Rattle 'Em Boys!

Rattle 'Em Boys!

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Updated May 26, 2023 at 12:03PM EDT by Owen.

Added Sep 07, 2022 at 03:52AM EDT by Autumn Able.

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Rattle 'Em Boys! also known as Bones Malone and the Spooky Boys, refers to a viral image of skeleton gangsters with guns that originated on Tumblr. The image later evolved into an animation meme when voices were added to the image by voice actor Zane Schacht. Going into early 2023, usage of a variant reading They Unblurred the Photo surfaced online, predominantly used on Twitter as a bait-and-switch prank that used the blurred Content Warning.


The original image was posted to Tumblr by malignantlyuseless on March 8th, 2018, which depicted a crew of skeleton mobsters entering a room full of people.[1] Sometime later, Tumblr user dethchilada added the caption "Bones Malone and the Spooky Boys." On April 17th, 2018, Tumblr user jooshbag added their catchphrase "RATTLE 'EM BOYS!".[2] The Tumblr thread (shown below) received over 78,000 notes in over four years.

malignantlyuselesss dethchilada Bones Malone and the spooky boys. jooshbag RATTLE 'EM, BOYS!" *the unsettling rattling noises of three skeletons*


On January 13th, 2019, the image was reposted to Reddit's r/Bossfight by SpelunkyDunkey with the caption "Bones Malone and the Spooky Boys, Mobsters from Beyond the Grave" where it received over 22,000 upvotes in over three years.[3]

On July 26th, 2019, Twitter user and voice actor Zane Schacht (@VoicesByZane) posted the image along with his own voice lines of the scene which portray it as part of a radio drama.[4] The voiced-over image (shown below) received over 14,000 likes and over 5,000 retweets in over three years.

On July 29th, 2019, YouTube user Greatdictator used the voice lines in a Source Filmmaker animation featuring the skeleton mobsters.[5] The animation (shown below, left) received over 180,000 views in over three years. On July 19th, 2020, YouTube user Rowley Jefferson posted a clip of the end part of Greatdictator's animation where the skeleton mobsters shout "Rattle 'em, boys!".[6] The clip (shown below, right) received over 1.2 million views in over two years.

They Unblurred The Photo

On November 18th, 2022, Twitter[7] user @w0rstdad replied to another tweet with a blurred photo using Twitter's content warning feature. When unblurred, the photo showed Bones Malone and the Spooky Boys with a top and bottom caption reding, "They unblurred the photo / Rattle 'em boys!" implying that the user fell for the bait-and-switch media (shown below). Over the course of six months, the reply received roughly 9,600 likes. It is currently the first discovered usage of the meme online.

They unblurred the photo Rattle em boys

Usage of the photo spread on Twitter[8][9] going into 2023, additionally surfacing on Reddit[10] using a similar NSFW content blur. On May 8th, 2023, YouTuber[11] ClassyJavelinVA posted a video that dramatized unblurring the photo on Twitter, adding a voiceover to the meme as well. The video gained roughly 858,000 views and 88,000 likes in 18 days (shown below).

Soon after, other video iterations surfaced on YouTube.[12]

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