Feels Guy, also known as Wojak, is an MS Paint illustration of a bald man with a sad expression on his face. It is often used as a reaction image to represent feelings such as melancholy, regret or loneliness. Wojak memes as a genre have grown to include various remixes and edits to the character -- as of February 2023, a search for "wojak" on this site generates over 200 entries, representing the wide range and variety of wojaks that have become popular online.
The exact origin of the Wojak illustration is unknown. On December 16th, 2009, the earliest known I Wish I Was at Home MS Paint comic was submitted to the internet humor site Sad and Useless, which features the Wojak character standing in a corner at a party (shown below).
According to "ask me anything" (AMA) thread on Reddit by a user claiming to be Krautchan user Wojak, the bald man illustration was originally discovered on the imageboard Vichan with the filename "twarz.jpg." The image was subsequently popularized as a reaction image after Wojak submitted it to the German language image board Krautchan, with the earliest archived post appearing on April 26th, 2010 (shown below).
Soon after, the picture became known as “Wojak’s face” and “ciepła twarz” (“warm face”). The image spread to other international image boards, including the Italian Pastachan and the Russian Dobrochan.
In Polish, "wojak" translates (more or less) to "warrior" in English. The root of the word is "woj-," and the diminutive "-k"suffix may indicate a certain childishness or physical smallness.
On February 2nd, 2012, Redditor Voyack submitted an AMA to the /r/datfeel subreddit, claiming to be Wojack from Krautchan. On October 3rd, 2013, the news site Bustle published an article about the origins of the Feels Guy. On November 19th, a Facebook page titled "Feels Guy" was launched, which gained over 6,400 likes in the next two years. On May 22nd, YouTuber ReluctantMisc uploaded an animated video of Wojak titled "A day in the life of 'that feel when' guy" (shown below).
On April 2nd, 2014, a page for "Feels Guy" was created on the Internet culture wiki Encyclopedia Dramatica. On March 14th, 2015, the /r/Wojak subreddit was launched for photoshopped variations of the Feels Guy image.
Going into the late 2010s, a variety of Wojak variations emerged which saw the character drift away from his chan-culture origins. "Wojak Comics":Wojak Comics linked the character with other famous meme characters, often using his highly emotive face as a counterpoint to the stoicism of Yes Chad and others.
By 2022, a wide variety of Wojak-based meme characters had emerged -- enough that Wojaks themselves could constitute a vocabulary to articulate highly sophisticated stories and arguments. For example, Redditor u/perpetualhillman posted a 7 × 7 political compass grid meme on September 5th, 2022, representing the types of people they had met during a trip to Ukraine as the Russian war against that country unfolded. Each personality in the meme is represented by a different Wojak or Wojak-adjacent character.
I Know That Feel Bro
“I Know That Feel Bro” (also known as “to uczucie” or “to uczócie”) is an Internet slang expression used to convey empathy towards or agree with someone else’s feeling or opinion. The expression, which roughly means “I feel you, bro,” is typically accompanied by a image of two Wojak embracing each other expressionlessly.
I Wish I Was At Home
Country Feels is a series of customized illustrations featuring Wojak sitting at a computer desk surrounded by various stereotypes associated with a particular country or region. Many of the images bear similarities to the “How People View Me” two-pane cartoons.
Wojak Comics to a series of memes depicting simple interactions between various Wojak characters. Combining elements of comics and Wojak memes, the format was spawned by the Yes Chad meme format in August 2019 and has since grown into a variety of similar comic formats.
Smug Wojak refers to a drawing of a bald man with a smug expression on his face that resembles Wojak, inspired by the Smug Frog images. Appearing on /r9k/ and [s4s] in early August 2014, Smug Wojak is normally used to express positive feelings. It also spawned some derivatives, listed on the [s4s] wiki.
Relation with Pepe the Frog
In the early 2010s, Wojak was related with the character Pepe the Frog, mainly with the Sad Frog variant due their expression of sad emotions. In middle November 2014, Wojak started being paired with Smug Frog on a series of comics named Poo Poo Pee Pee, in which Pepe commits various unethical acts towards Wojak, typically involving urine or feces, and created as a reaction towards the usage of Pepe’s likeness in various mainstream social media sites.