High school proms have long been an important rite of passage for American teenagers, and finding a date is a nerve wracking experience requiring them to summon the courage to confront their rejection fears.
Out of this tradition, the phenomenon of promposals was born; the public and extra-dramatic way to seek a prom date. Fortunately most teens accept the challenge with good humor. High school sweethearts seeking peer approval come up with small, but meaningful ways to ask their date to prom - like heart shaped pizzas, or silly signs.
But thanks to social media, dramatic teenagers can potentially extend their attention seeking inclinations to the world stage. Promposal instagrams, tweets and Youtube videos have now become the norm among teens who hope their promposals 'go viral'. Most, but not all, of the social drama attached to promposals reaches an audience limited to family and friends. Recent research from VISA reveals the marked increase in costs families are willing to invest to insure a short term prom success and a life's worth of happy memories. High school newspapers and local media might take note of some of the more creative efforts, providing an initial return on the investment.
Achieving viral status for a promposal usually takes something extra. Appeals to a celebrity, an extraordinarily expensive gesture or a truly bizarre idea would fit the bill. The following ten promposals stand out for the use of one or more of these outrageous techniques, and all of them achieved the ultimate teen goal of 'viral'.
10 The Disney Promposal
The battle of the sexes starts early. A couple of students from North Penn High School were spending some time at Disney World when Phil McGinty called in the troops to help with his promposal.
As the picture shows, Phil employed a couple of Disney soldiers from the movie Toy Story to hold his handmade prom signs in a quest to persuade his friend Nicole to attend the big dance with him. Phil held the question mark sign.
War was averted because, as most Disney movies come with a happy ending, so too did this Disney story. Nicole said yes.
9 The Drug Promposal
Variations of the drug promposal exist in the virtual world. Bongs, bags of weed and other items can be found with prom scrawled across a piece of paper or a baggie. There's no doubt the drug promposal might appeal to many high school students.
Nonetheless, unless potential prom goers are applying for space on the promposal version of America's dumbest criminals, the drug promposal can usually be considered a bad idea. The above is an example of the 'drug' promposal done right, satirised by one smart student.
8 Shaun White Promposal
Snowboarding, once classified as an extreme sport, entered the mainstream when it became an accepted Winter Olympic event. Arguably, the feats of Shaun White during that first snowboarding olympics gave the sport worldwide attention. Apparently White also gained the attention of a young student, Carly Monzo, from High School in Pennsylvania.
Her video promposal to White succeeded beyond her expectations. White not only attended the prom; he brought his band along with him. Monzo's life long prom memory now includes a Shaun White selfie.
7 Professional Football Promposal
Perhaps it's a sign that the National Football League is succeeding in its efforts to appeal to females. Recently a young woman from Woodgrove High School in Purcellville, VA decided to take to Instagram to ask a surprised Philadelphia Eagle, Emmanuel Acho, to the prom.
Acho challenged her to get 10,000 retweets of the invitation in order to close the deal. The popularity of virtual promposals revealed itself, and Instagramers successfully completed the challenge in a few short hours.
Acho took the time to accept the invitation, personally greeting the hopeful high school woman at her school. As a bonus, she received a super cool Eagle's jersey with 'PROM' written across the back.
6 The Chippendale Promposal
With over eight million Youtube views, The Senn Way of Asking Someone to Prom, currently ranks as the site's second most viral video promposal. With good reason.
Using a blend of humor and romance, Senn twerked his way through a Chippendale promposal to the tune of Juvenile's "Back Dat A** Up" leaving little doubt that romance and chivalry are alive and well... Senn's send up of the attention-seeking promposal saw him don short gold shorts with the word PROM on the back side. It turned out to be too inviting for young Emily to turn down. The video shows her mouthing "yes" immediately.
5 Daniel's PromPosal
Shades of Burma Shave commercials. That's how teen Daniel went about his recent promposal. With almost eleven million views, it now ranks as the most viral of all the YouTube promposal videos.
After picking up his girlfriend and driving past a series of his pre-placed Burma Shave signs asking for a prom date, the young woman - unaware that it's directed at her - responds with a comment on the crappiness of such a promposal.
Then, thinking for a moment, she looks surprised and asks Daniel, 'Was that you?' When he responds in the affirmative, she begins crying and apologizes.
4 The Real Death Proposal
Everyone knew the day would come. Some over zealous person would ask a girl for a prom date, get turned down... And lash out. In this horrific case, the spurned promposal led to the murder of a young girl.
The real life event continues to play out in the law courts of Connecticut, as Chris Plaskon continues his route through the justice process for allegedly murdering Maren Sanchez after she turned down his promposal. The story provides a harsh context for all the promposals that lightly satirise themes of death...
3 Naked Promposal
Variations on the naked promposal can be found all around the internet, some sincere and cute, others contrived for effect.
High school sweethearts sincerely looking for creative promposals probably do not take offense to a naked gesture. However, the problem with naked promposals does not rest so much with the prom attendees as with their parents. Any student brave enough to publicize a naked promposal needs to be smart enough to know that there exist many anxious fathers who, upon recognizing the person in the photograph as his daughter, would probably want to follow around the poor couple the entire evening...
2 Get the Cops Involved Promposal
Two years ago, an enterprising young man decided to adopt a diversion tactic that can only be described as a dangerous promposal strategy. It starts off innocently enough, with Zach and Reagan riding in a truck listening to loud music.
Suddenly, a patrol officer in car appears and pulls the truck over saying he was investigating complaints about the loud music. When the officer moves to the passenger side of the truck to hand over the ticket to a perplexed looking Regan, she reads the ticket. Of course, to her surprise, the promposal is written on it.
With over one million video views the 'Asking Reagan to PROM 2K13' YouTube clip turned out to be a dramatic success.
1 Fake Bomb Promposal
A senior from La Center High in Washington state apparently missed the memo that stated dressing up as a suicide bomber to impress a potential prom date does not constitute a romantic idea.
In an era characterized by so much high school violence and the corresponding increase in alertness and tight security, it probably wasn't a smart idea.
Not only did the student receive a week long school suspension; he was also prohibited from attending the prom. No word on whether or not the young woman found an acceptable prom alternative.