Bones Or No Bones?: Penn State Edition

The latest TikTok trend everyone’s talking about revolves around a 13-year-old pug named Noodles. Every morning, Noodles’ owner (@jongraz) heads over to his bed and slowly lifts the beloved to wake him up and get ready for the day.

If Noodles stays standing, it’s called a “bones day” because the pug has the bones to hold himself up. If Noodles falls back into his bed, we’ve got a “no-bones day” because the dog seemingly has no bones in his body.

TikTok users around the world have come to use Noodles’ brief physical state as a forecast for what kind of day they’ll have. A bones day typically indicates productivity and good things on the horizon. A no-bones day isn’t necessarily bad, but it might mean you should take some time for self-care and rejuvenation before getting back at it.

Of course, a pug can’t really tell us what kind of day we’re going to have, especially because this past Saturday was supposed to be a bones day…and we all know how that worked out. However, we’d argue that there are definitely some experiences that Penn State students encounter in the mornings that make bones/no bones descriptors hit a little too close to home.


No Bones: Many of us rely on a CATA bus to get to class every morning, and the mood of the Bloop driver can throw off the whole day. Even though we hate our 8 a.m. classes, too, it doesn’t mean the bus driver needs to stare us down for just stepping on the Blue Loop. We know you’re headed to Forum, anyway.

Bones: Some mornings, though, the bus driver is more enthusiastic than we could ever be in a day, saying “hello” and “good morning” to each person who takes a ride. If our bus driver can be in a good mood even though they’ll be driving in circles all day, we suppose we can be in a good mood, too.

Willard Preacher

Well, the inevitable has happened. After avoiding it for several semesters, you have your first class in the Willard Building. We all know what that means.

No Bones: On your way to class, the Willard Preacher picks you out of the crowd and is sure to tell you that he knows exactly what you’re thinking. Instead of paying attention to organic chemistry, you find yourself wondering if he really knew that you were just internally debating going home and going back to bed.

Bones: While it’s unclear if the Willard Preacher ever rests, there’s simply no way he can make conversation with every student that walks through the doors of the building that he stands guard of. Some days, you just barely escape him and hear him trying to instigate the poor soul behind you. Not today, Gary. Not today.


Every Penn State student knows that the HUB is arguably the most popular place on campus, and many of us avoid it at all costs. Sometimes, though, the caffeine hit from Starbucks and the orange chicken from Panda Express just call your name.

No Bones: You simply can’t kick the craving for Panda Express, so you head into the HUB to let your meal plan take a small hit — for the greater good, of course. It’s not even peak lunchtime, but the line has somehow snaked around past the entrance of Sbarro. You’ll wait in line, but you won’t be happy about it.

Bones: After almost falling asleep in a 9 a.m. class, you realize how unequipped for the day you are. This calls for an emergency Starbucks run in between classes. To your relief, the line couldn’t be any shorter. Now you’ve got added energy for the rest of the day and can still be early for your next class.

Dorm Life

Getting a full night’s sleep in a dorm room is difficult, to say the least. Whether your roommate refuses to use headphones or a group of people is running up and down the hallways yelling at each other, it’s hard to tell if you’ll be able to get anywhere close to the recommended eight hours.

No Bones: It’s the one day of the week where you don’t have to get up and rush to an early morning class, but something startles you awake anyway. Alas, the mighty garbage trucks have come to your building to make sure that you have a miserable morning filled with restless sleep.

Bones: Finally, the impossible has occurred. Your homework is finished before midnight and you’re able to crawl into bed for a long slumber. When you wake up, it’s mid-morning — perfect timing to get the day started. No garbage trucks can get in your way today.


Ah, there’s nothing like an autumn Saturday afternoon in Happy Valley. Quiet morning air turns into the roar of the crowd in Beaver Stadium. Absolutely nothing can ruin a football Saturday, right?

No Bones: You wake up for a noon kickoff and have a pounding headache and no recollection of where it came from. Suddenly, it rushes back to you — your best friend’s birthday last night. On your way to getting a glass of water and ibuprofen, you see that it’s pouring outside. You’ll be lucky if you even make it to the stadium.

Bones: On a bones (game)day, kickoff time is 3:30 p.m. There’s plenty of time for tailgating, and the game won’t end so late that it’s impossible to do anything afterward. The sun is shining, but it’s not too hot or cold — think 60 degrees. Best of all, you don’t need to wait in line for your chicken basket.

Dining Hall

If you’re not a fan of the HUB’s high prices and long lines, don’t fear. Your local dining hall is not too far from your residence hall and boasts lower prices, lower quality food, and even longer lines.

No Bones: To prepare for a long day of classes and homework, you head over to Pollock Commons for breakfast. Lines are long in all directions, but the buffet is always a safe bet. When you get to the front of the line, the only food left is the decadent, always-present chicken thigh halal…for breakfast. Sounds delicious.

Bones: With its wide variety of options, Redifer is a popular destination for students across campus, including you on a Monday morning. Luckily, you’ve chosen the day that In A Pickle opens back up! Enjoy the sandwiches and wraps that we have all missed so much.


THON is the one magical weekend of the year where Penn Staters get to dance the morning and night away, all FTK. By the end of the weekend, anybody involved in the event is exhausted, but each and everyone would do it all over again. That doesn’t mean that THON weekend comes without its challenges, though.

No Bones: It’s your turn to work the PB&J shack with your fellow Hospitality Committee Members. In trying to make sandwiches as fast as possible, you end up with jelly all over your shirt within the first 20 minutes. THON doesn’t stop for a little stickiness, so you’ll just need to work through it and hope that things don’t get any messier.

Bones: As a Dancer Relations committee member, your job is to pair up with a dancer and make sure that they stay safe and healthy throughout the weekend. When you come in for your Sunday morning shift, your dancer is full of energy, ready to push through the final hours of THON and end the weekend on a high note. Diamonds up!

Is there anything else that happens to Penn Staters in the morning that can designate the mood for the whole day? What would your bones day or no-bones day look like Let us know in the comments below!

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About the Author

Haylee Yocum

Haylee is a 2024 graduate of Penn State with a degree in immunology and infectious disease. She relocated to Williamsport but will not be taking any questions about what’s next in her career. Haylee continues to be fueled by dangerous amounts of caffeine and dreams of smashing the patriarchy. Any questions or discussion about Taylor Swift’s best songs can be directed to @hayleeq8 on Twitter if you must.

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