Today in perplexingly popular internet trends, video footage of a rat carrying pizza into New York City's subway system has prompted thousands online to declare their undying love and admiration for said rodent — who may or may not be Splinter of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fame.
The video above, entitled "New York City rat taking pizza home on the subway," was uploaded to YouTube by NYC-based comedian Matt Little on Monday.
A copy of the video was also posted to Little's Instagram account at approximately 2 p.m. ET that same day with the caption "Master Splinter headed off to feed #TMNT."
Gawker appears to have been the first media outlet to report on Pizza Rat, just 40 minutes after the video hit Instagram. Another New York-based blog, DNAinfo, was close behind — and then came the flood of jokes.
pizza rat is funny until u realize that pizza is all he has time to eat while working the 2 jobs needed to survive in nyc :(— @desusnice
so excited my ex-boyfriend has at last found internet fame #pizzarat— @flahertykeely
Dear #PizzaRat, It doesn't last. Enjoy it while you can. Sincerely, Arizona llama— @danprimack
By 4 p.m. ET Monday afternoon, #PizzaRat was trending on Twitter worldwide, as well as in both Canada and the U.S. It continues to trend in all three markets as of 7 p.m. ET Monday evening, and some users continue to report seeing "Pizza Rat" in Facebook's trending sidebar.
A plane could disappear right now and no one would write about it because Media Twitter is dedicated to #pizzarat.— @polly
Some on Twitter are trying to measure the #PizzaRat hashtag against those related to politics in an effort to make sense of it all.
But, unlike Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's #AskTrump campaign, or the #PigGate and #BaeOfPigs hashtags used to chronicle bizarre pig sex allegations against British Prime Minister David Cameron, pizza rat mania appears to be the sole product of Twitter having fun (and / or being bored.)
The tweets predicting this were perhaps more poignant and funny than those about the pizza-loving rat itself.
Every pizza industry PR team currently having heated discussion about whether to associate the brand with a rat https://t.co/nTbxIxycSa— @_cingraham