Winter Bash 2020 is over, so keeping the ritual on with the recurring question for the next year's Winter Bash.

Please post your suggestions regarding how to make Winter Bash 2021 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?
  • Any new game like knitting or dash?

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

I know last year's suggestion didn't go well but we can still keep the tradition.

  • 3
    One of the complaints on my post then was that I had posted it too early, on January 1. I'd delete this for now and undelete it once Winter Bash ends on the 4th. Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 9:06
  • @SonictheCuriouserHedgehog but mostly backlash was for other reasons like code of conduct, resignations etc Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 9:28
  • I am not sure, whether there will be another questions with the (winter-bash-2021) tag until it starts. Perhaps it would be reasonable to create the tag-wiki, so that the tag is not automatically removed after 6 months.
    – Martin
    Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 21:30
  • Aw! It finally ended! rip Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 1:01
  • 1
    Masks. Just masks. I made a good amount. Commented Jan 9, 2021 at 9:16
  • 1
    Tell us the secret hats. Better yet, tell me the secret hats in a gallery chat room.
    – Anonymous
    Commented Apr 5, 2021 at 0:25
  • 1
    Change its name to avoid the hemisphereism? Seasonal Bash? Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 1:40

26 Answers 26


At the risk of repeating myself, I'd love to see an "export option" for Winter Bash.

To quote the FAQ:

What happens after January 4th?
After January 4th, the sites go back to normal and all hats disappear. This is meant to be a fun end-of-year celebration, not a permanent addition to the site.

This makes sense to me, but it would be cool to get some "souvenir" from Winter Bash. Right now I take a screenshot of my hat gallery every year, but it would be cool if there was a built-in option to do that.

  • 6
    What would you like to be exportable? Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 11:03
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    @YaakovEllis The idea is to have some "souvenir" from Winter Bash. Ideally, keeping the old WB sites up in "read-only" (i.e., can't earn new hats or wear hats) would be awesome. A close second best would be to be able to export the hat gallery (or whatever you call the screen you get when you click on the hat icon in the user profile) to some local backup
    – Mureinik
    Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 14:19
  • 2
    @YaakovEllis ideally a way to view every single hat you've earned over the years Commented Jan 6, 2021 at 1:27
  • 6
    It sounds like you want a "hat rack" added to your permanent profile?
    – hazzey
    Commented Jan 6, 2021 at 19:06
  • 1
    @hazzey yes please!
    – Mureinik
    Commented Jan 6, 2021 at 19:51
  • 1
    FWIW, I can still log into winterbash2020.stackexchange.com and see all the hats I collected, leaderboards, etc. Assuming this won't go away when Winter Bash 2021 starts, I think this request can be marked as done.
    – Mureinik
    Commented Nov 16, 2021 at 9:48
  • Trying the same now redirects to contests.stackoverflow.com/promos/21/winter-bash-2020, so I guess this is un-done again?
    – Mureinik
    Commented Dec 14, 2021 at 18:08

Some sort of accessibility hat.

There are large numbers of images uploaded to SE sites without alt-text. These can be problematic for browsers for the visually impaired.

So. How about a hat for performing or suggesting an edit that puts a real image description in place of the default text "Enter image description here" when an image is uploaded.

Just the existence of such a hat may persuade people to add a description when uploading.


Backlog is a great new hat

Over on Law.SE, it resulted in people (including me) digging through old unanswered questions looking for interesting ones to answer. It was fun to see questions you'd never expect to get answers due to their age receiving them due to hats. I ended up writing about Minnesota trailer law, and the "New Answers to Old Questions" tool was filled with great answers from hat chasers.

I'd love to see this hat make a return, but with one change: don't count deleted answers, since most users have no way of telling whether a given question has a deleted answer.

