At first glance, the tweet you see above seems meaningless enough. It’s not the first time a brand has attempted to co-opt a meme for its own purposes, even if four identical photos of the same pancake stack doesn’t exactly constitute a proper squad and IHOP is very late to the actual meme. The tweet is just sort of… dumb.
But the immediate explosion of retweets, favorites, and emoji-filled responses would indicate that the very dumbness of the tweet is what managed to capture everyone’s attention:
So, how did the pancake chain’s social-media team manage to luck into so much exposure? What’s the exact appeal here? Hard to pinpoint it, but but the brazen follow-up tweet indicates it’s just getting cocky:
LMAO. WTF, IHOP?
This post has been updated throughout.