This is in the same vein as Winter Bash closing remarks - ideas for next year as What should we consider for next year's Winter Bash?. I figured we might as well have one for this year. . .

So, Winter Bash 2015 is over. The hats have been put back into storage, the snowflakes are gone, and the tiny people have stopped throwing snowballs at each other (or maybe not).

What worked this year, and what should we consider for Winter Bash 2016 (I assume there will be one)? More hats? Less hats? New ideas?

I think going for the one-idea-per-answer format, as in the past, should work. Also, the consensus by the answers posted so far seems to be to add a basic description using a # before the text, appearing like

Summary of my hat comment/request

Details of my hat comment/request

27 Answers 27


Make hats encourage good/desired behaviour.

  • Hairboat's Revenge, for instance, is just silly: it caused a lot of unnecessary comments and clutter. Suggestion for next year: abolish it. If the CMs want to play Christmas pranks on each other, can't they do it without causing a lot of mess for everyone?
  • Timey Wimey might have seemed like a good idea, but in practice it encouraged people to do lots of insignificant edits and clutter up the front page with old questions just to get a hat. Suggestion for next year: require edits to be substantial (by some definition).
  • Greeter also probably seemed like a good idea, but it caused some problems on sites with a high volume of low-quality posts.

(Admittedly Winter Bash 2015 was much better on this front than Winter Bash 2014. Kudos to Pops and whoever else was involved!)

  • 1
    Greeter also created some problems on Stack Overflow, though it was well-intentioned.
    – Ben N
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 0:32
  • 12
    Also, the hat for voting to reopen was a terrible idea on smaller sites.
    – Doorknob
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 0:39
  • 9
    I also disliked the Auld Lang Syne hat since it resulted in people begging for stars in chat. Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 0:40
  • @quartata In Mos Eisley there's so much starring and star-begging going on anyway that Auld Lang Syne didn't cause a discernable difference! Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 1:00
  • 3
    Timey Wimey was good I thought. Lots of older questions need the attention anyway, especially those asked around a site's inception - they tend to be lower quality but were 'allowed' because the site was still finding it's feet. If we're worried about 'insignificant' edits then maybe just institute the same mechanism as suggested edits next year: 6 character minimum for an edit to qualify for 'Timey Wimey'. Make this obvious on the hat description as well.
    – Robotnik
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 4:24
  • 13
    The Hairboat hat was a joke, and it didn't cause any "harm" to anyone but Jon, who actually cleaned up most of the comments as the hats were awarded. It was never intended to encourage positive behavior, and was payback for a joke played last year. We have zero intentions of doing another hat like that in the future. The only reason it existed this year was for payback, and we fully expected a lot of useless comments.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 4:46
  • 4
    For what it's worth, I intend to end the cycle of revenge. If you see any outstanding comments that are directed to me and don't seem to be useful anymore, please post them in my room. I feel I did a pretty good job of clearing those out myself, but I surely missed a few. Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 19:57

Secret hats were a win

I liked that not all the secret hats were spoiled on day 2 or even known about for several days. Two secret hats (at least) weren't eligible to be awarded until several days after Winterbash had started, which made for a nice surprise.

I don't know if all the secret hats were guessed, but if they were it wasn't obvious. There are still a few, including one that I earned, that I don't know the exact prompt for. (I know I'm "very close" on the one I earned, but I didn't guess it.) I'm looking forward to seeing the revelations there. I'm glad I had the chance to experiment with and try to figure out secret hats for the entirety of Winterbash.

