Internet Nostalgia

Let’s Revisit ‘2 Girls, 1 Cup’ Reaction Videos

Will Leitch
OneZero
Published in
3 min readApr 23, 2021

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Don’t worry, there’s no link to the video here, promise

Welcome to part 9 of our Internet Nostalgia series, which looks back at phenomena that captured the imagination and attention of the internet for a fleeting moment and then vanished as everyone moved on to something else. This series looks back at those olden times, and what they told us about the internet, and ourselves. If you have a suggested topic, email me at williamfleitch@yahoo.com. Last week, we looked at The Numa Numa Guy. This week: “2 Girls 1 Cup.”

Date: 2007.

The story: There is something about the internet that always feels like touching a hot stove. You know you shouldn’t do it. You know it’s going to burn you. But you can’t stop touching the stove. Maybe this is the time it isn’t hot? Or maybe, just maybe, we like the pain. Whether it’s digging into the comment section even though you know it’s going to be a nightmare, or clicking on an idiot’s hot take that you know is going to be idiotic, or watching anything Donald Trump Jr. has ever done, there is an inherent masochism to being on the internet. We know it’s bad for us. But back we come. Sometimes I wonder if we’re staring into the maw just to see how long we can take it.

There has been no phenomenon more indicative of this streak of self-hatred that the internet brings out in us than the “2 Girls, 1 Cup” video from 2007. I’m not going to go into the details of what is in the “2 Girls, 1 Cup” video because you surely already know, and also life is too freaking short. I’ve also never actually seen it. But I don’t need to because I, like everyone else, have already watched countless “reaction” videos of other people watching it. Their horror is all I need, thank you very much.

I could give you the backstory on what the “2 Girls 1 Cup” video initially was, but why? I ask you, why?

Pop culture crossover: Remarkably, the “can you watch ‘2 Girls 1 Cup’ challenge?” was a massive…

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Will Leitch
OneZero

Author of six books, including “How Lucky” and "The Time Has Come." NYMag/MLB.. Founder, Deadspin. https://williamfleitch.substack.com