Follow TV Tropes


Flipping the Bird

Go To
He may be on fire, but YOU just got burned.
"FBI! Put your hands in the air! No, not one finger — your hands!"
Agent Sulky, 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 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". Alternatively, it can be further emphasized by simultaneously slapping the other hand into the bicep, against the elbow joint.

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-finger salute", where the index finger is also raised, otherwise known as "making a V-Sign". Distinguished from the (inoffensive) "victory"/"peace" 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. Sometimes the story ends with them shouting "Pluck Yew!" as they did so, denoting what they could still do to their bows. Supposedly this became the familiar expletive now implied by the gesture.note 

A variety of other gestures are considered obscene in various cultures around the world. Notable gestures include "the fig",note  which is vulgar in France, Greece, and some Near East countries, the bras d'honneur or "arm of honor", note  which is generally obscene where flipping the bird would be, and the "okay" gesture,note  which is offensive in Turkey, Spain, and some South American countries.

Even in cartoons where characters have Four-Fingered Hands, it's still possible to flip the bird by singularly elevating the finger between the index and pinky fingers, which is still censored on local and regular cable television. In addition, the gesture will never be referred to by its actual name nor explictly described, often subject to the Narrative Profanity Filter; when implied to occur, it will be referred to as a non-descript "rude gesture".

Example subpages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

  • In an ad for Wild Turkey Kentucky Bourbon, a group of guys is 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."


    Comic Books 
  • Animal Man:
    • Buddy Baker, of all people, flips off a turkey at the end of his story in Vertigo Jam. The context is that he had a conversation with the turkey and was not amused by the turkey's sentiment that Humans Are Bastards and dismissing Buddy's vegetarianism as doing nothing to change that.
    • A random background character flips off Buddy and his kids in issue 57.
    • Issue 58 has a driver give Ellen Baker the finger while calling her a "tight-ass bitch".
    • The Vertigo run's 1993 annual (a tie-in to The Children's Crusade (Vertigo)) has Buddy's son Cliff flip off the police with both hands.
    • In issue 64, Cliff Baker gives his middle finger to the school principal as he and Maxine are pulled out of school by their mother.
  • The 14th issue of Batman: Gotham Adventures has Harley Quinn use the Bat-Signal to make shadow puppets to get the attention of the Bat-family. At one point, it's implied she's flipping the bird.
    Robin: Whoops!
    Batgirl: That hand gesture's not hard to figure out. Only one finger.
  • The Boys:
    • The cover to the 26th issue shows the members of the G-Men giving each other the finger.
    • The 37th issue has Frenchie flip off his girlfriend Marie for leaving him for another man in his account of his origins.
    • The 38th issue features two Japanese scientists flipping the bird to their boss in the recounting of The Female's origins.
    • The 56th issue has A-Train and Jack from Jupiter flip off the Homelander behind his back.
  • Doom Patrol:
    • Crazy Jane flips off The Fog in issue 28 of volume 2.
    • In volume 2, issue 61, Willoughby Kipling gives the finger to the Candlemaker.
    • Coagula gives Niles Caulder the finger in volume 2, issue 71.
    • Lucius Reynolds gets flipped off in volume 6, issue 8.
  • Green Lantern: Rebirth: Guy Gardner flips off Mr. Terrific and Martian Manhunter as his Power Ring flies to him and lands on his middle finger. Word of God confirms it was intentional, as they were surprised that the panel got approved.
  • In Gold Digger, the universe's equivalent of Lara Croft accidentally unleashes a Sealed Evil in a Can, also getting the creature's mind in her head. To take it out, she gets down to its body, then gets it to look at her, thus forcing it to see itself through her eyes, and turning them both to stone. So she decides the last thing either of them will see is her flipping it off.
  • Hellblazer:
    • John Constantine (who used to be pictured above) gives the finger to the First of the Fallen in the 45th issue during Garth Ennis' run. However, many issues later, the First managed to give the finger back at John.
    • The 80th issue has a protestor give the bird to a cop and get killed for it.
    • In issue 83, John's friend George Ridley flips John off for calling him the N-word while insisting that George not call him "whitey".
    • Near the end of the "Another Season in Hell" arc in Peter Milligan's run, John defiantly gives the two-finger salute to the First of the Fallen.
  • Hitman (1993): The second issue has Tommy give Pat the finger off-panel in response to the latter asking to be his kid sidekick.
  • The Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special: The content disclaimer mentions that the story features "the finger", which turns out to be the comic ending with Lobo and Dawg flipping the reader off.
  • Lula from the German comic Lula und Yankee does that at least once.
  • Hannah of Rat Queens uses these frequently on exits.
  • Izabel throws one in Saga after one of her illusions frightens off some cultists.
  • Electrocutioner does this to Blockbuster in Nightwing (Infinite Frontier) after Batgirl and Batwoman reveal that Blockbuster was behind the Hellhole Prison Electrocutioner was stuck in for two years, Brutale driving Electrocutioner away as he shouts a colorful choice of insults, all covered with a parody of the Comics Code Authority logo.
  • A cover of Scarlet showed Scarlet flipping the bird to the viewer with both hands. It was also published in a "censored" variant which had an identical image but with brown paper bags covering her hands.
  • Static:
    • The first issue has Freida Goren flip off Hotstreak.
    • In issue 26, Static gives the finger to Bad Betty, Tarmac and Pyre (Holocaust forced to use a different codename after the events of My Name is Holocaust).
  • Thin Blue Line: Near the start of the comic, at the gazebo where Mayor Myron Mulch is due to give his speech to the anti-cop protestors, a woman up there is shouting about free health care and illegal humans not existing. She's approached by a delegate of the mayor who calls her "Mizz Amherst-Kraby", which offends the woman ("Did you just call me Mizz?"). The delegate tries to apologize for using the wrong pronouns, only for Mizz Amherst-Kraby to stick up her middle finger at her and shout "Fuck off!" as she walks off the platform.

