Many are self explanatory (Batman), or nearly so (A New Hope). But some are more obscure. I'm especially curious about "Weed Eater". As a fan of Stephen King's The Dark Tower series, the term "Weed Eater" seems to me like a reference to a relatively obscure episode in the first volume of the series, The Gunslinger.

Is "Weed Eater" inspired by The Gunslinger? And more generally, is there a list of what inspired each of the (non-secret) hats? If no such list exists, can we have one?

  • 4
    Hmm... A brand and colloquial name for a lightweight brush cutter, or a derogatory name for an addict... Tough call.
    – Shog9
    Dec 14, 2015 at 1:37
  • @Shog9 - The latter would be more in keeping with the general theme. Also, I figured out what "Odinson" is, and Rand al' Thor figured out "Archimedes".
    – Wad Cheber
    Dec 14, 2015 at 2:16
  • Are we doing Secret Hats here, too? So far, we've just been doing the regular ones.
    – Catija
    Dec 15, 2015 at 3:35
  • @Catija - Go for it.
    – Wad Cheber
    Dec 15, 2015 at 3:36
  • 2
    I was planning on explaining these in the end-of-event wrap-up blog post, but it would make me really happy if people got them all correct in the answers here before then.
    – Pops
    Dec 15, 2015 at 20:01
  • @Pops How are we doing so far?
    – Catija
    Dec 16, 2015 at 17:16
  • @Catija Several correct, a few incorrect. It's too early in the event to give hints on which are which.
    – Pops
    Dec 16, 2015 at 22:18
  • Hmmm... we should probably make this a single, CW answer... Thoughts?
    – Catija
    Dec 17, 2015 at 17:10
  • @Catija - works for me.
    – Wad Cheber
    Dec 17, 2015 at 21:00

9 Answers 9


Regular Hats:

"Weed Eater" - Because this is the crux of your question, I'm putting it first...

As far as I can tell, this simply seems to be related to the constant requirement of weeding to maintain a successful garden. The tool is a weeding tool called a "hand weeder" (they come in a variety of designs but this is the one pictured in the hat):

Hand weeder

And the hat itself, resembles the sort of sun hat regularly worn by gardeners to shade themselves.

Gardener in hat

So, I don't believe that there is any connection in this hat to the Gunslinger series... unless there's a gardener in the books.

As a note, there is a brand that specializes in gardening power tools called "Weed Eater".

"Speedy Delivery" refers to the mailman, Mr. McFeely, from Mr. Rodger's Neighborhood whose catch phrase was "Speedy Delivery". The hat, coat and bow tie match his outfit from the show.

Mr. McFeely

"Every! Body! Gets! A Hat!" is representative of Oprah's hair... and her penchant for giving out cars, where she says "You get a car, you get a car, you get a car... Every body gets a car".


"Researcher" represents "Taco", the Trello mascot.

Taco, the Trello Mascot

"Living in the Future" references the futuristic outfit that Marty McFly wears in Back to the Future 2:

Marty McFly in Back to the Future 2

"Specialist Hatsman" - I'm less sure about this one but, apparently, in Season 1, Ep. 7 of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, one of the characters, Fluttershy, wears a similar helmet.

Fluttershy in Unicorn helmet

For completeness, some of the more obvious ones:

  • "Auld Lang Syne" references the traditional song sung in much of the English speaking world at midnight between New Year's Eve and Day. It references the popular year glasses seen most years on NYE (provided they can find somewhere to put the eye holes).

  • "Explorer" is a Pith Helmet, often worn by various jungle explorers.

  • "Fan-hat-ic" was a user-requested hat, referencing the one worn by Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice Elizabeth Mary of York at the wedding of Prince William of Wales to his now wife, Princess Kate.

  • "I'm Batman" ... is Batman.

  • "O Tannenbaum" is a Christmas Tree... given out on Christmas Day. The song title "O Tannenbaum" translates in English to "Oh Christmas Tree", hence the tree.

  • "Timey Wimey" is referential of Doctor Who.

Secret Hats:

  • "007" - Referential of James Bond, 007, who is known to regularly wear tuxedos and drink martinis.

