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Talk to the Hand

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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 '90s sitcom Martin, being used extensively by the titular character.

Not to be confused with Talk to the Fist, which is a significantly more violent way to achieve the same purpose. See also Film the Hand.


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  • In the 1950's and 60's Australian meat company Hutton's Hams would use the tagline “Don’t argue – Hutton’s is best” with their adverts showing a smiling man Hand Gagging another man who was presumably disputing the matter.

    Comic Books 
  • 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.)

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • In Turning Red, Mei has a sticker on her flute case of a hand with this written on it.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me: Dr. Evil does this, much to the U.S. President of 1969's confusion, as Dr. Evil's using 90's-era pop culture lines... in 1969.
    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.
  • In 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 to a cashier while stealing supplies from a roadside store.
  • Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs:
    Ellie: Talk to the trunk.
  • Our Man Flint. Despite being The Only One who can Save the World from Galaxy's Weather-Control Machine, Derek Flint responds this way the moment a Z.O.W.I.E. officer comes to recruit him. A higher-ranking officer is fetched only to get the same response, forcing the commander of Z.O.W.I.E. to come to Flint's apartment and ask personally.
  • 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.
  • Smallville: In the episode "Crossfire", Chloe attempts to hack into Tess Mercer's computer files, only to deal with someone trying hack into into her own systems. At one point the other hacker sends a video of himself taunting Chloe, holding up his hand to the camera and saying, "Talk to the hand!" Chloe answers, "Hello, hand," and identifies the hacker by analyzing his fingerprints.
  • Batwoman (2019). In "How Queer Everything Is Today", a handsome male police officer tries to give Kate Kane a Smooch of Victory after her Diving Save leads to a Suggestive Collision. Given that she's gay, Kate blocks his lips with her hand and says, "Not...happening."

    Music Videos 

    Video Games 
  • Near the end of Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 1: Launch of the Screaming Narwhal, Guybrush says this to De Singe after foiling his plans to control the winds of Flotsam:
    Guybrush: Talk to the hand, sicko, 'cause the pirate ain't listenin'!
  • In Persona 5, the protagonist brings his right palm up to the camera whenever the game is paused. Text in the top right of the screen reads "Don't look at me like that".
  • In Mario Strikers Charged, one of Peach's animations that plays if the opposing team scores too much is throwing a tantrum at one of her teammates. While most of them cower in fear, Birdo does the talk to the hand gesture before walking away.

  • Freefall: Strip 2316: The first panel:
    I'm using a palm mic so talk to the hand.
  • In Skin Horse, when Sweetheart insists Unity has to resist her zombie lurching instinct, Unity replies "Talk to the hand!" by which, of course she means that Brian the disembodied zombie hand finds it harder to resist the lurch than she does.

    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").
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • Parodied in the 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...
    • In "Nerdy Dancing", "Rodney" von Roddenstein tries this on Doofenshmirtz; Doof's reaction is to insult Rodney's hand and walk off.
      Rodney: See this? It's my hand; you can talk to it.
      Doofenshmirtz: Alright. Hey, hand! (sing-song) My evil dancing's better than yours! It's like you're stuck in a canoe, but you've got no oar. See you on the dance floor!
      Rodney: No one talks to my hand that way!


Video Example(s):


Talk to the Paw

Dylan ignores Dante and Portia's warning to leave Cerberus's remains be.

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