    Comic Strips 
  • In one of Big Nate's "The Snuggles Family" comic strips, the family goes on a road trip and the kids in the family wave to truck drivers. Punkin wonders why one driver is waving with only one finger.
  • As Dilbert author Scott Adams has noted, you can get away with a lot of things in comics if you do them off-panel, 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!
  • Garfield:
    • Mentioned but not shown in the March 30, 2002 strip:
      Jon: Garfield! Get your paw out of the cookie jar! (Jon then looks surprised) Who taught you that gesture?!
      Garfield:: (off-panel) You, in the car, when you drive.
    • In the March 27, 1995 strip, when Jon and Garfield go on a vacation on Guano-Guano island:
      Jon: Look a native! Aloha, dude!
      Native: (off-panel) Aloha this!
      Jon: Uh, must be an obscure Guano-Guano greeting.
      Garfield: No, I think that's pretty universal.
  • In Get Fuzzy, one storyline had an Antiques Roadshow-esque curator mistake Bucky's teddy bear, Smacky, for a rare Steiff teddy bear. When another curator later tells Bucky that Smacky is virtually worthless (on live TV), Bucky angrily responds "How about a birdie? I got a little birdie for you." as his paw is blurred. In the next strip, Rob's friend Joe wonders out loud how a cat with Four-Fingered Hands was able to give the Finger.
  • Pearls Before Swine:
    • In the strip for November 26, 2006, Pig tries doing Rat's variation on the peace sign, but Rat doesn't want Pig copying him and limits him to one finger, which results in Pig getting pummeled for unintentionally flipping off a large man.
    • In this strip, Stephan's ex-wife isn't telling him he's number 1.
  • Implied in this Sherman's Lagoon comic in which Megan makes a recipe for finger sandwiches from Martha Stewart's new cookbook. Sherman asks, "Are they supposed to be gesturing like that?"
  • Zits:
    • When Jeremy gets a cut on his middle finger, the nurse advises him to keep it elevated; she changes her mind when she starts hearing students proclaiming "Same to you, Duncan!" in the hallway.
    • Jeremy decides to point out that Zuma (a member of the Posse) says all her sentences like questions. When Zuma gets offended, Jeremy claims he was just making an observation, causing Zuma (off-panel) to respond "Why don't you just observe this?"
    • One strip has Jeremy's mom, Connie, offer to take a picture to celebrate another first day of school. And then...
      Connie: And now, one without the finger.
    • Another strip has Jeremy and Pierce meet someone from the robotics club. The club member tells them that his robot, which has a five-fingered hand, can toss frisbees and play the drums. Pierce was not amused by the latter, so he asks to bend all the fingers except the middle one.

