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A rage comic is a short comic utilizing a growing set of pre-made cartoon faces, or rage faces, which usually express rage or some other simple emotion or activity. These comics have spread much in the same way that internet memes do, and several memes have originated in this medium. They have been characterized by Ars Technica as an "accepted and standardized form of online communication."
Rage comics' popularity has been attributed to their use as vehicles for humorizing shared experiences. The range of expression and standardized, easily identifiable faces has allowed uses such as teaching English as a foreign language.
- 1 History
- 2 Phrase Rage Comics
- 3 Picture Rage Comics
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
The first rage comic was posted to the 4chan /b/random board in 2008. It was a simple 4-panel strip showing the author's anger about getting "splashback" while on the toilet, with the final panel being what we now know as Rage Guy: A zoomed-in face screaming "FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU-". It was quickly reposted and modified, with other users creating new scenarios and characters.
Although used on numerous websites such as Reddit, Cheezburger, iFunny, ESS.MX, and 9GAG, the source of the rage comic has largely been attributed to 4chan in mid-2007. One very notable site is Ragestache, the most popular of the Spartz Media sites, which is devoted exclusively to rage comics and has over 1,900 pages, as of January 2014.
Phrase Rage Comics
Phrase rage comics are a type of rage comic that caption pictures with a specific phrase to emphasize one's feelings in real life scenarios in a very simplistic, funny way. They were started in 2008 and became popular in 2009.
This face is the first one known to be made and was used in the four panel comic to show the issue of "backsplash" as mentioned above. As time went on there have been many representations of this face, most of which translate a larger and larger anger but the one shown here is the most well know one.
The Spanish phrase me gusta translates to "I like" in English. The face was first seen on 4chan in a rage comic by illustrator Matt Oswald along with the me gusta phrase.
The face is to show pleasure in situations that are embarrassing or abnormal awkward, such as smelling your own gas or spinning on a rotating chair. There are three well know me gusta faces that are used in different situations. The first one being the primary me gusta, the second is the no me gusta which is translates incorrectly to "i like the" from Spanish and is used to show disprovable of the situation, lastly is the me gusta mucho which translates to "i really like" in English which, as you can guess, convoys a larger pleasure from the situation than just a standard me gusta face.
Like A Boss
The origin of the “like a boss” rage comic comes from a parody music video by the group The Lonely Island: Like a Boss. In this music video the boss, Andy Samberg, goes over his daily activities which progress from mundane office tasks to a variety of impossible happenings.
The “Like a Boss” comic is used by captioning an unusual photograph as "LIKE A BOSS". This is done to allude to Andy Samberg's comments on his activities.
The challenge accepted face is a stick figure with a conceited-looking facial expression and arms crossed. The face originated from the catchphrase “challenge accepted!” said by TV’s How I Met Your Mother character Barney Stinson. The first “challenge accepted” rage comic was documented on November 12, 2010, posted by “Body Building” forums’ MK. Later, a “Fuck Yeah Challenge Accepted Guy” blog was created on tumblr, and a Challenge Accepted Facebook page was made.
The face is used in comics to show the rage character acting as if he has been dared or challenged to do something without actually being dared or challenged, and the rage character accepts the challenge presented by making a smug face and crossing his arms. for example, if someone tells you that you can’t do something, the Challenge Accepted rage comic can be used to “accept the challenge” and prove them wrong.
Picture Rage Comics
Picture rage comics are a type of rage comic that are simple comics drawn to display real life scenarios in a very simplistic, funny way. They were started in 2008 and became popular in 2009. Many faces for many real life situations have emerged, such as “forever alone,” “smile,” and many others.
Obama - Not Bad
The Obama Not Bad rage comic face is a drawing of President Barack Obama wearing a suit and bowtie making a sturgeon face. This drawing is based on a face that Obama made in May 2011 while visiting the United Kingdom.
This rage comic was created to resemble a sturgeon face Obama made in reaction to something pleasantly surprising at the Buckingham Palace while visiting the Queen of England. A picture was taken of Obama making this face and it soon became the “Picture of the Day” by The Daily Telegraph, becoming popular quickly. A couple days later, an active Reddit user posted a rage comic with Obama’s sturgeon face and the words “Not Bad” written below. After this Reddit post, many coming strips and other similar platforms* posted the picture to their websites; this led the rage comic to go viral. This led the words “Not Bad” to be associated with many other sturgeon faces already flowing around the web.