  • 4
    There were two (Edward Edwards and Onion Knight) that were never correctly guessed.
    – David
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 0:39
  • Can the secrets be revealed?
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 0:43
  • 1
    @Zizouz212 Poke Pops. I believe he said he would eventually reveal them.
    – HDE 226868
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 0:43
  • @David some were guessed in less-obvious places. I didn't feel like digging through all the chat to find out what my Cleanup Crew was for in the end, for instance. (Pops told me I was close but didn't quite guess it.) Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 1:14
  • @MonicaCellio I know, that is why I listed the two that were the only ones left unsolved. (cleanup crew for instance was solved.)
    – David
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 1:16
  • 2
    I've got to say, after being quite disappointed by the secret hats last year, hats off (sorry, I know that's getting old) to Pops for really making them overall awesome this year. Great job!
    – ɥʇǝS
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 2:18
  • 3
    The Cleanup Crew was guessed around 30 hrs before close.. (Ref)... Onion Knight was not even close... :( Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 9:33
  • 1
    @David Edward Edwards was correctly guessed by janos, with only a couple hours to spare. Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 16:44
  • 3
    Onion Knight was based on an idea (mine as it happens) that I rejected last year as too diabolical. Pops actually made it easier to earn (and by extension guess), so I'm quite pleased nobody figured it out. Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 20:05

Encourage participation on meta

Most users never venture onto per-site metas. This year there was a secret had that had to do with posting (once) on meta, and there was a non-secret hat that was earned by voting once on a specific day. I'd like to see a non-secret hat (so it's a more-obvious prompt) that encourages more meaningful meta participation -- not just a single post or vote, but something that encourages activity over several days like some of the hats this year did. I'm not sure what the exact criteria should be -- maybe something like voting or posting on meta on five different days, or earning a Nice (Question/Answer) on meta? (Voting can be abused, so maybe not just voting.)

The clue I want to plant is: stuff happens on meta that affects you; please participate there at least occasionally.

  • 2
    There was a hat this year for Meta participation, although it was for both MetaSE and site Metas. The Airing of Grievances.
    – Mogsdad
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 3:25
  • @Mogsdad good point; I forgot all about that, even though I am active on my sites' metas and collected the hat. I think we need to expand beyond "vote once on one specific day". Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 4:36
  • Ideally, a "meta hat" should be funny (ironic, even), but also encourage a behaviour that builds the community. The Airing of Grievances hat did a great job on the funny part by being day-specific, as did O Tannenbaum and Auld Lang Syne. I absolutely agree, though: Having a hat that encouraged more consistent involvement over a longer period of time would be more useful to the community.
    – Mogsdad
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 14:19

Avoid hats that require receiving downvotes

Sun Wukong, everyone's favourite monkey, required getting 5 downvotes on a Meta post.

I saw all kinds of crap last five minutes before being deleted, and still garnered the requirements.

Hats that require receiving downvotes should be avoided at all costs; we don't want spammy posts at all, not on Meta, not on Main (which is the same thing here), not anywhere.

  • 7
    @downvoter: your downvote is ironic; thanks
    – Quill
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 11:15
  • I think the point of this was to be controversial. That being said, there are other (bad) ways to get this hat, with the help of a few friends on chat, so +1. Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 16:48
  • 2
    I agree. I consider it a point of pride to say that I did not earn this hat—none of my answers were bad enough to deserve enough downvotes to earn the hat. Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 20:01
  • What if there was a hat for not receiving more than X downvotes, and it was taken away if you did? Or is that too punitive? I don't know of any precedent for removing a hat.
    – Bobson
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 23:02
  • 1
    well, the Carl Fredrickson hat was given for at least 5 upvotes in a day and no downvotes, it was a utc daily thing. I guess you could limit it like that
    – Quill
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 23:04

Allow users to see which users have a certain hat

For example, is there an easy way to determine how many have gotten the Auld Lang Syne hat or who got it first?


Allow some hats to be combined

I kinda disliked the fact that you could only wear one hat, regardless of what that hat was. It would be nice if hats were given some sort of "equip region" like the way Team Fortress 2 does: that way, you could wear glasses and a jacket together but not two jackets.

  • 3
    There should be some TF2 inspired hats as well. Like spy? Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 0:49
  • @FlagAsSpam That would be awesome.
    – cat
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 2:58

Remove the discovery hat (Archimedes / Eureka)

Three reasons:

1. Disadvantaging other users

Before @TheGuyWithTheTux posted the Community Wiki answer, the secret hats question was a free-for-all with five of the same answer all voted up to +40.

