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“I Know That Feel Bro” (also known as “to uczucie” or “to uczócie”) is an Internet slang expression used to convey empathy towards or agree with someone else’s feeling or opinion. The expression, which roughly means “I feel you, bro,” is typically accompanied by a contour- drawing reaction image of two bald men embracing each other expressionlessly. The face has been used as an exploitable character and is often seen in “that feel when” (TFW) threads on image boards, which describe an emotional situation or event.
The earliest instances of “that feel" are rumored to have been posted on the German image board Krautchan as early as May of 2010. On February 6th, 2012, a user named “Voyack” posted an “ask me anything thread” on Reddit saying he was the Krautchan user “Wojak”, the creator of the meme:
Voyack reported that the bald man picture came from the Polish image board Vichan and was named “twarz.jpg” (“warm face”).
““To uczucie” (“this feeling”) became a popular phrase on the Polish ”>demotivational humor website Demotywatory in 2009. The phrase was paired with an image that described certain distinct, shared or important feelings. The first one, posted in July of that year, paired a still shot from a boss fight from the Nintendo game Super Mario Brothers and the phrase “Remember this feeling?”
In early 2010, users of the now-defunct Polish imageboard Vichan started posting parody images from Demotywatory. In response to the “To uczucie”-themed pictures, Vichan users created “To uczócie” (sic), a common type of demotivator with absurd, offensive or horribly misspelled captions that rarely matched the image. The grass example pictured above roughly translates to “This feeling when the trees are growing and you aren’t.”
Wojak posted the bald man image in several other threads on Krautchan’s /int/ (international) board mourning his lack of a girlfriend. Soon after, the picture became known as “Wojak’s face” and “ciepła twarz” (“warm face”). The image spread to other international image boards, including the Italian Pastachan and the Russian Dobrochan.
A picture of the bald man in mid embrace with the caption “I know that feel, bro” began appearing on 4chan in greentext story threads as early as January 27th, 2011. The original Wojack face image is often used in a similar fashion with the phrase “that feel” or “that feel when.”
A /r/datfeel subreddit, where Redditors exchange stories about commonly shared experiences using the snowclone “Dat Feel When X” as the title, was created on January 24th, 2012. On January 31st, artist Paper Beats Scissors began publishing a series of “know that feel, bro” illustrations to Tumblr.
The expression has since spread to the IGN forums, Tumblr, and the Body Building forums. A Facebook page for “I Know That Feel Bro” has accumulated 115,928 likes as of February 22nd, 2012.
Related Term: Feels
Feels is a term that is used when dealing with situations that evoke extreme emotions such as sadness, shock or anger. It’s an abbreviated form of the word “feelings”. It is commonly used in GIFs and reaction images to express that a person is struck with emotions. In these images, the feel is often represented by an object that strikes the person. Other usage is through hashtags that evoke emotions in some way.
Search queries for “I know that feel” picked up in December 2010.