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Top Gun Hat refers to a baseball cap embroidered with the words “Top Gun” that is worn by the character Adam DeMamp in the American TV sitcom Workaholics. On the Internet, his facial expression can be used as a reaction image to indicate quality content while the cap itself has been featured as an exploitable image and spawned a photoshop meme of its own.
The cap was first introduced through the Workaholics character Adam DeMamp (played by Adam Devine) in an episode titled “Stop! Pajama Time” (Episode 6, Season 2), aired on October 25th, 2011. In the episode, DeMamp wears a baseball cap that reads “Top Gun” on the front, which he claims to have won for being the “top sales gun of the month” to his coworkers, though it is quickly revealed that he had just purchased it at a convenience store. DeMamp’s hat is referenced several times throughout the episode and was also mentioned on the show’s official Tumblr blog prior to the broadcast.
On March 12th, 2012, FunnyJunk user ni_ni_ replied to a screenshot post of a 4chan greentext thread with a seemingly original story that derails into the Everybody Walk the Dinosaur copypasta. Ni_ni_’s comment was met by multiple positive replies, one of them being Devine’s Top Gun Hat reaction image. In July that year, The Social Revolution forum member TwoSocksofChaos replied to a thread highlighting a particular instance of the Overly Attached Girlfriend with the comment “top gun hat guy.jpg” in filename extension.
On August 18th, a 4chan user started a thread on /sp/ (sports) board with the message “Not enough Top Gun of the first page” and a multi-layered version of the reaction image, soon drawing more than 50 photoshopped variations prior to being archived. In the following months, Top Gun Hat threads became a recurring thread topic on multiple 4chan sub-forums, most notably on /sp/ (sports) and /tv/ (tv & films) boards.
On August 30th, a thread bearing the Top Gun Hat image surfaced on /sp/, in which the OP seeks for advice in his search of the cap in black/red color schemes. On the following day, IGN member Whitesox213 started a thread titled “I’m about to buy the Top Gun hat from Workaholics off ebay, convince me not to ITT,” which was met by generally positive feedback. On October 8th, eBay user hatclothing began selling a variety of snapback baseball caps with the “Top Gun” embroidery.
Top Lel is a neologism most commonly used on 4chan’s /sp/ (sports) board to describe quality humor content. According to Encyclopedia Dramatica and Urban Dictionary, the term is derived from Workaholics’ Top Gun Hat and “lel,” a corrupted blend of the slang terms LOL and Le, the latter of which is associated with members of Reddit and 9gag.
Topkek is a brand of Turkish cake which is often combined with the neologism “Top Lel.”
On June 5th, a Facebook page titled “Top kek” was launched. On June 23rd, YouTuber youyours555 uploaded the intro from the animated television show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic edited to include Topkek and other Internet meme references (shown below, left). On July 12th, 2013, Redditor glnskp submitted a screenshot of a Topkek 4chan thread to the /r/4chan subreddit, to which several Redditors replied with references to WoW. On the following day, YouTuber Top Kek uploaded a When I’m Bored remix video titled “When I’m kek” featuring a slideshow containing Topkek images (shown below, right).
4chan – Where the f**k do I buy this stupid hat without a green underbill? (text only)