PROTIP: Press 'i' to view the image gallery, 'v' to view the video gallery, or 'r' to view a random entry.
“Y U NO” Guy (also known as “Y U No [X]?”) is an image macro series using SMS shorthands and carefree grammar as a way to bring someone’s attention on a particular subject or issue. The unique facial expression worn by stick-figure character is believed to have been traced from the Japanese sci-fi manga / anime series Gantz.
The character’s facial expression, full of frustration and rage, can be found in Gantz’ Chapter 55: Naked King (裸の王様), originally released in February 2002 and the English translation in June 2009. Click on the image for the full-sized scan:
Since the release of English translation, the Gantz image have been reportedly traced by fans and circulating around 4chan imageboards prior to its adaptation in the “Y U NO” series.
However, the original instance with the “Y U NO” phrasal template was first posted via LOLTumblrWallpapers, which gained over 10,000 reblogs & likes on Tumblr. Set to a beige/light brownish background with the Gantz character placed in center, the image macro read: “I TXT U, Y U NO TXT BAK!?”
During the process of its viral spread, an exploitable version was uploaded onto MemeGenerator, spawning dozens of derivative images based on the following formulaic sentence: “(X, subject noun), <font color= cccccc >[WH]Y <font color= cccccc >[YO]U NO (Y, verb)?”.
Spread & Popularity
In the span of few weeks, Tumblr and Meme Generator have gathered up a sizable collection of the macro series: either as the image, or in text form without the face. It has been also featured on FunnyJunk and other culture-related blogs.
The meme has been also referred to as “TXT BAK” or “Y U NO?” the internet. It also has its own “plz” account at DeviantART  so that users can create their own “Y U NO TROLL” in comments and journals without having to upload an image macro each time. The phrase has been also used in YouTube comments and Omegle chatrooms.
Y U NO has also been recently put into advertisements on billboards and magazines, such as a German print ad for the videogame Driver San Francisco and Hipchat. It has also been used on signs in Lybia and other places, asking their government: Y U NO!?.
Tumblr – “LOLTumblrWallpapers” (Deleted by Tumblr Staff 01/23/13 due to the blog’s owner being suspended without warning.)