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The name Rageguy refers to the main character of a series of crudely-drawn comics typically consisting of four panes, portraying situations which can bring rage and exasperation, with the main character screaming with anger as a result. Due to its simplicity and exploitability, Rageguy has been proven popular thus being evolved into a comic series now known as Rage Comics.
The first instance of Rageguy came in 2008 on the 4chan “Random” (/b/) imageboard. The image consisted of a 4-pane comic made in MS Paint portraying the “toilet splashback” experience. The first three panes described the incidence and in the fourth pane, a drawing of Rageguy screaming appeared with a caption saying “FFFFFFUUUUUUUUUU-” on the right of the face in red letters.
After the first Rageguy instance, other derivatives began to appear. The format of the comics remained, for the most part, the same, with the rage-inducing instance being described in the first three panes and the Rageguy face screaming on the fourth.
A comic as a solution to the “toilet splash” experience has also been posted:
The success of Rageguy soon made it possible for other characters to appear for other reactions and emotions, allowing the creation of what are now referred to as Rage Comics. These comics are featured on a popular subreddit called “FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU” (also known as “F7U12”) which is a reference of the red caption on the last pane.
A collection of Rageguy comics consisting of only 4 panes with Rageguy on the fourth pane can be found on the ClassicRage subreddit
Mashable “Best Internet Memes” Award Finalist
In December 2010, the technology blog Mashable held a contest for the best internet meme of 2010. Rageguy has made the list for the “5 Internet Meme Finalists”, alongside Sad Keanu, Double Rainbow and Bed Intruder (winner). The KnowYourMeme editor Brad Kim explained that the popularity of Rageguy is because "Rageguy comics (and its spin-offs) tend to illustrate real life anecdotes that others can easily empathize with”. Buzzfeed’s Tanner Ringerud explained that “Rageguy is so popular because of the classic maxim, ‘it’s funny because it’s true.’”
Operation: Black Rage
Following the decision of retail store Hot Topic to start selling t-shirts with Rageguy on, redditor iamerroneous posted a thread on the r/wtf subreddit called “So Hot Topic is selling t-shirts with this on them now. ಠ_ಠ”, showing a Hot Topic t-shirt. Reddit and 4chan were disappointed and decided to begin an operation to give Rageguy a racist background to stop selling the t-shirts (see: Race Guy).
Rageguy stays almost exclusively to 4chan until 2009 when it spreads to other online communities. The spike in November 2010 is accredited to the Hot Topic/Race Guy incident. A large portion of the search data originates from Sweden where the term “rage” garnered results related to the arrest of Swedish rapper Jassy in a road rage fueled murder.