Principal Skinner Pathetic meme template and format depicting the simpsons character looking downward with a face of disapproval.

Principal Skinner's "Pathetic"

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Updated Nov 17, 2023 at 06:08AM EST by sakshi.

Added Jan 15, 2017 at 06:37PM EST by TheTitan99.

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Related Explainer: Where Does The Image Of Principal Skinner Saying 'Pathetic' Come From? The Meme And 'Simpsons' Reference Explained


Principal Skinner's "Pathetic" refers to an image of Principal Skinner from The Simpsons looking down with disgust, captioned "Pathetic." The screencap of him with this word is often used as a reaction image, and later it became an exploitable image macro as memers depicted other characters making the pose.


The image is taken from season one, episode two of The Simpsons, titled "Bart the Genius,"[1] which aired on January 14th, 1990. In the episode, Principal Skinner is informed that Bart has been vandalizing the side of the school, causing Skinner to stare downward menacingly (seen below).

In the episode itself, Skinner does not say the word "pathetic," but instead only looks downward.


The image began seeing use as a meme starting in late 2015 and early 2016. While it's unclear when the meme first started, the image itself began circulating around Tumblr at this time. For example, on January 6th, 2016, the image was reblogged by user whatdoyouwanttobelieve.[2] The post has gained over 63,000 notes on Tumblr (shown below, left). Shortly after, the post began seeing use as a reaction image. For example, on September 6th, a meme using the image with a caption about drinking alcohol appeared in an Imgur post[3] by user shinywaffle (shown below, right).

Pathetic When your friend throws up after you just started drinking @dabmoms Pathetic.

The post was later turned into an exploitable as memers created similar variations using other characters. For example, on September 25th, 2019, Twitter artist @potoobrigham[4] posted a drawing of Kazooie making the face, gaining over 1,300 retweets and 5,000 likes (shown below, left). On January 14th, 2021, Twitter artist @nachtfl_gal[5] posted an example using Lady Dimitrescu (shown below, right).

PATHETIC Pathetic.

Various Examples

When your son tries to tell your enemies you're Yoshikage Kira but he ends activating "Bites the Dust" Pathetic When someone says that "Reverb" is their favorite stand Pathetio When you watch the Pharah you just hacked struggle on the ground. Pathetic BATHETIC Science & Mathematics Weather Next Does it rain in Australia? Me and my friend are having an argument, she says that it rains in Australia but it cant can it because obviously the rain falls to the top of the world but at the bottom of the world it wouldn't fall to earth it would fall into space ☆ 10 following 39 answers フ

Search Interest

External References

[1] Simpsons Wiki – Bart the Genius

[2] Tumblr – whatdoyouwanttobelieve

[3] Imgur – Shinywaffle

[4] Twitter – @PotooBrigham

[5] Twitter – @Nachtfl_gal

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