: Begone, pests, and give me the bird! Yakko
: We'd love to, really, but the Fox censors won't allow it.
"FBI! Put your hands in the air! No, not one finger — your hands!"
— The X Fools
'Flipping the Bird', or 'the Finger' as it is also known (among other names), is the act of raising one's middle finger upwards while keeping the rest of the fingers bent at the first joint or curled tight into the palm of the hand. For added expression, the participant should extend the arm to its full length and raise slightly above the shoulder line, perform this movement in a one sharp movement to add complete indignation to the gesture. Its name comes from the way the hand forms the shape of an upward-turned bird, but its obscenity comes from the way it resembles a phallus. For added effect, one can Dual Wield
the gesture in what is sometimes called the "Double Deuce."
To flip someone off is an insult
in most of the Western World, and earliest references of it go all the way to Ancient Greek and Roman
writings, where it is referred to as digitus impudicus
(the "impudent digit"). Often directed to those in authority in an act of defiance, Flipping The Bird
is an easy way to get across complicated emotions in one motion. Also used occasionally by people who are being photographed against their will, and want to ensure the resulting image won't be publishable. Frequently used toward another driver while at the wheel.
A known British variation of the gesture is the "two fingers," where the index finger is also raised, otherwise known as "making a V-sign." Distinguished from the (inoffensive) 'victory'/'peace' V Sign
by the palm facing inward
, away from the target, much as it does for the single-finger equivalent. A popular but apocryphal story
about the origin of this version of the gesture involves the 1415 Battle of Agincourt, where the French allegedly boasted they would cut off the bow-fingers of every English longbowman they captured. When the English soundly beat them, their archers supposedly held up their still-intact fingers at the French in defiance.
A variety of other gestures are considered obscene in various cultures around the world. Notable gestures include "the fig,"*
which is vulgar in France, Greece, and some Near East countries, the bras d'honneur
or "arm of honor", *
which is generally obscene where flipping the bird would be, and the "okay" gesture,note
which is obscene in Turkey and some South American countries.
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- In an ad for Wild Turkey Kentucky Bourbon, a group of guys are contemplating whether the woman at the end of the bar likes one of them, when suddenly she flips them off. Apparently not, right? Turns out, in this bar, the finger means "order that person a Wild Turkey on the rocks." As reflected in the tagline, "Give 'em the bird."
- Jolyne Kujo can do this in several◊ different languages.◊
- Rock does this quite memorably in the second episode of Black Lagoon, flipping off the Extra Order mercs as he pulls his first Crowning Moment of Awesome by having the title ship launched off a ramp and the torpedoes launched to wipe out an attack chopper that was after them.
- Amen, hallelujah and peanut butter.
- In Fruits Basket, Haru does this to Kyo during their fight as he's saying "Go to hell!"
- In Ouran High School Host Club, the Hitachiin brothers do this rather frequently.
- In an episode of Ranma ½, when they fight the Gambling King, the King uses it to punctuate his rant/challenge. Then it gets returned to him... by Akane, of all people. It's apparently considered a somewhat milder insult in Japan than in the West; it shows up in anime and manga quite a lot.
- Akane did it also in another episode, to Ranma; while hitting
himher on the head with her Hyperspace Mallet at the same time.
- Ryoga also did it once when talking smack to Ranma.
- Then there was the time that Nabiki flipped off Soun. Given that she usually does it with her index finger, this is a non-verbal Precision F-Strike on her part.
- And man, Ranma flips off people a lot in the manga.
- A truly epic one happens in the Martial Arts Dining arc when Ranma is stuck in an iron corset and accidentally turns into his boy side.
Soun: You call yourself my future son?!
Ranma: *while flipping Soun off* So yells my "dad," the little French maid!
- In One Piece, when Eustass Kid and Trafalgar Law (two of the "11 Supernovas", rookies with huge bounties, including Luffy and Zoro) meet, Kid insults Law, who casually flips him the bird in response. This gesture was omitted in the anime version, but Kid's reaction to it is retained.
- After the timeskip, Sanji does this to the crossdressers of Kamabakka Kingdom as a farewell.
- In the first chapter of Naruto, we're treated to a flashback panel where Naruto is giving The Double Deuce to Iruka.
- Done quite a few more times, mostly by Kiba.
- Jan Valentine enjoys this and does it to Integra just before he dies.
- Sanosuke from Rurouni Kenshin is another repeating offender.
- In Dragon Ball Z Vegeta does this in one of the Frieza saga episodes.
- And at the end of the series, a very rude boy did this to 4 year old Pan when she accidentally bumped into him.
- Almost every character in DBZ flips the bird at least once. Exceptions are Goku and Buu, who both prefer more childish rude gestures like sticking their tongue out.
- Actually, about Buu...
- There's also a chapter title page where half of the cast flips off Cell.
- In Dai no Daibouken, Flazzard makes this gesture to Marm before his first defeat.
- In Bleach Isshin simultaneously flips Aizen the bird and knocks him several city blocks back (it's unknown if some sort of hand gesture was necessary or if it was entirely because he felt like it).
- The manga features Grimmjow grinning madly while flipping off the reader.
- In an episode of the Slam Dunk anime (the scene exists in the manga, but the bird-flipping doesn't), after scoring a bucket through his own individualistic work, Rukawa tells the rest of the team (Akagi included) that he couldn't pass to anyone because they were shaking in their sneakers. Invariably, they all get pissed, and Mitsui flashes the middle finger at the "bastard freshman, trying to give me a lesson".
- In chapter 7 of Sensual Phrase Sakuya does this to spite his half brother Ralph, even saying "FUCK YOU!"
- Shows up in Mahou Sensei Negima!, where Chamo gives Fate the finger. Possibly. His super-deformed style makes it tough to tell, but that gesture probably fits the situation best.
- Becky from Pani Poni Dash! does this in the first episode. It wouldn't be as jarring if it weren't for the fact that she's an eleven-year-old teacher who did that to her students. She demanded respect as a teacher, and one of the students immediately smacks her on the head for being so disrespectful.
"Look, I don't care if you ask me questions, but please use your brain before you open your mouth. For the love of God, try to think of less boring things to ask. Understand, YOU *flips middle finger* LOW LIFEFORMS?!
- The Gunsmith Cats salute an annoying ATF agent this way as he leaves. As average residents of Chicago, it's reasonable.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds: You'd think that a show about a Card Game wouldn't have this, but You'd be wrong◊. This tends to pop up when the Hero or Lancer sets up a comeback so awesome, there's no need to bring the flipped finger up.
- Early in Excel♥Saga, when Excel is in prison, another prisoner asks if there's anyone she likes. She attempts to give a shy thumbs-up of "yeah", but accidentally flips her new friend off on the first attempt.
- In YuYu Hakusho, Kuwabara begins bashing Yusuke in comparison to his spirit sword vs Yusuke's spirit gun saying the gun is weaker. Yusuke responds with "That depends on which finger I'm using" while flipping Kuwabara off clearly. This was edited out of the Toonami block version.
- Yusuke does it again to Team Toguro at the Dark Tournament.
- In an episode of Samurai Champloo called "Baseball Blues", a baseball team from America challenges Mugen and his friends to a baseball game, and a nasty fat player flips them off.
- At the start of the episode, when told his ship can't dock in Japan, the admiral of the American fleet announces "FUCK THEM!" (in English) while flipping the bird. It's pixellated.
- In the Lucky Channel portion of Lucky Star, Akira does this (though it's sort of hidden) when saying "It's irritating!" in a cheery voice about something Minoru had said.
