Sad Papi Is The Internet’s High School Boyfriend

Shani Silver
4 min readMar 14, 2021

There are moments of innocence and joy remaining on the internet, and they’re delicious.

Screengrab via Sad Papi on TikTok

You don’t have to download TikTok if you don’t want to, I want to make that clear up front. Sad Papi is also on Instagram and you’re welcome to learn how to cook there instead. But if you do download TikTok, you’ll get to see a lot more comedians and dogs, so give it some thought. Sad Papi, whose real name is Brandon but why would you call him that when you can call him Sad Papi, is a TikTok creator with ten years of experience in professional kitchens and 1.4 million followers on TikTok. He makes restaurant-caliber dishes condensed into 60-second videos and if you can look away from them, by all means please tell us how.

There’s a lot of stupid, vapid, mean, exhausting shit on the internet. But if you can ignore that stuff rather than allowing it to determine where and how you engage with other internetty humans, you might come across creators doing things of genuine delight and value. You might come across things that remind you how creative people can be. You might come across Sad Papi.

Sad Papi is very cute, Sad Papi is very talented, Sad Papi has a cat for crying out loud. But for all these charming check marks, his might be the least-thirsty, most pure, easy-to-enjoy elevated cooking on the internet. There’s a genuine innocence to Sad Papi’s content and overall presence online. You can tell he’s really invested (sometimes literally) in creating food content that he loves, that makes other people happy, too. I imagine it’s actually not all that different from what drives people to go to work in fine dining.

His content career began when his kitchen career ended due to Covid. It’s a beautiful example of something awful lead to the creation of something beautiful. He’s not the only one who’s taken a route like this over the last year, and if it doesn’t inspire you to do the things you love in life, no matter what, I don’t know what will.

Is he the tattooed, slightly scary but definitely harmless, way-too-attractive-for-you dude you had a crush on in 10th grade even though you were pretty sure he should have graduated last year? Yup. Does that mean attraction is what enjoying his content has to be about? Nope. It’s okay and innocent to like Sad Papi’s…

Shani Silver

Author, podcaster. shanisilver@gmail