"Press F to pay respects" has become a meme in the gaming community. You’ll find these words mentioned in streams, in comments, and on any website where gamers like to hang out – like Reddit and Twitter.
"Press F to pay respects" is a way for people to react or respond digitally when something ‘tragic’ happened in gaming or related to it.
But do you know where this meme originated from? Well you're in luck if you don't, as we are going to tell you exactly where "press F to pay respects" come from, including the popular first person shooter it originated in.
Where Press F to Pay Respects Comes From
Press F (or X or square if on console!) to pay respects comes from the popular Call of Duty series. It first appeared in one of the least popular titles in the series, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, that was released in November 2014.
The specific scene where it arises occurs in the earlier stages of the campaign. After completing the first mission, players are taken to a funeral. Then, after waiting for a period of time, you are able to move, and you will know when you can do so by the presence of a massive F (or square or X) appearing on the coffin in front of you.
Walking up to the coffin and pressing the button that appeared would initiate a game sequence designed to show us that our character lost more than a friend that day. But how did something that was supposed to be sad and thought provoking to the story turn into a meme?
We think that how it was implemented is the main problem, especially for PC users. The preceding cutscene was so dramatic that then simply slapping a massive yellow "F" on the coffin just seems a little ridiculous. Evidently, most of the internet would tend to agree.
Easter Eggs Pay Their Respects
Since 2014, "press F to pay respects" has appeared in multiple games as an easter egg. Some references are more obvious than others, such as the one in Visage, where if you find a tombstone the prompt will appear.
"Press F to pay respects" was also an achievement in Payday 2. In the Shacklemore heist, after cutting the glass open with the mummy inside, you will see the familiar prompt appear. Upon pressing "F" you then receive the associated achievement which it itself titled "Press [F] to Pay Respects".
Other Media Pressing F
"Press F to pay respects" is also the title of an indie game made by Games for People. The games’ premise was to make fun of Call of Duty, as it had players press a massive F in order to earn points. Players could spend these points on boosts so that they could pay even more respect every time they pressed F. One of the games boosts was called "F for COD" just in case there was any doubt who they were targeting!
Press F is so popular that it is even the title for multiple songs.
Unlike most memes, this one still somehow manages to stay relevant, appearing every so often when something in the gaming industry gets cancelled. We don't know when it will stop, if ever, but we do know one thing for sure, we won't be pressing F to pay respects for this meme anytime soon.