Threads that are sure to end in meltdowns

Before, we’ve done “threads that are sure to recur” and “threads that are guaranteed to get locked”. But what about threads that are perfectly legal, and even innocuous on the surface, but are guaranteed to end in shit-storms and melt-downs?

In GQ right now there’s a thread called, “Are all African Americans really African?” A perfectly innocuous question. But did anyone doubt for a moment that it would devolve into a flame-out before it was over? It’s currently at 187 posts and counting.

A few days ago we had, “Who is the smartest Doper?” An innocuous question, and for a while everyone played nicey-nicey. But you knew–you knew–that it would end in sniping, mod warnings, and a lockdown–and it did.

Note that this is different from making a controversial post–it’s easy to post “Abortion isn’t a constitutional right” or “Everyone should have their cat declawed” in GD or the Pit and expect fireworks. Those are controversial topics. I’m talking about innocuous topics that inevitably turn toxic.

So how about it? What are your favorite Threads that are Sure to End in Flame-Outs?

The current GQ thread “Can I vote-out a union?” was well on its way to a meltdown, until a moderator stepped in.

Also, I predict that any thread discussing the current situation with North Korea will end up being derailed by Bush-bashing.

Topics Which Always Go Bad:

  1. Cat de-clawing

  2. Spanking children

  3. Abortion

  4. Creationism

  5. Poisoning pesky animals

  6. Circumcision

  7. Welfare

  8. Bush lied/didn’t lie

“I let my cat cross the street.”

  1. Showgirls is a misunderstood masterpiece.

  2. Starship Troopers is a brilliant satire.

Yep, anythng involving unions or outdoor cats is pretty sure to go nuclear.

Also, for some reason, the question of whether Jesus had brothers usually ends in Fourth-of-July pyrotechnics.

Which way do you hang your toilet paper roll?

More than any other topic, it seems so innocuous, yet within lies so much peril that to even gaze upon would mean certain death.

Still, I love dark-horse meltdowns. Anyone remember the one about dryer lint? That was a classic.

Pretty much any food thread:
Picky eaters. "“Why can’t they just pick the pepperonis off and eat the damn pizza?”
Vegetarianism. “I can too eat chicken and fish and eggs and call myself a vegetarian!”
Ordering milk in a bar. “Why did everyone laugh at me when I ordered a big glass of milk in the martini bar?”

Telemarketer threads always turn into a big vitriol-fest, particularly when a few posters defend telemarketing and the people who work in such jobs.

PC/Mac war threads are also guaranteed for a meltdown. They make Coke/Pepsi debates seem pale by comparison.

I think my favorite thread of all time counts:

“Bush LIED about spanking the abortion of his declawed African-American indoor/outdoor cat named 88 that was created by G*d and kept by a welfare mom who LOVES Starship Troopers, works as a telemarketer, and thinks Macs suck… on a Treadmill.”

Read it out loud. You’ll laugh. Maybe.

If only the title box would hold it all. The history of SDMB on a pinhead.

Don’t forget “SUVs – harmless vehicles or signs of the Apocalypse?”

Oh, and people who don’t return their shopping carts to the corral.

Overweight people/extremely thin people

I have to add:
“Dogs vs. children,” and the related “dog-owners’ vet-care budgets.”

This very thread might be doomed as well.

[Jaime Pressly voice] "Ah was off havin’ an abortion, which Ah paid for with mah welfare check, when mah boyfriend hadda spank our older son, ‘cause he wouldn’t hold still durin’ his circumcision. An’ dayum, when Ah got home, if the neighbors didn’t poison our cat, 'cause it clawed up their lawn chair!

Oh, an’ Bush lied about Creationism." [/Jaime Pressly voice]

First, ‘dark horse meltdown’ is a wunnerful coinage for this phenomenon. I hope it catches on and becomes absorbed into the Dope hive mind.

Second, I agree that this is possibly the finest example ever. No-one, not even on these Boards, could have foreseen that dryer lint was going to split open a fresh consignment of snarling, hissing and bile. (I’ve linked to the start of the thread but you have to wait for page two to get to the good stuff).

Don’t forget tipping. Discussions of how much to tip, whether or not to tip, whether or not the tipping system should be abolished, and pretty much any other discussion involving tipping without the word “cow” in front of it will bring out The Fury.

Well, we might need to sprinkle in a few other elements to really sum it all up. How about:

“Og-dammit, mods?! Why did you close the ‘Bush LIED about spanking the abortion of his declawed African-American indoor/outdoor cat named 88 that was created by G*d (who believes in gay marriage with Nazi Groundhogs) and is kept by a welfare mom who LOVES Starship Troopers, works as a telemarketer, and thinks Macs suck… on a Treadmill’ thread.”

Yes… that should do nicely.

Along with “why men shouldn’t have to worry about putting the seat down.”