Pope Bars

Pope Bars

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Pope Bars, often used in its hashtag form #PopeBars, refers to user-created rhymes that accompany a photograph of Pope Francis where he is holding a modern wireless microphone in a manner that emulates the manner of Rap / Hip Hop performers. In Fall 2015, these types of rhymes were often posted on Twitter.


On Monday, November 30th, Pope Francis toured Bangui, which is the capital of the Central African Republic, where he urged the people to reconcile a long-held civil war. During his visit, he was photographed by Gianluigi Guercia in a photograph that was then distributed by Getty Images to newspapers and publications worldwide. [1]

picture of Pope Francis holding a wireless mic like a rapper and looking like he's about to drop a bar

Bars is a term used to refer to rhyming lyrics in rap or hip hop.[10]


Black Twitter users began tweeting the hashtag/lyric combination at around 5:45 AM, Eastern Standard Time, and some notable tweets, including those by users thvpelo[2] and JussDaTip,[3] receiving in the thousands and hundreds of retweets and favorites, respectively. Within 15 hours, the hashtag had been used more than 66,000 times on Twitter.[4] The trend quickly received notice by the mainstream media, including articles in Vanity Fair,[5] Vibe,[6] and Mashable.[7]


On December 10th, 2015, Michelle Obama made a guest appearance on a parodic music video with College Humor about going to college. The short gained over 188,000 views in less than 24 hours.

A still from the video, where Obama is seen singing into a microphone, began going viral on Twitter under the hashtag #FLOTUSBars. In less than 24 hours, more than 3,000 tweets were posted.[11]

picture of Michelle Obama singing into a mic captioned with edited lyrics of Hotline Bling picture of Michelle Obama singing into a mic captioned with Jay Z lyrics picture of Michelle Obama singing into a mic captioned with edited lyrics of Beyonce's Flawless

Pope Bars Revival

On April 30th, 2017, Reuters[12] tweeted an image of Pope Francis aboard his plane speaking into a microphone, warning against an American conflict with North Korea (shown below).

tweet with picture of Pope Francis holding a wireless mic looking once again like he's about to drop a fat bar

The tweet immediately reminded people of the original Pope Bars meme. Twitter user @LJPMcCloughlin[13] tweeted that because the Pope holds his mic close to his mouth with one hand and gestures with the other, it can look like he's rapping (shown below).

tweet analyzing pics of Pope Francis talking into a mic

Meanwhile, Twitter users paired the picture with rap lyrics, making Pope Francis look like he's rapping, as they did in the first wave of the Pope Bars meme. The spread of these jokes was covered by a Twitter Moment[14] the next day.

Pope Francis rapping and two security men preparing to hold him back Pope be like: "Pack it up, pack it in. Let me begin. I came to win, battle me, that's a sin." EXIT It was all a dream I used to read Jesuit Magazine EXIT

Various Examples

Nicholas Megalis * Follow nicholasmegalis Psalms are sweaty #popebars RETWEETS LIKES 446 641 Mr Selfie Follow YahBoiSelfie Holy Ghost Mixtape #PopeBars HOLY GHOST HOLY GHOST FINEST HEAVEN INTERLUDE (FEAT BARACK RAMA) 4. BEST POPE OFEAT, BENEDICT v,LE。IX & SAINT PETER) MY LORD VIEWS FROM THE VATICAN O KISS THE ING 1浤 宎 RETWEETS LIKES 1,161 920 4:52 PM-30 Nov 2015 な Follow Othvpelo "I murder these bars like Cain did to Abel. Better call me Charlie cause I'm surrounded by angels* #PopeBars RETWEETS LIKES 4,890 3,971 5上盖 6:09 AM-30 Nov 2015 Botswana Motsweding and chill # 塩Follow JussDaTip "don't even come at me homie cos you soft B, and I might just nail your girl cos you crossed me" RETWEETS LIKES 214 69HE 5:20 AM -30 Nov 2015 The Black Pope Pope khofe Follow A Nun in a wheeeeel chairr call that "Virgin mobile" #PopeBars RETWEETS LIKES 1,396 958 2:41 PM-30 Nov 2015 Just Sayin,I Triec thypelo な Follow "when you see me pop your collar. Money ain't a thing, I'll son Creflo Dollar" #PopeBars RETWEETS LIKES 133 98 6:03 AM-30 Nov 2015 Botswana

Search Interest

Note: Search results were not available for popebars as all one word, which is how it's usually used, however there were minimal results for the two words separately.

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