Planking (or the Lying Down Game) is an activity consisting of lying face down —sometimes in an unusual or incongruous location. Both hands must touch the sides of the body. Some players compete to find the most unusual and original location in which to play. The term planking refers to mimicking a wooden plank. Planking can include lying flat on a flat surface, or holding the body flat while it's supported in only some regions, with other parts of the body suspended. Many participants in planking have photographed the activity in unusual locations and have shared such pictures through social media.
The person who is credited as the inventor of this trend is Tom Green. In 1994, a hidden camera caught Green lying down on an Ottawa sidewalk without moving. Green is a comedian known for his pranks who was in an MTV show in the 90s. He tells CNN about this video evidence and how it did not air on the show and states it is “a very obscure piece of video.” Tom tweeted “Just found video of me #planking in 1994. I will post it soon. Let people know. :)” on July 12, 2011.
After becoming popular in North East England, the lying down game spread to the rest of the world, where it has also been known as "시체놀이" ("playing dead") (2003, South Korea),[verification needed][verification needed] "à plat ventre" ("On one’s belly", France 2004),[verification needed] "extreme lying down" (2008, Australasia), "facedowns" (2010, USA and Ireland), and "planking" (2011, Australia & New Zealand and worldwide).
The popularity of planking has generated a backlash. Some people object to its ridiculous aspects; such as a girl planking with her head in a toilet, or a man planking on a stripper pole. Also, planking in dangerous places has resulted in many injuries and at least one death.
Notable incidents 
- The game made news in September 2009, when seven doctors and nurses working at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon, England were suspended for playing the lying down game while on duty.
- On 15 May 2011, Acton Beale, a 20-year-old man, plunged to his death after reportedly "planking" on a seventh-floor balcony in Brisbane, Australia. He eventually won a Darwin Award in 2011.
- On 29 May 2011, Max Key, son of New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, uploaded to Facebook a photograph of himself planking on a lounge suite, his father standing behind him. After the photograph was reproduced on the front page of the New Zealand Herald. Confirming that the photograph was indeed genuine, Mr. Key remarked that he doesn't see anything wrong with planking when done safely. Key was criticized for his appearance in the photograph with some going as far as to comment that he "killed" the meme.
- The Fall 2011 season premiere of The Office featured several employees planking in the parking lots, the restroom, on desks, and on top of file cabinets.
- On 20 January 2012, Pat Barry planked on National Television, FOX televised worldwide, following a knockout victory over his opponent in a mixed martial arts match.[not in citation given]
- On 28 March 2012, a South Park episode parodied trends such as planking.
Teapotting is one of the many variations of planking that arose shortly after planking went viral. Teapotting consists of bending the arms into the shape of a teapot, in reference to the children's song "I'm a Little Teapot". This variation was created by teachers in Mortlake College in an attempt to create a new 'craze' after noticing the amount of attention planking received.
Owling is a variation on planking in which a person squats "like an owl". Participants commonly make noises similar to an owl, to make the owl impression more realistic. It was first documented on 11 July 2011 in a post on the social news website reddit.
Horsemanning involves posing two people so that they appear to be a single body with a detached head and is a revival of a photography fad popular in the 1920s. It is thought that the name comes from the Headless Horseman in Washington Irving's short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
Tebowing is a phenomenon that began to spread in October 2011. It is an act of imitating National Football League quarterback Tim Tebow's fad of getting down on one knee, resting head in arm and praying, especially in a setting where others are doing something unrelated.
Toucher and Rich, of Boston's 98.5FM sports talk radio station started a trend for New England Patriots fans to compete with Tebowing during the 2011 NFL season. Rob Gronkowski, a player for the Patriots, was known for spiking the football in a very characteristic manner. Replacing the football with any inanimate object and spiking it when Gronkowski made a touchdown became known as Gronking.