  • "Amazing Grace" - Refers to Grace Murray Hopper, Naval Rear Admiral, and pioneering programmer of the Harvard Mark I Computer in the 1940s. Credited with popularizing the term "bug" in reference to computer programming errors, after the team she was working with discovered a moth stuck in a relay. This hat represents her naval uniform hat, the horn rimmed glasses she wore and her white hair.

  • "Archimedes" - Refers to Archimedes' discovery of how to use water displacement to find the volume of an irregular object.... which supposedly occurred while he was taking a bath... hence, the bath tub. Eureka!

  • "Cleanup Crew" - This hat represents the safety vest, knit cap, and trash pickup tool of a highway trash pickup worker or volunteer. They generally wear reflective vests and, occasionally, hard hats and are armed with a trash pickup stick with either a straight pin for stabbing the trash or a set of grabber claws.

  • "Edward Edwards" - Named after the British Naval Admiral of the same name. Admiral Edwards was tasked with capturing the Bounty mutineers. This hat represents the uniform he would have worn.

  • "Hairboat's Revenge" - Refers to SE former staff member Abby Hairboat.

  • "Odinson" - Refers to Thor, son of Odin (based on Norse mythology)... this hat... outfit... resembles the costume worn by the character, Thor, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films.

  • "Sun Wukong" - a character in the Chinese novel Journey to the West; he is also known as the "Monkey King".

  • 1
    I have never wished more for the ability to use tables in SE answers. :(
    – Catija
    Dec 15, 2015 at 4:06
  • 1
    Which hat is the Fluttershy bit referencing? The 11 hats one?
    – Troyen
    Dec 15, 2015 at 23:34
  • Researcher is a reference to Trello's mascot, another StackOverflow-company platform. Dec 17, 2015 at 19:32
  • @SevenSidedDie I know I said no hints yet, but I feel like I should probably be clear about this: Trello and SO are not affiliated with each other. We're friendly, but we're independent companies. Also, while I'm pinging you: seeing the 007 hat on your avatar was hilarious to me. Really more than it should have been.
    – Pops
    Dec 17, 2015 at 23:46
  • @Pops I'm not sure where I got that misapprehension. Thanks for clearing that up! Yes, the 007 is well-suited (aheh); I'll probably switch back to it. :) Dec 17, 2015 at 23:49
  • Note to self: manually awarded hat for puns next year.
    – Pops
    Dec 17, 2015 at 23:51
  • @Pops - You know, right, that in one year from now this one message will be used against you, right? :P Also, I am a little sad, this answer spoiled my idea for that specialist hat.
    – SPArcheon
    Dec 20, 2015 at 20:57
  • Fan-hat-ic... or facehugger?
    – Jason C
    Dec 23, 2015 at 0:45
  • @Pops so, how about it? Or hat you forgotten?
    – SQB
    Dec 20, 2016 at 17:30

Some guesses:

  • El Dorado: El Dorado is the name of a myth created by European explorers pertaining to gold in the New World. The story eventually grew to become an entire city of gold. Therefore, it is awarded to a user who earns a gold badge.
  • Cerro de Potosi: Cerro de Potosi (also known as Cerro Rico) is a Bolivian mountain once rumored to be made entirely of silver. Therefore, it is awarded to a user who earns a silver badge.
  • Melpomene: Melpomene was the Greek Muse of Tragedy. Therefore, this hat is awarded when a question is (tragically) closed or deleted.
  • Thalia: Thalia was the Greek Muse of Comedy (thus, a counterpoint to Melpomene) and of "flourishing", according to Wikipedia. Therefore, when a question is reopened, and has "flourished", this hat is awarded.
  • Hat Trick: This is a nod to various sports, including cricket, hockey, and (association) football, in which achieving some particular feat three times within certain parameters is called a "hat trick". Hitting the rep cap three times earns you this hat.
  • Carl Frederickson: This is the name of the hero in the movie Up. Therefore, earning five "up"votes (and only upvotes) gets you this hat.
  • Copernicus: Kudos to Gilles and Random in chat for this one. Nicolaus Copernicus challenged the Roman Catholic Church's "accepted" model of the universe. Therefore, "challenging" an accepted answer by posting another one earns you this hat.
  • 1
    Some of those hats would make good mythology.se questions :)
    – user160606
    Dec 14, 2015 at 4:47

