Tots and pears (also known as sending tots and pears) is a purposefully misheard version of someone saying “sending thoughts and prayers”. The misinterpreted saying is a basis for various ironic anti-memes that are used to convey meanings of disingenuous good-wishes for someone who is grieving over something.
These memes often appear in the fields of political debate, most prominently in online arguments between the alt-right and woke cultural movements.
The trend of using tots and pears as a catchphrase to mock those who you don’t agree with started to emerge online in 2017, initially on Twitter.
One of the earliest versions of the meme appearing in an image macro dates back to January, 2018, posted on the site Me.me, featuring an image collage of a bunch of potato tots and pears, which then became the classic version of the meme.
The meme has become a central element of political banter on Twitter by the end of the 2010s and reached its peak in popularity in June 2020, after which it saw a steep decline, according to Google search interest analytics.
In 2018, a short article about tots and pears was published on Urban Dictionary by the account Faulkner88.
- Cnn.com – How ‘thoughts and prayers’ went from common condolence to cynical meme
- Wonderingwidow.com – Tots And Pears