Principal Skinner's "Pathetic"
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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," 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. 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 by user shinywaffle (shown below, right).
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 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 posted an example using Lady Dimitrescu (shown below, right).
 Simpsons Wiki – Bart the Genius
 Tumblr – whatdoyouwanttobelieve
 Imgur – Shinywaffle
 Twitter – @PotooBrigham
 Twitter – @Nachtfl_gal
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