I found that every hour or so, someone would comment on one of my posts saying they've figured it out!, where they would guess an old theory.

I didn't have any problem linking old chat messages that disprove their theories, but it was exactly that.

They weren't in the chat.

We were creating a closed off environment that wasn't easy nor impossible to get to, where we internally shared progress.

Most of the people who were 'regulars' in that chatroom ended up with Archimedes hats.

Those people who weren't present weren't being disadvantaged necessarily, but at the same time, it wasn't exactly fair hunting ground.

2. Pops is not Big Brother

Doing a back-of-the-envelope calculation gives me over 1000 chat rooms (granted more than a few frozen or dead).

How is the Stack Exchange team (Pops) supposed to monitor 1000 chat rooms for scattered discussion and guesses?

And no, 64kb of Regex is not the correct answer to this rhetoric question.

3. There's no way to tell who has what and for what.

Some people got Archimedes in chat, and subsequently announced what the trigger was.

Other people got Archimedes, waited a while to see if people would additionally guess it, and release it later (Like I did with It's Over 9000)

Some people got it, and just never told us (until T-minus 10 minutes)

Additionally they had to be edited into the answer, which people were reluctant to do.

The answer was the closest people had to a central hat information port, without joining and lurking chat.

The people who received Archimedes weren't linked either, so people didn't know whether it was really close (like Cleanup Crew for most of WB), or already solved.


1. Reasons to solve Secret Hat triggers declines:

  1. No way to effectively verify correct solutions (besides Pops saying yes)
  2. Less reason to solve them; hats go unsolved

2. One less hat

  • I had your question in mind while writing this answer, in fact
    – Quill
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 11:33
  • 4
    would have been good to know there was a chat for archimedes :-(
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 11:49
  • This is exactly my point @RoryAlsop! It's a flawed solution! also it was kinda unofficial, I think it was posted somewhere, I don't really know where though
    – Quill
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 11:50
  • BTW, the robust solution to get your guess checked is to mail pops at team at stackexchange.com Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 16:52
  • 4
    Yeah. I'm guessing the guess-a-secret-hat secret hat is not coming back next year. There is one advantage you didn't list, however: it signals to the community when they have guessed a secret trigger. I suspect we'll find some other way to manage guesses, however. Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 17:06
  • I feel like the hat is too much of a tradition to be removed, but you make a convincing argument against it. However, I think I have addressed every point against the hat between my two suggestions: make it not count towards the leaderboards, so fairness isn't an issue; and organize secret hat discussion, so discussion isn't duplicated and everybody can see who guessed what when. Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 20:44
  • "64kb of Regex is not the correct answer" Pft. 64kb of regex is the correct answer to any question.
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 13:40

Keep the good pacing of easy hats

Some hats were easy to earn; some were hard. One thing I particularly noticed this year is that easy hats could be earned every few days. WinterBash started with a hat (Sufganiyot) for participation (vote or post), and a few days later there was the Star Wars hat that was similarly easy, and a few days after that was the secret Flip Flop, followed a day or two later by the one for voting on meta, followed by the one for doing something on Dec 25, and finishing up with the one for chat participation near the turn of the year (UTC). If you started at the beginning you could also earn the search hat on day 3 and the fanatic hat on day 10. Meanwhile, there were harder hats to earn and secrets to discover.

My gut feeling (read: I have no data) is that this kind of pacing can help draw in casual hatters, the people who aren't going to invest a lot of energy into hunting hats but who can nonetheless get some new headgear every few days without too much effort and thus stay engaged with the game. That seems like it would be more fun than having all the hats available at the beginning, spending a couple days trying to earn them, and then losing interest. It was for me.


A hat for contributing / improving tag wikis

I'm thinking here of tags that existed prior to WinterBash, and that have poor wikis and/or wiki excerpts.

