The typical reaction GIF emulates the raw emotion (usually exaggerated for comedic effect) that occurs the instant someone reacts to something. Reaction GIFs focus entirely on the RE part of the word reaction; that is, the GIF gives no context as to what initial action caused the reaction. This is where I got the motivation for my counter reaction GIF. My GIF displays a Newton’s cradle, which visually illustrates Newton’s third law – “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”. The special part of my GIF is that I cut out the reaction of the Newton cradle entirely. Instead of showing the reaction where the stationary ball on the end flies up into the air, I cut the video so that the initial action of the first ball falling repeats over and over again, thus never allowing the reaction to happen.
When I think sports GIFs, I think of the viral clips of incredible sports moments that circulate on Facebook, ESPN, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Every Monday morning during football season I can count on at least one play from the slate of Sunday NFL games to make its way onto my social media feeds. These plays normally fall into one of a few categories. They are either athletically impressive, significant to the outcome of a game or season, or symbolically important outside of sports. To counter this canon of sports GIFs, I found the least impressive, least significant, and least symbolic moment I could think of from an NFL game: a standard punt. Yes, a punt could be featured as a typical sports GIF, but this would only occur if the punt is blocked or returned for a touchdown, both of which are exciting moments. A successful punt, on the other hand, is the type of play a fan misses to go to the bathroom or get some food at the concession stand. Therefore, immortalizing a bland, boring, successful punt as a GIF seemed like the perfect counter to the typical sports GIF.
I’ll admit it – I’m taking a little bit of a risk with this one. My GIF stretches the boundaries of what can be considered a GIF, but in doing so it perfectly counters the standard wobble GIF. A wobble GIF often consists of some object gyrating back and forth over and over again. Imagine jello jiggling on a plate and you get a pretty good idea of the canon of wobble GIFs. A subset of the wobble GIFs I found on Giphy focuses on the wobbling of human bodies. In these GIFs, an (usually) overweight person moves the fat on his/her body back and forth to create the wobbling effect. My GIF is made up of two identical images of an overweight man caught in the middle of streaking. It is technically a GIF because it is an endless loop of multiple images, but there is no movement in an effort to counter the typical wobble GIF. Movement is a staple of the wobble GIF, and I took a person that would usually be the subject of a wobble GIF and changed it so there would be no movement whatsoever.