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Pepe Punch, also known as Punching Pepe, is a depiction of Pepe the Frog winding up a punch aimed at the screen from the perspective of the person viewing the image. The face of Pepe in this version also features the use of Smug Frog and shares similarities to Welcome To The Family, Son redraws featuring the character. Typically, memes using this Pepe variant revolve around him punching either the screen or the subject of the caption/creator. As a reaction image, Pepe Punch is often used in comments as a way to imply punching the original poster.
The image used for Pepe Punch combines the Smug Frog version with an image of the character Vegeta from Dragon Ball rearing back a punch with his hand outstretched towards the perspective of the screen (Vegeta shown below, left). The oldest known archived post containing Smug Frog was posted to 4chan on June 2nd, 2011 to the /tv/ board. Pepe Punch also shares many similarities to variants of the Welcome To The Family, Son meme, where Pepe appears in some of the earliest parodies of the scene on 4chan in July 2016 (seen below, right).
The exact first instance of Pepe Punch is unknown, but it can be seen in use on 4chan as early as 2018. On August 13th, 2018, an anonymous user posted the image to the /biz/ board (shown below) alongside the caption “Yes, I hope you don't actually take /biz/ seriously. If you do, than this punch is for you.”
On November 1st, 2019, an anonymous 4chan user uploaded the image to the site’s /pol/ board with the caption “Hello fed department” (seen below).
On November 8th, 2019, DeviantArt user HWANKO uploaded an illustrated version of the meme to the site (shown below) under the title “One Punch PEPE.”
On December 7th, 2019, Redditor brefbee posted a meme using the image of Pepe punching to the r/MinecraftMemes subreddit (seen below), receiving over 6,500 upvotes and 53 comments.
On January 16th, 2020, Twitter user Mattmaaan replied to a video with the image and the caption “Me: WHAT DO YOU WANT ???!! Her: AnYtHiNG.” The tweet (shown below) received over 1,600 likes and 161 comments.
Me: WHAT DO YOU WANT ???!!— matt (@Mattmaaan) January 16, 2020
Her: AnYtHiNG 🥴 pic.twitter.com/clCMOFcnc6
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