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Imagine Your Card Declines refers to a snowclone which grew popular on Twitter in the fall of 2020 in which people imagine scenarios where a credit card gets declined at an unusual establishment, causing the staff of the establishment to undo the work they've already started in a creative way.
The earliest known variation of the snowclone involved getting your card declined at Subway sandwich shop, causing the staff to unmake your sandwich halfway through preparation. The first known post to use the format was posted on June 19th, 2020 by @esgolfowango, though the post only gained two likes (shown below, left). On August 26th, 2020, user @reddropshwty posted a similar tweet, gaining over 14,000 retweets and 119,000 likes before the account got suspended (shown below, right). The tweet likely led to the surge of popularity of the format over the coming weeks.
Through the end of August and the beginning of September 2020, the format surged in popularity as people thought of various creative ways establishments could undo service they'd already begun. For example, Twitter user @aintshitjunior tweeted, "Imagine your card declines at daycare and they keep your kid," gaining over 30,000 retweets and 274,000 likes (shown below, left). User @INTERNETFAIRY tweeted, "imagine your card declines at the waxing center and they glue your coochie hair back onto u," gaining over 32,000 retweets and 317,000 likes (shown below, right).
The trend grew popular to the point that brand accounts began using the format. For example, Nando's posted, "Imagine your card declines at Nando's and you can't get the bottomless drink you didn't pay for," gaining over 4,300 retweets and 34,000 likes (shown below, left). Burger King tweeted, "imagine your card declines at burger king and they just look at you and say 'it's my way now,'" gaining over 450 retweets and 3,900 likes (shown below, right). Popular iterations of the joke were compiled by Buzzfeed and Cheezburger.
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