Propane gas has become a popular choice for barbecues and portable stoves because its low -42 °C boiling point makes it vaporise inside pressurised liquid containers (2 phases). Propane powers buses, forklifts, taxis, outboard boat motors, and ice resurfacing machines and is used for heat and cooking in recreational vehicles and campers.
Propane was discovered by the French chemist Marcellin Berthelot in 1857. It was found dissolved in Pennsylvanian light crude oil by Edmund Ronalds in 1864. Walter O. Snelling of the U.S. Bureau of Mines highlighted it as a volatile component in gasoline in 1910, which was the beginning of the propane industry in the United States. The volatility of these lighter hydrocarbons caused them to be known as "wild" because of the high vapor pressures of unrefined gasoline. On March 31, 1912, The New York Times reported on Snelling's work with liquefied gas, saying "a steel bottle will carry enough gas to light an ordinary home for three weeks".
But most people know Propane from the animated sitcom, King of the Hill and through the reverence and devotion the show's main character, Hank Hill, has for the gas. Due to Hank referring to Propane as a "sweet lady" multiple times in the series, it was able to qualify for Ms. /co/ 2022. To the surprise of many not only did it make past qualifiers, but it seeded at 45th place, nearly 20 seeds higher than its canon mate, Luanne Platter. It would go on to win several rounds, defeating Zatanna, former Elite Eight Jucika and Buttercup before being beat by ENA and denied a spot in 2022's Elite Eight.
Propane's run was a controversial one. While it was a source of OC, many anons derided it as a meme pick that didn't belong on the competition due to it not even being a character in its own show. Some claimed Propane was being used as a symbol of spite againts the genuine fun-loving spirit of the tournament as a whole, often supported by fans of girls who had been eliminated earlier into the competition (namely Amphibia). Another common point of criticism was how a majority of voters only supported the gas tank because it was seen as a surrogate vote for Hank, who was not allowed to participate that year due to the Elite Eight rule. It was compared less favorably to Plank, a frequent contender in Mr. /co/ who despite also being an inanimate object was treated as a person by the characters in his show; and Ebony & Ivory, its counterpart and possible inspiration in the Queen of /v/ 2021 tournament, which while was also source of controversy and bickering at the time, had an arguably much more fruitful campaign. This has lead to discussion about whether or not joke "characters" like Propane should even be allowed to qualify in future competitions.
In the final round of 2022's competition the host put the issue to vote, asking "Should a character be sentient? (Aka not just an object,) Unless they are treated like a character such as Plank.", and "Should gag characters be allowed in? Ie men/women in disguise/objects/etc (Princess Marco, Propane, John Dark)". The results were 69.2% in favor for the former and 36.2% (compared to 30% voting for 'yes' and 33.9% voting for 'yes, but only one can make it into the bracket') voting 'no' against the latter. Going forward, this means iconic objects (for example, Elmer Fudd's infamous grilled cheese) are no longer eligible for any of the /co/ tournaments. However, as Propane had made it to the bracket before the vote was passed it falls under the Grandfather Clause and will be eligible to participate in future Ms. /co/ tournaments.
Propane, however, did not get enough votes to qualify in 2023, and will have to wait until 2024 for another chance at meme magic.
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|The Powerpuff Girls
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