It's difficult to understand why a video goes viral, and if there was an exact science behind these trends, then there would be ad agencies just raking in the dough. It could be a confluence of personal hustle, timing, and luck.
Sometimes careful planning has a lot to do with it, like the team that came up with the Mannequin Challenge to popularize Rae Sremmurd's "Black Beatles" track. Other times, it's a total accident, like this Twisted Tea video that's got people wondering what the memes regarding the drink are about.
What are the Twisted Tea memes about?
It all hearkens back to an altercation in an Elyria, Ohio convenience store where a visibly inebriated white customer starts acting out of pocket towards another customer of color standing behind him in line. The video went almost immediately viral on Christmas Eve on various social media outlets. The clip culminates in a fight that's clearly egged on by the drunk white man who consistently gets in the other customer's face.
The gentleman standing behind the drunk white man mostly stood his ground and was hands-off during their entire exchange. It wasn't until the white man in the video began using a racial slur and goaded the other customer to "smack me with [the can]" that he did just that. He crashed the can into the drunk man's face which caused a comical stream of the beverage to shoot forth from beverage's container.
The drunk man then gets up off the floor and charges at the customer he was antagonizing, only to get thrown to the floor and pummeled. Several popular social media accounts shared the clip, like Snoop Dogg and Rex Chapman, which led to the video becoming even more popular. It wasn't long before the clip provided a bonafide cornucopia of memes.
“So where are you from?”— Scott (@scottlilly5) December 25, 2020
“Oh I’ve never heard of it”
“You ever see the Twisted Tea video?”
So, the meaning behind the Twisted Tea joke is basically a response to racism.
In the video, the white man can be heard using the N-word several times, and the customer who beat him up with the Twisted Tea can can be heard walking away from the confrontation saying, "I asked you not to call me a n***a," straining to control his visibly upset face as he left the camera's frame.
Many folks online believe they found the exact convenience store where it happened: the Circle K on Broad Street, not far from the Cleveland area.
The two men in the video haven't been identified, however Elyria Police Lieutenant Jame Welsh did tell local paper Elyria Chronicle-Telegram that he believes to know who the men are, but added no charges were made nor were reports of the incident submitted to the police.
There were several social media users who've uploaded photos of men they believe to be the folks in the video. One user, @boiled_over, snapped a picture next to someone who appears to be the man who struck the drunk man shouting racial slurs.
Twisted Tea memes are trending because people love to see racists getting their just desserts.
The Twitter user whose post went viral tweeted in response to the public's reaction, writing, "This is NOT my video lmao I’m just simply sharing it to spread the joy of seeing a racist get his s**t cooked. Just stop saying n***a if you’re not black LMFAO it’s literally not hard at all."
I hope twisted tea guy in Elyria runs for Ohio governor in 2022.— Dr. EntropyDoc. 🖇 (@entropydoc) December 27, 2020