Starbucks is infamous for two things: weird recipes and baristas who refuse to write anyone’s name correctly on cups. I think the latter is actually quite purposeful on the part of the baristas, who serve annoying, rude, and demanding customers all day long. Why not have a little fun and write something ridiculous on an order? Then you can call it out to a crowded room and that person has to answer. A petty revenge against a tyrannical customer base.
There’s a new meme in town on Twitter that takes full advantage of this name-calling dynamic. It’s a bit hard to explain, but the meme phrase always starts with, “I just gave my name in Starbucks as—” followed by a false name. The poster then writes what happens after their fake name is called out to a crowd. The crowd usually responds. If that sound complicated, try reading one and you’ll get it:
Just gave my name in Starbucks as, “Its Really More of a Comment then a Question.” When the barista called it out everyone groaned and became angry and I was too afraid to collect my pumpkin spice chi double shot locamochafrapamericano.
— Alex John London (@AlexJohnLondon) August 29, 2018
The meme began as a way to mock an account called @WUFlagMafia, which is an anti-Brexit group. While I am not pro-Brexit, this story sounds like absolute bull-crap:
Just gave my name in starbucks as 'stop brexit,. As the (remain) barrista screamed out my 'name' repeatedly, the whole place erupted in to applause. Result. Try it. #FBPE @Starbucks pic.twitter.com/M3qfvfNOaM
— EU Flag Mafia (@EUflagmafia) August 25, 2018
The idea that people would stand up and scream over a political slogan at a Starbucks was roundly mocked:
Just gave my name in Starbucks as 'Seize the means of production’ As the (communist) barista screamed my 'name' repeatedly the entire cafe took up arms and began the revolution. Result. Try it.
— ColBot 3000 (@colken16) August 27, 2018
It has quickly turned into something else entirely:
Incredible. I gave my name as Tinkywinky. The barista shouted it out repeatedly. And, everyone sang back Dipsy, La La, Po………Teletubbies Teletubbies say HELLO. Wow.
— James Bruce (@JamesBruce3) August 25, 2018
Since then, some of them have become much harder to understand than others, because it’s kind of the perfect meme to squeeze just about any idea into. All you need to do is think of a call and response and you can make it fit. Like if you have some geological drama to work out:
Just gave my name in Starbucks as "Anthropocene", I just made up the word on the spur of the moment. As the barrista screamed out my 'name' repeatedly everyone was shocked. But it seems to have stuck.
— Without Pity (@without_pity) August 30, 2018
It’s now a meme for people with such specific interests that the only other place they can get attention for them besides Twitter is academia. Twitter is much cheaper:
Just gave my name in Starbucks as Aphrahat, the Persian Sage, and as the barista shouted "WHO?!", I was like, "dang, my academic specialty is so uninteresting that I can't even participate in a twitter thing."
— James E. Walters (@jedwardwalters) August 27, 2018
The meme is often couched as “advice,” like try shouting this and just enjoy the results. But the results are always terrible:
Just gave my name in Starbucks as ‘Fire’. When the barista shouted my ‘name’ everyone ran away and now I have a lot of new handbags. It was great, you should try it.
— Dovil (@Dovil) August 29, 2018
Just gave my name in Starbucks as ‘Sparticus’. When the barista shouted my ‘name’ the whole place shouted ‘No I am Sparticus’ there was a long discussion about whose coffee it actually was. Try it.
— krish kandiah (@krishk) August 28, 2018
Like, why would you want that to happen? Just give me my dang coffee! The secret subtext of the Starbucks name meme is that people want to argue:
Just gave my name in Starbucks as “End the housing crisis. Build more affordable homes.” The (baby boomer) barista pointed out that I was there yesterday, my name was Aaron, and if I didn’t buy so much coffee I could afford a house.
— Aaron Hill (@AaronCHC) August 28, 2018
Just gave my name as ‘I am A Service Worker Not Your Fucking Sentiment Puppet’ at Starbucks, but in my mind. Everyone cheered and Joan of Arc appeared and started breakdancing.
— ajerf🌸👾 (@FluffCustard) August 27, 2018
I just gave my name in Starbucks as Amanda Hugenkiss and when the barista called out “I want Amanda Hugenkiss, why can’t I find Amanda Hugenkiss” everyone yelled out “Perhaps your standards are too high” and the barista pulled out a dull and rusty knife and leaped over the counte
— morgue (@mr_orgue) August 29, 2018
Just gave my name in Starbucks as ‘I’m Hungry’. When the barista shouted my ‘name’, half of the customers yelled ‘Hi Hungry, I’m Dad!’ and the other half just rolled their eyes. It was great, you should try it.
— Dean Nimbly (@Dean_Nimbly) August 29, 2018
Just gave my name in Starbucks as ‘FREE COFFEE!’ When the barista shouted my "name", it all kicked off. Laptops went flying, I saw one woman get hit in the face by a pug, one person screamed 'WHAT ABOUT TEA?', people started shoving sugar in their pockets for no reason. Try it.
— Jenks (@TheLostBride) August 28, 2018
just gave my name as "i love my curvy wife" in starbucks and everyone is standing up and saluting me, a crying woman won't stop cleaning my feet
— 𝕻𝖔𝖜𝖊𝖗 𝖀𝖘𝖊𝖗 (@dgahk) August 27, 2018
We all dream of having someone call our name in a Starbucks and receiving applause, but the trust me: the baristas will still hate you.