Winter Bash 2021 is going on right now and will end in some time, so why not use the opportunity to gather ideas/suggestions/corrections for next year?

Please post your suggestions regarding how to make Winter Bash 2022 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? suggestions!

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

Here are the suggestions from previous years:

16 Answers 16


Keep hats that encourage reviewing (Consensus, Rapport, Harmony), but remove the requirement that the reviews must be "consecutive reviews where the majority agrees with your vote" (as reported here).

Reviewing is a time-consuming, necessary task that has little incentive, so it is good to focus on it for the hats. But requiring "consecutive agreement of the community" encourages a type of robo-reviewing where the reviewer just votes the same as the majority has already voted. Especially on Stack Overflow, where 25 consecutive agreements are needed, no one is going to want to break a 15-agreement streak, even if they strongly disagree with the majority vote. What are the chances that your independent opinion will agree with the majority 25 times in a row?

  • 2
    Consecutive agreements seem to be really hard to fulfil. It would be better to reach daily limit for review queues (may be several days, may be even consecutive days)
    – demonplus
    Commented Dec 21, 2021 at 15:49
  • 2
    @demonplus I imagine reaching the daily review limit is exceedingly rare on most stacks. I’m the most active user on RPG and I think I’ve hit the daily review limit once in two years, and that was during a coordinated cleanup effort on an entire category of question. Commented Dec 22, 2021 at 1:25
  • 1
    @ThomasMarkov agree, this is easy on stackoverflow and hard on other sites, where there is not so much to review.
    – demonplus
    Commented Dec 22, 2021 at 5:56
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    Just removing the "consecutive" requirement would make the hat reasonably possible to earn on all sites.
    – wimi
    Commented Dec 22, 2021 at 7:16

How about making the network wide hat competition more inclusive for people that are not active on stackoverflow? Several of the hats have triggers that might seem reasonable for people participating on stack overflow, but are extremely difficult or next to impossible on other SE sites.

Case in point:

  • Rep hunter - Many sites may not even get 10 good questions in one day.
  • Consensus - Many sites won't get eight questions in the reopen queue throughout the winterbash
  • Harmony - Same as consensus.
  • Hi5 - Pretty much the same problem as rep hunter. Answering 5 questions is pretty tough, getting five of them accepted is next to impossible, specially in the holiday season.
  • Gem detector - Not sure if some sites even get 50 good questions during winterbash, although this one is easily gameable by creating an account on stack overflow and voting on good questions randomly.

For fair competition on the network wide leaderboard, these sort of hats either have to be removed, or have to be tuned to the level of activity on each individual site.


At the risk of repeating myself again, I'd love to have some memento from Winter Bash when it's over.

To quote the FAQ:

What happens after January 5th?

After January 5th, 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.

I agree hats shouldn't be a permanent addition to the site, but it would still be neat to have some way to look back at them. Keeping the old https://winterbash2021.stackexchange.com/ site in read-only mode would be great, but even something more offline, like exporting your hat gallery to a downloadable format (PNG, PDF, whatever) would be awesome. This more or less mimicks what I do today - I just take a screenshot of it.


Bring back the games.

We had knitting in the past and unicorn dash but this year there is no additional game. I hope in 2022 we can see the games back.

  • winterbash2021.stackexchange.com/unicorn still says "Stay tuned", and I don't think it's referring to the rickroll. Just wait until Yaakov gets back after today; there might still be one.
    – Ollie
    Commented Dec 21, 2021 at 18:19
  • @Ollie my calculation say we might get rickrolled Commented Dec 21, 2021 at 18:43
  • 1
    Meh, this is just a distraction. I'd rather focus on occupying the time of users in ways the improve SE. We all only have so much time to spare. Commented Dec 21, 2021 at 21:59
  • Okay, I didn't unicorn before my previous comment. I loved Yaakov's challenges and it forced users to flex their network searching/querying muscles -- a very healthy and helpful exercise. Commented Jan 3, 2022 at 6:57

Do we want more secret hats?

I really like the idea that the number of Secret Hats have gone up a lottt!!! More secret hats to discover. Also much more hats, not like the previous years where many could get all the hats!

We should have the same idea for next year, more secret hats!


I think next year the hats like Glare Reducers should be only awarded to people who actually view SO during Winter Bash. Now Glare Reducers can be awarded to people who don't even view SO during Winter Bash.

Description of Glare Reducers should be:

Visit Stack Overflow during Winter Bash using the new High Contrast or Dark Mode features.

Also here.

  • 2
    Agreed; I think hats in general should only ever get rewarded to users who actually visit the site. We don't have confirmation of this yet, but I'm inclined to think that the Glare Reducers case was just an oversight rather than an intended choice in this regard.
    – zcoop98
    Commented Dec 21, 2021 at 14:50
  • 1
    See my answer here Commented Dec 22, 2021 at 15:14

Design the hats to be more wearable.

To explain my point, let me illustrate. This is how my xkcd stick figure looks with this year's "I Voted" hat:

enter image description here

This is how it looks with last year's cordovan hat:

Notice the difference? Last year's hat fits much more naturally. It really looks like the stick man is wearing the hat. This year's hat, on the other hand, just looks weird. Nobody wears a hat tilted this far forward.

So next year, can we have hats that fit more naturally on a typical profile picture? Or better yet, have hats that can be tilted backwards and forwards so everyone can adjust it for their avatars?

