The water bottle flip meme has turned into the new Ice Bucket Challenge


Last we checked in with our water-bottle flipping friend Mike Senatore, he was Breaking The Internet, hitting up the Stephen Colbert show, and shooting off self-congratulatory tweets on a well-deserved viral victory lap.

Nearly a month ago, when the now-legendary water bottle landed on the Ardrey Kell High School’s talent show table, we predicted that the water bottle flip would be the summer’s hottest meme, linking it to the colossal Ice Bucket Challenge that took over your Facebook feed in the summer of 2014. But has it lived up to its lofty projections? Has the water bottle flip managed to saturate the culture, or has Senatore’s big moment fizzled out like a bottle of seltzer?

The answer, it seems, is a little bit of both.

Let’s get this up front: the water bottle flip, obviously, is not reaching the scale of the Ice Bucket Challenge. (At least, not yet.) My “water bottle flip” Google Alert is not forwarding daily stories of different celebrities executing the flip. George W. Bush is not flipping water bottles and posting it on YouTube.

On the other hand, the water bottle flip has literally became the Ice Bucket Challenge! Senatore partnered with Ready For Life and the American Cancer Society to start the #FlipForACure campaign, modeled exactly like the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Senatore, in the inaugural #FlipForACure video, challenged three people to flip a water bottle in “the most outrageous way, or the most basic way” and post it on their social media. The goal, Senatore said, was to raise awareness (and money) for cancer.

Almost immediately, he fetched $10,000 from Deer Park, his favorite water bottle company, and persuaded Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen to #FlipForACure:

Olsen challenged his teammate, Ryan Kalil, who did not continue the trend. Others picked it up, though, and it lives on in various iterations:

@Mike_Senatore #FlipForACure
— Islam M. Mantawy (@imantawy) June 9, 2016

Senatore, for his part, has declared the water bottle flip a veritable sensation.

Meanwhile, he’s selling #FlipForACure shirts (proceeds go to the American Cancer Society) and “water bottle flipping” as a meme has carried itself to popular Vines that are themselves Breaking The Internet.

It seems safe to say that the “water bottle flip” will be a decent candidate for the Meme Hall of Fame someday. For this, Senatore is satisfied.

Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.

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