blog

archives

Forums, As Seen On TV

Jeff Atwood March 28, 2013

This brief clip from the season 7 finale of the television show 30 Rock skewers stereotypically snarky Internet forum culture. The action starts at 25 seconds in.

Any recs for the best place to buy a girl's bike [on the upper west side of New York City]? (She's 8)

Any recs for the best place to buy a girl’s bike [on the upper west side of New York City]? (She’s 8)

I'm sorry, what's a

I’m sorry, what’s a “girl’s” bike? Is that like a “girl” doctor? Go back to Saudi Arabia, Hitler!

[You are] buying a bike but not a helmet? The head is where the child's brain is! Why don't you get educated, Double Hitler!

[You are] buying a bike but not a helmet? The head is where the child’s brain is! Why don’t you get educated, Double Hitler!

I was gonna buy a helmet

I was gonna buy a helmet

Helmets inhibit brain development! [You] might as well give your [darling child] vaccines which studies show cause homosexuality!

Helmets inhibit brain development! [You] might as well give your [darling child] vaccines which studies show cause homosexuality!

So what? My [two year old] is super gay and we love him more than a [straight] child [because] HE DOESN'T RAPE!

So what? My [two year old] is super gay and we love him more than a [straight] child [because] HE DOESN’T RAPE!

(Tina Fey, aghast at responses, quickly slams laptop shut.)

(Tina Fey, aghast at responses, quickly slams laptop shut.)

As my wife correctly noted when viewing the clip, this is a parody of an actual mom forum, Urban Baby. It becomes obvious if you compare a screenshot of the site with the barely doctored version shown on the show:

Of course Urban Baby forum members noticed this parody and started topics talking about it.

Proof that Tina Fey and the writers at 30 Rock nailed forum culture? Here’s a response to one of the above topics:

Didn’t you just post this? We get it. It was funny. Ha ha ha.

Which, ironically, made me laugh.

I browsed around Urban Baby a bit, and I don’t know if it’s all that consistently snarky, at least not to the comedic extreme depicted in the 30 Rock scene. But I do suspect most forums could learn something from the perception of how outsiders see their culture.