niche drama

Are You a Line-Wife or a Bucket Bunny?

Live laugh love. Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images

One fun thing about being alive is that I learn new things every day. Some days, the things are useful — how to make my iPhone guess what kinds of cat my cat is, based on my camera roll — and some days, they are just tasty bits of ephemeral garbage reclaiming space previously squandered on the quadratic formula. Today’s knowledge acquisition ticks both boxes, and it comes via my co-workers, who have kindly informed me that the line wives of TikTok are beefing with the bucket bunnies of Florida. Oh? Failing to understand what these words mean in that sequence, I set to scrolling and discovered that a zesty drama has indeed been marinating since Hurricane Ian swept through southwest Florida last week.

Ian left dozens of people dead and countless others homeless, swamping subdivisions and washing away bridges and hurling boats into buildings. It caused potentially unprecedented structural damage but also — and maybe you were not expecting this — a big flap on Tinder, as legions of supposedly strapping linemen swarmed in from out of town, ready to restore power where Ian knocked it out. Trouble is, some of these intrepid electrical wizards turned out to be married. Therein lies the drama. The line-wives? Mad. The bucket bunnies? Undeterred. The linemen? Continuing to fix the power lines, we hope. Me? Absolute armchair observer, ready to tell you every piece of information I have absorbed in the past 24 hours.

Let’s get into it.

What is “line-wife”?

A woman who is married to a lineman.

What is the lot of the line-wife?

According to TikTok: to pack an infinite carousel of suitcases; grill endless rib-eye steaks to medium-rare perfection; pick the gum wrappers and cigarette butts out of their laundry machines because their spouses refuse to empty their pockets; stare out at big empty driveways and big empty boots; and generally hold down the home front while their lineman is away, shipped out to whichever part of the U.S. has just been ravaged by a natural disaster, forever shimmying up the polls and risking electrocution so all these strangers can get back to their lives. The line-wives say their linemen are heroes, but sometimes — if the Toks are to be believed — they are also cads.

I’m sure there’s more to the line-wife life, and to a line-marriage, than the TikToks suggest, but at present, the content skews mostly this way. In fairness to the line-wives, though, it probably sucks when your partner is always out of town and has a dangerous job, leaving you to both worry and take care of whatever offspring and pets may be present in the home.

What is “bucket bunny”?

According to TikTok: a woman who seeks to sleep with or otherwise romance the lineman (who works in a big bucket), apparently with an eye toward getting a cut of that sweet overtime storm check — “six figures” keeps getting tossed around — or possibly because she thinks he is cute. Use it in a sentence? Okay: TikTok’s @emilyhosein1 found herself under fire from the line-wives last week after posting a montage of all the hot, sexy linemen taking over Florida Tinder post-hurricane and drawing accusations that she was just a gold-digging bucket bunny. See also: Urban Dictionary, or

Are all linemen married?

I mean, surely not. Surely, a fair portion of these allegedly sneaky, no-good, two-timing linemen is actually single and ready to mingle. They’re in town for a good time, not a long time, and what’s so bad about that?? But the thing is that @emilyhosein1 is not the only Floridian marveling at the lineman invasion.

As thirsty notifications about the linemen’s arrival gain traction on the algorithm, some line-wives have spotted their line-husbands in the screenshots.

And now those line-wives, the ones who have busted their possible-cheater husbands, are mad at the bucket bunnies? Rather than grateful to them for revealing who their husbands really are?

Yes and no! Some of the line-wives are taking a more lighthearted, You want him? You got him! Here’s the instruction manual for this persnickety jerk. Enjoy! approach. Addressing any bucket bunnies who may be “eyin’ up that eye-candy” who is her husband, Josh (“fuckin’ just runs his mouth like a goddamn asshole,” is “kind of a douche”), @effaniehams offered the following tips: “He likes his steak, he likes it rare; he prefers rib-eyes but will eat a New York strip. Make sure you do his laundry; he likes it washed on the extra rinse cycle.” (For what it’s worth, she is joking.)

Other line-wives, like Kylie, are taking a different high road, preferring to believe no one can steal the line-wife’s power because not just anyone can fill her shoes. Line-wives, she observes, do a lot: They cook, they clean, they take care of the kids, and they make their lineman a better lineman (and regular man!) by being “his soft place to land.” The woman hypothetically “bedding this man up for one night” can’t measure up to that — nor does she necessarily want to! As Kylie has observed elsewhere, “blue collar is not a trend, it is a lifestyle, and there are sacrifices that come with it.” She is a seasoned line-wife (who says she would blame only her husband, not another woman, in the case of any cheating), so I am sure she is right.

Still, others are like, Okay, bucket bunnies, you think you want this life? Look at all this space my massive Jeep has in the driveway because my line-husband is always away at power war. Some non-line-wife civilians have also wondered about the logistics of a lineman hookup given that most of them are sharing hotel rooms, though I imagine a lineman could simply go to the bucket bunny’s place. And then at least one TikToker claims a couple of these Tinder profiles are catfishes — that the linemen pictured weren’t even in Florida at the time, which I guess is what we get for gossiping. Anyway, some line-wives seem pissed, and some seem amused. That’s basically all you need to know.

Didn’t some of these aggrieved line-wives start out as bucket bunnies themselves?

I think we must assume that some did, or at least that they met their linemen while said linemen were working on location doing storm restoration. I don’t think we should hold that origin story against them, though some people have leveraged it as a criticism — for example, against our girl @effaniehams, who has clarified that she met her husband when he was a hospital worker. Meanwhile, Kylie admits to being a former bucket bunny and encourages us to remember that “Kim, people are dying.” (Correct; the official death toll has surpassed 120 people in Florida alone.) To me, the problem isn’t the bunnies as much as it is the line-husbands supposedly trying to sleep with them. And speaking of:

Why isn’t anyone mad at the hypothetically cheating line-husbands?

Some people are, largely in the comments, but yeah, good question, and I agree. What gives!?!

Do the linemen have anything to say for themselves?

For the most part, the linemen have stayed conspicuously silent on the subject of their allegedly rampant cheating, possibly because they are busy getting the power back on. Still, a couple have hopped onto TikTok to offer their thoughts on the matter: “All y’all line-wives, y’all acting like y’all out here working this hurricane here in Florida,” says @linedog66. “If your man’s switchin’ lanes, you better call him up.”

What do the pipeline wives have to say about this?


To be clear, not all power-line workers are men; linepeople would be a more inclusive term, only in this case it does appear to be the linemen who are the problem.
Are You a Line-Wife or a Bucket Bunny?