How the Cinnamon Toast Shrimp Tails Saga Turned Into a Milkshake Duck

Jensen Karp was poised to be Twitter's main character this week. Then things took a dark turn.

March 26, 2021 8:23 am
Curse you Cinnamon Toast Crunch for bringing this discourse upon us.
Curse you Cinnamon Toast Crunch for bringing this discourse upon us.
Geri Lavrov / Getty

If you haven’t yet heard of the tale of a man finding shrimp tails in his box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal who then turned out to be a Milkshake Duck (we’ll get into what the hell that means), you’ve come to the right place. Or you can turn back now, shut your phone off and go take a blissful walk far away from inane Twitter discourse.

On Monday, Twitter user Jensen Karp tweeted Cinnamon Toast Crunch’s official Twitter account a photo of two shrimp tails covered in cinnamon dust he had found in his box of cereal, writing, “Ummmm @CTCSquares – why are there shrimp tails in my cereal? (This is not a bit).”At first, CTC claimed the shrimp tails were simply “an accumulation of the cinnamon sugar that sometimes can occur when ingredients aren’t thoroughly blended,” and assured Karp there was no possibility of cross-contamination with shrimp. However, it’s pretty easy to tell they were, in fact, cinnamon-coated shrimp tails, and unfortunately, the shrimp tails aren’t even the grossest part.

Soon after some internet users accused him of lying, Karp tweeted he also found unknown tiny black things baked onto the CTC squares as well as at the bottom of the bag. It can be assumed these black findings were droppings from a rat/mouse that got into a bag of dry mix and nested, which explains the shrimp tails and other random cereal bag findings. After more back and forth with CTC’s official Twitter account, who at one point asked Karp to send his shrimp tails so the company could “take a closer look,” Karp informed Twitter he was going to a lab to get his findings tested himself.

In the meantime, Twitter was not only intrigued with this wild and incredibly disgusting CTC shrimp saga but was starting to learn a bit more about the man behind the shrimp tails. It turns out Karp is a podcaster who hosts a show called Talk Ain’t Cheap that centers around the popular personalized message platform Cameo and, according to Vulture, was a staple on an Earwolf podcast called Pistol Shrimps Radio (the irony, I know!). Internet users also discovered Karp was once a rapper named “Hot Karl” and is now married to “Boy Meets World” star Danielle Fishel, aka Topanga.

These random tidbits of information only added to the bizarreness of Twitter’s “main character” of the day. But unlike Bean Dad, who earned that title for being an asshole, the internet seemed to have an affinity for Karp, who unsuspectingly ate a bunch of putative rat droppings and got gaslighted by Cinnamon Toast Crunch. People even started to make meals inspired by the viral event, including a Cinnamon Toast Crunch tempura shrimp which, admittedly, looks pretty tasty. And while Karp was undoubtedly soaking up his 15 seconds of internet fame by blasting out non-stop updates, the internet, for the most part, seemed to be on his side in his fight against CTC.

But if there’s one thing we know about Twitter, it’s that there always comes a correction.

A couple of days after Karp catapulted into Twitter fame, multiple women who identified themselves as Karp’s exes began sharing similar, damaging information about him.

Among the many accusations, actress and writer Melissa Stetten tweeted that Karp was a “manipulative gaslighting narcissistic ex-boyfriend” who once told her “he was surprised I hadn’t killed myself because my life was so worthless.” Singer and actress Rory Uphold wrote Karp was the “most abusive person” she had been with, while another user shared similar sentiments of Karp being selfish, controlling and manipulative and that he had ruined her life for close to a decade.

After hearing these harrowing accounts of abuse, Karp was swiftly canceled by the internet, turning him and this entire Cinnamon Toast Crunch shrimp tails saga into a “Milkshake Duck.”

The term Milkshake Duck derives from a 2016 @pixelatedboat tweet that reads, “The whole internet loves Milkshake Duck, a lovely duck that drinks milkshakes! *5 seconds later* We regret to inform you the duck is racist.” The tweet and now subsequent internet meme “Milkshake Duck” adequately sums up the trajectory of much Twitter virality these days, and Karp is a spot-on example of this — and maybe even the quickest Milkshake Duck to date.

In case you were still curious about the unspecified CTC cereal box findings, Karp has not released an update since the 24th, presumably because he’s been outed as a narcissistic, abusive piece of shit. What we do know, however, is that Karp will not be the last Milkshake Duck. I’m sure next week we will see almost this exact same scenario play out again, because, despite all this evidence to the contrary, people still believe that tweeting is a good idea.

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