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Don't Make Me Tap the Sign refers to a scene from a 1998 episode of The Simpsons in which a bus driver taps a sign reading "Do not talk to driver" in order to get Lisa Simpson to stop talking to him. A still image of the sign became an exploitable image labeling format online, the text being replaced to change the context. It is often used along with the phrase "don't make me tap the sign" as a caption and in image macros.
On May 10th, 1998, episode 24 of the ninth season of The Simpsons, titled "Lost Our Lisa," aired on television. At one point in the episode, Lisa boards a bus and tries to introduce herself to the driver, who is uninterested and points at a sign reading "do not talk to driver". She tries to talk again and he angrily taps the sign, discouraging her (scene shown below).
It's unknown who originally used the image as a meme, but early examples date back to at least 2014 on Twitter (example shown below). On October 1st of the same year, FitnessMagician tweeted a version of the image replacing the text with "RE-RACK YOUR WEIGHTS" with the caption "don't make me tap the sign" representing an early example of the image as an exploitable (shown below, right).
The format saw an increase in popularity near the end of 2017. On December 18th, 2017, ckholderup tweeted "don't make me tap the sign" along with two images; the first is a screenshot of the bus driver from "Lost Our Lisa" with a fictional subtitle reading "Don't make me tap the sign," and the second is an image of the bus driver tapping the sign with a tweet photoshopped onto it, garnering over 23,000 likes and 8,000 retweets in 3 years (right-hand image shown below).
On July 24th, 2018, bigbrotherbutbigger posted an image macro made up of chkholderup's screenshots combined with a new sign reading "TELLING A SUICIDAL PERSON THAT 'SUICIDE IS NEVER THE ANSWER' HAS NEVER HELPED ANYONE" to /r/MemeEconomy, garnering over 190 upvotes in 2 years (shown below, left). On August 10th, AngryAlpaca posted the image macro to Imgur with a new sign reading, "We do NOT attack the person, we attack their argument" garnering over 126,000 views and 3,200 upvotes in roughly 2 years (shown below, right).
On December 1st, 2020, GuerrillaTech posted a version of the meme to their Tumblr page discouraging users from donating to The Salvation Army, garnering over 45,000 notes in 20 days (shown below, left). On December 18th, mirocaro posted a version to /r/gaming calling out big game companies for not caring about their customers, garnering over 4,100 upvotes in 3 days (shown below, right).
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