Explain Like I’m 35: What is Onika Burger? (March 12, 2023)

The struggle for the most powerful group on social media is a hard-fought one. There’s nothing that people with irrevocable screen-based brain damage screens want more than that sweet, sweet clout, one of the few things that unites all generations online. 

While fame might be one of the greatest drivers, it’s often strength in numbers that comes out on top. It’s why stan communities often pack a punch in the most unexpected of places.

Fandom has always been a great unifier on the internet, often at the expense of anyone not in that bubble. Perhaps one of the most devoted groups are Barbz, the Nicki Minaj lovers who have made their prescence known in meme culture for more than a decade now. While this has been made known in areas as diverse as image macros and iconic comments, they are at their most powerful in bearpit that is Stan Twitter. They are feared and parodied in equal measure, and while it might be their domain, it doesn’t mean they’re immune to a little teasing. 

It’s no surprise, then, that the strange meme of Onika Burger originated there. Its first known iteration is a response to a PopBase tweet about North West drawing Kris Jenner, in which one Twitter user responds to another’s reply of «why she ate?» (i.e. did a good job) with «she=onika ate=burgers».

Using Nicki’s real name, the phrase cheekily implies that she is overweight due to her dietary choices, as well as confirming North’s artistic talent. Confusing and nonsensical? Absolutely. This has only encouraged many on Twitter to shoehorn the phrase into all kinds of situations, sometimes fandom related and other times riffing on the particular meaning of the magic words. Blending stan rivalry with baffling in-joke wordplay, It looks like this one is going to be popping up in comment sections for some time to come. 


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