The Balloon Incident

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Screenshot of the Balloon Incident story

The Balloon Incident (also occasionally referred to as the Balloon Story or Bubble Story) is the name given to an infamous 4chan screenshot describing a fan experience with Rivers Cuomo.


On June 16, 2012, an anonymous user posted two messages to the 4chan music imageboard /mu/, in reply to a thread with the text "What are /mu/'s thoughts on weezer? Anyone ever meet rivers , how was he? Any interesting stories about him or the band?". The posts tell the story of a negative backstage experience the user had with Rivers Cuomo in 2010.

The story is as follows:

I saw Weezer two summers ago and I had backstage passes that my friend won in some contest. We went back stage and everyone was hanging out. the band was signing autographs and everything. All of a sudden from across the room River's head popped out, staring directly at me. He walked over to me with his hand out ready for a shake, but me being 6'2" and rivers being 5'6" he had to look up. I asked him why he came to me and he said "because I like you, follow me" so I followed him expecting him to let me jam with him or something, but he lead me back to his dressing room. I was curious, but still rather star struck and said "What are we doing" without thinking twice about it. He assured me I was going to have fun, so I didn't mind. On the floor of his dressing room was this giant see-through, round thing that looked like a deflated beach ball, but it had a handle on it. He opened it up and told me to get in. He walked over to a pump on the other side of the room and tumed it on, then he grabbed this skin tight red latex jumpsuit thing from his bag, it looked like he had dozens of them. He came inside the thing with me and we both put on the jumpsuits. I began to get curious here so asked him what we were doing again and he told me to hold his hands.

We were both crouched in this big inflatable balloon thing and rivers was staring me directly in the eyes. I still had no idea what the fuck was going on. The balloon kept inflating and soon filled up around half the room, it was ready to pop and sure enough it did. It exploded and rivers had this pee wee herman look of excitement on his face and I'm pretty sure he had a boner. He then clapped twice and said "did you have fun" in this really soft voice that sounded nothing like his own. I just stared at him and didn't know what to say. His pure excitement turned into this really dreadful frown that looked like I tore his heart out. He started shaking, so I said yes so I wouldn't upset him. He then patted me on the shoulder and whispered me to get out. I didn't move because I was confused still. He started screaming GET OUT!!! GET THE FUCK OUTII GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!!I SAID OUT!!! at the top of his lungs. I ran out of the dressing room and sure enough all of the band was leaning on the wall outside. They didn't say two words to me, they just looked at me as I walked slowly past them. I saw them all walk single file into river's room and I staggered back to backstage. There was a whole crowd of people there still wanting to know what happened, but I just went home without telling anybody. I still haven't even told my friend that brought me there. This is the first time I'm telling anybody about it.
- Anonymous, /mu/ post, June 16, 2012

The story became a minor copypasta on the imageboard, reposted sparingly over following years. An image of the original posts spread online and has become an in-joke within the Weezer fandom. While most fans recognize the story to be fabricated, many do not immediately accept it as such.

On March 22, 2022, while Karl Koch answered questions on the Weezerpedia Discord server, one user inquired on the veracity of the story. After reading the contents of the screenshot, he replied:

i mean its such a realistic sounding story, i can see why there is confusion.... NO

- Karl Koch, Weezerpedia Discord server message, March 22, 2022[1]

Cuomo has yet to publicly confirm nor deny on the story.

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