Viral Photo of Kid’s Halloween Lobster Costume Ignites Fierce Debate

The Instagram controversy quickly...boiled over.

The Today Show Instagram account isn’t the first place you’d go looking for controversy, but a recent post about a Halloween costume touched off a real debate in the comments. At issue is this question: is it OK to dress your kid up as a lobster, put them into a giant pot, and place the pot on a (cold) stove for maximum realism?

Almost all of the commenters were aghast. User catherine_loves_art wrote “Pls take this down. Before some kid puts a sibling in a pot.” This is unintentionally pretty funny, as is the assumption that impressionable kids will see and imitate a post on the Today Show Instagram account.

The (slightly) more understandable gripe isn’t with putting the kid in the pot but with putting the pot on the stove. Maybe because the stove could get turned on accidentally? It’s unclear whether it’s the symbolism or a material concern, but user vhlondhe’s comment is typical of these replies.

“Seriously…It’s Cute…BUT they should have put it on the floor and not the stove! What were you thinking.”

Still, it seems pretty easy to pull off this photo without risking your kid’s life. It’s not like the pot had to be on the (again, cold) stove for longer than it took to take an Instagram picture. So, what’s the big deal?

The best comment on the photo was the “Ummmmmm” posted by none other than longtime Today weatherman Al Roker. We’re not sure which camp he falls into, it’s just funny that it’s there at all.

The comments are far outnumbered by the likes — nearly 13,800 at the time of this writing — that suggest most people just see a cute kid in a cute costume. The scenario of someone boiling their kid like a lobster because of this photo is outlandish enough that it’s funny, unlike the costumes that actually deserve outrage.