Sufganiyot are delicious jelly doughnuts traditionally eaten on Hanukkah, which this year ends on the evening of December 14.

enter image description here

(Image By Noam Furer (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons)

  • You could have used this one :P i.sstatic.net/4rSTx.jpg
    – SPArcheon
    Dec 14, 2015 at 7:41
  • lol, ate too many of those in the last week... :-D Dec 14, 2015 at 8:59
  • 1
    Ich bin kein Berliner! Dec 14, 2015 at 9:59
  • Looks very much like a Faschingskrapfen.
    – Bergi
    Dec 15, 2015 at 1:04
  • This post brought to you by Cardiologist Association of the World
    – DVK
    Dec 17, 2015 at 18:26

Greeter I think has to do with Walmart greeters. The shirt has a smiley face on it just like Walmart greeters attire has.

Do You Even Lift I think has something to do with this/and/or similar youtube videos, or maybe just the general meme

A New Hope I think has to do with the new Star Wars movie coming out on that day Dec. 18th. Hopefully SE got paid for advertising it!

The Airing of Grievances I think has to do with the Seinfeld espisode in which was created the new holiday of Festivus, where they spend some time airing grievances.


Specialist Hatsman is shaped like a cricket batting helmet:

cricket batting helmet

The name refers to the cricket term specialist batsman, denoting a player who is skilled in batting but not in bowling.

The requirement of 11 hats presumably refers to the 11 players on a cricket team.

  • But why does it have a unicorn???
    – Catija
    Dec 18, 2015 at 0:14
  • 2
    Because unicorns are the (semi-)official mascot of Stack Exchange!
    – mmyers
    Dec 18, 2015 at 1:35


Weed Eater
Answer a question that qualifies as a tumbleweed and get that answer accepted
The hat description pretty much explains everything. Like several other hat names this year, it's a play on words; the term "weed eater" itself is a genericized trademark that refers to a type of lawn care tool.

I'm sad to say I've never heard of The Dark Tower or The Gunslinger, let alone the specific event from the story that you're thinking of.

Vote or post on Dec. 14 (the first day of Winter Bash, and the last day of Hanukkah)
This one was pretty straightforward. Sufganiyot are donuts traditionally eaten during Hanukkah. Thanks to Double AA and others at Mi Yodeya (AKA Jewish Life and Learning SE) for confirming that these are a good symbol of the holiday.

A New Hope
Vote or post on Dec. 18 (the release date of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the US)
I have to say, I expected at least a few complaints about this hat name from people who didn't get the joke, but I didn't see any, so either it was both obvious and hilarious or people got it but didn't think it was funny. It's the first one, right? Right?

For those who aren't aware (don't worry, I won't judge... much): A New Hope is the title of the original Star Wars movie, released in May 1977. The three prequel movies, released two decades later, were... not exactly loved... by fans, and the new film released last month was seen as something of a new hope for the franchise.

The Airing of Grievances
Vote or post on meta on Dec. 23 (Festivus)
Who loves the '90s? One of the most famous and popular [citation needed] episodes of Seinfeld, "The Strike", introduced millions of people to the holiday of Festivus, celebrated every Dec. 23 with an aluminum pole, a display of feats of strength, and of course, an airing of grievances. And what better place to air your grievances than meta?

O Tannenbaum
Vote or post on Dec. 25 (Christmas)
Another straightforward one. There's a famous Christmas carol titled O Tannenbaum, also known as O Christmas Tree ("tannenbaum" being the German word for a fir tree, and often used to refer to Christmas trees).

Auld Lang Syne
Post in chat within 12 hours of the moment when 2015 becomes 2016 (UTC), and get a star
Continuing the musical theme, Auld Lang Syne is a song traditionally sung to celebrate the arrival of a new year. According to Wikipedia,

The song's Scots title may be translated into standard English as "old long since", or more idiomatically, "long long ago", "days gone by" or "old times". Consequently, "For auld lang syne", as it appears in the first line of the chorus, might be loosely translated as "for (the sake of) old times".

