It’s Time To Retire The Denzel GIF On Twitter

It’s happened to me I don’t even know how many times by this point.

I see a famous person trending on Twitter, click on their name fearing the worst, and the top result isn’t “Betty White, Dead at 98” (phew!). It’s some random tweet from an account with 300 followers about how they, too, feared the worst, along with a GIF of actor Denzel Washington looking relieved. It happened to me yesterday, when Jack Black was the number-one trending topic on Twitter. Nervously, I was greeted with this.

I hate it. Not that Betty White isn’t dead — I’m glad Betty White is alive and Jack Black is doing Jack Black things — or even our collective (if Twitter algorithm-futzing) worry about a national treasure passing away (don’t joke about National Treasure star Nicolas Cage being dead; luckily, he’ll outlive us all). No, I hate that Denzel GIF. So much.

I’m not the only one.

In response to that last tweet, “Yes, yes they are.” They’re the same people who have notifications for when Donald Trump tweets, so they can claim to be “FIRST.” Reply guys, in other words. “The top reply to a Trump tweet is guaranteed to get in front of hundreds of thousands of eyes. That’s likes and retweets, not to mention profile views, replies, and new followers,” BuzzFeed wrote about the obnoxious phenomenon. At least the Trump repliers are usually dunking on the president or sharing poorly-designed memes — the Denzel GIF is the Twitter version of the guy who still does the Borat voice.

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