The Obama Not Bad face is usually used to demonstrate a feeling of being pleasantly surprised. In other words, someone will use this rage face when they see something they like, that they did not particularly anticipate to be that impressive.
Yao Ming - Bitch Please
The Yao Ming drawing comes from a still shot of a playoff interview with Yao Ming and Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest. During this time, both athletes play for the Houston Rockets and are talking with the press. Artest is cracking jokes, making not only the reporters laugh, but also Yao. At one point in the interview, Yao makes the face that is depicted in the drawing.
Then on july 11th, 2010, a Reddit* user with the username “downlow” posted the Yao Ming drawing. Another user, “alkalait,” responded to the original post with a post that said, “Yao Ming is saying ‘Bitch Pleeease?’”
The Yao Ming Face is an actual drawing of the professional basketball player Yao Ming’s face. In the image Yao Ming* is laughing hysterically and smiling with his mouth open wide. The drawing is often used to show one’s obnoxious disagreement with someone else’s point of view. The image is used to not only refute an idea, but also present an idea that someone feels is better. Although Yao Ming is actually laughing at a joke in the drawing, it looks as if he is mocking what someone has just said. 
The Yao Ming face is used in a couple of different ways. The most popular way in which the face is used is to convey the messages of “fuck that.” The “fuck that” meaning is akin to the original posting of “Bitch please.” When used this way, the face becomes sarcastic and usually puts down or mocks a situation.
A user of FunnyJunk named Azuul first created the original “Forever Alone” rage comic on May 28, 2010. The stick figure was designed to display a large, defined, and bulging face usually expresses an emotion of sadness with tears streaming from his face. He is an offshoot of the original Rage Guy, and one of the most, if not the most, popular Rage Comics published on the Internet. There have been many comics created with the “Forever Alone” character along with many other characters such as Advice Animals and the look-alike “Forever an X”.
The “Forever Alone” character is used in rage comics to show someone who feels terminally lonely. In most of these comics, the character starts off expressing happiness or confidence with his next action. Shortly thereafter, something occurs against his wishes making him believe that he truly will be alone forever. For example, a person sends an April Fool's day text to their ex-girlfriend expressing their desire to be back together, to which the ex replies with the same sentiment. The rage character follows through with the April fool joke only to realize that he still is alone forever. 
If You Know What I Mean
If You Know What I Mean is a rage comic character based on a black and white outline drawing of English actor Rowan Atkinson in his role of Mr. Bean, based on a still taken from the 2007 comedy film Mr. Bean’s Holiday. In the Internet meme, Atkinson’s face is pointed downwards and to the side, his eyes are fixed on the camera, his eyebrows are raised, and he is smiling deviously. In addition to four panel rage face comics, the rage comic character is also used in vertical panel comics and can even be simply inserted onto an image. Two variations of the meme exist: one contains the words “If you know what I mean” in red lettering below Atkinson’s image and the other does not contain the lettering. Both variations can be used interchangeably.
The meme is used as an indicator of sexual innuendo in an image or series of images. Prior to the creation of the meme, the phrase “if you know what I mean” has enjoyed popular colloquial usage for many years in indicating sexual double entendre, similar in manner to the phrase “that’s what she said”. 
- Boutin, Paul (May 9, 2012), "Put Your Rage Into a Cartoon and Exit Laughing", The New York Times
- Connor, Tom (11 March 2012). "Fuuuuuuuu: The Internet anthropologist's field guide to "rage faces"". Condé Nast. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
- Hoevel, Ann (11 October 2011). "The Know Your Meme team gets all scientific on teh intarwebs". GeekOut (CNN). Retrieved 9 December 2011.
- Wolford, Josh (2 November 2011). "Teaching The English Language With Rage (Comics)". WebProNews. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
- Ben Dennison. "Our 8 Favorite Rage Comic Characters: a Case Study". www.weirdworm.com. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
- "Like a Boss". GeekOut (Know Your Meme). 18 March 2014. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
- "Challenge Accepted". Know Your Meme. 18 March 2014. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
- "Obama Rage Face/ Not Bad". Rage Comics (Know Your Meme). 18 March 2014. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
- "Yao Ming Face/Bitch Please". GeekOut (Know Your Meme). 18 March 2014. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
- "Forever Alone". Know Your Meme. 18 March 2014. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
- "If You Know What I Mean". Know Your Meme. 21 March 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
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