Visit the site on ten consecutive days during Winter Bash
Visiting a site for 100 consecutive days earns a user the Fanatic gold badge. Mostly, I couldn't resist the pun here. This is also partially to throw a bone to those people who have complained that it's too hard to achieve the badge, or even its 30-day counterpart, Enthusiast. (But if you think 100 is hard... have you seen these guys?)

The hat design, incidentally, was originally requested here on meta, albeit with a different trigger. The requested trigger ended up being used for another hat this year, Sun Wukong (scroll down).

Every! Body! Gets! A Hat!
Participate in Winter Bash on a site where at least 20 hats have been unlocked
This one makes sense if and only if you get the reference. Back in 2004, Oprah Winfrey taped an episode of her eponymous show in which every member of the audience received a car as a free gift. Check out the video, then come back and read the name of the hat in her voice.

Specialist Hatsman
Earn 11 other hats
Here's a rare instance of the community guessing the origin of a hat design incorrectly, although based on the screenshot provided, I can totally see why.

This year's hat isn't an American football helmet. We did a football helmet last year, as the Handegg hat:

Handegg hat from Winter Bash 2014

(Bonus naming info: What's a "Handegg"?, at English Language & Usage SE; and this answer in particular)

This year's hat is, as mmyers said, a cricket batting helmet. The name of the hat is a play on "specialist batsman," the term for a cricketer who, well, specializes in batting (as opposed to bowling). The trigger required 11 other hats because there are 11 players on a cricket team. And the unicorn in the helmet logo (both this year and last) isn't just some rando off the street (or, uh, sky pasture?), it's Sparkles, our unofficial company pet/mascot.

Carl Fredricksen
Receive no downvotes and at least five upvotes in a day
Carl Fredricksen is the name of the main character from one of the biggest movies of 2009. The name of the film? Up.

Do You Even Lift?
Get at least five answers to scores of +5 each
The phrase "Do you even lift?" comes to us from an Internet meme. (If you like memes, scroll down to the secret hat section and check out It's Over 9000!) The trigger was chosen to evoke five sets of five reps. And what better "hat" to represent this than a sweatband?

Side note: thousands of these were earned, so maybe I just missed it, but I'm disappointed that I didn't see anyone abusing the opportunity to look like a French mayor.

Living in the Future
Post a self-answer that scores at least 5 to a question asked before Winter Bash started
As a certain segment of the population will undoubtedly remember, Back to the Future Day occurred in 2015. What better way to commemorate this than two months late, with Marty McFly's outfit from the second movie?

Do it Yourself
Ask and self-answer a question; each post must reach score of at least 3
Here's another mostly self-explanatory one. Self-answering is "doing it yourself." "Do it yourself" is also a common phrase, at least in the US, referring to a wide variety of projects people can do on their own—often relating to home improvement—instead of buying a mass-produced product or hiring a professional.

Speedy Delivery
Answer within 30 minutes of question being asked, scoring at least 3 and getting accepted
Users of a certain age, at least in North America, will immediately recognize that this is a reference to the children's TV show Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Specifically, the character Mr. McFeely, the delivery man, who worked for the Speedy Delivery company and said "Speedy Delivery!" whenever he arrived to make a delivery.

For a question with an existing accepted answer, post a competing answer that reaches a score of at least +3
This hat was named for Copernicus in recognition of his theory of heliocentrism, which challenged an existing solution to the question of how astronomical objects moved (geocentrism) that people had already accepted as true, and was eventually rewarded by widespread support.

It was also a bit of a test for intrepid Community Manager bluefeet, as part of ongoing research into the worst prominently displayed answers.

Successfully close a question
Melpomene is the Greek Muse of Tragedy. Mostly I just thought it would be funny to use the drama and comedy masks as hats. Closing is a sad face occasion, hence Melpomene.

Successfully reopen a question
Thalia is the Greek Muse of Comedy. Mostly I just thought it would be funny to use the comedy and drama masks as hats. Reopening is a happy face occasion, hence Thalia.

Cerro de Potosi
Earn a silver badge
Like the other "badge hat" (El Dorado, below), this is pretty straightforward. Cerro de Potosi (AKA Cerro Rico) is the most famous silver mine in the world. At one point, it was rumored that the entire mountain was basically made of silver.

