This Fall’s Hottest Pop Culture Trend Is … Spitting

HBO/Apple TV+/Getty Images/Ringer illustration Some pop culture trends happen for logical reasons: shifts in real-world circumstances, such as the entire entertainment industry adapting to a pandemic; or changing attitudes in society, like that time in 2015 when everyone was suddenly into eating ass. Other times, these trends can seem completely coincidental, almost cosmic. How else might you explain the existence of three movies in 2019 featuring characters with a tendency to vomit when nervous? Or the fact that a spate of major shows and movies from this year were like, “You know what, we should have our characters hocking big-ass loogies on screen”?

Spitting, I regret to inform you, is in.

Fall 2021’s hottest trend kicked off on August 20, during the fifth episode of Ted Lasso ’s second season, when Nate looked at himself in the mirror, leaned back, and just friggin’ drenched that thing with his saliva. Not satisfied, he does this again in the penultimate episode weeks later on October 1.

The fad picked up steam on October 22 with the release of Dune , which featured Oscar Isaac, Javier Bardem, and Jason Momoa’s characters all covering a conference table with their spit as part of some weird space tradition.

And the spitting movement was officially cemented Sunday, when Shiv Roy decided to leave a liquid gift in her brother Kendall’s notebook.

What does this all mean? I can’t even pretend to know. Honestly, I’m a little hesitant to think about it too hard, lest I start devising galaxy-brained theories about how all of this is a subconscious backlash to hearing about droplets for the past 20 months. But it is too odd to ignore, and three-plus loogies a trend makes, so the only appropriate course of action is to embrace the spit . To bathe myself in it like Baron Harkonnen bathes himself in whatever that black goo was. To execute a handful of rankings and other rubrics in order to cover the spits so thoroughly that I never have to think about them again. A Ranking of the Spits, by Volume

5. Stilgar’s Spit in Dune : Kind of a weak stream from Javier Bardem here. It’s more of a “I got a hair stuck in my mouth” spit. But remember: Stilgar is a Fremen, and the Fremen treasure water above all else. So technically Stilgar is exercising moderation here, and Bardem is doing good acting.

4. Duncan Idaho’s Spit in Dune : The next four spits are really close in volume. If you wanna argue that Duncan is a higher-volume spitter than Leto Atreides, I mean, pretty weird thing to argue about—but I’d also hear you out. For these spits, what it comes down to is area: In this extremely scientific study, the second line is just a little bit longer. Leto covers more ground, and therefore has more volume. (Duncan Spit Truthers might point to the extra dribble that belatedly falls out of Momoa’s mouth, but extra dribble is not Official Spit.)

3. Leto Atreides’s Spit in […]

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