- In episode 3 of Kore wa Zombie desu ka?, Orito flips off Ayumu while challenging him to a round of bowling to see if he can start living in his house along with Yuu, Seraphim, and Haruna.
Orito: If I win, I'll start living in your house today!
Ayumu: I don't understand.
Orito: (Gives the finger) Say your prayers!
- Gather 'round, kids, the Great Teacher Onizuka is going to teach you some sign language!
- Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt is full of it. Granted, it's not the worst thing in the show.
- In episode 14 of Chitose Get You!!, Chitose does this to her teacher, Fuji-Sensei.
- Mina from Dance in the Vampire Bund flips off Rozemann as he helplessly watches Akira rescue her from his castle.
- In Hunter × Hunter, Netero does this to the Chimera Ant King while unleashing his ultimate unavoidable attack "Zero Hand". It doesn't work.
- The British V sign makes an appearance in chapter 2 of Rosario + Vampire when Kurumu flips off Moka after hypnotizing Tsukune into calling her a bloodsucker to her face.
- One of the earliest examples of this in a mainstream film would be The Miracle Woman, a Frank Capra drama made in 1931 (in other words, prior to the implementation of The Hays Code), which has a scene where the chauffeur of Barbara Stanwyck's title character does this to their boss.
- An even earlier example comes in Harold Lloyd's silent 1928 comedy Speedy, which has a scene where Lloyd does this to his own reflection in a funhouse mirror.
- Nothing Sacred uses this for a pretty amazing joke in 1937. Hazel is attending a fancy stage show where the performers are dressed like great women of history. One is Katinka, "the Dutch girl who stuck her finger in the dike." The MC urges the actress to "show them the finger, babe", and she shows her bandaged but definitely upraised middle finger.
- The page image comes from the final shot of Crank: High Voltage. As the caption says, main character Chev Chelios finally gets to return the favor after repeated occurrences of, "Fuck you, Chelios!"
- In a deleted scene in Avatar, Max Patel cheerfully flips the bird at Parker Selfridge, just before ripping through the command center's windows with a titanic slash cutter, letting in the rogue avatar team. Dileep Rao does get a second shot at bird-flipping villains before doing something awesome in Inception.
- In Highlander II: The Quickening, a random bar patron flips Connor off right before bashing him over the head with a bottle.
- In Ghost Rider, the titular hero escapes the cops by jumping off a bridge and into a river. He quickly flips them off as they look after him.
- In the movie My Science Project, one guy flips off an asshat honking at him from behind... with a light-up one!
- In Problem Child 2, Junior Healey is driving his dad home, and an unseen driver cuts him off. The kid knows how to make use of "the highway salute".
- In Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Ace has a football player give him the finger so he can get a good look at his championship ring.
- In Aliens:
Hudson: Man, this floor is freezing!
Apone: What do you want me to do? Fetch your slippers for you?
Hudson: Gee, would you, sir? I'd like that.
Apone points at his own eye with his middle finger
Apone: Look into my eye.
- He is smoking at the time, which makes it hard to spot.
- A variation in Another Cinderella Story:
Bree: (after almost hitting Mary and Tami with her car) Sorry, I didn't see you. It's like you're invisible.
Tami: (shows her fist) Oh yeah!? Here's my invisible finger!
- Films 2 and 3 of the Austin Powers trilogy had examples of this, both of which involved Mini-Me.
- One of the aliens in Bad Taste does this on the movie poster. (Peter Jackson, you mad genius you.)
- Blade: Trinity shows a few suit-clad vampires going into a tomb in the desert. Before going in, one of them flips the bird at the sun. 'Cause, y'know, it's not able to kill him for a change.
- The first Bring It On film had two examples of this. The first one was when a Toros cheerleader flipped off her ex-boyfriend after they lost a game. The second had the main character's little brother doing it after being taunted for sneaking into the girl's locker room.
- Missy does one after a Toros cheerleader mockingly points out that tattoos aren't allowed. She rubs off the "tattoo" with her middle finger.
- Bruce Almighty: "Do you like jazz? I like jazz. I especially like the trumpet."
- In 8 Mile, Alex and B-Rabbit give each other the Finger cordially.
- Ash in Evil Dead 2 gets this from his own demon-possessed severed hand. This was parodied in Return of the Living Dead Part II at the end of the "zombie hand in the car" scene.
- In Tank Girl, the titular heroine (played by Lori Petty) says this to the Head of Water and Power (Malcolm McDowell):
Rebecca: There is a great, big, humongous honking booger in your left nostril... I suggest you use this finger to get it out!
- The younger sister of the heroine in Final Destination 3 flashes the double-deuce when her big sister takes her picture at the amusement park.
- In Groundhog Day, in at least one loop, Phil does a countdown to filming on his fingers, the middle finger being used for "one".
- In Guardians of the Galaxy, Peter Quill jokingly does this, using the 'crank' method, to a couple of Nova Corps members through a window while he's being detained In the trailers, it's lampshaded by being blurred a couple of seconds early with the words "OBSCENE GESTURE DETECTED" on the Nova Corps' HUD. In the theatrical release (which was rated PG-13) it goes completely uncensored.
- One character does this in Liar Liar.
Fletcher: (desperate to keep his secretary around) I'll give you the raise!
Gretta: Here's your raise! (flips it to him)
- Men In Black features Agent J (Will Smith) doing a similar obfuscated-flip, as Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) responds to the younger agent's questions about advanced Men in Black privileges with "When you grow up." J replies with "Oh...okay", while scratching his head with his middle finger.
- In Bean, the biker gave the bird to Mr. Bean while taking a picture of him and giving him a thumbs up from the car. Unaware of the gesture, Mr. Bean gives everyone the bird he passes by.
- The first movie of The Naked Gun series has a memorable scene where a driver instructor (played by John Houseman) deadpanly instructs his meek girl student, "All right, Stephanie, gently extend your arm. Extend your middle finger. Very good. Well done" in response to a fellow driver angry at her for driving the wrong way on a one-way street. The girl feels truly empowered after this.
- In one of the Police Academy movies, a snarky guy flips off a mounted police officer twice, once vertically and again horizontally (i.e. for the officer and the horse he rode in on).
- Road Trip had a blind girl giving Seann William Scott's character the bird after he feeds her seeing-eye dog a Slim Jim.
- In School of Rock, after finding out that he's being booted from his own band, Jack Black holds up three fingers. "Read between the lines, my friend."
- Spaceballs: Barf does this at two guards when he and Lone Starr park at the Spaceball Prison Complex.
Guard: All right, hands up. You're under arrest for illegal parking!
- Spritle does it in Speed Racer.
- Stand and Deliver: Chuco (a Maravilla gang member) does this to Escalante in an attempt to be clever. Escalante does him one better, showing him how to quickly multiply by nine on his fingers.
- Top Gun had Maverick and Goose tell the story of when they "flipped the bird" at a Soviet pilot (at the beginning of the film). Maverick originally decides to refer to it euphemistically- "improving international relations," until Goose both explains and demonstrates the gesture by flipping off the officers holding the briefing.
- Tremors. The protagonists have decided to make a run for the bulldozer so they can make their escape, but they need something to distract the man-eating Graboids away from them. Melvin (an annoying minor character) is nearby.
Earl: Hey, Melvin, you wanna make a buck?
Melvin: Aww, eat it! [gives him The Finger]
- Undercover Brother. The title character and Sistah Girl are being chased by two security guards in golf carts. The guards try to warn some senior citizens (also in golf carts) to clear out of the way, and one elderly woman gives them The Finger.
- Roddy Piper does this in They Live! as he lies dying, having exposed the true, unpleasant form of the aliens.
- 2012. Tamara does this to her now ex-boyfriend who had tried to leave her dead, as she climbs into a secret compartment of the ship, now leaving him for dead in return.
- In X-Men, Wolverine flips Cyclops off with one of his claws during the climax.
- He also does it to Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
- In X2: X-Men United, Mystique flips off Stryker and his soldiers as she escapes them by sliding behind a locking gate.
- Sally Field flips off a motorcycle cop in Smokey and the Bandit as she and Burt Reynolds come to Jerry Reed's rescue.
- In Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, drummers seem to like this gesture.
- Kim flips off Gideon before the Sex Bob-Omb plays, and does it by using her middle finger to rub under her eye.
- Earlier before the Matthew Patel fight, the drummer flips Wallace off.
Wallace: (heckling) Is that girl a boy, too?
Crash: Yes. (Drummer immediately flips the bird!)
- Cobra member Firefly from G.I. Joe: Retaliation flips both middle fingers after this line:
Zartan (as the President of the United States): Ah, good to see we have the required crazy in this plan! So, you still have all 10 fingers?
Firefly: Sure do. *waves his fingers toward Zartan's face, then flips him off*
- In The Hangover, a little girl flips off Alan on the highway while the gang is on their way to Las Vegas.
- In RoboCop (1987), Robo himself offers a version of The Finger when a technician insists that Robocop is not allowed in the computer records room. Granted, it was only a data probe, but its position on Robocop's hand gives it a dual-purpose role.
- The Matrix:
- Agent Smith offers Neo a deal in the interrogation room scene:
Yeah. That sounds like a really good deal. But I got a better one. How about... I give you the finger... and you give me my phone call
? Agent Smith:
Mr. Anderson... you disappoint me. Neo:
You can't scare me with this Gestapo crap. I know my rights. I want my phone call
. Agent Smith:
Tell me, Mr. Anderson, (pause
) what good is a phone call if you're unable to speak
- In The Matrix Reloaded, The Architect's screens show every possible future. One screen depicts Neo flipping him off.
- In Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome Ironbar flashes one of these as he dies under the wreckage of his crashed car.
- The movie adaptation of Dragnet had an interrogated suspect flip off Friday and his partner, Pep Streebeck. Streebeck leaves to get coffee, Friday then teaches the thug a lesson in manners.
- Hot Fuzz: Nicholas Angel does the British variation, accompanied by a raspberry and the phrase "Jog on!" He picked it up from his partner Danny.
- In Star Trek IV, the punk on the bus gives Kirk the finger after Kirk asks him to turn down the music on his boombox... and gets a Vulcan Nerve Pinch for it!
- Bialystock and Bloom in the latest The Producers respond this way while taking the Siegfried Oath (while Franz isn't looking).
- In Inception, Yusuf does this to a projection when he drives off the bridge to set off the kick in Fischer's first dream layer.
- In probably one of the more extreme moments of Getting Crap Past the Radar in children's television, Alec Baldwin does this while playing a character in Thomas the Tank Engine and the Magic Railroad. Yes, you read that right.
- The South Korean King Kong rip-off, A.P.E. features a giant monkey giving the finger to an exploding helicopter. Seen here.
- And speaking of apes, in Cannonball Run II, an orangutan chauffeur gives an old lady one when she waves to him!
- Unintentionally in Rat Race, when Randy burns his finger in the cigarette lighter of Hitler's car and holds it up while next to a biker. His wife tries to explain while wagging hers. He next tries explaining the situation to World War II veterans.
- The poster for Trainspotting includes Begbie giving the V-sign to the viewer.
- In Ali G In Da House, Ali G thinks he's being rebellious by giving the V-sign to a cop car just below the rim of his car window, so it's completely hidden.
- In The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, John Bigbooté flips off Dr. Emilio Lizardo behind his back.
- In the horror movie Vamp, the bloodsucking exotic dancer gives the hero the middle finger in a final act of defiance after being reduced to a skeleton by the light of the sun.
- The garden gnome in Project X has its middle finger raised.
- Street Fighter: has Guile, talking to M. Bison on the news, signing off with the bras d'honneur (See Real Life, below), further emphasized with the American flag tattooed on his forearm.
- In Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, when Freddy Krueger slices off his fingers one by one, he gives Doc the middle finger, noting that it's his favorite.
- In Queens Logic, a woman in her car does this to Al (Joe Mantegna), who's in the car next to hers, when he tries coming on to her. Al, of course, is turned on by this:
- In The War of the Roses, Barbara does a stealth flip to her husband at the dinner party while pinging a crystal glass.
- In War, Inc., some little boys set Hauser's truck on fire. As they run away, one of them flips him off.
- Cheech uses this as a Stealth Insult in Cheech And Chong's Next Movie. It's directed at a telephone. On the other end is his boss who's just fired him.
- In the 1985 action comedy Gotcha, the protagonist is leaving East Berlin only to be held up at Checkpoint Charlie by a gauntlet of Obstructive Bureaucrats. After a long delay...
Jonathan: Am I in West Berlin now?
American border guard: Sure.
Jonathan: (extends middle finger to DDR guard tower) FUCK YOU! (to American guard) Good night. (walks off)
- Rush is bookended by Niki Lauda flipping the bird to James Hunt. In the first case it's in anger over being called a chicken, in the second it could almost be considered affectionate, as James had just joked that Niki's burn scars made him look better and Niki's grinning as he does it.
- In the film version of Misery, after assorted traumas, Paul does this to Annie through a window. She laughs about him kidding around with her.
- Shoot 'em Up. Hertz tortures Mr Smith by breaking his trigger finger. He then demands to know where the Living MacGuffin is. Smith flips him the bird with his other hand.
Hertz: That's the last time you'll be doing that. (grabs middle finger and breaks it too)
- Dickie Roberts Former Child Star: When the mother decides to make Dickie have cereal instead of coffee for breakfast, Dickie looks in, remarks that there's a surprise inside, reaches inside, and flips her the bird.
- Red 2. In a Car Chase through the streets of Paris, Sarah and Marvin are competing with Frank and Katya to catch a Knowledge Broker called The Frog, who's driving a stolen motorcycle. The Frog races down a narrow alley and when Sarah tries to follow her car gets stuck. The Frog stops and turns to flip them the "V" only to get hit by Frank and Katya in their car.
- The poster for Putney Swope depicts this, with a model representing the "finger".
- The original novella for The Running Man by Richard Bachman ends with the hero presenting the double-deuce to his enemy while performing a suicide attack via jumbo jet, aimed at his enemy's skyscraper headquarters. He had earlier flipped off the camera in an image used to present him to the viewing audience.
- Performed by a cleaning robot in The California Voodoo Game, in which the machine has been disguised as a cyborg octopus (long story) and sent to hinder S.J. Waters' crawl through a ventilation duct. The machine has no voice synthesizer, so the Game Master uses this robot's hologram-illusion tentacles to express its defiance after S.J. cripples it in hand-to-pincer combat.
- It's subtle, but a fantastic version appears in Matt Stover's Shatterpoint:
"I can read your mind," he said darkly. "You only have three ideas, and all of them are wrong."
Mace nipped up a thumb. "You think being armed and ruthless means you can do whatever you want." He folded his thumb and flipped up his forefinger. "You think nobody will stand up to you when they're naked." He folded that one again and flipped up the next. "And you think you're going to look inside my bag."
- And if one needs reminding, the character saying/doing this is played by Samuel L. Jackson.