    Films — Animation 
  • Batman:
    • Batman: Assault on Arkham. Killer Frost and the Riddler are cornered by the Special Crimes Unit, who commands the two to return to their cells. After a pause, Killer Frost flips them the bird, causing them to open fire on the two.
    • Batman vs. Two-Face has a scene where Robin is implied to flip off Batman while under the effects of the Evil Extract Formula and transformed into a Two-Faced being like Two-Face. We don't see the gesture because Batman's body obscures Robin's hand from view, but the raising of his arm and what he says when he makes the gesture gives a good hint.
      Robin: I got your antidote right here!
  • In the movie-game tie in Dead Space: Downfall Alissa gives an interesting salute to the Captain after ordering to not help to the colonists.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In the "Harry Canyon" segment from Heavy Metal, Harry at one point flips off some prostitutes at the police station.
  • Injustice (2021). Plastic Man is trying to break Mr. Terrific out of prison when Cyborg appears on a wallscreen and says there's no way he can break into the cell. Plastic Man turns to flip the surveillance camera the bird, showing he's morphed his hand into a skeleton key.
  • Fritz the Cat does this in The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat by flipping off a telephone after the operator hangs up on him. Much like Homer Simpson, he only has four fingers.
  • 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. This wasn't digitized on the FX airings of the movie.
  • In Superman Unbound, Lois Lane gives Brainiac both birds as he leans over to look into the bottle containing Metropolis. Even at a fraction of an inch, high Lois isn't intimidated by anyone. He pauses in his Evil Gloating long enough to give her a Fascinating Eyebrow before turning away.


  • 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.
  • During a 1969 concert at San Quentin, Johnny Cash was asked to take a picture for the warden and flipped off the camera. The picture gained notoriety in 1998 when, after Cash's album Unchained won the Best Country Album Grammy despite little love from the country mainstream, producer Rick Rubin ran a full-page ad in Billboard with the picture and the caption, "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 Charlie Browns of the world do this to Lucy when she pulls the football away.
  • Eminem uses this as part of his image and theming. He's frequently seen flipping the bird in photoshoots as a substitute for throwing gang signs (which was popular at the time he was coming up, but that doesn't suit his background), flips off his audience at concerts as a greeting, sells merchandise with a flipping off hand graphic on it, and tweets 🖕 emojis. He has a distinctive way of flipping people off in which his thumb remains untucked, which possibly came about due to his hypermobile joints, but he taught Brittany Murphy how to flip people off for a scene in 8 Mile and as a result she does it in his style.
    • "Role Model":
      My middle finger won't come down, how do I wave?
    • "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...
  • Elton John's "Made in England":
    You had a scent for scandal, well here's my middle finger
  • In a World War II propaganda musical short, Spike Jones and His City Slickers sing "Der Fuhrer's Face": "Ve Heil! Heil! Right in Der Fuehrer's Face." The heil gestures are accompanied by the middle finger. The palm was facing outwards, 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.
  • Kurt Cobain does this in a photograph in the packaging of Nirvana's Nevermind.
  • 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.
  • In a routine by The Capitol Steps routine, there's an announcement that henceforth, "The New York State Bird will no longer be a hand gesture."
  • Blake Shelton mentions getting the finger from an angry driver in "Some Beach".
  • Shellac, "The Bird is the Most Popular Finger" (1994).
  • Rihanna's "Rockstar 101":
    "Got my middle finger flying, I don't really give a fuck."
  • Kacey Musgraves, "The Trailer Song":
    You say that you're watching the birds out the window
    Well, I got a bird you can watch
  • The Bloodhound Gang song "I Hope You Die" has the singer hoping that the character they're addressing goes to jail for (accidental) vehicular homicide caused by the person flipping a guy off and the guy retaliating by cutting them off on the road. This is given a callback later when the singer describes the person being subjected to uncomfortable and obscene acts by his cellmate and states that the prison guard chooses to do nothing because they were the guy the person gave the bird earlier.
  • Peter Gabriel: The single cover for "Road to Joy" depicts a cavalcade of arms and hands flipping each other off.

