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“Pass the Whiskey” is a catchphrase stemming from a stock quote often heard in Fistful of Frags, a Wild West-themed multiplayer first-person shooter game modified from Half-Life 2, which gained much notoriety upon its release as a free download on Valve’s Steam in May 2014.
On December 20th, 2007, an early version of the Fistful of Frags Half-Life 2 mod was released on the game modification website ModDb. On May 9th, 2014, an updated version of the mod was released as a free download on Steam. In the game, players can repeat the phrase “Pass the whiskey” among other voice commands (shown below).
On May 10th, the /r/passthewhiskey subreddit was created. On the same day, Steam user PackSOMEpuppies posted instructions on how to bind voice commands like “pass the whiskey” to keyboard shortcuts in Fistful of Frags. Meanwhile, YouTuber Adam Foster uploaded a video titled “Fistful of Whiskey: Pass the Whiskey,” featuring Fistful of Frags gameplay footage in which he continuously spams the “Pass the whiskey” voice command (shown below).
Also on May 10th, the “Pass the Whiskey” Steam group was launched, gathering upwards of 230 members in the first two weeks. On May 17th, Redditor ehngage posted a screenshot from Fistful of Frags titled “Pass the Whiskey” to the /r/gaming subreddit, gaining over 590 upvotes and 45 comments in the first 48 hours (shown below). On May 18th, Redditor doombunny0 submitted a post titled “Pass the whiskey” to the /r/FistfulOfFrags subreddit, where many other Redditors posted the phrase in the comment section.
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