Winter Bash 2016 is not over yet (it started later than usual this year and will end later than usual), but after noticing that the corresponding versions of this question for Winter Bash 2015 and Winter Bash 2014 were posted on Jan 4 2016 and Jan 4 2015 respectively, I figured it would be fitting to post this year's version on Jan 4 2017.

Please post your suggestions regarding how to make Winter Bash 2017 even more fun than Winter Bash 2016.

  • New suggestions for hats and hat triggers (either regular or secret ones)
  • Which hats should be kept?
  • Which hats should be retired?
  • Do we want more secret Hats?
  • Do we want more secret hats that don't get triggered until long after the start of Winter Bash?

Let's keep the traditional format of one suggestion per answer, so people can vote on individual suggestions.

See also: Winter Bash wrap-up on the SO blog

  • 5
    Have we ever had a hat for asking a HNQ?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 19:06

44 Answers 44


Keep cross-site hats

This year there were two hats, Polymath and Running Ragged, for non-trivial participation on multiple sites. A few years ago there was a hat for asking (or answering?) on a new-to-you site at some score threshold (don't remember the details). Hats like these encourage breadth, which is good -- Stack Exchange has more than 160 sites, with new ones being added all the time. It's easy to lose track of other great sites on the network, either because we didn't even know about them or because we used to participate there and gradually lost touch.

So let's keep doing something along these lines. It should be more than "show up and vote once", and it should encourage contributing to the core Q&A. I don't think a hat for, say, reviewing on three different sites would be as valuable as one for providing good questions or answers.

  • I disagree. These hats discourage users who don't have a wide range of knowledge. For instance, at first I didn't mind having the What's Up Doc and The NeverEnding Story hats, but after seeing Running Ragged and Polymath I realized: What is the likelihood of me getting those hats (Running Ragged and Polymath)? What about those people who aren't on SO and don't have any knowledge of programming? Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 22:49
  • 1
    @CalebKleveter Polymath required an upvoted answer on each of three different sites. (I"m not sure what score was required, but it wasn't high.) That's achievable. Yes, Running Ragged was harder, but so are gold badges, or getting an answer to a tumbleweed actually accepted. (As for the SO hats, my suggestion is about multi-site hats, which those aren't, so I'm not sure why you're bringing those up here.) Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 3:54

Flip the hats!

The hats can only be rotated or moved. But for some avatars, the hat may look better (at discretion of the hat and avatar owner) if the hat was flipped over. This would make hat wearing so much cooler and make our avatars look even cooler (no Winter pun intended).

For example, take my current hat (Like Clockwork) on my Double 0-Minion avatar. The gear is next to the eye, but my Minion would look more spy-like with the gear over the eye. Only possible with hat flipping.

enter image description here

  • 30
    Flip your avatar.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 11:45
  • 9
    @Wrzlprmft But I would have to flip it constantly depending on the hat Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 13:27

Add a hat for finding duplicates

Can we have a hat that you get if you find, say 10, duplicates and the questions are successfully closed as a result of your 'possible duplicate suggestion'?

Note: this would only be awarded if you found the dupe, not if you voted to close as a dupe.

It would also be interesting to see some statistics next year relating to this hat if it was added. If it turns out that this has increased dupe finding, or made it quicker, maybe this could be considered into making a badge.

  • 20
    This would be nice if it could scale based on site size. 10 may be reasonable on really high-volume sites but some sites, even one or two would be difficult to come by, let alone ten.
    – Catija
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 0:00
  • 3
    @Catija a lot of badges are less accessible on small sites, especially the moderation ones.
    – Nissa
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 13:55
  • 4
    @StephenLeppik but you have an infinite time to get a badge and only ~2 weeks for hats.
    – Catija
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 15:06
  • 1
    Nice idea; if approved will use to improve my question here. Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 0:36

Sportsmanship Hat

I'm a big fan of the sportsmanship badge. It'd be nice to have a hat to honor those that are good sports and up vote competing answers.

Maybe something like. Up vote competing answer on five questions in which both your answer and the one up voted have a positive score.


