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. 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 epsiode of The Ed Sullivan show.

The gesture then became widely popular from 2012 onwards.[2] President Obama performed a mic drop in April 2012 on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, which has been credited with popularising the meme.[2] 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.[3] 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.[citation needed] A figurative use also features in a promotional video for the Invictus Games featuring Obama and the British Royal Family.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6][7]


  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. ^ Roberts, Dan (29 April 2016). "Obamas, Prince Harry and the Queen trade mic drops in comedy sketch". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 May 2016. 
  5. ^ Rogers, Katie (1 April 2016). "April Fools' Undo: Gmail Removes Its 'Mic Drop' Feature". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 April 2016. 
  6. ^ McCormick, Rich (1 April 2016). "Google pulls ill-advised 'mic drop' April Fools' joke from Gmail". The Verge. Retrieved 1 April 2016. 
  7. ^ "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