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Smirnoff Ice + Bros = Dumbest game ever

Jenna Johnson

On the top of my list of things to do: Blog about Icings.

A few weeks ago, a co-worker told me about a new phenomenon that involves dudes and Smirnoff Ice (you know, those sugary wine-cooler-like malt beverages marketed nearly exclusively to women). He vaguely tried to explain it: You yell something like, "Ice you, bro!" And then the bro has to chug a bottle of Ice. On his knee. People take videos of it?

I went back to my desk, Googled around, found the blog "Bros Icing Bros" and these "simple rules":

You cannot refuse an Ice. If you refuse to drink the Ice, you are instantly excommunicated and shunned, and thus can never Ice another bro or be Iced. If you are Iced by another bro, you can Ice block. When presented w/ an Ice, you can pull out an Ice of your own and reverse the Ice on your bro. The ultimate Ice insult.

Yeah, this is officially among the stupidest things I have ever heard of -- almost as stupid as vodka eyeballing. Therefore, sigh, I must blog about it.

Sadly, I waited too long, and I have been scooped by several major media organizations that quickly jumped on the Icing story.

In early May, the Village Voice blogged about "Bros Icing Bros: Your Latest Internet Meme." Writer Foster Kamer summed it up well:

The internet's weird? No. The internet is beyond-weird. It's post-weird. It's post-weird with drunk people participating and exacerbating that weirdness into metastasizing. That's about how weird it is. Almost.

Suddenly, celebrities are icing each other. Gawker wondered if it was an advertising conspiracy. Someone dared all bros everywhere to Ice actor Ashton Kutcher.

And then, just before Memorial Day weekend hit, Fortune churned out an amazing, 1,300-plus-word piece with the headline: "Don't ice me, bro! When memes meet the marketplace."

Stuff I learned from the Fortune article:

1) Bros will Ice bros anywhere, including at work. Bosses sometimes Ice their employees, while snapping photos with a cellphone.

2) Icing appears to have taken off on college campuses in the South, and is now "rapidly gaining popularity amongst office workers, tech and media types, and college students."

3) The guy who created the blog is "Joe" -- a 22-year-old recent college grad in South Carolina who wants anonymity because he's looking for a job. He first heard about the trend from some College of Charleston frat guys.

4) Smirnoff denies any involvement and tells underage kids not to drink.

Then came Memorial Day weekend, and, apparently, bros went crazy Icing each other. My evidence? One of my best friends and most impeccable sources of trend gossip saw it happen. THREE TIMES. She explained the situation in an e-mail:

I was standing outside on the deck when I heard someone shout, "You've been iced!" So I went running inside -- because, hey, I saw it happen to Coolio on YouTube -- and there he was. A grown man chugging a sugary beverage on one knee.
Sure enough, there was a liquor run in the middle of this graduation BBQ. And soon all the boys had Smirnoff bottles stuffed in their pockets.
The last time I saw someone chug Smirnoff, I was an underage drinker with limited options.

And that brings us to Wednesday. Oh, Wednesday -- perhaps the trend's most popular day yet.

The New York Times wrote about the game under the headline, "Popular New Drinking Game Raises Question, Who's 'Icing' Whom?"

Cool facts I learned from the NYT story:

1) A guy from LA thinks Smirnoff Ice is a "pretty terrible" drink.

2) Smirnoff says "Icing is consumer-generated, and some people think it is fun." But the company has seen Ice sales take off in some Southern college towns.

3) It appears that the game was first explained in a posting on in early April.

4) Among the recently iced: Dustin Diamond, who played Screech on "Saved By the Bell."

5) Lots of other random, interesting things. You should really just read the story yourself.

And then -- bam! -- everyone was writing about icing.

Huffington Post reflected on whether this is a "Smirnoff Ploy or Genuine Social Phenomenon." Time magazine tells us to forget beer pong, as "'Icing' is the latest game to break out of the frat house."

So, yeah, that's Icing. And, no, please don't send me your videos.

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By Jenna Johnson  |  June 10, 2010; 10:25 AM ET
Categories:  Night Life  
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This girl is just jealous that no one will ice her.

Posted by: AliMajid | June 10, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Wait, wait, I thought Smirnoff Ice was the drink of underage sorority girls... In fact, back when I was one of those, that was what we drank. Sugary malt bevs with a sucky drunk to dollar ratio are cool now? I think this generation of "bros" need to learn something about being a proper college student...

Posted by: MasonPatriot1 | June 11, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

You know what's even worse than icing? Using words that aren't real, like "stupidest".

What you fail to realize about this game is that it is about the craftiness of your icing that matters. Otherwise you would just be chugging all day.

good day

Posted by: goodwaon | June 14, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

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