Don't bring Archimedes back

I haven't missed the secret hat for correctly guessing a secret hat. There's still an appropriate amount of secret-hat research going on, but it's taking place in a more controlled environment and isn't generating as much angst, as far as I can tell. That's a win. Thanks!

  • 6
    Don't worry about that. I don't believe guessing secret hats for a hat will come back.
    – Taryn
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 23:14
  • 1
    That was Eureka, not Archimedes, if I recall right.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 0:04
  • 6
    @AdamLear I believe it was called Archimedes last year but it was the same thing as Eureka. Any of those hats for guessing secret hats, whatever the name is, are done.
    – Taryn
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 0:08
  • 1
    I agree with this. In the prestigious contest to Get All The Hats or get the most on the network, this one meant the only people who could possibly achieve that were these ~40 -- if they were even interested in competing for that. That kind of knockout bottleneck is something I'm happy to see go. Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 13:42
  • Incidentally I see this year has 4 all-the-hats competitors; I remember previous years only having one individual (and one year had nobody). I'm happier with it this way. Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 13:47

Design request: hats, not masks

The hats this year are really spiffy -- great job on the graphics! But the "natural size" of some of them fills most of the user image, making it hard to tell people apart graphically. These are all active users on the same site:

1 2 3 4

Yeah, they're all different because of what leaks out around the edges, but it turns out that's not enough to help me recognize individuals, particularly in chat.

The following two have been slightly enlarged by the users, but even at their natural sizes they hide a lot. I've definitely seen other cases of these two at original sizes concealing identity:

sun hat Darth hat

It's possible to shrink and move them so you can still see who's under there, I know, but in my experience this is uncommon:

small Darth

Other hats manage to be big or "full-featured" without hiding as much, like these two:

24 hatter

I know that user avatars are accompanied by names and we can just read the text, but the avatars help, more than I realized. Can we design hats that let more show through while still having awesome art?

  • You could make it so users can stretch the hats. Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 17:47
  • 3
    @CalebKleveter: Hat are stretchable and shrinkable just now (Ckick on show controls and move the controls around. Rotation and shrink are on the same control). In fact, you can make the "masks" small enough to keep your Avatar recognisable. For my part, I enjoy the masks. Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 18:48
  • @jknappen that's been a feature since winter bash started this year
    – DForck42
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 19:17
  • 2
    @jknappen Right. I meant more of making it wider but not tall and vis versa. Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 20:06
  • The Batman mask from last year was still decently useable, though it's narrower (especially compared to that big yellow mask) and mostly only takes up significant space in the top portion of the avatar where the hat would be anyway. Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 13:54
  • 1
    @doppelgreener that's a good point; hats that bias away from the center work better even if they're big. Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 14:01

I would like to suggest

Stealing Hat

This hat would be awarded for answering a question that already has an accepted answer and having OP change the acceptance to the new answer.

Also, perhaps some other sort of bonus hat for receiving more upvotes than the original answer. Just a thought.

I'm proposing that this stealing hat be called "The Steeler" and have the logo of the American Football team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

enter image description here

I thought that the "Fiery" tag was really cool this year and I just thought that it would be cool to incorporate different logos and such.

