Who is the mastermind behind QAnon? Twitter has some fun theories

The question “Who is the most hilarious person QAnon could turn out to be?” yielded thousands of responses. Here are the best and most common ones.

Who is the mastermind behind QAnon? Twitter has some fun theories
[Photos: Sacha Baron Cohen, teh_defiance/Wikimedia Commons; Sean Spicer, Flickr user Gage Skidmore; Bill Murray, Flickr user Paul Sherwood]

Ever since October 2017, a sprawling internet conspiracy theory supposedly spawned by a disgruntled government employee has been captivating very stable geniuses on the far right. Although QAnon only just had its mainstream debut, during a Trump rally last week—where it was well represented on homemade T-shirts—the theory has been accumulating legions of followers over the past year, everyone from Roseanne Barr to your worst grand-uncle. Although QAnon, which posits that Donald Trump is secretly fighting a global pedophile ring, is almost certainly a prank on its own believers, somebody has to be perpetrating this prank.


I’m interested in finding out who that person is, but I’ve also accepted the reality that the answer will inevitably be disappointing. The unmasked prankster will likely turn out to be Just Some Guy. Instead, I’m more interested in finding out who it would be most hilarious to learn had carried off this stunning prank. This is just the kind of question Twitter was invented to crowdsource.

As of this writing, over 2,700 people have provided answers directly to the tweet. Too many more to count have quote-tweeted it with a name at the top. From an anthropological perspective, it’s been fascinating to watch these responses pour in. Seeing so many that are the same shows how our comedy brains have similar wiring which computes jokes the same way.

For instance, how did so many people think to posit a variation of “some 400 pound guy in New Jersey,” Trump’s go-to boogeyman for Russian election interference? That’s why some accusations of joke theft in the comedy world truly are just instances of parallel thinking, great minds performing in tandem. Also, there were a lot of funny responses and at one point Tom Arnold weighed in.

Here are some of the most popular results:

  • Sacha Baron Cohen (far and away the crowd favorite)
  • Randy Quaid
  • Bill Murray
  • Rosie O’Donnell
  • Sean Spicer, Stephen Miller, or Anthony Scaramucci
  • Gallagher
  • Kathy Griffin
  • Hillary, Bill, or Chelsea Clinton
  • Alex Jones
  • Andy Kaufman
  • Donald, Melania, Barron, or Tiffany Trump
  • Louise Mensch
  • Betty White

Some of the responses are made better by images or .gifs. A lot of people said “Barack Obama,” for instance, but only one person said it like this:


Some other solid picks involved famously anonymous pranksters.

Some of my favorites, however, were the ones without actual names.


Of course, there can only be one correct answer.

Please let me know who you think is the mastermind behind QAnon on Twitter, but only if it’s hilarious.