February 2024

The Realeaterforever Interview

A Dialogue With The World’s “First Ethical Male Libra”

Realeaterforever’s profile picture on Instagram account realeaterforeverr
Realeaterforever’s profile picture.
(Source: Instagram / @realeaterforeverr)

Who Is Realeaterforever?

As so-called “post-irony” ruptures further into the mainstream, “meme” pages like Realeaterforever's offer a new look into the trajectory of internet humor. Why? Because surfing Realeaterforever’s profile grid is like reading a diary—a diary with a cohesive, faded body, degrading from the imagined slew of screenshots that took place in one image.

It’s like a diary that closed too hard on an iPod touch. The device—which had a sticker on it—was smashed into the book’s pages, like one of those novelty books that secretly stash a liquor bottle. So, that when you open the diary (and it’s Realeaterforever’s diary) there’s a video on every page, a screenshot on every line, and—along with the writing, written in 2010s sans serif fonts—there’s the deadpan voice of a 20-something whose brain you’re seeing, narrating every, dumb quip that crosses his mind.

In this digital diary, Realeaterforever’s posts feel like impressions—rough sketches that are exotically half-baked. At the same time, they blend into the memetic signifiers of the current “irony” landscape. They blend into the rest of the slop that floods the Explore pages of unsuspecting users—Papyrus font, Rio de Janeiro, cropped and skewed screenshots. But Realeaterforever’s posts occupy their own world— their own niche— because, in them, Realeaterforever is forever present. He’s talking. He’s writing. He’s letting you know he’s there. You follow Realeaterforever because he’s Realeaterforever (is the vibe).

Realeaterforever memes on Instagram account realeaterforeverr.
Realeaterforever’s profile grid on Instagram.
(Source: Instagram / @realeaterforeverr)

I became a follower a year ago. Since then, I have come to realize why I find Realeaterforever’s page refreshing. As stated in my piece on face reveals, identity integration is the key to moving past “post-irony.”

“Post-irony” is best understood as chaotic visual signifiers (like silhouettes walking) that are interpreted as funny because the viewer expects them to be not only funny but ironically funny. The viewer fabricates meaning onto the nonsensical visual signifiers like they’re an inside joke to be in on. If they don’t find it funny, well, it’s still an oddity. They’ve witnessed something abstract and it will generate curiosity regardless.

Post-ironic pages (which have existed since roughly 2018) are usually anonymous. This is because post-ironic pages are funniest when it’s unknown who is posting the memes. That way, a shadow person controls the hoard, garnering mystique as to who or what they are (a vision that’s always stronger in the viewer’s mind). If a face is pinned at the top of a post-ironic profile, the anonymity is lost, and subsequently, so is the mystique.

Chxallah memes on Instagram account chxallah.
Example of an anonymous, post-ironic profile (non-Papyrus Irony).
(Source: Instagram / @chxallah)

Realeaterforever’s face may not be seen on his profile (although he’s admitted to posting old selfies on his story), but his identity is still integrated into his page. His videos and images have the same cadence, that of a nonchalant kid whose spirit animal is a panda (laid back and chill) but his voice is that of a modern teen, as if Kung Fu Panda’s Po grew up on TikTok and Regular Show.

You can hear it in his lazy diction and matter-of-fact drawl. Sentences like, “This big ass pizza making me mad” emit an improvisational aura akin to widely accessible “locker room talk” for alt and non-alt teens alike.

As Realeaterforever blends this tone into the “irony” Instagram aesthetic, his identity becomes a cyborg—half-man, half-page—spawning a new type of micro-celebrity that subverts the cringe of a “face reveal” by making post-irony personal, transforming it into what I think is proper “post-post-irony” which subverts anonymity by vaguely eliminating it.

Realeaterforever’s “This big ass pizza making me mad” meme.
Realeaterforever’s “This big ass pizza making me mad” meme.
(Source: Instagram / @realeaterforeverr)

I’ve always wanted to advertise myself like this larger-than-life person,” he told me on a call in December. During our talk, I imagined Realeaterforever sitting in a really chill gamer room designed by him as if he was his own step-dad, trying to impress himself with a sick Modern Warfare-themed den (posters on the wall, Prime energy drink satirically placed in a mini fridge). “I fuck with the account,” he said. “But I don’t see myself as this performer. I just post things when I’m bored.