After the loss to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI, a photograph of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady spread throughout the Internet, which involves sitting down with his head lowered and hands clasped between his legs. The picture took place after Brady threw an interception late in the game. Unlike "Gronking" and "Tebowing", Bradying is not considered as a "celebration". Many called Tebowing the pose of 2011, while calling Bradying the pose of 2012. However, Tebowing.com creator Jared Kleinstein claimed that the pose would not catch on for long, claiming it to be too negative.
Rookie Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III's (RGIII) first NFL touchdown pass was an 88-yard pass play to Pierre Garcon against the New Orleans Saints. In the process of throwing the pass, Griffin was knocked to the ground, from which position he watched the rest of the play unfold. As Garcon streaked across the goal-line, Griffin, seated on the turf, thrust his hands in the air showing a #1 with both index fingers, thereby spawning the Griffining Internet meme. The Griffining movement began in earnest when Brent from @BurgundyBlog tweeted, “How has the sitting-down-arms-up posture not yet incited a ‘Griffining’ meme?" Soon afterward the Griffining pose was featured on an ESPN segment and on the front page of The Washington Post. Robert Griffin III was later asked how he felt about the new meme by ESPN's Rick Reilly and he responded with, “Who would have thought getting knocked on your butt and throwing a touchdown would start a phenomenon like that?” Griffin said. “I’m not opposed to it. It’s pretty funny to me. 
In the 2012-13 NFC Divisional Playoffs between the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick celebrated a touchdown by flexing his right arm and kissing his bicep. Afterwards, 49ers fans began posting photos online of them performing the pose, and Kaepernick had retweeted other fans' photos of the pose on Twitter. However, USA Today pointed out that Kaepernicking has been performed by athletes prior to the game, including wrestler Scott Steiner, Steve Nash, and Metta World Peace. Kaepernick later trademarked the pose.
- [Staff] (September 9, 2009). "The lying down game: how to play". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved November 13, 2010.
- Duke, Alan. "New clues in planking origins mystery". CNN Entertainment. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- Bershad, Jon. "You Know That Internet Phenomenon ‘Planking’? Seems That Tom Green Invented It In 1994". Mediaite. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- [Staff] ([undated]). "The lying down game on Facebook". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved November 13, 2010.
- *Brad [pseud.], Chris Menning [?pseud.], Jamie Dubs [?pseud.], yatta [pseud.] (2010) "Playing Dead," Emily Huh (ed.), Brad Kim (ed.) Know your Meme Seattle and New York: Cheezburger Inc.. available online
- [Procedurally Generated Content] "Playing Dead (Related Submemes)"  Emily Huh (ed.), Brad Kim (ed.) Know your Meme Seattle and New York: Cheezburger Inc.. last accessed 2011. available online
- Brad [pseud.], amanda b. [pseud.], yatta [pseud.], Tomberry [pseud.], James [pseud.] (2011) "Lying Down Game" Emily Huh (ed.), Brad Kim (ed.) Know your Meme Seattle and New York: Cheezburger Inc.. available online
- Guzman, Monica (March 26, 2010). "'And here I am facedown by the Coliseum'". Seattle PI. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
- Byrne, Niall (May 14, 2010). "Facedown on the up". Irish Independent. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
- Russel, Mathew. "Planking Gladstone". Queensland Police. Retrieved 2011-05-26.
- I Hate Planking
- Wright, Danielle (2011-07-06). "Planking: What’s All the Controversy About?". BET. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- "'Planking' death puts spotlight on bizarre Web craze". CNN. 2011-05-18.
- Simon de Bruxelles (September 10, 2009). "Seven NHS staff suspended over Facebook 'Lying Down Game' pictures". The Times (London). Retrieved November 13, 2010.
- Richard Savill (September 9, 2009). "Hospital staff suspended over Facebook 'lying down game' pictures". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved November 13, 2010.
- The Times [Staff] (September 10, 2009). "Internet Craze 'Lying Down Game' Gets 7 Doctors, Nurses Suspended in Emergency Ward". Fox News. Retrieved November 13, 2010. Using content from The Times.
