Mic drop

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President Barack Obama's mic drop at the 2016 White House Correspondents' Dinner.

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.[1]


The gesture became prevalent in the 1980s, when it was used by rappers and comedians.[citation needed] 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.[2] The first recorded mic drop was by Judy Garland on a 1965 episode of The Ed Sullivan Show.

The gesture then became widely popular from 2012 onwards.[2] President Obama performed a mic drop on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, which has been credited with popularising the meme.[2] Then at the White House Correspondents' Dinner on April 30, 2016, President Obama ended his speech with the words "Obama out", then dropped a mic, evoking a speech by the then retiring NBA basketball pro Kobe Bryant, who had ended his speech with the words "mamba out" at the end of his last game on April 14, 2016.[3] In 2017, RM, the leader of South Korean boy band BTS, revealed that the track "MIC Drop" from their extended play Love Yourself: Her was inspired by President Obama's speech.[4] A figurative use also features in a promotional video for the Invictus Games featuring Obama and the British Royal Family.[5]

Google introduced a "mic drop" feature to Gmail on April 1, 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.[6] 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.[7][8]

As a tribute to the "mic drop", Technical Graffiti introduced the Drop The Mic Microphone novelty gift in April 2018.  Users can record their voice into the microphone and it will play back the recording when dropped.


  1. ^ "'Cat café' and other words added to OxfordDictionaries.com". OxfordWords blog. Oxford Dictionaries. 27 August 2015. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Wickman, Forrest (25 January 2013). "When Did People Start Walking Off the Stage Like This? *Drops Mic*". Slate. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  3. ^ Smith, David (1 May 2016). "Barack Obama in surprise swipe at Clinton at final correspondents' dinner". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  4. ^ "This K-Pop Group Has A New Song Based On Obama's Mic Drop". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  5. ^ Roberts, Dan (29 April 2016). "Obamas, Prince Harry and the Queen trade mic drops in comedy sketch". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  6. ^ Rogers, Katie (1 April 2016). "April Fools' Undo: Gmail Removes Its 'Mic Drop' Feature". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  7. ^ McCormick, Rich (1 April 2016). "Google pulls ill-advised 'mic drop' April Fools' joke from Gmail". The Verge. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  8. ^ "Google April Fool Gmail button sparks backlash". BBC News. 1 April 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2016.

External links[edit]

  • The dictionary definition of mic drop at Wiktionary
  • The dictionary definition of drop the mic at Wiktionary