Woman's Funny Story About Her Husband Putting Soup Away Sparks Debate About Weaponized Incompetence— 'Maybe He Was Just Too Tired'

Is it incompetence, exhaustion, or something in between?

man washing dishes while wife watches MART Production / Pexels

In any relationship, communication is key. No matter how much we might wish that our partners could read minds, it’s virtually impossible for a person to know what someone else wants without them directly expressing their needs.

Yet sometimes, even when one person asks their partner to do something clearly, it’s not always interpreted the way it should be. 

A woman captured the funny way her husband put soup away after dinner, sparking a debate on weaponized incompetence.

Clare Zim is a pediatric hematology and oncology doctor. In her Twitter bio, she also describes herself as a wife, a Swiftie, and an expectant mom.


On October 7, 2023, Zim unknowingly unleashed a lively debate on the platform now known as “X,” around the perceived differences in how husbands and wives complete household tasks.

She shared a photograph of the inside of her sparkling clean fridge, with only a few groceries on the shelves — cans of Coke, some yogurt, a package of butter, and a half-full jar of maraschino cherries. The photo also featured a large metal Crockpot, sitting on the lowest shelf, cord and all.

The caption accompanying the photo reads, “Told my husband to put the soup in the fridge and he put the entire crockpot in there.” Zim added a blushing emoji and a shrugging emoji to illustrate her confusion at the way her husband interpreted the task at hand.


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Her husband’s approach to putting soup away led to many of Zim’s followers to call him out for utilizing weaponized incompetence.

As advocate and writer Laura Danger notes, “When somebody does a bad job at something that’s very basic — loading the dishwasher, washing the laundry — it’s either normal incompetence. They don’t know how to do it, they never learn how to do it,” or it’s a version of weaponized incompetence, which is executing a task poorly on purpose so you won’t be asked to do it again.



One faction of Zim’s followers believed that her husband was exercising weaponized incompetence in the way he put the whole crockpot in the fridge instead of using a container. Others saw no harm in his execution of putting the soup leftovers away, believing that he did the task exactly as Zim asked. 


So many of Zim’s followers saw her husband’s action as weaponized incompetence. she re-entered the discourse to clarify her expectations.

She explained, “We are happily married, expecting a baby, and enjoying soup again for dinner tonight.” Yet not everyone believed her or agreed with her assessment of her own situation.

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One person tweeted that the translation of “We are happily married” is “I settle for mediocrity.”

Another person tweeted that Zim’s own reaction showed how “when a married woman shows the world an example of her husband’s weaponized incompetence, and she’s literally the only person in the world who doesn’t see it.”


Some people did come to her husband’s defense, with one woman saying that she saw a lot of “discourse about how this is weaponized incompetence and I hate coming to the defense of a man but I will say there is a cooking pot of soup in my own fridge right now and I am the only person who lives in this home.”

Others noted that the crockpot in the fridge could be indicative of a “both/and” type of situation. Maybe it was weaponized incompetence, or maybe her husband was just really tired.


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“There’s a version with weaponized incompetence AND there’s a version where he was too tired to think straight,” author Mikki Kendall tweeted in response. “Her reaction suggests door #2.”

It seems clear that Zim was hoping for some kind of reaction to the photo of the Crockpot in the fridge, yet her post opened up a well-worn discussion that she might not have been expecting.


It’s highly valuable to call out weaponized incompetence in one’s own relationship; it’s less valuable to do so in a stranger’s relationship, when the nuances of household roles aren't known outright by the people acting as witnesses online. 

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers relationships, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.