- In Halo: Ghosts of Onyx Kelly flips off a Sentinel drone to distract it while her team sets up an attack.
- The V-sign is obliquely referred to in Harry Potter, where it is always referred to as an "obscene hand gesture" so as not to give the children any ideas.
- The most direct reference to it being the V-sign is in Half-Blood Prince, in which Mrs Weasley threatens to jinx Ron's fingers together if she sees him doing it again.
- This is almost certainly true in Britain; Of course, given the worldwide release nature of the book and the Darker and Edgier tone of the later books, it's possible that Rowling (or at least the translators) purposely left the gesture up to interpretation so each country's readers could insert their own analogous gesture.
- In The Reynard Cycle, Arcasian characters (especially the rougher sort) are described "flashing their fingers" when perturbed. It's highly implied that they are making the V-sign.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, Arya lists a number of things she's learned in Braavos, including obscene gestures such as "the fig."
- In Plum Spooky, Stephanie comments "getting and giving the finger is a way of life in Jersey". She does, however, find it a bit odd to be getting this gesture from a pet monkey she's babysitting.
- Several times in the Maximum Ride books, including once when it's used as an Incredibly Lame Pun (and lampshaded as such by Max herself).
- In The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar, David, in the middle of helping a group of friends pull a prank on an elderly woman reputed to be a witch, flips her the bird. This results in the woman pronouncing a "curse" on David.
- In Ken Kesey's Sometimes a Great Notion, the protagonist displays his late father's amputated arm from a pole atop his house, with all the fingers save the middle one tied down, as a gesture of defiance against the union loggers with whom he's feuding.
- In Interesting Times, it is mentioned obliquely that the upturned middle finger is the gesture used in demon banishing spells, which Rincewind uses to test his control of an army of clay soldiers: "Seven thousand terracotta middle fingers stabbed toward the ceiling."
- In Dogbert's Clues for the Clueless, in which Dogbert offers his own unique take on manners in modern society, he claims that if someone cuts you off in traffic you have the right to run them off the road to their deaths. Illustrated by a little old lady slamming a guy off the road as he tries to cut her off. The little old lady then flips the bird, which is censored by Dogbert who says that it's still considered rude to make the "I'm Number One" gesture afterwards.
- In A Yellow Raft In Blue Water, it's Ellen DeMarco's response to one of the Bearpaw Lake workers faking a drowning so he could get her to do mouth-to-mouth on him.
- A few of Simon R. Green's novels feature supernaturally-inclined characters who, after others make the sign of the cross at them, respond non-verbally with "the sign of the extremely cross".
- In Myth-inc Link, Skeeve and his friends receive a Finger in the Mail from the Queen of Possiltum. Tananda deduces that it was sent as a message, along the lines of this trope.
- In Newsflesh, Shaun is rather prone to directing this gesture, single-handed or in stereo, at security cameras, while Becks tends to use it as a conversational response to Shaun. Maggie comments in her blog "I make the following statement, which comes from my heart, my soul, and my middle fingers", aimed at their adversaries.
Live Action TV
- Referenced in MythBusters. While testing the bouncing bullet myth (about a bullet that ricocheted in such a way that it killed the shooter), Adam and Jamie used a cardboard cutout of Jamie to represent the gunman/victim. One of the bullets they fired struck cutout!Jamie, in the words of the narrator, on the finger he "occasionally uses to advise fellow motorists".
- The Colbert Report's Stephen Colbert uses this a lot, although it's blurred out.
- There were several occasions on Dead Like Me where characters clearly gave someone else the finger, thanks to the fact that the show was aired on Showtime.
- One episode of Flight of the Conchords (possibly called "Racist", since it was the one about the racist shopkeeper) featured the band's American friend teaching them how to "flip the bird".
- Jewel Staite and Nathan Fillion of Firefly engaged in an ongoing competition of finding the most creative ways to flip each other the bird.
- One Seinfeld episode had George thinking that one of the waitresses at Monk's was giving him the finger as she handed him the bill.
- Whose Line Is It Anyway?:
- Brad Sherwood asks something like, "You wanna see me turn my hand all blurry?" He then makes The Finger, which, yes, gets censored by being blurred. Unusual for this show; usually they use a Censor Box.
- Another episode had Ryan accidentally banging his head, with Drew joking "How many fingers am I holding up?" Ryan replies with "How about me?", holding up just the one (censor box'd)
- There is also a running gag in which all the cast members give the director the finger. (Starts about 0:33 in, NSFW)
- Done beautifully (if surreptitiously) by Glenn in The Thick of It: Julius asks him to hold up his fingers to count something and while he's talking, Glenn slowly lowers his fingers except for the middle one and keeps flipping the bird to Julius's face for a while.
- A promotional (we think) image for Babylon 5 has the cast flipping off the camera in costume, with Peter Jurasik (Londo) giving both barrels. It can usually be found as an Image Macro with a caption like "Babylon 5 agrees that you're a fucking idiot".
- The Snick show Roundhouse pulled one off in its episode about discrimination with the "Race Krispies" sketch. Self-censored (with a cardboard sign): "Hey four-eyes, how many fingers am I holding up?"
- There's an episode of Roseanne in which Leon starts making changes to the restaurant when Roseanne isn't there by persuading Nancy and Jackie agree on said changes. Nancy and Jackie inform Roseanne that they all voted in favor of uniforms and breakfast in her absence. Then...
Nancy: We also voted that the restaurant's official bird should be the toucan.
Roseanne: Would you like to see the bird I voted for? (she makes a gesture behind her hand that implies flipping the middle finger)
- In Porridge Fletcher is reading off a list of the things he's learned from his time inside, counting them on fingers as he goes. He forgets to add the third finger until Mackay notices it.
Fletch: All right. I'll just tell him three things. One - bide your time. Two - keep your nose clean. And three - don't let the bastards grind you down.
- One imprisoned criminal on the short-lived series Hooperman goes the extra mile with this. He not only gives the title police detective the finger, he cuts it off and mails it to him.
- Lister and Rimmer give the V-sign a few times on Red Dwarf, and at one point a Skutter (cleaning robot) gives it to Rimmer, which is quite an accomplishment considering their claw only has three digits.
- Lister and the Cat treat Arnold to one in 'Better than Life', and Kryten (trying to figure out what he is after thinking he was in a Lotus-Eater Machine while actually being in one) speculates that he'd be the Badass Cop who'd give one to Da Chief.
- In Friends, Ross made an alternative gesture for the finger (banging his fists together) as a child so he could do it in front of his parents. Other members of the gang also started using it.
- Ben Stein would get away with this on his game show Win Ben Steins Money, scratching his face with his middle finger in the direction of Jimmy Kimmel, whenever he said something humorously insulting to Stein.
- As mentioned above, Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer used the two-finger variant as an eloquent response to Xander's accusatory gesturing when they were struck speechless.
- R. Lee Ermey on Mail Call said that the Marine salute done properly has the index finger and 'social finger' touching the brim of the cap.
- An episode of Are You Being Served? involved a few of the British reverse-V variant; it was described to prospective Japanese buyers of the store as the British Workers' Salute. They return the favour after Status Quo Is God is maintained from hijinks, apparently intentional.
- The opening credits of Blackadder Back & Forth show a member of the Blackadder clan as a WW2 soldier flipping the bird to Winston Churchill.
- In a flashback episode of My Name Is Earl where Earl is competing against his cousin Blake for Joy's affection.
Earl: Honey, this is for you (kisses his two fingers in Joy's direction). Blake, one of these two fingers is for you.
- David Letterman got away with it on his show; a guy wrote him a letter saying that he's hanging upside down, so Dave flipped him the bird upside-down.
