Stop! In the name of clip art.

April 15th, 2008 · 80 comments

Like this phrase, there are a few irritating little pieces of clip art that keep popping up in submissions over and over again. Hovering somewhere near the top of most-wanted list is this pouty little white-gloved dandy.

From the factories of Pittsburgh…

STOP TAKING OTHER PEOPLE'S FOOD OUT OF THE REFRIGERATOR FREEZER IF IT DOESN'T BELONG TO YOU!

…to the cube-farms of Virginia, this perspiring misanthrope has been spreading his message of intolerance with impunity.

But, once again, it’s a note from a church bathroom (this one spotted by Jess in Boston) that really pushes things to a whole new level of divine didacticism.

No! Stop!

Can I get a witness?!

related: clip art crimes

FILED UNDER: bathroom · Boston · CAPS LOCK · clip art catastrophe · exclamation-point happy!!!! · gloriously redundant · most popular notes of 2008 · neighbors · office fridge · Pittsburgh


80 responses so far ↓

  • #1   laura

    Those stop signs were fucking delicious

    Apr 15, 2008 at 7:42 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   Naomi

      Crap, beat me to it.

      Apr 16, 2008 at 11:36 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #2   Wade bang

    Wait. So it’s used paper towels in the trash can, used toilet paper in the toilet? Got it.

    Apr 15, 2008 at 7:44 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

     
  • #3   singlewall

    wrong wade…used paper towels go into the garbage. they are not to be handed to the angry crossing guard standing between you and the toilet.

    Apr 15, 2008 at 7:47 pm   rating: 15  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   Ben

      But what if you use the paper towel to wipe your ass?

      This flow chart needs to be updated.

      Apr 15, 2008 at 8:54 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
    • #3.2   Wade bang

      Then you deposit it in the lobby trash can at the post office.

      Apr 15, 2008 at 9:36 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #3.3   bobby

      Wait, so how much are we tipping the crossing guard?

      Jul 24, 2008 at 2:58 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #4   The_boo

    That second one needs a little frowny face flipping the bird.

    Apr 15, 2008 at 7:47 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #5   Wade bang

    The first sign is a grammatical Moebius strip: stop taking other people’s food if it doesn’t belong to you because it is other people’s food that doesn’t belong to you….

    Apr 15, 2008 at 7:49 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   secondsout bang

      Right. I was going to comment that it’s redundantly redundant.

      The second sign says the same thing, but in a more concise fashion, albeit with more angry faces.

      Apr 15, 2008 at 8:05 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

       
    • #5.2   pry

      heh, that was my thought exactly. :)

      don’t steal other people’s thoughts that don’t belong to you.

      Apr 15, 2008 at 8:34 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
    • #5.3   GVI bang

      Finders keepers dammit!

      Apr 15, 2008 at 9:18 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #5.4   unholyghost2003 bang

      So, better or worse?

      1)redundant wording + 1 pouty smillie

      2)concise phrasing + 3 angry smillies

      Please, feel free to define “better” and “worse” however you would like to define them.

      Apr 16, 2008 at 7:26 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #5.5   secondsout bang

      Now is it really a Smiley if it doesn’t smile? The word Frowny doesn’t quite roll off the tongue the same way.

      Apr 16, 2008 at 11:29 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #5.6   Mishee bang

      I believe that is why they came up with “Emoticon”… but maybe that’s just “me”…

      (had to throw in the sarcasm of course!)

      Apr 16, 2008 at 11:37 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #5.7   unholyghost2003 bang

      Oh SURE! NOW you come up with the word I was groping for in the under-caffeinated early hours of this morning! NOW I can’t back edit!

      Apr 16, 2008 at 12:00 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #5.8   secondsout bang

      I’m not sure I would call these things emoticons. Emoticons are usually a series of characters arranged to represent a Smiley (or other emotion) face. This isn’t a series of characters: it’s just the face.

      Apr 16, 2008 at 12:14 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #5.9   Mishee bang

      Well shit, next time just text me with the question!! Everyone else does at all hours of the night!!

      I got one the other night, about 11pm (my bedtime is about 8:30-9:00) with “Who was the lead singer of Black Sabbath?”

      I listen to COUNTRY & Stevie Nicks for effin cripe’s sake!! why did my friend think I would know something like that!!?

      Apr 16, 2008 at 12:16 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #5.10   unholyghost2003 bang

      ‘Cause it was OZZY?

      Apr 16, 2008 at 12:24 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #5.11   Mishee bang

      Well, yeah, okay, I admit I knew that one…

      But what if they had asked about some other band like that… I wouldn’t know… maybe…

      Ok, I guess this was a bad example!!

      Apr 16, 2008 at 12:25 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #5.12   amazon

      I got a text at 3am when my friend finally decided what she wanted for her birthday. Clearly an urgent texting situation.

