death claw machine henry kissinger

Death at the Claw Machine

Updated Nov 30, 2023 at 04:16PM EST by Adam.

Added Aug 24, 2023 at 12:27PM EDT by Adam.

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About

Death at the Claw Machine refers to an illustration depicting the grim reaper pulling humans out of a claw machine game. It has become a widespread image macro that grows popular after a notable celebrity death. Variations tend to depict Death as disappointed he grabbed a certain celebrity instead of a living elderly celebrity.

Origin

The image of death at the claw machine (shown below) was illustrated by Nacho Diaz[1] and was first posted to his now-defunct website, Naolito Art. The earliest extant appearance of the piece online was in a gallery of Diaz' work posted by the blog Twisted Sifter on September 18th, 2011.


大大 NaolitoArt.com

The earliest-known instance of the image being used as an image macro following a celebrity death was posted by Imgur[2] user BruisedBananas on January 13th, 2017, in relation to the passing of George Michael.


OH SWEET celebrities JALL I GOT GEORGE MICHAEL imgflip.com

Spread

Over the following years, the image was used to comment on celebrity deaths, particularly more surprising ones, with Death depicted as disappointed he "got" a certain celebrity instead of the one he was hoping for. In 2018, around the time of John McCain's August 25th death, Imgflip[3] user Some_Internet_Man depicted Death as disappointed he'd received McCain instead of Jake Paul, gaining over 14,000 views in five years (shown below, left). On September 18th, 2020, Redditor woakula posted a variation to /r/memes[4] depicting death disappointed he'd gotten Ruth Bader Ginsburg instead of Betty White, gaining over 40 points in three years (shown below, right).


C'MON, JAKE PAUL, JAKE PAUL... imgflip.com 2 FALL DAMN! JOHN MCCAIN

A particularly popular variation features the punchline, "Is Henry Kissinger even in this thing?", referring to the former United States Secretary of State who, at the time of writing, is 100 years old. Popular examples include a June 8th, 2023 post by Twitter user @Gritty20202[5] after the death of Pat Robertson, gaining over 70 retweets and 500 likes in two and a half months (shown below, left) and a December 31st, 2022 post by Redditor kolibrifityma in /r/behindthebastards[6] that used the punchline in response to Pope Benedict's death, gaining over 1,800 points in eight months (shown below, right).


Pat Robertson?! & Is Henry Kissinger even in this thing? POPE BENEDICT?! IS HENRY KISSINGER EVEN IN THIS THING?

"Death" of the Meme

On November 29th, 2023, it was announced that Henry Kissinger had died, which led to celebratory versions of the meme (example shown below).


Alejandra Caraballo @Esqueer_. 13h It finally happened!!! HENRY KISSINGER IS DEAD. 341 HENRY KISSINGER!!! Fitt F------ FINALLY! 8.4K 34K ₁882K 口企

Others commented that Kissinger's death may mean that the meme itself would die out, as the subject of its most common punchline had finally passed. For example, Twitter user @OrganizerMemes[7] posted a Death and the Dog meme where Death was welcoming the meme to the afterlife, gaining over 370 retweets and 3,600 likes in one day (shown below).


(1) IT IS TIME TO GO. IS HENRY KISSINGER EVEN IN THIS THING? NO. INTES Was I a Good Meme? I'M TOLD YOU WERE THE BEST. seebangnow

User @loserbent[8] remarked that they were saddened the meme would no longer see use, gaining over 265 likes in one day (shown below).


sammy @loserbent i am actually saddened to hear about kissinger's death we'll no longer be able to use the claw machine meme... 10:08 PM . Nov 29, 2023

Various Examples


Ted Kaczynski? H is Henry Kissinger even in this thing? Queen Elizabeth II?! 8 5809 amorrow IS Henry Kissinger EVEN IN THIS THING?! FAIX imgflip.com KEITH RICHARDS. COME ON KEITH. MALL fordefmidgets. MEAT LOAF?!? IS KISSINGER FALL lordofwidgets. EVEN IN THIS THING? Angela Lansbury? amorrow Is Henry Kissinger even in this thing?! Fitt TINA TURNER?? IS HENRY KISSINGER EVEN IN THIS THING?!? Filt

Search Interest

External References

[1] Twisted Sifter – 25 Fun Illustrations by Nacho Diaz

[2] Imgur – Bruised Bananas

[3] Imgflip – Jake Paul / John McCain

[4] Reddit – /r/Memes

[5] Twitter – Gritty20202

[6] Reddit – /r/behindthebastards

[7] Twitter – OrganizerMemes

[8] Twitter – loserbent

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