Emmanuel Todd Lopez is the Greatest Thing on Social Media (He’s an Emu BTW)

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A young woman with long wavy blonde hair puckers her lip against the pointed end of an emu's beak. She is wearing a beige baseball cap.
Emmanuel the emu finally behaving for farmer, Taylor Blake.  (Taylor Blake/ Twitter @hiitaylorblake)

Over the weekend, a new star outgrew the confines of TikTok and was welcomed with open hearts and minds by the rest of the internet. His name is Emmanuel Todd Lopez, he’s an emu, and—like so many parents at so many dinner tables—he has a raging vendetta against cellphones.

Avid TikTok users have known about Emmanuel’s sparkling personality for weeks now, thanks to Knuckle Bump Farms’ account on the app. The South Florida farm’s content—curated by 29-year-old farmer Taylor Blake—had primarily revolved around cattle and very sweet miniature cows since joining TikTok. That was until Emmanuel angrily sauntered into the picture in early July.

@knucklebumpfarms Not a day goes by that Emanuel doesn’t try my life #emu #emusoftiktok #farmlife ♬ original sound - Knuckle Bump Farms

The video quickly garnered millions of views and Emmanuel fans demanded more ornery emu content. Blake happily obliged, providing another clip of the big bird behaving badly. “Emmanuel, don’t do it!” quickly became a universal symbol of the entire world’s work-related frustrations.

@knucklebumpfarms Another day, another Emmanuel don’t do it🤦🏼‍♀️its impossible to educate under these hostile work conditions #emu #emmanueltheemu #farmlife #choas ♬ original sound - Knuckle Bump Farms

Then came the inevitable. A request to see what happened when Emmanuel did do it. Again, Blake happily obliged with a TikTok of Emmanuel angrily knocking Blake's cell phone to the ground and pecking at it. "Do you feel fulfilled now?" Blake asks him. "Did it give you a rush?"

@knucklebumpfarms Reply to @pdtheog is this what you wanted? Bc I have cow shit stuck in my phone speaker now😩 #emu #emmanuel #emusoftiktok #farmlife ♬ original sound - Knuckle Bump Farms

A major key in the appeal of the Emmanuel videos is the juxtaposition of his beady-eyed determination and Blake’s exasperated pleas for peace and sanity. This is also something she does with the other animals on the farm, as seen on TikTok. (“Ferdinand, I don’t need it out of you. This is exactly why we moved your mom to the big pasture: because she never shut her mouth.”)

@knucklebumpfarms I am tired of the verbal abuse I endure at the hooves of these cows #cowsoftiktok #farmlife #moo #stopbullying ♬ original sound - Knuckle Bump Farms

Over the weekend, after someone made a supercut of Blake’s videos, the cult of Emmanuel spread to Instagram and Twitter, helped in large part by celebrity fans. Including Wonder Woman herself, Lynda Carter:


Comedian Patton Oswalt posted several of Blake’s videos over the weekend. A favorite: one where she thanks the internet for supporting her and Emmanuel, then promptly gets her cell phone knocked into the dirt for her trouble.

It was on Sunday when we finally found out Emmanuel’s “government name”: Emmanuel Todd Lopez.

@knucklebumpfarms He knew I meant business when I whipped out his government name 😩🤣 #emmanueltheemu #emmanueldontdoit #emmanuel #emu #animalsagainsteducation ♬ original sound - Knuckle Bump Farms

Naturally, the internet was very excited about this important development.

No word yet on how the other emus at Knuckle Bump Farms—Regina and Ellen—are reacting to their friend’s newfound stardom. Emmanuel, at least, appears to be taking it in stride...

@knucklebumpfarms People let me tell you bout my best friend 🤠 #emmanuel #emmanueldontdoit #emmanueltheemu #bestfriend ♬ Best friend by Harry Nilsson - PeterVigilante