The Brief: The “Canceling Plans Is OK” meme is a Twitter snowclone (phrasal templates in which words can be replaced to produce new variations with new meanings, like Mad Libs) that makes fun of the millennial and Gen-Z obsession with self-care.
The concept of self-care has taken on a life of its own, justifying all sorts of flakey, obnoxious, or just plain selfish behavior in the name of wellness. While it is healthy and necessary to take a break and make sure you’re in fine mental and physical health, the parameters of what counts as self-care have expanded so much that the term is basically meaningless. But there are still a lot of Twitter accounts that go viral by using the rhetoric of the current self-care movement. And now they’re all getting dragged.
According to Know Your Meme, the popular parody account @ChanceFrom79th posted what reads as a sincere suggestion for how to deal with life back in 2017, which reads, “canceling plans to read is ok. skipping a party for the gym is ok. staying home to cook is ok. Let’s encourage it & respect self-improvement.”
canceling plans to read is ok. skipping a party for the gym is ok. staying home to cook is ok. lets encourage it & respect self improvement.
— Chance The Rapper ᶠᵃⁿᵖᵃᵍᵉ (@ChanceFrom79th) September 3, 2017
The tweet was widely shared and soon afterward, widely mocked. People kept adding on bizarre things to do at the end of a normal list, like worshipping satan or poisoning the town’s water supply. It’s all okay!:
Canceling plans is ok. Running your friends over with a car is ok. Poisoning the town’s water supply is ok. It’s called self-care.
— Kevin Farzad (@KevinFarzad) September 10, 2017
Canceling plans is ok. Staying home to cook is ok. Getting your life together is ok. Commiting a blood sacrifice to pledge your eternal loyalty to His Holy Darkness Satan is ok.
— Jonah Green (@JonahGreen) August 22, 2019
Since then, the Canceling Plans Is Ok meme has morphed into something else entirely, in the way only Twitter can do. Tweets that begin with “canceling plans is ok” end up being the description of various movie plots that turn all the outrageous actions of their protagonists into coping mechanisms.
Hey, if it makes you feel good, it must be self-care, right? Below are some of the best tweets using the meme. See if you can recognize the movie plots—or if you get any ideas for a self-care weekend.
canceling plans is ok. going away to summer camp is ok. eating oreos with peanut butter is ok. switching places with your identical twin is ok. reuniting your divorced parents is ok. pushing your sleeping stepmother’s airmattress into a lake is ok. do what u need to do to cope.
— ˗ˏˋ father john mitski ˎˊ˗ (@onlineryn) January 4, 2020
canceling plans is ok. jumping out of ur mom’s moving car during a fight is ok. spending thanksgiving with ur gay bf is ok. pretending to be rich is ok. losing ur virginity to timothee chalamet is ok. going to NYU against ur mom’s wishes is ok. do what you need to do to cope.
— lady bird 🕊 (@anagsoto_) January 4, 2020
canceling plans is ok. being behind on rent is ok. assuming ur friend’s identity as a substitute teacher is ok. teaching the kids to use their musical talent for rock n roll is ok. sneaking them outta school to audition for battle of the bands is ok. do what u need to do to cope.
— (◕‿◕✿) (@protozoafan95) January 5, 2020
canceling plans is ok. eating huge amounts of food with your best friend is ok. driving around in a van and solving mysteries with your friends is ok. being a talking dog is ok. ro rhat rou reed ro rope. ru roh. xx
— 19th century timothée chalamet fan club president (@morganaomi) January 5, 2020
canceling plans is ok. going to therapy is ok. burning ur sister’s novel is ok. falling into ice to distract her from her date is ok. making a foot mold for her crush is ok. eloping with her crush is ok. do what u need to cope
— Fletcher Peters (@fIetcherpeters) January 5, 2020
canceling plans is ok. staying home is ok. staging your own kidnapping and framing your husband is ok. going on the run is ok. killing your ex is ok. coming home to the husband you framed for your murder covered in blood and pregnant with his baby is ok. do what u need to cope.
— Sarah McGonagall (@sarahmcgphoto) January 4, 2020
canceling plans is ok. smuggling a rare & karmically cursed Ethiopian black opal into the country to sell at auction is ok. sexting yr mistress from inside a closet is ok. placing a three-way parlay on Game 7 of the Celtics-Sixers series is ok. do what you need to do to cope xxx
— Maddie Twittle (@maddiewhittle) January 4, 2020
canceling plans is ok. getting married on a greek island is ok. inviting three men who banged your mom to the wedding is ok. singing about it five inches from all their collective faces is ok. killing your mom off in the sequel is ok. do what u need to cope.
— emma lord (@dilemmalord) January 5, 2020
canceling plans is ok. poisoning your classmates to secure the win is ok. strategically using your professors ability to wield the sword of the creator is ok. reaching out our hearts in friendship so we can open our true hearts to one another is ok. do what u need to cope.
— 🌻 jay! @ KNY BANDWAGON (@jayblrd_) January 4, 2020
Canceling plans is ok. Kissing a warlock at your own wedding is ok. Breaking up with your boyfriend because his father, the prince of hell, made you is ok. Getting engaged while the world ends around you is ok. Getting married to in the institute is ok. Do what you need to cope
— Oumy 🌙 (@OumyLightwood) January 5, 2020