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National Opposite Day is the worst day for not saying anything to the people far away from you. You can’t have fun today, as nothing is allowed and nobody wants to have fun with you. Of course, on Opposite day, all of that means the opposite! It’s the best day of talking to the people close to you, having fun is the absolute most important thing you can do, and everyone is going to want in on it! National Opposite Day may be infuriating for some, but it can be the best (worst?) fun you’ll have all year!

Learn about National Opposite Day

National Opposite Day is a fun day where you can say the opposite of what you mean! It’s a great opportunity to make everyone laugh by saying the opposite of what you would usually say. It also gives you the opportunity to be a little bit cheeky and say the things you have always wanted to say but never usually do. After all, you’re only saying it because it is National Opposite Day, right? You can also do activities in the wrong order. For example, you could decide to have breakfast for dinner – pancakes anyone? You could even wear your clothes backward! It’s up to you how much you want to embrace the theme of this day.

There are a number of reasons why we love National Opposite Day, and so do many other people too! In fact, if you or your children are fans of Spongebob Squarepants, you will have probably seen the episode about it. This day is a great opportunity for pranksters – from the major pranksters to those with a secret silly side – to embrace their sense of humor and play tricks on people! If you are a fan of Aprils Fools’ Day, you can’t possibly dislike National Opposite Day.

History of National Opposite Day

National Opposite Day is particularly popular among children, who enjoy the kind of absurdity that can happen when everything you say is backward. This kind of thing can open the mind to some incredibly diverse ways of thinking, and it’s stimulating trying to keep up with everyone saying the opposite of what they actually mean. The more cynical of us may wonder how this is any different from the rest of the year.

Opposite day requires mental dexterity, a quick wit, and the ability to pick words we may not use every day out of the cobwebbed recesses of our brain. Not only that, but some of the things we may be overheard saying to our friends and coworkers may be nothing short of outrageous! Be careful though, you want to make sure the people you’re talking to know its opposite day, or you may wind up hurting someone’s feelings.

Opposite day has shown up in a lot of different forms of media, from Spongebob Squarepants, where Spongebob uses the nature of the day to try to prevent his neighbors from stopping the sale of his house, to The Grim Adventures of Bill & Mandy where they celebrated the madness of this very special day, and tried to remain sane through it all!

National Opposite Day Timeline


Calvin Coolidge chooses not to run

Some of the earliest references to Opposite Day are in conjunction with then US President Calvin Coolidge’s very confusing statement. When asked about whether he would run for a second term, he states, “I do not choose to run”, which left everyone wondering if he meant the opposite.[1]


President Eisenhower declares Opposite Day

Apparently as the fulfillment of a request from his granddaughter, then US President Dwight D. Eisenhower declares that for one day only, August 17, it would be “Opposite Day”. He stated that “I declared Opposite Day a holiday at the behest of my granddaughter.” The day was never repeats after 1959.[2]


Nora Roberts’ Opposites Attract book is released

Bestselling author Nora Roberts releases her romance novel called Opposites Attract, fifteen years after her debut novel. This is a story about two tennis superstars who are unalike but can’t seem to stay away from each other.[3]


SpongeBob Squarepants features Opposite Day

In this episode of the first season of this iconic cartoon, SpongeBob and his cohorts determined that everyone should act the opposite of how they usually act. Somehow, chaos ensues and they all end up acting like Squidward.[4]


Opposite Day is released in theaters

This comedy movie starring Billy Unger channels its inner Freaky Friday when children become adults and adults become children. It all happens because one boy is tired of adults making the rules, so he wishes on a star before falling asleep–and his wish comes true![5]

How to celebrate National Opposite Day

It starts with revving your brain up to be ready for a day of opposite sayings! When you like something say how much you hate it. Tell someone how delicious something with a bitter face, and then spit it out. There are millions of ways you can twist your tongue around words that are antonyms of what you mean! You can tell people what a nice night it is when you actually mean what a nice day it is, and tell them that you’ll see them yesterday when you leave for the night! National Opposite Day is a terrible.. I mean great… I mean terrible time for everyone!

There are a lot of different traditions that people tend to embrace on this date. No matter what you do, make sure you declare that it is National Opposite Day at some point! The last thing you want to do is offend someone because you have been horrible and not explained the reasons why! A lot of people like to use National Opposite Day to insult someone and see their reaction.

The horror on their face when you say something mean and then the sheer sense of relief when you say it is National Opposite Day is camera-worthy. Of course, you know who you can play these sorts of jokes on. National Opposite Day is only appropriate for your close circle in most cases. We would never recommend that you go up to your college lecturer and brutally insult them, for instance, even if you do say it is National Opposite Day afterward we’re not quite sure how that would go down!

There are plenty of other ways that you can get in on the action on National Opposite Day. One thing that we love to do on this date is absolutely nothing! After all, we all spend our lives running around at a frantic pace, trying to complete different tasks, and so it is nice to have a day where we do nothing at all.

Another simple yet highly effective way of embracing National Opposite Day is by saying “goodbye” to people whenever you greet them. The confusion on their face is worth it! You could also call in sick for work or college but then you could show up anyway. There are plenty of other unique suggestions online if you are looking for a bit of inspiration, so we are sure you will be able to find something that works for you.

National Opposite Day FAQs

What is Opposite Day?

This is a game that originated with children where they spend the day doing or saying the opposite of what they would normally do or say. Some kids use it as a trick by paying someone a compliment and then shouting “but not really, because it’s Opposite Day! Ha!”[1]

When was the first official Opposite Day?

Actually, Opposite Day has always been more of an unofficial holiday, but in 1959, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower did unofficially declare August 17 Opposite Day simply at the request of his granddaughter.[2]

What does the word ‘opposite’ mean?

The opposite of something is in direct contrast. This might mean something is directly across from a location (like the house on the opposite side of the street). Or it can mean that someone things differently (as in, a person’s opinion that is the exact opposite of someone else’s)[3]

Why is an op-ed named the “opposite-editorial”?

In many North American newspapers, a piece situated just opposite of the editorial page is called an op-ed. Its name was originally simply due to its location in the newspaper. An op-ed piece is usually one that expresses the thoughts or opinions of a person who is not on staff with the newspaper.[4]

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