You know that thing where teens respond to their favorite celebrities' tweets and Instagram posts with an all-caps "MOM" or "DAD?" You can apply it to anyone, and its meaning can range from "I love you adopt me" to "This is really embarrassing and messy but I still love you."
Trust me. I learned all about it at the #hip #teen convention for #hip #teens last year. I know what I'm talking about. #vapebort
Anyway, I think I've stumbled upon an early example of this "MOM"/"DAD" usage in -- of all places -- an April 1996 episode of the NBC sitcom "Friends." Joey (Matt LeBlanc) and Chandler (Matthew Perry) have started spending a lot of time with Monica's (Courteney Cox) boyfriend, Richard (Tom Selleck). Why? Because he's like the cool dad they never had.
Richard, who thought they were all bonding as buddies, is none too thrilled about being thought of as a "dad" figure, so Joey and Chandler try to play off the label as some kind of affectionate term like "dude" or "buddy."
They lie and say that "dad" is part of their "young person's vernacular" which is just a '90s way of saying #hip #teen speak.
And much like "MOM"/"DAD," anyone can be "dad" -- as long as they are dad. You know?
Does this mean that "Friends" invented calling people "MOM" and "DAD" on Twitter? Not at all. But I did find a way to justify that 3:00 a.m. Netflix hole I fell into two nights ago, so I guess something good came out of all this.