A Trollface April Fools!
Trollface has been wreaking havoc across deviantART! But worry not: his pranks are of the light-hearted variety. Come with us on a magical journey to learn where he came from and where he's going, in a world seen through the eyes...of a Trollface.
Over the years, deviantART has been host to the best of the best, shot right through the interwebs to your screen, from animations that took the Internet by storm and even appeared in commercials, to traditional art that's so well-designed a famous celebrity had it forever tattooed on his body.
For these reasons and more, deviantART is extremely proud of its artists. We'd like to take this time to thank you, the community, for constantly creating – an activity so commonplace and instinctual for most deviantART members, it's easy to forget that it is rare to find in the real world. It's because of you, and your creative spirits, that we are thrilled to showcase such fantastic work.
Not only does deviantART provide a home for amazing artists, but we also house some of the Web's most beloved inside jokes and catch phrases. On this delicious slice of life we call the Internet, it's sometimes difficult to lay claim to certain memes, because there are as many options for posting hilarious images or phrases as there are people who create them. And the great thing about memes is: you can never create a meme on purpose.
You never know what the Inter-world is going to latch onto as the most hilarious thing that week – or the phrase that people won't let die for months, or even years. Some memes stay within a community and don't seep to the uninformed masses (n00bs), such as llamas or emoticon chains, but we're particularly proud of ones that have transcended our little devious home and made it into Mainstream Hilarity.
Which brings us to our main April Fools' Day event! We're here to bask in the glorious life of an image that is truly unmistakable across the Internet. An image that may elicit anger from the depths of your core, or riotous laughter as you're let in on the joke.
And you've most likely arrived at this article because you clicked his face peeking out of your Message Center or hiding on a deviation page. Yes, I'm talking about the universal "Get Out of Trouble Free" card. The one, the only…Trollface!
And what better way to celebrate April 1st than with the king of April Fools! PROBLEM?
Who exactly is this shy, elusive, and dentally hygienic creature? Perhaps you've never heard of him, and you only traverse polite, harmless websites that have forum topics such as "Kittens and How to Pet Them" or "Cupcakes, Our Delicious Tiny Friends." First, you should probably get out more. But read on to find out what happens on websites when people stop being polite…and start being Trollface.
Trollface is a cheeky fellow, smiling so wide, his ridiculous wrinkles are only overshadowed by his enormous chin. His signature catchphrases — "U MAD?" and "PROBLEM?" – are often written to incite more madness and insanity than there may have been without him. If you've ever been sass-pantsed, you've probably seen a Trollface icon near it, accompanied by some variation of "lololol." He exists for the sole purpose of lulz, and can be therapeutic when used in moderation. (Unless it's April 1st, lulz.)
Trollface was created by *Whynne, an epic deviant with off-the-chart sass-meter readings. We sat down with *Whynne to find out more about his iconic character.
*Whynne: Originally, Trollface was an accurate representation of how some individuals, when engaging in a community known for having a large presence of trolls, use the pretense of trolling to excuse themselves from poor reasoning. Often times, this takes the form of two members engaging in a debate, where one, upon the realization that his arguments no longer hold up, claims that he was merely trolling you for his amusement. Trolling had essentially become the ultimate cop-out and the new Godwin's law for Internet debate.
The original comic was a humorous way to make it easier for people to understand and deal with these kinds of situations, and I think the overwhelmingly positive response showed that it was effective. Any time that same situation played out, it was pretty much guaranteed that my comic would get posted, and people could laugh about it and leave the thread without being frustrated.
This rise in visibility led to the comic getting edited and reposted. People were particularly fond of the grinning face which, at the time, had no name. It eventually became a separate entity and has since come to represent the humorous and mischievous side of trolling.Q: What's the best way to get in the spirit of Trollface?
*Whynne: It's hard to say. It means a lot of different things in various contexts, but the common theme among them is that people naturally enjoy toying with each other and looking for a certain response. Sometimes it can be funny, sometimes it can be downright frustrating, but the important thing to keep in mind is to learn to recognize it when it happens and laugh at it in hindsight. It's just the Internet, after all, and there's really only so much a troll can do. I hope that didn't sound like a public safety announcement.Q: Did you ever imagine that Trollface would take off the way it has?
*Whynne: Definitely not in the way that is has now. It's far from what I'd call a sensation, but it's safe to say that it has become a rather popular joke with Internet goers. Most of the time it shows up, I'm not credited, which is a mixed bag. On one hand, you really want people to know you made it, but on the other, there's no way to do it without seeming overly-possessive and self-important. After all, it wasn't a significant effort on my part. It was ultimately the userbase that made it popular, so in that sense, it belongs to everyone.Q: How does it feel to continue to see Trollface re-imagined in various forms?
*Whynne: It's pretty validating to see the people I look up to find something I made worthy of re-rendering. Most recently, I saw The Incredible Hulk making a little Trollface on a recent issue of Deadpool, and prior to that, Edmund McMillen made a Trollface planet as his "Teh Internets" map select screen and title card in Super Meat Boy.Q: Where did the "U MAD?" and "Problem?" catchphrases come from? Were you involved in their creation?
*Whynne: I can't really say where the former came from, though I'm pretty sure its origins aren't traceable to any one specific post or picture. "Problem?" on the other hand was from the "coolface" comic edit. I obviously wasn't involved, but I can say that those catchphrases are definitely better fits for the face when it's taken out of its original context.
In the spirit of this Trollface season, (HAP-PY TROLLFACE DAY!) deviantART is delighted to announce our new line of retail goods to help you get your troll on! Throw on a shirt to brazenly display your allegiance to Trollface, or affix his visage to your keys via a Troll-y keychain to unlock the secrets of the Lulz Universe. Whatever you choose, we can guarantee you'll love it, no PROBLEM.Shop Trollface
While new memes can pop up every 0.2 seconds (we actually have a staff of scientists who calculated that, U MAD?), we are certain that Trollface will be with us for a very long time. What better way than his smirking face to proclaim without a doubt "I HEREBY TROLL THEE," making him one of the most beloved memes in all memedom for generations of failtrolls to enjoy.
Now, grab your nearest Trollface to go forth to spread some April Fools' Day cheer of your own!