Arthur's Fist is a reaction image featuring a screen capture of Arthur Read, the protagonist from the titular children's television series Arthur holding a clinched fist, which is often accompanied by captions describing various infuriating or frustrating circumstances. The image is taken from the Arthur Punches D.W. scene, notable for inspiring a series of YouTube Poop videos.
On September 6th, 1999, Episode 1 Season 4 of Arthur titled "Arthur's Big Hit" was broadcast in the United States, during which Arthur is shown clinching his fist before punching his little sister Dora Winifred (also known as D.W.) for breaking his Bell X-1 model airplane. The episode aired in the United States on October 4th, 1999 and in Canada on January 17, 2000.
On July 27th, 2016, Twitter user @AlmostJT posted a screen captured image of Arthur's fist, describing the picture as "relatable" for displaying "so many emotions in one fist". The original tweet has since been removed.
On July 28th, 2016, Redditor axedowg submitted the fist image with the caption ”when people say 'Harambe was just a gorilla'” to /r/blackpeopletwitter, where it gathered upwards of 4,800 votes (89% upvoted) and 130 comments within five days.
Meanwhile, the Arthur__Hands Twitter feed was launched, featuring various examples of the Arthur's Fist meme.
That day, Paper Mag and The Daily Dot published articles highlighting notable examples of Arthur fist tweets. On July 30th, Redditor MGLLN posted a photoshop of Arthur's fist punching North Korea to /r/blackpeopletwitter. In 72 hours, the post received more than 6,300 votes (89% upvoted) and 140 comments.
On August 1st, Redditor Aerolas submitted a picture of Spongebob Squarepants holding a clenched fist with the caption "Arthur memes are better than Spongebob memes" to /r/blackpeopletwitter.
That day, The Verge published an article about trending image titled "The Arthur first meme is the best new meme in a long line of Arthur memes."
LeBron James' usage
On November 7th, 2017, basketball star LeBron James posted a picture of Arthur's fist to his Instagram account with the caption "mood". This led to speculation that James was frustrated with his team, as Arthur's Fist is typically used to symbolize frustration.
He responded to questions about the post by simply saying "I like Arthur." Shortly after the post speculation, James posted a compilation of photos pumping his fists in celebration along with Arthur's Fist, apparently indicating that he intended the fist to symbolize him being pumped up. This led SB Nation to speculate if James actually understood what memes meant.
John Legend costume
On February 21st, 2017, Chrissy Tiegen posted an Arthur's Fist joke in response to people saying her husband, John Legend, looked like Arthur. Her tweet gained over 216,000 retweets.
On April 25th, 2018, Legend posted an ad he starred in for Google Duo which referenced the meme. The video gained over 19,000 retweets and 50,000 likes. The video was covered by Bustle.