On the high end, the T-Rex costume sells for about $65, a small price to pay if one wants to own the internet’s preferred costume for pranks and broad, visual jokes that fill Youtube playlists with good-natured lols. The costume pairs unblinking, savage eyes and bared, serrated teeth with comically bad running ability by its wearer. It’s danger and fragility paired perfectly. There’s a reason there’s a r/trexgonewild reddit community that shows various adventures people have on walkabouts wearing the T-Rex costume.
Successfully attaching a piece of ephemeral viral imagery — the T-Rex costume in this case — to a holiday is the fastest method for making a meme an annual watch; the pairing of an Internet joke and a holiday adds permanence to something that’s gone viral like few couplings can. If a very good Christmas version of a “Harlem Shake” video had become a holiday favorite, or an ice bucket challenge took place a Thanksgiving dinner, they might not have been relegated to the continually sinking status of the Tide Pod.
Enter a video that hit the front page of reddit on Wednesday — Valentine’s Day, 2018 — and by Thursday had received 144,000 upvotes.
“All my husband wanted for Valentines was this stupid dinosaur costume. Ask and you shall receive…” is the title of a post that has this sound-free video.
We see a bedroom hallway, its cream-colored carpet sprinkled with rose petals, leading to a doorway. In walks a T-Rex-costumed person with a bra around it’s tiny T-Rex arms. A few moments later, the uploader’s husband walks into see a T-Rex seductively flopped onto the bed. It is weird and sweet.
“My husband has been watching dinosaur costume videos for a while now and kept hinting that he wanted one,” the uploader, Lakyn, tells Inverse. “I’ve always had a creative mind. I went to art school so I guess it just comes natural to think off the wall when it comes to gift giving. I really wanted to make a video that would be popular like this one. So I thought, ‘Why not for Valentine’s Day?’”
She’s won three Emmy awards as a video editor and systems analyst for a broadcast company, but this measure of viral fame feels like a fourth. “Those have been amazing moments,” she tells Inverse. “Posting this today and receiving so many funny and uplifting comments has really made me feel like I won another Emmy!”
She adds that her husband, Joey, spent the rest of the day in the costume.
The T-Rex video as a comedy genre centers on putting T-Rex in very awkward situations and watching it trundle forward, getting the job done with incredible determination and a surprising amount of grace. We are all T-Rex: