Groomer meme depicting an image of Austin Jones.


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Updated Apr 07, 2022 at 08:05PM EDT by 3kole5.

Added Apr 06, 2022 at 05:39PM EDT by Brandon.

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Groomer is a slang term used to refer to an adult who wants to exploit or abuse impressionable children, either sexually or otherwise, typically by building trust and an emotional connection with them. Though the term predates the internet in various uses, such as "grooming a successor," it began seeing increased use around the late 2000s onward around the web. The term notably saw a large surge in usage during March and April 2022 amid the prolonged internet battle over Florida's HB 1557 bill, which is unofficially called the "Don't Say Gay" bill.


According to a 2008 BBC[6] interview with Cormac McKeown, a senior editor of the Collins English Dictionary, "grooming" in its modern usage referring to predatory behavior dates from the late 19th century but was added as a new entry to the dictionary's definitions in 2003, with its first use in this context in 1985 before becoming more mainstream in the late 1990s alongside internet chatrooms.

The act of grooming is something that is explicitly defined in the American legal code, defined by the Department of Justice,[7] and involves building trust with a child and/or the parents around said child to have time and access alone with them to enact sexual deviancy.

"Grooming," and calling someone a "groomer," became a more conscious online phenomenon when multiple Niche Internet Micro Celebrities in various parts of online culture were accused of grooming during the 2010s. On July 29th, 2020, the reasoning why so many internet micro celebs become groomers was explored in the video by YouTuber korviday,[1] who pointed out that by being an influencer, the trust and power dynamics are skewed more than in a typical adult to child correspondence, receiving over 500,000 views in two years (shown below).


On July 15th, 2009, Urban Dictionary[8] user Johnny Buzzard added the earliest definition for "groomer" in the context of predatory behavior, receiving 264 likes in roughly 13 years. The entry defines groomer as:

A much older adult who has sex with teenagers.

Throughout the 2010s, grooming allegations continued to increase online as the term spread, particularly with the chat app Discord being blamed for a majority of the cases occurring online due to the ease with which pedophiles could sign into the app and blend themselves into a gaming or other community and try to pass as a peer.[9] This led to memes being made about Discord itself refusing to address or stop the issue in the late 2010s, and memes depicting Discord moderators as groomers proliferating. One such example can be seen in the tweet[2] by @CherryGuts on November 15th, 2019, which received over 4,500 likes in roughly two years (shown below).

ワニノコ @CherryGuts "discord can you please delete the furry grooming server?" Discord @discord · Nov 14, 2019 No, I don't think i will 11:04 AM - Nov 15, 2019 · Twitter for iPhone

The prevalence of grooming in online communities became so widespread that during the Oomer Wojak resurgence of 2019 and 2020, a specific Groomer Wojak character was made because of how common the occurrence became (shown below).

The 35 Year Old Groomer Wow I would've never guessed you were that young haha You act so mature for your age You're spending so much time with your friends, you should spend that time with me What's your Snapchat ha Do your parents know about me That sucks you grew up without a dad haha haha

4chan and HB 1557 ("Don't Say Gay" Bill)

On February 24th, 2022, the Florida House passed Florida bill HB 1557, which included language that ambiguously made it so parents would be able to sue schools for a myriad of things relating to children in kindergarten through grade three and sexuality. Among the things listed are lessons on sexuality and gender, topics heavily featuring sexuality and gender, and not notifying the parents if a child in these grades were to outwardly say their sexuality or gender preference. Upon being passed by the Florida House, the bill immediately sparked heated internet debates between LGBTQ+ advocates, Twitter users, 4chan users and more, as well as receiving immense coverage by the mainstream media.

The topic of the bill also became prevalent in memes in early 2022. For example, on the day of the bill's passing, Redditor civicmemes[3] posted a meme to the subreddit /r/Florida about conservatives trying to stop people from saying the word "gay," and how liberals are determined to push "gay" even harder in response (shown below).


With the bill intertwined with memes and fierce discussions taking place on various social media platforms, 4chan started the tactic of calling anyone who was against the bill a groomer, with the logic being that anyone who defends school teachers from being able to teach sexuality and gender to K-3 kids without parental consent must be doing it under nefarious pretenses. This subsequently warranted a response from Redditors within the /r/Florida subreddit, which became a hotbed for debating the bill, to outright ban the word "groomer," with other communities and social media sites such as Twitter similarly pushing back at being called groomers. This was cataloged and shown in a YouTube video by the channel Salty Cracker[4] on March 29th, 2022, earning 220,000 views in one week (shown below).

As Reddit and other platforms banned the word groomer, combined with Disney's history with both grooming and their on-again, off-again support of the bill, users on 4chan[5] implemented "Operation Disney," attempting to cause a shift to happen where the word "Disneys" would be used instead of "groomers" when referring to pedophiles and those against the bill (shown below).


Various Examples

Kids trying to watch a movie about puppies @GRANDOLDMEMES children shouldn't be sexualized in Florida schools liberals BOYCOTT GROOMERS BRING AMMO Hey I noticed you were grooming minors over discord Is it safe to assume that vou're a fan of ADVENTURE TIME you can't call us groomers!!! you've called me Nazi for six years Forbes BREAKING | Mar 22, 2022, 05:09pm EDT | 1,225 views 'Disney Say Gay': Employees | Including Raven-Symoné Walk Out To Protest Disney Response To Florida Bill NO GROOMING?

Search Interest

External References

[1] YouTube – korviday

[2] Twitter – Cherryguts

[3] Reddit – Gay

[4] YouTube – Salty Cracker

[5] 4chan – Operation Disney

[6] BBC – Grooming Origin.

[7] DoJ – Online Grooming

[8] Urban Dictionary – Groomer Definition

[9] End Sexual Exploitation – Discord Grooming

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