Rage comic

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The very first rage comic, originally published on 4chan in 2008

A rage comic is a short cartoon strip using a growing set of pre-made cartoon faces, or rage faces, which usually express rage or some other simple emotion or activity.[1] They are usually crudely drawn in Microsoft Paint or other simple drawing programs, and were most popular in the early 2010s.[2] These webcomics 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."[3] The popularity of rage comics has been attributed to their use as vehicles for humorizing shared experiences.[4] The range of expression and standardized, easily identifiable faces has allowed uses such as teaching English as a foreign language.[5]


Although used on numerous websites such as Reddit, Cheezburger, ESS.MX, Ragestache, and 9GAG, the source of the rage comic has largely been attributed to 4chan in mid-2008. 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 having water splash into their anus while on the toilet, with the final panel featuring a zoomed-in face, known as Rage Guy, saying "FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-". It was quickly reposted and modified, with other users creating new scenarios and characters.[6]

Google Trends data shows that the term "rage guy" peaked in April 2009 while the terms "rage comics" and "troll face" both peaked in March 2009.[2]


One of the most widely used rage comic faces is the Trollface, drawn by Oakland artist Carlos Ramirez in 2008.[7] Originally posted in a comic to his DeviantArt account Whynne about Internet trolling on 4chan,[8] the trollface is a recognizable image of Internet memes and culture. Ramirez has used his creation, registered with the United States Copyright Office in 2009, to gain over $100,000 in licensing fees, settlements, and other payouts.[7] The video game Meme Run for Nintendo's Wii U console was taken down for having the trollface as the main character.[7][9][10]

"Y U NO" guy[edit]

Another character that is frequently used in rage comics is the "Y U NO" (shorthand for "why you no"[11]) guy, a character with a big round head, deep wrinkles, thin arms and a look of intense annoyance. He is also often used in image macro form.[12] He was used on a billboard on the 101 to advertise a chat platform in 2011[13] and on the cover of The Gap in 2012.[14][15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Boutin, Paul (May 9, 2012), "Put Your Rage Into a Cartoon and Exit Laughing", The New York Times, archived from the original on March 14, 2021, retrieved February 28, 2017
  2. ^ a b "Google Trends". Google Trends. Retrieved 2017-10-01.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Connor, Tom (11 March 2012). "Fuuuuuuuu: The Internet anthropologist's field guide to "rage faces"". Condé Nast. Archived from the original on 22 March 2021. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
  4. ^ Hoevel, Ann (11 October 2011). "The Know Your Meme team gets all scientific on the intarwebs". GeekOut. CNN. Archived from the original on 13 December 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
  5. ^ Wolford, Josh (2 November 2011). "Teaching The English Language With Rage (Comics)". WebProNews. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  6. ^ Ben Dennison (28 March 2012). "Our 8 Favorite Rage Comic Characters: a Case Study". www.weirdworm.com. Archived from the original on 30 March 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c Klepek, Patrick. "The Maker Of The Trollface Meme Is Counting His Money". Kotaku. Archived from the original on 2020-02-21. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  8. ^ "Comic - Trolls". DeviantArt. Archived from the original on 2009-05-15. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  9. ^ "Here's Why Meme Run Was Taken Down From the eShop - Nintendo Enthusiast". Nintendo Enthusiast. 2015-03-04. Retrieved 2017-10-01.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Meme Run Disappears from the Wii U eShop". Nintendo Life. 2015-03-03. Archived from the original on 2017-10-01. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  11. ^ "Y U NO Meme | Meaning & History". Dictionary.com. 2018-03-01. Retrieved 2023-11-26.
  12. ^ Torres, Cesar (2012-03-10). "New iPad, Y U no have name? The Ars Open Forum discusses Apple's iPad event". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2023-11-26.
  13. ^ Tsotsis, Alexia (2011-04-23). "Y U NO HAVE LAME BILLBOARD HIPCHAT?". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2023-11-26.
  14. ^ Ahmed, Dalia (July 2012). "Memes Y U NO coverstory yet?!". The Gap. No. 127. p. 20.
  15. ^ Mims, Christopher (2013-06-28). "Y U No Go Viral: The New Science of Memes". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2023-11-26.

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