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Flipping Table emoticon (written as: (╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻) is a text-based emoticon depicting a person flipping a table out of rage. Primarily used by East Asian internet users to express rage, the emoticon became popular among Western internet users following its introduction through internationally popular online games.
The act of flipping a table out of anger has been typically associated with portrayal of frustrated fathers and husbands in fiction, TV shows as well as manga and anime series. In Japan, the trope is known as Flipping Tables or Return Tea Table (ちゃぶ台返し, Chabudai Gaeshi) which has been illustrated through characters like Ittetsu Hoshi in the 1968 manga/anime series “Star of the Giants” and Kantaro Terauchi from the 1975 sitcom series “Terauchi Kantaro’s Family."
The original instance and its first appearance on the web remains unknown, but the text-based emoticon most likely emerged in the early 1990s, along with the general style now we know as Japanese emoticons.
While the emoticon has been used by East Asian internet users for awhile, the Western adoption of the expression did not begin until the early 2000s during the expansion of Japanese media franchises and the rise of internationally popular multiplayer online games like Starcraft and World of Warcraft.
Usage in Starcraft
With the release of Starcraft II in 2010, the “table-flipping” emoticon continued to spread among Western players as it became frequently used to express anger or indicate that Ragequitting is imminent.
The emoticon became particularly notable among the English-speaking players in early July 2011, when several major video-streaming services for the popular e-Sport experienced downtime due to the waves of heavy distributed denial-of-service attacks.
Eventually, a Starcraft player and Reddit user johnelwaysteeth channeled his frustration by posting the emoticon in the comments thread, which was met by positive reaction and upvotes on the link-sharing community. It also led to a number of duplicate posts containing the emoticon on Reddit.
There are several known variations stemming from the original emoticon:
- (ﾉಥ益ಥ）ﾉ ┻━┻
- ┬──┬ ¯\_(ツ)
- ┻━┻ ︵ヽ(`Д´)ﾉ︵ ┻━┻
- ┻━┻ ︵ ¯\(ツ)/¯ ︵ ┻━┻
- ┬─┬ノ( º _ ºノ)
The “table-flipping” action can be also conveyed in the format of photographs and cartoons:
IRL Organized Table Flipping
On November 11th, 2011, the Society of Software Engineers at Rochester Institute of Technology organized a real life table-flipping event for students to “relieve stress” from finals week. They advertised the event on the RIT subreddit, stating that an empty table would be free to flip, one place setting would cost $1, and two place settings would cost $2.