  • It would be easier to do this for tags without any wiki of course.
  • Tags should have some significant number of questions. What that means may be site-specific, but 10+ seems reasonable.
  • 17
    On the downside this may encourage copy-pasting from Wikipedia, which we do not want. Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 8:30
  • 2
    @angussidney - For the vast majority of users, there is a review process in place that should reject cut & paste wikis. (No need to debate the effectiveness of reviews here, there are plenty of existing Q's for that.)
    – Mogsdad
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 14:05
  • 5
    @Mogsdad I certainly agree that this isn't the place to debate exactly how effective reviews are, but that doesn't make it irrelevant to point out the concern. If reviews are already possibly not effective enough with existing editors, then encouraging a lot of people who've never edited tag wikis to do so is just asking for trouble. And if it does go badly, it's a huge pain to clean up - there's no way to browse recent tag wiki edits (you can see the suggested edit review history, but that's not just tag wikis), and non-moderators can't do rollbacks when they do find problematic ones.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 0:11
  • @Mogsdad: "Should". laughs hollowly Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 1:22

Let me see which hats I've earned on a given site

I made this request last year too. I'd like to be able to see all the hats I've earned on a particular site. I can see the first nine in the leaderboard, or all of them by stepping through the hats one at a time, but neither of those is ideal. Maybe, on the profile hats page (darn, didn't take a screen shot of that to mark up), the background color on locally-earned hats could be changed to the light yellow that's used for new entries in your profile reputation, activity, and favorites tabs? Or maybe the leaderboard could support a "more" link for each entry hat would show all the hats for that site? (As a user I'd prefer the former as it doesn't make me go somewhere else to get the information when I'm already on a site.)


Try to have fewer hats that are only available on large sites.

  • Timey Wimey could only be earned on sites at least a year old
  • Odinson could only be earned on sites with at least one gold tag badge holder
  • Amazing Grace could only be earned on sites with a fairly active meta site (no hope of getting it on SciFi, for instance, even though that's a fairly big site).
  • 2
    I could not get Odinson on CR because we rarely have dupes by site definition, and those are almost always mod-hammered after a few close votes.
    – user245368
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 0:37
  • 21
    I kind of disagree with this. If you can't get the electorate badge because a site has less than 600 questions, well... sucks for you. It's just a circumstance, and don't spoil the fun just because of these 'circumstances'. Regardless, you could earn the hat on one site, and wear it on another. The hats were 'network-wide' in that sense.
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 0:55
  • 1
    I was going to post this exact reply, but there is no need now. I would just like to add that rep cap based hats or hats that require a certain number of votes in a short time window are a punch in the face to low traffic sites too. On SharePoint we have just 36 mortarboard ever awarded (0 epic/legendary) - you figure the chance you have to meet certain requirements. Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 13:25

Better organization of secret hat discussion

Something like have a CW question with one answer for each hat (where all discussion of that hat could take place) and one accepted answer that contains no speculation (i.e. it would be a list of only the hats that Eureka/Archimedes have been awarded for).

That way:

  • There can still be discussion of hats in comments (which wouldn't be possible with a single answer).
  • There wouldn't be multiple answers for one hat (which has happened in the past from multiple users posting the same thing for reputation).
  • There's a list of exactly how to get the known hats (which didn't happen in the past due to speculation everywhere).
  • I feel like this could be accomplished with chatrooms for each hat as well.
    – Robotnik
    Commented May 17, 2016 at 4:45

More hats for reviewing in the other review queues moderation hats

Thalia and Melpomene helped to some extent when it came to reviewing (as did at least one secret hat), but Winterbash hats largely neglected the First Posts, Late Answers, Suggested Edits, and Low Quality Posts queues. It would be nice if there were more hats promoting reviewing, and in different ways.

Robo-reviewing would have to be stopped, though, in some way. That's trickier.

It might also be good to add hats for flagging (may not happen) and related activities. There was a secret hat for comment cleanup, but that was only for a user's own comments.

