TODAY   |  November 06, 2012

Big Bird, binders: Top 5 memes of 2012 campaign

Just a few months ago, you may not have thought twice about Big Bird, binders, or bayonets, but they’ve all become familiar terms due to the 2012 campaign. TODAY’s Willie Geist reveals the top five memes of this election season.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> give too much thought to things like big bird , binders full of women and bayonets.

>> and they have become words and images that have sparked endless conversations online, not to mention many fake twitter accounts on the internet. willie geist is here with his top five meme.

>> all understand what a meme is.

>> something that takes on a life of its own. you'll see here when we start. number five, the top meme of 2012 . binders full of women. both candidates were asked to do what they would generate gender equality in the workplace. this is mitt romney 's response describing his time as governor of massachusetts .

>> i went to a number of women's groups and said can you help us find folks, and they brought us a whole binders full of women.

>> okay. so this took on a life of its own almost immediately. a twitter account account @ romney 'sbinder and pictures started coming out. trapper keeper , i know you had a trapper keeper in high school . matt, did you have one of these?

>> no, my generation.

>> mine was a-team, what was yours?

>> kitty cat .

>> and right into the photographs. a dirty dancing picture that caught fire online. no one puts baby in a binder from swayze and the famous hillary clinton text blog put up romney still uses binders, lol.

>> you're right this. happened like in minutes.

>> instantly after that.

>> that's the beauty of twitter, well, if you think it's the beauty.

>> the beauty and the pain.

>> also big halloween costume this year, women dressed in binders. all right. number four, horses and bayonets, at the last presidential debate . president obama had a line at ready when mitt romney questioned the wisdom of having fewer ships in the navy.

>> you mentioned the navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916 . well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets.

>> they got 105,000 tweets per minute about horses and bayonets on the night of that debate.

>> you knew it was going to happen.

>> knew it was coming, a parody blog went up almost immediately. some of the pictures we saw, obama riding a unicorn. unicorns are just horses with bayonets. a picture of romney 's military was another one. also romney 's foreign policy . now some fact-checking revealed later on that the united states marine corps has 175,000 bayonets.

>> they still do.

>> still exist.

>> moving on to number 3 , the little girl who spoke and wept for a nation, 4-year-old abigail evans finally got sick and tired of hearing about this campaign.

>> i'm tired -- i'm tired of bronco bama and mitt romney .

>> that's why you're crying?

>> oh. it will be over soon, abbbe abby, the election will be over soon, okay.

>> okay.

>> and a new name was coined bronco bama.

>> not on the ballot.

>> she lives in a swing state , right?

>> yes.

>> 12 million views on youtube at last check. abigail evans, her mother posted that. she had been listening to npr on the way to the grocery store and that's what prompted the tears.

>> hilarious.

>> so npr put out an apology.

>> as they should have.

>> on behalf of npr we apologize to abigail and all the others who probably feel like her. we must confess the campaign's gone on too long for her, too.

>> agreement on that question.

>> yes.

>> now let's get to this. a tough choice between one and two. big bird , believe it or not, came up just short, going back to that first presidential debate . governor romney broke some bad news to the big yellow pbs icon when the candidate spelled out his spending cuts.

>> i'm going to stop the subsidy to pbs . i'm going to stop other things. i like pbs . i love big bird .

>> big twitter account, of course, @firebigbird and lots of pictures, big bird sitting on the stoop saying will work for third and big bird in a depression-era line and big bird responded via the " sesame street " page saying my bed time is usually 7:45. i was tired yesterday and fell asleep at 7:00. did i miss anything last night?

>> prompted a whole campaign from the obama side as well.

>> it became a talking point.

>> and the craziest think of all sexy big bird halloween costumes .

>> i don't think that's possible.

>> that's an oxymoron.

>> time for number one. you guys ready?

>> who chose these, by the way?

>> an esteemed panel of experts. by that i mean me. number one meme of the 2012 campaign, it has to be eastwooding. clint eastwood created near internet hysteria when he read the riot act to an empty chair at the republican national convention in august. this was all over the place. basically captivated the internet. eastwooding became the new tebowing. people posting photographs online of them angrily pointing at chairs, a man -- a dog pointing at a chair and then we had perhaps capping all of this, pee-wee herman talking to chair darby, the famous chair from "pee-wee's playhouse, and the final word came from the president saying this seat's taken.

>> one of the most memorable moments from the campaign in the last election cycles.

>> andrea mitchell called it afterwards exceedingly strange.

>> but the romney campaign used clint eastwood in an ad in a campaign so they are sticking by their man.

>> eastwood versus big bird , we'll see who wins.