This is an excerpt from Please Like Me, BuzzFeed News’ newsletter about influencers and internet culture. You can sign up here. In our column, Niche Drama, we discuss online community micro dramas.
The wives of lineworkers are beefing with the bucket bunnies, and yes, I will explain what that means.
When power line technicians, also known as lineworkers, went to Florida to restore electricity to areas ravaged by Hurricane Ian, some TikTokers rejoiced at the influx of eligible bachelors wearing neon shirts and construction helmets on Tinder.
Meanwhile, women whose husbands are lineworkers dissed those on the apps who were interested in the men as “bucket bunnies.” That is, of course, in reference to the bucket trucks that lineworkers stand in to safely reach the high-voltage electrical lines, with the implication that these single sexy bunnies are trying to tempt lineworkers to cheat on their wives.
“I stand with all the linemen wives as they prepare to take on Florida’s bucket bunnies,” @ohhmtee, a self-identified “pipeline wife,” shared in a slang-laden post that went viral on TikTok and Twitter. “Blue collar is not a trend, it’s a lifestyle.”
TikToker @linewifejessica wrote in another post: “This life isn’t a TREND and being a bucket bunny isn’t attractive.”
Another declared that they aren’t worried about their partners cheating because the consequences are clear.
“I’m pretty sure I can speak for the majority of linewives,” @alabama.sisi said in a TikTok. “I promise you the men fear the wrath of their old lady more than anything Hurricane Ian is dishing out right now.”
People previously unfamiliar with lineworkers and bucket bunnies feasted on the drama.
“There’s an entire war raging around us that I didn’t even know about,” one person tweeted. A TikToker said she’s “just watching the chaos,” and others have expressed excitement for more “tea.”
The wives of lineworkers on TikTok aren’t just fearful about prospective cheaters right now, though; there has also been discussion about how helpful money earned from storm recovery operations will be for their families. Other women are just going to miss their husbands. Regardless, to some, supporting their partner’s career and identifying as a “linewife” is an important part of their identity — they even have merch.
“I just can’t imagine a large enough group of women lusting after married repairmen to create an entire phrase about them,” a user tweeted.
But derogatory words for women who pursue people with certain careers exist in many forms: There are “row hos” for pipeline workers, “patch chasers” for motorcyclists, and “badge bunnies” for police officers.
The tension between “linewives” and bucket bunnies overlooks the fact that any cheating lineworkers spotted on Tinder made the accounts themselves. But some people have noticed that the men haven’t been receiving any of the blame.
Of course, the most important thing of all has nothing to do with either party. “Most of us in Florida just want our power back on,” one TikToker commented.