  • 5
    Official word is there will not be flagging hats. Probably to prevent bad flags and to keep the load off the volunteer mods.
    – user245368
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 1:20
  • @Hosch250 Ah, darn. Thanks for telling me. Well, hopefully there will be other related ones.
    – HDE 226868
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 1:21
  • 5
    Hats for flagging and reviewing have pretty much been abandoned. There's not a whole lot of interesting things you can do with those actions, and any criteria that wouldn't be highly prone to abuse would be way overcomplicated.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 4:50

A hat to encourage renewing old affiliations

I think it would be cool to earn a hat for posting on a site (or maybe Meta site) that a user has an account on, but has not visited in over a year (or something). This would encourage users to participate in a wider variety of SE communities that they theoretically had some kind of association with.

  • OTOH, by definition, this can only be earned by users who just so happened to have an old site account lying around.
    – Kaz
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 13:47
  • 2
    @Zak - True, and this year the review badges could only be earned by people with review privileges, and Timey Wimey could only be earned on sites that have been around for > 1 year. Unless we restrict ourselves to the most basic of site actions (ask, answer, vote up, post on meta or in chat etc), there's always going to be some that miss out unfortunately.
    – Robotnik
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 14:30
  • 1
    @Robotnik Sure, but those cover the *vast* majority of accounts/sites. I suspect that the proportion of accounts eligible for this idea would be significantly smaller. I would also argue that review was available to everyone, because it was more than possible to earn the requisite privileges during winterbash.
    – Kaz
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 14:52

Special hats for promoting/participating in a Beta site

I'm running on the theme of encouraging users to diversify their community affiliations/interactions, in this case by supporting our Beta sites in ways that will help them grow.


Hat Rareness Display

I've encountered this situation during this year's bash. For whatever reason, I've got a hat called "It's Over 9000!" and the hat you get when you earn a gold badge (sorry I forgot what it's called). The "It's over 9000!" hat is a secret hat, and I don't know which hat I should wear, since the both of the hats seem like a good choice to me. Without giving the secrets of the secret hats away, I think there should be a "This hat is common", "This hat is rare", "This hat is epic", and "This hat is legendary" so that it would be an obvious choice to the user when deciding which secret hat to show off. Another solution would to add a "This hat is owned by #% of the community" or something on the like.

Edit: I just found that only 48 people were awarded "It's Over 9000!". Without the correct information, I made the incorrect decision of wearing the golden hat instead of "It's Over 9000!".

  • 6
    This might be a touch obscure, but the hats are ordered on the leaderboard by rarity. Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 16:55
  • Ah, so, maybe a border or something that denotes that the hat is, say, rare, epic, or legendary. or an animation on the legendary ones. Something to make the rarer hats stand out from the rest, in the same way we have bronze/silver/gold badges.
    – Kevin B
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 16:56
  • 3
    @KevinB And every time you earn a hat there can be a small chance of instead earning a Premium Foil Hat with a shiny overlay. If you look at it while unfocusing your eyes, you'll be able to make out an image of Joel jumping over a unicorn on skis.
    – Air
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 18:27
  • @KevinB, how do you propose to tell in advance how many people will earn a hat? Sure, you can reasonably assume that "participate on a given day" will be common, and "earn a gold badge" will be rare, but what about "collect 11 hats" or "visit on 10 consecutive days"?
    – Mark
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 0:38
  • @Mark We can just make a reasonable guess from the average from the past year's results. If the hat is new, we will have to make a prediction. I don't think it will be that hard to predict correctly. Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 0:48

Hat Styles

What if someone wants to wear a hat, but cannot because it matches too closely their avatar? They either have to change their avatar or not wear the hat, if they wish for the hat to be visible. Therefore, hats (at least common ones) should come in styles/variants, largely a light contrast and dark contrast version. This can be compared to the Flip Flop hat, except either is available to the user upon receiving the hat.