“Performer”—I was surprised that he used that word. In the background of our conversation, I could hear his monitor humming. You rarely think of a meme page as a performer. But I guess he doesn’t see himself that way.

It’s literally just me,” he said. “It’s how I talk. It’s how I act on a daily basis. I don’t talk to that many people. I don’t really, like, interact, you know, outside and stuff that much… Being able to go on Instagram and post stuff… The random shit…” He trailed off, “Like, you ever go on Pinterest? It’s like that, like a mood board.

His profile does feel like a cohesive body, roughly using the same fonts and filters that are strategically different from the average Bug2sick clone. Overall it’s evident that he’s not thinking too hard about his curation. It just sort of flows, like a diary.

For comparison, think about the Instagram page of your everyday, irony-poisoned scenester. Their profile grid is likely filled with hazy Domo screenshots and cocaine spelling the year “2014” on a DS. Although Realeaterforever’s profile still feels fuzzy in the same way, it’s got a flare that’s not entirely reliant on nostalgia. In his posts, he references both modern and timeless phenomena, like subverting an Andrew Tate shill post and then in the next post, using his nostalgia receptors in a fresh Demotivational Poster that explores its own internal, modern-vs-timeless juxtaposition, as in, referencing Fortnite (modern) vs. eating pizza (timeless).

Realeaterforever meme on Instagram.
A demotivational poster meme with an old iOS Notes app theme.
(Source: Instagram / @realeaterforeverr)

While making himself ungroundable nostalgia-wise, Realeaterforever then uses his voice, personality, and subtle identity to blur the line between meme page and human.

He told me that he didn’t start using his voice until he looked into his fridge one day and saw the food that his mom had in there. He thought, “Yo, what the hell is in the fridge?” and it got like 400 likes.

The dopamine he received then pushed him. He thought, “C’mon, this isn’t a big deal. I could do this with myself in it. I could do more personal shit.” Further, he said, “Then, people can form a personal bond with me… They don’t know me, but they kind of know me.

In this, Realeaterforever identified the “parasocial relationship” method in his content which is not a new method for pop culture icons. However, in the ironic meme sphere, it kind of is. 

I wanted to know why he started posting at all.

Like, a year ago,” he said. “I saw this dude on TikTok named Pinkcore. The video was like a Fortnite edit—or whatever—and when I saw that, I wanted to post stuff of that nature.

Realeaterforever’s early Pinkcore work is good, but it’s not his own unique concoction. Like every Pinkcore edit from 2022, there’s shooting game footage and cats meowing, like a cuter version of MLG “no scope” poop.

Those edits were getting, like, 300 likes,” he said, and then he posted the “What’s on my fridge?” video. It’s deleted from his profile now but there are other videos like it, such as one where he’s standing in a strip mall, having a mental breakdown in front of a Lucky Wok, babbling about “Where’s Lucki at?

Simple in nature, the video is not much different from other back-facing-camera skits that TikTokers post to appear schizo and low-production. The video’s style alone is not what makes Realeaterforever a trendsetter. The clip is but one of many coming posts that use the same “low-brow sketch” philosophy in the style of an ironic Instagram meme, vaguely using the same visual language as the current, Hood Irony era.

One of my favorite videos on his page feels like a barred-out demon’s idea of a jumpscare. At an odd angle, the SpongeBob doctor is seen as Realeaterforever informs his viewers “Did y’all know you can now 2x speed YouTube videos?” 

I made that video,” he told me, “’cause I was bored as fuck, not gonna lie, and my YouTube had updated. It added the 2x speed shit, so I just had to let everyone know.

Improvisational subject matter choice is ultimately akin to Realeaterforever’s posts. He sees something; he posts something. Then, he adds to the improv with improvisational edits and visuals that stream in and out of sense as evident in the SpongeBob video.

“Realeaterforever” is a big entity (with a human voice) that talks in the third person. I’d say that his aura is similar to the aura that many underground rappers and musicians possess, who hide themselves behind a veil of nihilistic mystique, inspiring you to lean in.

Realeaterforever told me about his musical taste. “Right now I’m just listening to piano music,” he said. “I listen to screamo music too. I also fuck with underground music heavy. I listen to a lot of Tenkay, Phreshboyswag, Xavier. A lot of people in that community I listen to.

