Cigarette roach in New York City

Things We Saw Today: Cigarette Roach Is the Spiritual Successor to Pizza Rat

I love you, smoke roach.
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New York City’s Pizza Rat became such a cultural icon that we now have Sexy Pizza Rat Halloween costumes, but the hungry rodent better move over—there’s a new city critter in town tapping into the zeitgeist. Meet Cigarette Roach.

“You don’t want to watch this video of a subway cockroach stealing a cigarette. But also, you really do,” wrote Cathleen Culliton over on Patch, neatly summarizing our feelings.

Attorney Tom Kretchmar was blessed with a visitation from Cigarette Roach on East 53rd Street, filming the bug scurrying along with a cigarette butt—surely a perfect mascot for 2019. After Kretchmar tweeted about our new New York-based influencer, the tweet went viral and the video was watched more than 3 million times.

Sometimes I think about how we will possibly explain these viral moments that make sense right now to a no-doubt befuddled later generation. Perhaps they’ll chalk it up to this particular moment in time:

Can’t wait to see all of the Sexy Cigarette Roach costumes that are most certainly headed our way. I love you, Cigarette Roach, a superhero who represents me.

(via Patch, image: Tom Kretchmar on Twitter/screengrab)

Also seen today:

  • Hundreds of thousands are protesting in Hong Kong amid escalating police violence. (via The Washington Post)
  • After intense criticism and, well, Constitutional violations, Trump now says he won’t host the G-7 at his own resort after all. Of course, he also managed to make the walk-back Tweet into an ad for Trump National Doral.  (via Vox)
  • Venom 2 seems to have found its Shriek in Moonlight‘s Naomie Harris. (via THR)
  • Chernobyl’s Hildur Guðnadóttir won Best Television Composer at the World Soundtrack Awards, which was well-deserved. (via Deadline)
  • It looks as though Joker is on track to become the highest-grossing R-rated movie … ever. (via
  • “Trump’s Impeachment Got Real This Week” (via VICE)
  • Lest you forget, tomorrow is Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker‘s new trailer release date! (via Comicbook)

Excuse me, I’ll just be over here, crying about General Leia Organa. What did you see today through your tears?

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Kaila Hale-Stern
Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.