Whether you love or hate Yelp, you have to admit it has a surprising level of influence in the Internet Age — and like any forum where average people get to say what they think, a WHOLE lot of stupid goes on there. So what happens when we find the dumbest restaurant reviews on Yelp and mock the living hell out of them?
I'm not just talking about regular bad reviews here, nor am I talking about cleverly-done pseudo-reviews. No, no. What we're looking for here is the dumbest of the dumb, the lowest common denominator of entitled, self-important douchebaggery that abounds on that website. Though Yelp is a tool that can (theoretically, at least) be used for good or for ill, these are individuals who chose neither road diverged in a hollow wood, instead boldly striding straight into the underbrush of Stupid and then wondering why they kept banging their faces on all the trees, rocks, and bears along the way.
What follows are the epic journeys of such brave trailblazers.
Robert S., Hydration Avenger
You will never be as angry about anything in your life as Robert S. is about the time he was made to pay $2.50 for bottled water at Faultline-Los Angeles. Hell, I will never be as angry about anything as Robert S. is about Faultline's egregious hydration crimes, and I'm the person who once compared Pepper-Jack cheese to a war crime.
The above image isn't the half of it. Ohhh, no. See, for four out of the past five years, Robert S., Crusader for H2O Freedoms, has gone back to update the same review over the time Faultline charged him for water. Seriously, look at this shit:
I love how over time, it changed from bottled water to tap water and the price rose from $2.50 to $3. Does Robert S. not realize we can see all the reviews next to each other? Then he brags about how they've lost "thousands" of dollars of his business by now since they're such a dark, water-rationing hellhole. I'm sure they'll go bankrupt any day now, Robert S., and when they do, they will shake their fists at the sky and scream in rueful agony,"IF ONLY WE HADN'T CHARGED THAT ONE DOUCHEBAG FOR BOTTLED WATER! OURS IS SURELY A TRAGEDY OF OUR OWN DESIGN!"
Is there a way to read any of this review other than as the deranged ramblings of an obsessed madman? Robert S. thinks about revenge upon those who have wronged him more than Inigo Montoya. After he reads this post (and you know he will), I fully expect him to show up and leave angry comments on everything I post for the next decade.
Ser Claire B., Knight of Brevity
"Could use some vegan options." Could use some vegan options. Could motherfucking use some goddamn vegan options.
That's a one-star review. No comments about poor service, or expensive prices, or anything else that would indicate a negative dining experience. Just "could use some vegan options." Well done, you brave, self-important eco-soldier. Have a fucking kale cookie.
This is not to say anything against vegans — the fault lies not with Ser Claire's dietary restrictions, but with her unfailing insistence that everyone in the universe bow down to her whims, for she is Princess of Santa Monica. Look, some places just aren't going to have vegan options, and you don't have to eat at those places. But giving a one-star review to a restaurant you haven't even fucking been to purely because they don't serve the style of food YOU personally want to eat is so mindbogglingly self-centered that the Kardashians are giving Claire B. side-eye. I don't like Indian food, but I don't write one-star Yelp reviews of Indian restaurants that say "this place would be better with more cheeseburger choices."
Claire B. makes me regret everything I've ever said about my generation NOT being entitled fuckwits. She's so terrible she's making me want to agree with Baby Boomers and Gen X-ers, and that's the real goddamned tragedy, here.
Mazen M., Mighty Misunderstander of Maximum Occupancy Mandates
"LOL DA FUK YOU MEAN 'FIRE CODE?' SOUNDS LIKE SOME GAY SHIT TO ME, BROSEF. PROBABLY WON'T LET US IN BECAUSE WE'RE NOT INTO BUTT STUFF WITH DUDES, AMIRITE?! UP TOP! NO HOMO."
Let's establish a new rule: you can't write a non-obviously-satirical review on Yelp unless you've actually been to the place in question, and you can't give a place one star purely because they very politely and kindly told you "sorry guys, we're super full right now; you'll have to come back another time." Mazen M. may not be as adorably insane as Robert S. up top, but he seems infinitely more douchebro-ey.
Marina L., She Who Longs For Her Own Stand-Up Special
Let's actually start at the bottom, because we're going to need a run-up to that second paragraph: so, her server and busboy were great, but a quick one-second glance at the other servers as they wandered around the restaurant makes her give the service a mixed review? Does every server in Marina L.'s theoretical perfect restaurant wander around with a Stepford Wife smile on their face? Anyway, even if they DID look like they were at a funeral, I guarantee it's because having to deal with people like Marina L. all day makes them wish they were dead.
Really, though, our attention should be on that second paragraph. Read that back a few times. The race of the chefs detracted from her overall experience — because of course, only Asians know how to make sushi, just like only Italians know how to prepare pasta, or only Mexicans are capable of doing anything worthwhile with a tortilla. It's certainly not possible for a chef to become acquainted with a cooking style he or she is THE WRONG COLOR for! Marina L. is a very, very small half-step from "seriously, what else would Asians be doing? Their entire purpose is to make me sushi."
And just in case you're about to rush to defend this as not being that screwed-up...
Aaaaaaand there it is.
I honestly can't decide which is more offensive: the comment itself*, or the fact that she fucked up the racist joke she was trying to make. "Me NOT Oh Me So Harney?!" Could you possibly do a worse job sticking the landing on your dumb attempt at Orientalist comedy? This is like when I see dumbshit conservatives on Facebook and Twitter making the same fucking "Obsama" joke over and over: I'm not just offended as a Democrat, or as a semi-maybe-decent human being, I'm offended as someone who gets paid to write jokes on the Internet. It's like watching a six-year-old try to make a funny, only less "adorable" and more "tacitly in support of systematic oppression."
Here's where this one gets hilarious, though. Fortunately for high comedy fans everywhere, the owner of Harney Sushi decided to respond to Marina L.'s idiotic bullshit:
Oh, but Marina L. wasn't about to let an eminently reasonable, logical argument derail her dumbedy (see what I did there? It's like a comedy, but with extra dumb. I expect to hear of my nomination shortly, Pulitzer Prize committee) — this is HER one-hour special, dammit! She fired back:
Translation: it's my PREFERENCE whether I want to be a shithead, which I have to admit is actually true. She also has a point: a restaurant playing rock music is TOTALLY equivalent to the ethnicity of the chef, as people can choose to be a different ethnicity, just like music can be turned on or off. I'm also pretty sure she doesn't know what "take it with a grain of salt" means, because she just said "believe only part of what I say/take what I just said to be exaggerated," which only makes sense if that complaint is satirical or intentionally hyperbolic, and as she just made clear, it's not. Comedy, basic decency, idioms...is there no start to Marina L.'s skill set?
The craziest part of this is that she says it didn't even detract from the food quality — she just wants the chefs to be "Asian" (not even Japanese — "ASIAN") so that she gets to feel like she's journeying to the exotic Far East for California Rolls or some shit. Also, way to double down on a racially problematic statement by using a term like "butthurt." That's sure to win friends and influence people.
Well done, Marina L. I honestly didn't think I'd find anything dumber than Robert S.'s review, but you managed to step up your game and claim the Turd Medal in the Internet Moron Olympics.
Do you know of any dumb/insane Yelp reviews you'd like to see mocked? Feel free to email them to WilyUbertrout@gmail.com.
*Kidding, it's definitely the comment itself.