First lady Michelle Obama, likely extolling the virtues of turnips, with Let’s Move Executive Director Sam Kass. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

It’s official: Turnips are the cats of the Internet vegetable world.

Never has a taproot lent itself so well to meme-ification, for which we can thank rappers 2 Chainz (“Turn Up”), Roscoe Dash (“All the Way Turnt Up”) and Lil Jon (“Turn Down For What”).

Thank you, gentlemen. Your contributions to society cannot be overstated.

In the same way that even people who profess their undying hatred of felines can appreciate a good cat video, turnips are good for a laugh even if you hate consuming them. Look, even PhD-level veggie enthusiasts are allowed to find turnips detestable. You can’t put them in soup because their flavor overwhelms everything else. You can drown them in butter and cream and whip them with an immersion blender. You can cover them in cheese and make a gratin. They may look just as inviting as potatoes — until you have a spoonful and realize you’ve subjected yourself to the slightly bitter, slightly licorice-flavored disappointment that comes with a mouthful of some turnip-based Epicurean monstrosity.

Anyway, back to turnips and Dirty South rap: As a result of the prevalence of turn up, getting turnt up, getting all the way turnt up, i.e. crunk (for a thorough breakdown, see Brittney Cooper’s “Ontology of CRUNK” over at Crunk Feminist Collective), we have been blessed with an enormity of turnip memes.


Party starts at 8pm over at Lemketkai Parking Lot D!! #Kagayan2014 #smartkagayan #thezombettes #turnipforwhat

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  TURNiP slut. Lol #TURNIPforwhat   View on Instagram




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Well, Internet, you can stop now, because Michelle Obama just won. Obama participated in a White House Q&A on Vine Tuesday, using the hashtag #AskTheFirstLady, to promote her Let’s Move campaign. A President Obama impersonator asked: “Here’s a question for the first lady: On average, how many calories do you burn every time you turn up?”

To which the first lady replied:

Turnip for what, indeed. Somewhere, Lil Jon is chortling triumphantly over a cup of crunk juice.