The “what in tarnation” meme started off on Tumblr. Someone posted a dog in a cowboy hat with a caption that read “what in tarnation” without any other context. It has quickly turned into one of the hottest memes of the month and nobody knows why. Honestly, the joke’s origins make no sense, so it’s little surprise that its offspring also makes no sense for the most part. But even so, the whole premise of the meme is great–putting cowboy hats on inanimate objects and talking like a cowboy has always been fun, and now we’re able to sound like cowboys ourselves. Who knew that there were so many words that sounded like “tarnation”? Who knew that in 2017 so many people were still going to use that western movie lingo in every day conversation? Well, since we’re already here, here’s some of the best “what in tarnation” memes that may or may not make any sense but will still make you feel like you’re on the range.
15. Bees defy all rules of physics
what in all known laws of aviation pic.twitter.com/3k8PRqWzYC
— memes (@ViraIMemes) February 25, 2017
As the great children’s animated movie Bee Movie likes to point out, according to all known laws of aviation, bees should not be able to fly. According to real science, this actually isn’t true but this myth has become so ingrained into our brains (thanks Bee Movie) that nobody actually knows the truth. This scientific urban legend probably originated from either a drunk scientist, or a mathematician who created an equation that resulted in the theory that no insect should be able to fly. This is the only plausible reason, considering what they knew of the laws of aviation at the time. This theory makes sense to us because they have such large bodies in comparison to their small, thin wings. But no amount of calculating can ignore the fact that bees, and other insects, have been flying for forever without a problem.
14. Home on the range…the math kind
WHAT IN STANDARD DEVIATION pic.twitter.com/UBtI3sYlcQ
— Common White Girl (@CommonWhiteGirI) February 26, 2017
Ah, that bell curve you used to know so well, now with a cowboy twist. You thought you were going to read a post about memes and avoid any talk of math, right? While most math jokes your high school math teacher made weren’t really that funny (not that you’d actually remember them), this one should get a chuckle out of most people. Standard deviations aren’t really popular points of conversation, but you probably remember this curved graph when your math teacher used it to bump up that math test you failed back in the day. How many teachers now are going to use this meme in their instructional powerpoints, only to get a groan from their young, hip, and meme-savvy students? Probably way too many.
13. These sources of procrastination
what in procrastination pic.twitter.com/1IKtF2GJN2
— what in tarnation (@WHATINTARNATlON) March 1, 2017
The realness of this post hurts the soul, especially since there was a lot of Netflix procrastination going on on this end while writing this very piece. Despite their bright colors and innocent design, all of these websites are pretty much evil incarnate for anyone who has to get anything done on a deadline–which is pretty much everyone. There’s always a show to binge watch, people to creep on, and funny pictures to take with a cool filter, and all those things are a lot more fun than doing the work that you’re supposed to do. Work can always be finished at the last minute, but we gotta reply to that tweet right now.
12. All memes must be properly cited
wot in MLA Citation pic.twitter.com/4bIFJW07T5
— Lucas Sheriff (@LucasSheriff) February 25, 2017
On the subject of procrastination, if you’re still in school then you’re probably procrastinating on a paper that requires (wait for it) proper citations! Plagiarism is bad, folks, and will get you nowhere so cite those sources properly! It may seem like a pain, and there are so many rules but there are ways to make it easier for you to make a proper “works cited” page. To get really lit. nerd technical here, this post is actually incorrect on where the citation needs a hat since this is the “works cited” and not an actual citation. But no matter, Lucas won’t get marked down on a technicality for this list. After looking at all these school-related memes, you should probably go back to finishing your work at a reasonable hour.