    Music Videos 
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic:
    • In the video "White & Nerdy" the black gangstas he wishes to hang out with giving 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).
  • Ed Robertson gives a blurred one following a thumbs-up to some customers in Barenaked Ladies' "Pinch Me".
  • An uncensored one was visible from Joan Jett for a split second in "I Love Rock 'n Roll".
    • She does this twice in the "Bad Reputation" video.
  • One of the teens in Smashing Pumpkins' "1979" throws a couple from atop a hill near the beginning.
  • Mentioned in "Piece of Me" by Britney Spears (and shown in the video).
  • In the music video of "California Gurls" a gummy bear of all things gives Katy Perry the finger though censored with pixellation.
  • "The Clash" by Backyard Babies has an amusing video trick: the finger ends in the guitarist.

  • The Bugle has a regular feature where listeners' Great Bird-Flipping Stories are readout.
  • In episode 11 of Pokémon World Tour: United, between losing her Gym Battle with Kent, arguing with Roxy over her assumptions of her and Cobalt's relationship, and a sheer barrage of rock-based Puns, Rose is in a foul mood. So, it's no surprise when she eventually flips off the cameras broadcasting Cobalt's battle with Kent out of annoyance. What is surprising is when Scramble, her Togepi, sees the gesture, looks at the little flippers it has instead of hands, and cheerfully tries to imitate it. Kent remarks that, while he does not condone that act, it was pretty adorable.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Taking Madusa by the hair, Sherri Martel flipped off the crowd before delivering a fatal knee shot. This was late in her AWA reign.
  • Its 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.
  • "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's "Stone Cold Salute" in the WWE. As famous as any other gesture (Diamond Dallas Page's "BANG!", the New World Order's "4 life", the Wolfpac symbol, "Suck it!", etc.), Austin literally gets over with the audience by telling them to screw themselves on live television (and they happily do it back to him in support).
  • 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.
    • He did the same thing after losing to Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 19.
  • Antonio Banks's catchphrase was "Read Between The Lines!", which he usually said while holding up three fingers.
  • Mr. America flipped off Vince McMahon in the middle of their arm-wrestling match.
  • During their 2003 Iron Man Match, Brock Lesnar tried to call for a time out, only for Kurt Angle to give him the double bird and keep attacking him.
  • At SummerSlam 2004, a man in the audience flipped off The Undertaker during his entrance.
  • Upon elimination from the 2004 WWE Diva Search, Maria gave the finger to Carmella.
  • At Judgement Day 2005, JBL flipped off John Cena. Following his victory over Matt Hardy at Armageddon 2005, JBL flipped off the referee and the audience.
  • Ric Flair flipped off Triple H at Survivor Series 2005.
  • After revealing she had Aja Kong in her corner at ZERO1 Celebration Return in Zeros, Amazing Kong gave Team SUN the double bird.
  • At the 2007 Turning Point James Storm put perennial baby face Eric Young in a Fujiwara armbar and then forced Young to flip off his own fans.
  • At Victory Road 2008, Samoa Joe flipped off Sting.
  • At Money in the Bank 2011, after CM Punk left through the crowd with the WWE Championship, a fan flips off Vince McMahon.
  • Since mid-2012, Christopher Daniels has adopted the tendency to tape his fingers in black and show the handoff to the crowd, but not his thumb and middle fingers.
  • At Summerslam 2012, Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit fame was in the audience. When the camera focused on him, he gave the Finger. Durst was ejected by arena security.
  • Randy Orton flipped off Seth Rollins after turning on him in March 2015.
  • At Summerslam 2015, Brock Lesnar flipped off The Undertaker right before he passed out from Undertaker's hold.
  • During Progress Wrestling Chapter Twenty-Four: Hit The North!, El Ligero threw his cape at co-owner Jon Briley during The Origin’s entrance. Jon responded by silently flipping him off.
    • Whenever Paul Robinson enters, the majority of the crowd will do this.
    • Jimmy Havoc did this a lot as well.
  • At SHIMMER Volume 80, Cheerleader Melissa smiled and waved to the crowd while holding Candice LeRae in a kondo clutch, so more eyes would be looking when she flipped them off. Being more "family friendly" than most of the other shows running in Dallas that weekend, it was met with gasps and admonitions of "that's not nice".
  • At the 2016 Aftershock Kenny King ducked under the ropes to high five all his "fans" after knocking over Will Ferrara, but aside from those he had hired, he pulled away just within arm's reach to give them something else.
    Matt Taven: I'm pretty sure he told that kid in the front row he's number one twice.
  • At Bound For Glory 2018, after Austin Aries lost his match, he walked to the back flipping off and insulting everybody. This was not in the script and everybody was shocked, especially his opponent Johnny Impact, who mouthed, "Are you kidding me?" The only reason why Aries was able to get away with this was that this was his last match before his contract expired, meaning he didn't have to worry about being fired.
  • At Death Before Dishonor XIV, Adam Cole gave Jay Lethal the double bird.
  • On the April 8, 2019 edition of Raw, Elias cut a promo to John Cena during his concert and conversed this trope to the Doctor of Thuganomics.
    Elias: I'm sitting here holding up three fingers, John. The middle one is for you.
  • Starting in June 2019, Samoa Joe ambushed and attacked Kofi Kingston several times in order to set up a title match between them at Extreme Rules 2019. At one point, Joe promised to leave Kofi alone until the title match if Kofi would shake his hand. Instead, Kofi flipped him the bird and then knocked him out.
  • This is more of a blink-and-miss, but at WrestleMania 35, Becky Lynch double flipped the bird to both Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey during the Winner Takes All Triple Threat Match for both Raw and SmackDown Women's Championships.
  • Brock Lesnar double flipped the bird to Cody Rhodes after an unprovoked brutal attack in what was supposed to be the main event of the post-WrestleMania 39 Raw that turned the Beast heel.

