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Hand Pointing a Gun refers to several exploitable images of handguns being pointed directly at the screen as if being aimed at the viewer. The exploitable images have been actively used online in a wide variety of memes, most notably as a part of the Delet This format.



On November 4th, 2003, open-world action-adventure video game True Crime: Streets of LA, developed by Luxoflox, was released for Playstation 2, Xbox and GameCube.[1] Promo art for the game featured the main protagonist Nick Kang pointing the gun at the viewer. While the official color version of the promo art could not be discovered, on March 11th, 2005, a custom wallpaper based on it was posted on Inside Mac Games[2] (shown below).

While the exact first instance of the image is unknown, the earliest known post utilizing the exploitable was made by Tumblr[3] user dismers-wonderhouse on September 10th, 2016 (shown below).


Starting in January 2017, the image has been widely circulated as a part of the viral image which requested the viewer to pick a song they can recite perfectly(shown below, left). On January 10th, 2017, the image was posted to /r/forwardsfromgrandma subreddit,[4] where it received over 60 upvotes. A meme posted to /r/me_irl subreddit[5] on January 11th received over 50 upvotes (shown below, right).

The early spread of the exploitable is primarily connected to the popularity of Delet This memes which gained initial prominence on Facebook in early 2016, with the earliest known examples utilizing this and similar exploitable being posted in 2017. For example, on April 22nd, 2017, Know Your Meme[6] user Samba archived a Kronk edit utilizing a gun-pointing exploitable (shown below, left). On August 17th, Know Your Meme[7] user nicktoonhero archived an edit based on an image of Atsuko Kagari (shown below, right).

In the following years, the exploitable has been used in a variety of meme formats. In addition to spawning Gru Holding Gun format, the exploitable has been utilized in Cursed Emojis, There Is No Meme, Take Off Your Clothes and other formats, particularly in memes expecting a certain reaction from the viewer.

Screen-Reaching Emoji

Screen-Reaching Emoji refers to an image of a non-Unicode emoji with bloodshot eyes and pursed lips appearing to be reaching for the screen with its hand. A variation of the Stressed Emoji, the image saw extensive use as a reaction and an exploitable and inspired similarly-executed images of popular characters reaching for the screen. Examples of the meme are often paired with fourth-wall-breaking captions such as "You Think You're Safe?" and "Hand Them Over."

Various Examples


Search Interest

External References

[1] Wikipedia – True Crime: Streets of LA

[2] Inside Mac Games – In The City Of Angels.

[3] Tumblr – dismers-wonderhouse

[4] Reddit – FWD: SWEET CHILD OF MINE!!!

[5] Reddit – me_irl

[6] Know Your Meme – Delet This, Kronk

[7] Know Your Meme – Akko doesn't like your post

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