Bloody Mary and Biggie Smalls

Bloody Mary is a widely known folklore where, typically, tween girls stand in front of a bathroom mirror with the lights out, a few lit candles, and recite “Bloody Mary” three times while staring at their reflection.  According to popular belief, Bloody Mary is supposed to appear in the mirror either to scratch the girls or write in blood on the mirror.

My informant, though a guy, has known of this popular belief since his time in middle school when his own girl-friends and younger sister had tried it to test its truth value.  The reason my informant had brought up this folklore, however, was not to interpret the obvious meaning of the Bloody Mary folklore (young girls adjusting to the idea of beginning puberty and menstruation), but rather to confess that he had taken part in a more masculine version of the folk belief: Biggie Smalls.

Played out the exact same way that Bloody Mary is done, Biggie Smalls (also known as Notorious B.I.G. in popular culture) is supposed to appear in the mirror and shoot the person who recites his name in the face.  My informant had not actually heard this folklore from anyone, but rather witnessed it on television in the Comedy Central show South Park.  Shortly after seeing this episode, he had convinced some younger, more gullible boys to try it out.  Unfortunately, Notorious B.I.G. did not appear in the mirror, nor did he shoot anyone in the face.

It makes sense that the Bloody Mary folk belief would be canonized in a very successful show like South Park because the folk belief is so well known.  South Park is known for taking its own spin on current events, pop culture, and politics, so being that Bloody Mary is a large part of tween girl pop culture, perhaps the writer was curious to know why no such folklore existed for the boys.  The play on the folklore is meant to poke fun at the absurdity of the belief as well as the boys’ feigned bravery as they take turns standing on the stool to look in the mirror and recite “Biggie Smalls.”  The absurd part of the whole thing is that the writer chose Biggie Smalls of all people to appear and kill innocent children—but I guess that is what makes the whole concept humorous.

Annotation: Parker, Trey. “Hell on Earth 2006.” South Park. Dir. Trey Parker. Comedy Central. NY, 25 Oct. 2006. Television.