With the new year comes a new glut of internet memes, and one has emerged from an unlikely place: the commercial breaks during this season’s NFL games.
A recent set of ads for Burger King contain a jingle that has become a certified earworm, according to social media. The commercials, which feature a singer crooning a staccato tune about the chain’s signature burger, has left the confines of basic advertising and entired the realm of virality.
“Whopper, Whopper, Whopper, Whopper, Junior, Double, Triple Whopper,” sings a man in the 15-second commercial, as the typical mouthwatering close-ups of a juicy burger flash by the screen and happy customers take bites. “Impossible or Bacon Whopper, I rule this day.”
The song is actually titled “You Rule” and is a cover-of-sorts of Burger King’s original 1970s-era jingle “Have it Your Way." The song, which first premiered in October 2022, has been slowly but surely jamming its way into the amygdalas of the American public.
According to people on social media, the shortened version of the song can be frequently heard during the commercial breaks of NFL games this season.
“Before we all sit down to watch some football, I have an important message to which all football fans can relate,” tweeted one person. “Whopper, Whopper, Junior Whopper.”
“Me: watching some playoff football,” wrote another Twitter user. “My brain: WHOPPER WHOPPER WHOPPER WHOPPER JUNIOR DOUBLE TRIPLE WHOPPER.”
"You be stressed as hell watching your NFL team then all you hear is / Whopper / Whopper / Whopper / Whopper / Whopper / Whopper," tweeted someone else.
“Whopper whopper whopper whopper,” a Twitter user replied to the question posed by NFL on ESPN’s official account, “What do you think Josh Allen said to Joe Burrow here?”
In a tweet, writer Danny Heifetz imagined a world in which Rihanna's long-awaited return to the mic resulted in her singing the burger-based bop:
*Rihanna descends from the sky*
*lands on Super Bowl halftime stage*
*grabs mic, looks into the camera*
“whopper whopper whopper whopper”@Danny_Heifetz on Twitter
Over on TikTok, some folks are mashing up the jingle with other certified earworms, particularly pop and electronic music hits.
“Hate this burger king ad,” reads the caption on @diamondbrickz’s video, though their fire-grilled composition insinuates otherwise. The TikToker calls their "Whopper" jingle mashup “Harder Better Faster Whopper” after the original 2001 Daft Punk hit they paired the tune with.
Another TikToker, @neelsamba, paired Dua Lipa’s hit “Levitating" with the jingle, taking it to danceable heights.
“Imagine a Burger King Wedding Entrance,” reads the on-screen text on a video by TikTok user @naluthepianoman, who asks viewers to be seated before he plays the familiar opening notes of the jingle on his piano.
But not everyone is not having as much fun with the song’s viral success as Burger King must be. Actor Sam Richardson, who is well-known for playing Richard Splett in “Veep” and more recently taking on roles in “The Afterparty” and "Ted Lasso,” has quite a strong, distinctive voice — similar to that of the man singing in the ad. Because of this, the “Detroiters” star has been fielding many, many, many, many questions asking if he’s the voice of “Whopper, Whopper,” which he confirmed he is not.
“That is not me singing that Burger King commercial,” Richardson tweeted, setting the record straight. “Thank you.”
That didn’t stop the official Burger King Twitter account from shooting its shot with the actor, implying that it would be open to working with him in a more official capacity.
“.@SamRichardson re-record our commercial challenge,” Burger King replied to Richardson's tweet.
Richardson hasn’t yet responded, but there are only a couple of weeks until the Super Bowl. Stranger things have happened.