A mic drop is the gesture of intentionally dropping one's microphone at the end of a performance or speech to signal triumph. Figuratively, it is an expression of triumph for a successful event and indicates a boastful attitude toward one's own performance.
The gesture became prevalent in the 1980s, when it was used by rappers and comedians. Performers from both groups can engage in confrontational performance styles - rappers may participate in rap battles, comedians may interact with a heckler in the audience - and dropping the microphone after a particularly effective line indicated complete confidence in the opponent's inability to come back with anything that would be worthy of a response. An early occurrence was Eddie Murphy in 1983 in his standup show Delirious. The first recorded mic drop was by Judy Garland on a 1965 epsiode of The Ed Sullivan show.
The gesture then became widely popular from 2012 onwards. President Obama performed a mic drop in April 2012 on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, which has been credited with popularising the meme. At the White House Correspondents' Dinner on 30 April 2016, President Obama ended his speech with the words "Obama out", followed by a mic drop. In 2017, RM, the leader of kpop boyband BTS, revealed that the track "MIC Drop" from their extended play Love Yourself: Her was inspired by President Obama's speech. A figurative use also features in a promotional video for the Invictus Games featuring Obama and the British Royal Family.
Google introduced a "mic drop" feature to Gmail on 1 April 2016 as an April Fools' Day joke, allowing users to send a GIF of a Minion dropping a microphone as a reply to any email. If used, the feature also prevented the sender from seeing any subsequent replies that the recipient sent. The feature was removed within hours after Google received complaints from some users, with some reporting that they lost their job as a result of accidentally using it.
- "'Cat café' and other words added to OxfordDictionaries.com". OxfordWords blog. Oxford Dictionaries. 27 August 2015. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
- Wickman, Forrest (25 January 2013). "When Did People Start Walking Off the Stage Like This? *Drops Mic*". Slate. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
- Smith, David (1 May 2016). "Barack Obama in surprise swipe at Clinton at final correspondents' dinner". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
- Roberts, Dan (29 April 2016). "Obamas, Prince Harry and the Queen trade mic drops in comedy sketch". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
- Rogers, Katie (1 April 2016). "April Fools' Undo: Gmail Removes Its 'Mic Drop' Feature". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
- McCormick, Rich (1 April 2016). "Google pulls ill-advised 'mic drop' April Fools' joke from Gmail". The Verge. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
- "Google April Fool Gmail button sparks backlash". BBC News. 1 April 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2016.