  • In the John Finnemore's Double Acts episode "The Goliath Window", Mark the sailor, explaining how he always knows what his phantom limb is doing to Luke the parson, tells him that "it is now making a signal most inappropriate for a parson's parlour". A clearly irritated Luke simply responds "Really? Is it this one, or this one?"

  • Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues:
    • Zia gives a salty middle finger to Simon's back as he staunchly keeps to himself and refuses to join her group.
    • Fellow punk Nadine gives one of her proudest middle fingers to Finn after one of his usual bouts of jerkassery.

  • This photo of pitcher Old Hoss Radbourn and the rest of the 1886 Boston Braves is believed to be the oldest recorded instance of someone flipping off a camera. (Back row all the way to the left, here's a zoom-in.)
  • 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 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). Busch should consider himself lucky, in just about any other sport giving the finger to an official would result in an immediate ejection/disqualification and likely suspension.
  • 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.
    • Kimi Raikkonen is no slouch either. He gives one to Lewis Hamilton during the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix upon passing by him as Hamilton goes off track. And at the same Grand Prix two years later, he flips off Nikita Mazepin, who just happens to be in Kimi's way.
    • The first time Nikita Mazepin was on the receiving end of a middle finger from an F1 driver was during Free Practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix courtesy of Lance Stroll. Stroll would raise his middle finger seconds after passing through the Russian driver, followed by his remark on the radio: "Fucking Mazepin has no idea what he's doing!"
  • During a 1992 race in the British Touring Car Championship, 2nd placed John Cleland let leader Steve Soper know exactly what he thought of him, right as the feed cut to his on-board camera. How did the BBC deal with this? Murray Walker, it's over to you!.
  • 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 IndyCar, 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.
  • When LeBron James played his first game back in Cleveland after signing with the Miami Heat in 2010 several newspapers ran an AP photo of James doing his old pre-game chalk toss routine.note  In the background of the photo were three Cavaliers fans in the audience giving LeBron the one finger salute.
  • Johnny Manziel flipped off the Redskins' bench during a pre-season game in his rookie year.
  • Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy once flipped the bird at a linesman after a blown call.
  • German midfielder Stefan Effenberg showed his middle finger to jeering fans while being subbed off in the 1994 FIFA World Cup. He was then banned from the German National team for life.
  • During their 2018 college football rivalry game, a Harvard running back gave the bird to a Yale defenseman as he scored a touchdown. The touchdown was retracted as the result of an ensuing unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
  • After knocking out James Vick in the first round of their UFC fight in 2018, an irate Justin Gaethje gave him a double deuce. After the incredibly personal build up to their fight, including Vick making fun of his recent losses, Gaethje had a couple of statements to make after beating him very decisively.
  • In the 2022 FIFA World Cup, when goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez was booed by French fans, he used his own Golden Glove award he had just received, held it near the crotch, in the view of FIFA and Qatari officials no less, and thus we got an interesting variation of the finger. It must be seen to be believed.

