Little Treat meme example.

A Little Treat

Updated Jun 21, 2024 at 12:51PM EDT by Zach.

Added Jun 21, 2024 at 10:14AM EDT by Owen.

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About

A Little Treat refers to a small snack, gift or purchase to treat oneself. In memes, buying a daily little treat is said to keep a person sane through a reward system, akin to the affirmation catchphrase, "I deserve a little treat." A little treat commonly challenges a person's "bank balance," which is often also object labeled in Little Treat image macros to oppose the subject's little treat purchase. In 2023, the so-called "Little Treat Culture" surfaced on TikTok and earned discourse about its benefits and repercussions. Little Treat memes spread en masse during the early 2020s on major social media sites like Twitter / X, Reddit and Instagram, among others.

Origin

The earliest discovered viral post about getting a little treat in the context of regrettably treating and rewarding oneself was a tweet shared by X[1] user @NINETIREDBUGS on March 18th, 2021, that read, "ok the problem with thinking 'it's been a really tough week! why shouldn't I get myself a little treat' is that it's been at least 53 rough weeks in a row and the amount of little treats I now require to feel baseline happy is accelerating at a terrifying pace," receiving over 173,000 likes in three years (shown below).


doctor peanut @NINETIREDBUGS ok the problem with thinking "it's been a really tough week! why shouldn't i get myself a little treat" is that it's been at least 53 rough weeks in a row and the amount of little treats i now require to feel baseline happy is accelerating at a terrifying pace 8:45 PM Mar 18, 2021 ...

Precursor

Before the abovementioned tweet, viral posts using the phrasal template called "I can have a little X, as a treat" were common on X[2] and Reddit[3] (among other sites). The phrasal template originates from the Cats Can Have a Little Salami meme (examples shown below).


Authoritarian People can have People can have a little capitalism, a little melanin, as a treat as a treat Economic- Economic- Left Right People can have People can have a little road, a little state, as a treat as a treat Libertarian what if we had little a salami as a treat

Spread

Viral posts that referenced little treats continued in 2021, such as a tweet shared by X[4] user @chismosavirus on December 11th, 2021, that read, "if I don't buy a little treat (coffee, tea, boba, or small snack) for myself every day I will literally die," receiving over 155,000 likes in three years (shown below, left).

On January 16th, 2022, X[5] user @jzux tweeted, "me when I have a bad day: I think I deserve a little treat / me when I have a good day: I think I deserve a little treat," gaining over 241,000 likes in two years (shown below, right).


megan @chismosavirus Follow if i don't buy a little treat (coffee, tea, boba, or small snack) for myself every day i will literally die 5:24 PM Dec 11, 2021 trash jones @jzux me when i have a bad day: i think i deserve a little treat me when i have a good day: i think i deserve a little treat " 4:14 PM · Jan 16, 2022

Viral tweets[6] about little treats continued in 2022. The concept then spread via image macros. For instance, on May 16th, 2022, X[7] user @shrimpjulia tweeted a Snail In My Ear meme reading, "Snail in my ear telling me to buy a little treat," gaining over 241,000 likes in two years (shown below, left).

On June 19th, Instagram[8] user @sadasscats posted a cat meme about a little treat, gaining over 25,700 likes in two years (shown below, right).


(listening to the snail) Snail in my ear- telling me to buy a little treat CAN I CAN I HAVE sadasscats MONEY for a tasty little treat

Little Treat memes spread on TikTok predominantly in 2023, like a Pedro Pascal Eating Toast meme posted by TikToker[9] @meghanspages on March 17th, 2023, gaining over 2.4 million plays and 416,400 likes in a year (shown below).

@meghanspages i love my mini bagels #CapCut #capcut_edit #capcutedit #capcuttemplate #SeeHerGreatness #trending #treat #littletreat #fyp #foryou #funny ♬ New Home by Austin Farwell – GetBy

Little Treat image macros continued in 2023, like an object labeling meme shared by X[10] user @RespectfulMemes on February 18th, 2023, that amassed over 102,000 likes in a year (shown below, left).

The memes continued in 2024, like a Silence X, a Y Is Talking meme shared by X[11] user @OrwellNGoode on June 21st, 2024, gaining over 6,100 likes in a day (shown below, right).


me (i deserve it) a little treat my limited funds SILENCE, bank balance little treat is talkinc

Various Examples


MY need for a little treat HAS LEAD ME TO PLACES I WOULDN'T EVEN GO WITH A GON @reactionpiccs How i see the world after a sweet little treat Matt. @MattTheBrand 'I Deserve a Little Treat, Says Woman Who will never own property or retire News - Jul 5, 2022 By: McKayley Gourley ME IF I DON'T GET MY MY DAILY TASTY LITTLE TREAT yay im so glad i got this i needed a yummy little treat ] i am going to s--- myself hope hopes hoping @hopes_revenge im so sad oh a little treat yay 12:38 PM Dec 12, 2023 667.9K Views

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