  • 3
    Possibly for branding purpose this won't be added, but I do like the idea. Maybe something for the same purpose with a similar (but not copyright-infringing) image/logo?
    – user311528
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 18:55
  • @EᴀsᴛᴇʀʟʏIʀᴋ I don't really know. I'm pretty sure that it can be used as long as it's not for profit. Unless SE has a copyright on Guy Fieri's face :P. But, I know that it's called "Fiery" so maybe that's how they can do it. It also doesn't have to have that logo, it's just a suggestion :) Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 19:07
  • I think there was already a hat with that trigger on 2013 or 2014.
    – Eran
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 19:50
  • 1
    @Eran Hmmm...I wonder if they could bring it back :) Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 19:52
  • 1
    We never recycle hat ideas @steelersquirrel
    – Taryn
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 21:40
  • 2
    @bluefeet Oh, okay. Well, it was worth a shot. Thanks for the information :) Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 21:44
  • 7
    @steelersquirrel that was a joke... they do it all the time.
    – Catija
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 0:26
  • 1
    @Eran, I think that hat for stealing a checkmark was a pirate hat. Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 0:30
  • @bluefeet nobody notice same goods in different packing ;) Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 5:54
  • 5
    Good idea for a hat, not sold on having the logo of a football team (especially as 'Steeler' is a reference to Steelworkers, not thieves) :-)
    – Robotnik
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 23:27
  • @Robotnik Yeah... I was just trying to do a play on words :) Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 23:35
  • I would have preferred a ski mask and grapple hook for the hat :) Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 8:24
  • @BrianReichle Well, I am a die-hard Steelers fan. So, I was trying to incorporate that into my idea. I was already told that the logo probably can't be used. So, if this idea gets used, then it will be something else, anyways ;) Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 10:09
  • The idea of having a bonus on a hat is pretty nice - e.g. you could earn a hat and then if you do something else to get the bonus, you get a feather on the same hat.
    – David Z
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 17:25

Tag: You're It

Tag wikis don't get a lot of love. Edits don't bump them anywhere, so when people do put effort into building them out it often goes unnoticed. But good tag wikis benefit a site; there's only so much you can express in the 25 characters of a tag name or even the couple hundred characters of a tag summary. The wiki itself is where you can provide more information, cross-reference related tags, link to canonical questions, and so on. Not all tag wikis call for this treatment, but I suspect most sites have a few. (Mine do.)

A hat for making a substantial edit to a tag wiki (including creating one) would remind people that this feature exists. Since wikis can't be voted on I'm not sure how to set a quality threshold; obviously we don't want it to just be based on size or people will blather in pursuit of character count. I don't have a good answer for this part.

  • 22
    On the other side of the coin, the fact that these edits don't really appear anywhere and go unnoticed (other than to the few people who review it) makes me not want to really encourage a bunch of random hat seekers from spamming crappy edits onto them. Tag wikis need better oversight before we could encourage something like that. We already get plenty of people who plagiarize text from other sources who are trying to game the tag wiki editing badges quickly and easily, and it can be really hard to track.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 5:16
  • 5
    @animuson good point. I'd like better oversight for tag wikis regardless of hats. Do you think we could at least get a "recently updated tag wikis" link on the 10k tools page? That's not great but it's something, and not as hard as figuring out a real UI. Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 14:03

Add hats for meta participation

We currently have what seems to be 1 hat ("I am Your Father") for meta participation. This seems really sad as this seems to encourage users to focus more about posting and other relevant actions on the main site. But meta is important to since it helps users deal with the inner problems with the site! Thus, I suggest hats for participating for meta. Two such hats would be:

  • Answer three questions on meta, all accepted with positive score

  • Ask three questions on meta, all with positive score

Since the activity and the importance of a post is debatable and not always represented by score, I also suggest:

  • Participate in meta for five days
  • 12
    The problem with having score-related meta posts is that voting is different on Meta... this means that sometimes, heavily downvoted posts, whether questions or answers, are still very useful. I think that encouraging voting on meta or general meta participation (check meta daily for X days) might be just as good for getting some meta activity.
    – Catija
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 23:57
  • 2
    @Catija voting is different on meta, yes, but we should still expect more positive-scored posts than negative-scored ones (at least on the sites I'm active on), so making a hat be based on positive-scored meta posts doesn't seem like it interferes with meta patterns. You're not being penalized for also having negative-scored posts. Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 1:40
  • This hat should be one question and answer at most, I think. It could wreak havoc on smaller sites' metas. I am active on RPG.SE, which has a slow-moving but very well-used meta. It's active when it needs to be and people say only what needs to be said. I don't want it to have (3 x number of hat-hunters) questions pour in over the course of Winterbash people are asking merely to get a hat. Encouraging meta participation would be laudable, but we also have to consider what would happen if lots of people do exactly what the hat asks. Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 14:00

Add a general hat for starting (or awarding?) a bounty

We had a holiday bountapalooza on Worldbuilding as a kind of year-end celebration, and over two dozen questions received bounties totaling over 2,500 reputation points. It's not yet over, but it's been a huge success, and I think encouraging bounties would be fun and extremely productive for the site. Also, the idea of gift-giving fits in well with the various holidays that fall during Winter Bash, including Christmas and Hanukkah.

