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From Grief to Comedy: Social Media Reacts to News of Forever 21’s Bankruptcy

Forever 21 filed Sunday for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection — sending fans of the fast-fashion chain into a frenzy.

But if Forever 21 is going out of business, where will I get my ‘Mermaid Off Duty’ and ‘Cardio is Hardio’ graphic tees?” read one tweet with more than 1,500 retweets and 22,000 likes.

While many netizens indicated to the contrary, the retailer is not going out of business. Though bankruptcy connotes finality to many consumers, often Chapter 11 is a step for a company to restructure, rather than the end of an era.

“This does NOT mean that we are going out of business — on the contrary, filing for bankruptcy protection is a deliberate and decisive step to put us on a successful track for the future,” read a letter from F21 published on its website. “Once we complete a reorganization, Forever 21 will be a stronger, more viable company that is better positioned to prosper for years to come.”

As netizens wrapped their mind around the retailer’s bankruptcy, many conjectured that sales might be in the near future.

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Comedians, meanwhile, were quick to devise puns based on the chain’s name.

“I guess ‘Forever’ 21 was a bit ambitious,” quipped actor George Takei.

“Forever 21 just filed for bankruptcy. Turns out you can make money if you acknowledge that women exist who are fine with aging past 21,” comedian Whitney Cummings wrote.

“Forever 21 is filing for bankruptcy, big whoop, every 21 year old is poor,” read a viral post with more than 16,000 retweets.

Forever 21 does plan to close up to 178 U.S. stores, and it will exit most locations in Asia and Europe; the company’s Mexico and Latin American operations will continue.

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