      Apr 16, 2008 at 12:28 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #5.13   Quite Contrary

      Glad to hear you got the text. Looking forward to the gift. Thanks in advance!

      Apr 16, 2008 at 1:44 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #6   secondsout bang

    Oh, come on, Mr. Angry Crossing Guard. Turn that frown upside-down. We’re going to go take a big swim in Lake You. Let’s show the world a big grin!

    Apr 15, 2008 at 8:20 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   Ben

      In all fairness to the angry smily face – I think you would be angry too if you only had one good arm – even if it was clad in a fashionable white glove.

      Apr 15, 2008 at 11:03 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

       
    • #6.2   bellabeastie

      That’s effin hilarious… !! Lake You. LOL!

      Apr 16, 2008 at 9:24 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #7   summer

    Is that the new line of M&M’s not good, might scare the kids.

    Apr 15, 2008 at 8:26 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

     
  • #8   Set To Evil

    The tribunal of frowny faces has found you guilty and sentenced you to death for stealing other peoples food that does not belong to you!!

    Apr 15, 2008 at 8:35 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

     
  • #9   fan

    It seems as though the clip art was created with the intent of being used on passive aggressive notes!

    Design Team: “Hmm, we need some graphics for angry p/a people to use on office signs!”

    Apr 15, 2008 at 8:37 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

     
  • #10   orangeriki

    At least they didn’t use the ink blot men…

    Apr 15, 2008 at 8:44 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

     
  • #11   mamason bang

    The first note says not to take other peoples food if it doesn’t belong to you. I would love to know when it is that other peoples food does belong to you. :-?

    Apr 15, 2008 at 8:46 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   park rose bang

      I think you’ll find, mama, that the answer lies when you partake of the angry (yellow) communion wafers holding up all the signs:

      And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

      Not only eat my food, but eat me.

      Apr 16, 2008 at 6:36 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
    • #11.2   unholyghost2003 bang

      WOW Rose! I was going to make a catering joke or maybe Cake and Fruit … but you jumped in there with the blasphemy and blew me right outta the water!

      Apr 16, 2008 at 7:28 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #11.3   park rose bang

      I was in a mood. :mrgreen: Plus, I didn’t take His father’s name in vain. I think I’m safe. Unless of course He is His father, then I might be in deep shit.

      Apr 16, 2008 at 7:42 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #11.4   secondsout bang

      Mamason, other people’s food belongs to you when you steal it. Possession is 9/10ths of the law, right? I stole your lean pocket and ate it. Come retrieve it!

      Apr 16, 2008 at 2:25 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #12   Chipmunk

    They look like those annoying talking smilies that they have banner ads for everywhere. I’d be worried those notes would scream things at me every time I got near.

    Apr 15, 2008 at 8:58 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   Sarah bang

      *Say* something!

      Apr 15, 2008 at 9:01 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #12.2   Shanoney

      *little robot smile dude* WAAAAAT!?

      I loath those banners . . . uuurrrggg!

      Apr 15, 2008 at 10:11 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #13   Sarah bang

    The writer of the third note doesn’t get flowcharts, apparently. Right now it reads:

    “Do you have a roll of paper towels?

    Yes ==> Go to the trash can.
    No ==> Stop! Go to the toilet.”

    Apr 15, 2008 at 9:00 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

     
  • #14   Dent

    I think we could make a strategy game out of this

    will this “magical toilet” provide me with the “paper towel” to put in the “trash can” so i can finally level up to the “man with his foot in a bucket who is ever so happy about it”? i’ve been stuck on the angry yellow faces forever and want the powerful “mop of serendipity” wields, or is it the “broom of wealth”?

    Apr 15, 2008 at 9:15 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   Lorrie

      And the Coveralls of Justice!

      Apr 15, 2008 at 10:36 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #14.2   RunBarbara

      And the mop bucket of cloud giant strength!

      Apr 16, 2008 at 3:07 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #15   Freelance Guru

    Well, at least the Janitor thanks you!

    Apr 16, 2008 at 2:10 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #16   Quite Contrary

    Isn’t “No” “Stop” [insert angry Walmart price slasher picture here] redundant?

    I’m increasingly concerned at the lack of proper grammar in PA notes! Or is the lack of grammar part of what makes a PA note a PA note?

    Apr 16, 2008 at 2:17 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #16.1   anglophile bang

      So, what I’m taking away from sign #3, then, is that there is NOT a sale on paper towels at Walmart.

      Apr 16, 2008 at 7:14 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #17   TuesdayPillow

    How can you prove if other people’s food belongs to you? Do you need to sign a deed or something, and keep it handy every time you go to the refrigerator freezer (by the way, which one is it? You can’t take food out of the refrigerator, the freezer, or both)?
    This is too confusing. I’m just going to take anything that looks yummy.

