Why Is 'Vanilla Extract' Suddenly The Hottest Meme On Tumblr?
If you've been following Tumblr for any amount of time, the fact that it has conjured an inscrutable new meme shouldn't be surprising. The latest phrase to become the height of comedy on the site that produced "Dobby pussy indulgence" is "vanilla extract," which most people may recognize as a common kitchen ingredient often used in cakes.
If you're wondering how "vanilla extract" suddenly became a hot meme on Tumblr, you're in luck. Strap in while we walk through the rise of Tumblr's latest "only-from-Tumblr" contribution to meme culture.
What Is The "Vanilla Extract" Meme?
In mid-January of 2023, Tumblr began rolling out its new poll feature, allowing users to post Twitter-like polls to the site. Naturally, Tumblr users immediately took to not making polls with the feature and instead opted for creative ways to use polls to gain interactions.
On February 3rd, user RelientK posted a poll saying, "Let's bake a cake," with all of the poll options corresponding to regular cake ingredients. The idea was that the resulting percentage of votes for each ingredient would represent how much of each would go into a hypothetical cake. The hivemind of Tumblr all congealed around vanilla extract, which got a whopping 44% of votes over other ingredients. This would make for a very gross cake.
The humorous results of the poll soon inspired others to craft polls including "vanilla extract" as an option, particularly if "Vanilla Extract" had nothing to do with the question being asked, and the site was flooded with "vanilla extract" polls.
This Is The Whole Meme? Really?
Pretty much. But if you're thinking it's dumb, you're not alone. While some Tumblr users have run with the meme, others think it's juvenile and expressed exhaustion with the sudden influx of vanilla extract jokes.
It's not even all that new a concept. As user sreegs put it, the "Vanilla Extract" phenomenon is similar to a trend that inundates Something Awful forums in days of yore. When Something Awful users posted polls, whichever "funny" choice they included in their polls would inevitably run away with the results. This led people to simply stop trying to think of gags for their polls and give each poll an option that was literally, "comedy option."
It seems the meme may already be on its way out at this point, as there's only so much one can do with a central joke of "'vanilla extract' in an unrelated poll." Still, the weeklong phenomenon is simply more proof that Tumblr can turn things into memes at will, and those outside of its ecosystem should remain wary of the customs of its people.
For more information, check out the Know Your Meme entry on vanilla extract.
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