From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
A depiction of a generic Wojak. It is a simplistic black-and-white drawing of a bald man with a wistful expression.
Original, generic appearance of Wojak
First appearanceVichan imageboard, 2009
In-universe information
NicknameFeels Guy

Wojak (/ˈwæk/; WOH-jak, from Polish wojak [vɔjak], loosely 'soldier' or 'fighter'), also known as Feels Guy, is an Internet meme that is, in its original form, a simple, black-outlined cartoon drawing of a bald man with a wistful expression. The origin of the Wojak illustration is unknown.[1] It may have emerged in 2009 on a Polish imageboard named vichan, from where it was later reposted to the German imageboard krautchan in 2010 by a poster called "wojak".

The meme subsequently grew in popularity on 4chan, where the character became associated with the phrases formerly used by wojak such as "I know that feel, bro", "that feel" or "that feel when".


The earliest currently known "Wojak" is the nickname of a Polish user on the English-speaking board /int/ of the defunct German imageboard Krautchan, who started posting the image around 2010, often accompanied with lament about not having a girlfriend.[2] According to him, the image originally came from the Polish imageboard vichan, where it was posted with the filename "ciepła twarz.jpg" (from Polish 'warm face').[3] Brian Feldman of Intelligencer describes the meme Wojak's expression as "pained but dealing with it".[4]

The image spread to other imageboards, including 4chan, where by 2011 an image of two Wojaks hugging each other under the caption "I know that feel bro" gained popularity.[2]

Wojak was also paired with the template phrase "that feel" or "that feel when", shortened to "tfw".[2][3]

Some variants paired him with the character Pepe the Frog (catchphrase "feels good man/feels bad man") in what Feldman describes as a "platonic romance within the memescape".[3]



In October 2018, a Wojak with a gray face, pointy nose and blank, emotionless facial expression, dubbed "NPC Wojak", became a popular visual representation for people who supposedly cannot think for themselves or make their own decisions, comparing them to non-player characters – computer-automated characters within a video game. NPC Wojak has gained online notoriety.[5][6] The meme gained media attention, initially in Kotaku and The New York Times, due to its usage in parodying the supposed herd mentality of American liberals.[5][7] This usage of the meme has been attributed to Donald Trump supporters.[8] About 1,500 Twitter accounts falsely posing as liberal activists with the NPC meme as a profile picture were suspended for allegedly spreading misinformation about the 2018 United States elections.[7] [8] On January 13, 2019, a conservative art collective known as "The Faction" hijacked a billboard for Real Time with Bill Maher, replacing Maher's image with that of the NPC Wojak.[9]


In November 2019, the "Coomer" Wojak picked up in popularity with the "No Nut November" trend. The Coomer depicts a smiling Wojak edit with unkempt hair, red rimmed eyes, and an untidy beard. This Wojak is sometimes depicted with a skinny frame, and a large, muscular right arm resulting from excessive masturbation. It is generally understood to represent someone with a pornography addiction.[10] Much of this meme's popularity can be attributed to the "Coomer Pledge", a viral internet trend which dared people to abstain from masturbation for all of November, and change their profile picture to an image of the Coomer if they were to fail.[11]


The doomer is an image macro and character archetype that first appeared on 4chan. The image typically depicts Wojak wearing a black beanie and a black hoodie, with dark circles under its eyes, while smoking a cigarette. The archetype often embodies nihilism, clinical depression, hopelessness, and despair, with a belief in the incipient end of the world to causes ranging from climate apocalypse, to peak oil, to alcoholism, to (more locally) opioid addiction.[12][13][14] The meme first appeared on 4chan's /r9k/ board in September 2018.[15]

A related meme format, "doomer girl", began appearing on 4chan in January 2020, and it soon moved to other online communities, including Reddit and Tumblr, often by women claiming it from its 4chan origins.[15] This format is described by The Atlantic as "a quickly sketched cartoon woman with black hair, black clothes, and sad eyes ringed with red makeup". The doomer girl character is often associated with the e-girl and alternative subcultures. The character often appears in image macros interacting with the original doomer character.[15][16] The format is often compared to rage comics.[17]


