updated 10/04/2012 AT 4:15 PM ET
•originally published 10/04/2012 AT 11:45 AM ET
During the first of three presidential debates Wednesday night, the hottest topic on social media wasn’t the economy. It wasn’t job creation. It wasn’t even the word “trillion” – although that word got thrown around a lot.
It was the 8’2” yellow feathered Muppet, Big Bird.
While debating President Barack Obama, Republican candidate Mitt Romney said he would cut programs funded by borrowed dollars from China – PBS included. “I like PBS, I love Big Bird,” Romney said, “but I’m not going to keep on spending money on things, to borrow money from China to pay for it.”
The comment ignited a firestorm, with parody accounts for Big Bird and his fellow, presumed unemployed Sesame Street residents springing up immediately, and Twitter’s best snarkologists – and celebrities – took to the social network to share their thoughts on the childhood icon’s endangered status.