Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

It’s Tom Holland Umbrella O’Clock somewhere

Illustration for article titled It’s Tom Holland Umbrella O’Clock somewhere
Screenshot: YouTube

Well, go ahead and share this somewhere. You know the rules.

Since it first aired in 2017, Tom Holland’s most notable contribution to the Lip Sync Battle canon has become an entity unto itself. It is a performance that both justifies the existence of the series and renders it a dinosaur, for who could ever hope to top such a performance, except, perhaps, Tom Holland? But beyond its stature in the annals of Lip Sync Battle history, it has also become a time-stopping event of sorts. It’s like the opposite of the video in The Ring: Once you watch it, you must share, “so that we may remember better days.” That’s how writer Lauren Hough put it in a since-deleted tweet; presumably she axed it because her mentions were a constant swarm of law-abiding citizens.

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Who wrote this rule? It’s unclear. Sometimes it seems as if the Tom Holland Umbrella video wrote the rule itself.

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This is, so far as this writer can tell, the first mention of the Tom Holland Umbrella Law, also called the Tom Holland Umbrella Rule. It is also often referred to as the first rule/law of the internet/Twitter. But as we’re sure you’ve noticed, @no_detective up there is referring to an established law. So from whence did this law spring? It is clear that it stems from a governing body by the people, for the people, for surely no tyrannical entity could write a law so benevolent.

There are variations on said law. Some interpreters (originalists, perhaps) view the law as pertaining specifically to one’s responsibility to watch, rather than to share, the performance.

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Yet in the far more common interpretation, the onus of the viewer is to retweet, making the law one which contributes to the collective good, rather than that of the individual viewer. The Tom Holland Umbrella video, in short, would totally support Medicare for all.

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Our interpretation of the law is of this more generous bent. That view is reinforced by the events of the week, which saw the Tom Holland Umbrella video once again making the rounds, to the detriment of productivity and the benefit of mental health on a national, if not global, scale.

Some have begun to apply this law to other videos, and while some might call this judicial overreach, we call it good governance.

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Those two proclamations were made within the last 24 hours; the next two are from the far-flung past (November 1 and October 28):

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Yet the most focused interpretation of the law is, by itself, a force to be reckoned with. It is unstoppable. How it came to be, no one knows. But a law’s a law. Share the video, so that we may remember better days.

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And how does it help us to remember better days? Well, it should be self-explanatory. It’s a goddamn delight. But if we’re to end with the moral underpinnings of the legal text, this writer would argue that Holland’s performance is an unrestrained thing, full of energy both masculine and feminine. It is not jokey or self-aware; it is simply Tom Holland, a man, doing Rihanna proud, and all without any gross “man in a dress” comic bits. It is the way Zendaya, his ostensible foe in this battle, simply collapses to the ground in jubilant defeat, wearing the face of one who knows she has lost and is happy to even have been nominated. And, less intellectually, it is the thing he does with umbrella and his hips, and also the fun splashing.

So, go ahead and share. Them’s the rules.

Send Great Job, Internet tips to gji@theonion.com

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Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!

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