Talk to the Hand

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Older than we thought, apparently

"Talk to the hand, because the face ain't listening!"

Sometimes a person is just done with the discussion or argument. They don't want to hear any more chatter or whining or arguing. So when the other half of the conversation tries to keep going, the first guy cuts them off by thrusting his palm in front of their face as if to stop any more words from being spoken.

The full "proper" way to do this is to turn away while sticking your arm out away from you to show the person you're trying to shut up your palm, coupled with the phrase, "Talk to the hand!" Another variation is to turn around completely and even start walking away with your arms raised and showing the other person the back of your hand. Either way the message you're sending to the other person is essentially, "Talk all you want, I'm not listening." in a rather contemptuous manner.

The gesture itself is quite old; the words were popularized by the 90's sitcom Martin, being used extensively by the titular character.

Not to be confused with Talk to the Fist.

Examples of Talk to the Hand include:


Dr. Evil: Talk to the hand, 'cause the face don't wanna hear it anymore.
The President: What hand? Talk to your hand?

Ali G: Talk to the hand, 'cos the face ain't listening.

  • In The Beautician and the Beast Beautician teaches this to Beast.
  • Terminator: Rise of the Machines - the T-850 tells a male stripper to hand over his clothes. The stripper tells him to "talk to the hand", prompting the Terminator to grab his hand, nearly crush it, and say "Now". Later, he repeats the line in a completely deadpan voice while stealing supplies from a roadside store.
  • Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Ellie: Talk to the trunk.

Live Action TV

  • During the debate over independence in John Adams, Edward Rutledge flippantly dismisses all the angry shouting from the pro-Independence side with the second variation.
  • In an episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun, Nina got sick of working for Dick and quit him, so Dick hired Harry to take her place. When Dick started to boss Harry around, Nina taught him to use this phrase against Dick.
  • The Drew Carey Show

Steve Carey: Bro, I wanted to tell you something for a long time...I play for the other team.
Lewis Kiniski: I knew it, he's gay.
Steve Carey: No, I mean the other softball team. And, if you think I'm gay, well... talk to the hand [sticks out his hand].
Lewis Kiniski: [to Steve's hand] Oh, hello.

  • Jamie King from The Jamie Foxx Show had his own version where he'd stick his hand in someone's face complete with making the sound of a braking car. Usually in Braxton's face.

Video Games

  • Near the end of Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 1: Launch of the Screaming Narwhal, Guybrush says this to De Singe after foiling his plans to control the winds of Flotsam:

Guybrush: Talk to the hand, sicko, 'cause the pirate ain't listenin'!

Western Animation

Dr. Zoidberg: Tell it to the claw.

  • The Simpsons once had a generic sitcom called Talk To The Hand (the theme tune even consisted of "Talk to the hand, the face ain't listening").
  • Parodied in the Phineas and Ferb episode "Dude, We're Getting the Band Back Together!", where Bobbi Fabulous tells the boys to "Talk to the hand!" when they try to convince him to join a Love Handel reunion concert, then takes it literally by making a hand puppet.

Bobbi Fabulous's Hand: Secretly, I'm very lonely...

    • A CMOF happens when Rodney tries this on Doofenshmirtz, to which Doofenshmirtz proceeds to insult Rodney's hand then walk off.