Tumblr is a strange hive of confessions and vanity, a hotbed for introspection, narcissism, and teenagers. There isn’t much talk of “weird Tumblr,” as there is for Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, because Tumblr is already weird. Being weird is sort of the barrier to entry.
Thus, as the Daily Dot reports, a new meme provides a compact framework with which to create a narrative for the feeling of showing up someplace woefully inappropriately. The results can be really good. Here’s the reigning exemplar of the form, from user Babierats:
To be fair, one should not have one’s dick out at a Panera. Babierats credits this post, from Psiduk, with inventing the template:
From there, it’s been open season for the meme on both Tumblr and Twitter, the vast majority focusing on deeply nerdy anime and video game in-jokes. You arrive, do a status check, then get the boot. Here’s one that’s at least approachable:
Daily Dot spotlights a bunch of the better examples, like this one from Marauders4evr:
And this one from Emillio Vega:
KnowYourMeme cites a Reddit conversation about the meme that postulates its origins as an outgrowth of the “dicks out for Harambe” moment of 2016. The Daily Dot also offers that the meme is a manifestation of post-Trump anxiety, both for groups who fear not belonging in that new world and of our grand cultural yearning that he won’t actually make it onto the White House premises.
Either of these might be accurate, or perhaps it is also just weird Tumblr kids, talking about being weird Tumblr kids, occasionally with their dicks out. Regardless, the format is ripe for riffing, and for some reason is picking up steam right now.