Something strange happened on E!’s “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” Sunday night: No one brought up Snapchat. It happened the week before, too.
There’s a logical explanation: For the last two episodes, the sisters have been filming on a vacation to Cuba, where, as Khloé Kardashian put it, “Our cell phones don’t work and there’s, like, one hotel in all of Cuba that has WiFi.” Even though they all claimed to relish a few days without social media, the lack of Internet is tough for this family. Page Six even ran a story about it: “Kardashians freaking out they can’t post on Snapchat in Cuba.”
Though a publicist denied it, any freakout would be consistent with what we’ve learned this season on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians”: The Kardashians really, really love Snapchat. They’re obsessed. They mention the video app so often that this season sometimes feels like a glorified Snapchat infomercial.
Take a scene in the July 3 episode when Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick are in a car during a family vacation to Vail, Colo. As they climb in the backseat, Kourtney immediately starts making faces at her phone.
“Oh my God,” Scott scoffs. “This is all Snapchat?”
“Yeah, these are fun,” Kourtney says. “And I can record them for the kids.”
“But how many different things are there? Tons? Or do you have to download…?” Scott asks of the various filters.
“They change daily,” Kourtney educates him.
As Kourtney’s Snapchat tutorial continues (“Do you know how many people say to me that my snaps are, like, the best?”), Scott rolls his eyes and says it’s a waste of time. But Disick is wasting his time trying to talk her out of it. Same with Khloé, Kim Kardashian West, Kylie Jenner and the myriad people on the series who love to show off their Snapchat skills. Kylie, as Kourtney reminds everyone in the July 17 episode, is one of the most-followed Snapchat celebrities.
Why the Snapchat infatuation? E! had no comment. A Snapchat rep said it’s not a paid endorsement and declined to comment further. One could argue it’s simply another form of social-media dominance for a family that drives the entertainment news cycle. It gives them one more platform to showcase their extravagant lives, and even prove they have a sense of humor with weird filters. And these days, the Kardashians use the app to drop some of their biggest news.
Mere weeks ago, “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” served as the lead-in to the most famous Snapchat story of all time. The July 17 episode centered around how Kim was upset that her husband, Kanye West, was criticized for name-dropping Taylor Swift in controversial lyrics on his new song, “Famous” — when in reality, Kardashian said, Swift had given the song her blessing. Angry that Swift threw West under the bus in an accusatory Grammys speech, Kardashian dropped this tweet bomb during the episode to her 47 million followers:
do u guys follow me on snap chat? u really should ;-)
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) July 18, 2016
…and then proceeded to post a secret video of West and Swift talking on the phone, which featured a good-natured Swift telling West she knew the song was “tongue-in-cheek.” The Internet went crazy and Snapchat enjoyed quite a bit of publicity. The same thing happened when Kylie posed for a snap with model Blac Chyna, whom she has been feuding with for months after she started dating Chyna’s ex, rapper Tyga. On the July 3 episode, Kylie talked about how she and Chyna finally buried the hatchet — especially important because Chyna had started dating their brother, Rob Kardashian. All it took was the power of Snapchat.
“I was like, ‘We have to take a Snapchat so the world knows,'” Kylie explained. She added the caption, “We’ve been best friends the whole time.”
— CALIBER enterprises (@calibere) April 22, 2016
In the “Keeping Up With the Kardashian” universe, Snapchat isn’t just used for burying enemies or healing powers. It’s a sign that someone is ready to join society. (Khloé: “[Rob] wouldn’t leave his room. But the fact that now he’s created a Snapchat, the fact that now he wants to be so public, blows my mind.”) It’s a way to outwit the media on a public outing. (Kylie: “I think I’m gonna Snapchat before the paparazzi sell the photos.”) It’s a way to signal something is wrong during a winery tour in Napa Valley, Calif. (Kourtney: “You’re not into Snapping today?” Khloé: “No.” Kourtney: “Well, I’m gonna snap you in a bad mood.”)
It’s a way to make fun of parents, as Kris Jenner arrives with hilarious luggage. (Kourtney: “Wait, let me snap mom.”) It’s a way to ignore parents when they’re trying to tell you about family vacation. (Kim: “Do not snap. She’s saying when we’re going.” Kylie: “Sorry… wait, let me make sure this posted real quick.”) It’s a way to capture mundane moments at home. (Kourtney to Kylie: “Do you want to snap me making eggs for Kim?”) It’s a way to prove you’re traveling on a private jet. (Khloé’s best friend Malika Haqq: “Let’s snap before we take off.”)
Mostly, though, it’s just a way of life. In the July 3 episode, Khloé and Kourtney are on the basketball court at Kourtney’s house, waiting to start a session with their personal trainer. Khloé tries to send a snap and it fails. “Kourtney, what the f— is up with your WiFi?” Khloé yells. “You have this big-a– house and you can’t afford a WiFi box out here?”
“It’s not about affording, it’s about radiation,” Kourtney retorts.
“You’re gonna die anyway,” Khloé shoots back with a life motto for us all: “Die with a good Snapchat going through.”