Today, Ryan Lochte is a gold medal winning Olympian in Rio as part of what might be the most dominant U.S. swim team in history, getting set to race against his best frenemy, Michael Phelps, in the 200m individual medley. But in 2012, Lochte was a sex idiot. A simple sex idiot with some Olympic medals who was there for one woman’s “uninhibited experimentation,” and who made one man feel like “just an aging Squirtle in her Pokémon.”
It all started with Alec Baldwin’s Jack Donaghy starting his walk of shame after a night with the heiress to the Sbarro slice and calzone fortune, Zarina Sbarro. Of course there was the initial gloating that comes after a night of fun; his hair was still perfect, he really didn’t need a change of clothes, and Jack was feeling great about his night. Zarina, he would tell Liz, was just one of the women he was dividing his time with. Nothing to make a huge deal about.
It was all supposed to be mindless fun, but then Jack bumped into his special pizza buddy while hanging out with another lady, and the entire game changes as a shirtless Ryan Lochte runs up to tell Zarina, “Another old guy wanted to buy my shirt.” Throw in a handful of good Pokémon references that seems incredibly timely in 2016, and you have the dawn of the sex idiot.
Sure, maybe “Stride of Pride” wasn’t the greatest episode of 30 Rock, but much like some of the most classic moments on sitcoms like Seinfeld, it’s the one phrase popularized from the single show that is bigger than the episode itself. Lochte, he of the bleached hair that turned green, will forever be the patron saint of sex idiots.