One time, at brunch at my parents’ house, the conversation turned towards the varying merits of our town’s different grocery stores, culminating with my mom’s over-enthusiastic declaration that the best store in town was Hillers. What she actually said was: “Hillers is da bomb.” Hillers is da bomb! Never in all of their years working hard in the Slang Factory did any of the slang scientists foresee one of their more popular products being used by middle-aged white women to describe grocery stores. My mom, like many moms, had already by this point taken to referring to the rhinestones on her clothing as “bling.” The point is, while moms are the best and I love mine very much and when was the last time you called yours, they do have an uncanny ability to take something that was intended to be cool and make it the opposite. They basically function as an expiration date on certain popular trends (not to be confused with a “use by” date, which would indicate a shortened shelf life after the moms get involved–no way, that thing is now as spoiled as it gets). And while I am not related to anyone on the cast of All My Family, I feel like their late entry into the “Harlem Shake” meme provides the very same function. They are, after all, the middle-aged white mom of television.

I did not even watch this video. STAY OUT OF MY ROOM, CAST OF ALL MY CHILDREN!

Comments (38)
  1. I called my mom last night, tyvm.

  2. Gabe, your mom and my mom sound like they would have a really great time hanging out together and, like, fist bumping or something. But I’m pretty sure that even my mom would watch this video and be like “WOW that is lame.”

  3. “This Harlem Shake thing has been going on for ages and I still don’t understand what it even is. There’s no there there, you know?” – R2/Gertrude Stein

  4. Aww, look at my mom Linda. She’s trying to talk to people on Youtube.

  5. One time a few years ago, my mom was trying to print something from her email, but her printer was not working. So I said, “Oh well, lets just go to dad’s computer upstairs. His printer works,” to which my mom responded, “What would be the point of that? My email isn’t on his computer. It’s on mine.” I just stared at her and then laughed, because I did not know where to even begin with that one.

    • I live in another state from my mom now, and once, when I was getting ready to visit her, she said that when I arrived, I’d have to take a look at her cell phone because it wasn’t working. It wasn’t making calls and the screen wasn’t working, and it’d been this way for weeks. Long story short, she handed me the phone in the car on the way from the airport. I pressed the power button. The phone had simply been off. It had been off for weeks!! Mom! I love you, you crazy lady!

      • That is amazing. It takes skill to be that technologically illiterate. I wish my mom was that bad at cell phones. When my sister was 13, she taught my mom how to text. So now my mom texts like a 13 year old girl. My friends all type out actual words in their text messages at this point, but I still get “how r u 2day? ily” from my mom.

      • Ugh. My mom figured out how to text groups of people. I get roped into conversations with all my aunts and cousins now. Mostly about the weather.

        • I taught my mom how to text and like a month later got “Hi how are you doing today i hope you are fine i am good love mum” and I was like “You did it!!!” and 2 weeks later she replied “yes i am a texting machine love mum” and then a couple of months later i got “I found the punctuation!!!!&’: love mum”

          My friend Kathy and I keep saying we’re going to start a “texts from moms” tumblr because her mom sends her things like “I’m watching a George Michael concert on the tv and crying because he is so beautiful” <– actual text from Kathy's mom.

    • my dad doesn’t believe in the internet in homes? because he is a combination of paranoid/computer illiterate (also a chemical engineer so that makes total sense).

      my step-sister set up wifi for herself because she needs netflix and my parents told her that she was not allowed to “put the internet on their computer because people will steal their pictures.” one day my step-mom found a camera that her friend had gifted to her on her deathbed and she was lamenting because she would never be able to work it as there was no manual. i went online (using my laptop which is totes safe from the internet picture thieves) and found her a camera manual. she was so excited. she said “can i just use google to find manuals? is it like an information finder?”

      she bought my dad a smart teevee for christmas, one that has the internet function built in and whatnot, and he said “i can use it to watch football though, right? it will still let me watch football?”

      my father’s family is quite entertaining.

      • Who would want their pictures anyway? Isn’t that one reason we avoid relatives–so we won’t have to watching boring vacation slides?

  6. When the local family-owned grocery store went out of business, my mom started splitting her shopping between Kroger and Farmer Jack, only because Farmer Jack had a really good price on cat food. But ooooh, my mom hated Farmer Jack because there was always a very long line and only one cashier open. ALWAYS. So there would be my mom, in the creepy flickering light of the Farmer Jack (because for some reason that Farmer Jack was real janky) with a cart full of Sheba, just fuming in her quiet way as she waited ten minutes to check out. I think all the Farmer Jacks near us have gone out of business, but we still talk about how horrible they were. We’re like, ‘Good riddance!’

  7. Ohmygod this is so sad. They’ve even forced the company dog to participate.

  8. Oh no! With her deteriorating vision and motor skills, I certainly hope my mom doesn’t discover The Knife Song.

  9. Unrelated, but I accidentally clicked the margin of the page and now I’m Facebook friends with Miracle Whip and it keeps trying to “poke” me.

  10. My new thing is watching Harlem Shake videos, but with scary industrial music playing over it. They’re more fun that way. Also, woman on the far left: white dancing or the whitest dancing?

  11. They even missed the part about making them 30 seconds long, this one is almost a minute!

  12. Just got off the phone with mine. She doesn’t use much slang, though; just curses like a trucker. My father has been known to say “my bad,” though.

  13. Rubbish. The Harlem Shuffle has yet to make an appearance in a Wayans-involved Movie movie. This merely carves off all of its limbs and places it into a deep, deep coma from which it can only awake ironically.

  14. WAIT A MINUTE- Rhinestones don’t count as “bling”??

  15. My stepmother uses the phrase “just sayin” ALL THE TIME. It drives Mr. Newbie nuts. “It does NOT make her sound young. When will she figure that out?” he’ll say to me after every one of our visits. I’ve almost come to look forward to the diatribe on the way home. Oh, and she also says, “Hello, dere” instead of Hello, there. I don’t know WHERE the dere comes from, but that, too, drives my hubby nuts. Sometimes when we walk into her house, he’ll try to beat her to the punch by screaming, “Hello, dere” before she even knows we’re there. Ah, the entertainment our relatives provide to us.

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