"That sign can't stop me because I can't read" is a memorable quote said by the character Dora Winifred Read (also known as D.W.) from the American children's animated television series Arthur and has been used online to express persistency in the face of better judgement.
The image of Dora Winifred saying "That sign can't stop me because I can't read" comes from second season episode of Arthur, "D.W,'s Name Game," which first aired on April 16th, 1998. In the episode, D.W. explains her problems with her big brother Arthur, including how he barrs her from his room by putting a sign outside the door that says "Arthur's room. D.W. not allowed." D.W. responds to the sign, "That sign can't stop me, because I can't read."
The earliest known appearance of the image online comes from both Reddit and 9GAG, where a two-panel version of the moment was posted on August 25th, 2013. While the Reddit thread has since been deleted, the 9GAG post 16,000 points in four years. Two years later, on May 19th, 2015, FunnyJunk user chokinandtokin posted the image and received more than 650 upvotes and 26,000 views in two years.
In 2016, the two-panel version would be used as an exploitable on Facebook. On March 12th, 2016, the Facebook account RowdyConservatives posted the two-panel with "Arthur's Room" sign changed to "Don't vote for Bernie Sanders, he has a horrible grasp of economics and doesn't care to actually learn." The post received more than 170 reactions and 40 shares in a year and a half.
On July 7th, 2016, a since-deleted Facebook post shows the sign changed to "No Lefties Allowed."
The following year, on January 12th, Twitter @murdoxlite posted the image of D.W. with the caption "me: god pls send me a sign god: *sends me a crystal clear legible sign* me:" The post received more than 740 retweets and 950 likes in 10 months.
Throughout 2017, the image caught on as an image macro. On February 5th, Tumblr posted the image with the caption "writers: your ship won’t become canon me:" The post received more than 12,000 notes in nine months.
On September 3rd, 2017, Twitter user @hoesuueee tweeted the image with the caption "me: just give me a sign if they are gonna waste my time or not *gets sign* me:" The post received more than 25,000 retweets and 53,000 likes in one month.
The following month, Redditor qwazerx posted the image with the caption "When an Alabaman family sees a no incest sign. With 17 hours, the post received more than 18,000 points (92% upvoted) and 160 comments.