The ‘How Italians’ meme mocks Italy’s favorite gesture

You may only be vaguely aware of things relating to Italy: There’s pizza, and art, and uhhh … pizza art? But even if that’s all the cursory knowledge you have about the boot-shaped nation, you do know the main stereotype about the nation’s denizens: Italians gesticulate.

When they do, they pinch their index, middle, and ring finger into their thumb. Do it right now. You instantly feel a-Siciliano.

Now, just because they do that when they talk, it would be stupid for them to do it when they do every other thing.


Of course. But how else would an Italian pick up their coffee mug? By pulling apart their fingers and using those to grasp the mug? That’s a-nonsense!

That tweet is the genesis of the “how Italians do things” meme, and, in fact, once you start imagining Italians doing things like that, with four of their five fingers superglued together, you can’t imagine them doing things any other way.

italian meme: how italians hold hands Image via Metapodlvl100/Imgur italian meme: how italians wear a watch Image via Metapodlvl100/Imgur italian meme: how italians play guitar Image via Metapodlvl100/Imgur

To highlight the ridiculousness of this (because it is ridiculous, this isn’t how Italians actually do things), comparison memes were made.

Like a “now you see it” optical illusion, once your eyes are glued for Italian gestures, you start to see them in everything.

They are there in popular TV:

And animals:

how italians meme: cat making hand gesture Screengrab via CafieroandMalatesta/Reddit

The weirder depths of the internet have had a recent fascination with Italy, so it’s understandable why this trend quickly spread across Reddit, Twitter, and Snapchat. As it did, though, something wonderful happened. the hand became a stand-in for the Italian person, which is where this meme really devolved into the absurd.

Now, it’s already getting mashed together with last week’s best meme, Student Athletes.

That is how Italians meme.

H/T KnowYourMeme

David Covucci

David Covucci

David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]