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On the afternoon of Saturday October 30th, 2010 Reddit users began responding to all posts that included the word “waffles” with the puzzling phrase Waffles? Don’t you mean carrots? HAHAHAHA.
The sudden trend in waffle/carrot discussion was a ploy to confuse Reddit users who had been attending that afternoon’s Rally To Restore Sanity in Washington into thinking a new meme had been created while they were distracted. The original post (which can be viewed here) said:
LETS MAKE UP A POINTLESS MEME WHILE THE HARDCORE REDDITORS ARE AWAY. ANY IDEAS?
Like when someone says Waffles in their post, someone else can reply ‘Waffles? Don’t you mean carrots? HAHAHAHA’
Though other ideas were thrown into the mix, such as adding “robo-” to the beginning of words and typing comments in Spanish, the original idea turned out to be favored more so than the rest, and caught on quickly.
By the end of the day Google Trends showed a spike in searches for the word “waffles” between 12pm and 6pm, making it one of the most searched words that day.
Soon, the phrase was appearing on other websites other than Reddit. The popular YouTube video Do You Like Waffles? was the first to fall victim to it.
Even though “Waffles vs. Carrots” was never meant to mean anything, as it’s popularity quickly spread across the internet, the sheer volume of carrot/waffle references made it impossible to ignore; as is often (ironically) the case, a meme which meant nothing became a meme.
As you would expect of a meme which was intended to confuse and annoy people, there was an inevitable backlash:
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