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Reverse GIF refers to an animated GIF in which each frame is played in reverse chronological order to reveal an alternative narrative that is drastically different from the original.
On January 14th, 2009, a reversed GIF featuring a prank from the comedy television show Trigger Happy TV, in which a man feeding pigeons is attacked by another man dressed in a giant pigeon costume, was uploaded to the site GIFbin (shown below).
This humorous concept has been previously iterated through a series of reverse chronological interpretations of popular film narratives based on the snowclone template If you watch (x) backwards, it is about. One of the earliest instances of flipping a movie’s narrative appeared on the SomethingAwful forums on May 20th, 2006, which re-imagined Star Wars, Titanic, The Lord of the Rings, Batman Begins and Carry on Camping.
In May 2010, the website Reverse GIF was launched, which features an app that reanimates uploaded GIFs in reverse.
On August 28th, 2011, Redditor monochrome_sketch linked to an animated GIF of a man saying “That’s a Penis” from the television show How I Met Your Mother in a post on the /r/funny subreddit. In the comments section of the post, Redditor Tyba11s posted a reversed version of the GIF (shown below). Prior to being archived, the comment gathered over 1,200 up votes.
On June 23rd, 2012, the /r/reversegif subreddit was launched for posts containing links to reversed GIF animations. On December 19th, BuzzFeed published a compilation of notable reversed GIFs. In May 2013, additional reversed GIF examples were highlighted on UpRoxx and Imgur. On September 3rd, the Reverse My GIF Tumblr blog was launched. On February 3rd, 2014, Redditor kittenology asked for others to submit their favorite reversed GIFs in a post on /r/AskReddit, where it gained more than 1,800 upvotes and 740 comments in three months.