- Which is a Bilingual Bonus for those who are from the Middle East who knows that middle finger pointed down means "impotent"!
- In The Wire, McNulty's superior officer Rawls is introduced by giving him an extended "Fuck you" speech while holding up a double deuce.
- In one episode of How I Met Your Mother, Barney attempts to do this to Ted. Unfortunately, he's wearing a penguin costume at the time, so he refers to it at "flippering you off".
- Also implied (since Ted's telling the story to his kids) as giving the thumbs up.
- In another episode, Marshall (whose entire body is hurting from working out to much) holds up four fingers to Ted and asks Lily to help him fold down three of them.
- Done regularly by various people in The Office. Always pixellated out.
- In the Criminal Minds episode "Cold Comfort", Garcia is reading horoscopes and Prentiss declares that they are bullshit. Garcia mentions in the horoscope about bout "eliminating this cold front with a simple but affectionate gesture" and Prentiss replies with "I have a simple gesture" and flips them off (the camera angle changes for censorship purposes). The whole video can be seen here.
- In one episode of Red Dwarf, a utility robot gives Rimmer the V-sign when Rimmer, playing chess with same, reveals that he stalling until the utility robot has to go back on duty, meaning Rimmer wins by default.
- Saturday Night Live had a "Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood" sketch where Mr. Robinson put on a puppet show, with finger puppets of poor black people imploring President Reagan to improve the economy. In one of the last scenes of this show, the puppet on Mr. Robinson's middle finger stood alone, and exclaimed, "Mr. President, I think I speak for all black people!"
- Also, during the "Celebrity Jeopardy" skits, Connery drew a picture of an extended middle finger for his Final Jeopardy answer.
- In Two and a Half Men, after coming home from the hospital, Alan tries to flip off Charlie after he makes a "I Told You So" comment, but can't since his hand in a cast.
Charlie: Aww... you wanna flip me the bird, but the the poor little fellow can't fly.
- In Stargate SG-1, Jack O'Neill told someone that his name was "spelled with two Ls!" while holding up three fingers.
- In the Farscape episode "Kansas," Chiana gets the idea that this gesture is a friendly greeting and shows it off to a few people.
- Japanese show Legal High in episode 3, when Machiko (someone who you'd least expect to do this), annoyed by the interviewers, stands up and gives one to their camera. Which by the end of the episode, is aired on TV (pixellatied).
- In an episode of ER, Doug Ross was treating a young man dying of cystic fibrosis who wanted to enact a DNR. Unfortunately, as he was not yet 18, Doug could not do this, and so, at his mother's bidding, intubated him against his will. As the kid is wheeled off to be admitted to the hospital, he gives Doug the finger in response to the latter's apologies. This was the first time this happened in the show's run, but it made sporadic appearances throughout—Romano flipped off his physical therapist in response to her questions about his motility, and a wrongly arrested, deaf patient flipped off the cops even as they apologized to him (aside from the fact that he was friends with the woman he was wrongly accused of attacking, it's implied the cops leaped to conclusions because she was white and he was black). The amused interpreter declared, "I don't think you need me to translate that one"
- Monday Mornings: One patient who was unresponsive and appeared dead reacted when Dr. Robidaux asked him to grab her hand. Dr. Tierney thought that was a reflex and asked him to hold up a finger. He did, and showed a sense of humour as well by holding up the middle finder to the amusement of the whole hospital.
- David Cross does this at the end of a Mr. Show sketch in which he's been fired (for the same actions which gets his co-workers promoted) at the camera, which links into the next sketch.
- It's a rare episode of The Young Ones when Vyvyan doesn't flip a V to Rick and/or Neil every other scene.
- The notorious finger cover◊ of MAD, which many news stands refused to display.
- In the "Weird Al" Yankovic video "White & Nerdy" the black gangstas he wishes to hang out with give him the finger (although it is blurred out for censorship reasons).
- He does it himself in the video for "Amish Paradise" (and, like in "White & Nerdy," is also blurred out for censorship reasons).
- Mentioned in "Piece of Me" by Britney Spears (and shown in the video).
- Kevin Rudolf's "Let It Rock":
Now the son's disgraced, he who knew his father.
When he cursed his name, turned and chased the dollar.
But it broke his heart so he stuck his middle finger
to the world, to the world, to the world.
- "American Recordings and Johnny Cash would like to acknowledge◊ the Nashville music establishment and country radio for your support."
- In "Born To Lose", the Great Luke Ski recommends that the [[Peanuts.Charlie Browns]] of the world do this to Lucy when she pulls the football away.
- Eminem, "The Way I Am."
And all of this controversy circles me
And it seems like the media immediately points a finger at me
So I point one back at them
But not the index, or pinkie, or the ring, or the thumb;
It's the one you put up
When you don't give a fuck and you just won't put up
With the bullshit they pull, cause they full of shit too...
- And again, more blatantly, in "The Real Slim Shady"...
So would the real shady please stand up
and put one of those fingers on each hand up...
- "Ve Heil! Heil! Right in "Der Fuehrer's Face" (the palm was facing outwards in the footage of Spike Jones playing that song, but the gesture was just as rude)
- "The One in the Middle" by Country Music singer Sarah Johns:
I would've given you the finger on my left hand
The one you use for a wedding band
But now I'm giving you the one in the middle
The one that's a little bit longer
And I've got another one on my other hand
So I can say it even stronger…
- Kid Rock's trope page includes a photo of him doing this.
- The cover art of !!!Fuck You!!! by Overkill.
- Cobra Starship's "Middle Finger". It's exactly what you think it's about.
- Chely Wright's "The Bumper of My SUV" is about the narrator getting the finger by a driver who opposes her Marines bumper sticker.
- The Peter Alsop song "It's Only A Wee-Wee, So What's The Big Deal?" has a woman do this to some boys this during the "special adult verse", who mistake the gesture for one meaning "penis".
- Jo Dee Messina's "Peace Sign":
I'm not coming undone
I've got nothing but love You put the FU in fun
, it's all good
I'm not trying to fight
I'm not wasting my time
I'm just saying goodbye
One finger shy of the Peace Sign
- The cover of Anders Osborne's Peace shows a little girl doing this.
- As Dilbert author Scott Adams has noted, you can get away with a lot of things in comics if you do them off-camera, such as Alice's none-too-subtle pun concerning how many digits she expected her bonus to be as opposed to what she actually got:
Dilbert: How many digits?
Alice: I used one on each hand.
- From FoxTrot, Peter's pitching in a baseball game and looking at the catcher's signals:
Peter: Two fingers? Shake him off. Three fingers? Shake him off. Two fingers? Shake him off again. Three fingers? Shake him off again. One finger?... Hey, same to you, pal!
- Pearls Before Swine: Pig tries doing Rat's variation on the peace sign, but Rat doesn't want Pig copying him and limits him to one finger. Pig chooses the wrong one.
- Garfield did it once, though it is not shown:
Jon: Garfield! Get your paw out of the cookie jar! (Jon then looks surprised) Who taught you that gesture?!
Garfield: (offscreen) You, in the car, when you drive.
- In another strip, when Jon and Garfield go to a vacation on the Guano-Guano island:
Jon: Look a native! Aloha, dude!
Native: (offscreen) Aloha, this!
Jon: Uh, must be an obscure Guano-Guano greeting.
Garfield: No, I think that's pretty universal.
- "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's "Stone Cold Salute" in the WWE.
- Ric Flair flipped off Triple H at Survivor Series 2005.