We did have a bounty-based hat this year (Philanthropist) for awarding a bounty on the last day of Winter Bash. Perhaps a more general one - or even one based on how large a bounty was placed - could attract more encouraged generosity.

Hat name suggestion: Boba Fett (in keeping with the Star Wars tradition).

  • 1
    Fantastic Idea! ;)
    – James
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 20:09
  • 1
    I agree with this completely! In fact it's that seasonal spirit of gift-giving that had me actively hunt out several bounties to place on this Winterbash and the last one (now that I was at 20k+ reputation on my primary site), even without a hat. I'd love to see others doing this too. Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 14:00

Whether from a bug or not, I really liked how some of the hats were not available at the start of the WB. I'm not talking about just the "do X on the solstice" hat, or "vote on the 6th" hat.

Next year have hats without any specific date trigger, only available starting X days after the bash.

This would have a number of side effects:

  • It would keep the bash lively all throughout, and everybody guessing
  • It would stump secret hat guessers (me included)
  • It would teach patience :)

Now without any Archimedes hat, this is a great way to have some of the secret hats, especially the easier ones.

  • I liked how we instantly got the 2017 hat the moment the bash started. shame it was revoked... Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 4:23
  • 1
    It wasn't a bug @X-27, it was a way to get users excited for the new year hat.
    – Taryn
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 13:56
  • 3
    Well, the "search three days in a row" and "rep cap three times" hats weren't available on the first couple days. :-) . But yeah, last year there was a secret hat that only triggered on Fridays (not the first day of WB), and a secret date-specific one; those were fun. Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 13:59

Keep hats for reviewing old contributions.

This was one of the most beneficial features of this year's Winter Bash that old posts got some new attention: Answers, edits, resurrection of hidden gems, or closing of bad old posts long forgotten.

  • 8
    Instead of simply reviewing, I would emphasize improving. For example, edit an old post that later gets upvoted (suggesting that the edit improved it in some way).
    – janos
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 22:11

Community Hats!

There is only one hat for the community participating, "Just Here for the Hat". Sure, 20 unique hats is pretty difficult, but the community should also earn hats together for other actions. I mean, a community is based on its actions as a whole rather than its individual users who top the leader boards in rep and probably hats.

Some ideas would be helpful since I'm a little stuck... but I'll put some that came out of my head:

  • Earn 10,000 rep cumulatively (probably secret hat)

  • Create five community wiki posts that have at least seven different contributors and a positive score

  • Collect all non-secret hats (definitely a secret hat)

  • 3
    so these would be hats that all the users on a site, where the site meets some trigger, would get the hat?
    – David
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 22:39
  • 1
    @David That's correct Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 0:01
  • Community wiki posts? meh. The rest seems cool, but it should be closer to 100.000 rep I guess. 1000 votes seem easy to achieve from one community. Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 10:05
  • 1
    @Martin but not in small beta communities Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 11:38

Community driven hat designs.

We see it all the time. The SE network is community driven (not referring to the Community user).

Why not hold a contest on Graphic Design SE for users there to help create the 2017 WB hats?

There would have to be limitations and you would probably have it only for the normal (not secret) hats, but I think it would give us some fun designs.

  • It could probably be done for the secret hats too, as long as you don't give away their triggers.
    – Nissa
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 19:00
  • @StephenLeppik You could also get trigger ideas from the hat designs. Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 21:58
  • In another place, bluefeet has already said that this is the fun and easy part for them. I'm not sure that they will want to pass it to users.
    – Catija
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 20:48
  • @Catija Yes, I just saw that (After this answer was written). The idea of leaving the fun part to the SO team makes sense as they also have to do the hard work, but it's jut a suggestion, so we'll see what happens. Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 20:50
  • 2
    I think it would be fun to see Graphic Design do at least 1-3 of the hats. The SE staff could surely spare that many. :) Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 14:04

I would like to search for users who wear a specific hat.

