If the young woman above has been haunting your dreams, you may be a TikTok user.
This is Sammie Lewis, an 18-year-old student from Washington state and originator of the “here’s the motherfucking tea” meme.
It all started with this TikTok Lewis posted a little while ago titled “☕️ tea 4 u.”
Most of the video is Lewis ranting about a guy she knew, using language derived from black culture such as "tea."
“It was about this guy who came into my work originally...sometime after he came in and completely just didn’t know who I was and I was just a little bit mad about it,” Lewis told BuzzFeed News.
But that’s not really the important part. The part that became the meme is the first few seconds when Lewis puts a straw in her Starbucks drink, gives it a swirl and an exaggerated sip, then taps her acrylic nails on the camera lens while saying “here’s [tap] the motherfucking [tap] tea.”
“I don’t really know where it came from, I was just feeling a bust of energy I guess,” said Lewis.
“The video blew up on TikTok so i just kept making more.”
Part of the attention was also due to Lewis's use of black slang and gestures that some characterized as appropriation. Merriam-Webster actually has a great explainer on the origin of "tea."
While Lewis’s first video went big, her second installment went even bigger.
It’s this one that really turned this all into meme status. The audio from this TikTok has been reused by other users more than 50,000 times.
The best part is how people put a new spin on Lewis’s drink and nails, like using giant straws.
Lewis has seen all the remakes, and she loves them. “A lot of them crack me up,” she said.
And yes, she knows a lot of them are meant to make fun of her, but she still thinks they’re funny.
“It doesn’t bother me at all. I think it’s really funny when people go ahead and make their own content, so why would I bash on someone who’s also trying to be funny and make a joke?”
She also has some personal favorites, including this Donald Duck version.
I personally love this grandma doing her own spin on it.
For others though, it’s all getting to be a bit too much.