- It's first appearance on WWF TV was with the Mountie being ordered to provide his fingerprints after losing to the Big Boss Man at Summerslam 91. "You want the finger? THERE'S the Finger"!
- Diesel after costing The Undertaker the title at Royal Rumble 1996, which was notably before the Attitude Era.
- Upon elimination from the 2004 Diva Search, Maria gave the finger to Carmella.
- Vince McMahon does this a lot.
- He was idiotic enough to flip off The Undertaker and Kane once. They broke his leg.
- During a Steel Cage Match against SCSA, Austin nearly escaped twice. Vince flipped him off both times to enrage him into coming back.
- After being defeated by Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 22, Vince was loaded onto a stretcher and wheeled away. Vince defiantly flipped Shawn off right before he disappeared.
- A Getting Crap Past the Radar example. Since mid-2012, Christopher Daniels has adopted the tendency to tape his fingers in black and show the hand off to the crowd, but not his thumb and middle fingers.
- Following his victory over Matt Hardy at Armageddon 2005, JBL flipped off the referee and the audience.
- At Victory Road 2008, Samoa Joe flipped off Sting.
- At Summerslam 2004, a man in the audience flipped off The Undertaker during his entrance.
- Mr. America flipped off Vince McMahon in the middle of their arm-wrestling match.
- At Judgement Day 2005, JBL flipped off John Cena.
- Cyclist Mark Cavendish gave us this post-win British variant◊.
- A 1972 Monday Night Football game between the Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers had an incident in which ABC cameras caught several Oilers fans leaving (the putrid Oilers were losing badly to then-AFC powerhouse Oakland). One guy that stayed happened to be caught on camera and, seemingly aware of it, raised the middle digit. This incident also provided commentator Don Meredith's "We're number 1 in the nation" quip.
- Similar to this incident, the late newscast for San Francisco ABC station KGO following Super Bowl XIX (won by the hometown 49ers) shows a clip of some Miami Dolphins fans in a hotel to support the defeated Dolphins and one fan on an escalator flips the bird briefly (around the 1:51 mark).
- Bud Adams, longtime owner of the Tennessee Titans (and formerly a Houston/Tennessee Oilers) was caught on camera shooting off repeated birds at the other press box - probably at old American Football League rival, Bills' owner Ralph Wilson... with Commissioner Roger Goodell in Adams' press box watching him. Whether this is an example of Brass Balls or What an Idiot (or both) depends on your point of view. Given the fact that Adams was 86 at the time, it might have been a case of just not caring.
- Michael Vick actually got in quite a bit of trouble for throwing up a double deuce to a fan in 2006. Of course, the $20,000 fine he paid and the media savaging was only a warm-up act compared to what happened to him the following offseason...
- Has cropped up a couple of times in NASCAR. One was in Dale Earnhardt's last race, done rather like an irate driver in traffic (which, in a way, he was), on Kurt Busch. Mike Joy interpreted it as Earnhardt telling Busch, "Kurt, you're number one."
- Then, in the 07 November 2010 race at Texas, Kyle Busch did this to a NASCAR official who was enforcing a penalty on him. One (lap penalty) plus one (finger raised) equalled three (lap penalty).
- Formula One had a few infamous cases. Heinz-Harald Fretzen did it to Mark Blundell after passing him, and his finger itself was caught on the on-car camera. Johnny Herbert did one on the podium◊.
- During Game 4 of the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs between the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens, which took place in Montreal, Andrew Ference of the Bruins let the Habs fans have it by flipping them off after scoring Boston's second goal in the second period. Since this was a matchup between two hated rivals trying to gun their way for the Cup, it is a classic case of Take That to the Montreal fans. Needless to say, the fans got pissed off and Ference would later be fined $2500 for the unsportsmanlike gesture. The funny irony here is that Ference himself is born a Canadian (he's from Edmonton).
- The grand old all-American pastime of baseball isn't immune to the finger, either. Here's an article detailing the gesture's, er, singular history in the sport.
- In Indy Car, at the 2011 New Hampshire Indy 225, a very unpopular decision to restart the race under wet conditions resulted in a crash which took Will Power out of the race. He gave both barrels to the race officials in response. He got a lot of support after that (and his team owner even paid the fine Power was given for the birds).
- During the 2001 Japanese Motorcycle Grand Prix, which was held in Suzuka Circuit, rising motorcycle phenom Valentino Rossi flipped the bird to then-rival Max Biaggi after the latter attempted to force a bike crash on him by forcing him off the gravel. Rossi was mentally disoriented by this interference, but eventually he caught up to his rival and then flashed the gesture as a Take That for cutting him off.
- The Angry Marines (probably NSFW), one of the many Warhammer 40,000 memes, do this all the time to everything and everyone. Just look at the first image.
- In productions of the musical Spring Awakening, the final poses of "Totally Fucked" usually involve several characters flipping the bird.
- One way to get points in AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! – A Reckless Disregard for Gravity is to do this to as many protesters as possible. Yeah, it's that kind of game.
- In World of Warcraft, male Worgen do the two-fingered variant as their "rude" emote, probably thanks to their British accents.
- In Escape from Monkey Island, if you have Guybrush examine the appropriate part of the hand-shaped table in the Voodoo Lady's home, he'll remark "Ah, the middle finger. The most communicative of fingers."
- The "Sweet Goodbye" achievement in Mirror's Edge. This is achieved by jumping forward, doing a 180 degree turn while in the air and then pressing the attack button in quick succession. This will make Faith flash a V-sign while falling backwards.
- Your character can do this in Fable, and in Fable II you can have a sculptor make statues of you doing it.
- The "final trailer" for Duke Nukem Forever showed Duke flipping off a big alien spaceship.
- While in the game itself you do this after defeating a couple of bosses. Most notably would be when he finishes off the 'Queen Bitch' and just before losing consciousness, flips her off.
- The player's farewell to Nines Rodriguez in the Independent ending of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines.
- Quest for Glory II has this as an example of The Dev Team Thinks of Everything, where one can actually use the command "give Ferrari the bird".
- Daxter gives this to Pecker in Jak 3 after yet another argument between the two, right in front of Jak, the king of Spargus, and an audience (who all gasp in unison). It was censored by showing it off-screen.
- In Jak X Pecker gives one to G. T. Blitz, this time censored by Pixellation (justified since it happens on TV).
- Dr. Fetus does this pose in the opening video, on the pause screens, and the Dark World loading screen.
- Nero flips off Dante in Devil May Cry 4 as he's being absorbed by a huge, animated stone giant.
- DmC: Devil May Cry's Dante does this before his infamous showdown with Bob Barbas.
- BloodRayne does this after killing the final boss, after slaughtering Wulf, gives a double bird in the ending, then gives the finger to Severin when he insults her.
- Sol Badguy does this as the Respect variation of his taunt, surprisingly enough. International versions censor this to a thumbs-up, making the taunt more "respectful", in a sense.
- In zOMG!, the Taunt ring draws aggro from nearby Animated. You flip one bird with three Rage Ranks, and you flip 'em both when you use full Rage. In both cases, the relevant fingers are blurred.
- WWE wrestling games naturally have this as an option for taunts.
- Paulie 'Wheels of Fury' Ryan salutes the Player Character this way when teams are chosen in Tony Hawk's Underground 2. It's blurred out, though, because the game's rated T.
- Jack Cayman of MadWorld has a variation of this, though he replaces "Middle Finger" with "Chainsaw from his arm".
- In Ace Attorney Turner Grey flips off the player when he pushes up his glasses in his normal pose. In Japan though, it's not offensive, though it was overlooked in the American translation.
