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“>tfw no gf” is an abbreviated expression for “that feeling [I get] when [I have] no girlfriend” often used in online discussions and comments to describe one’s fragile emotional state as a result of loneliness and lack of companionship. Most commonly found in greentext posts on 4chan, the phrase can be seen as an expression of self-pity or commiseration over being single, in a similar vein to other lonely characters like Forever Alone, That Feel Guy and the Sad Frog characters.
On April 5th, 2012, YouTuber Bernd Meier uploaded a video titled “That feel when no girlfriend,” featuring a photoshopped image of the That Feel Guy playing a guitar accompanied by a song about being “forever alone”. In the first two years, the video accumulated over 118,000 views and 1,000 comments (shown below, left). On June 9th, the tfwnogf YouTube channel was launched, which contains videos with photoshopped images of That Feel Guy accompanied by dramatic background music (shown below, right).
On August 10th, the website TfwNoGF was created, in which users can submit emotional green text stories and images featuring That Feel guy. On the following day, Urban Dictionary user Anonymous8223 submitted an entry for “tfw no gf,” defining it as a “statement of sorrow.” On August 16th, 2013, a Facebook page titled “That Feel When No GF” was launched, which highlights various “tfw no gf” image macros. On June 27th, 2013, the men’s interest blog New Age Man published a compilation of That Feel Guy images titled “Do You Know That Feel When No GF?” (shown below).