Regardless of your feelings on the Washington Nationals, baseball in general, or mohawk mullets, it’s hard not to have a blast watching Bryce Harper. Since making his MLB debut on April 28, the 19-year-old rookie outfielder has entertained equally with his on the field hustle and his extracurricular antics. All signs point to him eventually becoming one of the best outfielders in recent memory, but his youth, unfettered enthusiasm, and temper have allowed us a few exasperated chuckles along the way. For instance, in the span of just one week Harper awed a home crowd by stealing home base, and also struck out and threw his bat against a clubhouse wall so hard that it bounced back and clocked him in the face, requiring 10 stitches. A few days before that, he high-fived teammate Mark de Rosa so hard that de Rosa re-aggravated an existing injury. Oh, Bryce Harper.
It was only a matter of time before such a huge personality had his own catchphrase. It came a few weeks ago, when Harper answered a reporter’s question he didn’t want to answer with the response, “That’s a clown question, bro.”
Just like that, a meme was born. Harper’s response became the top trending on Twitter. The Associated Press wrote their own briefing on the comeback. “Clown question” t-shirts materialized instantly. Senate majority leader Harry Reid invoked it to a reporter in response to a question about Mitt Romney and immigration. Harper, meanwhile, trademarked the phrase within 24 hours. It now appears on authorized Under Armour t-shirts.