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Trollface is a rage comic character wearing a mischievous smile that is meant to represent the facial expression of an Internet troll. The image is most commonly used to portray a character as a troll in rage comics, or alternatively, to identify oneself or another participant as such in online discussions.


The Trollface was originally drawn by Carlos Ramirez, an Oakland-based artist known by his DeviantART[1] handle Whynne, as part of a MS Paint webcomic about the pointless nature of trolling on 4chan's /v/ (video games) board. The comic was uploaded to deviantART on September 19th, 2008.


In the deviantART post, Ramirez added a note revealing that he was attempting to draw a comic character known as the "Rape Rodent."


In the following months, Ramirez' drawing quick gained traction on 4chan as the universal emoticon of an Internet troll and a versatile rage comic character. For a brief time, the face became alternatively known as "the coolface" after a rage comic-style webcomic took off on 4chan and Ebaumsworld[2], though only for a brief period of time.

ERE F----- か it'll be okay, just put on ace license and registr- Problem officer? get the f--- out of here

Throughout the first half of 2009, Trollface quickly gained favor with Redditors and rage comic artists in particular, in part owing to the rapid growth of the /r/f7u12 subreddit around that same time. On August 1st, 2009, the first Urban Dictionary[3] definition for "trollface" was submitted by user A Terrible Driver. Thousands of additional webcomic and photoshopped instances featuring the face can be found Tumblr[4], Cheezburger[5], Reddit[6], Facebook[7], Quickmeme and Memegenerator among many others.

Copyright Infringement Dispute

On July 16th, 2011, a screenshot of an email sent to an undisclosed recipient from a man named Carlos Ramirez claiming to be Whynne was posted to Reddit.[8] The email stated that the use of Trollface on Reddit violated his copyright on the image and requested the subreddit to be removed from the site.

urgent: Copyright infringement 風迥 from . Mimic hide details 1:19 AM (1 minute ago) Reply to date subject Sat, Jul 16, 2011 at 1:19 AM urgent: Copyright infringement mailed-by Hello. My name is Carlos Ramirez, I go by the pseudonym "Whynne." It has come to my attention that a particular reddit group found at this link has been using a number of copyrighted images quite pervasively and is solely dedicated the creation of comics using said images in a manner that would not be covered under fair use Of these images, one of the most popular among them is a copyright that l own. The image goes by the name of trollface." For proof, I submit the official record as well as the actual work in question. Official copyright records http:l/ &Search Arg=trolls&Search Code- earch L&P Arg-trollface&Search 040 And for reference, here is the image in question. The mischievous grin contained in the comic is the image l am referring to http://wh n/a The aforementioned group's use of my image, I feel, has been devastatingly injurious to its original iconic value. There has been a massive backlash against its use from the original fanbase on account of the cheap (and quite frankly unfunny) reproductions this group is dedicated to creating That said, I'd like to petition that either the group be permanently removed, or have your staff see to it that the offending content is purged and actively ensure that it no longer gets posted (this includes links to the comic creator that also contains infringing material) I would highly suggest the former option on account of the fact that the group is dedicated to creating comics from intellectual property they do not own. If I do not get a timely response, my next email will be from my attorney. I hope to get this matter resolved as quickly as possible Reply → Forward

The email was reposted to f7u12[10] in a thread titled "Looks like f7u12 is done". Then, a Redditor named Whynne[9] reponded to the thread saying:

You know what also makes me happy? Trolling reddit and seeing a shitstorm like this develop.

The background image for the f7u12 pages was changed to a picture of trollface with the text "HEY WHYNNE… U MAD BRO?":


On March 3rd, 2015, Meme Run, an endless-running 2D platformer video game featuring a plethora of internet meme references, including the Trollface, was removed from the Wii U eShop following the issuance of a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notice from Ramirez as the copyright holder of the character[16] (shown below).

eShop Home Shovel Knight Purchased (5993) Wi U Download Only Yacht Club Games ESRB: E Add to Wish List $14.99 My Menu Mario Kart™ 8 Purchased | ★★★★★(84517) Balance $5.01 Wii U Retail/Download Nintendo ESRB: E V Add to $59.99 Wish List NEW Search Meme Run Purchased v i (43) Wii U Download Only Ninja Pig Studios Add to Wish List Back ESRB. E $4.99 Regarding Meme Run, and why I had it pulled from the eShop. (self.nintendo) Verlfed submitted 9 hours ago (last edited 7 hours ago) by Whynne EDIT: Some people want proof that I am who I claim to be (though I'm not sure why anyone would care to impersonate me), so I added a status update to my deviantArt that I haven't used in forever. Hello Reddit. There seems to be a lot of confusion regarding the disappearance of Meme Run from the eShop, soI thought I'd help clear things up since its creator doesn't seem to want to acknowledge it publicly. A handful of you might remember me, but (hopefully) most of you probably have no clue who I am. To keep it brief, I own the copyright to the Trollface image, and seeing as the image was the 'star' of Meme Run, I sent a DMCA takedown notice to Nintendo and want to try and settle the matter amicably. I don't really intend to have a discussion on fair use or explain my motivations beyond the fact that my business with other parties compels me to make sure that instances of copyright infringement are addressed and resolved. Typically the result in these matters is simply having the use of the image be credited, recovering some kind of monetary compensation, or simply have it removed from the work. To that end, takedown notices are a necessary first step to quickly open a direct line of communication with the offending party and work on remedying the situation I did try to reach out to the creator earlier this year and obtain the information I needed, but he claimed that he was not at liberty to speak about his relationship with Nintendo or any of the particulars regarding the game's sales data My lawyer had been busy working on another case (which I am actually not at liberty to talk about lest I void the terms of our agreement) and I prefer to let him handle the matter of my legal representation, so I sort of dragged my feet on actually setting this in motion so he could wrap up our current case So, whatever you may have thought of Meme Run, its absence might only be temporary. For those of you who were hoping to pick it up and missed their opportunity, I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience

Profitability of Trollface

On April 8th, 2015, Kotaku[17] ran an in-depth interview article with Ramirez about his now-iconic rage comic character. In the article, the Trollface artist estimated that he has earned more than $100,000 in licensing fees, settlements and other payouts since registering with the U.S. Copyright Office in 2010, with monthly revenues reaching as high as $15,000 at its peak in popularity. In addition, Ramirez also offered a backstory behind the removal of Meme Run from Wii U eShop, quoted as saying:

“People message me,” he said, “‘Hey, look, your trollface was used here! You oughta sue these guys” I just say ‘Okay, I’ll look at it.’ And I look at it. If it’s a really minor thing, I can’t be bothered with it. It’ll take too much time, and let people have their fun. If they’re not making any significant money on it, it’s like, eh, not a big deal. If you’re publishing a game on a major platform and it’s using my image, it’s kind of hard to ignore.”

“It’s really troublesome when you’re making a game comprised entirely of memes,” he said. “It’s a big problem of copyright infringement, all across the board, and I guess I was the only one with enough time to go out of my way and shake it down.”

2020 Resurgence / New Wave Trollface Memes

In 2020, Trollface experienced online resurgence in ironic memes, much like the resurgence of Doge memes in 2017 and 2018. The resurgence was triggered by ironic popularity of Cover Yourself in Oil format which hailed from an original Troll Science comic posted by 9GAG[18][19] user Gegirik on February 13th, 2020 (shown below).

Oil floats on water 1) wait for it to rain 2) cover yourself in oil 3) fly

Cover Yourself in Oil

Cover Yourself in Oil refers to a Troll Science meme in which a person covers themselves in oil and manages to fly in the rain due to oil being less dense than water. Originating from a 2020 9GAG post, it was interpreted by many as a repost of an older meme and was later reimagined in ironic memes.


Trollge refers to a unsmiling Trollface partially obscured with shadow. The Trollface gained its name and popularity from to a series of creepypasta-styled countdown videos that warn the viewer about the upcoming arrival of an entity named "Trollge" and advice to seek shelter. The videos were posted in /r/196 and /r/okbuddyretard subreddits in mid-November 2020 and received further spread online through reposts.


Schizoposting refers to a large subset of memes that exploit the topic of schizophrenia and mental instability. A notable subformat makes use of Trollface and rage comics to create short narratives about schizophrenia, insanity and conspiracy theories.

Various Examples

PELANDOBANANAS.COM do"THE ART OF τRoLLING.COM PC PS3 360 Wii VIDEOGAMES MEMEBASE COM U MAD? PROBLEM?? Let's look atit! Sweet, Icaught a pickchu! Get The F--- Out Of Here

Search Interest

Search queries did not pick up until January of 2009, several months after the original deviantArt posting.

External References

[1] Deviant Art – Comic Trolls / 9/19/08

[2] Ebaumsworld – Cool Face

[3] Urban Dictionary – Trollface

[4] Tumblr – #trollface

[5] Memebase – Troll Face

[6] Reddit – f7u12

[7] Facebook- Trollface

[8] Reddit – Whynne, creator of "trollface," calls for it to be removed from reddit for distasteful use

[9] Reddit – Whynne

[10] Reddit – Looks like f7u12 is done

[11] Oh Internet via WayBack Machine – Trollface

[12] ShaggyBevo Forum – The History of Trollface

[13] LOLFUNNYMEME via WayBack Machine – Trollface

[14] Kanye To The – Twisted Origins: Trollface

[15] LA Weekly via Wayback Machine – Trollface Artist Carlos Ramirez Talks 4chan, Incredible Hulk and Viral Fame

[16] Reddit – Regarding Meme Run and why I had it pulled from the eShop

[17] Kotaku – The Maker Of The Trollface Meme Is Counting His Money

[18] 9GAG – Troll physics babeyy

[19] 9GAG – gegirik

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