  • 7
    Another Team Fortress 2 feature. TF2 is definitely the de-facto hat simulator. Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 0:48
  • Also, it would be nice to have the same hat from different angles.
    – Gwen
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 13:04
  • 1
    It'd be interesting to be able to earn different hat styles. Say for example, 'Edit 5 posts' gets you the hat, 'Edit 15 posts' gets you a new style, and so on
    – Robotnik
    Commented Apr 10, 2016 at 8:09
  • 2
    Next you'll be advocating hat qualities, and an ability to trade them :P
    – Robotnik
    Commented May 17, 2016 at 4:38
  • 1
    Team Fortress 2.5 coming in December! Pre-order now! lel
    – J Sargent
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 17:25

Hat for earning a new badge

I would like to see a hat awarded for earning a badge that you've never earned before (i.e. not a 10th "nice question" badge). That would encourage a user to diversify their activity and/or the number of sites they post on.


More Chat hats:

Some users seem almost scared of chat.

Perhaps we could encourage people to participate more in chat by including chat hats.

Of course this brings the 'chat spam' worries with it, but I'm sure the talented Stack Exchange team can make good chat hats.

  • That's true, but I also find some seem scared, it was certainly a bit daunting to come into a room with culture that was foreign to me and have a conversation
    – Quill
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 11:23
  • Yes, it can be daunting, but I think it's easier if you're young, a natural chatterer, or if you normally IM (?) people. See, my hesitation over IM, and its terminology. I dislike the fact that it is not private. Some conversation should be between two people not an entire group of strangers. Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 11:25
  • Not the case for me, I'm afraid. People's own ability to chat is separate to their fears of foreign culture, additionally some users don't know about Chat either.
    – Quill
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 11:27
  • I think there ought to be at least one hat for being nice in chat.
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 15:33
  • 1
    We've had more chat hats in the past. The principle problem with them is that there are only so many things you can do in chat. There's a lot more variety of triggering actions on the sites themselves. Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 17:09
  • I seem to recall conversations about a flood of activity in chat in order to earn hats, which quickly dissipated. People begging for stars on their messages in order to get a hat, that sort of thing. It's not the kind of participation you'd want to encourage. I personally stay out of chats unless I'm @ pinged because it's not really my thing. (Also because the UI is so horribad, Sorry @Jon :)
    – Robotnik
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 12:40
  • Asking for stars within a 48 hour period can cause, uh, unwanted behaviour. That's why I'd suggest making it easier to get.
    – Quill
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 12:43

Site specific additional hats

Make some hats which are site specific like some movie related hat for Movies & TV or Scifi.SE, game related for Arqade etc etc.

This will encourage cross site traffic too and will let people understand their neighboring SE sites.

  • 3
    Then you have smaller beta / non-beta sites that miss out on hats and have less than the other sites; if you really wanted to draw traffic, it'd be better to make hats that require you to participate on new sites, like Explorer.
    – Quill
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 11:45
  • @Quill i never said no hats for beta. They were just example come to my mind Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 11:48
  • 2
    Yeah, but then SE have to go and make 300 separate hats for each site
    – Quill
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 11:49
  • 2
    Perhaps a hat for posting (and receiving upvotes) on a site that isn't your top 2-3(ish?) sites? Or a site that you have < 1000 rep?
    – Robotnik
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 11:52
  • 4
    What would be good is one hat called "site pride" and it's easy to attain, but basically it's the site's logo. you can wear your favourite site's logo as a hat. Wouldn't that be cool? (SE already showed us multiple sprites for a hat is possible)
    – Quill
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 11:53
  • @Quill Maybe a generic hat with site logo else they can pick near graduation sites only rather then all beta site, as we know many beta site not even promise a chnace. Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 12:58
  • 4
    I think it would be great to have one hats per site whose requirements are decided by the site's community & moderators (probably through a meta post). That way, the hats can be designed to encourage behavior that is lacking in that particular site. Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 2:02
  • @TheGuywithTheHat sound like a nice idea Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 5:35

Again, All hats to be obtainable on all sites and all users

I said this last year

The hairboat hat on the other hand was obtained by posting a comment to a particular user and while this user is on Anime and Manga, they have no activity which mean the hat associated with commenting to them is unobtainable on Anime and Manga.

