What do you say Three Times Summon Donald Trump?

An urban legend has developed around the idea that repeating Donald Trump’s name three times will magically summon the former president. This myth offers some good-natured absurdity during polarized political times.

Let’s explore the origins of this meme and what it reveals about Trump’s larger-than-life persona.

The Myth Takes Hold

It’s unclear exactly when the notion began circulating online that saying “Donald Trump” three times would cause Trump to appear. But by 2019, the idea started gaining momentum on social media:

  • People tweeted about accidentally summoning Trump’s spirit by speaking his name.
  • Memes spread showing Trump popping up in a puff of smoke after the third repetition.
  • Comedians joked that they avoided saying his name to prevent conjuring his presence.

This modern form of Bloody Mary folklore portrayed Trump as a chaotic, supernatural force lie dormant until awakened.

Possible Origins of the Meme

Like most urban legends, the genesis of the “Donald Trump three times” myth is hazy, but there are some plausible explanations for how it started:

Trump’s Ubiquity in the Media

During his candidacy and presidency, Trump dominated news coverage and discussions to an exhausting degree for supporters and detractors alike. For critics, it began to feel like he was appearing everywhere at the mere mention.

“Beetlejuice” Comparisons

Commentators compared Trump’s ability to constantly insert himself into situations to the character Beetlejuice from the Tim Burton film of the same name. Beetlejuice magically appears when summoned three times.

A Comment During a ‘SNL’ Sketch

On Saturday Night Live, an actor breaks character in a sketch and jokes that saying “Donald Trump” three times will summon the actual Trump. This may have helped popularize the myth.

An Ironic Internet Meme

The idea of Trump emerging when repeatedly named seems to have begun somewhat spontaneously online as an ironic twist on contending with Trump’s inescapable presence.

The Appeal of the Meme

The concept of summoning Trump hit a chord because it encapsulated real aspects of his persona that fascinate and frighten people:

His Craving for Attention

Trump has proven he will find his way into any discussion. The meme fits his desperation for media coverage.

His Domineering Personality

To critics, Trump bullying others into submission make the concept of uttering his name giving him power uncomfortably believable.

His Contradictory Mythology

Trump is simultaneously portrayed as supremely powerful and laughably ridiculous. The meme melds both perceptions.

His Conquest of Headlines

Trump’s ability to dominate chatter and crowds out other voices made the omnipresent warlock concept land as a wry observation on reality.

In many ways, the meme captured viscerally Trump’s mix of silly larger-than-lifeness with his threatening toxicity for those wanting less of him.

Mocking Trump With Absurdity

Part of the meme’s cathartic appeal was offering a way to mock Trump by further exaggerating his ego and ubiquitous media presence into the realm of the supernatural:

Portraying Him as a Monster Under the Bed

Comparing Trump to a demonic spirit that can be summoned if not carefully contained pokes fun at fears among his detractors.

Ironically Addressing His Hungry Ego

The idea that repeating his name nourishes his monstrous ego and empowers him satirizes Trump’s obvious self-centeredness.

Depicting Him as Pathetic

The absurdity of Trump popping up when praised or needed makes him seem desperate for relevance and validation.

Capturing His Mystery and Unpredictability

Casting Trump as a mercurial warlock beyond understanding or reason channels popular confusion around his erratic behavior.

By good-naturedly mocking Trump as if literally an evil supernatural presence, the meme offers catharsis through comic hyperbole.

The Meme Spreads and Evolves

As with most viral sensations, variations on the meme developed in new creative directions:

  • People joked what would happen if Trump was summoned accidentally a fourth or fifth time.
  • Images portrayed increasingly exaggerated scenarios, like Trump rising dramatically from a pentagram.
  • Some claimed saying “MAGA” three times produced similar results.
  • Comedian Jordan Klepper performed a sketch in which he tried summoning Trump to satirize the meme.

Part of the meme’s ongoing appeal was its versatility and potential for absurd escalation.

Impact on Political Discourse

Despite the lighthearted tone, the meme tied into substantive issues in the ongoing national debate surrounding Trump:

Highlighting Trump Vanity

The notion Trump requires others to constantly invoke his name reflected real concerns about Trump’s extreme narcissism during his presidency.

Channeling Desire to Make Trump Disappear

For many exhausted by Trump controversies, the idea of avoiding summoning him had cathartic appeal and embodied desires to silence him.

Capturing Fears Around Authoritarianism

Portraying Trump as a demonic presence being given power reflected worries Trump was emboldening dangerous ideals.

Reinforcing Trump’s Notoriety

The meme cemented Trump as a cultural icon joining the handful of presidents widely known by first name alone.

Like any compelling satire, the surprisingly durable meme revealed deeper public emotions, hopes, and fears.


In the end, the idea that repeatedly uttering Donald Trump’s name will summon him works as both an absurd parody and reflection of Trump’s very real presence. The meme’s long life demonstrates Trump’s cultural firmament as someone inspiring obsession, disdain, and morbid curiosity.

But on a deeper level, it also underscores that even those wanting to forget or dismiss Trump remain inescapably focused on and defined by him. In effect, the meme is as much about the public’s relationship with Trump as it is about the man himself.

So while saying “Donald Trump” three times may not literally make Trump appear, the fact so many have felt compelled to try it represents his powers – both real and imagined – over the national psyche.

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