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30th Apr 2018

Ranking every reaction in the iconic Bruno Mars and Pete Wentz photograph

Hard to believe it's been ten years since this cultural milestone surfaced

Ciara Knight

Is this… Is this the greatest photograph of all time? Yes. It is.

Yesterday we celebrated the ten-year anniversary of the time Bruno Mars was completely awestruck by the sight of Pete Wentz.

It’s hard to believe that an entire decade has passed since fedoras, beanie hats, extreme fringes and men wearing a heavy and deliberately smudged eyeliner was acceptable.

But whose reaction is the best? Is it Bruno? His fedora-wearing friend? Pete Wentz? The guy facing the other way?

Let’s rank the reactions of everyone in this momentous photograph, because it’s an important thing to do.

6. Green T-shirt Man

I refuse to hold back on this occasion and feel firmly within my rights to say that this man is an arsehole. He shows no respect for Pete Wentz, or Fall Out Boy by default. The bad boy of EMO rock has just walked, nay, glided past and you’re not even going to look over your shoulder? The man is utter scum. He’s also got Bruno Mars, the good boy of soft pop walking, nay floating behind him and yet he continues to charge onwards, ignorant to the musical heavyweights that surround him.

Perhaps he didn’t recognise either gentlemen. It was 2008, after all. A fifteen-year-old Miley Cyrus was dominating the news after posing for quite a risqué photo shoot for Vanity Fair. Her back and shoulders were exposed, so naturally it caused outrage. It’s likely that Green T-shirt Man’s mind was elsewhere at the time, defending Miley Cyrus’ right to share her body in any way that she sees fit, regardless of age. She put her trust in the photographer and we have to respect that she governs her own body. Alternatively, Green T-shirt Man recognised Pete Wentz, but he didn’t care to acknowledge him because he found the hit track ‘Dance, Dance’ to be a bit of a ear sore actually.

5. Heavily Pixelated Lady

Although heavily, heavily pixelated, there is a definite trace of glee across this woman’s face. She is smiling, that is an undeniable fact. She’s just had Pete Wentz from Fall Out Boy walk past her, maybe she even got a photograph on her flip phone, or an autograph in her pocket-sized notebook that she always carries with her at all times. Today, that’s proven to be a very wise decision. This lady is for sure a Fall Out Boy fan, lest I even mention it since her lime green t-shirt basically screams it.

But perhaps she is smiling at Green T-shirt Man? It’s not outside the realms of possibility that they’re walking towards each other. They’ve both worn green, hence her amused expression. They don’t care for Pete Wentz, nor Bruno Mars. Love is their music and they can play it any time they like. Whatever she’s reacting at, Heavily Pixelated Lady is so smitten, her happiness transcends the limitations of a 2008 digital camera quality. She had a great 29th April 2008.

4. Traffic Man

It’s less his reaction and more his life-risking attitude towards seeing Pete Wentz that has landed this radiant man in fourth place. The guy has put himself in the way of traffic so that he could catch a glimpse of Fall Out Boy’s moody bass guitarist. Luckily, his dazzling yellow t-shirt will allow road users to easily identify his presence in traffic and make suitable adjustments to their driving as a result, perhaps shouting ‘GET OUT OF THE F**KING ROAD YOU C**T’ or something to that effect.

His actions beg the question, which celebrity would you run through traffic to see? For me, it’s Barry Chuckle every damn time. I would come in very close contact with a series of vehicles, causing several minor collisions if it meant that I could see and potentially sniff Sir Barry Chuckle. Should I be struck down on my journey to reaching him, I would heroically utter ‘To me’ as my dying words, to which Barry would be contractually obliged to reply ‘To you’.

3. Stunned Fedora Man

I’m 90% sure that this is R&B star Ne-Yo, but I don’t have the means or particular interest in proving it, so I’ll just rely heavily on my assumption. Let’s be real, nobody loves a fedora as much as Ne-Yo, so the slipper fits. Regardless, this man’s reaction is wonderful. He’s so overcome with disbelief, he is actually verbalising it. Based on the specific shape of his mouth at the moment when the photograph was taken, I’m positive that he is halfway through saying ‘Woah’.

Why does this reaction come in third place? Because the best is yet to come. Imagine being Ne-Yo, caught in a photograph with Bruno Mars and Pete Wentz, yet you’re the third most talked about person in that image. Ne-Yo has achieved worldwide success with such hit songs as ‘So Sick’ and ‘Because Of You’, but you put him in a room with an EMO legend and a future pop ear worm irritant and he loses that battle every damn time.

2. Peter Lewis Kingston Wentz III

Pete Wentz from Fall Out Boy wasn’t having a good day on the 30th April 2008. His fringe hasn’t quite fallen the way he would’ve liked, so he’s had to put a beanie over it. As we all know, 90% of 2008 Pete Wentz’s allure lay in his hair, so for him to have to go out and about with anything less than perfect locks, it was a real gamble for his career. Pete hoped that he could pop out undetected, free from the prying eyes of the paparazzi. Pete was wrong.

Pete was accosted by a swarm of the paparazzi as he walked through the streets of wherever that particular location is. He feared that a group of Fall Out Boy fans would gather, but luckily all four of them were elsewhere at the time. Instead, he gets eyed up like a piece of meet by none other than Bruno fucking Mars and Ne-Yo. Pete Wentz hasn’t cleverly constructed a carefree bad boy image for his entire career to impress the likes of Bruno Mars. He craves the attention of one man only. He craves the attention of himself. This was the worst day of Pete Wentz’s life.

1.Peter Gene Hernandez (Bruno Mars)

Let’s take a moment to contemplate what life was like for 2008 Bruno Mars. Nobody really knew who he was. He’d been writing songs for Alexandra Burke, Travie McCoy, Flo Rida and a few others, but nobody would’ve been able to point him out in a police lineup. His collaboration with Travie on ‘Billionaire’ didn’t come until two years later. Basically, he was a regular nobody like you and I. But a large fan of Pete Wentz, evidently.

The fact that 2008 fedora-wearing Bruno Mars was awestruck by the bassist of an EMO band is incredible. It truly proves that we all have to start from somewhere, even Bruno ’24k Magic’ Mars. This decade-old photograph serves as a vital reminder to us all: Keep striving for greatness because one day you could be idolising a member of Fall Out Boy, the next you could be singing on a track with THE Travie McCoy. Bruno Mars on the 29th April 2008 represents all of us, and it’s 29th April 2018 Bruno Mars that we should all strive to be. Basically, be the Bruno Mars you want to see in the world. Don’t let Pete Wentz distract you.