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Batman Slapping Robin, also known as “My Parents Are Dead,” is an exploitable image of the DC Comics superhero Batman slapping his protégé Robin in mid-conversation. Taken from a comic book published in 1965, the single-panel illustration has inspired a series of parodies featuring custom-captioned speech bubbles on 4chan, Reddit and elsewhere.
According to the Comics Should Be Good Archive, the panel originated from the 1965 comic book “World’s Finest #153.” The story is based around an alternate reality in which Batman believes that Superboy and Superman are responsible for the death of his father.
Batman: Don’t tell me I’m wrong, you brat. Proving Superman’s guilt is my whole mission in life!
Robin: Ow! Batman, your grief has obsessed you with this idea of vengeance. I beg you…give it up!
The earliest known parody of the panel was submitted to the image-sharing website SFWChan on June 10th, 2008, in which the speech bubble text is changed to have Robin ask Batman what his parents got him for Christmas (shown below), to which Batman responds with a slap while yelling “my parents are dead!!” (shown below)
Robin: “Hey Batman, what are your parents getting you for Christ-”
Batman: “My parents are deeaaaaaaad!!!”
On June 16th, 2008, Tumblr user w8in reblogged the SFWChan image. On September 3rd, Ebaumsworld user DatelineNBC uploaded the same image, which received over 107,000 views, 490 comments and 40 favorites within the next five years. On November 22nd, 2009, the Batman Comic Macro Generator website was launched, which allowed users to customized the speech bubbles in the comic panel (shown below).
On February 6th, 2010, the “Batman Slaps Robin Comic” Facebook page was created, which highlighted notable examples of the parody meme and urged subscribers to submit their own creations. On November 1st, 2011, IGN Forumsmember LPH_2007 submitted a thread titled “ITT: Photoshop Batman Slapping Robin,” which provided a blank template for others to create their own Batman slap comics. On February 17th, 2012, YouTuber TheSeanWardShow uploaded a video of a man dressed in a Batman suit yelling “my parents are dead!” at pedestrians in Toronto, Canada (shown below at 3:00). Within the first year, the video received over 2.3 million views and 3,400 comments.
On April 27th, the “Batman Slapping Robin” Quickmeme page was created, which accumulated over 20,000 submissions within the next eight months. On October 20th, the /r/BatmanSlap subreddit was launched, in which Redditors submit and vote on custom Batman comic panel images. Within two months, the subreddit received more than 340 subscribers and 30 submissions. On November 6th, the tech news blog Socialeyezer published a compilation of notable examples of the meme in a post titled “The Ultimate Collection of Batman Slapping Robin Meme.”
Search query volume for “batman parents are dead” began rising in July of 2008, shortly after the earliest known customized panel was uploaded to SFWChan.
Social Eyezer – The Ultimate Image Collection of Batman Slapping Robin Meme