An Ode To “Put It In Reverse Terry” for Independence Day

Back up Terry
Antario Davis

What do you think of when 4th of July rolls around?

There are many things that come to mind when it comes time to celebrate Independence Day. Fireworks lighting up the night sky is always a staple, along with the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, where Joey Chestnut strengthens his case every year for the greatest athlete of all time (move over Michael Jordan).

Getting together with friends and family and grilling out, lawn chairs and cold beers out on the lake, the list can really go on and on when determining what is synonymous with July 4th. However, most other holidays have a mascot of sorts, someone or something that symbolizes and encapsulates everything about the special day.

Christmas you have Santa Clause, Easter you have the Easter Bunny, and the always classic Jack-O-Lantern rests on the porches of those who celebrate Halloween. It almost feels like Independence Day is somewhat missing out on having a tried and true mascot that is both worthy and representative of the occasion, so allow me to formerly submit my choice for the face of the Fourth of July.

I’m sure you could see where this was going, but I would like to nominate Terry (from the YouTube sensation “Put It In Reverse Terry”) as the sole mascot for the holiday.

Every other holiday mascot is synonymous with the day it celebrates, and I can’t think of a better way to ring in our nation’s independence than a man who lights a firework on the hot, July asphalt and then gets stuck in the crossfire of it.

I will concede that because Joey Chestnut delivers every single year on the 4th by shoveling hot dogs down his gullet, he is a close second in the race, but it it simply doesn’t get any better than someone yelling at Terry to “put it in reverse” and Terry being unable to do so.

It’s 2023, so I’m hoping that this is not the first time you’ve seen this video. If it is, God bless you, for you get to enjoy this for the very first time while the rest of us consume it for the 3,458th time. Let me assure you that whether you’ve seen it 3 times or 300 times, each watch is just as enjoyable (if not better) as the last.

My favorite part of the video is that it shows up around this period of the year on an annual basis, as if it is the North Star guiding us to the holiday full of fireworks and glizzys. It almost acts as a signifier that the 4th of July is closely approaching, and it definitely represents how great our country is and why we chose to break away from  our oppressive England counterparts.

Why does this video represent our decision to break away and literally declare our freedom so well, you may ask? Well, when our great country signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776, we told the world “you can’t tell us what to do.”

So now, almost 250 years later, citizens of the ole USA walk up to temporary, breakaway circus tents (usually located in abandoned parking lots) to buy overpriced and sometimes defective explosives, then walk away with no training on how to use them and no questions asked.

I can’t think of a better way to say “yeah, we’re our own thing now” than blowing inordinate amounts of money just to watch it figuratively (and literally) fly up into the sky and blow up into patriotic red, white, and blue colors. “Put It In Reverse Terry” doubles down on all of it, because not only do they light off a firework in the middle of the street in the middle of the day, the infamous “Terry” sits about as close to the fireworks show as possible.

Sure, Terry probably should have put in in reverse and gotten away from the sparks and flames emitting from the fireworks box. And yes, him choosing to stay there was probably involuntary because it definitely looks like his motorized wheel chair malfunctioned. But guess what?

This is America, and if Terry wants to sit that close to the fireworks show, Terry will sit that close to the fireworks show, no matter how many “Oh Lawds” and other directions are screamed at him.

The video is timeless, and I recommend that you save the link in your phone’s calendar and set a reminder for it to pop up every year so you can truly understand and connect with Independence Day.

Our forefathers would be proud of how brave Terry was to not put it in reverse, so let us all celebrate and rejoice by consuming what is quite possibly the best 4th of July fireworks video in the history of mankind.

Enjoy the video below, and a Happy Independence Day to you all:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock