Back in September 2016, 13-year-old Danielle Peskowitz Bregoli and her mother appeared on Dr. Phil to discuss the teen’s “out-of-control” behavior. If you’re a regular viewer of The Dr. Phil Show, the two women’s segment was nothing out of the ordinary. One teen with attitude and a mouth to match + one anxious mother = some solid television (it always does). “I Want To Give Up My Car-Stealing, Knife-Wielding, Twerking 13-Year-Old Daughter Who Tried To Frame Me For A Crime,” proclaims the The Dr. Phil Show website entry about them. Are you hooked? I am.
The segment likely would have faded into daytime-television obscurity had it not been for one perfect moment. “All these hos laughin’ like there’s something funny,” Bregoli says, gesturing to the audience. “Did you say,” Dr. Phil responds, judiciously pausing and moving his hands as though attempting to sort through Bregoli’s meaning, “the hos are laughing?” The audience begins to applaud. At which point Bregoli unleashes the line that would soon make her an internet star: “Cash me outside, howbow dah?”
As her mother explains, noting her daughter’s accent was acquired on “the streets,” “cash me outside” “means she’ll go outside and do what she has to do.” How ’bout that.
Since then, the clip and phrase have taken on a second life as a meme. Which seems perfectly reasonable, since “cash me outside, howbow dah” is the perfect retort for just about any situation. The phrase has been applied to everything from tweets to image macros and even inspired Bitmoji to roll out a pictograph inspired by the meme.
Artist @LushSux — the same person who turned a Taylor Swift “memorial” into a Harambe/SpongeBob mural — painted Danielle’s meme-spirational likeness on a wall. “Cash me outside on a wahl, how bow dah?” And a church in Georgia decided to transform their marquee in homage to the meme in the hopes of attracting millennials. “Cash God inside, howbow dah?”
The other night at my local gym, by the water fountain, I witnessed a woman attempting to explain “cash me outside” to another woman. (Yes, yes, this is in complete violation of meme rule number one: Never attempt to explain a meme IRL.) She attempted several sentences about a “hilarious teen,” but ultimately the best she could come up with was “just Google ‘Dr. Phil Cash Me Outside,’ it’s so funny.” Which, actually, wasn’t terrible advice. Google searches for the meme — in variant spellings — have seen a spike in recent weeks. And really, how does one explain the beauty that is “cash me outside.”
Of course, the sudden popularity of the meme has also thrust the teen who started it all back into the spotlight. Earlier this week, a story claimed that Peskowitz Bregoli had committed suicide after she was bullied by classmates for her appearance on the show. The story was later debunked by Snopes, which notes it ran on fake news site “NBC-News.net” which, unsurprisingly, isn’t related to the real NBC. Peskowitz Bregoli is alive and well and keeping her fans updated via Facebook, where just yesterday she streamed a live video consisting largely of her counting dollar bills to the camera for nearly an hour. It has since been viewed over 45,000 times. “CASH ME LIVE!” Well … how bow dah.