    Apr 16, 2008 at 4:37 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

     
  • #18   poochie bang

    this kind of clipart is definitely the defcon 2 of the passive aggressive note world… once you’ve used that – and I suspect that whoever’s used it here knows full well what they’re doing – you’re only one step away from someone turning up to punch you in the face. and then reminding you that the paper towels you use to stop the blood flowing from your nose need to go in the TRASH…

    of course, i blame microsoft.

    Apr 16, 2008 at 8:21 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

     
  • #19   unholyghost2003 bang

    O.K. so the happy Janitor with the damp foot says “Please put paper towel in the trash can.”

    If there is only one shouldn’t I hang it up to dry so others can use it w/o having to root through the trash?

    Apr 16, 2008 at 8:46 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #19.1   bellabeastie

      Is this one of those Japanese signs where they don’t seem to get the “plural” thing?

      Right –please put paper TOWEL in the trash can– We can do that. Are we only allowed one paper towel per restroom visit ? Okay. If that what it takes to not have the Michael Jackson one-gloved, one-armed grumpy and sweaty smilie with the stop sign to not haunt my dreams…

      (scared to go… better hold it)

      Apr 16, 2008 at 9:15 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #20   marcopuffin bang

    The Janitor needs to concentrate on where he’s putting his foot, instead of bossing other people about where they put their paper towels.

    Apr 16, 2008 at 9:09 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

     
  • #21   claw71 bang

    To the tune of Unchain My Heart by Brother Ray Charles:

    Your lame clip art…. It really vexes me
    Your lame clip art…lacks ceativity

    Just because it came with Word
    doesn’t mean you should be a nerd
    Your lame clip art, oh please, please let it be.

    Your lame clip art…baby it’s got to go
    Your lame clip art…won’t stop the overflow

    I flushed the sign in a spiteful rage
    but you replaced it with another page
    Your lame clip art, there’s a reason it’s free.

    I graduated school so you know I can read
    I’m not a fool so I really don’t need
    Your lame clip art… it’s just getting in my way
    Your lame clip art…please, please, please take it away

    Work’s bad enough without this stupid shit
    Where’d you get the time to down load it
    Your lame clip art…has me ready to thow a fit.

    Apr 16, 2008 at 9:31 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #21.1   bellabeastie

      ** :) **

      P.S. Thanks for the ear worm. LOL

      Apr 16, 2008 at 9:42 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #22   Super Tash

    I like the way that the little faces ooze passive aggressiveness – especiallly the one with smoke comming out of its ears and a sullen closed little mouth.

    Apr 16, 2008 at 9:39 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

     
  • #23   poochie bang

    you know what, someone is really angry at life and has yet to get used to the fact that people steal things from office fridges. hell, in all the offices i’ve worked in it tends to be a fact of life that some grubby bastard will half-inch your cream cheese.

    me, i’d carry on stealing their food and documenting their progress from angry to incandescent to stroke victim.

    Apr 16, 2008 at 12:48 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

     
  • #24   Quite Contrary

    Back to the upset WalMart greeter (again). Who thinks up clip art like this?

    Apr 16, 2008 at 1:41 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

     
  • #25   Katzndogz bang

    I think the one smiley is upset because he was giving a thumbs up and someone twisted his hand outward so it would point down. That’s gotta hurt!

    Apr 16, 2008 at 1:42 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

     
  • #26   RunBarbara

    Stop taking other people’s food out of the refrigerator freezer
    How do you freeze a refrigerator? Is the Department of Water involved? Can I take things out of the regular freezer?
    I’m puzzled.

    Apr 16, 2008 at 3:03 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

     
  • #27   secondsout bang

    So is Mr. Frowny Face going to stand in front of the toilet with his stop sign all the time? That might discourage people from using it properly. That might lead to puking in the urinal, and crapping in the dressing room. Damn you, Frowny Face!! It’s all your fault!

    Apr 16, 2008 at 3:15 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

     
  • #28   claw71 bang

    I would just like to mention that the 45 minute rule takes precedent regardless of the number of notes or the frequency and density of clip art placement.

    All food in the office fridge is subject to community consumption after 12:45. First come, first served.

    Apr 16, 2008 at 3:52 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #28.1   Mishee bang

      what if you have an off schedule & don’t get in until 9 or 9:30 so you don’t take a lunch until 1:00 or 1:30 – do the rules apply then???

      Apr 16, 2008 at 4:30 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #28.2   claw71 bang

      I don’t want to hear excuses. Lunchtime is always noon. You have 45 minutes to get to your food because at quarter to one it’s free grazing time. I don’t care what your work schedule is.

      Apr 17, 2008 at 8:54 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #29   orangetiki

    I just realized: The guy giving the thumbs down, his hand is the wrong way. who ever drew these, Boo on you. go back to the drawing board.

