How #ObamasGreatBigBoner became America’s No. 1 trending topic

For about a half hour during Twitter's IPO, the day belonged to a boner joke.


Cooper Fleishman

Internet Culture

Published Nov 7, 2013   Updated Jun 1, 2021, 2:24 am CDT

On the day Twitter went public, the company had a market valuation of $18.1 billion. Each of Twitter’s 230 million users was worth $78. And in the U.S., this was the community’s most important conversation:

Featured Video Hide

The day Twitter went public, the No. 1 trending topic in the United States was #obamasgreatbigboner

— Hunter Schwarz (@hunterschwarz) November 7, 2013

Advertisement Hide

Sure, Twitter’s IPO was a huge topic as well. So was #voteaustinmahone, #churchclothes2, and Rob Ford. But why Obama’s Great Big Boner? Why did it shoot up to the No. 1 spot in just a half hour? And what did it even mean?

I thought it might be a conservative anti-Obamacare rally, but it was actually just a prank. These guys, Ron and Fez, two Sirius XM comedy-radio hosts, started it all: 

Advertisement Hide

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

On their show, The Ron and Fez Show, they asked listeners to tweet creative spins on #obamasgreatbigboner. They had a prize, too: A Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 1 box set signed by Sarah Michelle Gellar.

It worked. #Obamasgreatbigboner climbed the charts within minutes:

Something we won’t be discussing on Politics Powered By Twitter: #obamasgreatbigboner trended. Peaked already too.

— Slade Sohmer (@SladeHV) November 7, 2013

Advertisement Hide

On the day Twitter goes public, SiriusXM’s The Ron and Fez Show creates the No. 1 trend worldwide with #obamasgreatbigboner @theibang

— Jerry Barca (@JBarca) November 7, 2013

“Boner means screw-up,” a Ron and Fez fan helpfully explained.

Here was the very first tweet, according to Topsy.

Voting present since 2008 #obamasgreatbigboner

— Keith (@KeithFromPhilly) November 7, 2013

Advertisement Hide

They got a little more creative, but mostly the trend just created confusion. (And some racist jokes.)

When I saw #obamasgreatbigboner was trending

— David Watenpool (@d_a_wat) November 7, 2013

Ron and Fez fans went wild over it.

Advertisement Hide

Eventually, it appeared to be pulled from the trending topics. It didn’t matter. Neither did Twitter’s IPO. For about a half hour, the day belonged to a boner joke. “It’s impressive how powerful this show has become,” a fan wrote on Reddit. “You guys are hysterical.”

Photo via BeckyFiedler/Flickr

Share this article
*First Published: Nov 7, 2013, 4:33 pm CST