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Throughout many years, I've encountered countless jokes over all sorts of media and pop art where is goes "something something taco bell", and I can't really grasp what is it supposed to mean or why is it funny.

The most recent one, that instigated me to reach for human assistance, is this comic by Zach Weinersmith on SMBC:

enter image description here I still find it funny and get part of the humor, sure, but what is it specifically about Taco Bell that prompts all these jokes and references?

I would still find it funny if it was just a random 'pizza' place, but if it was a "Thai food", not so much. However, I believe there's an extra bit of comic effect linked directly to the Taco Bell franchise.

I've tried searching on Urban Dictionary, Google, and even Uncyclopedia -- which ironically seems to be a great resource when one needs to search for all sorts of informal and unwritten aspects of a place or culture -- all to no avail.

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  • I'm not sure if this is a valid question / place to ask, but I believe I've seen similar questions around here before, so I thought it wouldn't hurt to try. Apr 16, 2019 at 17:44

1 Answer 1

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Taco Bell is a chain of restaurants. They have a reputation for cheap but bad food. It is said that eating there gives you food poisoning. It is the kind of place that you go to because you are too lazy to cook but too poor to afford anything better.

Whether this is true or not is not the point. It probably isn't particularly worse than any other chain restaurants, which are usually very clean and serve standard food, since they are closely regulated by the franchising company.

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  • There's also the fact that Taco Bell is usually open later into the night than any other fast food restaurant in the same area. They even have/had a marketing campaign about eat late at night at Taco Bell with the idea of "fourthmeal" (after breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Because of their late hours and the likelihood that people smoking pot will do so in the evening after work and then become very hungry and not want to cook, Taco Bell has become a popular destination for those with the "munchies" (food craving from smoking pot), which is also a common reference in Taco Bell jokes. May 30, 2019 at 14:56
  • Perhaps, but there doesn't seem to be a reference to "late night" or "smoking pot" in this comic.
    – James K
    May 30, 2019 at 15:58
  • Yes, I think the joke is based on the concept of nihilism and that when nothing matters, that’s when you go to Taco Bell. May 30, 2019 at 16:04

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