El Dorado
Earn a gold badge
Like the other "badge hat" (Cerro de Potosi, above), this is pretty straightforward. El Dorado is a mythical city made of gold, long searched for in the Americas by Spanish (and other) explorers.

Post on a new site for the first time and reach a score of 3
Another fairly self-explanatory hat. This is for "exploring" new places in the SE network. It's one of my favorite hat ideas of all time (Hello, World in 2013 was very similar). The hat itself is a pith helmet, often associated in the modern day with European explorers journeying to tropical locales.

Edit and upvote a new user's first post
With all those Explorers running around, we needed welcoming committees for them! The name and art from this hat actually came from the job title and uniform of people who stand just inside the doors of Wal-Marts to welcome customers.

Field Work
Earn the Nice Question badge for a post made from the mobile app
Some of us on the team have a use case story in our heads for the mobile app. You're in the kitchen making dinner, or out back pruning a rose bush, and you run into a problem. Maybe you need to keep an eye on a sauce that's reducing and can't leave for long; maybe you just don't feel like dropping everything you're doing in the garden and breaking your mental groove to go find a computer.

Either way, you whip out your phone, bang out a quick question in the app, maybe snap a quick photo, and throw to Seasoned Advice or Gardening and Landscaping SE for help from "in the field."

Certainly that's not the only use case for the app; it's just one possible story. But it's one I thought might be nice to reward with a hat.

Vote ten times from the mobile app
This one is not only straightforward, but also boring. Mobile devices are wireless, so the hat is a wireless headset. What? They can't all come with great stories.

Instead, I leave you with a pro tip: we got reports this year that emulators work just fine for mobile-related hats, for those who are unwilling or unable to install the app on real mobile devices.

I'm Batman
Edit a closed question (that you did not participate in closing) that gets reopened after your edit
Probably the most straightforward hat of the year. Actual comment from our brainstorming doc:

How have we not done a Batman hat yet?

Problem solved.

Timey Wimey
Edit five old questions
Last year, we had a hat named Time Lord with the exact same trigger that looked like a TARDIS. It was widely liked, and given the nature of both the trigger and Dr. Who, I thought running it again with just a slight change seemed appropriate.

Hat Trick
Hit the rep cap three times
Beyond the obvious element of "how could we not have a hat with 'hat' in the name," "hat trick" is a generic term in sports for achieving something three times, usually having to do with scoring points. I'm most familiar with it in the context of ice hockey, so the Winter Bash hat was an ice hockey helmet and jersey.

Use the site search on three consecutive days
This was a rare case of a hat being designed to fit the art rather than the other way around. Someone on the team declared that we needed to have a hat that looked like Taco wearing nerd glasses, and it quickly became accepted as fact.

No, not tacos, the food. Taco, the Siberian husky who lives with our CEO, Joel Spolsky. You can see a baby picture of him (Taco, not Joel) here, and a somewhat more recent one here, if you're into that sort of thing. A few people thought this hat was based on the Trello logo. Close, but not quite; their mascot and the hat just look similar because they were based on the same actual dog.

Vote Early, Vote Often
Cast 250 total votes on any seven consecutive days during Winter Bash
Historically, this phrase first became prominent in the context of political corruption in Chicago in the early 20th century. It's had a long history at Stack Exchange in less corrupt, more literal usage, though, showing up in the blog and on Math SE's meta from just a five-second Googling.


Guess the trigger for a secret hat other than Archimedes itself
This hat was originally rolled out in 2013, with the name "Eureka" and a light bulb as the design. Last year, the name remained the same and the art was tweaked only very slightly. I decided that this was not a tradition worth keeping, but I didn't want to throw away our history entirely, so this year's iteration was named after the man most famous for shouting "Eureka!" in the first place. The hat is an upside-down mini-bathtub because he did it while in the tub, or so the story goes.

Onion Knight
Receive three anonymous positive feedback "pseudo-upvotes" on a question
This might have been the most misleading name of the year; it was certainly the most baffling trigger, as it was the only one that nobody earned Archimedes for. Almost all the way through the three weeks of Winter Bash, most people—at least, the ones who cared about such things—were divided into two camps: those who thought the name referred to the Final Fantasy job class and those who thought it referred to the Game of Thrones character. (A couple people on the fringes mentioned a Dark Souls NPC, too.)

