So why, a full year later, are we still reveling in the poetics of the glorious grape-line? Like with "mom jeans" and ugly, pseudo-corrective white sneakers, things come full circle. Once re-introduced, the phrase quickly went viral for the second time. Folks couldn't help but circulate it. It's the swine flu of subtitles.
Not only does, "they did surgery on a grape" poke fun at the sort of tacky quick-turn video production that consumed the internet circa early 2017, but the use of the passive voice seems to have become an important part of the millennial web lexicon. This meme would certainly not exist if Godnick had written, "Doctors operate on a fruit," for the same reasons "doing a Tweet" is far funnier than "tweeting."
But why did they do surgery on a grape?
At bottom, the grape surgery was simply an expression of technological prowess. It was merely a demonstration.
To your questions: The ominous "they" is a team of Chicago doctors. The surgery in question was skin-removal. The grape was red, but we have no information about its current whereabouts.
You should understand by this point, however, that none of this information is relevant. "They did surgery on a grape" is about more than a small ovular fruit. It's about post-modern digital media, it's about where our great nation is applying its funds and its energy, and it's probably also about the ways your relationship with your mother is infiltrating your love life.
Sit with it. Take it in. They did surgery on a grape.