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“It’s Dangerous to go Alone! Take This” is a memorable quote from the 1986 action-adventure Nintendo game The Legend of Zelda. Online, the expression is typically used as a stock caption for image macros in which an animal or an object is offered to the viewer as a kind gesture.
In the beginning of The Legend of Zelda, the player’s character Link acquires his first weapon by entering a cave and speaking to an elderly man, who offers a wooden sword by saying “It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this” (shown below).
On May 17th, 2004, an YTMND page titled “It’s Dangerous to go Alone!” was created, containing a tiled image of the scene from The Legend of Zelda accompanied by a repeating sound effect from the game.
In December 2006, an image macro containing the expression featuring a photograph of a meowing kitten held in the palm of a hand began circulating online with an embedded virus referred to as “Dangerous Kitten” (shown below). The original creator of the image is unknown.
On February 9th, 2007, the Dangerous Kitten image macro was posted on the Internet humor site I Can Has Cheezburger. On May 9th, 2008, DeviantArtist Kevin Bolk uploaded a comic titled “It’s Dangerous to Go Alone,” in which the old man from The Legend of Zelda attempts to give the protagonist Link a red ring (shown below).
On December 15th, 2009, Project After Forums member Viashino_wizard posted several image macros containing the expression, including Dangerous Kitten, a picture of a hamster with a knife taped to his back and a photoshopped image of a man handing a woman a Mudkip from the Pokemon franchise (shown below).
On August 6th, 2010, FunnyJunk user AdmiralDolphin submitted a photograph of a scuba diver holding an inverted shark by the nose accompanied by the Zelda caption (shown below, left). On June 25th, 2011, the video gaming blog Dueling Analogs highlighted a photograph of an IRL troll poster featuring the old man character with removable wooden swords (shown below, right).
On December 21st, 2012, Imgur user BendysnatchCabbagestrudel uploaded several image macros with the “It’s dangerous to go alone caption.” On April 20th, 2013, Redditor s7venDividesZero submitted an animated GIF comic titled “It’s Dangerous to go alone. Take this” to the /r/gifs subreddit, where it received over 11,900 up votes and 340 comments prior to being archived (shown below). As of March 2014, there are over 50 search results for the keywords “It’s dangerous to go alone” on image-hosting website Macrochan.