While everyone’s been busy worrying about Momo, the creepy prank ghost said to be haunting YouTube Kids, a greater internet threat has snuck up right under our children’s noses and lightly slapped them in the face.
We’re talking about cheese slices.
Because the internet is an endlessly unfolding tapestry of strange delights, Twitter user @unclehxlmes uploaded a short clip of his little brother—a baby, sitting in a highchair—having a wobbly square of Kraft cheese thrown onto his tiny, surprised face. From a first-person viewpoint, the plastic-y orange slice approaches. The baby looks apprehensive, then shocked as the cheese glops onto his mug, sticking in place. There is no sound but nasal breathing and the damp slap of food on soft skin to lend context to the scene.
Turn the sound up high and watch for yourself:
The video is hilarious, and it’s hilarious for no discernible reason. It has also, within the space of a day, ignited a new trend that nobody could have expected even a week ago.
The format is pretty well fixed. Someone approaches a baby and “cheeses them,” letting the camera linger for half a second on their confused little faces. It works because no two babies—and no two slices of even the most uniformly manufactured cheese slices—are exactly the same. Infinite variables; infinite videos.
Still, this isn’t to say there isn’t room for innovation in this exciting new genre. Take, for instance, this man, who replaced cheese with a slice of ham. The lunch meat also makes a stupidly funny sound, though it lacks the... aesthetic je ne sais quoi of a bright orange dairy projectile.
It’s impossible to say if the original tweet is simply the latest in internet-enabled absurdist comedy or, in desperate bid to fight against the rising tides of, uh, lactose intolerance and veganism, Big Dairy’s incredibly savvy marketers are working behind the scenes to engineer a viral campaign.
All we can say for sure is that throwing a slice of cheese on a baby’s face is pure, unimpeachable comedy of the kind that could only be borne of the internet. That is, until some asshole tries to replicate the format on someone else’s baby, which will probably happen next week, immediately bringing the whole thing to a tragic end.
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