How Viral Tumblr Sausage Gets Made: Law & Order & Food

Tumblr has occasionally been fruitful for writers looking to spin the germ of an idea into something viral, maybe even a book. However, the mercurial nature of the Web means few who go for it with their million-dollar Old People Sleeping On Trains Tumblr idea will ever see it morph into a dead tree version suitable for Grandma’s coffee table.

There are sometimes naturally-occurring viral Tumblrs, never intended by their creators for further, offline glory. Goofs or riffs that take off and quickly become a part of the Web’s pop culture Sargasso Sea, linked by every tent-pole blog and tech site. One big recent example: Law & Order & Food.

Law & Order & Food is a ridiculously simple idea: screen grabs from Law & Order (and its spin-offs, like Criminal Intent) made when a character was taking a drink or shoving a hoagie or bite of pizza  into his or her mouth. No commentary, just frozen moments from a show that ran for so long it practically merits its own cable channel.

Law & Order & Food grows on you with each new post–because it’s funny and also sometimes unexpectedly poignant–like this shot of the late, great Jerry Orbach, who played Lennie Briscoe, eating takeout Chinese. Read More