    Tabletop Games 
  • 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.
  • The page image for Psionics: The Next Stage in Human Evolution (which is also the book's back cover image) depicts a pyrokinetic flipping the bird while blowing up a car.
    • A captured esper flips double birds at a Shop agent in one of the book's short stories.
    • The singer of Tomorrow's Starlight is depicted flipping off a crowd with both hands.
    • One character gets flipped off by his dead friend.
  • Realms of Arcania has a stealth version, at least in the German original. There is an Assassins Guild called the Fellowship of Tsa's Second Finger . People easily disregard the fact, that when you talk of fingers, the thumb doesn't necessarily count.

  • In productions of the musical Spring Awakening, the final poses of "Totally Fucked" usually involve several characters flipping the bird.
  • In some production of The Rocky Horror Show, Riff Raff does this to Frank when Frank isn't looking. In the Geekenders version he turns a salute into this gesture; in the 90s version with Edward Tudor Pole as Riff Raff and Anthony Stewart Head as Frank, he does it after Frank faints.

    Visual Novels 
  • 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.
  • Case 03: True Cannibal Boy: The Hillpolly Library reveals that the middle finger gesture can stop the evil eye ability. In the final battle with the Cannibal Boy of Mt. Candyhouse, this proves to be more effective than Marty's low-quality Nazar.

    Web Animation 
  • In Arenas, Doom flips the bird to his superior in "Chosen By The Vadrigar".
  • Battle for Dream Island: In BFDI 1a, Pin tells Leafy that only one person can win the island. She holds up a finger for extra emphasis on the "one," but it wasn't the finger you would expect.
    Pin: Only one of us can win.
    Leafy: Um, Pin, wrong finger.
    Pin: Woops, heheh...
  • In the DEATH BATTLE! between Goku Black and Reverse Flash, Thawne flips off Goku Black after having just destroyed Black's Time Ring, sealing the body-snatching god's fate. He then phases out of that timeline while one of his alternate selves proceeds to finish Black off.
  • Etra chan saw it!:
    • Akane gives the middle finger to Akamatsu during an argument over the latter making bonfires.
    • Yuzuriha gives Akamatsu the middle finger for cheating on her with two different women and his obsession with young girls.
  • Homestar Runner: This is a bit of a Running Gag on the website, only done by characters without fingers. This is best showcased in the Strong Bad Email "the bird". Strong Bad is fond of giving people the two-handed "double deuce"... despite having boxing gloves for hands. Pom Pom likes the "single deuce". And then Homestar Runner manages to flip Strong Bad the bird without any arms. Unknowingly, at that!
  • In one episode of If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device the Emperor shapes the Astronomicon, the massive psychic beacon powered by the daily sacrifice of a thousand screaming psychic children that guides every ship of the Imperium, to flip the bird.
  • Lobo (Webseries):
    • Darlene Spritzer does this to Lobo as she dumps him and takes his bike.
    • Lobo does this to Whutzat after his arm was cut off.
  • B-14 does this to Little Prolie in Lucky Day Forever
  • McBusters: The third short does a unique take on a send-up to a hypothetical Ghostbusters 3 logo by having the burger-headed ghost behind the prohibited symbol simply raise his middle finger near the hand he's making a peace sign with.
  • Mokey's Show: In the Halloween Episode, Mokey does this to Mommy when she tells him and his friends that they're too old to go trick-or-treating.
    Mokey: Mommy? I think you are blind.
    Mommy: BLIND?! I am not blind Mokey!
    Mokey: Yes you are, Mommy. You can't see.
    Mommy: SEE?!?! SEE WHAT MOKEY?!
    Mokey: (flipping the bird) THIS, BETCH!!!
  • In a parody of the PBS P-Pals logo, the P-Pals' evil counterparts flip off the viewers while singing, "This is NOT PBS!"
  • Porkchop 'n Flatscreen!: Pops up as early as the first episode, where in response to having her shurikens taken away, Ninja Girl Mai (not to be confused with that Mai... or that one) flips the bird at her best friend Ayane (also not to be confused with another kuniochi named Ayane).
  • 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.
  • In the season finale of Red vs. Blue: Singularity, Genkins does a double one as he jumps into black hole - with added Evil Laugh! (it's blurred in the Youtube release, reportedly at Three Four Three Studios' request)
  • Turnabout Storm: Gilda delivers some of these in her furious final rant towards Phoenix, effectively turning the courtroom's mood on its head. Considering she's a part eagle, there's a good chance there's a pun in there somewhere.

