Press X to Doubt also referred to as L.A. Noire Doubt, is a reaction image meme, originating from Rockstar Games’ L.A. Noire where players take on the role of a detective officer.
The reaction image macro is used online to express disbelief and suspicion in relation to a statement, thread or headline. It is mostly used as a reaction image macro, although it may be encountered as a GIF or a video as well.
The meme is a staple of internet culture, and it has been steadily used since 2012, throughout the entirety of the 2010s, appearing online even today, as of May 2023.
Rockstar Games released their game, L.A. Noire on May 17th, 2011, taking players to experience the job of detective Cole Phelps, interrogating witnesses and suspects across Los Angeles.
While interrogating, the player has the option of taking three actions after each statement of subjects; these are accepting the statement as truthful, doubting it or confronting the subject and accusing them of lying.
The image macro depicts the protagonist with a doubtful expression on his face, combined with the command prompt “X Doubt” or “Press X to Doubt”.
The first case of the meme appeared on FunnyJunk on December 4th, 2012, marking the beginning of this meme’s great career.
“Press X to Doubt” became a popular theme on FunnyJunk, reoccurring frequently in 2012 and 2013, also appearing on Tumblr, Reddit and 9GAG.
The format grew so significant across the web, that it spread across the most prominent social media sites, including Facebook, Instagram, as well as YouTube, where it may be encountered both as an image macro meme, or a reaction GIF.
As of 2023, the meme is a popular tool of YouTubers, to express distrust, while the image macro format is not as prominent on forums and discussions anymore. Despite this, the “Press X to Doubt” is one of the longest living memes, with an active usage that exceeds over 10 years.