The Customer Comments On That Zelda Troll T-Shirt Are Hilariously Depressing

The Customer Comments On That Zelda Troll T-Shirt Are Hilariously Depressing

Feast your eyes on the above image. It’s clearly a joke T-shirt that plays with the common misconception that the titular character in Zelda is the controllable protagonist and not the Hilran princess that you’re charged with rescuing. We think the shirt is hilarious (the fact “Zelda” (aka Link) is deliberately androgynous only makes the joke funnier.) Sadly, it would appear that vast swathes of the gaming community have never heard of irony.

[credit provider=”Ryuuzaki-chan1110, Deviant Art” url=”″]

Here’s a sample of outraged comments from the The Shirt List website — where the designer explicitly spells out that the shirt is a joke:

errrm she is… i think the artist meant what if link was a girl….

This shirt is incorrect. The player character in the Legend of Zelda games is called Link. Zelda, on the other hand, is the princess, NOT the green-outfitted hero. This is a common misperception because the series is NOT named after the player character. The shirt should say “What if Link was a girl?”



You do know Zelda is a girl right?

… You do know that Zelda IS a girl Because the person you’ve just drawn as a girl HIS name is LINK.

zelda is a girl dumbass


IT DOESNT WORK… People say that this tee is trolling everyone but it doesn’t come across that way. It just makes the creator look stupid and makes it as if they’re trying to cover the mistake that was made in the 1st place… MORON

That is Link. You motherfuckers.

I’d like to think the above commenters were all in on the joke and were counter-trolling for a giggle… but honestly, how likely is that? The moral to the story is that it pays to stop and think before you blindly defend something you’re passionate about. Otherwise you could end up looking like an idiot.


  • It’s just like being in trade chat, except in trade chat this troll happens at least every half hour.

    • See something like “Halo is a pretty cool guy, Eh fight aliens and doesn’t afraid of anything.” is a piece of pure internet poetry. It takes the title/protagonist confusion to it’s extreme, the terrible spelling and grammar of a child on an internet message board, and a pure, innocent love of gaming.

      This t-shirt is just rubbish. It mixes up the title/protagonist but doesn’t properly acknowledge the actual existence of Zelda herself (even though that’s the foundation of the joke), and puts a dumb piece of gender-swap cheesecake art along side it’s bafflingly poorly thought out statement.

      Even when you know it’s a joke, it makes you kind of annoyed.

      • It’s a gaming ‘in-joke’. You don’t cite references when making an in-joke, that’s kind of the point.

          • Absolutely.

            Just as much sense as a subtle, tasteful N7 logo with some black, white, and red colouring. It’s a nod to a subculture, and you wear it. If someone walks up to you and says, “Hey. Nice shirt,” that’s the payoff – you just shared an in-joke with someone.
            (Edit: Especially if you reply with, “Thank you. …I should go,” and they laugh.)

            It’s a more subtle way of saying, “I’m a gamer!” than going with the more obvious(/obnoxious?) band-shirt style of brand-hyping. You’re not saying, “I’m a gamer!” to people who aren’t also gamers – you’re saying it to people who are, so you can identify.

            The reason those sports-logos Game of Thrones houses shirts are popular is because of the in-joke. To the uninitiated, who doesn’t know who the Starks or Lannisters or Greyjoys are, they just see a cool sports team logo, but one they’re not familiar with. You still have to explain the joke to them, too, but the joke’s not for them.

          • I had typed more here but the internet ate it.

            To distill it down to it’s most basic point is that I guess my driving point that sets this shirt apart is that I think it’s crap. It’s a crap but eyecatching design that references a stupid non-joke to an extremely niche population of gamers. The whole point of it was to generate comments like “BUT ZELDA IS A GIRL!!!1” so you can smirk and say “yeah, that’s the joke, you didn’t GET IT”. The shirt takes off the onus of you to just enjoy having a little joke with yourself by wearing a subtle direwolf polo shirt or whatever and instead waves it’s dick at passing traffic so everyone knows how much you enjoy your own company.