11. It’s no hop juice
WHAT IN FILTRATION pic.twitter.com/QfleF7AogW
— Audrey Gibb (@AudgeGibb) February 20, 2017
God bless water filters, especially when the local water source is less than great, like from a well. Get rid of that egg smell with a simple pitcher with a filter in it. And since most pitchers are a fridge-friendly size, your filtered water can always be cold and refreshing. In an ideal world, everyone who interacts with your water filter will refill the pitcher and put it back in the fridge, but almost nobody does when it’s not their water. While the filtered pitcher was one of the best inventions of the century, it has probably also been the cause of a lot of roommate feuds. If one roomie likes it room temperature while the other one likes it cold, a lot of passive-aggressive pitcher shenanigans are definitely going to happen. The pitcher saves lives, but also can ruin friendships.
10. Fo’ shizzle
What in Tarnizzle? pic.twitter.com/Myp3S965p5
— Gohan (@Aneerinyourear) February 25, 2017
Snoop Dogg’s vocabulary is very unique, and he admits that most of the time he doesn’t even understand himself. Of course, Snoop typically isn’t ignored in a newfound meme storm, and this time is no exception. This time nobody had to Photoshop a cowboy hat onto the rapper, his fly style already has that one covered. And in typical Snoop fashion, he wouldn’t be caught dead saying “tarnation” like everyone else–he’s gotta snoopify whatever he’s going to say, and thus “tarnizzle” is born. Like most of his created lingo, this Snoop word is a lot more fun to say than the original, and “tarnation” is a fun made-up word on its own.
what in hand-eye coordination pic.twitter.com/WgjJ1KyXuq
— what in tarnation (@WHATINTARNATlON) February 28, 2017
This is truly a “what in the–” moment. Poor girl is poised and ready to bump back that volleyball over the net, but unfortunately her reaction just wasn’t quick enough. This photo was taken at the perfect moment, right when we can see that this was a failed attempt, while the player still has that look of determination and hope on her face. A split-second later, and there’s no question that she looks like she finally noticed that the ball is nowhere near her arms. It even looks like she’s in mid-bump, so she really thought she was hitting a ball up and over the net, even though in reality she was nowhere close. But really, we can’t give her too much crap since volleyball is hard–she’s just gotta get her head back in the game.
8. We’re filled with antici…pation
what in antici….. pation pic.twitter.com/b7nnWQkHrd
— brilee (@violetchotchke) February 26, 2017
If we didn’t know better, the cowboy hat could actually be a real part of Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s ensemble. Not like there’s any doubt that there are probably dozens of western-themed clothes in his wardrobe, but the movie itself sadly lacks any cowboy hats. This is probably one of the best lines in Rocky Horror, just because we’re anticipating the anticipation. Just one line makes the audience feel some sort of tension, which can only be done from great writing and a great performance by the master Tim Curry himself. While they already rebooted this classic film, they should totally make another one that’s all western-themed. That may end up being even more scary quite honestly–but also very fashionable.
7. “I’m going to steal the Declaration of Independence”
What deleted scene of National Treasure does this picture come from? While this never happened in the movie, the only thing that could make National Treasure even better than it already is is if Nicolas Cage suddenly turned into a cowboy and shouted, “What in Declaration!” as soon as he got his hands on the Declaration of Independence. But then again, maybe this highly anticipated third film that’s going to happen soon (we hope!) might take this country twist that we all want to happen. That would make a fine ending to the trilogy–all we really want is for Nic Cage to do some more yelling like he normally does in movies so we can make more memes about it for sure.
6. Pluto’s still a planet in our hearts
When Pluto found out it wasn't a planet anymore pic.twitter.com/FLhZv4v0m7
— Alex the lyin (@alextre21) February 24, 2017
Initially when this meme came into being, it seemed like trying to fit the planetary status of Pluto into the mix wasn’t going to work. It was going to be hard to find an -ation word to fit into the joke, but no worries–somebody did just that. If Pluto had feelings (which we all think it does) then it would be pretty sad that it got kicked out of the cool actual-planets club. With that cowboy hat, all Pluto needs now is an acoustic guitar, a pickup truck, a beer, and some sad feelings to make another country album, singing about how sad it is that the solar system broke up with it. Sure, it’ll sound the same as most other country albums but this one will be epic on almost (but not quite there) worldly proportions.