The reason: when I wear hats, I will consider how I wear hats. In that case, if I could search them, I could use the results as reference. I may be able to consider how to wear hats entertainingly.


Soften the "well-received" criteria to include "accepted answer"

Take for example the Lifesaver hat:

answer a question qualifying for the Tumbleweed badge that gets accepted

Many users get confused when their answer gets accepted but doesn't get the hat. It's because of another requirement that's not spelled out, that the answer must have positive score, also known more generally as the "well-received" criteria.

The well-received criteria also appeared in the Polymath hat this year, and it commonly appears in some hats every year.

It would be great if this criteria could be softened to include accepted answers with no votes (that is not the same thing as 0 score).


I would suggest

Site specific hats:

(of both secret and non secret variety (maybe two of each type?))

Stack Overflow had a site specific hat for documentation. It would be really cool if each site could have a super secret site themed hat decided upon by the moderators on that site.

For example, Math SE could have divide by zero hat, photography could have a cheese hat, etc.

There could also be a hat for getting X secret (or non secret) hats from different sites.

To those who think this is not feasible, the moderators of each site would make a secret hat and design the graphics (in SVG so that they can actually be displayed). Then the community could vote on non secret hat/hats, or the moderators could just choose those as well.

  • 11
    We did the Stack Overflow only versions because there are features only on that site, and to make the number of hats even everywhere we made two hats non-SO specific. But I think that site specific hats would be difficult to manage especially when we have so many sites.
    – Taryn
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 21:43
  • @bluefeet what do you mean "manage"? Hats don't really need managing, they're auto awarded once the formula is set. I do agree that having site specific hats for some sites, while not for others won't be fair though. Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 21:45
  • @bluefeet That is why the moderaters of each site would decide upon the hats. We trust them enough to run the sites, so I think it would be fine for them to choose each hat and its triggers.
    – 10 Replies
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 21:45
  • 2
    @bluefeet Would it be easier for the hats to each have the same trigger, but just have different images based on the site? I still think it would be a bit insane, but it might be easier than coming up with 160+ different triggers for the hats. Provided people really do want this, anyway.
    – Kendra
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 21:46
  • @ShadowWizard Manage meaning we have 160+ sites, it would be very difficult to come up with that many unique hats for each site.
    – Taryn
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 21:48
  • 1
    @Kendra they would have to use the same trigger, it's hard enough to come up with triggers for hats in general trying to come up with unique ones for each site would probably take an entire year. But designing 160+ unique hats would be very difficult IMO.
    – Taryn
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 21:50
  • 2
    @bluefeet so as post author here suggested, let each community decide for itself on its meta site. Surely not all communities will want such a thing, probably around 20 or so, doesn't look that complicated to implement once the details are already given. Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 21:52
  • 3
    @ShadowWizard Again, I'd think implementing different hats and different triggers on various sites, would be difficult. Not saying no, but I really think it'd be a long shot.
    – Taryn
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 21:55
  • 7
    Your last paragraph isn't that convincing. Coming up with the names and designs of hats is the fun and easy part for us. Coming up with triggers that can actually be implemented, are relevant to the hat, and wouldn't be a resource drain is the painfully boring part. We can't delegate that off to the community easily because it's ultimately up to the developers and we have to sit here and approve, make changes, yada yada before they can be finalized anyways. Pushing the easy part off onto the community doesn't help us all that much.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 22:19
  • @animuson you could have moderators look at past years hats, and make hats based off of them. Or, you could send a hat rule list to the moderators so that you aren't stuck with a bunch of off the wall trigger ideas.
    – 10 Replies
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 22:22
  • 1
    @10Replies We still have to vet everything for them, make sure that the trigger will work, etc. Plus, it amplifies the chances of bugs when we have different triggers on every single site.
    – Taryn
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 22:24
  • 6
    I promise you that, while the mods on Blender or Graphic Design may be excellently capable of creating the artwork for these hats, I don't know that I want to depend on the artistic abilities of the mods on some of the sites I'm a member of. Even on Arts & Crafts, none of us mods are good at drawing.
    – Catija
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 22:25
  • @bluefeet I understand the problem now... I guess the only solution would be to approve a top secret moderator hat trigger creation API where all the possible triggers have been tested extensively... Or just to have the same triggers for each site.
    – 10 Replies
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 22:31
  • I think it is not nice to notice you can never win the WB unless you are a user of Overflow. And not all of us can deliver on that site. It would be great if there is also a secret hat somewhere else on the site that has nothing to do with computer capabilities.
    – Willeke
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 20:37