  • Exactly.
    – Ollie
    Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 23:58
  • 1
    I agree that the concept for the hat is fantastic and should definitely be retained, including with the caveat you mentioned. If possible, I'd also like to see the design of the hat itself refreshed. The post-it note doesn't fit all that well on most avatars, which I believe discouraged people (including myself) from wearing it. Commented Jan 9, 2021 at 9:51

My favorite new addition this winter bash is:

Defender of the Unicorn Q&A.

Which gave people a chance to answer some fun questions to earn a cute hat. I wish it stayed in some form in the coming years too.

  • 1
    I know it probably won't happen because one of the reasons for Winter Bash is to drive activity on the sites, but I wouldn't mind if next year hats were awarded only for finding existing things :D
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 10:02

How about a hat that only one user (per site) can have at any given time? So to get the hat, you'd have to steal it from the user who currently holds it by beating them at something like... getting the most downvotes on an answer? :P. I mean I'm not sure what we should be competing at but the basic idea will definitely make the winter bash more interesting.

  • 13
    Perhaps something off-site (like this year's hat dash game) is the best way of adding a competitive element like that. That way, there's no risk the competitiveness will leave lasting marks on the site itself :)
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 10:24
  • @Tinkeringbell Good point
    – nobody
    Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 10:25

I think the I Wish to Subscribe hat is a bit unneeded, it is for upvoting three , but I think that hat isn't helpful for anything. It is not a hard hat, just upvote some questions, but I think that most hat hunters just do it so they can get the hat, not for really reviewing the question.

I don't think it is a useful hat...

I also think maybe next year we can have even more hats, maybe even more secret hats, so we can have more fun trying to get hats and discovering secret hats.

  • 4
    That hat doesn't even fit on my avatar... Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 9:15
  • 2
    @mindstormsboi Yeah lol I never even try wearing that hat Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 9:15
  • 2
    @mindstormsboi valid complaint:D Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 9:27

No more hats that require others to upvote your posts

As clarified in the answer to Can I ask others users to upvote something in order to gain a Winter Bash hat?, Stack Exchange doesn't want people to ask others to upvote their posts in order to gain a hat. Hence I would like to request SE to avoid such hats in the future to avoid giving people a set of perverse incentives. Yes, yes, I know - hats are imaginary and you shouldn't go too far to collect them, but that's what happens when you create a competition.

  • 1
    It's not a competition.
    – user707129
    Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 14:18
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    @Xnero then why is there a leaderboard? Commented Jan 6, 2021 at 0:54
  • 1
    For fun. I think you need to stop thinking that hats for upvotes must mean that I need to ask for them.
    – user707129
    Commented Jan 6, 2021 at 0:56
  • 1
    @Xnero if there's a leaderboard, it automatically turns into a competition. It's like saying that the Olympic gold medal leaderboard shouldn't matter - maybe it shouldn't, but it matters to people. Commented Jan 6, 2021 at 1:19
  • But you wouldn't cheat at the Olympics, would you?
    – user707129
    Commented Jan 6, 2021 at 9:43
  • @Xnero ahem: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doping_at_the_Olympic_Games. Commented Jan 6, 2021 at 17:29
  • Which is not allowed, doesn't mean the games are cancelled.
    – user707129
    Commented Jan 6, 2021 at 19:08
  • 5
    @Xnero unlike the Olympics, StackExchange could get rid of the issue of "cheating" by simply avoiding hats that require votes. Commented Jan 6, 2021 at 19:11

Any new game like knitting or dash?

I really enjoyed the knitting in 2018 & 2019 and was fascinated by all the beautiful and creative knittings of the community members.

That being said, I wouldn't mind if knitting becomes a permanent, reoccurring feature (in addition to new games like dash, etc.) during the Winter Bashes in future years ;)


To encourage low-reppers to reach very tangible milestones and for veterans of the network to branch out into new communities, I have two suggestions, but sorry, no images because I am not graphically inclined.

  1. "Ready for Democracy" hat -- gain the ability to vote in a moderator election (150 rep). Can be earned once per community. Having more moderator election voters in any community is a good thing.

