What's the most successful SMDB thread you've begun? Could you have predicted it?

By successful, I mean “most responses and/or views.”

Even without doing a search, I feel safe in saying that my thread on suspension of disbelief, currently running in another forum, is the most fertile thread I’ve ever begun on the Dope. This surprised me; I’d have predicted that any number of other threads of mine would have more legs, like one I began a year ago on the creepiest one-off villians, would be more popular. But the Teeming Millions are unpredictable.

Anyhow–what are the most fertile threads you’ve begun? Are you surprised by them?

My Henchpersons Wanted. Inquire Within. thread was highly successful inasmuch as I recruited dozens of persons to carry out my nefarious schemes for World Domination. We’re taking the summer off, but I I’ve got some “projects” lined up for this Autumn.

I’m pretty sure that my most successful thread was a thread in IMHO title something like “How many chairs per capita do you have?” Although it may not have been the thread with the most views/responses I’ve ever had–in the distant past I had a couple suitable for GD which generated respectable numbers of responses.

The chair thread went on to a second page–without any need for coaxing or rephrasing on my part. It wasn’t one of the bigger threads in the history of the SDMB, but it apparently appealed to a number of people.

I would never have predicted it. Most of my threads drop like rocks. I think about them for days before posting them, and no one cares enough to respond.

That thread required limited amounts of thought-- and it was fascinating how the number of chairs per capita ranged from ~1 to 20-30 or more. It was also interesting to see how the types of chairs people admitted to owning varied. (There were a few who had chairs that sounded like they ought to be gotten rid of).

My thread on At what point do you call the cops with only a vauge suspicion? turned into three pages and a Pit thread, which I completely and totally didn’t expect. Most of my threads sink without a trace - usually the best I do is get some good specific vegetable gardening advice. Another successful one was a TMI thread on something that fell out of my vagina, so I guess you never can tell.

Man, I hope nobody knows me from the outside on this board and isn’t just keeping it a secret from me.

This topic and its variants comes up fairly often. The latest that I can remember responding to was what is your most popular thread? which was started in April this year.

There are references to other similar threads in that April thread.

Hall of mirrors?

My most successful thread on SDMB was TV Moments That Scarred You For Life. 172 replies and +7,000 views. It was actually very cool! I always thought I was an oversensitive/wimpy kid by being scarred by TV shows. It was nice to find out that I’m not alone.

The Missing Coworker Thread of 2003.

Nevah would have predicted it.

My best-rated thread was Funniest Simpsons moment … ever! (245 replies, 8382 views), and, yep, I had a feeling that one would be popular!

OTOH please don’t ask how many threads I’ve started that sank like a stone - I’ve had a few of those puppies and I’d rather not recall them!

My thread about famous people who wear an eyepatch got 903 views and 40 replies. That astonded me.

This one I started was sucsessful beyond my wildest dreams!

Cop shoot, kills teen after he skips out on check at IHOP

Started on 2/28/06 and still going strong today, 4 months later. It’s up to 14 pages, with 546 replies and 20,380 page views.

I think I know what Hal Briston’s most successful thread was.

Hmmm… numbers wise, not a big success, but I went on an ill-advised rant/meltdown/bitching session in the pit, which had me shot down in seconds. Boxed into a corner, I lashed out at all around me, generally getting a name for myself as an obnoxious little shit. But, at least I had a name for myself, a recognisable entity on the boards. All I had to do was apologise and grovel and be as helpful as I could for a few months… I think I’ve been largely forgiven. I hope. So, in a way, it was a success. But I’d still rather it was stricken from the record.

Numbers wise, my No Fat Chicks thread, another trainwreck, clocked up big figures, but the one I’m most proud of is a “Worst Sci-fi Ever” thread from ages ago.

I’ve had several in the over 200 replies catagory, including one with 473 replies and a now forbidden game type thread with 3,379 replies. (There were four or five of these ultra long few user game-type threads running at about the same time, seriously affected the board, we were told.)

But one that surprised me quite a bit was Mmmm… Brains! ;j

I will have to say that What Famous Thing Surprised You When You Saw it In Person? was a gem of a thread. Even at 12,200 views and almost 300 replies it is almost all new content to the end with little doubling back or degradation. It is just the inside scoop on people, places, and things that you may not know from experiencing it in person. I am surprised it did that well but it was conceived with good genes so I that it could do well.

The cynic in me says that if you want lots of “views” for your thread, all you have to do is include sex in the title.

That said, I’ve been relatively pleased with my drawing power here. Started as a pure babyface, then I dared to challenge a hardcore left-winger, so now I’m more of a tweener. Still putting asses in the seats, if you will. Got pitted, albeit very lamely, in my very first week. I don’t start a huge muber of threads, but my most sucessful to date is still kicking in Great Debates…well into three pages now.

And you would be right.
Two others of mine that I really enjoyed because they went beyond expectations were Weird toys you vaguely remember and Early post WWII aircraft = GORGEOUS! What made these enjoyable was the fun that everyone else in them was obviously having. Both were loaded with reminiscing Dopers sharing cherished memories. Sadly, many of the airplane photo links appear to have expired, but it just go to show you that people can greatly enjoy looking at and talking about things other than sex. Just pick something interesting. What may or may not be interesting on the SDMB is sometimes a crap shoot, tho.

I help vets mutilate puppies

I was suprised that want on for three pages. I would have thought
Simple alcoholic drinks to make

Would be the one.

Poop, television and nostalgia are remarkably fertile topics, as well. Start a thread on “what was the first ‘toilet humor’ you remember hearing on TV?” and it will probably go to page 6.

My three biggest responders (all of which came as a bit of a surprise, considering how most of my threads sink like lead) were:

"Wiping: sit or stand?" We laughed, we cried, and we were all a little wiser for the experience. It got resurrected two or three times over a couple of years before a mod finally put a stake through its heart.

"The 50 states of television" which started as a musing over whether I could name a TV that took place in each state.

"What were you almost named?" Reminiscences of what we might have gone through life as (I was nearly a Gilligan).

Actually, my biggest responder was probably my announcement that I’d been diagnosed with cancer (I got better). The response wasn’t really unexpected, but it was greatly appreciated.

So far, the thread with the most responses has been Barry Bonds Is Going Down. There are a couple of Pit threads currently active that are a lot longer than I thought they would be: Prison guard kills Fed sent to arrest him. and Your home is no longer your castle.

Can America trust atheists? I thought it might be my most successful, but only because my threadstarting track record is pretty pathetic. It ended up with 447 replies and more than 11,000 views, which I definitely didn’t expect.