Robert Redford as Jeremiah Johnson nodding meme.

Jeremiah Johnson Nod of Approval

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Updated Jul 20, 2023 at 10:59AM EDT by Zach.

Added Sep 28, 2018 at 01:41PM EDT by Jill.

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Jeremiah Johnson Nod of Approval is a GIF of Robert Redford playing the titular role in the 1972 film Jeremiah Johnson, though oftentimes Redford is mistaken for comedian Zach Galifianakis. It is often used as a reaction image indicating a form of approval.


Jeremiah Johnson came out on December 21st, 1972. In a scene of the film, the camera zooms in on Redford's bearded face, when he nods, smiling. An upload of the clip was posted to YouTube on March 4th, 2013 by pnightmare89 (shown below).


Prior to being posted on YouTube, the GIF circulated online as early as 2012. One of the earliest extant posts featuring the GIF was posted to Funnyjunk[1] on April 3rd, 2012 (shown below, left). It also appeared in a whatshouldwecallme[2] post on June 27th, 2012 (shown below, right).

#251 to #249-playahater 04/03/2012) Perhaps WHEN I DECIDE TO CHIME IN DURING A MEETING AT WORK How I think people will react:

The GIF appeared in a Mashable[3] post identifying the sources of popular GIFs on August 20th, 2013. The GIF has been turned into an exploitable, with users recreating the GIF with different characters. For example, on July 19th, 2013, Redditor EditingandLayout posted an edit of the GIF showing Redford holding a lightsaber, gaining over 2,600 points on /r/reactiongifs (shown below, left). On April 1st, 2015, Tumblr user stupjam posted a GIF of an animated Inkling Girl from Splatoon, gaining over 2,100 notes (shown below, right).

Splinter Article

On July 9th, 2019, Splinter wrote an article about the GIF, with author Nick Martin expressing his surprise at learning that the man in the GIF is Redford.[4] As the article spread on Twitter, others expressed similar surprise. User @ZeeOhGee[5] tweeted that he always thought the GIF was of comedian Zach Galifianakis, gaining over 470 retweets and 1,300 likes (shown below, left). User @ohjefframos[6] tweeted a GIF of Galifianakis with the caption "I can't believe this is robert freakin redford!", gaining over 30 retweets and 320 likes (shown below, right). Responses were covered by Twitter Moments.[7]

Zac Goode Follow @ZeeOhGee Always thought this was Zach Galifianakis... You learn something new everyday Splinter@splinter_news Did you know the nodding meme guy is Robert freakin' Redford??? 7:09 PM -9 Jul 2019 Jeff Ramos Follow @ohjefframos did you know this was freaking robert redford?! AER Tanott yw Dam The Snuggler GIF 6:14 PM -9 Jul 2019

Various Examples

LOL, THAT'S ME: POST #1082 When I hear a friend humming a song that I introduced to them: deep dream trippy robert redford nodding gif robert redford nodding in rear view mirror

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