  2. "No Distractions" hat -- reach the "reduced ads" milestone (200 rep). Can be earned once per community. The image can be a couple of monkey hands (see no evil hands over eyes) or a simple blindfold.

I feel that part of growing better communities is encouraging more cross-pollination from established users and encouraging newer users to be more active contributors.

  • 1
    Sound interesting Commented Nov 16, 2021 at 7:23
  • 3
    We've had "Gimme Space", but I want to see more engagement than just signing up for a new community. With the association bonus, it will be very easy to reach these -- even if all you do in December is suggest edits in a community where you don't specifically have expertise. Commented Nov 16, 2021 at 7:25
  • Re "150 rep": That is for downvoting. Do you mean 15 (though that is achieved with the association bonus)? It could be called "full voting rights" if you don't want to use the "D" word. Commented Nov 16, 2021 at 9:39
  • Please reference: stackoverflow.com/election/13 and see "Any community member with 150 reputation may vote in the election." Commented Nov 16, 2021 at 9:59
  • Hats are a great way to incentivize behaviors that users don't typically aim for during the other 11 months. We should take these annual 1-month opportunities to groom behaviors and steer users to better, fuller Stack Exchange experiences. Commented Nov 16, 2021 at 10:01

Credit for idea goes to @Derpy:

We should have a special Hat Developer Hat which the users should decide the trigger for

I'm not sure how we'll keep the trigger secret, but it's definitely something I want next time.


If the pandemic continues, then Social Distancing hats will still be available.

However, what I want is for every separate site on the network, their masks will include their logos.

So if in Stack Overflow (Main), instead of just:


we can also have:

New Mask

  • 16
    Hope this pandemic ends lol :-) Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 11:51
  • @U11-Forward This is a "What If..." answer, if Social Distancing hats were still coming in 2021.. Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 11:54
  • Yeah I know :-) Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 11:55
  • 7
    ... I mean... that requires us to create over 300 different masks for the entire network combined. We just... can't do that. We've never created more than about 50.
    – Catija
    Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 21:37
  • @Catija Well, its a suggestion, so its more likely an optional thing. It doesn't have to happen, but I will make an album of masks, as it is already an answer here though only a few masks right now. Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 22:01

Rep Hunter is quite a repetitive hat but 10 answers in 1 day with positive score seems a lot.

It should be changed to multiple days at-least.

  • 14
    I actually think that this hat may be counter-productive. Most questions have already been answered. It’s almost impossible to find 10 questions you can answer in a single day (and still very hard in a single week) that aren’t duplicates of some older question. We should avoid content fragmentation. Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 20:28
  • 4
    Yup, a "successful flagging 10 questions as duplicates" hat would surely be more useful. Of course, it should be a secret hat; known hats have the tendency to induce unwanted behavior.
    – Mr. T
    Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 16:19

Any new game like knitting or dash?

How about a game where you design a gingerbread house?

Or, if you want to stick to fiber arts, maybe swap crochet, cross stitch, or embroidery for knitting.

Or keep knitting but add different types of stitches: purls, cables, bobbles, etc.


Wow Winter Bash ended, the whole event is so short... a blink of an eye and it's over...

Wouldn't it be nice if we had a much longer bash, like 3 or 4 months.

Maybe from December throughout February...

And have a lot of hats! like 100. And also have 30% of them secret, so we have to really discuss the possible triggers.

It would be a long Winter Bash which would be really fun :-)

If we don't have a longer bash, wouldn't it be nice if we have a Summer Bash as well?


I really enjoyed Winter Bash 2020. It was very fun and well done this year.

But boy oh boy it would've been nice to wear a mask and a celestial body at the same time. With all these great and wonderful hats, why limit us to just wearing one at a time? I know it's possible to edit your profile picture to have the appearance of wearing multiple hats simultaneously, but that's much more time-consuming and difficult to do than if it was built into the UI, and it's not supposed to be hard to wear a sword and arms at the same time, is it?

