White moms love to pronounce Target “Tar-jay,” like it’s fancy and French. They’re in on the joke, of course — yes, Target offers a slightly chicer collection of multi-packs of underwear and less-industrial lighting than Walmart, and everything is just a teensy bit more expensive for it, but at the end of the day, both Target and Walmart offer the same odds of hearing a 3-year-old call his mother a bitch and bathrooms strewn with toilet paper. Target isn’t actually fancier than the other big-box stores, but isn’t it a little fun to pretend? This seems to be part of why the TikTok meme of pronouncing foods, cocktails and restaurants completely wrong is so appealing.
The current trend came from @daddyrocka on August 2nd, though a version of it began on Vine back in 2014. In the TikTok, @daddyrocka is laying in bed and talking to the camera, saying, “If I take a girl to a bar, and she orders a mad luxurious drink like a pine-uh call-uh-duh or some martin-ees, then that’s mad luxurious and we fuckin’. Yes, on its face, calling a piña colada a “pine-uh call-uh-duh” is mostly stupid. And yet, it works, particularly when followed by “that’s mad luxurious, and we fuckin’.”
In other spins on the meme, people pronounce Coca-Cola as “ca-cock-ala,” lasagna as “la-zag-nia” and Olive Garden as “Oliv-e-ay Gar-deen.” No matter what it is they say, though, they nearly always end the video with “that’s mad luxurious,” and we fuckin’,” though some say “elegant” instead.
Really, just saying things wrong is humor in its simplest form. Philosophers Descartes, Kierkegaard and Hazlitt all speculated on the essence of humor and what precisely made something comical, and each essentially agreed upon a similar theme: Humor involves the unexpected, surprise or incongruity. Calling wine “winny” is funny because we couldn’t predict it to be pronounced that way.
But on another level, the appeal is that, obviously, the foods and places being mentioned aren’t luxurious or elegant — rather, they’re often completely mundane. But the ability to perceive the mundane as opulent is practically a skill in itself, and it means the $5 glass of red-blend wine at Olive Garden can be an object of grandeur if you allow it to be. It can be so grand, in fact, that you fuck afterwards in celebration.
Maybe the meme is partially making fun of the idea that some people actually cannot pronounce these words, or genuinely finds these things to be luxurious, but the point remains that either way, it’s clear that this person is having a better time than you. Don’t you feel a little bit more elegant eating “ve-ge-tob-lays” for dinner instead of vegetables? And doesn’t that luxury make you wanna fuck?