Video: Finding the Source of a Frosty Facebook Fad

Editor’s Note: Make it Missoula has partnered with the University of Montana’s Online News class, taught by Lee Banville, to create a Citizen Journalism feature that’s all about local views, stories, and issues. We’re excited to provide them with a platform so they can objectively explore and report about the topics they think reflect the lives and times of Missoula and its citizens.


This winter, Frosting took Montana — and Germany — by storm.

The international Internet sensation featured in Germany’s Stern magazine and with over 7,500 likes on its Facebook page took off right here in Missoula, Montana, and only slowed when the snow melted.

It all started the morning after a major snowfall in December. The band Secret Powers’ front man and Frosting godfather John Brownell was cleaning up the after-the-storm wreckage of his back-porch gazebo when he noticed something in the snow.

The first-ever Froster said the furniture he took out of his gazebo looked “funny” sunk into the snow and he decided to take advantage.

“So I ran to the door and told my wife to grab my robe, a cup of coffee, a magazine and my camera. I stripped down, put the robe on and just sat in the chair as if I was just reading my Playboy and drinking a cup of coffee,” he said.

Brownell said he posted the picture to his friend Colin Hickey’s “Montana is for Badasses” Facebook page, and it went viral immediately.

Frosters Swept Missoula (and Facebook) Earlier This Year

Frosters swept Missoula (and Facebook) earlier this year.

“Literally within an hour I think like 90 people had shared it on their pages,” said the father of two. “It kind of disturbed me that there was a picture of me with no clothes on in my robe floating around the Internet.”

To Brownell’s relief, it wasn’t long before the attention shifted.

Shortly after the picture was posted, Brownell’s friend and bandmate Ryan “Shmed” Maynes took pictures of himself on his front lawn and at the gas station in nothing but his skivvies and posted them to the page. He called the act “frosting,” and the trend was born.

Hickey soon created the Frosters Anonymous Facebook page to encourage others to join in on the frigid meme. And join they did. The page now has over 500 Frosting pictures and continues to garner international attention.

We met up with Maynes to get a better understanding of the Facebook trend that has Missoulians and Germans alike out of their houses and into the snow.