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T-Rex’s Short Arms, also known as Sad T-Rex, is a running joke often featured in webcomics and illustrations which pokes fun at the tyrannosaurus rex's disproportionately short arms in relation to the size of its body. The most common instances of the joke portray the dinosaur as a sad creature who is unable to carry out simple manual tasks, such as masturbating or applauding, due to its physical shortcomings.
The first known online instance of the joke can be found in a YouTube clip of a scene from the 2007 Disney CGI animated film Meet The Robinsons, uploaded by YouTuber Tallworm on April 7th, 2007. In the clip, the character Tiny the Dinosaur (voiced by Joe Mateo) chases Lewis Robinson into a corner, but ultimately fails to restrain him because of his small arms. Tiny then says “I have a big head, and tiny arms. I’m just not sure how well this plan was thought through."
The history of the joke precedes its usage in webcomics by decades, with its earliest known appearance in print found in an illustration from Gary Larson's single-panel comic series The Far Side, published circa the mid-1980s. The comic features a family of Tyrannosaurs at a dinner table where the parents are in mid-argument over the father’s inability to pass the mashed potatoes due to the length of his forearms.
In 2009, a webcomic called "Sad T-Rex" by Christian Blethen, was posted to /r/funny and received 148 votes (84% upvoted).
In 2011, the comic was reposted first by Fuck_You_Im_Scottish, then by user wrong_game, netting 366 points (88% upvoted) and 581 points (86% upvoted) respectively. Also in 2011, a t-shirt company called Goodie Two Sleeves used a drawing of a "Sad T-Rex" trying to clap its hands on a popular set of t-shirts and pins, which grew in popularity after they were posted on Reddit by the user firefucker .
As the comic gained in popularity, different people expanded the joke. On January 22, 2012, the Tumblr "T-Rex Trying" was founded by Hugh Murphy, devoted to comic sketches of a T-Rex attempting different tasks. Of the five images he posted that day, the two most popular received 31,182 notes and 13,201 notes. Murphy published a book of his drawings on October 7, 2014 .
Since the popularity of these two examples, many other examples have been created by other webcomic authors, and many of these have been collected on Reddit or Tumblr. In 2014, the browser Chrome Canary featured a T-Rex with Short Arms on the "Can't Connect to the Internet" page. While waiting for their connections to resume, users could click the dinosaur and play a running game offline .
 Amazon – T-Rex Trying and Trying: The Unfortunate Trials of a Prehistoric Family / 10-7-2014