    Apr 16, 2008 at 4:07 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #29.1   unholyghost2003 bang

      No it isn’t. Put the back of your right hand parallel to your chest with your fingers pointing toward your left arm. Curl in your fingers and extend your thumb, it will look just like the thumbs down guy (if you are a yellow circle with black arms and white gloves)

      Apr 16, 2008 at 4:20 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #29.2   Mishee bang

      now take your right hand, and stretch out just your thumb and index finger at a 90 degree angle… now slowly raise your hand palm facing out until the back of your hand rests against your forehead.

      sorry, I don’t know where I am going with this, it just kinda came to me… you know I love ya ugh! 8)

      Apr 16, 2008 at 4:31 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #30   Zsa

    anyone else dissapointed that the link to “this phrase” went back to Your Momma Doesn’t Work Here and not F’ing Delicious?

    Apr 16, 2008 at 4:55 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #30.1   amy d bang

      Since the phrase was referenced as being an irritating one that keeps popping up, I totally expected the link to lead back to fd .

      Apr 16, 2008 at 5:28 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #31   mamason bang

    Am I the only one willing to admit that I like clip art? I know I’m not the only one who does, or we wouldn’t see so much of it! :mrgreen:

    Apr 16, 2008 at 4:55 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

     
  • #32   Heidi

    hahahahah awesome!

    Apr 16, 2008 at 6:44 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #33   Chairperson: Society for Gender Neutral Clipart

    Why do people assume that the “perspiring misanthrope” with a stop sign is male? Is it not equally likely to be a Mrs? Or even a Ms?
    Clip art is universal, people!

    Apr 17, 2008 at 12:14 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #33.1   unholyghost2003 bang

      Because in the English language, when one is in doubt of a gender one should ALWAYS use male pronouns. For example “It looks like someone lost his keys!” … saying “their keys” is actually incorrect.

      Apr 17, 2008 at 8:11 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #33.2   park rose bang

      Some would disagree with you, UHG. Language has changed somewhat, and many of the grammar books I refer to accept the use of ‘their’ in a sentence that has traditionally required a singular pronoun. Officially (if a grammar book can be seen as official) not everyone sees that ‘he/his/him’ should be the default position.

      The same books also accept the use of ‘was’ with the conditional (if clauses).

      Not that it means much, but here is one that is widely referred to.

      Apr 17, 2008 at 8:29 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #33.3   unholyghost2003 bang

      awww Rose! I was just trying to be an uppity, snobby, pain in the ass! way to spoil my fun! ;)

      Apr 17, 2008 at 8:31 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #33.4   park rose bang

      Sorry, hon :D If WP ever wanders back through, he’ll have my guts for garters, anyway!

      Apr 17, 2008 at 8:39 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #34   DirtyOldLady bang

    I love the middle picture here. Siskel and Ebert agree–taking food or drinks that don’t belong to you gets you two thumbs down! :D

    Apr 17, 2008 at 7:14 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #35   aaa

    If I were sign-making dude, I would just put a wireless camera in the fridge and hand a bill to whoever’s been eating my food. It’s much more effective than a piddly note.

    However, I completely empathize with people who get their food stolen. (Only three more weeks of entitled food-stealing, tampon-using, razor-breaking, smoking-in-the-apartment-when-there’s-a-sign-on-the-building-that-says-not-to roomates!)

    Apr 17, 2008 at 10:42 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #36   He died for your clip art

    [...] really thought it couldn’t get more egregious than this clip-art catastrophe from a church in boston (left), which made this one (right) look downright tasteful in [...]

    Apr 28, 2008 at 5:51 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #37   nmallen

    The character looks like Ristar from that old SEGA Genesis game.

    http://www.ristar-cluster.org

    Apr 30, 2008 at 9:26 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #38   how do you say, “this is not the right place for bad clip art” in norwegian? | passive-aggressive (and just plain aggressive) notes

    [...] related: stop! in the name of clip art [...]

    Aug 11, 2008 at 7:54 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #39   is drawing with ms paint ever really necessary?

    [...] didn’t think office sign illustration could get more gratuitous than this guy, but then corinna in seattle came through with [...]

    Aug 2, 2009 at 3:54 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #40   2 notes, 1 cupcake

    [...] on two of the genre’s most irritating cliches — the rhyme that must be flushed and the clip art that must be stopped…with some additional ridiculous floral clip art  thrown in for good [...]

    Aug 28, 2009 at 12:03 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #41   Did you wash your hands? Well, did ya, punk? | PassiveAggressiveNotes.com — funny (if not necessarily "passive-aggressive") notes from pissed-off people

    [...] Of course, those less-straightforward techniques just might just backfire on you.  In that case, you could play the bully with THE CLIP ART THAT MUST BE STOPPED. [...]

    May 16, 2010 at 7:03 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     

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