TL;DR I think there should be some simple way to wear multiple hats at one time during Winter Bash.

  • What do you mean by "celestial body"? A planet, like Pluto? Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 9:09

Create a hat for participants that post Questions with Bounties during Winterbash. Perhaps call it the pay-it-forward hat.

  • 2
    How about "Bounty Claus" and make it the classic Santa Claus hat. Earned by giving gifts to those who are nice (not naughty). Commented Nov 25, 2021 at 19:21

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to earn the Wa-Boushi hat from per-site-metas?

As mentioned by @Yaakov here, he says that it is impossible to earn the Wa-Boushi hat on per-site-metas.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could?


Most of the hats aren't able to be received on per-site-metas, I just brought up the Wa-Boushi hat for an example, but it would be nice if all hats are possible to be awarded on per-site-metas.

thanks Cody Gray for reminding me in the comments

  • 3
    Why limit it to the Wa-Boushi hat? Make posts on per-site Metas count for all hats! Commented Jan 9, 2021 at 9:49
  • @CodyGray That's true, forgot about that! edited mine Commented Jan 9, 2021 at 9:53

Edit a post to remove classic noise like: "hope this helps", "thanks", "thanks in advance", etc.

"Thanks, but no thanks" / "No thanks" hat -- Edit a post older than 6 months that has not been edited in 6 months which contains any combination of the aforementioned noise.

The "hat" could be a silhouette of a hand like "talk to the hand", or perhaps a skin-tone-agnostic pair of hands with palms together making the common gesture of gratitude. 🙏

This effectively "thanks" editors for removing "thanks" from posts. Hat to be earned just once per community.

  • At least, on some sites, the community consensus is to not edit posts just for the sake of removing "thanks". This hat might not be a good fit on such sites.
    – nobody
    Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 4:47
  • Okay, fair enough. Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 4:55
  • Edits should fix everything that's wrong in a post. We shouldn't be teaching people only to fix a single issue. This seems to be sending the wrong message. Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 10:56
  • I agree with you, this is misinterpretation of my goal. My suggested hat does NOT mean that we want trivial/incomplete edits. The idea is that we want the "thanks" noise to be a signal to see if more of the post should be edited. I think there should be greater guidance for new editors to differentiate between worthwhile edits and not. The hat will also indicate to posters that they should not be including "thanks" in any of their future posts. So this hat is not only curative, it is preventative. Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 11:06
  • I like the idea of the hat but don't like the proposed names like: "No thanks", etc... If the hat were a "noise canceling headphone" that would be really cool, and SE could negotiate a sponsorship for it. (Maybe name the hat "noise pollution" or something smart like that.)
    – bad_coder
    Commented Nov 29, 2021 at 2:12
  • I like those thoughts @bad Commented Nov 29, 2021 at 2:27

Encourage users to join a new community and start sowing the seeds of content growth...

"Sowing Seeds" hat -- join a new community in December AND post a new question on three separate days. If three of the questions are simultaneously "open" with a "non-negative vote tally", then award the hat. The hat can be awarded once per community.

The "hat" could be:

  • a farmer's hat or
  • a sprout that could be growing out of someone's head, or
  • a sprout in a pot (which could be balanced on the user's head)

I know that this kind of behavior would greatly benefit the Beta site that I moderate on -- we need more content to spur more activity.

  • 1
    The more I think about it, it doesn't need to be limited to questions. Join a new community and make 1 non-negative post on 3 separate days, that should be enough to spur activity in communities that need it and it won't matter if those communities don't like to upvote. Once a user has posted three times "successfully", they'll be more likely to post 10 times, etc. Commented Nov 25, 2021 at 19:14

Reach your daily limit on a single Review Queue (any of them).

"Maxed out" hat -- Complete enough reviews to reach your daily limit in any of the review queues.

