Manti Te’o Story Takes Off on Twitter; Is ‘Te’o-ing’ the New ‘Tebowing’?

The Internet woke up buzzing today over the Manti Te’o story (click here for more the complicated details), and now many celebrities are chiming in about the very strange and confusing “Catfish-ing” tale. And, naturally, the memes are already starting.

Searches on Yahoo! were off the charts for the Notre Dame football player, following Deadspin’s story, which launched the conversation.

The most popular search terms included:

[deadspin manti teo]
[manti teo gay]
[manti teo girlfriend]
[manti teo hoax]
[who is manta teo]
[manti teo twitter]

73% of searches for Manti T'eo in the last 24 hours came from men. Searches for [catfish movie] spiked 180% in the last 24 hours. Searches for [notre dame] spiked 368% in the last 24 hours.

And yes, many people are wondering if this whole story might mean that Te’o is gay. addresses that topic in an article they posted this morning, pointing out the fact that the allegedly fake Twitter account of (perhaps fake ex-girlfriend) Lennay Kekua was reportedly written by a man that T’eo knew.

Comedian Patton Oswalt was one of the first to chime in on Te’o-gate on Twitter. “‘I gots Manti T'eo skillz like smoke from a hookah/You a pretend MC like Lannay Kekua.’ -- crossed out, just now, in Eminem's notebook,” he wrote. Followed by the tweets, “‘Fake Eyes, Pretend Hearts, Can't Lose!’ -- Manti T'eo.”

“These Te'o jokes are all very funny but let's all try and remember that a person who never existed is dead,” SNL’s Seth Myers tweeted.

“I wonder if my dead grandmother ever actually existed?” Rainn Wilson from “The Office” wrote, adding, “I don't know what's worse, a dead girlfriend or a dead girlfriend who never existed” and “I will be your dead girlfriend who never existed.” That’s a sweet offer, Rainn!

Comedian Billy Eichner of Funny Or Die’s “Billy on the Street” asked, “Not a huge sports fan here - is Manti Te'o the old woman in Amour?” Meanwhile, “Watch What Happens Live’s” Andy Cohen simply wondered, “Doesn't Manti Te'o watch ‘Catfish’????”

Journalists chimed in as well. CNN’s Toure tweeted, “Ralph Ellison wrote a book called Invisible Man. Manti Te'o will write a book about his girlfriend called Invisible Woman.” Sports journalist Jenn Sterger joked, “Look, someone's gotta break the news to Teo about Santa. Any takers?”

Meanwhile, “Teoing” is already becoming the Internet’s latest meme! “omg! Insider’s” own correspondent Michael Yo was one of the first to kick off the trend of putting your arm around someone who doesn’t really exist! And “omg! Insider” contributor Nina Parker quickly followed suit. The trend is sort of a play off previous memes such as “Tebowing” (bowing down on one knee in prayer as NY Jet Tim Tebow did) and the Clint Eastwood meme of talking to somebody who’s not really there.

We’re betting Ellen DeGeneres gets in on the action any moment now!

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