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“You Are NOT The Father!” is a catchphrase popularized by Maury Povich, the host of the American tabloid talk show The Maury Povich Show. One of the most popular segments featured in the show is “paternity testing,” in which a mother appears on the show with a request to prove or disprove that a man is the biological father of her child or children. After hearing each side’s story, Maury sits down with both parties to read the results of a paternity test, at which point he announces whether the male guest is the father or not the father.
The Maury Povic Show was co-produced by MoPo Productions and the pilot episode first aired on September 9th, 1991. The show has since continued on for 21 seasons, often dealing with a variety of family disputes and domestic issues. Although paternity testing has been a recurring segment on the show for years, the phrase “you are not the father” didn’t take off until an episode that was broadcast in January 2005. In the episode, Maury investigates the mother’s claim that her ex-boyfriend Andrew fathered her child, which turned out to be false according to the test results. Upon hearing Maury say “Andrew, you are not the father,” the man jumps up from his chair and dances around the stage.
Andrew’s breakdance ceremony soon became a subject of parodies, spawning animated GIFs and photoshopped editions on YTMND. The earliest instance titled “You are not the father” was uploaded by user meddle on May 22nd, 2005.
The segment has since spawned a catchphrase as well as a series of image macros. Maury’s quote has been also noted by online references like TVTropes, Wikipedia and Urban Dictionary, while others began sharing animated GIFs of the male guests’ reactions featuring the quote on hubsites like Tumblr and Facebook. In June 2011, MTV’s Clutch blog posted an article titled “9 Hilarious ‘You Are Not The Father’ Reaction GIFs.” Andrew’s breakdance ceremony has been also featured in the background of the 2011 comedy film Bridesmaid.
There are numerous other guests on the show who have shown similar reactions to the test results, the video clips of which became popular on YouTube, often set to alternative background music for comical purposes.
Various reactions of the guests and the live audiences have been turned into animated GIFs. They are often used as reaction faces on forums and imageboards. In April 2010, the single topic blog “Holy Maury Mother of God” was launched to showcase the best animated GIFs featuring captured footage from the TV show.
The concept of Guile’s Theme Goes with Everything has been remixed with the paternity test reaction videos, with the most notable example featuring Andrew’s reaction set to Guile’s theme from Street Fighters. The video has over 1.7 million views as of October 25th, 2011.
Notable Derivative: Isaac’s Reaction
Another popular instance features a clip from an episode aired on June 28th, 2010, featuring a guy named Isaac. Upon hearing the result that he is not the biologcal father, Isaac jumped up from the couch and ran around the stage in circle while performing jazz hands. Similar to Andrew’s breakdance ceremony, Isaac largely gained his popularity through his Jazzhands motion (seen at 0:46):
Search interest for the phrase “you are not the father” starts in May 2005, the same year the episode aired and the month when the first animated GIF instance was posted on YTMND.
Wicked Chops Poker – Isaac, You Are Not the Father Is The New Andrew, You Are Not the Father