This Year one of the Secret Hats was Hairboat's Revenge and just like last year my goal was to get all the hats on Anime and Manga and once again this hairboat hat was impossible to get because said user's only comment is on the Meta

Also the Explorer Hat is only obtainable for new users and nothing ruins a collection than someone pointing out one item set up in a way that it can never be yours.

My Suggestion is

  • Dump these kind of hats or
  • Keep these kind of hats but
    • Give some sort of compensation to users where it is impossible to get the hat (ie. after getting maybe 20 hats they are automatically awarded impossible hats) or
    • have an alternate condition, ie for Explorer "OR your very first post retains a score of 3 or more 3 days after it was edited during Winterbash"

Trophy/unique/rare/idk hats that are not counted on leaderboards

These would be hats that can be earned, but do not count towards a user's standings in the leaderboards. The hats would be for things that aren't exactly fair (e.g. for some users they can be earned easily but for others it it difficult or impossible, or earning the hat depends very largely on circumstances outside your control).

This would make problematic hats possible/not-controversial:

  • Site-specific hats
  • Eureka/Archimedes
  • With Great Power (A secret hat from a few years ago, automatically earned if you are a moderator, unobtainable otherwise)
  • Something like "Be at the top of a site's leaderboard."
  • When people find hats unfair, it's not just because of leaderboards. It's also because they actually want the hat on their avatar, or they want to try to check off everything on the hat list page.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 0:16
  • @Jefromi True, but I don't think it matters as much as the leaderboards. Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 1:48
  • I agree that it feels unfair that someone can get more hats than me because some hats were actually impossible for me to get this year (like Odinson). Unlikely or difficult is a different story though; as long as I have the opportunity to earn the same number of hats, then it is a fair competition.
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 17:44

More visible Logo

On chrome on Windows 8.1 computer and on chrome on Mac OS X El Capitan with default chrome settings, the snowflake logo is barely visible when the tab and window is not active.


The light blue on the grey background can barely be seen. I think the common method to solve this kind of bad visibility due to differing background colors problem is to outline the logo using a completely different color.


Let's create a christmas tree!

We can collect for the christmas tree and that decorations will appear at winterbash2016.stackexchange.com (there should be a big christmas tree).

Sample: If someone collect a new decoration it will appear on the big christmas tree and when he collect all toys he will get a star at top of the tree.

To get decorations you should:
1. voteup to get green decorations.
2. votedown to get red decorations.
3. star to get a stars.
4. answer to get green present.
5. edit to get yellow present.
6. participate in deleting question to get a red present.
7. ask something to get blue present.
8. answer correctly to get a toy. (reindeer, santa, Teddy bear, Elf, sledge)

All decorations will be available to add them to your profile image.
It will be completely optional.

Let's create a christmas tree together!

enter image description here

  • So instead of WinterBash you want to make it ChristmasBash? Or would this be completely optional? If so, how would that work? Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 23:17
  • @MonicaCellio it will be completely optional
    – NBOT
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 23:18
  • Could you edit that into this answer? Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 23:19
  • done @MonicaCellio :)
    – NBOT
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 23:20
  • 3
    Maybe each site has their own Christmas tree, and all the presents etc are like secret hats (I.e. No one knows what they are, they are pretty hard to get, etc) and the site with the most decorations at the end of WinterBash wins a prize. This would make it competitive :) Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 7:36
  • Nice idea @angussidney :D
    – NBOT
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 12:20

Let us suggest the hats for next year

We should have another thread where we can suggest the hats for next year, especially the secret ones*. Until then, here are some of my suggestions:

