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There exists a GIF on the internet so notorious, so vile, so ubiquitous that it's known simply as "THE GIF." No description or even adjectives necessary - if anyone mentions THE GIF, everyone else knows precisely which one they mean...

...it's the Hulk/Black Widow GIF. The one where Hulk smiles and Black Widow looks terrified and then...something else happens. You know the one.

We won't link to it here, because - hey - I have bosses that probably wouldn't want to see that particular GIF hosted on our servers at all, let alone appearing in full on our website. But I'll help you out, if you just need to scratch that curious itch - just google "hulk black widow gif", and you'll find it almost immediately. Go ahead, go do that. Maybe open it in an incognito browser...and make sure no one's looking at your screen.

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Done? Okay, we can continue - it's definitely not THE WORST GIF on the internet. Lord knows I've seen more horrific, upsetting things (hell, even talking to the ClicksOnLinks guy made me feel queasy, hearing about some of the things he's been exposed to). It IS still pretty bad though - mashing up Hulk's excited face when told by Captain America to "smash", combined with Widow's horrified expression (in the film, at the sight of the invading Chitauri hordes and their big ol' space snakes), followed by a scene from a porno has a clear implication - Hulk is straight-up raping Black Widow. That's a pretty fucked up joke, but (unlike some GENUINELY horrifying GIFs I've seen) at least it's all just editing for the purposes of humor on some level (Hulk misunderstands Cap's "Smash" as an order to have sex - it's crass but I get it).

It originated - as these things tend to do - on 4chan and Reddit (although - also with things of these nature - it's a little difficult to actually pin down who created it and how it spread), and from there it spread.

So what's so bad about this one particular GIF, that earned it such infamy throughout the internet? It's been forbidden entirely on Imgur, one of the more popular spots where it would pop up frequently, and posting it is likely to get your account banned. While it clearly is against the Imgur terms of service, so is...most stuff on Imgur. The real crime that the Hulk/Black Widow GIF committed was how frequently it was used. Off the top of my head, I don't think I could think of a single GIF built around brutal rape porn that is so prevalent that it's a meme - except for this. For whatever reason - likely some combination of "they're fake characters!" / "Well, Widow and Hulk are sorta a couple in the MCU..." / "It's so unexpected that I didn't really bother interrogating what it was implying" is what makes people justify it...but it's IMPOSSIBLY PAINFUL-SEEMING RAPE, and Imgur is right to ban it.

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via LooseVALVe

In the wake of the ban of the GIF (which many users had utilized like they would pretty much any meme), many on Imgur (and elsewhere) have attempted to use THE GIF anyways, and it's turned into a game of both "witnessing" it (think Mad Max: Fury Road) and seeing how long it takes for THE GIF to be pulled down:

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And since most users don't really want to get banned but DO want to reference the meme, many got desperate - which has led to a rare occurrence in internet meme circles: the cropping up of an artisanal market for SFW meme parodies. Most memes don't really warrant parodies of them - the memes themselves are meant to be funny, and different "takes" on memes aren't really parodies, just new iterations of the original meme. But these are different - they're meant to toy with your expectations of the GIF, make fun of its reputation, and wink at the audience about what everyone's thinking but not saying.



via kittypoopappledrink



via TheShitpostKid



via JovenImpostor



via ohmygodicanchangemyname



via ireposteverything

via karmakazie

It's kind of a weird way of getting around posting Marvel rape memes - post things ALMOST LIKE THEM except for some small enough alterations (in most cases) that lets everyone just IMAGINE the NSFW element...or toys with it more explicitly.

This GIF is safe for work...I swear:

via TheThingsTheyCarried



So, there you have it - the most infamous, worst GIF on the entire internet. Can we all just go back to posting Spongebob memes?

via The1WritingThisUserName