Soyjak, a portmanteau of "soy" and "wojak", is a variation of Wojak that combines Wojak-style illustrations with features of a soy boy or "nu-male".[18][19] It is typically used in online discourse, such as on 4chan and various other sites and imageboards, to mock an opponent's position by quoting them alongside a Soyjak image.[20] The first example of Soyjak appeared in December 2017 on 4chan's /int/ board. It quickly gained notoriety on the site, spawning many edits and variants, commonly mocking interests associated with "soy boys", including use of sites such as Reddit or 9gag, playing Nintendo Switch, or cuckoldry, among other things. Soyjaks usually have large open mouths. Aside from the original Soyjak variant, a Wojak edit with glasses and a scraggly beard, it became popular to trace real-life people perceived to fit the "soy boy" stereotype.[21]

See also[edit]

  • Polandball – another meme which originated on Krautchan to make fun of the user Wojak before spreading to the English-speaking world.
  • Rage comic – a similar meme which also uses copies of black-and-white Microsoft Paint illustrations.
  • Meme Man – a 3D render of a face often used in surreal memes and reaction images.


  1. ^ "Wojak". Know Your Meme. Retrieved 2022-03-20.
  2. ^ a b c Brown, Elizabeth Nolan. "That Feeling When..." Bustle. Archived from the original on 2018-10-19. Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  3. ^ a b c Feldman, Brian. "What 4chan Memes Will Go Mainstream in 2017?". Intelligencer. Archived from the original on 2018-10-19. Retrieved 2019-02-09.
  4. ^ Feldman, Brian (13 February 2017). "People Are Arguing About the Size of Their Brains Using MS-Paint Illustrations". Intelligencer. Archived from the original on 1 August 2021. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  5. ^ a b Alexander, Julia (October 23, 2018). "The NPC meme went viral when the media gave it oxygen". The Verge. Archived from the original on 23 October 2018. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  6. ^ Sommerlad, Joe. "What is an NPC? The liberal-bashing meme sweeping social media ahead of the US midterms". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2018-10-24. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
  7. ^ a b "Why has Twitter banned 1500 accounts and what are NPCs?". BBC News. 17 October 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-10-17. Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  8. ^ a b "What Is NPC, the Pro-Trump Internet's New Favorite Insult?". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2018-10-16. Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  9. ^ Bond, Paul (January 13, 2019). "Bill Maher Labeled "NPC" by Conservative Street Artists". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on January 14, 2019. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  10. ^ Dickson, E. J. (2019-11-08). "How a New Meme Exposes the Far-Right Roots of #NoNutNovember". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2019-11-08. Retrieved 2019-12-30.
  11. ^ Iskiev, Max (2019-11-11). "Breaking Down the 'Coomer Pledge' Taking Over No Nut November 2019". StayHipp. Archived from the original on 2020-09-28. Retrieved 2019-12-30.
  12. ^ Read, Max (2019-08-01). "Is Andrew Yang the Doomer Candidate?". Intelligencer. Archived from the original on 2019-08-01. Retrieved 2019-10-17.
  13. ^ Keating, Shannon (11 September 2019). "Against Nihilism". BuzzFeed News. Archived from the original on 4 June 2020. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  14. ^ Knibbs, Kate (17 February 2020). "The Hottest New Literary Genre Is 'Doomer Lit'". Wired. Archived from the original on 4 June 2020. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  15. ^ a b c Tiffany, Kaitlyn (3 February 2020). "The Misogynistic Joke That Became a Goth-Meme Fairy Tale". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on 4 June 2020. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  16. ^ Martinez, Ignacio (7 January 2020). "Meet 'Doomer Girl,' the new voice of a classic meme". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on 4 June 2020. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  17. ^ "Meet 'Doomer Girl,' the new voice of a classic meme". The Daily Dot. 2020-01-07. Archived from the original on 2020-06-04. Retrieved 2021-01-15.
  18. ^ Abascal, Luis (4 July 2021). "Basado, charocracia, chad o pesetas y cunetas: así habla el Team Facha". Elplural (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 19 September 2021. Retrieved 22 Sep 2021.
  19. ^ West, Ed (14 Aug 2021). "Why the Left can't meme". Unherd. Archived from the original on 24 September 2021. Retrieved 22 Sep 2021.
  20. ^ Rawnsley, Adam (11 Sep 2021). "Afghanistan's Shitposting Taliban Stan Finds Right-Wing Fame". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on 13 September 2021. Retrieved 22 Sep 2021.
  21. ^ Klee, Miles (2020). "'Soy Face' Is Real, and It's Annoying — It Just Needs a Better Name". Mel Magazine. Archived from the original on 1 October 2021. Retrieved 22 Sep 2021.

External links[edit]