Winter Bash 2017 is over now, and no one has opened this recurring question for the next round, so I'll just do it.

Please post your suggestions regarding how to make Winter Bash 2018 even more fun than the previous Winter Bashes.

  • 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.

  • Can I include more than one idea per post? Or post multiple answers? – hat Jan 8 '18 at 16:56
  • 1
    Better post multiple answers as they can be voted independently. – jk - Reinstate Monica Jan 8 '18 at 16:56
  • 1
    Wasn't there already a hat suggestion post for next year? Just curious :) – steelersquirrel Jan 12 '18 at 9:02
  • @steelersquirrel: I think the linked post was for real handmade hats ... something different, but a lot of fun! – jk - Reinstate Monica Jan 12 '18 at 14:39
  • 1
    @steelersquirrel, that was a competition for physical, handmade hat ideas. – hat Jan 12 '18 at 15:10
  • I accepted one answer mainly for the reason that this hat was actually implemented in this year's winter bash. – jk - Reinstate Monica Dec 21 '18 at 11:01

14 Answers 14


My ask for would be more hats that beginners can get. was my very first opportunity to participate in a winterbash, and I found that many beginners will find it very difficult to earn more than a few hats. I myself was lucky to be one of the first entrants to the competition, which allowed me to earn quite a few hats, but many were not so lucky.

It was for this sole reason that I suggested the "Still fresh hat" for new users.

As S.L. Barth mentioned, hats should not be exclusively for any group of people, be it high-rep users or new users. I would like more hats that are for everyone, but importantly such hats have to be earned. There have been many that basically everyone gets just for participating.

  • 4
    I'm in favor of making hats available for new members. But I don't want hats that only the new members can get. Maybe a hat for getting upvotes, or Approving/Rejecting an edit to one's own post. – S.L. Barth - Reinstate Monica Jan 11 '18 at 13:04
  • 2
    This year's Mother of Dragons (secret) hat was such a hat (and a nice one). – Glorfindel Jan 11 '18 at 18:12
  • @Glorfindel: Yes, Mother of Dragons is a good example, that is the kind of hat I would like for next year. – hat Jan 11 '18 at 18:18

I was disappointed not to see any Meta hats this year (yes, we had hats here, but Meta Stack Exchange counts as a normal site for hat purposes).

The "I Am Your Father" hat from 2016 was good, because it had a cool name low barrier, which was a great invitation to people to participate on the meta site of their community. If that counts as a 'bronze/easy' hat, a 'silver/medium' one could be something like 3 meta posts scoring at least +3, encouraging not only visiting but also active participation on child metas.

  • 3
    3 meta posts, from than a couple of people, would an explosion of meta activity on many sites. So I am not sure if that is good or bad. – Stephen Rauch Jan 9 '18 at 3:16
  • 1
    The +3 is to make sure they're at least decent posts. I agree that there are sites in the network where this hat would be very hard to obtain, but that's true for a lot of hats (just check the bottom part of the leaderboard). – Glorfindel Jan 9 '18 at 7:08

The Hero of Time hat gave the impression by its description that it didn't have an upvote requirement attached to it. So, every hour I saw a boatload of crap posts. This actually made me be less active during Winterbash than I usually am.

Make sure that there's an upvote requirement for each hat related to questions/answers AND that it's visible in the description. So, for next year avoid hats that give the impression you can get away with bad contributions to the site.

  • 2
    The Hero of Time did have an upvote requirement. On another note, I also think that there should be less hats awarded for merely participating. Knowing that everyone has got your hat takes some of the joy out of it. – hat Jan 12 '18 at 14:51
  • I love the "And YOU get a hat" because it emphasises site-wide hat-hunting and awards all hat-hunters on a site. It is very difficult on the most sites to collect 20 hats of one's own, but the whole community can achieve this. – jk - Reinstate Monica Jan 12 '18 at 17:13
  • @Whosaysbigcatsdon'twearhats are you sure? Because I can't find it in the description like with other hats... – Tinkeringbell Jan 12 '18 at 18:53
  • 2
    @Tinkeringbell, it may have not been in the description, but I didn't get the Hero of Time hat until several hours after my post, when someone finally got around to upvoting it. At the same time, someone posted a clearly-throwaway question for the purpose of getting the hat, it got downvoted into oblivion, and the user never did get the hat. – Mark Jan 13 '18 at 1:36
  • 2
    Okay, then I'll change it to ''make the upvote requirement visible". Because it wasn't visible and that led to a boatload of crappy posts....And I still think 1 upvote is way too little – Tinkeringbell Jan 13 '18 at 11:09

Every now and then you see somebody answer questions without regard for reputation. Let's add a secret hat for an upvoted answer posted after you've reached the rep cap for the day.

