Talk to the Hand

Older than we thought, apparently.note 

"Talk to the hand, because the face ain't listening!"

Sometimes a person is just done with the discussion or argument. They don't want to hear any more chatter or whining or arguing. So when the other half of the conversation tries to keep going, the first guy cuts them off by thrusting his palm in front of their face as if to stop any more words from being spoken.

The full "proper" way to do this is to turn away while sticking your arm out away from you to show the person you're trying to shut up your palm, coupled with the phrase, "Talk to the hand!" Another variation is to turn around completely and even start walking away with your arms raised and showing the other person the back of your hand. Either way the message you're sending to the other person is essentially, "Talk all you want, I'm not listening." in a rather contemptuous manner.

The gesture itself is quite old; the words were popularized by the 90's sitcom Martin, being used extensively by the titular character.

Not to be confused with Talk to the Fist.


  • In "Angel - Smile Time". Straight and played with at the same time - as the aforementioned hand belongs to a puppet. (Same scene in the TV version.)

  • Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
    Dr. Evil: Talk to the hand, 'cause the face don't wanna hear it anymore.
    The President: What hand? Talk to your hand?
  • Ali G Indahouse
    Ali G: Talk to the hand, 'cos the face ain't listening.
  • In The Beautician and the Beast Joy Miller teaches this to President Puschenko.
  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines - the T-850 tells a male stripper to hand over his clothes. The stripper tells him to "talk to the hand", prompting the Terminator to grab his hand, nearly crush it, and say "Now". Later, he repeats the line in a completely deadpan voice while stealing supplies from a roadside store.
  • Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
    Ellie: Talk to the trunk.
  • In Stuart Little, Stuart's pleas fall on Snowbell's deaf ears, although he is invited to "talk to the butt."

Live-Action TV
  • During the debate over independence in John Adams, Edward Rutledge flippantly dismisses all the angry shouting from the pro-Independence side with the second variation.
  • In an episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun, Nina got sick of working for Dick and quit him, so Dick hired Harry to take her place. When Dick started to boss Harry around, Nina taught him to use this phrase against Dick.
  • The Drew Carey Show
    Steve Carey: Bro, I wanted to tell you something for a long time...I play for the other team.
    Lewis Kiniski: I knew it, he's gay.
    Steve Carey: No, I mean the other softball team. And, if you think I'm gay, well... talk to the hand [sticks out his hand].
    Lewis Kiniski: [to Steve's hand] Oh, hello.
  • Jamie King from The Jamie Foxx Show had his own version where he'd stick his hand in someone's face complete with making the sound of a braking car. Usually in Braxton's face.
  • Horrible Histories' Hitler Youth sketch:
Adolf Hitler: Yes, join the Hitler Youth, and if you're lucky, we'll run so short of men that we'll send you off to fight und get killed for ze fatherland!
German Boy: But I'm only ten.
Hitler: [Gives Nazi salute] Talk to ze hand, 'cause ze face ain't listening.

Video Games

Western Animation
  • Futurama, "Anthology of Interest"
    Dr. Zoidberg: Tell it to the claw.
  • The Simpsons once had a generic sitcom called Talk To The Hand (the theme tune even consisted of "Talk to the hand, the face ain't listening").
  • Parodied in the Phineas and Ferb episode "Dude, We're Getting the Band Back Together!", where Bobbi Fabulous tells the boys to "Talk to the hand!" when they try to convince him to join a Love Handel reunion concert, then takes it literally by making a hand puppet.
    Bobbi Fabulous's Hand: Secretly, I'm very lonely...
    • A CMOF happens when Rodney tries this on Doofenshmirtz, to which Doofenshmirtz proceeds to insult Rodney's hand then walk off.