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Forever Alone is an exploitable rage comic character that is used to express loneliness and disappointment with life. The face has also been used as an advice animal and inspired the creation of the snowclone template “Forever an X.”
Forever Alone is considered one of the first major rage comic spin-off characters to be creater after the original Rage Guy, which first sprang up on 4chan in 2009. According to various sources, the original comic was uploaded in a thread titled “April Fools” by FunnyJunk user Azuul on May 28th, 2010 (shown below).
In early June 2010, another instance featuring a bachelor salaryman was posted on 4chan (shown below, left). On August 5th, 2010, Redditor L_E_G_E_N_D posted a Forever Alone rage comic titled “Prom FFFUUUU” (shown below, right), receiving over 275 up votes and 70 comments prior to being archived.
By September 2010, there were over 23,000 image results for “Forever Alone” on FunnyJunk and over 50,000 on Tumblr. On September 11th, single topic blog Forever Alone Comics was launched to curate the growing collection of four-pane comics. On September 15th, the /r/foreveralone subreddit was created, which received over 25,300 subscribers in the next three years. In early October, Forever Alone received mentions in several blogs, including Geekosystem, Memebase and Uproxx. Meanwhile, the meaning of term “Forever Alone” gradually expanded from a rage comic reference to the more general statement of being alone. On February 13th, 2013, the International Business Times published a slideshow of notable Valentine’s Day Forever Alone comics and image macros. As of February 2013, a Facebook page titled “Forever Alone” has received over 7.2 million submissions.
In the beginning, most rage comics were illustrated with the the basic four-pane template, but later grew into other formats like vertical comic strips, advice animals, multi-pane comics with dialogues and even animated GIFs.
An Advice Animal-style image macro series dubbed “Forever Alone” emerged on macro generator sites Memegenerator and Quickmeme sometime between December 2010 and January 2011. As of February 2013, the “Forever Alone” Quickmeme page has received over 62,000 submissions.
Forever Alone Flash Mob
On March 22nd, 2011, internet users on 4chan and Reddit began plotting an “involuntary” flash mob event by creating fake profiles on the dating site OKCupid and setting up a false rendezvous for single males at the Times Square, New York City at 7:30pm on May 13th, 2011. According to Urlesque’s report, flyers with details of the action plan were posted in the forums and blogs like The Mainboard, NYMag, Social Spew, Skim Online Forums and Dating Service Reporter.
The sudden influx of heavy traffic put a heavy strain on Earthcam’s servers, resulting in a streaming outage for viewers from 7 p.m. to 7:40 p.m. The few with access to the live stream took and uploaded screenshots of many men in suits loitering at meeting place via Tumblr and 4chan. At one point, an Anonymous guest appeared in the Earthcam feed with a Forever Alone poster on the side of a phone booth.
Know Your Meme’s senior reporter Don visited the site and interviewed one of the gentlemen who had been tricked into the OKCupid prank.
Sony Ericsson Ad Campaign
In November 2011, Sony Ericsson launched a series of video advertisements prominently featuring the character of Forever Alone for its Xperiathon campaign dubbed “The Loneliest Marathon in the World.”
Urlesque – Involuntary Flashmob Plotted for Forever Alone Single Guys / 3/24/11
Dating Service Reporter – 4chan Using Fake OkCupid Profiles to Lure Pathetic Singles to Times Square / 3/25/11