Add hats for moderation

We do have some hats for this like Abominable but there could be more. There should be hats for:

  • Successfully taking down spam posts

  • Having a certain number of accepted flags - may be secret due to comments

  • Editing a lot of posts

This would encourage moderation within the community and with the "successful" part to discourage any random flagging, editing, or flagging for spam. Of course, Abominable should be kept since it deals with closing and deleting. And of course, over time to prevent an overload of reviews on the first day of WInterbash.

  • 5
    As long as "editing a lot of posts" means encouraging editing a few posts every day, and not editing a lot all at once, it sounds good to me. Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 23:00
  • 11
    We've done hats for flagging things in the past and it didn't go over very well, so that won't happen again.
    – Taryn
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 23:13
  • As a secret hat maybe (if that would reduce abuse)
    – Floern
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 23:48
  • 1
    @bluefeet Does making something a secret hat reduce abuse? I can understand that it being harder to solve might make fewer people attempt it but all of the testing that occurs to figure out the hat might make it an even bigger target for abuse than if it were a normal hat.
    – Catija
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 0:05
  • @Catija Just think of how many accepted flags garnered there will be :) Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 0:07
  • 2
    @Catija I'd say not really. Users try and figure out what triggers secret hats which can increase some abuse.
    – Taryn
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 0:07
  • @Floern that's even worse, seeing that people will experiment with secret hats.
    – bleh
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 22:16

Include requirements in hat descriptions more precisely

Take for example the Lifesaver hat:

answer a question qualifying for the Tumbleweed badge that gets accepted

An important requirement was left out there, that the answer must reach a positive score, also known more generally as the "well-received" criteria. This can be easily added without making the description too long.

Another example is 011:

collect 11 hats

It wasn't clear that 11 hats must be earned on one site.

On the other hand, it's ok if the description is inaccurate when the real requirements are actually softer. For example all the date-specific hats are awarded within ±12 hours of the date itself, but nobody minds this wasn't mentioned, as receiving hats unexpectedly is always a pleasant surprise.


Add a "viral" hat

The general idea would be to create a post associated with one created by either someone with the hat or an arbitrary "starter" user(s) (this will need some thought). I was thinking these criteria:

  • post is an answer to a question made by the user with the hat/starter or a question answered by someone with the hat/starter
  • post reaches a score of 5 or more
  • one or both posts were created during Winter Bash

This would actually encourage users to pay it forward, because the hat can be earned by answering questions, and would reward you with extra attention to your questions.


Add a hat for consistent voting

Unless I'm missing the point of one or more secret hats, it seems that this year the only hats that rewarded voting have been "Cutting the cord" and the various general participation hats (vote or post: Buche de Noel, Epiphany, I Have a Little Dreidel).

Thus I'd suggest a hat that rewards users for voting (i.e., upvotes and downvotes) throughout the winter bash. For example:

  • Vote five times on posts, on each of ten distinct days
  • Vote ten times on posts, on each of five distinct days

I envision these sorts of criteria encouraging a responsible voting habit, which plenty of sites would benefit from.