  • 4
    So… 3D hats and controls in WebGL? Let’s go! Commented Dec 21, 2021 at 16:46
  • 4
    @SebastianSimon I mean, why not? :) That would be super cool. Of course, I'm pretty sure staff wouldn't be ready to put that much effort, so I'm ready to settle for the first option.
    – nobody
    Commented Dec 21, 2021 at 16:49

Chimney Sweep Hat

Delete 50 of your own comments which are more than 6 months old.

I'd suggest reaching your comment flag limit (100), but then we would overwhelm mods with too many flags -- so I suppose introspective curation is the most effective and least disruptive.

This should be relatively easy for those with enough comments AND it serves to help clean up page bloat. Win-win.


I liked the idea of summer dash but why not go a bit further? As currently, it's the only theme on the hat list page.

I suggest if we bring back summer dash make hats appear a little different if we activate summer dash and all the pages display summer instead of winter design.

Like the colour theme of hats change according to summer/winter colours.

  • 1
    Yeah, would be nice +1 Commented Dec 21, 2021 at 11:34
  • 2
    Probably won't happen, see Catija's answer on Offer a sun icon rather than a snowflake for Summer Bash Commented Dec 21, 2021 at 13:38
  • @RafaelTavares missed that post Commented Dec 21, 2021 at 13:50
  • 1
    ^^I like the idea in that question :) Commented Dec 21, 2021 at 22:03
  • 4
    Our original goal was to be able to do something like this (Summer/Winter versions of some or all hats, that change on the site if you toggle your "mode" on the mini-site). But it would have required rearchitecting a whole lot of core logic in the site, and we just didn't have the time/budget for that (and probably wont for next year as well). Though we'll keep the feedback in mind. Commented Dec 22, 2021 at 15:15

Next year we can make doodle hats. Kind of animated one. Each hat will have unique animation and that animation emphasis the characteristics of that hat using that animation.


Bring back Snap Hat

enter image description here

This has been my favorite hat for a few years now, and I am severely disappointed it was not brought back.

  • 2
    That hat was very good! Agreed, would love to have it back! Also it virtually matches with any avatar :P. Commented Dec 22, 2021 at 4:09

How about a hat that encourages users to visit a site they haven't been to before (or at least within a certain time, say a year or the previous 6 months)?

My thinking is that this might raise the profile of the beta and "minor" sites and grow their user-base while broadening users' horizons, knowledge and the overall "Stack Exchange experience".

To achieve this badge, one should make a positive contribution such as posting a well-received question and/or answer - the trigger being earning one of the relevant Question and/or Answer badges.

My initial thoughts on the hat's image were around exploration or explorers - especially those that who boldly gone where no man one had gone before - I was going to suggest a few from history but decided not to as I couldn't find (m)any that were both internationally recognisable and didn't have some very dubious practices, especially when they encountered indigenous peoples. Maybe it would be better if the image cryptically referenced a map, compass or a sextant etc.


New suggestions for hats and hat triggers

I suggest that a trigger for a hat should about flagging (Helpful ofc) that way it's a helpful way for contributing to the event and in the same way it helps the community itself it can look like a police hat or something like that.

For example :
Flag 40 Helpful flags to a post that later gets closed or deleted.


Back in 2019, animuson suggested that we should move on from hat triggers to unlockables.

Currently, each hat you earn is tied to a specific trigger. Which is fine, but could be improved. Rather than forcing a user to complete a specific task to get the one hat they really want, why not let them collect coins and redeem them for the hat they want?
Essentially, have a list of triggers (both public and secret) that award one Stack Exchange Unicoin each. Then have a collection of stuff they can redeem those coins for. Certain items can also be made only available during certain dates, as a way of rotating out what you can redeem for throughout the entire event.

I further expanded on the gacha part of that idea here.

Three times has the Bash returned since then, three times this was ignored.

I still understand that Winter Bash at the moment seems like a "single man project" that probably has very thigh cost requirements. Yet I fear that the event as it is being reused every year is starting to show it limits and becoming less and less attractive.

The issues have already been mentioned multiple times:

  • people will lose interest as soon as they either get the hat they want or more often realize they can't get any more because their site is not SO(aka the low traffic problem)
  • most hats are found on the first days of the event, and that kills the felling of discovery.
  • tied to the previous one, hats are starting to fell like "already seen, already played" content and as a result often the side plates gets more enjoyment than the main dish (see the Hat Dash game or the older knitting one)

But there are too many hats for upvotes this year. There should be either fewer of those kinds of hats or some hats for downvotes as well. Like for the Gem hats, there should be the same for downvotes. Like:

Cast n downvotes on questions less than two days old, n% of which are closed after four days.

Also here.

  • 16
    Please no hats for downvotes. We already get enough accusations that downvotes are only cast to get some reward, as opposed to it being a content rating mechanism. Substantiating these claims is the last thing needed.
    – VLAZ
    Commented Dec 21, 2021 at 8:53
  • 3
    Closing and downvoting are not the same, why should a proportion of downvoted questions be closed after 4 days? Commented Dec 21, 2021 at 11:07
  • The best option would be to reward just votes, independent of their direction.
    – wimi
    Commented Dec 21, 2021 at 17:37
  • 2
    The solution for "too many hats for upvotes" is not "add more hats for downvotes". Commented Dec 21, 2021 at 22:05

A hat to reward withdrawing from discussions in comments.

Either something like not reacting to the second time your handle is @ in the same post, or for moving a discussion to chat.

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