Wikipedia:Whacking with a wet trout

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Whacking with a wet trout or trouting is a common practice on Wikipedia when experienced editors slip up and make a silly mistake. It, along with sentencing to the village stocks, is used to resolve one-off instances of seemingly silly behavior amongst normally constructive community members, as opposed to long term patterns of disruptive edits, which earns warnings and blocks.


The above is a WikiTrout (Oncorhynchus macrowikipediensis), used to make subtle adjustments to the clue levels of experienced Wikipedians.
To whack a user with a wet trout, simply place {{trout}} on their talk page.


Trout slapping originated in 1995 with internet relay chat (IRC).[1] While in an IRC chat room, the IRC client mIRC would allow users to enter the command:

  • /slap Sam

which would make the chat client send an action command to the channel to announce something along the lines of:

  • Steve slaps Sam around a bit with a large trout

The trout as the standard weapon-of-choice for slapping users in IRC can probably be attributed to the surreal humor that computer programmers are known to appreciate. There is additionally an old saying that some personal experience is "better than a slap in the face with a wet fish." A 1971 Monty Python sketch called "The Fish-Slapping Dance" may be partly to blame, even though this sketch did not specifically involve trout (utilizing sardines and a halibut in addition).[2] Also, in the Tintin books, the character Jolyon Wagg frequently quoted his uncle Anatole in saying that some situation was “better than a smack in the eye with a wet kipper”. Asterix comics also feature copious amounts of fish fights.[3]

In any event, this phenomenon proved to be inordinately popular, and so the "trout-slap" became a kind of Internet meme of the generation, though at that point only cyber-geeks were aware of such things. Trout-slaps have endured in the hearts and minds of those individuals to the present day, and since those were the people to form Wikipedia's early user-base, the trout made its way into regular use here—with the notable and possibly mistaken change in wording to "whack", which was here from the beginning, and went unnoticed long enough to become commonplace.

Today, getting whacked with a wet trout can be compared to when your mother said she was "hitting you over the head with a wet noodle", and it makes about as much sense. When someone does something inadvisable that they had the experience and intelligence to avoid, you may likely see the suggestion that they are "trouted"—or "trouts all around", as it has recently become more stylish to blame all parties in a dispute instead of one.


  • By degree of trouting:
    • {{Minnow}} – An even smaller trout, though still centered and nicely intrusive by default, but can be floated to the side on talk pages, and custom-styled
    • {{Trout}} – The original trout
    • {{Whale}} – For larger jobs
  • With alternative formatting:
    • {{Trout small}} – A replacement reasonably sized, left-aligned trout, suitable for trout victims to replace a regular trout after getting the message. {{Diet trout}} is identical
    • {{Diet trout small}} — A smaller trout than {{Trout small}}
    • {{Troutalt}} – A barnstar-style trout-in-a-banner
  • If you want to be trouted:
    • {{troutme}} – a small auto-trout icon for the top of your userpage
    • {{User slap me}} – a message indicating a user is open to being slapped with a trout, should they need it
    • {{self-trout}} – a {{facepalm}}-style trout for when you realize that you've done something silly yourself
    • {{self-whale}} – a {{facepalm}}-style whale for when you realize that you've done something very silly yourself
  • Warnings for trout misuse:
    • {{OverdoneTrout}} – A response to use against Wikipedians who tend to overuse the {{trout}} template
    • {{Small Overdone Trout}} – a more reasonably sized, less-intrusive, left-aligned overdone trout, suitable for overdone trout victims to use as a replacement after getting the message
    • {{whalemeat}} – if the Wikiwhale is overzealously used too often
  • For someone who doesn't like fish, but does like Monty Python, you could ask the {{colonel}} to stop things if they're getting too silly.

Real life trouting[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Although a Big Mouth Billy Bass isn't technically a fish, it is still representative of a fish, and therefore the meaning of the slap is retained.


  1. ^ Wan, Bodacious. "troutslap". Urban Dictionary. Retrieved 2014-04-29.
  2. ^ "YouTube Search for "Monty Python Fish Slapping Dance"". YouTube. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  3. ^ "Image of a fish". Asterix around the world. Retrieved 2019-02-17.
  4. ^ Lister, David (25 November 2005). "Jail for man who slapped stranger with a fish". The Times. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  5. ^ "'Frozen trout' nurse struck off". BBC News. 17 February 2006. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  6. ^ "Man slapped in face with wet fish". BBC News. 19 August 2006. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Sovande man blev slagen med makrill" [Sleeping man was beaten with mackerel]. Södermanlands Nyheter. 17 October 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Irish girl sought after fish-slapping incident in Lancashire". BBC News. 25 February 2014. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  9. ^ Bleier, Evan (4 June 2014). "Catfish attack over the weekend being investigated by Lufkin Police Department". UPI. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  10. ^ Tintner, Jennifer (24 April 2018). "Man slapped with Big Mouth Billy Bass singing fish after argument, police say". WPTV. Retrieved 31 August 2018.

Further reading[edit]