Crime, Religion, and More Weirdness Tied to America's Favorite Water Bottle

The Rise of the Stanley Quencher Cup


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The Rise of the Stanley Quencher Cup

I'm Sorry, Stanley Who?

We kid, we kid. Unless you've been living under a rock for the last four years, you likely already know about the inexplicable phenomenon surrounding the Stanley cup (no, we're not talking about that Stanley Cup, but more on that later …). If you are blissfully unaware, however, here it is in a nutshell: Stanley cups, available for over a century now, have exploded in popularity in the last few years. Case in point: Its sales have skyrocketed from $70 million pre-2020 to over $750 million in 2023. 

With that in mind, here are some facts — some interesting, many disturbing — you might not know about the ubiquitous tumbler. Who knew hydration could be so entertaining?

William Stanley Jr with Stanley Quencher

1. It Debuted Over 100 Years Ago

Though it seems a recent cultural phenomenon, the first Stanley cup debuted in 1913, when inventor and physicist William Stanley, Jr. filed a patent for an all-steel vacuum bottle. By 1915 he was mass-producing the product. 

Salt Lake Temple

2. Its Popularity Is Linked to a Certain Religion

Two people — historian Paul Matzko and journalist McKay Coppins — have publicly linked the Stanley tumbler's cultural catapult to one religion: Mormonism. It's a long story, but it can essentially be traced back to 2017 when The Buy Guide, a popular blog, featured the cup on its Instagram account, noting: "Of all the insulated cups ... this is the one. Just trust.”

Who runs The Buy Guide? Sisters Ashlee LeSueur and Taylor Cannon and their cousin Linley Hutchinson, all of whom are — you guessed it — Mormons. Stanley had all but stopped marketing the 40 oz. tumbler line until The Buy Guide lobbied it to reconsider.  

Stanley Cup Crime
Roseville, CA, Police Department

3. It Inspired a Water Bottle Heist

A 23-year-old woman was recently arrested in California and charged with grand theft after police pulled her over and found 65 Stanley cups worth $2,500 in her trunk and passenger seat. Noted the local police department: "While Stanley Quenchers are all the rage, we strongly advise against turning to crime to fulfill your hydration habits."

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Unhappy Girl Being Gossiped About By School Friends

4. It's Also Inspired Chaos, Violence, and Bullying

There isn't enough space to document the many times the Stanley Quencher has inspired people to act like jerks. It has created chaos at Target multiple times, including one recent incident when a man jumped a counter and assaulted an employee. And a lot of coverage has been devoted to how kids of all ages are bullying classmates who own Stanley dupes instead of the real thing. It's gotten so out of hand that some schools are banning them

Related: 18 Proven Strategies to Teach Kids To Handle Bullying

Collectible Starbucks Stanley Quencher

5. People Collect Them

If the thought of buying even one $40–$50 Stanley Quencher has you shaking your head, consider this: Some people collect them. One Alabama teen relayed to Business Insider that her parents have spent upward of $3,000 on Quenchers, bringing her total to 67. Another collector bedazzles some of her haul and sells them for $400 or more. Others — see above — are listed on Ebay for ridiculous amounts of money.

Related: 30 Collectibles That Are Now Worthless

Wayne Gretzky memorial in Edmonton

6. It Shares a Name With a Certain Sports Icon

If the name "Stanley Cup" brings to mind Wayne Gretzky triumphantly hoisting something above his head, you are in the minority here. There is that other Stanley Cup, of course — the championship trophy awarded annually to the best NHL team — but these days, if you google "Stanley Cup," you're gonna need to scroll a few times to get to the shiny silver and nickel version. 

Colored bright slippers for women and children flip flops on a blue background. Place for text

7. It Has a Crocs Connection

Because of course it does. If ever there was a man who perfected the art of marketing seemingly boring products to stratospheric success, it's Terence Reilly. Reilly spent seven years at Crocs, where he turned a line of ugly shoes into a fashion empire. After that, he went to Stanley, where he launched a master class in marketing by partnering with the likes of Starbucks, Pendleton, and singer-songwriter Lainey Wilson.  

Related: Wild Crocs Collaborations

Car Fire & Stanley Quencher
Nikola Nastasic/iStock/Cheapism

8. The Cups Are Virtually Indestructible

Among the more than one billion TikToks (!!!) devoted to the Stanley quencher, there are at least two that have gone viral for documenting the product's durability. One documented a TikTok dad's 20-year-old Stanley that he's still taking to work. Another showed a Quencher that not only survived a major car fire, but still had ice in it afterward.  

Wall Power Outlet

9. You Can Thanks Its Inventor for Accessible Electricity

While the inexplicably popular tumbler might be seen by some (cough, influencers, cough) as Stanley Jr.'s greatest achievement, it should also be noted that were it not for him, we might not be able to easily plug blow dryers and microwaves into wall sockets. He ultimately held 129 patents, including one for the first practical electrical transformer. 

Adele & Stanley Quencher

10. It's a Celeb Fave

In the least shocking Stanley Quencher fact of all, the trend has been adopted by celebrities. Adele, Olivia Rodrigo, Carrie Underwood, and Jessica Alba have all been photographed carrying Stanley Quenchers.

Stanley Thermos in Hammertone Green
Mitchell Orr/Unsplash

11. It's Available in a Gazillion Colors and Designs

A gazillion might be a bit of hyperbole, but counting the various versions is too daunting a task. Suffice to say, it's a lot. Certain colors seem to be much more popular than others, but if you want to lean old-school, go with the original Hammertone Green. Of course, that color sold out almost as soon as it was released in 2023, so you can either wait for a restock or pick one up on eBay for three to four times its original price.