#TeaLizard

#TeaLizard

Part of a series on But That's None of My Business. [View Related Entries]

Updated Jul 05, 2016 at 05:39PM EDT by Brad.

Added Jun 21, 2016 at 04:54PM EDT by Brad.

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About

#TeaLizard is an alternative nickname for the image of Kermit the Frog sipping a cup of tea that was famously featured in the "But That's None of My Business" image macro series. In June 2016, the obscure nickname went viral in the form of a hashtag on Twitter after it was used by ABC's morning TV show Good Morning America to refer to the meme in a survey tweet about NBA Finals reaction memes.

Origin

On June 20th, 2016, Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James, who led the team to earning its first NBA championship title in history, returned home wearing a cap embroidered with an image of The Muppets character Kermit the Frog sipping tea. That same day, James posted an Instagram of his meme-themed hat alongside the Larry O’Brien Trophy with the caption taunting his critics and skeptics.


GMA Good Morning America @GMA Does #CryingLeBron join other meme greats like #tealizard, #CryingJordan and #smockin/ the mask? Tweet us! RETWEETS LIKES 7:52 AM-21 Jun 2016

On June 21st, LeBron James' humorous fashion statement was picked up by several news sites and sports blogs, including USA Today, Washington Post, GQ, New York Daily News and BarStoolSports. In addition, ABC's morning TV news program Good Morning America (GMA) also chimed in on the emerging Crying Lebron photoshop meme with a tweet asking the followers whether it should be counted among the ranks of other well-known memes in the sports world, including Crying Michael Jordan and "That's None of My Business," which erroneously mislabeled Kermit the Frog's tea-sipping image with the hashtag #teallizard.

Usage

While it certainly was GMA's tweet that shot "tea lizard" into accidental memedom, the nickname had been previously used to refer to the meme by a small group of users on Twitter, most notably @TrillBallins, who then cited a weird tweet review of The Muppets posted by Twitter user @jawbroke in November 2010 as the origin of the term.


juggalo mask (parody trillballins Here's my take - our weird circle of Twitter has been using tea lizard on and off for a few years RETWEETS LIKES 16 108 2:15 PM-21 Jun 2016 awbroken @jawbroken November 5, 2010 1 hate the muppets bcuz of the Pig girl, she was disgusting, i hate her with my life, she doesnot leave the lizard alone RETWEETS LIKES 門恸四髦@Ele 17,856 25,685 4:19 AM-7 Nov 2010

Spread

In the following hour, GMA's tweet was met with a slew of snide remarks and reaction images from its followers and others on Twitter who noticed the misnomer #tealizard, as well as the curious inclusion of the hashtag #smockin (a misspelling of "smokin") in reference to a picture of the titular character from The Mask. By afternoon on June 21st, the hashtag #tealizard had begun trending on Twitter.

News Media Coverage

Throughout the day, many entertainment and sports news sites began reporting on the trending hashtag and the backstory behind it, including Mashable, BarStoolSports, AV Club, AOL, The Verge, The Daily Dot and The Fader, with many articles describing the tweet as "embarrassing" and "cringeworthy" Meanwhile, Complex offered a drastically different account speculating that GMA's social media editor Jeff Lowe intentionally used one of the lesser known aliases of the meme to elicit strong responses from the social media, while crediting Twitter user @TrillBallins as an early adopter of the nickname "tea lizard" based on several tweets he had posted back in April. In addition, New York Magazine and Popular Science similarly conveyed puzzlement regarding the intention behind the use of the hashtag, as it is hard to believe that GMA would fail to make the distinction between lizard, a reptile, and frog, an amphibian.

Various Examples


When you learn that your employer really DGAF about you #TeaLizard John Walaszek Φ @jwalaszek @GMA mUSIC BAND OW DO YOU DO, FELLOW KIDS? I don't think @GMA knows anything about memes, but that's none of my business. #Tea Lizard
REVOLT G-
"What if I really am a lizard?" #TeaLizard when your good name has been through some s--- lately All of us discussing whether some evil genius at @GMA created #tealizard intentionally duel-styxtumblr.com

GMA's Response

About an hour after the original tweet went live, GMA subtly acknowledged its mistake with a follow-up tweet featuring an image of Kermit the Frog doing the facepalm along with a short apology directed at The Muppets character's Twitter handle.


GMA Good Morning America @GMA Twitter has spoken: #CryingLeBron does not join other popular memes. (Sorry, @KermitTheFrog.) GIF RETWEETS LIKES 120 8:56 AM-21 Jun 2016 178

Kermit the Frog's Response

At 3:04 p.m. (ET), Kermit the Frog's official Twitter account responded to the mix-up of the memes with the hashtag #PutSomeRespekOnMyName, a reference to a memorable quote said by American rapper Birdman during a guest appearance on a radio show in April 2016.


Kermit the Frog @KermitTheFrog Don't you hate when you get mistaken for someone you're not? Kermit #TeaFrog 〉 #TeaLizard #ButThatsNone°MyBusiness #PutSomeRespeckOn MyName RETWEETS LIKES 3:04 PM-21 Jun 2016

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