5. Cowgirls get in formation
wot in formation pic.twitter.com/M73rjWmhDC
— lil glocki (@edjiggy) February 25, 2017
It’s no surprise that Beyoncé is a country goddess, along with being a goddess in every genre and style there is to exist. Even though she’s mostly a pop artist, the country track on Lemonade proved to us that Bey can rock any genre to perfection. But that’s to be certain since she’s a country gal herself. Just look at how she rocks that hat. On someone else it may look tacky but just like every other outfit she’s ever worn, this one looks amazing and probably made a lot of teenagers want to get cowgirl hats to match this rockin’ style. And with what’s in the news recently, Bey’s probably already asking herself, “What in tarnation?”
4. Rawr XD
what in rawrnation xD pic.twitter.com/sWYX7cAfbc
— lil boca patty (@jadedlxve) February 25, 2017
There were a lot of things from the early-2000’s that ended up being very cringeworthy, but a lot of the whole emo and scene thing really takes that cringiness on a whole new level. One of the main parts of scene culture was to act like a 5 year old and talk about dinosaurs a lot. There were a lot of pictures on Photobucket of scene teens looking sad and then surrounded by heart stickers (thank God that Piknik isn’t a thing anymore) and captions that say dumb stuff like, “Rawr means ‘I love you’ in dinosaur.” As this writer was one of those scene kids back in the day, sometimes you just gotta look back and wonder what the appeal was to that kind of thing. For one, that phrase is stupid because dinosaurs didn’t say “rawr” instead of “I love you”–they just kinda ate other animals and were very large. Let’s all be glad this whole scene thing is pretty much done and over with forever.
3. Memes on memes on memes
WHAT IN FRUSTRATION pic.twitter.com/DdRbx4oXJu
— what in tarnation (@WHATINTARNATlON) February 26, 2017
The only thing that makes a meme better is if that meme is in another meme, making it one giant meme-ception. The well-loved and fairly timeless Arthur meme has perhaps just met its match when considering that both of them are quite versatile and are mostly used to be very relatable to most audiences. This frustrated Arthur could be frustrated about many things, and the fact that this western-themed meme that came out of nowhere makes literally no sense is probably one of them. But whatever the case, we’re going to laugh at it anyways because nothing in the world really makes sense. The “what in tarnation” meme may be dumb, but there’s no telling what kind of meme garbage the internet is going to create in the future.
2. It’s an Obamanation
What in the obamanation pic.twitter.com/IxHjHLzXrc
— tuesday (@tyekillas) February 25, 2017
The master of bad dad jokes, President Obama, former leader of the free world, is not safe in the latest round of memes. With his goofy personality, dad clothes, and ownership of a cowboy hat as seen in this picture, he’s the internet’s perfect meme victim. But let’s be real, if the internet didn’t come up with it first, our man Barack was bound to make his own “what in tarnation” joke, much to the chagrin of his two daughters. They’re pretty fed up with their dad’s slew of dad jokes since they have to hear them more than anyone else in the country, but honestly the rest of us want more. He’s classic dad goals, and this polo and cowboy hat combination just proves that point even further.
1. That one dude in the pickup
When your truck isn't the loudest at sonic pic.twitter.com/mQWE0i0QQq
— Vincent Ha (@Vincent_Ha1) January 12, 2017
This one probably made you spit up your water the first time you saw this because it’s just too damn true in this cowboy hat-wearing culture out here in the United States. There’s a certain type of person who gets a large pickup truck and just has to let everyone know that they’re driving a large pickup. They usually accomplish this by making their truck very loud. They’re also usually men and we can guess that they’re trying to compensate for something else by driving a Ford F-150. While these truck-driving dudes think that they’re the coolest, making a lot of noise in the Sonic drive-in, everyone else can’t stand them and their stupidly loud truck.