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“Genius” is a rage comic character and an expression used to marvel at someone’s stupidity. Because of its dubious use in criticism of others and self-deprecative humor, the character shares common grounds with other memes in the rage comic universe, particularly some of the more sarcastic ones like “You Don’t Say” and “Watch Out, We Got a Badass Over Here.”
The earliest comic using the Genius face was submitted by Cheezburger user antihero to the four pane comic site Comixed on September 1st, 2011. Titled “Idiot Savant Says…,” the comic depicts a tablet user who is frustrated with typing on the touch screen and attempts to solve the problem by buying a case with a keyboard, making the tablet function just like a laptop. Meanwhile, it remains unclear whether the character was traced from a photographic image or posted anywhere prior to this comic.
The following day, Memebase user Viktor_Alekzander posted a response comic (shown below) suggesting that the face should be further developed into a rage comic character. On December 27th, 2011, the Genius character was added to the webcomic generator site All The Rage Faces, followed by several appearances throughout Memebase between January and March, We Know Memes in March 2012 and August 2012. Additional instances have appeared on Tumblr with the tag “genius meme,” MemeCenter and Reddit.