twitter.com/qw7ML7HP5H
— Numbers' Art (@PigPenandPaper) April 23, 2017
And people love it. Millennial Tumblr types are already getting just as into the imaginary anime Wendy’s as they are into their favorite shows and fanfics:
millenial: did u see the smug Wendy's girl?
other millenial: yes, Wendy's is my favorite anime
both together: today we will eat Wendy
— Skinny McToothpick (@SkinnyMcT) May 3, 2017
And, like all anime characters, Smug Wendy’s has already been drawn into some sexual situations. Rule 34, the internet “law” that “if it exists, there’s porn of it,” is in full effect here. I’m not going to post it here, but it’s not hard to find if you’re curious.
Man, the smug wendy's stuff got NSFW real quick. Leave it to the internet.
— Ben Edward Thornton (@Bon_Augustus) May 3, 2017
But casting Wendy’s as the pretty girl who’s always laughing at your feeble efforts isn’t the only fast food anime fanservice going on right now. Artists are adding other restaurants to the mix, too:
Well here u go my friends pic.twitter.com/QnqN5xVFpf
— ONIK∆ (@Ozumii_Wizard) April 29, 2017
This thriving fandom has only grown stronger in the weeks since it started, and if internet anime culture is any indication, its hardcore fans will keep alive for months, if not years, after the snarky Wendy’s Twitter account ceases to be relevant.
Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.