Lineworkers are in Florida to repair downed electrical lines after Hurricane Ian.
TikTokers have shared screenshots of dating apps, showing an influx of linemen, to the app.
Lineworkers’ wives have taken to the platform to deride “bucket bunnies” who pursue their husbands.
As TikTokers Paige Baden and Emily Hosein flipped through Bumble and Tinder in the wake of Hurricane Ian, they noticed an influx of “blue collar boys” — the denim- and hard-hat-clad linemen dispatched to fix downed power lines.
“Just want any wives or girlfriends to be aware that their lineman husbands or boyfriends, now that they’re out of town helping us in Florida — this is what my Bumble account looks like,” Baden, who says she’s in central Florida, told viewers in an October 1 video, before cutting to a slideshow of screenshots of men with the profession “lineman” listed.
TikToks showing screenshots of linemen on dating apps, particularly one by @emilyhosein1, whose bio describes herself as a 20-year-old Floridian, sparked intense conversation on the app — eliciting joking responses from spouses offering advice for “bucket bunnies” and backlash from angry spouses.
Hosein’s September 26 video has been viewed more than 9.3 million times. The hashtags #linemen, #linewife, and #bucketbunny currently have 381.2 million, 128.3 million, and 11.7 million views respectively.
Journeyman lineworkers will often be on a job site for weeks or months at a time, which can put a strain on many relationships and ramp up the possibility of an affair.
Posts from so-called “bucket bunnies” — women who are openly pursuing these lineworkers — stoked the ire of some of the men’s wives and generated a world of drama on the platform.
Stitches included line wives saying they’d spotted their partner in the video or men with families who they recognized and requests from others for Floridians to keep posting.
User @cassiehouse noted that her journeyman lineworker husband wasn’t currently in Florida, but encouraged “bucket bunnies” to continue to post about the men they were seeing on dating apps.
“For any of you ladies who have found your man in this post, wait,” she said in an October 1 stitch. “Pretend you don’t know for the next couple of months. You cash those bad boys out. And then you go and live your best life on his dime.”
Some lineworker wives took a different tack.
“You might have a snack,” Kaitlin Staley (@kaitlin_marie) in a September 30 TikTok. “But honey, he’s got a whole meal at home waitin’, and he knows.”
“If you’re thirsty or desperate, just say that,” she continued.
A self-described pipeline wife, @ohhmtee, offered a three-fingered salute in solidarity, a la “The Hunger Games,” to lineworkers’ wives. “We dealt with Row Hoes before Tik Tok,” she wrote. “I stand with all the linemen wives as they prepare to take on Florida’s bucket bunnies. Blue collar is not a trend, it’s a lifestyle.”
While some spouses have directed their ire at “bucket bunnies,” others have focused their attention on the “hell” the actual linemen may face from partners who’ve discovered their infidelity via TikTok.
“I promise the men fear the wrath of their old lady a lot more than anything Hurricane Ian is dishing out right now,” TikToker @alabama.sisi said in an October 1 video. “I know that’s a natural disaster but baby, this will be hell brought to you in a motherf——g handbasket if mine, and I’m sure all the others, are ever caught on them TikToks.”
Videos from self-professed “bucket bunnies,” particularly those expressing excitement about the linemen, have elicited anger from linemen wives, but they mostly seem to have inspired jokes.
Spouses have stitched the dating profile slideshows with descriptions of their partner and care notes like he “likes the extra rinse cycle on his laundry” and advice to do his laundry separately because of the smell and grime, to disillusion posters from the desirability of the ” linemen wife life.”
“Let me know when you want to return him to sender, so I can clean my house and hide the Amazon packages,” TikToker Stephanie Hamelink (@effaniehams) said in an October 1 video.
“I just want to tell you guys some of the things that come along with being a linemen wife, because it is not for the faint of heart,” another TikToker, Brit Hunter (@mrs.britthunter), told “bucket bunnies” in an October 1 video.
“You want to buy a cute little 1950s farmhouse and fix it up?” she continued, “Too bad. Pay somebody to do it or do it yourself because your husband is not going to be home to do it. And when he is home, he’s tired, and he’s hungry.”
As the viral dating app screenshots have circulated, so too has the app’s amateur sleuthing. TikTokers have misidentified at least one man shown in the videos for a similar-looking man with the same first name.
Blake DeMelo (blakeedemelo) posted a September 30 video about the mix up. “Idk what’s going on but apparently, I’m in Florida and on Tinder,” he said.
The actual owner of the Tinder account, @tha_balakay, responded to the controversy in a video captioned: “I’m actually banned from Tinder now” on October 1.
“Finally cleared my name hahahaha,” DeMelo commented.
Another man, Jake Tanner (@thatguyjake21) said he recognized his photos being used in one of the publicized Tinder profiles under the name “Landon,” though the photo was taken years ago in Iowa.
“I don’t even have Tinder, and the power company didn’t release us, so not even working in Florida. So, just watch out, there are definitely some posers down there.”
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