4chan cows Hot Topic into pulling ‘Rage Guy’ shirt in record time

Say what you want about 4chan, they get shit done.

The internet doesn’t take being stolen from for profit very lightly. As a whole, the reaction towards corporate entities or businesses using their memes, jokes and collective creativity to shill stuff at the mall frosts their balls. So when an enduring meme popular on 4chan, Reddit and funny pictures sites showed up on a t-shirt at Hot Topic, the “rage guy” rage ignited.

You might know him as the FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU guy, or if you’re a Redditor, you’ll recognize him from the r/fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuu subreddit. The meme is broad and depicts a stick figure enduring any number of life’s hassles (or triumphs), generally a four-square comic ending in “FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU” or “F*ck yea” or “Everything went better than expected.” There are also rage girls (distinguishable by bangs and a hair bow), and approximately twenty-kajillion incarnations of the comic are posted daily around the interwebs.

Amusingly, 4chan used one of their baser defining characteristics to get Rage Guy t-shirts yanked from Hot Topic in record time. Via Reddit is a call sent out to anons to briefly change Rage Guy to “Race Guy.” The plan was to circulate the new racially offensive versions of the meme, including to news organizations who would be all over Hot Topic selling racist t-shirts like a fat kid on cake.

It worked. Hot Topic posted this message on their Facebook page announcing the nearly-immediate discontinuation of the Rage Guy shirt from their stores and removal from their website:

Rage Guy is the character Hot Topic sells, see the original post from 1 year ago. The character focuses on interesting situations, check out the image gallery.

Race Guy is the newest iteration posted this afternoon, today (the character everyone is talking about).

Who created Race Guy? We don’t know. Who created Rage Guy? We don’t know. We sold the shirt because it is pop culture and the series was funny. Why not let our customers express they’re interest in meme’s? So now what? Well, Hot Topic is the last company to support racism. Hell, we support diversity and wear it proudly. Now that the character represents racism because of these unknown creators – we will no longer be selling it.

After tonight (11/17), it will be removed from our website. Next week, it will be removed from our stores.