13-year-old pug, Noodle, decides the mood of the day for his 2.5 million TikTok followers, including UT students

Julia Mahavier , Life and Arts General Reporter

Anxiety-ridden with a case of the Sunday blues, Destiny Simpson began scrolling mindlessly through her TikTok feed. Suddenly, Noodle, a 13-year-old pug and TikTok sensation, popped up on her “For You Page.”

In August, Jonathan Graziano, Noodle’s owner, started uploading videos of himself lifting the pug out of bed each morning. If Noodle can stand firmly, Graziano proclaims the day a “bones day,” and if Noodle falls over, a “no bones day.” Even when Noodle cannot stand, Graziano offers soothing words of encouragement and acceptance for his TikTok and Twitter followers to take a break. 

The “bones day vs. no bones day” phenomenon went viral mid-October, influencing UT students and the general public to let Noodle set the mood for their day. 

Simpson, a sustainability studies sophomore, said she returned to TikTok the next morning. When she discovered the “bones day” forecast, she decided to fill the day with healthy, healing activities such as reaching out to friends and planning her week.

“When it’s a ‘no bones day,’ I let myself rest, I wear comfy pants and recharge,” Simpson said. ”(The forecast) helps me stop myself from burning out because it’s someone telling me to stop. Even if it is a 13-year-old pug, he’s a lot nicer about it than my mom.” 

Madalyn Araujo, a radio, television and film sophomore, said she checks the bones day forecast every morning when she wakes up. She said she attributes things going wrong to “no bones” and looks forward to positive outcomes on “bones days.” 

“I really like the daily forecasts because they’re never really bad,” Arajuo said. “It’s either a great productive day or one where you should slow down and give yourself a breather and more grace.” 

Psychology freshman Synae Ochoa commutes to campus throughout the week and relies on Noodle’s forecast to decide how long to stay on campus and what activities to do. 

“If it’s a ‘bones day,’ I stay on campus after my classes and knock out as much homework as I can, then hang out with friends and treat myself with good food,” Ochoa said. “Once I get home, I’ll workout for a while. If it’s a ‘no bones day,’ I go straight home after classes. I make food at home, knock out one assignment, and feel bedridden the rest of the day.” 

For Ochoa, the prediction serves as an exhilarating reason to get out of bed. Always eager for the surprise, Ochoa made checking Noodle’s forecast a routine.

“It’s like astrology but a lot more simple and fun because it’s a dog,” said Ochoa. “(The prediction is) going to be one thing or the other, no explanation needed.” 

Not only do Noodle and Jonathan Graziano provide users all over the world their daily dosage of wholesome dog content but they also offer valuable advice and life lessons. 

“We all love being told things are okay and everything will be fine. In a way Noodle and his owner give us that,” Araujo said. “Every day we can wake up and have a cute dog and a calming voice … it will be fine.”