There’s nothing Florida Man won’t put in his mouth, attach to his car, or punt off a bridge. Florida Man will do anything because, frankly, he’s out of control. He’s also not one single person.
Florida Man is a popular Internet headline meme that began as a Twitter account in January 2013, and then popped up on link-sharing website Reddit shortly after. R/FloridaMan compiles all of the most ridiculous, death-defying (and death-causing) stories that come out of the state IRL.
“The joke of this subreddit is that these stories aren’t about disparate men from Florida doing crazy things,” writes moderator Diet_Coke. “They’re about a singular Florida man—the world’s worst superhero—doing crazy things.”
Although the subreddit plays on a negative stereotype of Floridians, its primary objective is sharing humorous headlines. If a story is too dark, heavy, or gruesome, it won’t fly on r/FloridaMan.
“‘Florida Man Decapitates Baby’ is not funny. We’re looking for more of a ‘Naked Florida Man, High on Meth, Tries to Rob Liquor Store with Dead Stingray’ kind of vibe,” according to the subreddit's description.
Some of r/FloridaMan's top headlines include: “Florida Man robs bank and commits home invasion with a spatula,” “Florida Man in the lead for getting shot the most by dogs,” and “Florida Man kicks Universal Studios haunted house actor in the face.”
But Florida Man may have met his match. Launched in late October, the subreddit r/SaudiPrince appears to be a global take on the Florida Man theme.
The subreddit, moderated by bros_pm_me_ur_asspix, follows a format similar to Florida Man, lampooning the supposedly over-the-top lifestyles of Saudi princes.
“Like Florida man, but they receive a monthly petrodollar allowance instead of monthly food stamps,” r/SaudiPrince's description reads. “They are victims of having too much wealth (a.k.a. affluenza).”
Saudi Prince is spoiled, demanding, reckless, and destructive. His immense wealth means there’s nobody around to tell him “No.” Other Redditors have made the connection between Florida Man and Saudi Prince, joking that they are either the same person or archenemies.
Similarities aside, the subreddit—which boasts nearly 2,400 readers after only eight days—has a much more caustic tone than Florida Man.
Some Saudi Prince headlines are more lighthearted—including “Kim Kardashian offered $1 million for one evening as a guest of Saudi prince” or “Saudi prince guts Joan Rivers’ ‘haunted’ home”—but most of them skew dark with headlines like “Saudi prince beats his servant to death in luxury London hotel,” “Saudi prince avoids felony charges in sex assault case near Beverly Hills,” and “Saudi prince dies of thirst.”
In fact, the few headlines that read as jokes are submitted by users other than moderator bros_pm, who posts most of the subreddit's content using “Saudi prince” and “Saudi man” interchangeably. Scroll through bros_pm’s Reddit posts and comments, however, and it becomes clear that the user is critical of America and Saudi Arabia's complex relationship.
In a thread about Iranian legislation that may lead to the legalization of cannabis and opium in the country, bros_pm responded to another user’s anti-Iranian comment as follows:
“Good, maybe that'll chill them the fuck out and stop being radical c*nts,” bperro92 said.
“Yes how dare they try to be more radical than Saudis,” bros_pm replied. “This is what people like you sound like to me when they want to 'bomb bomb bomb' Iran, but seem to forget that America's foreign policy is driven entirely by the House of Saud: ‘Please Saudis let me suck your collective Wahhabi cock, give me! I hate Shia cock, it tastes TOO plebian [sic] for me!’”
“We need to protect their diplomatic immunity in order to maintain the stability of the royal family,” he said. “It's critical that the 15,000 royals shit all over the rest of the world because their oil privilege is at stake.”
Judging from bros_pm’s comment history and the dark tone of the Saudi Prince headlines, it’s clear the subreddit is not entirely for laughs, even if the moderator has some satirical intentions. Bros_pm uses r/SaudiPrince to criticize what he views as Saudi influence on U.S. foreign policy, and the princes' abuse of diplomatic immunity. (The Los Angeles Times published an extensive explainer that details how diplomatic immunity applies—or doesn't—to Saudi royalty in the U.S.)
"I think people recognize the satire, but if people take it as a straight joke then they are totally missing the social criticism," bros_pm told NTRSCTN via Reddit private message. He added that most of the feedback he has gotten has been mostly "shock and disgust."
"The news out of Beverly Hills prompted me to create this subreddit," bros_pm, 33 said, referring to the sexual assault case. "Ninety percent of the content that I've submitted myself is entirely new information to me so I've been kind of shocked as much as anybody."
The Redditor explained that he engages in controversial discussions online to challenge his views.
"My comments on Reddit tend to be polemical (trollish?) in nature," he admitted. "But usually it is an effort to invite criticism of my evolving opinions so I can learn."
At first glance, it’s easy to mistake Saudi Prince as an equally lighthearted, global version of Florida Man, but the two memes actually have little in common. In reality, Saudi Prince is simply political commentary riding on the fun, chaotic coattails of Florida Man.