milkshake duck meme

Milkshake Duck

Part of a series on Internet Slang. [View Related Entries]

Updated Nov 08, 2023 at 10:31AM EST by Zach.

Added Jun 12, 2017 at 11:44AM EDT by Don.

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Related Explainer: What Does 'Milkshake Duck' Mean? The Meme Explained


Milkshake Duck is an internet slang term referring to a representation of a viral internet star who is briefly adored by the public prior to the discovery of their distasteful or offensive past.


On June 12th, 2016, Twitter user @pixelatedboat[1] posted a tweet about the internet's love for "Milkshake Duck," followed by the revelation "we regret to inform you the duck is racist" (shown below). Within one year, the tweet gained over 22,700 likes and 9,600 retweets.

Pixelated boat tweets about Milkshake Duck getting super famous and then jokingly discovered as a racist


On January 9th, 2017, Tumblr user Pleated Jeans[3] highlighted @pixelatedboat's tweet in a listicle titled "15 Twitter Jokes Everyone Should Read."

On June 11th, Urban Dictionary user Disnaem created an entry for "Milkshake Duck," defining it as a person who rapidly becomes famous for something wholesome before they are "revealed as a deeply flawed character with terrible opinions and/or a shady past" (shown below).

Urban Dictionary definition of Milk Shake Duck

The Last Night E3 2017 Reveal

At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) on June 11th, 2017, the upcoming cyberpunk neo-noir game The Last Night was unveiled (shown below).

That evening, Twitter user @ponettplus tweeted that their excitement for the game had dissipated after discovering that the lead developer was previously a GamerGate supporter who noted he was working on a game that "takes place in a future where 'progressivism' has spiraled out of control" (shown below).

Bobby Schroeder @ponettplus 16h was excited about the last night but apparently one of the lead devs is a GG supporter so there goes that 4,9 59 200 Bobby Schroeder @ponettplus dunno if he's gotten any better but this is the lead dev of the last night Tim Soret E3 @timsoret 21 Sep 2014 Replying to@TFYCapitalists @ttycapitalists @notyourshield My game takes place in a future where "progressivism" has spiraled out of control, わ 13 Tim Soret @E3 @timsoret 21 Sep 2014 Replying to @NotYourShield @notyourshield Is Vivian James a character we can use in a commercial project? I'm super interested for my cyberpunk project

Meanwhile, Twitter user @Xythar tweeted a screenshot of user @9_volt88 reacting to the news about the game, noting "This is the fastest Milkshake Duck I've ever seen take place IRL" (shown below). Additionally, a post titled "'The Last Night'" (Milkshake Duck incarnate)" was created on NeoGAF.[4] Also that evening, GaintBomb senior editor Alex Navarro tweeted "we are now milkshake ducking at speeds heretofore unseen by man."[5]

9VOLT@9-volt88 , 3h The Last Night is the best looking game of E3 so far·.. GIF わ27 234 401 P 9 VOLT @9 volt88 Follow | Oh no RETWEETS LIKES 15 1:20 AM-12 Jun 2017 わ17 15 62 戸 Xythar @Xythar Follow This is the fastest Milkshake Duck I've ever seen take place IRL I'm so sorry @9_volt88 9:26 PM-11 Jun 2017 다 1,049 2,268

Meanwhile, @pixelatedboat[6] thanked The Last Night developer for celebrating the tweet's one-year anniversary "in style" (shown below, left) followed by game developer Zoe Quinn tweeting that she was "100% for never letting it go when a developer participated in GamerGate" (shown below, right).[7]

Pixelated Boat @pixelatedboat Thank you to GamerGate guy for celebrating this tweet's first birthday in style 7 namechanging c--- @UnburntWitch Just fyi I am 100% for never letting it go when a developer participated in GamerGate (unless someone actually made amends but no one has)

In response, Soret tweeted that the game is not "against feminism or any form of equality" but that it did "challenge techno-social progress as a whole" (shown below).[8]

Tim Soret @E3 @timsoret 13h Replying to @timsoret 3 -The fictional setting of the game does challenge techno-social progress as a whole but certainly not trying to promote regressive ideas わ114 140 p 499 . Tim Soret @E3 @timsoret Replying to @timsoret 13h A lot of things changed for me these last years わ74 153 496 Tim Soret E3 @timsoret 17h Controversy time. That's fine. Let's talk about it, because it's important. 1 -I completely stand for equality & inclusiveness.

Word of the Year

On January 15th, 2018, the Australian dictionary Macquarie Dictionary announced that their Committee's Choice "Word of the Year" is Milkshake Duck. In a blog post,[9] they wrote:

"The Committee's Choice for the 2017 Word of the Year is milkshake duck. This is an absolute winner! Even if you don’t know the word, you know the phenomenon. Milkshake duck stood out as being a much needed term to describe something we are seeing more and more of, not just on the internet but now across all types of media. It plays to the simultaneous desire to bring someone down and the hope that they won’t be brought down. In many ways it captures what 2017 has been about. There is a hint of tall poppy syndrome in there, which we always thought was a uniquely Australian trait, but has been amplified through the internet and become universalised."

Several media outlets reported on the announcement, including Mashable,[11] BBC,[12] The Guardian,[13] The AV Club[14] and more.

In response to the announcement, @pixelatedboat tweeted, "I'm so sorry." The tweet[10] (shown below) received more than 1,500 retweets and 11,000 likes.

pixelated boat @pixelatedboat I'm so sorry Guardian US @GuardianUS Milkshake duck announced as Macquarie Dictionary's word of the year

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