The bulgy eyed hairy mascot of the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team wearing a helmet


Updated Nov 08, 2020 at 06:34AM EST by andcallmeshirley.

Added Sep 25, 2018 at 01:22PM EDT by Adam.

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Gritty is a mascot for the National Hockey League's Philadelphia Flyers. After debuting in September of 2018, online reactions centered on the creepiness of the character, as well as its gaffe-filled debut at a Flyers game.


On September 24th, 2018, the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League debuted their new mascot, Gritty, a large, orange hairy ball.[1] The Flyers Twitter account posted a video of the character making its introduction that day, gaining 1,600 retweets and 5,300 likes (shown below).


Twitter users immediately reacted to Gritty by commenting on the uniqueness of the character. Some claimed it was creepy; Twitter user @tlheard12 called it "the most terrifying mascot in the NHL," gaining over 80 retweets and 550 likes (shown below, left). User @Glenny_Balls said the mascot looked like it's "seen some shit," gaining over 140 retweets and 940 likes (shown below, right).

Follow Terry @tlheard 12 Replying to @NHLFlyers@GrittyNHL TFW you're the most terrifying mascot in the NHL Glenny Balls @Glenny_balls Follow Gritty looks like he's seen some s--- Gritty @GrittyNHL It me. #Gritty 12:26 PM - 24 Sep 2018

That night, Gritty made its debut at a Flyers game, where it fell over multiple times (shown below).

Fans celebrated the goofiness of Gritty's performance. Sports Illustrated[2] wrote:

"I have to admit, when the Flyers first introduced Gritty, their new mascot, to the world yesterday afternoon I was not a fan… But by the end of the day I did a 180. Gritty made his on-ice debut last night and it was a resounding success."

Twitter users were very amused by Gritty's falls. User @EmmaSaltzberg called it a "relatable hero" (shown below, left). User @erinkellysays wrote "We Are All Gritty" (shown below, right).

Emma Saltzberg Follow @EmmaSaltzberg GRITTY IS THE RELATABLE HERO WE NEED Brian Coulter @PhilaBCoulter Hub PECO 1. i GRITTY SLIPPED AND FELL Show this thread 8:55 PM - 24 Sep 2018 Erin Kelly @erinkellysays Follow We are all gritty Brian Coulter @PhilaBCoulter Hub 争PEC「 GRITTY SLIPPED AND FELL Show this thread P OPHL

Gritty also reportedly shot a man in the back with a t-shirt cannon at his debut (shown below).

Gritty was covered in two Twitter Moments[3][4] featuring fans reacting to the character and its debut.

Creepy Photoshops

After the debut of Gritty, Twitter user Benstonium posted a series of photoshops of the character appearing sinister in stock photos. Their first post gained over 9,000 retweets (shown below).

8 Benstonium @Benstonium Follow I Photoshopped the new Flyers mascot "Gritty" into the background of a bunch of stock images... THREAD. 9:04 PM 26 Sep 2018

The user went on to post multiple other photoshops of the character (shown below), which were compiled in a Twitter Moment.[5]


Antifa Gritty

Shortly after Gritty's announcement, various jokes about Gritty being a member of radical or left-wing political groups. On September 26th, 2018, the socialist magazine Jacobin tweeted,[6] "Gritty is a worker." The tweet received more than 90 retweets and 600 likes in less than two weeks (shown below).

Jacobin @jacobinmag Gritty is a worker

On October 2nd, United States President Donald Trump visited the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Some residents in the city protested the visit with protest signs depicting Gritty as a member of Antifa and other anti-Trump groups.

That day, the Twitter[7] account @antifaintl tweeted a picture of one of the signs with the caption, "PHILLY NEWSFLASH: GRITTY IS ANTIFA!!!" The tweet received more than 100 retweets and 480 likes in two days (shown below, left). Twitter[8] user @mwinberg_ tweeted a number of Gritty-themed anti-Trump signs (examples below, center and right).

Antifa International @antifaintl PHILLY NEWSFLASH: GRITTY IS ANTIFA!!! GRITTY o HILLY V Found one F--- TRUMP Number two spotted THIS TOWN ONLY HAS ROOM FOR ONE ORANGE A------

Speaking to The Daily Beast,[9] Philadelphia writer George Ciccariello-Maher said:

"This is a joke people have been making for a while. Since Gritty’s appearance, people have, half tongue-in-cheek, joke about Gritty being a queer or trans icon and a radical spokesperson. These are always half jokes, but they’re also things people are putting some real politics behind as well.

"Philadelphia is an underdog city. That really impacts and runs through a lot of the politics, particularly the sports spirit throughout the city. So when you see the launch of this mascot Gritty, who is by all accounts a sort of hideous monster, the response from an underdog city is to say, ‘yeah, but he’s our hideous monster and if you don’t love him then fuck you."

Various Examples

Tucker @tuckermarkus Follow Gritty please murder me with your t shirt cannon lan Riccaboni Ф Follow @lanRiccaboni Gritty is completely relatable to me as someone that falls on the back of their head every time l try to skate. I want a bobblehead, t-shirt, etc. Count me in Brian Coulter @PhilaBCoulter Hub争PECO「mi GRITTY SLIPPED AND FELL Show this thread Brian Coulter@PhilaBCoulter 18h GRITTY SLIPPED AND FELL StubHub PECO@PH FUSION Horton Hears A Whose Mans Is Th... @geofftrott Follow Replying to @PhilaBCoulter @FanSince09 There's a lot going on in this photo stan gable @bmwulff Follow Replying to @NHLBlinn slobberXknocker /24 GIF Gritty @GrittyNHL Follow It me. #Gritty CP H00

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