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Why the Super Mario ‘cum pipe’ was all over Twitter

Well, which pipe would you vote for?

Marios move through clear pipes in a screenshot from Super Mario 3D World Image: Nintendo

If you logged onto Twitter this Monday, you may have found yourself bewildered to see the words “the cum pipe” trending on the social media site’s side bar. Don’t know what that arrangement of words means? Good news: I figured it out and can explain it to you.

It all started this morning, when a meme page called Everything Out of Context tweeted out a joke meme with Peach, Luigi, and Mario standing by three warp pipes, each sporting a different color scheme: gold, white, and rainbow. The text on the image reads, “The time has come for you to choose the gay pipe, the piss pipe, or the cum pipe.” Most reposts of the Super Mario 3D World meme only have a static image of it, but the original features a video where a Luigi-like voice asks you those fateful words.

While that poster didn’t create the original meme, which has been floating around the internet for a while now, that specific account did get it in front of many eyeballs this March. Puyi, the user behind the post, told Polygon that he found the 3D World meme and thought it would be “fun” to promote the post and allow people to “pick one of the three options.” Meaning, someone paid for you to read the words “cum pipe.”

What’s notable is that the cum pipe tweet wasn’t a straightforward poll. Instead, picking an option will then auto populate a tweet declaring your choice. For example, picking the yellow pipe would end with a tweet that reads “I choose #ThePissPipe” — though you’d still have to actually send it. Monday’s promoted tweet led to over 6,300 tweets using the hashtag that #TheCumPipe, meaning that people vastly preferred the clear warp pipe out of all three options.

You might recognize this pattern from a previous, similarly spontaneous trend: the carp image. Back in December, a college student used the same Twitter feature to get a photo of a carp to take over the internet for a bright, albeit brief moment. This is just the same thing, except a lot less wholesome. (Twitter users far and wide were not pleased to see #TheCumPipe trending today.)

Once the meme gained enough visibility, the voting itself encouraged people to compete with one another. But the more folks fought over the best pipe, the more everyone else saw the meme over and over again.

When asked if he would ever consider a career in marketing, Puyi said, “After today, my interest in marketing is bigger, but I can’t say for sure if I wanna go that way.”

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