With the advent of the internet, humor has evolved greatly to the point where memes are king. Sometimes they even require some context to explain why they’re funny. Of course, explaining a joke takes a bit of the charm away from it, but you can only go so long seeing the “Chad Vs Virgin” and “Press F To Pay Respect” memes as you try to understand what’s actually happening.
Luckily for you, nothing is forgotten on the internet. That means that even the most insignificant comments and references are all well-documented to trace the history of what is essentially Gen Z/ Millennial humor.
The “Press F To Pay Respects” is a very popular meme that became wildly popular in 2015. Despite being a relatively old meme, it still makes its appearance in countless threads and comments sections throughout the internet. The origin of the meme can be traced back to one of the entries in the wildly popular FPS (First-Person Shooter) series, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
The Origin Of “Press F To Pay Respect”
As with most memes, the origins are usually traced back to a post or thread on Reddit or 4chan. While the meme itself was made popular through Reddit, its origin is actually a direct line from Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare, released in 2014.
In games, the story is usually progressed in the way of cutscenes that play out without input from the player. While COD games are well-known for their multiplayer modes, they’re also widely loved for their single-player campaigns that provide players with a gripping story.
In the second missing of the campaign, the opening cutscene has protagonist Private Jack Mitchell attending the funeral of his best friend who died fighting in South Korea.
The player is then asked to “press F to Pay Respects” if they are playing the game on a PC. On a console, it’s changed to the ‘X’ key for consoles.
Why Did “Press F To Pay Respect” Become A Meme?
In an episode of his Clueless Gamer series, Late Night show celebrity Conan O’Brien reviewed the game and criticized most of the gameplay including the “Press X to Pay Respects” scene, not seeing what the point was. (He was playing the console version)
As the mockery surrounding the inclusion of “Press F To Pay Respect” grew, Reddit users who were left in the dark sought answers in the r/OutOfTheLoop subreddit. (A subreddit where users can ask about trending things that they have no knowledge on)
The primary reason for “Press F To Pay Respect” becoming a meme is the absolute lack of self-awareness the game has with how it treats the death of a dear comrade. When you press F, the protagonist pats the coffin, taking a moment to reflect. The thing is, you don’t really have any other choice than to press F.
Thus, what could’ve been a thing that should’ve just been included in the cutscene, you’re basically forced to press F to pay respect. This attempt at making the game ‘immersive’ came across as quite tasteless to a majority of people.
The Rise Of “Press F To Pay Respect”
Although the meme was born from the video game that intended it as a sign of respect, it’s become a way of ‘paying respect’ ironically when someone makes a fool of themselves on the internet.
With live streams of video games growing in popularity, you can find people spamming ‘F’ when the streamer makes a mistake or dies in-game. This is widely known as ‘F in the chat’.
While pressing F is all it took for Jack Mitchell to pay respect to his friend, it’s obviously a bit more complicated than that in real life. Following the death of a loved one, you might be left feeling lost and not really knowing what to do. Unlike games where it only takes a mere button press to get over the loss, it takes time in real life. If you’re looking for some ways to get over the death of a loved one, we’ve made a list of songs about moving on after a loss.