In the wrap-up blog post, I said they were all wrong, but that's not 100% accurate. I wouldn't have picked this name for the hat if Final Fantasy and Game of Thrones hadn't made the phrase "Onion Knight" popular in the first place. But that's as far as the connection goes. The real hint in the trigger was the first word, "onion." Onions were meant to make people think of Tor, which in turn should have prompted thoughts about anonymity. (To be clear, actually using Tor itself was not required for the hat. Tracking Tor usage would actually be sort of creepy.)

Flip Flop
Post or vote on Dec. 22 (the solstice)
This ended up being another misleading hat name, but quite by accident. Due to the way Winter Bash handles time, most people started seeing this hat being worn by others when the date was still 12/21 (or 21/12) in their local time zone. As a result, there were a lot of incorrect theories posted about the hat having to do with the palindromic date.

Actually, the thing that was "flip-flopping" was the length of days (or, rather, the sunlit parts of days), since the hat was awarded on the solstice. To a lesser degree, the name also referred to the hat design—the photo of the dress that the entire Internet flipped its lid (sorry) about earlier in the year—because some people were able to "flip-flop" between seeing the different color schemes.

Hairboat's Revenge
Reply to Jon Ericson
This is actually a pretty literal hat name, but one that only serious Winter Bash fans would understand. Two years ago, Abby AKA "hairboat" was in charge of Winter Bash. Last year, Jon Ericson had the job, and he "decided to prank her honor her with a hat awarded to those responding to one of her posts or comments". This year, Abby decided to get revenge by having us secretly run the hairboat hat again, only with Jon's user ID replacing hers in the trigger. We even used the same art as last year; the only change was switching the color of the sail to black, a nod to the Dread Pirate Roberts's ship Revenge, from The Princess Bride.

Flying Tiger
Answer a question scoring -3 or worse; the answer must score at least 5, and the question must improve to 3 or better; your votes do not count
After the success of the Red Baron hat last year, we wanted to run it again. But we wanted to correct one minor loophole from last year, too: preventing an answerer's own votes from counting towards the question improvement requirement.

In doing so, we made the hat harder to earn than Red Baron, and so we needed a name that was similar but better. Unfortunately, there aren't many pilots who have topped Manfred von Richthofen, by any measure. In World War II, Erich Hartmann became the top flying ace of all time, but he flew for Germany, and I didn't think that would make for a very good Winter Bash hat for obvious reasons. Eventually, I gave up on finding a strictly superior hat name and went for a lateral move, to something that was still in the same realm (military aviation) but not directly comparable.

Cleanup Crew
Delete ten of your own comments after the post they're under was edited by its author
Another straightforward one, which is actually somewhat rare for a secret hat. Comments are generally considered second-class content on Stack Exchange sites; they're intended to be used to ask for clarifications or point out things that need improvement, and not stick around permanently. In practice, comments don't always get used in this way, but when they are, they're basically garbage after the requested improvements are made. Here, then, is a hat for cleaning up said garbage.

Close a question using the "dupe-hammer" privilege, or cast a vote to close as dupe that a hammer later finalizes
This is sort of an in-joke for power users, who frequently compare the "dupe-hammer" privilege to Mjölnir, the mythical hammer wielded by Thor, the Norse god of thunder. Another name for Thor is Odinson (he's literally the son of Odin).

It's Always 5 O'Clock Somewhere
Ask a question when it is 5:01 pm on Friday anywhere in the world
There are three meanings in this name. Most obviously, it points out that the hat has to do with the 5 o'clock hour. Also, this is a common phrase associated with the end of the workday and the implication "Why are you still doing job stuff instead of down at the pub?" And third, the presence of the word "somewhere" hints at the fact that the time needs only to be 5:01 in any valid time zone, rather than some specific time zone.

Answer a question that has 0 comments, get 0 comments and score 7
This is pretty self-explanatory in the context of the hat criteria. Each digit corresponds to the number of something that triggers awarding of the hat. The number itself is, of course, famous for being James Bond's MI6 agent ID number. There's no deeper connection on this one.

It's Over 9000!
Get 9000 total views on your questions asked during Winter Bash
Another meme-based hat. (This is a tech start-up, after all.) Dragon Ball fans may remember the original scene.

