“Horses and bayonets” took the place of “binders full of women” and Big Bird in Monday night’s third and last presidential debate, becoming the most memorable one-liner of the evening.
"We also have fewer horses and bayonets,” Obama said, responding to Mitt Romney's assertion that the military has fewer resources now than at any time since 1916. "It’s not a game of Battleship where we’re counting ships," he said, in reference to the well-known board game.
Romney, however, held his stance that the Navy needs more ships.
"The Navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission," he said. "We're now at under 285. ... I want to make sure that we have the ships that are required by our Navy."
The “horses and bayonets” comment became instantly popular on social networking sites, prompting dozens of parody Twitter accounts, including one with more than 30,000 followers before the end of the debate.
Twitter said the line prompted the debate's highest number of tweets per minute, with 105,767 tweets at 9:45 p.m.
A new tumblr website was also created with entries such as a picture of Obama captioned, "We also have fewer bows and arrows and catapults" and images of Romney riding a horse and carrying a gun with a bayonet.
According to Google’s political team team, searches for bayonets jumped 7,215 percent during the debate.
The first presidential debate prompted an immediate online frenzy when Romney announced that if elected president he would cut funding for the Public Broadcasting Station (PBS)—home of the beloved Sesame Street character Big Bird.
During the second presidential debate, Romney’s similarly set the internet ablaze when he answered a question regarding gender inequality in the workplace, by saying that in an effort to include women in his cabinet, when he was governor of Massachusetts, he was brought “whole binders full of women.”
The vice presidential debate also had its moment, with Vice President Biden's use of "malarkey."