Tropical Storm Karen’s unfortunate name has inspired a slew of memes about middle-aged white ladies stirring shit up in chain restaurants
On September 22, 2019, the National Hurricane Center announced that Tropical Storm Karen was forming in the Atlantic Ocean and as of today, the storm is approaching Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Forecasters are telling citizens to expect heavy rain, flooding, and strong winds. However, the governing body that names these storms settled on the very unfortunate “Karen” and apparently wasn’t aware that a “Karen” in America is a white baby boomer with a proclivity for complaining at chain restaurants.
When people saw that “Karen” was trending on Twitter, nobody realized that the name was referring to a devastating storm and instead thought that some lady named Karen went viral for causing a scene at you know, an Applebees.
I was like “Wow #karen is trending! There must be a lot of angry white women who need to speak to a manager” and then I opened and saw it was the name a big tropical storm
I’m an idiot
— melatonin martinez (@AllisonPonthier) September 22, 2019
Urban Dictionary refers to a “Karen” as “44. mother of three. blonde. owns a volvo. annoying as hell. wears acrylics 24/7. currently at your workplace speaking to your manager.” Karen is also commonly associated with what we like to call, the “Suze Orman haircut.” Karens are such a cultural lightning rod that there’s even a subreddit dedicated to people sharing their experiences with IRL Karens.
Karens are all around us. They’re in line at your local McDonalds. They’re complaining from their booth at a Chili’s. They are always — always — complaining about something benign like how slow the line is moving or that their food is cold and their signature phrase is — say it with us — “I need to speak to the manager.” Not unlike a storm, a Karen is also on a warpath.
Naturally, the internet saw the name trending, along with the geographical images of the storm’s path and well — the memes wrote themselves.
Asking to speak to all the managers in her path https://t.co/ddzun35kCg
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) September 22, 2019
“Tropical storm Karen will destroy everything in her path until she finds the manager.”
Tropical storm Karen will destroy everything in her path until she finds the manager. That bastard gave her kid a large fry with 1 less fry than normal. Absolutely disgusting
— a human being that exists (@ImA_LivingHuman) September 23, 2019
The internet even photoshopped Karen (or in some cases, just her hair) onto the storm’s path.
— Colton Stones (@ColtonStones) September 22, 2019
Tropical Storm Karen has become such a Twitter *thing* that it already has its own entry in KnowYourMeme.com. Imagine if the National Hurricane Center had named it something less culturally explosive, you know like, Marie or Anne?
Obviously, this storm is expected to hit Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands today and this is a serious and potentially dangerous situation and storms are no laughing matter. It seems like people are trying to find some levity in the darkness, especially when the current news cycle gives us so few moments of joy these days.