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Why do they call it oven when you of in the cold food of out hot eat the food?

Why Do They Call It Oven?

Why do they call it oven when you of in the cold food of out hot eat the food?

No, you’re not having a stroke – this is actually a thing. If you’re as confused as I was and have no idea what I’m talking about, don’t worry, I’ll explain everything… as best I can, anyway. 

Have you ever seen a phrase on the internet that seems to make absolutely no sense? Ok, of course, you have – it’s the internet. A phrase like this is likely to make you feel like you’re losing your mind or your ability to read properly. 

When you come across such a phrase, you might immediately think that the person who posted it doesn’t speak English or made some terrible mistakes.

However, when you Google it, you find out that it’s actually something many people have known about and understood for a while. For me, such is the case with this weird word salad. 

What Does “Why Do They Call It Oven” Mean? 

Before we delve into the history of this confusing expression, let’s get the most important part out of the way – what on earth could it mean!?

Believe it or not, it does have a meaning… sort of. In order to understand the sentence, you’ve got to see the play on words. The words “of in” sound like “oven,” so if we read the part of the sentence that says “of in the cold food” as “oven the cold food,” we can interpret it to mean, “put the cold food in the oven.” 

In that case, we can take the words, “of out hot,” to mean, “take the hot food out of the oven,” and the last part of the sentence is self-explanatory: “Eat the food.” So, our weird, nonsensical query says something like, “Why do they call it oven when you put the cold food in the oven, but eat the hot food you take out of the oven?”

Still doesn’t make sense? The best explanation I have is that maybe the question has to do with why the device is called an “oven” (of in) if you only eat the food after you take it back out again in a different (heated) form. Perhaps it should be called an “of out.” 

Or maybe it’s just a silly joke meant to make people like you and me waste our time trying to understand its absurdity. Who really knows?

Don’t worry, it seems pretty silly to me, too. Maybe we just have to get used to the fact that not everything makes sense these days. Or ever. In any case, let’s find out where this silly saying originated.

Where Did “Why Do They Call It Oven” Come From?

It all starts with another thing that doesn’t make much sense – copypasta. I mean, what on earth does pasta have to do with copied blocks of text… aside from the fact that that “pasta” sounds a bit like “paste.” Anyway, that’s a question for another day. Or not.

Our crazy phrase was first seen on Twitter, now called X, on the last day of August 2013, posted by a user who called themselves YashichiDSF. There was no image, just a plain, unexplained block of text that probably made its readers think they were having a stroke. 

It wasn’t until 5 years later that the bizarre question came up again. It turned up on Reddit in early September 2018, but it still didn’t gain traction until August 2019, when a Tumblr user named ewaneneollav added the copypasta to a Garfield strip. The use of a familiar comic finally turned people’s heads, and the peculiar assemblage of words took on a life of its own.

The use of the Garfield cartoon meant that many people associate the phrase with that comic now, but don’t be fooled – they had nothing to do with one another originally, and any Garfield strip that depicts this saying is an edit or recreation. 

There are numerous YouTube videos depicting the scene, like the below one that ends with poor Jon collapsing, possibly having a stroke from trying to understand his own word salad.

So What is The Purpose Of “Why Do They Call It Oven”?

Ok, so we kind of know what this question means now, and we understand where it comes from, but what do we do with that knowledge? Well, we can at least avoid looking dazed and confused the next time we see or hear the phrase. But if you want to put your new-found knowledge to good use, you can say it in response to things that don’t make sense to you. 

For example, if someone is trying to explain something to you and you’re just not getting it, you could respond with, “Why do they call it oven?” If you’re lucky, the person you’re talking to will understand the reference and not look at you like you’re growing an extra limb, but that’s the chance you take!

In other words, the meaning of the phrase, “why do they call it oven?” in daily conversation is, “I don’t understand,” or “I’m confused.” If this doesn’t sound like a habit you’re likely to pick up and start using in your daily life, you’re likely not alone, but between you and me, we might just be getting old.


“Why do they call it oven when you of in the cold food of out hot eat the food?” is a copypasta text that started out in 2013 on Twitter with no popularity. It came around again in 2018, but only gained traction in 2019 when a Tumblr user pasted it into a Garfield comic still. It has since been used in various recreations of the Garfield comic, as well as in YouTube videos of the popular cartoon.

The meaning of this word salad question is something along the lines of, “why is it called an oven (of in) if you only eat the food after you take it out (of out)?” However, it has taken on a new meaning as an alternative way to express confusion. If you don’t understand something, you can express this by saying, “why do they call it oven?”


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