In 2016 comedian Ben Ward, whose Twitter handle is @pixelatedboat, tweeted out the following:
Thus, “Milkshake Duck” is a meme defined by Dictionary.com as “a person (or thing) who becomes extremely popular on the internet for some positive reason, but as their popularity takes off and people dig into their past, they quickly become an object of outrage and hatred.”
Milkshake Duck was a finalist for Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year in 2017.
Famous Milkshake Duck examples include:
Ken Bone – St. Louis’s own! Bone became famous after asking a question in the presidential debate held at Washington University in 2016. His positive fame lasted all of four days until it was uncovered that in the past he had posted some sketchy comments on Reddit. Notwithstanding his quick fall, I did spy some pretty great Ken Bone Halloween costumes in 2016 even after he was Milkshake Ducked!
Keaton Jones – Keaton’s mom, Kimberly, posted a video where Keaton described being bullied at school. The video went viral and there was an outpouring of support and Keaton was lauded by celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Chris Evans. Soon after the boy’s fame, pictures were discovered on his parent’s Facebook pages of them with Confederate flags and sporting other racist images.
Gary from Chicago: Gary was just a tourist who was invited at random by Jimmy Kimmel to attend the Oscars. He was overjoyed to be there and took a lot of selfies with celebrities. Everyone Loved Gary!
Unfortunately for Gary, his instant fame caused his past to be researched by the media and it was discovered he had been released from prison just a few days prior to the Oscars. Gary’s story is complicated, but his instant and lovable fame was marred by learning more about him.
Milkshake Duck Lessons
A few notable lessons from the Milkshake Duck meme:
- First and foremost, what we do online and post on social media is not private. A good rule of thumb is to think about the whole world seeing your post prior to posting.
- It’s tough to be famous. The scrutiny that modern celebrities and politicians undergo is intense and suffocating. Seeking fame is a “be careful for what you wish for” sort of situation. I can’t imagine why someone would want to run for a political office.