The "hat" could be just a blonde slicked-back toupee. Of if you don't like Max Headroom, you might like some sort of reference to Mad Max.

enter image description here

To be earned just once per community. This should bring more attention to review queues.

Alternatively, you could offer a different hat for different queues. @CodyGray mentioned (in chat) perhaps having a "Medic" hat relating to the Triage queue.

enter image description here

These might be harder to earn on smaller beta sites -- so maybe halve the requirement in beta communities.

  • As Triage is a SO-only queue, that Medic hat will be impossible to earn on other sites. Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 10:17
  • Ah, right you are. Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 10:18
  • We have enough trouble with robo reviewers in normal times. This is just going to encourage lots of poor quality reviews, no? Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 10:54
  • 1
    There will be inevitable "bad reviews". My stances is that 1 month of the year, we should do something to try to coax users who do not help tackle the review queue to give it a try. We must not think of new/imperfect reviewers as pests -- their mistakes are opportunities to groom and grow them for a more prosperous future. Let's not forget that we once new/inexperienced/imperfect users at one point. Our greatest veterans invariably burnout/fade-away/move-on, we must invest in new waves of curators. Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 11:03
  • 2
    They aren't pests. With the right messaging/education/support this can work but there's limited information you can put in a hat. I just don't want them to get in trouble with moderators and audits for making large numbers of inappropriate reviews all in a big rush. We could put them off before they even get started and once burned they may never come back. So yes I absolutely agree we must invest in new waves of curators. Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 11:42

Wouldn't it be nice if we had more hats for answers with x amount of upvotes? Like Wa-Boushi, just the answer should be posted during Winter Bash.

So maybe something like a hat for:

Answering a question during WB and get 10 upvotes on your answer.

I think it would be too much for luck if it's for an answer you did before Winter Bash. Like this year, we have Wa-Boushi, which is for answer votes, but if you made an answer before WB that's accepted and has 39 upvotes, if you get your 40th you will get the hat. But if we make a hat with the trigger as I mentioned in the beginning, you wouldn't get the hat if you had an answer before WB that already had some upvotes.


Wouldn't it be nice if we had a daily task, and doing it continuously for some days would earn you a hat.

It would be better if you were awarded an honorary hat at the end of the Winter Bash if you finished all the daily tasks from the start until the very end.

I suggest that the tasks be simple (but not too simple) so that there is maximum participation and it encourages more people to come to SE (and SO) everyday.


Better quality assurance.

I found I quite annoying to get some secret hats, only to see them retracted with the next visit to the site. This caused me to drop out of this winter bash.


Maybe add some swag...?

Perhaps as an added incentive to have more people participate on SO during the winter bash, there could be some free SO/SE swag for the top 10 or 100 users on each site. (such as what SE is doing with the people who have enough rep, except that it could be actual winter bash hats (or masks depending on whether or not pandemic is over) that are the rewards.


Join a beta community in December and receive a positive reputation gain - approved suggested edit, accept an answer, upvoted question, upvoted answer.

"I'm a believer" hat -- be a positive contributor a beta community.

The "hat" could be some Shrek ears or something. I'm not sure that The Monkeys have anything iconic that can be leveraged. On the other hand, we wouldn't want a legal battle with Dreamworks. I might need to ask for help with a "hat" idea.

enter image description here

To be earned just once per community. This should bring more attention to betas that need more activity.


Create a Polyglot hat, for folks posting in more than 1 language site.

New suggestions for hats

  • 5
    not a good idea IMO. first of all I heard that SE doesn't support all languages and it's the same thing for the other stack overflow communities, i.e. they have Russian SO but if they didn't I wouldn't be able to get this hat. also, hats shouldn't be too site-specific, because at the moment I don't need to learn any languages and I don't program. and besides that, maybe a programmer that knows Russian would rather get his answers from English speakers? Commented Jan 11, 2021 at 9:29

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