In many families, mom will stoically come to the rescue: “I’ll get the barf bowl.”
What’s a barf bowl? Well, it depends on your family. And apparently, the right thing to use is up for heated debate. Earlier this week, U.K. author Sarah Turner tweeted about her family’s barf bowl tradition and it set off a worldwide conversation about what’s right, what’s wrong, and what’s unforgivably gross when it comes to upchuck receptacles.
“My kids have just discovered that the family sick bowl and the cake mix bowl are one and the same,” she wrote. “In my defence, this was also the case when I was growing up … but now I’ve said it out loud, I realise I need to break the cycle. I won’t be taking any further questions.”
The tweet quickly went viral (no pun intended) and people had a lot to say about where kids should be barfing properly.
Many had stories from childhood about family bowls — many times mixing bowls, “the pancake bowl,” the popcorn bowl, soup pots, giant Tupperware, and salad bowls. Anything big and wide.
Several people claimed that growing up, they used jumbo ice cream buckets. Which... points for creativity! It even has a handle!
But many thought using a food prep bowl as a vomit bowl is a non-starter. Especially when plastic bags, trash cans, and buckets exist.
“Trash can with a plastic bag inside,” one person replied. “We have them next to every toilet and in every bedroom. We keep bowls in the kitchen and only use them for food. This whole concept is disgusting tbh. Really, you just can't eat at everybody's house.”
“Perhaps there’s a correlation between having a ‘family sick bowl’ that you also prepare food in, and *needing* a designated vessel for your frequent vomiting,” another person asked.
This is not the first time that barf bowls have been a subject of contention. In 2020, another Twitter user started a conversation about using popcorn bowls for barf bowls, to a similar amount of uproar.
And over on TikTok, Buzzfeed found a recent video in which “popcorn vomit bowls” got dressed down — and also flagged as a big cultural difference.
In it, user @raggedywench asks his white friend what a popcorn vomit bowl even is — and his friend knows right away: "The bowl you used when you're too sick to make it to the toilet that your mom gave you so you can stay safe."
People in the comments verified it.
“Facts. The popcorn bowl is the biggest bowl in the house and does double duty,” one said.
“It’s been the same bowl for all twenty years of my life too,” another commented.
“It was also usually the Halloween candy bowl,” another added.
“We also used ours for potato salad and took it to parties,” said another.
Commenters either seemed to have a story about a barf bowl — or were ready to barf themselves thinking about the prospect.
“I will never eat at anyones house after this,” one said.
Just leaving this link for designated barf bowls right here.