How About No?

How About No?

Updated Nov 17, 2014 at 06:02PM EST by Brad.

Added Jun 03, 2011 at 01:36AM EDT by Hiroman.

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“How About No?” is a memorable quote associated with Mike Mayers’ character Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers films. Online, it can be found as a hashtag or a retort on image boards when a poster is discussion an opinion he or she disagrees with or is denying a proposition. The phrase is used similarly to Do Not Want.


Though the phrase “How About No?” has been used since as early as 1987[4], it did not gain wider popularity until 1999, when it was used in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.[5] In an exchange between Dr. Evil (played by Mike Myers) and his son, Scott (played by Seth Green) after Scott suggests that his father use his time machine to kill Powers when he does not anticipate it (shown below, left). Dr. Evil uses the phrase again in the 2002 film, Austin Powers in Goldmember[6] after the agent known as Goldmember (also played by Mike Myers) asks Dr. Evil if he could paint Powers’ genitals gold after he captures him (shown below, right).


In the early 2000s, the phrase “How About No?” could be found as a retort in fanfiction dialogues in stories about the Superman television show Lois and Clark[7] and Pokemon’s Team Rocket.[8] At the same time, the phrase began appearing in comments on blogs[9] and message boards[10] (shown below) in attempt to dissuade people from partaking in an activity the poster did not agree with.

“How About No” was defined on Urban Dictionary[20] in 2005. In April 2008, an image macro with the phrase appearing as a caption on a photo of Dr. Evil was added to Threadbombing.[21] Three years later, it was also added to reaction photo repository My Face When.[22] In November 2011, the Facebook fan page “How About NO?”[23] was created, gaining more than 1,500 likes as of June 2013. At least two images titled “How About No” have appeared on the front page of Reddit including a photo of a dog submitted to /r/Funny[24] in May 2012 and a sloth GIF (shown below) submitted to /r/sloths in March 2013. Also that March, The Chive[26] posted a compilation of 25 photos that evoked the sentiment of the phrase. “How About No” is also a popular hashtag on Tumblr[27], Twitter[28] and Instagram[29], where more than 19,000 photos have been tagged #howaboutno.

How About No Bear

As early as 2006, the phrase “How About No” became associated with a photograph of a black bear with both of its paws outstretched. Though it is unclear where it originated, the image macro was first uploaded to Flickr[11] on December 14th, 2006. In April 2007, it was posted on humor site My Confined Space.[12] In 2008, the photo was referenced on Fark[13], used as spraypaint art in the video game Day of Defeat Source[14] and used to make a custom Pokemon card.[15]

The image macro made a comeback in 2012 after appearing on 9gag[16] and We Know Memes.[17] A Quickmeme generator[18] for the bear photo has received more than 1,000 submissions as of June 2013 and multiple How About No Bear photos have been shared on Memebase.[19]

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