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The Reddit Marriage Proposal refers to Redditor SirTechnocracy’s proposal to his girlfriend of 18 months and fellow Redditor LadyTechnocracy that took place on the popular social news site in August 2013. The marriage proposal, which consisted of artworks commissioned through deviantART users and a panoply of geek culture and internet meme references, drew significant attention on Reddit as well as the news media.
At 7:00am on August 5th, 2013, Malcolm Collins, who goes by SirTechnocracy on Reddit, proposed to his girlfriend of 18 months Simone Smith by submitting a series of artworks and captioned images to the r/pics and r/adviceanimals subreddits. In later interviews with Collins, he stated that, while the commissioned art aspect of the proposal had been planned for months, the advice animals were created only a few hours before the proposal took place. This was done out of fear that mods on r/pics would take down the proposal, as it was targeted at a specific individual, which is against the rules of the subreddit. By referencing the “actual” proposal in /r/AdviceAnimals from /r/pics, Malcolm hoped he could prevent the /r/pics thread from being removed. “I should note that the memes were never intended to be a part of the post. I added them last second so I could place the post on r/AdviceAnimals, making it more likely that Simone [his fiancée] would see at least one post and less likely that the r/pics post would be deleted.”
The proposal included a panoply of nerd culture references including commissioned art themed around Adventure Time, various anime styles, Studio Ghibli, Disney, a Magic the Gathering card, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, StarCraft, 8-bit gaming, Avatar the Last Airbender, pirates, and chibi style. The image macros included in the proposal include Actual Advice Mallard, Conspiracy Keanu, And it’s Gone, Good Guy Greg, One Does Not Simply Walk into Mordor, Confession Bear, Popular Opinion Bear, Most Interesting Man In the World, Imminent Ned, Zoidberg, and an Ancient Aliens meme featuring a Xenomorph.
Within an hour of the initial post, the advice animals version of the proposal had made it to the front page of reddit (the r/pics version made the front page later that day: 8/5/2013).
Soon after the post reached the front page, LadyTechnocracy posted a Socially Awkward Penguin image macro accepting the proposal.
Her in person reaction was described in the thread and in follow up interviews by SirTechnocracy: “She just ran up and hugged me almost in tears for like a minute (which seemed like forever). Then I had to remind her that she was supposed to say yes or no.” She later replied: "Understandably, a lot of people are giving SirTechnocracy grief about this. I understand that the concept of a Reddit proposal is … unconventional (hell, I’d never think of it), but this is honestly the most romantic thing someone has ever done for me. The advice animals crack me up, and the commissions are amazing.”
While the method of the proposal was a surprise the answer was not, as LadyTechnocracy played a part in deciding the engagement ring’s design. “In truth this proposal was just to make her happy; she was with me when we commissioned the ring. She wanted my actual proposal to her to be a surprise, something we would remember forever and that showed real commitment and understanding.”
News Media Coverage
The story quickly spread across the internet and was featured in Yahoo! News, Mashable, CNET, Business Insider, BetaBeat, the Daily Dot, PC Magazine, Huffington Post Weddings, Huffington Post Tech, The SF Chronicle, The Herald Sun, HLN TV, Canada.com, Neatorama, The Mary Sue, Laughing Squid, and Kotaku. Weeks later, Malcolm Collins published a piece in the Huffington Post elaborating on his decision to propose over Reddit. Shortly after, Simone Collins wrote a piece in which she announced she was changing her name from Simone H Smith to Simone Collins immediately after the proposal, while stating that no marriage date was set.
In total there are 21 art pieces by 18 different artists. The Mashable interview quoted SirTechnocracy as saying “I was hoping to create something of a tribute to that culture; something that would both epitomize and celebrate it.”
Each of the original posts linked to a different imgur gallery with a slightly different set of images. This was done to stay within subreddit rules (the photomanipulated image is not included in the r/adviceanimals post and the Magic The Gathering card was not included in the r/pics post). A complete gallery with full size images and artist citations can be found on Google+  and Imgur (this gallery contains a commissioned My Little Pony comic not included in either of the proposal posts, bringing the total number of artists involved up to 21.)
Confession Bear: Asking for Parents Blessing
One of the advice animals used in the proposal was a confession bear that said, “When I asked for your parents’ blessing they didn’t say yes” (with a line of text saying “or no” under it). This was followed by a popular opinion bear saying, “Including that confession bear was probably a bad idea”. The declining of the parents blessing was elaborated upon by SirTechnocracy in a later thread stating: “They only met me 5 times and wanted to know me better first. I am down at Stanford and they live in the North Bay so it takes ages to meet with them (we have been together for about a year and a half and living together for two months).”
Reddit – Today I propose to my girlfriend online through art I commissioned from 18 artists : pics / Posted on 08-05-2013
Reddit – This is a marriage proposal (she will recognize my username): I can’t believe the day is finally here : AdviceAnimals / Posted on 08-05-2013
Yahoo News – Reddit Marriage Proposal: She Said 'Yes,' Commenters Said 'No' / 08-06-2013
Mashable – A Meme Made in Heaven: Redditor Proposal Woos the Internet / 08-06-2013
CNET – Man proposes to woman on Reddit, uses memes and art / 08-05-2013
Betabeat – Love Is Dead: Non-Neckbeard Stanford Student Proposes to Girlfriend Over Reddit, Via Memes / 08-05-2013
PC Magazine – Man Proposes to Girlfriend on Reddit Advice Animals Thread / 08-05-2013
Huffington Post – Reddit Proposal Uses Memes, Draws Controversial Response / 08-05-2013
Huffington Post – How I Proposed to My Girlfriend on Reddit | Malcolm Collins / 08-06-2013
SFGate.com -Social media marriage proposal – a match made on Reddit / 08-07-2013
Herald Sun – A meme engagement: Redditor SirTechnocracy's romantic proposal / 08-06-2013
canada.com – Reddit user proposes to girlfriend using only internet memes / 08-06-2013
The Mary Sue – Boyfriend Uses Reddit, Memes, Art to Propose to Girlfriend / 08-06-2013
Laughing Squid – Redditor Proposes Online Using Memes and Commissioned Art / 08-06-2013
Kotaku – This Guy Proposed On Reddit Using Memes. She Actually Said Yes. / 08-06-2013
Huffington Post – Why Shed Your Maiden Name in the Digital Age? | Simone Collins / 08-20-2013
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