Remember the Marie Callender's Burnt Pie Meme Lady? Here's an Update

A year after the cremated Thanksgiving calamity, we check in with the real-life cook behind that famous pumpkin pie.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
2 min read

If you were one of the many people who burned with rage last Thanksgiving when Sharon Weiss torched a Marie Callender's pumpkin pie and then blamed the company, it's OK. Sharon gets it. Asked for an update on her viral fame, the Georgia grandmother said it was "an exciting adventure."

"Who knew a burnt pie could take on the world?" Weiss told me. "I have received so many hysterical memes and very sweet comments. Not only did I roast a pie, I got roasted too, but it was all in good fun."

What about Thanksgiving 2022? Is Weiss saying bye-bye, pie? Not at all.


Sharon Weiss has made up with Marie Callender's, and set her oven back to Fahrenheit. Yes, she will have pie again this year.

Sharon Weiss

"I am looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner with my daughters, their husbands and my six grandchildren," Weiss said. "I have turned the cooking over to them, along with some favorite recipes. Of course, we will have Marie Callender's pumpkin pie and my granddaughter has offered to bake. Hopefully, the burnt-pie gene is not genetic."

Let's recap. Last year, Weiss torched her way into viral fame by burning a Marie Callender's pumpkin pie so badly it looked like an artifact from Pompeii.

No one outside her family would've known about Weiss' kitchen flop except she posted a photo to the food company's Facebook page, bitterly writing, "Thanks Marie Calendar for ruining Thanksgiving dessert." 

And the unforgettable image went viral, with people reposting the photo of the pie with all kinds of commentary. Many were outraged at Weiss for blaming the company, correctly surmising the baker herself somehow blew it. And the memes and jokes were pretty hot, with one person ranking Weiss' pie after an extremely well-done steak.

As I reported last year, the memesters were right. The big burn was Sharon's fault, not Marie Callender's. 

"Because (my) oven is also sold overseas, it has the ability to register in Fahrenheit or Celsius," she told me. And somehow, that got switched, so that when Weiss set the temperature to 375 degrees, the oven tried to represent that in Celsius, which would be 707 Fahrenheit.

As many people online have pointed out, the pie probably didn't actually bake at 700 Fahrenheit. Most home ovens top out at around 500 degrees Fahrenheit or so. But even if Weiss' oven didn't reach 700 Fahrenheit, it was still cranking out much more heat than that poor pie required.

Although Weiss did get her share of burns -- and they're continuing this Thanksgiving -- she's choosing to look on the bright side. Many people, she learned, can relate to a kitchen catastrophe.

"I received some heartwarming stories from people across the country and overseas thanking me for the laugh they got," she said. "Some were going through some rough times with medical issues, and it made them laugh and distracted them from their worries."

What's more, the Celsius calamity has made the family more careful in the kitchen. 

"Anytime we cook something," Weiss said, "we still, and probably always will, check to see what the temperature is reading."