  • A non-random Flip-Flop hat - Those in the northern hemisphere get the blue hat (longest night), and those in the southern hemisphere get the golden hat (longest day).
  • Short and sweet - For writing a post and then receiving a comment on it that is even longer than the post itself.
  • Centurion - For earning hats on 100 different sites.
  • Columbus - For being the first user to earn a particular hat on a site.
  • Where are the five vowels? - Any user who does not have a consonant in their user name but earns 5 hats.
  • The play without an A - A user who makes a post that has atleast 5 upvotes (to prevent spam) but there is not a single a in the post.
  • Couch potato - For spending over 10 hours (in total) in chat.
  • Dedicated - For earning 15 hats on one site, and not having more than 5 hats on any other site.

Of course, you people can come up with even better suggestions.

*I know some may feel it is a bad idea to ask for secret hat suggestions from the public, but I feel it could work since there will be hundreds of suggestions made. And you could always modify the suggestions slightly before using them. People will anyway scan the list for something that matches and it could be fun.

  • 3
    Where are the five vowels? - Any user who does not have a consonant in their user name but earns 5 hats. – Even though I should be biased towards this hat, I have to oppose it as it would lead to tons of silly username changes. Also, last time I checked, the English language had more than five vowels.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 13:05
  • I seem to recall one called 'Couch Potato' from previous years, but I can't be sure.
    – Robotnik
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 14:33
  • I don't think it leading to silly username changes as that bad of a problem, didn't seem to be much of a problem in winterbash 2014 when we got a secret badge for editing a profile field that was random per user. As it is we're restricted to the number of times we can edit our profile names, so if you mess up you'll just be stuck with it for a month or so.
    – Kevin B
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 16:17

Allow us to wear previous year(s) earned hats (but not earn ones we missed)

Assuming you've kept the records of who earned what since Winterbash's inception, an ability to equip an old favourite would be pretty fun.

Combined with quartata's suggestion of equipping multiple items, this could make for some interesting combinations.

  • 3
    That's not really a thing that's gonna happen; last year is last year, this year is this year
    – Quill
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 11:44
  • @Quill - Hey, they wanted suggestions, and it's just that: a suggestion :)
    – Robotnik
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 11:45
  • 2
    whatever man; enjoy the downvotes though, I can only upvote once
    – Quill
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 11:46
  • 2
    Eh, downvotes on a suggestion post like this don't faze me too much :). "You can agree with all the people some of the time, and agree with some of the people all the time, but you cannot agree with all the people all the time.", to mangle a perfectly good Lincoln quote :P. But thanks for the support :)
    – Robotnik
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 11:50

A hat for putting things in their places

It would be interesting to have a secret hat for migrating a question that receives more upvotes after migration and possibly that causes new account associations to be created (new user on the site, but not new to SE). For added difficulty and to reduce intentional garbage, the question has to hit the HNQ/Multicollider post-migration. How's that for difficulty? This hat encourages users to find other communities that they might like.

  • 10
    This would encourage users to post their question to an inappropriate site in the hope it is migrated, no?
    – grg
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 16:11
  • @grgarside not if you downvote and delete instead of migrating.
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 17:36
  • A hat for having a question migrated encourages people to misplace their questions in hopes of getting a hat. A hat for migrating a question has the problem that not everyone is eligible to get it. Either option is problematic.
    – Mark
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 0:42
  • @Mark Making sure everyone is eligible for every hat isn't a requirement. I wasn't eligible for Odinson this past bash. I think this is doable for users who can migrate, and the requirement to have the migrated post upvoted would eliminate the trashiness. But I'll edit the suggestion.
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 0:55
  • @KitZ.Fox, Odinson is a secret hat. Those don't count.
    – Mark
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 0:57
  • A lot of sites don't have dedicated migration paths set up, because the lines between most communities aren't that blurry. This means that -for a lot of sites- this will be a moderator-only hat.
    – Robotnik
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 1:01
  • If another hat for closing, I can think of something for closing as dupe, leading to a score/views boost of the dupe target. Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 11:55

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