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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.
How Italians drink coffee pic.twitter.com/RYWE2Zems4— Donny Drama (@donny_drama) March 13, 2017
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.
To highlight the ridiculousness of this (because it is ridiculous, this isn’t how Italians actually do things), comparison memes were made.
Normal vs Italian gamer pic.twitter.com/ErBNujsUDH— Soarin' (@SoarinPie) March 16, 2017
How normal people fist vs how Italian people fist pic.twitter.com/xzprcNMaJK— Aluxis♡ (@xTruly_Lexyx) March 21, 2017
Normal Kermit vs. Italian Kermit pic.twitter.com/i0lCophl1Z— Destini Warnke (@Destini_Warnke) March 18, 2017
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:
How Italians cook crystal meth pic.twitter.com/hbmNRjbLMw— Tank.Sinatra (@GeorgeResch) March 14, 2017
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.
How Italian people listen to music pic.twitter.com/vNoh78ZFH1— Cherylax (@cherylaxy) March 18, 2017
How Italian people sleep pic.twitter.com/D2dKm5SDeW— Luna (@moonvibesx) March 14, 2017
Now, it’s already getting mashed together with last week’s best meme, Student Athletes.
Normal people— alina (@alinajchen) March 16, 2017
ITALIAN STUDENT ATHLETES pic.twitter.com/xFMjRRU8fS
thats how Italian people read https://t.co/hvORavktXU— ٓ (@mahraaldh) March 19, 2017
That is how Italians meme.
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]