About POP!

POP! is INQUIRER.net’s premier pop culture channel, delivering the latest news in the realm of pop culture, internet culture, social issues, and everything fun, weird, and wired. It is also home to POP! Sessions and POP! Hangout,
OG online entertainment programs in the
Philippines (streaming since 2015).

As the go-to destination for all things ‘in the now’, POP! features and curates the best relevant content for its young audience. It is also a strong advocate of fairness and truth in storytelling.

POP! is operated by INQUIRER.net’s award-winning native advertising team, BrandRoom.

Contact Us

Email us at [email protected]


MRP Building, Mola Corner Pasong Tirad Streets, Brgy La Paz, Makati City

Girl in a jacket

TikToker’s viral ‘Google award for first to search a phrase’ post debunked by the tech company

Most of us have probably searched for an obscure phrase or sentence on Google that probably no one else has ever thought of searching before. But how do we know if we’re the first person to Google it?

Well, we will never know, but according to one TikToker, Google will apparently notify you and even send a trophy your way.

Unbelievable, right? Well, it really is too good to be true.

Recently, a video by user legbootlegit surfaced on TikTok, which showed that the user received a glass trophy from Google for being the first person to google the phrase, “Is it legal to take pigeons from the park for free?”


I didn’t know they did things like this! 😮 #google #recognized #award #thankyou

♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim

The video, which was initially released in September 2022, garnered more than 3 million views. The TikToker shared a follow-up video the next day, sharing that Google sent him another award for searching “fun or profitable things to do with 237 pigeons” on the search engine.

At the time, many became curious about the whole thing, with some speculating it was a hoax. Other users, however, became curious and asked legbootlegit about how he got his award.


Reply to @obliviongoblin wow thank you google I am so honored 🤗 #google #goodvibes #positivity #pigeon

♬ Chill Vibes – Tollan Kim

On January 19, legbootlegit uploaded a video tutorial on how he was able to receive an award from the tech giant. The recent clip showed the TikTok user inputting “how to stop hyperactivity and excessive s******* in caffeinated pigeons” on the search engine.”

He then mentioned that people have to wait before a notice from Google would pop up, complete with a congratulatory message and the date you searched the phrase.


Replying to @tinduckaroo yeah it should look like this when you get one #awards #googlemaps #google #tipsandtricks

♬ Flowers – Miley Cyrus

“Congratulations! You were the first person to search for this phrase,” the message said. “We will send you an award to the home address linked to your Google Maps profile.”

After seeing the video, many users appeared to be hell-bent on getting the same award received by legbootlegit by trying to search for obscure phrases themselves.


#firstgooglesearching #pigeon #friends

♬ original sound – Anna.S



♬ original sound – Connor Hesse


#stitch with @legbootlegit HOW- trying to win a google “first search award” >> @legbootlegit #fyp #google #lol #FastTwitchContest #funny #impossible #legbootlegit

♬ originalljud – Kajsa



♬ original sound – user7176625425844


#duet with @connorhessee

♬ original sound – Connor Hesse


#stitch with @connorhessee did it work? 👀 #fyp #googleit #firstever #GenshinImpact34 #FastTwitchContest

♬ original sound – Ariston_S


#stitch with @legbootlegit

♬ Flowers – Miley Cyrus


#stitch with @legbootlegit ive tried three and havent gotten one. So yall are either deranged or this is 🧢 #FastTwitchContest #greenscreen #fyp #foryoupage #blonde #google

♬ Flowers – Miley Cyrus


I really thought #beetlejuice #google #googlesearch #nvm #ithought

♬ The Whole “Being Dead” Thing, Pt. 2 – Alex Brightman & Kerry Butler & Rob McClure & Beetlejuice Original Broadway Cast Recording Ensemble

However, their attempt to be the first person to search an obscure phrase was fruitless, as they have just been—how do we put this lightly?—duped by legbootlegit.

Yup, you read that right. Everything legbootlegit shows in his video is fake.

In an interview with Insider, legbootlegit, who also goes by the pseudonym Justin, said that the hoax Google award was part of his performance art. He even went into detail on how he was able to edit the congratulatory notification from Google, which actually involved some “JavaScript and browser dev tools” and a code “to simulate an award notification.”

The origin of this award began when his brother suggested creating a fake award by “searching up a phrase on Google.”

“It does seem as though a high percentage of viewers believed the concept, especially on my latest video where I showed the popup on my computer screen,” Justin told the publication. “Most of the comments were from people sharing their bizarre search queries which somehow failed to produce any award notification.”

He then told Insider that he finds joy in people guessing whether his content is satire or real, and when they play along with his jokes. “They are my kind of people,” he continued.

Google has also spoken out about the hoax award circulating on TikTok, as well, debunking that no such award exists yet.

Google’s Communications Manager for Search Colette Garcia spoke to Newsweek a week after Justin’s video was uploaded, saying: “This award does not currently exist. In fact, 15 percent of searches we see every day are new,” she said.

So, there you have it, folks! Google has spoken. We don’t have to waste time thinking of phrases that will guarantee an award from Google. To those who believed Justin’s joke, we’re sorry. On the bright side, the “does not currently exist” wording from Garcia implies that Google *might* create one in the future, though.

Other POP! stories that you might like:

‘The design is very Filipino’: These hilarious Bondee memes are taking over Facebook

No more skies full of stars: Study finds light pollution outshines the stars rapidly

Never break eye contact on camera again with this new AI effect

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

[forminator_form id="331316"]
About Author


Related Stories

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Popping on POP!