  • Vote on 5 consecutive days?
    – Nissa
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 13:46
  • @StephenLeppik not a good idea for Christmas / New Year people should spend time away from here
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 14:49
  • 8
    @Mark people should decide for themselves how to spend their time; not everybody has the same priorities. Dec 25 is nothing special to some of us. Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 16:27
  • 1
    I think that 5 votes is almost nothing and 10 not a lot. I often vote maxed out (38 to 41) for one site and a few random votes on other sites. It gives those of us who do not mind getting in a chance on hats where we might not be able to get running ragged or SO hats.
    – Willeke
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 21:53
  • 1
    @Willeke I'm certainly flexible on the criteria, but I wouldn't want people to have a hard time finding things to vote on – if the daily threshold is too high, hat-grabbers might be more inclined to vote without considering the merits of the posts they are voting on. If it's a smaller number, like 5–10, that sort of issue, though still possible, seems less likely. Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 22:59

Time is hard, part 2

In an early Winterbash there was a hat for chatting at the turn of the year UTC, +/- something like 5-10 minutes. That left people in some time zones out, unless they got up in the middle of their night (which at least one person did), and so in future years the time ranges on time-based hats were broadened. This is why you could earn the "visit on the solstice" hat over about a 36-hour span -- when it was solstice anywhere in the world plus a buffer.

That's the background. This year when I saw "Like Clockwork" show up I thought "hey, that's a cool-looking hat that I'd like to wear". And I figured from the name that it had to do with consistent activity. There are several sites that I'm active on on a daily basis, so I figured whatever the trigger was, I would probably bump into it.

But I didn't, because the hat had a time-constrained requirement on nine consecutive days. As someone who observes Shabbat, that meant I couldn't satisfy the trigger one day a week. So that was a bummer.

Shabbat-observant users are a very small proportion of the Stack Exchange community, of course, but it would be great if all hats were theoretically available to those who want to put in the effort. If the range on this hat had been six days instead of nine days, the hat would have been harder for the Shabbat-observant to get, but not impossible. ("First Responder" was harder for many of us too because of being on Saturday; that's fine.) Or if a visit at any time in the day would have counted, then it would have been possible in most -- but not all -- time zones. (It's possible to earn Fanatic on Mi Yodeya without violating Jewish law, but you have to choose your dates carefully.)

Again, I recognize that this is a specialized constraint, and -- dare I say it -- it's only a hat. But I humbly request that, for hats that require participation on Saturdays, we try to be flexible.

  • Then there is the whole thing of people who observe Sunday. I love this idea, but it could get overly complicated. So I might suggest that the hat triggers get modified for the Mi Yodeya site. Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 13:12
  • 1
    @CalebKleveter oh, I didn't know that there were those who stay offline for the entirety of Sunday. My suggestions here aren't day-specific; if the trigger had been "six consecutive days" then people who don't surf on Sunday could presumably do Monday through Saturday, just as those who observe Shabbat could do Sunday through Friday. I don't think site-specific adjustments are the right way to go; first, it adds complexity, and second, it's about the people not the sites. People who observe Shabbat don't participate only on Mi Yodeya. Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 14:02

Hats for review tasks

  • Awarded when a user successfully passes a review audit.


  • Awarded when a user completes a task (or a certain amount of tasks) in one of the review queues (and picked the same action as the community consensus).

If that would cause users to robo-review, I'd suggest to make it a secret hat.

  • 6
    IIRC we've done hats for reviewing before and it resulted in a lot of bad reviews, which lead to a lot of clean-up, so I'm not sure we'd do it again.
    – Taryn
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 0:12
  • 6
    Another option: the hat could be restricted to review audits.
    – Floern
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 0:20
  • 1
    @Floern do most sites have audits? I thought only the really big sites got them. I've never seen one and I'm active on several sites. Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 14:04
  • 1
    @MonicaCellio I don't even know, I only review things on Stack Overflow. I assumed all sites have audits.
    – Floern
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 14:33
  • 1
    @MonicaCellio is correct: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/237011/…. Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 14:46
  • 7
    I proposed a hat for Skipping once. If that would make robo-reviewers start to robo-Skip instead, I call that a win. Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 9:20

Win a hat for having at least X hats on 3 different stack exchange sites

This could be a secret hat, in which case X should be lower - perhaps 5 hats on 3 different sites.

