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People stupid enough to take memes so seriously they risk their own lives have once again sabotaged all the fun. Of course, you could also reasonably argue that articles (such as this one) about memes actually do far more damage to meme longevity than the actions of stupid people ever could, but I digress.
As far back as 2013, people have discussed eating Tide's admittedly attractive "pods." No one, even then, was actually suggesting with any seriousness that everyone start wolfing down laundry detergent packets. Still, an occasionally bizarre and reliably hilarious meme was born.
The mocked act of Tide pod ingestion even made its way to the Onion on multiple occasions.
Predictably, Tide has now weighed in with a humorless response. "Nothing is more important to us than the safety of the people who use our products," a probably annoyed Tide spokesperson told BuzzFeed News Monday. "Our laundry pacs are a highly concentrated detergent meant to clean clothes and they’re used safely in millions of households every day. They should only be used to clean clothes and kept up, closed and away from children. We have been consistently proactive in providing consumers with the right usage guidance and tools to enable them to use the product safely."
While it's easy and readily encouraged to mock someone for really thinking Tide pods are even remotely edible based solely on information found in a meme, the generalized jokes get a little complicated when you start reading about now-ancient cases of kids getting sick and/or dementia-suffering adults dying. It's unlikely as fuck, however, that people in those demographics were inspired by memes.