Although this is kind of a tangent, there’s a recent post from Shed Theory’s Tek lintowe that I think is applicable to Realeaterforever’s page. The winding post on his X account reads:

I cant choose a lane to follow as an artist because thats not raw. Im raw. Im not going to fall into a trap…I just do what naturally comes. I dont think. I try different things and go where the wind takes me. Thats what being a drifter is. III live and die by this. I would do well in prison

As evident, Tek is one of the most ungroundable musicians I can think of, or at least, he’s trying the hardest to not be perceived (by seeming like he’s not trying at all).

Thinking broadly, I think that memes and music are becoming more similar than ever, predominantly because persona for meme page admins (like persona for musicians) is increasingly important, akin to Realeaterforever’s post-post-ironic identity integration.

In our talk, Realeaterforever said that he liked artists like James Ferraro and Dean Blunt who occupy a realm of fantasy and untouchability that leaves people grasping for them like ghosts.

I hear a lot of Realeaterforever’s voice in his favorite artist, [Facy], or at least, it was his most-played artist in 2023. I remember listening to [Facy] during my initial Shed Theory faze when I found his album Night School because it was hosted by Brailled: Fit of the Week (aka Debo).

[Facy] occupies this interesting trend in underground rap right now in which rappers sound (almost) intentionally dorky. Their voices are not historically meant for rap. They’re not deep like Biggie’s or melodic like Yung Thug’s. They’re raw. They’re nasally. They’re amateurish. They’re the disaffected 2020s youth versions of Dean Blunt crooning like one of Bladee’s autotune ballads.

[Facy], Phreshboyswag and even Xavier embody this homage, connecting to their audience because they’re raw (like Tek said). And I think Realeaterforever does the same thing but in memes.

There are three types of meme pages,” he told me:

1. “There’s the meme pages that just repost everything and, whatever.

2. “Then there’s the meme pages that, like, half [reposts] and the other half they make shit—half-and-half.

3. “Then there’s the other page that’s just their own thing, like, you can’t even call them a meme page.

I like to consider myself in that third category,” he said.

To a certain extent, Realeaterforever doesn’t post “memes.” A more accurate term would be “content.”

I think every post on Realeaterforever’s page is funny—because I can tell he’s posting the things that he finds funny—but with this, his posts teeter on the edge of “content,” closing in on the term “mood board” as he said. Of course, what differentiates his page from other “mood board-like” pages—again, like ones that post hazy Domo screenshots and cocaine spelling the year “2014”—is that Realeaterforever’s page is still aiming for laughs rather than just being almost ungroundable nostaliga.

Filtered, Tumblr-core Domo image circa early 2010s, common on modern scenester social media.
Filtered, Tumblr-core Domo image circa early 2010s, common on modern scenester social media.
(Source: X / @cryst6l)

In the future,” he said. “I wanna move past the memes. I wanna become, like, y’know, an actual figure—like people like James Ferraro, Lil B… Their aesthetics have always been cool to me. In the future, I’m definitely taking musical steps.

Realeaterforever also wants to post stuff on YouTube—vlogs and stuff. “I just wanna be posting about my daily life and shit,” he said. " I wanna create actual things. Memes are cool but I wanna make, like, art and stuff... Stuff that will get me remembered.

It’s true; memes are too ephemeral. As I’ve talked with more admins in the modern “irony” scene, they seek success in a creative area outside of their phones. Most notably, in my upcoming piece to be published on No Bells, Papyrus Irony’s creator Bug2sick saught the same transition when he founded the Wait I’m Goated brand.

I’m not discrediting any of the stuff that I do,” he clarified. “I really appreciate the following I got on [my page] and the people that I’ve met are so cool. But I don’t wanna be 29, 40 years old still making Instagram memes. I wanna like branch out and do other stuff.

This “other stuff” is apparently stuff that he’s always wanted to do, since he was little. “I’ve always wanted to be an actor,” he told me. “I’ve always wanted be in a movie and shit.

The Realeaterforever Movie would truly be a masterpiece, rivaling the most avant-garde arthouse films and the silliest of aughts comedies.

If I was in a movie,” he said. “I wanna be in something where I die horribly, like I get chopped up in half or something.” Alternatively, “Or something romantic. I’d be a fire actor when it comes to that. I don’t play.

Realeaterforever memes on Instagram account realeaterforeverr.
Realeaterforever’s profile grid on Instagram.
(Source: Instagram / @realeaterforeverr)

Before Hollywood finds him, you can follow Realeaterforever on Instagram at @realeaterforeverr and on TikTok at @realeaterforever.