Geekin’ It: Rage Guy Faces

It’s times like these that I really love my job. Illustration courtesy of Colin McGann.

On any message board, you’re going to see your average cast of characters. The Courage Wolves, Karate Kyles, or Charlie Sheens are all Internet regulars. Today, I’m going to talk about a meme that is close to my heart: Rage Guys.

Rage Guys are a four-panel comic image macro. This means that using the base image or an application, you too can easily remix the Rage Guy comics. Image macros are easily repeatable and usually follow a strict rule set. The break down for the Rage Guy image macro is usually something like this:

I have successfully destroyed what made this funny. Illustration courtesy of Totosaitama.

The poor art quality is intentional. The goal is to make the viewer of the comic believe that it was made in Microsoft paint. The set history of the meme is hard to trace. Encylodpedia Dramatica claims (X-Rated) that the macro is based off of an old Eddie Murphey stand up routine where he talks about the problems of bowel movements and how poorly designed toilets are. A supposed original comic was made using the Rage Guy face acting out the Eddie Murphey skit. This comic became immensely popular and was spread around the Internet via 4Chan, Reddit, and Tumblr. According to Google Insight and Know Your Meme the Rage Guy meme picked up speed around late 2009 and grew out exponentially from there.

My favorite part of the Rage Guy meme is the varied cast of characters that are representative of different emotions and situations. Rage Guy can range in gender, attitude, and even racial stereotype. The Subreddit for Rage Guys put together this handy chart to meet all of the Rage Guy spin-offs. Rage Guys are incredibly old in meme years, me writing this article is one of the signifiers that it’s a dead meme. The thing about Rage Guys is that they’ve stayed relevant and kept changing by adding new characters and still speaking to a few universal truths. Rage Guy is Rage Guy and he’ll keep fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuuing until he’s put out to pasture.