    Web Original 
  • Fuck You and Your H2 is a site dedicated entirely to pictures of people flipping off Hummer H2 drivers.
  • SCP Foundation:
    • SCP-1884-B, the apparent twin sister of a mild-mannered woman with no hands, is a mass of hands with attitude.
      Dr. Selman: How would you describe your captivity in the Circus Of The Disquieting?
      SCP-1884-B: (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 counterfeit 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.
  • Implicitly denied in Things Mr. Welch Is No Longer Allowed to Do in an RPG:
    862. Bigby's Offensive Finger is not a real spell.
  • An "artist's rendering" of a proposed replacement for the World Trade Center began circulating shortly after the events of 9/11/01.
  • "VMS Version 3," a parody of DEC service bulletins which began circulating on Usenet around 1983, repeatedly directs anyone complaining about the VMS operating system's features or lack thereof to "see figure 1," with Figure 1 being ASCII Art of a raised middle finger.
  • Whateley Universe:
    • Merry 5: The More, the Merrier (Part A):
      The sound of a small motor made me aware of a video camera in the room as I sat and took care of some overdue business. I scrunched down, and watched the camera watch me. Not wanting to miss my chance at giving the giving the wrong impression I flipped the camera the bird. Then I said, "fucking perverts."
      I did get a slight giggle when the camera abruptly pointed to the opposite corner. Though I can’t say for certain, I was fairly sure the motor was not that fast.note 
    • A Little R&R (Part 1):
      "Because you’re so much older than me," I teased with a grin. "Oh wait... You barely look like you’re out of diapers..."
      "Bite me, kid," Alyss responded as she flipped me the bird, which made everyone start to laugh.
  • Gary: Landlord of the Flies: This post briefly mentions Gary flipping off Gabe and his friend Mat when they come by to retrieve some of Gabe's belongings.

    Web Videos 
  • YouTube personality AlphaOmegaSin is known to do this during his rants about things that really annoy him, sometimes combined with a Cluster F-Bomb. He also has a tiny 8-bit graphic image of himself holding up two middle fingers that appears in one of his intros.
  • Pat the NES Punk has a thumbnail of Angry Joe holding up two middle fingers, both censored out with Nintendo logos, for his commentary about one of Angry Joe's rants about Nintendo blocking one of his gameplay videos.
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd does this constantly. This extends to his more mundane actions, such as loading in an NES cartridge... with his middle finger, specifically.
  • Japanese-British virtual vlogger Ami Yamato digitally inserts herself into the torture chair scene in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and gives Kylo Ren the British two-fingered variant, complete with a cheeky raspberry, when he tries to bully her into giving up her turn in the "massage chair".
  • During Atop the Fourth Wall's Marville #5 review, the issue takes a potshot at scientists. Cut to Dr. Linksano doing this trope to the screen (and, presumably, the comic). Later, when the issue outright calls anthropologists people without jobs, Linkara invites the audience to do the same to the comic.
  • 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.
    • Jack the Ripper performs the British variant at the end of his second verse.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged exploited the scene where Vegeta flips off one of Frieza's men, to no one's surprise
    ''Look at your men, now back to me, now look back at your men, BACK to me. I am not your man. I am flipping you off.
    • In Episode 60 this is how Trunks and Vegeta say goodbye to each other. Never did a bird flip come across as so heartwarming.
  • Joueur du Grenier: Grenier's conclusion of his test for X-Perts is to give the finger to the makers of the game. And then, in a scene reminiscent of the early days of this web video series, he destroys the game cartridge by firing an energy beam from his raised middle finger.
  • The Strange Salute for the Republic of Kickassia.
  • Markiplier and his "Double Finger Defense" from his Amnesia: The Dark Descent playthrough.
  • In the Nintoaster Instructional Video, Richard Daluz, playing himself, flips off the narrator after putting on a makeshift anti-static wrist strap.
  • The Nostalgia Critic: The thumbnail for the review of Godzilla (1998) shows the Critic standing next to a giant footprint and flipping the bird upward.
  • Philosophy Tube: In "Data", when the Patron demands that Ellis follow the nightclub's legally-required procedure to provide a copy of any data they hold on them, Ellis responds with one of these.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, when Joey notices Kaiba doing a Lying Finger Cross, he changes it to this.

Alternative Title(s): Flip The Bird


The "I Hate You" Hand

Remember kids: don't use the "I hate you" hand if you value your pigs.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / FlippingTheBird

Media sources: