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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

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:

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

— Hunter Schwarz (@hunterschwarz) November 7, 2013

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: 

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

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

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.

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

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