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Book Twitter loves jumping on a meme and doing it literary, and that’s what I’m here for. This meme started in 2019 but gained popularity in September 2021. It satirizes the performative unfollowing / soft blocking of problematic people on Twitter by taking it to extremes: “Oof, okay, soft blocking now. Followed him because of his jokes, did not know that he ritually sacrificed goats to gain mystical power. “
The appeal is in part to acknowledge the strange landscape of social media where one can be guilty of association by following someone without knowing everything they ever did or said, but also – in this case – im Aha moment to understand the allusion.
As always, if you want to know the full story of where this began, you can check out Know Your Meme along with plenty of non-bookkeeping examples. But why torment yourself through general references when you can get this curated list of all the books?
The September incarnation of this meme began with a Yu-Gi-Oh! Note:
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ooof sorry, no longer follow. really enjoyed his work on game design, didn’t know he captured the soul of Yugi’s grandfather in a dueling monster card
– Meaning machine (@EricThurm) September 5, 2021
It’s not a literal Twitter meme without William Carlos Williams.
Wow, okay, don’t follow it anymore. Was a big fan of his poetry, didn’t know he had eaten the plums that were in the freezer and that you had probably saved up for breakfast.
– Tea Berry-Blue (@teaberryblue) September 9, 2021
Fairy tale characters and mythological characters also got involved in the action.
wow, ok, now no longer follow. was a big fan of her house made of candy, little knew that it lured children into her oven to cook and eat
– Brona C. Titley (@bronactitley) September 8, 2021
ok wow … don’t follow now. was a big fan of their music, but I didn’t realize they were luring sailors into a watery grave by hurling their ships against the rocky coast of their island
– old Tom (@YuckyTom) September 8, 2021
ok wow … don’t follow now. was a huge fan of his magic carpet and musical genius, but little did I know he stole this from an enchanted cave and used it to seduce a princess with grandiose riches
– chunky Fila (@chunkyfila) September 8, 2021
wow, ok, now no longer follow. was a huge fan of his pipe music and rat extermination business, little aware that he lured 130 children out of their house to never see them again because of a payment disagreement.
– Graham (@blessedorkirst) September 8, 2021
Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” was a popular choice to void, and is it a literal memes list with no SparkNotes?
ooof sorry, no longer follow. really enjoyed his wine, had no idea that he had lured a man into the catacombs and built it into the wall with the promise of a good vintage
– SparkNotes (@SparkNotes) September 7, 2021
In retrospect, Willy Wonka was definitely problematic.
wow, ok, now no longer follow. was a huge fan of his chocolate factory, but didn’t know his workers were being directed to put on fully choreographed iconic performances while five children nearly died
– josh (@imjoshhbu) September 8, 2021
You can’t even enjoy a beautiful piece of jewelry without being complicit in the evil.
oh wow okay, now no longer follow. was a big fan of his jewelry line, was unaware that he was cheating on everyone and trying to become the most powerful being in Middle-earth:
– anna 🏹 (@myelessar) September 8, 2021
Count Olaf from A Series of Unfortunate Events is a great actor, but a pretty bad guy.
Oops, don’t follow him anymore. I was a fan of his acting, little did I know that he got his adopted daughter to marry him so that he could usurp her siblings’ huge fortune after their parents died in a suspicious fire
– Vikings (@notviking) September 9, 2021
wow okay, now no longer follow. Little did I admire his eclectic fashion sense and passion for community theater, but I had no idea that he would stop at nothing to steal the fortune of the Baudelaire orphans
– Eli likes the Matrix (@heymisterwallet) September 9, 2021
How should I know if I am suspicious of someone named Cruella De Vil?
wow, ok, now no longer follow. was a big fan of her fur coats, didn’t know she made them out of Dalmatians
– the hype (@TheHyyyype) September 8, 2021
Oscar Wilde’s picture of Dorian Gray also had its moment.
wow, ok, now no longer follow. was a big fan of this painting of his, was unaware that he was trading his soul in order to stay young forever.
– Andrew Nadeau (@TheAndrewNadeau) September 8, 2021
Once you take candy from strangers and suddenly you betray your family and the entire kingdom of Narnia.
wow, ok, now no longer follow. was a big fan of her gifts of Turkish joy, unaware that she was usurping the throne and enchanting the country into a hundred-year-old state of ice and snow that was always winter but never Christmas
– JRR Jokin (@joshcarlosjosh) September 8, 2021
I can’t resist a Holes by Louis Sachar joke.
Okay, wow no longer follow. Little did not know that she was forcing juvenile convicts to dig holes in the desert
– Vinny Thomas (@vinn_ayy) September 9, 2021
And here is another middle class book reference, this time by Coraline by Neil Gaiman.
wow, not following her now. i was a big fan of their world building, had no idea that they sew buttons in children’s eyes and steal their souls
– 🍊 (@kassneck) September 9, 2021
I had to include this two-on-one version of horror classics!
wow, ok, now no longer follow. was a huge fan of his ability to resuscitate the dead, was unaware that he was such a terrible father:
– Ashia Monet 🌙🕯 (@AshiaMonet) September 9, 2021
William Goldman’s The Princess Bride should really come with a warning that this is a kiss book.
Ok, wow, don’t follow it anymore. I was into fencing, fighting, torture, vengeance, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, and miracles, but I didn’t realize that this was a kiss book.
– ⚔️ Cate Pearce ✝️🏳️🌈 (@cate_pearce) September 9, 2021
Can We Really Trust Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz?
Oof, sorry, I’m not following anymore. I enjoyed her stories of traveling to a new city with her little dog, had no idea she’d killed a woman and stole her shoes.
– Amanda (@Pandamoanimum) September 8, 2021
It’s not just manga references: superhero comics are celebrated with this Batman shot.
wow, ok, now no longer follow. was a big fan of his career, considered himself a philanthropist, had no idea he was embezzling the company to fund his hobby of beating up the homeless and the insane while dressed like a bat
– Moon-Faced Assassine of Joy (@NomeDaBarbarian) September 9, 2021
And finally, that awkward moment where you just celebrate the joy of the clowns and it turns out to be Pennywise.
Oops, don’t follow him anymore. I’m just a huge fan of clowns, I had no idea he was killing kids in the sewers
– Poet (@HoratioSkald) September 9, 2021
Looking for more literal Twitter summaries? See if romance novels taught me anything (a tweet recap) and means vaccinated not (Bookish Edition).