Strange Facts About Michelle Obama

Former First Lady Michelle Obama is an influential public figure with a lot of talent. Just one of her many accomplishments is writing her memoir "Becoming," which was published in 2018. The wildly successful book was followed up with a guided journal, a young readers edition, a Grammy-winning audiobook, and a Netflix documentary of the same name. Obama's audiobook narration also broached the world of children's books when she was asked to narrate the 60th-anniversary edition audiobook of "Where the Wild Things Are" by the late Maurice Sendak.

In addition to these and other accolades and achievements, there is more to Obama than what her admirers may realize. She is a regular person, just like everyone else on Earth. And like everyone else, Obama has a life and personality outside of her career — including her own set of idiosyncrasies and quirks that make her feel more like someone you could know in real life. And some of the Former First Lady's strange quirks are quite relatable.

Michelle Obama loves 'The Brady Bunch'

Like many people who enjoy sitcoms about big families, Michelle Obama is a fan of the television show "The Brady Bunch." At the 2008 Democratic National Convention, Michelle's older brother Craig Robinson mentioned her enjoyment of the show in a speech about Michelle and Barack Obama. He told the crowd that he wanted to give them some insight into who Michelle is as a person.

"This is the person who would play the piano to calm me down before all of my big games in high school," Robinson said. "This is the person who — even though we were allowed only one hour of television a night — somehow managed to commit to memory every single episode of 'The Brady Bunch'" (via Politico). Robinson went on to describe other attributes of Michelle and Barack Obama and ended his speech by referring to Michelle as, "our nation's next First Lady," which she turned out to be.

Michelle proved her love for the television program in a 2009 interview on "The Jay Leno Show." In less than 10 seconds, she listed all the kids from "The Brady Bunch" (via TV Guide). 

Michelle Obama helped break a world record

As part of the "Let's Move!" initiative in 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama and a group of 400 schoolchildren gathered on the White House's South Lawn to do jumping jacks together. The goal was to break the Guinness World Record for the number of people doing jumping jacks over 24 hours. All around the country and world, over 20,000 people needed to spend one-minute doing jumping jacks during that day to set a new record.

National Geographic Kids partnered with "Let's Move!" for the White House's event. Before the big jump, President Barack Obama gave a speech about all the neat things First Lady Michelle Obama had done before, but nothing quite like this. "I never thought in my entire life that I would be here today to break a Guinness World Record, woo-hoo!" she said, addressing the children lined up for jumping jacks. The First Lady added, "And I'm here doing it with all of you, and that makes it even more fun, because the whole country, the world is gonna see just how much fun we can have. Not just breaking a world record but also doing some exercise, right?"

When it was time to begin, Michelle Obama stepped off the stage and joined the kids in the grass for the jumping jacks. They exercised hard for one full minute. According to NPR, the world record was broken, with over 300,000 people internationally contributing to the jumping-jack festivities.

Michelle Obama has a nickname based on her public speaking abilities

Nicknames can be bestowed onto people for a variety of different reasons. Former First Lady Michelle Obama got hers — "The Closer" — because of the way she could convince a crowd to vote for two-term President Barack Obama after he gave his own remarks. According to ABC News, the Obama Campaign team was responsible for her nickname. Democratic strategist Stephanie Cutter told NPR in 2020, "She was the real motivator for people to come out and caucus in Iowa for Barack Obama, and that's a key role that she plays in elections. She knows how to inspire and motivate and relate with the people she's speaking with."

Michelle used her "Closer" abilities before the 2016 election to try to encourage voters yet again. Although she isn't a fan of politics, she spoke at an event in Fairfax, Virginia, motivating voters to think hard about who they wanted in the White House in the election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

"So if a candidate is erratic and threatening," Michelle said, "if a candidate traffics in prejudice, fears, and lies on the trail, ... if they disrespect their fellow citizens — including folks who've made extraordinary sacrifices for our country — let me tell you: That is who they are. That is the kind of president they will be" (via The Guardian).

Her height affects Michelle Obama's fashion choices

In an interview with "The View" in 2008, First Lady Michelle Obama explained how President Barack Obama has it easy fashion-wise: He simply puts on a suit and is ready to go. She and the hosts discussed fashion a bit more, and then Michelle gave her two cents on wearing pantyhose. Spoiler alert: She's against them.

"It feels better," Michelle explained as to why she doesn't wear them. "That's what it is. I stopped wearing pantyhose a long time ago because it was painful, and they'd always rip." Michelle added that her height made pantyhose difficult, calling them "inconvenient." 

Her past stance on no pantyhose did not stop Michelle Obama from being fashion-forward. Insider curated a round-up of some of Michelle's "best style moments" throughout her career, including some of the beautiful gowns she wore as First Lady and some examples of her flawless fashion since leaving the White House.

Michelle Obama told James Corden she rarely rode in the front seat of a car during Barack Obama's presidency

Politicians are typically characterized as being stuffy, but former First Lady Michelle Obama is anything but. She appeared on the "Carpool Karaoke" segment of "The Late Late Show with James Corden" in 2016 and showed that she knows how to let loose. Together they sang "Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)" by Stevie Wonder (Michelle's favorite musician) and "Single Ladies" by Beyoncé. Michelle also disclosed that, except for teaching one of her daughters to drive, she hadn't sat in the passenger seat of a car during the entirety of Barack Obama's presidency. The iconic Missy Elliott even joined Michelle and James Corden to perform her songs "This Is For My Girls" and "Get Ur Freak On."

Three years later, Michelle appeared on Corden's show again for the "Team USA vs. Team UK — Dodgeball" video. The segment started with a "Carpool Karaoke" fake-out, which turned into an argument between Michelle and Corden on which country has better musicians (and which is better overall).

During the dodgeball game, a moment that has been made into a meme many times was when Michelle threw a dodgeball at Team UK member Harry Styles, only for him to jump at the last minute and get hit between the legs. While he winced at the unfortunate timing, Michelle gave her Team USA teammate Kate Hudson a celebratory hug.