Are the stars aligned? Is the moon waxing? Is it Scorpio season? These are all questions many people used to ask themselves regularly before the world gained a new way to determine how a day will go. Thanks to Noodle, the most pressing question for some Mississippi State University students is, "Is today a bones or no bones day?"
Noodle, a 13 year old pug, along with his owner, New York City-based Jonathan Graziano, have been taking the immense world of TikTok by storm in recent weeks. Like clockwork, Graziano posts a daily video to his rapidly growing account on the popular social media platform - which, as of 29 October 2021, has amassed over 4.1 million followers. According to NPR, every morning Graziano invites each and every one of those 4.1 million people to play a game simply titled "No Bones."
The rules of the game are simple. If Noodle manages to stay standing after being lifted from his plush bed, it is a "bones" day. However, if he just can't manage it today and falls back to resume his slumber, it is a "no bones" day.
According to the wide variety of TikToks regarding the game, bones days are textbook "good days" and are reserved for complete and utter self care. At the reveal of a bones day, Graziano encourages his viewers to treat themselves. Whether that's through eating a nice lunch by a river, finally buying those rollerblades or even just calling someone and telling them that they are truly loved. Bones days are about being kind to oneself and spreading that kindness to others.
In contrast, No bones days are the "bad days." Taking it easy is absolutely essential for these occasions. Graziano heartens the audience to break out the soft pants, go ahead and spend five more minutes in bed and simply say no to any unwanted plans.
Both days are all about diverting much needed attention to oneself. In a way, it's practically impossible to "lose" the game of "No Bones."
Noodle has touched hearts and left his mark on people all around the globe, providing that touch of positivity, motivation, self-love and — frankly — cuteness that so many need right now. Noodle's impact can be seen here at MSU, where many students check his account before beginning their day.
Callie Simonton, a sophomore communication major at MSU, recalls the first time she stumbled upon Noodle, the psychic pug.
"One day, I randomly scrolled up on my 'for-you-page' and found it. I saw that everyone in the comments and online was talking about it. I noticed that I had a good day on a bones day and, on a no bones day, I had a bad day. Then, I was like, 'This is law now,'" Simonton said.
Like any trend that seems to bubble up to the surface of the internet, Noodle and Graziano rose to social media relevance at an extreme pace. A sophomore secondary education major, Kylie Jackson, shared that she actually discovered the trend prior to its mainstream status.
"I saw the Tik Tok video before it was really a thing. The guy was all like, 'My pug doesn't have bones; here, I'll show you!' This was about two or three months ago," Jackson said.
Similar to any traditional forecast or even horoscope, Graziano uploads a new installment in the saga of Noodle's predictions daily. Truly dedicated fans tune in accordingly to learn the verdict from the wizened pug. Lindsay Culpepper, a sophomore wildlife, fisheries and aquaculture major at MSU, is one of these fans.
"I live with three other girls and we update each other every morning on what Noodle says," Culpepper said.
There are even some who completely base the course of their upcoming day upon the state of this 13-year-old dog's bones. Culpepper provided further elaboration on this.
"I know it's 100% a placebo effect but I definitely do. I had a big test last week and I was thrilled when I realized that it was a bones day. I'm also on the debate team, and we had a tournament this weekend, so we all gathered around a phone and cheered when Noodle announced that our tournament was on a bones day. I feel like a bones day means that things will go well, whereas a no bones day means that it's okay to relax and do less work," Culpepper said.
Simonton shared her own way of self-care on those inevitable no bones days.
"If it's a no bones day, I'll treat myself with ice cream or something else nice. So, I do treat myself on a no bones day. On a bones day though, I can't lie when I say that there is definitely a skip in my step," Simonton said.
Most trends on social media typically last as long as they can retain the general public's attention span. However, it seems that, since this whole game relies on the passage of time to be played, Noodle is here to stay for a while.