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Troll quotes are image macros that consist of an image, a quote, and a recognized speaker, though none of the three match up to each other. The concept, as the meme name suggests, is to use such images to troll fandom boards for any of the three elements to get reactions to them.
Origin and concept
On of the first Reddit threads appeared on December 13, 2010, pointing to this image:
But it has been claimed that these appeared on 4chan prior to it’s Reddit appearance.
As demonstrated, the image consists of three parts:
- A clearly recognizable person or character
- A clearly recognizable quote or statement
- A clearly recognizable name that the quote is attributed for
But, importantly, none of three elements are properly attributed to the image, quote, or speaker. But the selection of the elements are specifically designed to be close in genre or style as to misdirect the viewer that the image and quote are correct. In the case of this image, the image (Gandalf (as played by Ian McKellen from the Lord of the Rings movies), quote (one from Yoda during The Empire Strikes Back), and speaker (Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series) all are aged, wise characters, and on first glance, one may be convinced the image is “correct”.
But it is that first reaction that specifically makes these images “Trollquotes”, as they are specifically designed to generate a reaction from diehard fans of any of the works used in the images who have the urge to correct the misattribution. (See comments in the Reddit post above for examples).
According to Neatorama, the meme is still trending
A single serving site, Trollquotes offers additional examples.