The term Black Friday might sound like a Victorian-era tragedy rooted in sociopolitical undertones, but it's really just a marketing ploy to try and lure a bunch of folks into conducting their Christmas shopping about a month out from the holiday, subconsciously signaling that the annual time for exorbitant consumerism is upon us.
The earliest known usage of the term for this specific post-Thanksgiving sales day appeared in a 1981 piece for the Philadelphia Inquirer, which describes it as the first day in the year many retailers are "out of the red" and "into the black." These are, of course, accounting euphemisms to describe the financial statuses of companies: red ink meant your business was operating at a loss while black meant you're profiting.
Somehow, the term stuck as a representation of sale prices that, presumably, businesses were able to offer because they were finally hitting that profitability stride during the holiday season.
And while some of us may remember Black Friday as being an absolutely insane affair that would often turn violent as people literally killed each other to save some money on a TV set, TikToker Cody Jacob highlighted how the Black Friday sales just aren't hitting quite like they used to.
He posted about his findings in a viral TikTok that garnered over 3.4 million views on the popular social media platform. In his clip, he cycles through several price cuts that get progressively more Scrooge-like the further his video moves along.
"Not to be a greedy a-- f------ b----- but Black Friday deals this year are like, they don't exist. Like is it just Friday this year?"
The video then cuts to him speaking in front of a screenshot of a Best Buy online product page featuring an item he was interested in purchasing.
If the price was right, of course.
And since Black Friday and Cyber Monday and Toe-shoes Tuesdays are upon us, Cody thought that there was going to be a litany of different sales just slashing the prices of things he would like to buy.
He was wrong.
"I would really like a new Bluetooth speaker so I went to Best Buy to see like what the deal was," he laughs sardonically, indicating that that the "deal" wasn't much of a deal at all. "Surrounding their Black Friday situation, $20 off. Okay that's not...that's...we can do better than that," he says, indicating that 25% off isn't worthy enough to be deemed a Black Friday level sale.
He decided to forge on and look at other Bluetooth speakers "Okay look at these a pair of Bluetooth speakers what is the deal?" Cody moves his head out of the way to reveal the discount Best Buy is offering on the product: it's fifteen bucks resulting in a final sale price of $134.99.
He mumbles into the camera after seeing the applied discount: "Why are they only $15 off?" before cutting to another green screened image capture of a different type of product altogether: "Okay I wanted to pay full price it doesn't matter I'll get a humidifier on Black Friday that's fun, how bout this deal?"
In a similar fashion to his other reveals, Cody moves his head in the frame in order to show off the Black Friday discount: it's a whole $5. "Oh, okay, like it literally would be cheaper for me to get a job at Best Buy and then get it with the employee discount!"
He then shifted his sights to another retailer: Target, with a renewed intention to find some Bluetooth speakers that were being offered at a price point that was just too good to pass up: "Okay Target Bluetooth speakers," he announces before revealing....that there is no discount being offered on the product on the green-screened page.
"That's, that's just a price. It's not even discounted that's just a price."
While up to this point in the video Cody has been wryly commenting on the disappointing discounts, or rather, lack thereof at the retailers' selections he was perusing, it's the next item's discount that he says made him especially angry.
"And then this is what f--- pissed me off, I saw this speaker and I was like, well first of all I thought that looks like it would detonate if you dropped it, but then what made me realize Target thinks I'm stupid is this: $48.99 sale."
However, after Cody checked the item's original price, he immediately saw that the sale wasn't much of a sale at all: "Okay, not that bad for a weapon of mass destruction. What's the original price?" He displays it in his video, again, my re-orienting his head: $49.99.
He stares blankly into the camera, stoic, seething.
That's right, Target tried to pass off a $1 discount on a Bluetooth speaker as a Black Friday sale. He concluded his video with a message to the Minnesota-based retailer, "Target I don't know which one of you needs to hear this: I want to kick sand in your face," he calmly declares to close out his rant.