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Hamburger Papaw, the Lonely Grandfather Who Inexplicably Became a Meme, Is Doing All Right

This morning, like every morning, thousands of people got extremely mad online because of a tweet. But this wasn’t just any tweet — this was an extremely sad tweet, about a man whose grandchildren didn’t show up for the hamburger dinner he’d cooked them. We spoke to the lone good grandchild to see how sad we, too, should be.

First, some context, not that it will even, really, help: Thursday night, Kelsey Harmon posted this devastating tweet about her dinner with papaw.

That’s a bit depressing! Also, apparently, meme-worthy: As of this evening nearly 80,000 people, fueled by either righteous indignation or Schadenfreude, have retweeted the post. Which, sure! Why not?! Sad burger grandfather can be a meme! It’s the 21st century! 

Twitter, desperately trying to figure out what to do with the often inexplicably viral content that seizes its service like a panic attack, turned it into a “Twitter Moment,” embedded below.

Poor Harmon, meanwhile, was forced to field the tide of anger: 

We managed to get in touch with her to hear more. Over Facebook, Harmon provided some context for the photo. It’s rare for all six grandkids — some in high school, some in college — to be in town at once, so papaw wanted to get everyone together. But things did not go as planned.

When I got there, he had it all ready and he was excited. 30 minutes passed and nobody else showed up, so we started eating, but he wouldn’t eat any until he made sure all the grandkids got plenty. Well, finally he realized nobody else was coming so he ate. I stayed with him and helped clean up and just hung out for a while.

For some online, sympathy turned to anger, and other Harmons began receiving threats and insults on social media. This afternoon, Brock Harmon tried to mitigate the situation by posting his own photo with papaw.

Most important, though dinner might have been a bummer, papaw is reportedly doing well. “Yes, he’s fine!” Kelsey said. “He is happy and he knows we love him.”

Hamburger Papaw Is Doing All Right