            The shirt pisses me off in a completely unimportant way that I will have forgotten about tomorrow.

          • That’s a little strange, because I think there must be something ELSE at play, here. That joke’s no better or worse than any other others out there making in-jokes. Just reverse the labels and it’s still just as valid/invalid a point about dick-waving. What is it that makes one joke more offensive somehow than another? The fact that it skirts too close to Poe’s Law?

          • I guess so? I can wear my Grifball shirt with it’s “est. 2554” on it and most people don’t notice. It looks like any random athletics shirt apart from being bright orange. It’s not a troll shirt, it’s just a reference to red vs. blue. If people ask me I can explain it.

            The response to this shirt is either going to be “I don’t get it (because who’s Zelda? What are video games?)”, “Zelda IS the girl, dummy! (because I know what games are)” or the most unlikely is “Oh yes, you are referencing [thing]. You are trolling, Well played.”

            The majority of actual responses are likely to be people who got trolled, such as the commenters on the store page. So you just pissed off the bulk of your audience/target market before taking their money. How well does that work, as a business plan? It demonstrates a lack of self-awareness on the part of the creator.

            You know what a better shirt would be? Just the art of the gender-swapped Link. You’re making the same reference to Link’s androgynous appearance and the internet meme that he might in fact be a girl anyway, but the design works. The addition of the text is where the shirt crosses the line from fun speculation to being insulting.

          • Shirts don’t need to be understood by everyone. Like the 2 Girls 1UP with Princess Peach and Princess Daisy that I mentioned in my other post.

            I doubt 1 in 10,000 people walking down the street would get that. A fraction of Mario fans would understand the link, assuming they get the 1 cup reference. Yet, as esoteric as it is, it’s a brilliant shirt.

          • Sure Mike, but it also doesn’t insult the viewer for not knowing what it means/interpreting it wrong.

  • For someone looking at the shirt, there is no trolling connotations there. When you put a female in link’s clothing it clearly looks like an error.

  • The problem is that you’ll find yourself needing to explain the joke on the t-shirt to countless people. Wouldn’t be worth the hassle.

    • This prevents me buying a lot of t-shirts. My wardrobe mainly consists of stuff from Rooster Teeth but a lot of their recent creations have been such obscure references that I simply can’t bring myself to wear them in public. Not out of geek shame, but because I have two options: either explain the joke which will take too long and ultimately end is disappointment and discourage the person from expressing curiousity of any kind ever again, or; be a smug hipster douche and refuse to explain it because they won’t “get it”.
      The possible third option of saying “oh, it’s just a video gaming thing” doesn’t satisfy either my laziness or my compulsion to constantly overexplain things.

  • I literally laughed out loud when I saw this.. Some people need to stop being such a princess.

  • Nintendo should totally screw with us and make the next game with Zelda as the playable hero.

    Do it.

  • An Iron, an Iron is Irony. Horseshoes are Irony.
    Cornflakes are quite irony, they are fortified with it.

  • At least its not blindingly sexist for once…

    One of the lowest commenters has a good point though “Why is her head inside the bow string?”. Suppose its one way to prevent the archer equivalent of the negligent discharge but surely not having it drawn would do an even better job.

  • Anyone else notice the amazing mispelling of what I can only assume was meant to be Hylian in the article itself.

  • On a side-note, I was lured here by the promise of hot, androgynous Link/Zelda pics from the home page, but instead all I got was this lousy shirt.*

    *shirt isn’t actually lousy, I was just unintentionally integrating the shirt pun as I started typing.

  • I got shown this yesterday. And it took an absurdly long time for it to properly click.

    I’ve been running on stupid lately.

  • Zelda is Transgender.. she turns into Sheik!.

    I think the shirt did exactly what it was intended to. Got people talking about it.


  • the thing is the shirt doesnt even come off as trolling if you were sen wearing it you would just have to explain what its supposed to mean every single time.

  • Shouldn’t it be “what if Zelda *WERE* a girl” since its still an active series and in the present tense?

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