- Bayonetta has a blink and you'll miss it moment where she flips off some angel that had just destroyed the road and then uses the finger as an ignition key for a motorbike.
- In Gears of War 3 Cole asks politely if one of the stranded have a vessel they could borrow, the response; "Here are the keys to my luxury yacht" while giving him to finger.
- In Battlefield 3 you have to perform a quicktime event to kill a rat. If you fail, the rat makes enough noise to interest a guard, who then comes over and shoots you. As your character dies, he manages to flip off the rat.
- In The Darkness 2, if you shoot the car coming at you during the scene in the parking garage it explodes, and Jackie does this to the driver as he passes overhead before crashing into the wall and dying. You even get the achievement "The Bird is the Word" for pulling this (easy) stunt off.
- Done by a Headbanger to a group of Hairbangers in Brutal Legend after he and his friends join Eddie. IF you have the language censor on, it's covered by a big PMRC sticker.
- In Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Todd does this a lot - even in the pre-fight closeup. Kim does this as well, but only if her hand is behind another character's head; if she's the only player, the expression becomes a thumbs-down.
- In Borderlands, Mordecai does this in the introduction after Marcus says he looks like a "Truxican wrestler moonlighting as a dominatrix".
- In Borderlands 2, Salvador's taunt skill "Come At Me, Bro" has him pull off a double deuce at the enemy.
- Pokémon Black 2 and White 2: Not in the game itself, but early concept art for Roxie showed her using her middle finger to do a Eyelid Pull Taunt. Evidently, another member of the art team realized this and had it changed to something completely different.
- In Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, Rex will do this if you press the melee button with no one in range.
- In Tales of Xillia, Agria gleefully does this to Leia as she falls to her doom after rejecting the latter's attempt to save her. Though only in the Japanese version of the game.
- Brutal Doom, a game mod for the classic Doom games, gives players the ability to flip off anything with a simple push of the F key by default. Flipping off the Cyberdemon isn't a great idea, however...
- Lollipop Chainsaw: At the end of the fight with the first boss, Zed, Juliet cuts off his hand, which lands in the appropriate position.
- In what may be the best possible encapsulation of her character, Mariska gives Juliet the finger, and then turns her hand around into a peace sign.
- The Nerd does this a lot in promo images for The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures.
- Saints Row: A selectable taunt for The Boss.
- Grand Theft Auto V: You can do this in place of being armed while inside vehicles by pressing the Shoot button. It is also a selectable taunt when playing GTA Online.
- Slapping the Bile Demon in Dungeon Keeper will cause him to do the British version of this (the V with the palm facing away from the person)
- The title screen of the ZX Spectrum version of Rock Star Ate My Hamster had a hardcore rocker giving the finger.
- In Surgeon Simulator 2013 you control a seemingly disembodied hand and are given the ability to control each individual finger. Obviously, flipping the bird is what most players do at one point or another. There's even an achievement for that.
- Strong Bad of Homestar Runner is fond of giving people the two-handed "double deuce"... despite having boxing gloves for hands.
- And then Homestar Runner manages it without any arms. Unknowingly, at that!
- The Strange Salute for the Republic of Kickassia.
- The Bugle has a regular feature where listeners' Great Bird-Flipping Stories are read out.
- The Angry Video Game Nerd does this constantly.
- Fuck You And Your H2 is a site dedicated entirely to pictures of people flipping off Hummer H2 drivers.
- B-14 does this to Little Prolie in Lucky Day Forever
- SCP-1884-B, the apparent twin sister of a mild-mannered woman with no hands, is a mass of hands with attitude.
: How would you describe your captivity in the Circus Of The Disquieting
: (SCP-1884-B raises the middle finger of every hand not being used to support its weight)
- SCP-261 is a vending machine that takes yen and gives bizarre edible articles in return. At one point they test giving it a counterfit 500 yen coin. The machine produces a bag of candy similar to gummi bears, but shaped like hands with extended middle fingers. Made of potassium cyanide.
- In the Team Service Announcement Pop it, Don't Drop it, The Medic of Team Fortress 2 survives an ambush by the entire RED team, by using his Ubercharge just in time. How does he celebrate his survival? By flipping them off. With both hands. While wearing sunglasses. Surrounded by dancing Scouts and Heavies. While "Dreaming a Dream" by Captain Jack plays.
- This pose was later modded as a taunt to replace the "Meet the Medic" taunt. It got so popular that Valve actually increased the price of the MtM taunt because so many people were buying it to replace it.
- Chimney Swift 11: In one of his previous intros, a chimney swift (the bird that he named himself after) gives him one as it looks down at him through the chimney of a house. So it's basically a bird flipping the bird.
- All over the place in Epic Rap Battles of History:
- Lady Gaga flips off Sarah Palin a split second before the battle begins.
- At the end of above battle, John McCain flips off the whole world.
- Master Chief gives a long one to Leonidas at the end of his rap.
- Barack Obama stealthily does this to Mitt Romney. While commenting on how it would be awkward to have a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Lady, he counts off with his middle finger, pinky, and ring finger, in that order.
- Bruce Lee shows Clint Eastwood his two-finger push-up. "KUNG F-U!"
- Pablo Picasso can be seen painting this in the background during his battle with Bob Ross.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, when Joey notices Kaiba doing a Lying Finger Cross, he changes it to this.
- An example in animation can be found as far back as 1937; in "Skeleton Frolics" a piccolo player gives his conductor the double deuce (albeit inadvertently).
- South Park has Craig's family, who constantly give each other the finger.
- Ignignokt of the Mooninites in Aqua Teen Hunger Force likes to flip the bird to anyone he doesn't like. His middle finger even extends for use when he's really displeased with someone.
- Err likes to smoke as he shoots the bird.
- In one of Tweety's first appearances, he is being chased by a pair of Abbott and Costello-like cats. During the cartoon, the following exchange occurs:
: Give me the bird! Give me the bird!! Catsello
: If da Hays Office
would only let me... I'd give him 'da boid' all right!
Miles Standish: Begone, pests, and give me the bird!
Yakko: We'd love to, really, but the Fox censors won't allow it.
- In Justice League Hawkgirl gets crap past the radar when being held by Icthulhu.
- In The Simpsons Movie, Homer flips off the Angry Mob with both hands as he escapes down a sinkhole. Then he gets stuck and tries to use the fingers to dig himself out.
- Which is strange since he and the rest of the human cast have only four fingers. So what finger was he flipping?
- The middle one.
- Even weirder is that it wasn't digitized on the FX airings of the movie.
- They're digitally edited out on the Fox airing so Homer's awkwardly moving his fists up and down, but in the episode where Homer bowls a perfect game, the bullies can be seen flipping the camera off in the background during the news report.
- Fritz the Cat does this in The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat, to a telephone after the operator hangs up on him. Much like Homer Simpson, he only has four fingers.
- Done ever so epically by the animated Adam Sandler to his caretaker as a hidden insult in Eight Crazy Nights.
Whitey: Now I assume you've done your pre-game warm-ups.
Davey Stone: No, let me do them right now. [Holds up his fists, raises and lowers his middle fingers] One, two, three, four...
Whitey: [Oblivious] That's good, but don't forget your hammies.
- In the movie-game tie in Dead Space Downfall Alissa gives an interesting salute to the Captain after ordering to not help the colonists.
- In Titan Maximum, this appears to be Gibbs's favorite gesture. He usually gets pretty creative with it.
- Family Guy
- Probably one of the oldest examples in a 1930s Willie Whopper cartoon. During a plane race one of the racers refuses to give St. Peter a ride... and he gives the racer the finger when he leaves!
