Florida Man is a Twitter feed that curates news headline descriptions of bizarre domestic incidents involving a male subject residing in the state of Florida. The tweets are meant to be humorously read as if they were perpetrated by a single individual dubbed “the world’s worst superhero.” In March 2019, a "Florida Man Challenge" game began trending across various social media platforms, in which participants shared news headlines taken from search queries for "Florida Man" followed by their birthday.
The @_FloridaMan Twitter feed was launched on January 26th, 2013, which featured news headlines containing the keywords "Florida man." Within one month, the account received over 64,000 followers.
On January 30th, 2013, Redditor Deus_Ex_Corde submitted a post titled “Florida Man is a terrible superhero” featuring a screenshot of Google News search results for news stories containing the keywords “Florida Man.” (shown below). Within one month, the post received over 22,700 up votes and 360 comments.
On January 31st, the /r/FloridaMan subreddit was created with links to news articles containing the words “Florida Man” in the title. The same day, the Tumblr blog StuckInABucket published a list of notable “Florida Man” news headlines, which accumulated more than 200 notes in the next month. On February 8th, Slate published an article noting that the @_FloridaMan profile avatar was a mug shot of Indiana resident Ricky Lee Kalichun, who was arrested in January of 2011 after covering his face in black marker and attacking his neighbor with a sword. In the next several days, compilations of notable tweets from the Twitter account were featured on several Internet news and tech blogs, including The Daily Dot, Laughing Squid,Gawker,Mashable and BuzzFeed. On February 14th, NPR broadcast a news segment on “All Things Considered,” featuring audio clips of reporters reading headlines containing “Florida man.”
On May 12th, 2015, the Miami New Times published an article titled "How Florida's Proud Open Government Laws Lead to the Shame of 'Florida Man' News Stories," which cited the state's Sunshine Act as a possible cause for the bevy of "Florida Man" news stories:
"As journalists, all we have to do in most cases is call the police department and ask for an arrest report, and the cops are required to give it to us. Nowadays a lot of cops simply email the reports, and some departments even post arrest records online. Some of the more dedicated weird-Florida-news reporters go through batches of arrest reports at a time."
On February 2nd, 2015, filmmaker Sean Dunne released a documentary titled "Florida Man," which features interviews with eccentric Florida residents (shown below).
In an interview with indie film blog Directors Notes, Dunne revealed that the documentary was inspired by a mushroom trip with the film's producer and cinematographer, as well as the Surveillance Camera Man video series.
On March 10th, 2015, the Orlando Sentinel reported that the Tampa-based craft brewery company Cigar City Brewing has launched a beer brand named “Florida Man Double IPA" in tribute to the meme, with the bottle packaging featuring a photoshopped image of Ricky Lee Kalichun’s mugshot from @_FloridaMan's Twitter profile picture (shown below). According to the brewery's spokesperson, the microbrew has "a bright citrusy hop character" with hints of piney resin, apricot, peach, orange and lemon on a solid malt background. In the coming days, several other news sites reported on the release of the new beer, including NY Daily News,CNNMoney, Tech Times and Mashable.
Florida Man Challenge / Florida Man Zodiac
On March 12th, 2019, Tumblr user gandalfsoda published a post describing a "new fun personality game" in which participants submit search queries with "Florida Man" followed by their birthday and "see what headline you get" (shown below). Within 10 days, the post accumulated upwards of 44,000 notes.
On March 19th, 2019, Twitter user @g_pratimaaa posted a tweet calling for viewers to search Google for the query "Florida man" followed by their birthday and post the news stories that appear as search results (shown below). Within 48 hours, the tweet gained over 101,000 likes and 23,800 retweets.
On March 20th, a Twitter Moments page titled "Which 'Florida man' story are you?" was created, highlighting various examples of the trend. In the coming days, several local news sites published articles about the Florida Man Challenge trend, including News 5 Cleveland and CBS Miami.
Shortly after the viral takeoff of @_FloridaMan in late February, screenshots and tweets of headlines describing bizzarre news stories about a Colombian man began emerging on Twitter and Tumblr. On February 28th, 2013, Tumblr blogger RedSuspenders posted an image compilation of "Colombian Man" headlines (shown below), which went onto receive more than 36,600 notes within less than a week. Throughout the first week of March, the image was reposted on Reddit and WeKnowMemes.
On February 20th, Twitter account @Drunk_Humans was created to provide the latest updates on police news reports and offbeat stories involving individuals described as "drunk man" or "drunk woman."
On March 16th, Twitter accout @Shirtless_Man was launched in similar vein of the previous accounts, which gained more than 6,100 followers in less than two weeks. On March 28th, The Daily Dot published an article about the spin-off account.
Courier Press (via Wayback Machine) – Evansville man arrested after alleged sword attack