Or it could be a normal hat, in which case X should be higher - perhaps 10 or even 20 hats on 3 different sites (looking at my top 3 hat sites, I have 32/16/16 hats, so I would have made additional effort on two of those sites if we had such a hat with X = 20).

Most users get most of their hats on their single favorite site. This would encourage users to participate and gain hats on multiple sites.

I'm not sure whether it should be the same X hats on each of the 3 sites, or different hats on different sites.


Allow us to wear multiple hats

I want to create hat mashups

enter image description here

  • 1
    This has actually been suggested before, and it was declined for performance reasons.
    – RamenChef
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 14:07
  • @RamenChef I have a solution. Start a Kickstarter campaign to help Stack Exchange buy the old military super computer "Road Runner". Use that to handle the WB hats. Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 19:09
  • 1
    That wouldn't help. The hats are rendered clientside.
    – RamenChef
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 19:25
  • @RamenChef, Thanks for telling me that. My fault that I thought we where talking server side. Suggestion: Add the option that users can turn on. Add a warning that it could adversely affect load time. Then, load the multiple hats only for users that opt in. All other user only see the first hat that the user put on. Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 21:31

Make it possible to distinguish hats earned on current site

This was requested in many previous years too.


Keep site-specific hats but don’t ‘punish’ users not on Stack Overflow

I really liked the idea of having hats that were awarded for participation across non-SO sites. I also thought ‘wow, What’s up, Doc? looks like a cool hat’ before I realised it was SO only and I wasn’t able to get it. Why? I’m not anywhere near a programming expert wouldn’t want to attempt to look through sites and sites worth of Documentation just to find typos that I can fix by suggesting edits. If I visit SO, it’s to search for answers and upvote what I found helpful. I’m sure I’m not alone.

That of course means that me not actively participating on SO (for a good reason) implicitly punished me in the overall network-wide hat leaderboard. My maximum possible hat count would have been 39 rather than 41.

Instead, I suggest tying each SO-specific hat to a non-SO-specific hat and counting them as 1 achieved hat. This is already the case for all the other hats: even if you win them on all sites you frequent it will only count once for the leaderboard. Why should the SO-specific hats (and their non-SO counterparts) be any different?

  • A secondary suggestion that could be appended is to only allow wearing SO-specific hats on SO — but implementing that might mean users accidentally gain access to the non-SO-specific ones outside SO which would not be desirable.
    – Jan
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 1:50
  • Although I frequent So and have a decent amount of rep, I had the opposite happen to me. I knew there was no chance of me getting Polymath or Running Ragged because I don't have a large enough skill set to answer very many questions on other sites. Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 21:23

Eatable hats

We had cupcakes in past and now taco, but why not some fruits as hat next year like pineapple hat or fruit basket/salad, or my own favorite Kiwi hat.

They can be triggered for helping new users, like editing their posts or upvoting them.

  • 2
    Perhaps Carmen Miranda?
    – Catija
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 2:26

When choosing hat to wear, let us choose on which sites to wear it, instead of just choosing between current site and all sites.

  • 4
    it is possible, but complicated. Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 13:02

Change the colors!

Hats are usually distinguishable by their shapes only, without the need of colors due to their... well... distinctive shapes.

enter image description here

Take my current hat, "Like Clockwork", as an example. You know that it's "Like Clockwork" (or at least not any other hat) due to its simple shape and the clock gear. For my profile, black is suitable but I prefer blue! Changing the color to blue or any basic colors (red, green, yellow, white, etc.) shouldn't be that hard and would add a much more fun spectrum (sorry for the science pun) to hats!

To clarify, let us change the color of the the hat manually.

  • My suggestion for using the Pittsburgh Steelers logo for a "stealing" hat would add a lot of color!! :P. Great suggestion, though :) Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 23:07
  • 1
    Now only if I could still my first answer's score... Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 23:09
  • Haha! Nice!!!! :) Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 23:11
  • 3
    The Hatter was a perfectly colourful (and great!) hat; the Hero of Questions was also pretty colourful ;) But I’m sensing you actually wanted to say ‘give the option of changing monochromic hats’ colours.’
    – Jan
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 1:40

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