- Total Drama Island uses this in one of their Getting Crap Past the Radar moments when Lindsay flips off Heather for betraying her.
- In Action a clip features the Yeti giving Chef the finger for crashing his golf-cart into his.
- Also in Action, Duncan does this to a cardboard cutout.
- Used again in the World Tour finale, when Heather asks for support the camera immediately switches to Leshawna flipping her off from the peanut gallery.
- Raphael may only have two fingers but he repeatedly gets away with doing this with his sai in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003).
- When "E.T. Returns Home" on Robot Chicken he is teased by bullies for only having a single finger glow while they can do the same with all of them. They don't appreciate it when he responds by flipping that one finger.
- In a Getting Crap Past the Radar moment in Ed, Edd n Eddy, Eddy does this for a split second in the episode "Nagged to Ed". It's not apparent that he even has a middle finger.
- In Beast Machines, Thrust very clearly flips Optimus Primal the bird. (One imagines the animators only got away with it because Thrust only has 3 fingers on each hand.) Optimus is not amused.
- He shows the same gesture to some of the other Maximals as well in an earlier episode.
- Adventure Time had Tree Trunks offended by a statue making "a rude gesture" in "Five More Short Graybles", only to later find that the statue actually just had Shelby the worm standing vertically on its raised fist. For the sake of the children in the audience, they never actually show the gesture, nor do they explicitly mention raising the middle finger.
- Dee Dee does this on the title card of the Dexter's Laboratory episode "Rude Removal".
- Also, in one episode where she goes to get a tattoo, one of the tattoos shown at the parlor is of a hand doing this.
- The U.S. Acres episode "Wanted: Wade" has Wade do this when he asks Orson if the tag under his couch is his.
- In the pilot of Drawn Together, an irate Foxy raises her (censored) finger to Princess Clara, who is unable to get the message because "Foxy's hand went all blurry."
- The Australian animated film Go to Hell! (1997). After helping the Israelites escape across the Red Sea, Red (aka Satan) flips a huge bird to his father G.D. (aka God) with the help of a holographic projector.
- Implied in the Gravity Falls episode "The Golf War". Surly teenage troublemaker Robbie is chased off the local mini-golf course for spraying graffiti, and makes "lewd hand gestures" at an employee from off-screen.
- Chinese navy strategic researcher (Rear Admiral) and TV host Zhang Zhaozhong◊, the Chinese translator of The Hunt for Red October. Now he underwent a Badass Decay in the two and a half decades, well known for providing his audience with exaggerated and amusingly wrong observations on military and diplomatic news every day.
- When captured by North Korea, the crew of the ship USS Pueblo were forced to appear in staged propaganda photos. Each man showed the finger in the photos. When pressed, they claimed it was a Hawaiian Good Luck sign. Unfortunately, North Korea was able to read the foreign press and soon discovered the truth. (This was the same incident in which the skipper signed a "confession" that said things like "We paean the North Korean state. We paean their great leader Kim Il Sung"—which he got away with because the North Koreans couldn't speak English and had to use a dictionary to figure out what the words meant, not realizing that "paean" sounds a lot like "pee on"—and, referring to his ship's entry in to North Korean waters, "pentatration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the act"—the Uniform Code of Military Justice's definition of rape!)
- Some people claim Barack Obama did this to Hillary Rodham Clinton during one of the Democratic primary debates in 2008. Others maintain that he was just scratching his nose with his middle finger.
- George W. Bush's one fingered victory salute.
- An equivalent gesture (called in French the bras d'honneur or "Arm of Honor") is bending your right elbow, clenching your right fist and putting your left hand on your right arm's side opposing that of the elbow. The western variant was also imported into Russia from the West after The Great Politics Mess-Up. One can combine the arm with the Finger for emphasis.
- On WABC-TV in New York, anchor Roger Grimsby introduced a live broadcast from reporter Mara Wolinsky. Mara had been getting trouble from the cameraman and flipped him off just as the live broadcast started. The camera quickly cut back to Grimsby, who said, "Apparently, Mara knows who's number one in New York."
- There was a minor scandal during the last election in Sweden, when the chairman of the Left Party flipped off a leading Conservative during a debate. Luckily, it was not televised. Unluckily, someone had a cellphone camera.
- The most epic bird-flippery so far happened when a flock of birds flipped the bird... 'en masse' as a flock.
- Actress Pauley Perrette, best known for her role as Abby Sciuto on NCIS, subverts this by having a "Have a Nice Day" Smile tattoo on the middle finger of her right hand◊.
- During the final week of testimony in the Casey Anthony murder trial, a 28-year-old spectator decided to ignore the strict court orders against overt gestures or expressions, and flipped off prosecutor Jeff Ashton. Judge Belvin Perry found him in contempt and sentenced him to six days in county jail and a total fine of just over six hundred dollars.
- Davao City, Philippines vice mayor Rodrigo Duterte flashed the finger and cussed at critics of his daughter Sara (who was the mayor) following her widely-publicized punching of a trial court sheriff. Source
- One Utah homeowner was run through hell by his neighbors for building 18" above the maximum roof height. In response, he put some "abstract art" of "cacti" on the side of his house, in their general direction. You be the judge.◊
- Comedian Jackie Mason nearly saw his career destroyed after being accused of having done this during a 1964 appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Sullivan banned him from appearing on the show again for nearly two years, and only relented after Mason (who vociferously denied having made the gesture, or even being aware of its meaning) initiated a libel suit.
- The Keyhole Nebula, part of the Carina Nebula, contains a cloud of gas that looks remarkably like a hand flipping the bird.
- A very unusual example involves a fetus showing the digitus impudicus during an ultrasound scan that apparently pissed it off. More on that here.
- Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau famously gave a group of protesters gathered around his train car in Salmon Arm, BC, the finger, giving rise to the term "Salmon Arm salute" or "Trudeau salute" in already meme-ridden Canadian politics. In fairness to Trudeau, the protesters were yelling anti-French slogans at him (Trudeau was a francophone from Quebec—Montreal to be precise—and his push for bilingualism and multiculturalism was very unpopular in Western Canada at the time).
- The notoriously foul-mouthed and short-tempered American politician Rahm Emanuel is missing most of the middle finger on one of his hands from an accident he had as a teenager. In a 2005 charity roast of then-Representative Emanuel, then-Senator Barack Obama joked that this injury "rendered him practically mute."
- Believe it or not, Mister Rogers did this not only with one finger. He did it with two... count 'em... TWO fingers! It makes much more sense in context.Explanation
- Older Than They Think: While we don't know whether anyone flipped the bird in ancient Rome, we do have a record from Suetonius of Emperor Caligula, when a certain custom required the Praetorian Guard centurion Cassius Chaerea to kiss his ring, pulling back all but his middle finger and waggling it obscenely to mock Chaerea's manliness. As Christian author Paul L. Maier notes in his book Pontius Pilate, it was "a gesture which has stood the test of time."
- During the infamous Max Headroom Broadcast Intrusion, the person pirating the signal freaks out (something he does on several occasions during the broadcast) and gives the camera the finger early on, with a prosthetic lengthening his finger to enhance the effect.
- This used to be a common way for celebrities to spoil the shots of bothersome paparazzi, as photos with obscene gestures weren't easily salable. Nowadays, the offending digit just gets photoshopped out. Or left in if the tabloid wants to make them look even worse.
- Martin Freeman is quite fond of this gesture.
- Will Power, after being taken out in a crash after a race was started while it was still way too slippery, flipped both birds at the race director on live TV.