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Opposite Day is an official holiday, that is generally observed on September 25th , where every action is modified so that meaning is negated. It is usually observed among children, and rarely lasts an entire day. Once Opposite Day is declared, statements mean the opposite of what they usually mean. Opposite Day can also be declared retroactively to indicate that what was just asserted had the opposite meaning of what was originally intended (similar to the practice of crossed fingers to automatically nullify promises). Paradoxically, the declaration that it is opposite day is negated as well, implying that it is not opposite day. Play has been compared to a children's "philosophy course".
The expression "Opposite Day" can also be used to express facetiousness by sounding sincere instead of sarcastic, allowing for a brief pause before stating it, in the hopes that the person will believe you. For example, upon seeing an ugly woman “Madam, you are one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever seen… because it’s Opposite Day today, right?.”, or upon a teacher handing back a failing test “Wow Joey, you got one of the best marks in the class… oh wait, it’s not Opposite Day.” Another example being upon failing to get or hold the attention of a woman “Wow, Bill sure is good with the ladies… on Opposite Day…” A game can be made out of this fashion by secretly being facetious for an extended period of time before telling the person that it’s “Opposite Day” attempting to mislead them for a laugh.
In popular culture
- In the first season of the cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants, an episode was entitled "Opposite Day". In the episode the character Squidward attempts to use the holiday as a method of preventing his neighbors from intruding on the sale of his house.
- An episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy was entitled "Opposite Day".
- Indie rock artist Andrew Bird has a song entitled "Opposite Day" on his 2005 album Andrew Bird & the Mysterious Production of Eggs.
- A Sesame Street book entitled Opposite Day was created to teach children about opposites.
- A film entitled Opposite Day starring Ariel Winter is about children switching roles with adults.
- In the "Full Court Dress" episode of Happy Endings, Max complains to Penny about having to babysit his niece and nephew, about the kids' "garbage hipster names", and about their parents' marriage being "doomed" anyway, which he is then revealed to be doing in front of his niece and nephew. In an attempt to cover, Penny tries to explain that Max didn't mean any of it, because it's "Opposite Day". Max then elaborates that their "dad doesn't have a secret Facebook profile under the name Jeffrey Scrotum."
- In the WordGirl episode "Opposite Day", Wordgirl (Becky Botsford) has an Opposite Day party.
- A Cyanide & Happiness animated short shows people behaving differently on opposite day.
- In the Season 18 episode of The Simpsons, The Wife Aquatic, Homer is forced to work on a fishing boat to pay off damage he caused; when he accidentally beer-batters the bait and serves the bait to the crew, he says he did the opposite of what the captain ordered because it was Opposite Day, adding coquettishly "By the way, you're VERY ugly". When another crew member says they should NOT check the lines, the Captain angrily says "It's not Opposite Day!" and when Homer thinks that means that it IS Opposite Day, the Captain screams "IT'S NOT OPPOSITE DAY!"
- Shelton, Sandi Kahn (2001). Preschool Confidential. Macmillan. pp. 232–234. ISBN 9780312254582.
- Lindsey, Brooklyn E. (2011). Opposite Day: Upside-Down Questions to Keep Students Talking and Listening. Zondervan. p. 69. ISBN 9780310574170.
- "'Grim & Evil' Opposite Day/Emotional Skarr/Look Alive! (2001)". IMDb. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
- "Andrew Bird - The Mysterious Production Of Eggs". Discogs.com. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
- Opposite Day. Publications International, Limited. 2011. ISBN 9781412745673.
- "Opposite Day (2009)". IMDb. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
- "Cyanide & Happiness 'Opposite Day'". Cyanide & Happiness. Retrieved August 21, 2014.