- "Australia man plunges to 'planking' death - World news - Asia-Pacific - msnbc.com". MSNBC. 2011-05-15. Retrieved 2011-07-25.
- "Darwin awards". Retrieved 2012-01-13.
- "PM's son named 'New Zealand's top planker'" Yahoo News/AFP (31 May 2011)
- "PM says a safe plank fine by him". One News. 31 May 2011. Retrieved 3 November 2011.
- Did John Key kill planking meme?. Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved on 2012-01-19.
- Golliver, Ben (2011-09-02). "Dwight Howard planks with 100 fans in China". CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2011-09-03.
- Gardner, Sam. "Dwight Howard planks with 100 fans in China". FS Florida. FoxSports.com. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
- "The Office - Planking (Season 8) FULL". YouTube. 2011-09-26. Retrieved 2012-07-31.
- "The Office Tries Planking for its Season Premier www.huffingtonpost.com 9-23-2011". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2012-07-31.
- . www.mmafighting.com (2012-01-20). Retrieved on 2012-01-23.
- "Forget planking – now it's teapotting". General. Examiner. 28 July 2011. Retrieved July 28, 2011.
- Doug Gross, (2011 [last update]). "Forget planking -- who's up for owling? - CNN.com". cnn.com. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
- Owling the new planking. YouTube. Retrieved on 2012-01-19.
- Bentley, Paul (12 August 2011). "Off their heads! 1920s photography craze for 'horsemanning' has a very modern makeover". Daily Mail (London).
- 'Planking' is Dead; Long Live 'Horsemaning' [SLIDESHOW] – International Business Times. Ibtimes.com (2011-08-11). Retrieved on 2012-01-19.
- Forget planking, it's Batmanning Sept 7 2011, The Sun
- "Holy cow! Now students develop another craze... Batmanning". Daily Mail (London). 10 September 2011.
- Batmanning is a Christian Bale stunt with an Adam West flavour Sept 11 2011, The Guardian's Sam Leith
- Hess, Joshua (2 November 2011). "Embracing 'Tebowing'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
- Foster, Daniel. "Tebow’s Religion, and Ours". National Review. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
- "He's going to be an NFL fan! Ultrasound shows unborn baby 'Tebowing'". The Daily Mail (London). 3 December 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
- Steinmetz, Katy (9 November 2011). "Wednesday Words: Herman’s ‘Cain-Wreck,’ Male Cleavage and More". TIME. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
- Maske, Mark (2 December 2011). "Tim Tebow’s faith makes for controversial NFL stardom but wins keep mystique alive". The Washington Post. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
- Jones, Lindsay. "The story behind the "Tebowing" craze". Denver Post. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
- Christopher Hunt (December 16, 2011). "High schoolers banned for Tebowing". ESPN New York. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- Toucher & Rich: Patriots Rob Gronkowski Talks Denver Broncos Defense, 'Gronking' « CBS Boston. Boston.cbslocal.com (2011-12-15). Retrieved on 2012-01-19.
- "Bradying: It's unfortunately sure to catch on". NFL.com. 2012-02-07. Retrieved 2012-07-31.
- "Is Bradying the next pose to sweep the nation?". USA Today. 2012-02-07.
- "Bradying vs. Tebowing: Tom Brady Pose In Super Bowl Loss Starts Internet Meme (VIDEO)". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2012-07-31.
- "‘Kaepernicking’ craze takes off after 49ers win". WGHP. 2013-01-14. Retrieved 2013-01-14.
- Associated Press (2013-01-14). "'Kaepernicking' Is All the Craze After 49ers Win". ABC News. Retrieved 2013-01-14.
- Strauss, Chris (2013-01-14). "'Kaepernicking' gesture rips off World Peace, pro wrestler". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-01-14.
- Sessler, Marc (2013-01-23). "Colin Kaepernick trademarking signature pose name". National Football League. Retrieved 2013-01-23.