Edward Edwards
Win a bounty after another answer first met the auto-awarding criteria
To be clear, the Edward Edwards in question is the British naval officer, not any of the eight other people with that name famous enough to merit a Wikipedia entry. He's most famous today for commanding the ship that was ordered to reclaim HMS Bounty after the famous mutiny. Accordingly, this hat was awarded to users who claimed a bounty that was practically in someone else's grasp.

Historians may complain that this is analogy to SE bounties is imperfect, because the actual Bounty had been destroyed by the time Edwards arrived at Tahiti, or because meeting the auto-award criteria isn't the same as actually having control of the bounty at any point. To which I say, I may have screwed up because I spent a disproportionate amount of time making sure the hat art accurately represented an authentic British naval captain's uniform from the 1790s. And also, look, another distraction, over there!

Sun Wukong
Receive at least five upvotes and at least five downvotes for the same post on meta
There have been multiple requests for a Winter Bash hat for meta controversy. One, as mentioned earlier (see Fan-hat-ic) was here; another was here. I was especially supportive of the idea because I proposed a badge for essentially the same thing over four years ago.

Getting to the name of the hat was a bit of a process. Early brainstorming—before the design and trigger were associated—came up with the ideas of masks from Peking opera or kabuki theatre as possible hats for this year. Once the trigger was set, it wasn't a far jump from Peking opera to the sometimes-mischievous-but-ultimately-heroic Sun Wukong, who is as famous in east Asia as Superman is in America or Asterix in France.

Amazing Grace
Ask a meta question tagged that scores at least 10 and attracts an answer that also scores at least 10
Computer science may not be as ancient a discipline as most other sciences, but it has its fair share of great people. One of the better-known, and a favorite here at Stack Exchange, is Rear Admiral Grace Hopper. She is a giant in the field for, among other things, inventing the compiler in 1952—a huge step in computing history.

However, this hat is not about that. It's about her less academically significant but more famous literal usage (and subsequent popularization) of the term "debugging" after her teammates found that an error they were encountering was being caused by a moth inside the machine.

Hopper's logbook entry with the moth taped inside, labeled "First actual case of bug being found."
(source: wikimedia.org)

(photo from Wikipedia)


Adding to the list, the secret hat "Flying Tiger" is named after the 1st American Volunteer Group of the Chinese Air force, active between 1941-1942. They were famous for the distinct shark face nose art they painted on their planes.

enter image description here

They were created by Claire L. Chennault (see picture below) who looks suspiciously like the hat.

enter image description here


Onion Knight - most likely refers to Davos Seaworth from the Song of Ice and Fire books. While the hat itself remains a secret, it got something to do with gaining lots of power. (aka upvotes)


It' over Nine Thousand - an obvious reference to Dragon Ball and the internet meme started by the famous Vegeta's quote. In the original series, Vegeta screams this line after noticing thru the scouter that Goku power level was "over nine thousand". This is promptly disregarded as an error, assuming that the scouter is broken.
Actual unlock condition for the hat are still unknown, but it is worth noticing the idea for this one may come from the old hat proposal thread. Here I suggested a scouter+Vegeta hair combo. Also note that the actual used unlock method isn't the one I listed, so please don't try.

Onion Knight - The term Onion Knight is used to indicate somebody rapidly gaining power. It origin probably is found in Final Fantasy 3, which had a class with the same name. The class started out weak, but level after level its stat grow would increase faster, to the point that at level cap it would outshine each other class. It also hadn't many equipment restrictions as the other classes/jobs did.
The name may also be a reference to the Game of Thrones character Davos Seaworth, who became a knight after beginning its life as a smuggler. Sadly, as now the actual unlock criteria for the hat is unknown, so we can't still decide which reference is the most appropriate.

Hairboat's Revenge - An reference to a secret hat awarded during the 2014 edition of WinterBash. The original hat was unlocked by posting a comment on one of abby hairboat posts. Obviously, this caused her inbox to overflow with message notifications, so this hat is her revenge against the one that had the idea for the original Hairboat.
A nice feature that not everyone notices is that the two hats images are actually different: the original one had a white sail, while this one uses a black one, almost to indicate that the ship is a pirate one, seeking revenge.

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