Karina’s Capsule: 2 Girls 1 Cup Reactions

I’m not sure when the original 2 Girls 1 Cup video, which depicts two women enthusiastically eating what appears to be excrement, appeared online, but videos shot by viewers depicting their own reaction started flooding YouTube in mid-October and are still coming. This phenomenon is amazing, for a number of reasons. Primarily, and most obviously, it’s a user-generated meme that requires content creators to expose themselves to scat porn. But those brave content creators are also filtering something unspeakably vile for those of us too squeamish to directly interact with it.

The authenticity of many of the reaction videos is, of course, debatable. Though every video purports to be a real-time document of an actual, uncensored reaction to 2 Girls 1 Cup, and many feature the original clip’s music, I have yet to find a reaction clip that shows a viewer and the video in the same frame. It almost doesn’t matter; anybody making a reaction clip must have *some* idea of what they’re in for (even Raz0rsex’s almost heartbreaking naivete is undercut by her acknowledgment that she doesn’t want her dad to walk in while she’s watching the video. They grow up so fast!) Plus, the sheer presence of the webcam is sure to mediate every response.

In light of all that, the best reaction videos are those that seem obviously inauthentic, in which a reaction has been staged and/or premeditated. I’m not talking about John Mayer’s Pinkberry clip (funny in context) or Perez Hilton’s peanut butter spoof (it’s hard to imagine the actual clip being more unpleasant to watch) so much as clips that, consciously or unconsciously, comment on the experience of sitting alone in a room watching something really, really inappropriate on a computer screen.

My favorite are those that portray some sort of desensitization. The first time Tammpon watches the clip, he’s visibly grossed out; the second time, he calmly chews bubble gum. Squidboot’s reaction is behind YouTube’s child protection firewall, even though it doesn’t actually show anything. Poor Raz0rsex seems to be part of the demographic that YouTube is trying to protect, but her reaction clip can play uncensored because she’s obviously grossed out. Meanwhile, just the implication that a grown man could use 2 Girls 1 Cup as something like standard porn is apparently disturbing enough that it should be kept away from children.

I am of weak constitution and refuse to watch the actual 2 Girls 1 Cup video, but having seen a wide range of reaction clips, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on something. It’s an incredible example of YouTube’s power to sanitize pure filth for mass consumption and polite conversation.

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