Sure, somebody will try to game it by answering at 23:55 UTC to minimize "wasted" upvotes while still collecting the hat, but it's only a hat so I don't think we care that much. I can't think of any negative behavior that this hat would encourage.

  • 1
    Odd timing, but it's a good idea. – apaul May 3 '18 at 20:45
  • 3
    This must of course be called The Rep Cap. – hmakholm left over Monica May 3 '18 at 20:50
  • 1
    @apaul I just saw a case of it and thought "man, there oughta be a hat for that". – Monica Cellio May 3 '18 at 21:30
  • Now it can't really be secret, can it? ;-) – Shadow The Burning Wizard May 3 '18 at 22:37
  • @ShadowWizard it'd initially be secret. Just because I made a suggestion far down this page in May doesn't mean anybody will remember that in December. It's not like they implement all suggestions. :-) – Monica Cellio May 4 '18 at 0:20
  • I will remember... and easy enough to check... ;-) – Shadow The Burning Wizard May 4 '18 at 5:12
  • 1
    @ShadowWizard you, and I, and the five people who upvoted this... but there are often secret hats that either are repeats or people speculated about in advance, so this isn't different. – Monica Cellio May 4 '18 at 13:42

I think there should be something similar to The Chicken - as a hat. Meaning a hat that isn't just acquired through participating on the site, but something hidden behind 497: Not a Chicken's and mysterious codes and hidden clues. The entire mystery was really fun to participate in, and I think having something like that (as a hat) would be cool

  • 2
    Yeah, secret hat awarded manually to those who took part in revealing such an easter egg could be really awesome. :) – Shadow The Burning Wizard Jan 10 '18 at 18:51

Given last year's ... focus ... on new users, and all the discussion that followed, let's create a hat promoting positive behaviour that we probably all agree on: solving their problems.

The hat would be awarded for posting an accepted answer to a user's first question. No upvotes needed since most new users can't do that.

The question doesn't need to be posted during Winter Bash; the answer itself and the accepting do need to.


Less serious hats

I'd like to see some hat for harmless nonsense (i.e., for actions that do not feel like work, but rather like fun). The actions should be harmless (no pranks like pinging an SE employee).

A very good example for this kind of hat was the Trendsetter hat of 2016 that was given for wearing 5 different hat on five days.


Two words.

Mobile Compatibility.

  • Mobile web theme or mobile apps? – Shadow The Burning Wizard Jan 10 '18 at 18:52
  • @Shadow the Hedgehog Wizard Mobile web. – apaul Jan 10 '18 at 19:32

I would like to be able to shrink the hats a bit further using the hat controls.

This, I suppose is a . Here's why I want it:

These hats are all the smallest I could make them using the controls on the Winter Bash page. They are too big to fit nicely on my avatar, but if they were smaller they would really look great. I don't want to change my picture; I like it, and it goes with my username.

Here they are again, but the right size this time.

I had to use Gimp to shrink them down to the correct size. I think that they look much better now.

It would really be great if I could have fitted them correctly using the hat controls. It would really make things easier. I don't know how hard allowing the hats to shrink more would be, but I'm hoping that it would be very easy.

I know this is my third answer to this question, but I have wanted to make all three of these suggestions since before the question existed. I really had a tough time deciding if I should post this one or not, but decided to in the end.


The creation of a Globetrotter Hat, or maybe calling it the "I get around" Hat, for being awarded Hats on 5 SE sites, during winter-bash-2018.

(This would be the creation of a new genre of award, based on multi-site participation, as far as I am aware, unless there already exists such an award, as a Secret Hat.)

