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Mother of God… is a rage comic character of a man staring intently at something as he takes his sunglasses off. It can be also used outside of rage comics to express astonishment or disbelief in response to a shocking image or a video. Similar to the colloquial usage of the phrase, the reaction face can be used to either indicate approval or disapproval, depending on the context. When used in the context of rage comics, it is usually preceded by a stick-figure drawing of the same man humming and walking with sunglasses still on.
The rage face originally came from a panel of KC Green’s web comic titled “Euclids on the Block” featuring the famous Greek mathematician (shown below, left). The comic was initially posted on his Livejournal sometime in August 2008 and later included in his Blog Comix (Blomix) series. KC Green is also aware that his comic has been adapted into this meme.
Meanwhile, the earliest known instance of the comic to date was submitted by FunnyJunk user TehEman in a post titled “mother of god” (shown above, right) on May 26th, 2010. According to Know Your Meme user petoulachi, an unspecified instance of the comic has been seen on 4chan as early as on June 17th, 2010.
Etymology & Precursor
According to Wikipedia, “Mother of God” is an imprecise translation of the Theotokos, the Greek title of Mary, the mother of Jesus, which is often used in Eastern Orthodox churches and misinterpreted in Roman Catholics and Anglicans. Prior to its rage comic adaptation, the phrase “mother of god” had been iterated in popular films and TV shows, most notably in the opening scene of the 2001 comedy film Super Troopers (shown below) and alternatively as the title or filename of images, videos or threads depicting sights of absolute WIN or FAIL.
On July 29th, 2010, the reaction face image was uploaded onto Flickr by user RocketsToVenus.Throughout the latter half of the year, the “Mother of God” rage comic series gradually caught on with FunnyJunk users. In the following year, the comics spread to other image-sharing platforms like Tumblr and Reddit, as well as internet humor blogs like Memebase, ZipMeme and MemeCenter among others. As of July 2012, a keyword search for “Mother of God” on FunnyJunk yields more than 1,050 image results. In addition, the reaction face has been adapted into an image macro series on Quickmeme and Memegenerator, while the expression has also spawned various derivatives based on the snowclone “Mother of X.”
Wikipedia – "Theotokos":en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theotokos#Mother_of_God