Put your horoscope app away, because TikTokers are turning to an unexpected new source of predictive power: a pug named Noodle. Sounds strange, but TikTok is obsessed with this prophetic pup and his owner Jonathan Graziano as they’ve discovered a new way to tell if the day will be a good or bad through a game called “No Bones.” Essentially, Graziano will kindly help Noodle to his paws and if Noodle sinks back down into his doggy bed then it’s a “no bones” day (a bad day). On days where Noodle stays standing up, it’s a “bones” day (good day).
Today, 13-year-old Noodle has his own TikTok hashtag —#NoodleTok— and is touted as “a barometer for Gen-Z and Millennial mental health,” but the game of “No Bones” isn’t new to Graziano. Although it only became a viral sensation in October 2021, Graziano first shared a video that explained the now TikTok trend on Sept. 9, 2020. The video showed a very tired Noodle cozy on the couch as Graziano tried to encourage the senior dog to go on a walk.
“I’m trying to take him for a walk, but unfortunately he’s playing one of his favorite games called ‘No Bones,’” he said in the video. “I don’t know if your dogs have played this before, but it’s when (dogs) don’t have bones. They pretend they don’t have bones and you’re just kind of in charge of all it.”
It’s been over a year since Noodle’s TikTok debut, and suddenly everyone on the app can’t get enough of him. That’s because users have imbued Noodles “no bones” game with a sort of psychic energy. Graziano has embraced the trend and will occasionally upload a video of him and Noodle playing the game and then explaining what the results mean for the day ahead. “Good morning, everyone and welcome back to yet another round of no bones,” he said as he opens each video. “The game where we find out if my 13-year-old pug woke up with bones.” TikTokers now use Noodle’s results of no bones or bones to determine what type of day they will have or whether or not they should treat themselves to something special.
On the Oct. 20 episode of Slate’s ICYMI podcast, hosts Rachelle Hampton and Madison Malone Kircher interviewed Graziano where he explained the difference between a bones and no bones day.
“My interpretation of a bones day is when you can get your bread,” he told the hosts. “A bones day is where you take the thing that I think you were putting off doing, or the thing you were scared to do, or you weren’t super motivated, and the bones day is the day you do it.”
Additionally, Graziano shared that he has plans to change the narrative around a no bones day, as people have come to think of a no bones day as an unlucky and unsuccessful day.
“I definitely contributed to that narrative, because I do think it’s a day where you need to just rest,” he told Slate. “I see no bones days as days of self-care, and I think it’s so hard to find. I don’t know about you guys, but you’ll wake up in the morning, you’ll open Twitter and 30 seconds later, you just go, ‘Oh my God, I ruined my day before it even started.’”
Even when Noodle is too tired to play a game of No Bones, fans can enjoy special merch for those bone days. For those concerned about Noodle’s health, Graziano said there’s nothing to worry about besides common health issues from old age. It’s good to hear that Noodle isn’t going anywhere any time soon.