"Norm!" Hat awarded for 10 sites where Hats are awarded to the winter-bash-2018 participant ...etc

  • 1
    The last two years had, I believe, the first multi-site hats, and both were for earning a certain amount of rep on several sites. I like the idea of broadening this some, though I'm not sure the "show up on $date" hats should count for this. – Monica Cellio Jan 13 '18 at 23:56

Bring back a consolation hat for trying to get a bounty, but not getting it (from 2013: IG-88 and 2016: This Is Fine)

There should be a minimum score of 3 and not just one upvote should be required.


I am seeing a hat for nearly every feature, like editing 5 old questions (Werewolf Hunter), cleaning up comments after post owner edit (It's a me), removing 10 unnecessary comments from 2017 (This is Fine), Vote 7 times from app (Too cool), etc.

Should we have one for cleaning up downvotes, which should be removed when post owner edited legitimately? As the downvoter won't get notification as he didn't comment (if I am not wrong) and the owner cannot ping the downvoter to get revision?

This will motivate someone to revisit & revert their downvotes.


My original idea was

Controversial hat:

Get at least five upvotes and at least five downvotes on the same post.

Due to some great comments pointing out that this could cause bad behaviour, I have decided to both explain my thoughts around the hat, and propose some ways to fix the obvious issues.

My goals for this hat

I wanted to create a hat which would be impossible to earn, and would be triggered by other user's actions.

I thought that a hat around those interesting posts which attract both upvotes and downvotes would be fun. These posts are not always fun to own.

I also wanted to somehow encourage users to ask those questions which they have wanted to ask, but are unsure of how the community will react. I really don't know if this hat would do anything of the kind, but this was part of the thought process.

Proposed changes

I have thought quite a bit on the difficulties presented by the comments (by the way, thank you for your input, it was really great).

One way to fix the issue of encouraging bad posts I thought of is to add one little (very big) condition. The post must not be edited by the owner. This strips the user of any method of intentionally getting the needed downvotes and upvotes. I don't really know if this is a good idea or not, and I would like your thoughts on it.

Another change I have thought of is that the hat should be for questions only, the reasons being

  • A question can be controversial without being wrong or badly written*
  • A question is more likely to get both upvotes and downvotes

*(It is also possible for answers, this one is heading there fast)

I don't want to encourage bad behaviour in any way. I think that this can be avoided, and the general idea can be made to work. In order to make it work, I would really appreciate constructive input, so please comment if you want.

A possible version of it (version 2.3.1)

Controversial hat:

Ask a question on a per-site meta, which receives at least five upvotes and at least five downvotes. It cannot be edited by the owner

(Maybe on Meta Stack Exchange too)

  • 2
    This could cause problems, if people set about trying to earn this hat. – apaul Jan 8 '18 at 19:58
  • @apaul10: the point is that you can't try earn it. If you write a bad post it will be down voted. How can you try earn it otherwise? – hat Jan 9 '18 at 6:33
  • 2
    You could deliberately write a wrong answer and then go back and edit it after 5 downvotes. – apaul Jan 9 '18 at 19:37
  • 2
    We should not encourage posting things that are downvote-worthy. – S.L. Barth - Reinstate Monica Jan 11 '18 at 13:00
  • I did not think of that @apaul, you are right. I have been thinking of ways to combat this, since your comments. Thanks a lot for pointing that out. – hat Jan 12 '18 at 14:46
  • @S.L.Barth, I have proposed some changes, as well as clarifying my intentions. – hat Jan 12 '18 at 14:47
  • 4
    For a per-site meta, those changes could work. It's still controversial, but it might encourage someone to post a feature request they've been afraid to post. (Like proposing a controversial Winterbash hat - how's that for being meta? ;-) ) – S.L. Barth - Reinstate Monica Jan 12 '18 at 14:53
  • 1
    @S.L.Barth, great idea, a meta hat fits in with Glorfindel's request too. – hat Jan 12 '18 at 15:01

It is a great tradition to celebrate participation on particular days with a hat. Here is a new date that I want to suggest for a hat-giving: Zamenhof Day (on Dec 15, the birthday of the creator of the Esperanto language).

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .