Cringe Culture

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Synonyms: Cringe, Cringey
See also: Cringe compilation, Autism and Fandom, Minors in Fandom, Tumblr Sexyman, Sporking, MSTing, Brain Bleach, Ripping
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"Cringy" (alternate spelling "cringey") content is any content that someone sees as embarrassing or worthy of being mocked, and "cringe culture" is the practice as a whole of mocking that content. The top definition for cringe culture on Urban Dictionary says "The culture started on the Internet of making fun of people and/or insulting them by calling them "cringy" or "cringe" for doing something which doesn't harm or somehow insult anyone nor anything."[1] It has also been described as simply a form of bullying, particularly the bullying of children or childlike things.[2]


The oldest definitions of the phrase on Urban Dictionary come from 2018, and the earliest instance of it being mentioned on DeviantART journals is 2017. However, goes more in depth by stating that the practice of cringe culture began in 2009 on r/cringe of Reddit.[3] Despite this the phrase itself appears to have only came into popularity in the mid 2010s, and may have been more popularized by things like cringe compilations on Youtube and the Tumblr Sexyman.

The phrase "cringe culture is dead" came into popularity along side the spread of cringe culture in the 2010s. It's currently unknown who started the phrase, though it may have come into usage on a popular social media site such as Tumblr, Twitter, or Reddit. The usage of the phrase is at least as old as 2017 based on DeviantART journals.[4] "Cringe culture is dead" is used to show support for things that are "cringy" and the people who participate in them.


With the phrase "cringe culture is dead" came a new wave of anti-cringe culture counter-culture. This consists of internet users of all age groups avidly and unashamedly making content that could be considered "cringe." This can be seen in YouTube animations where children unashamedly make fan content of "cringe" fandoms (whereas they may have been too scared of being themselves viewed as "cringe" to do it before); artists making original characters that would be considered "cringe", that mimic early 2000s scene kid/emo kid aesthetics,[5] and general fan art that uses the phrase "cringe culture is dead". Popular memes such as Is That Your Fucking Fursona? That's Cringe are seen as anti-Cringe Culture.

People who support the counter-culture also will sometimes make fun of those who still indulge in cringe culture. For example, someone anti-cringe culture may say that the word "cringe" is a better description for the mockery of a child's hobby.[6]


Fandoms as a whole are often mocked for being "cringey" or weird when they are perceived as having many neurodivergent (especially autistic) members. Autistic people are sometimes harassed in fandom and may have their fanworks used without permission in cringe compilations. In one case, an autistic fan has attracted a hatedom that has obsessively cyberstalked her for years, documenting every aspect of her life and harassing her and her family offline.[7] Fans have called out such bullying as an example of ableism (see Autism and Fandom).

Other than accusations of abelism, cringe culture is also sometimes seen as being an unfounded attack on children. This is because many of the subjects considered to be "cringe" are made for or made by children, such as "bad" art on DeviantART or Youtube, fandoms about children's media (Steven Universe, My Little Pony, Fortnite), and fandoms in which children are a large portion of the fan base (Undertale, The Lorax, Animation Memes). Cringe compilations making fun of "cringe" content will often feature the art and animation of young, inexperienced artists, for example. There also used to be several Bad Art Blogs[8] on Tumblr that would also feature "bad art" that frequently came from kids or otherwise inexperienced artists.[note 1]

An argument could even be made that part of cringe culture is also mocking practices mainly within circles of women and/or teenage girls, or practices believed to be mainly by women/teenage girls, such as Kpop fandoms, fanfiction, and Superwholock.

Comments and Opinions


Those who believe cringe culture is acceptable and necessary may see it as a way to change "weird" kids by shaming them into acting more "normal." Or, with something like art, they may see cringe culture as a way of helping someone improve their skills. For example, they may see the use of cringe culture that makes fun of someone's inexperienced art as useful critique that will help the new artist get used to the "real world" of art, which they believe is rather harsh.[note 2] It can be difficult to differentiate between those who legitimately believe these tactics are helpful and those who are trolling (or to those who look at cringe culture negatively, i.e., bullying under the guise of care). Some may also simply have an embarrassed reaction to someone else's content, though they may not actively try to shame them for it publicly. Lastly, some may have a more positive outlook of cringe culture if they view it as a method of shaming problematic content rather than simply "embarrassing" content.

Today we going to debunk bullshit arguments from these people whining about "cringe culture"

So what is "Cringe Culture" Cringe culture is a term used by shitty furfag/fandom "artists" Cringe culture is resistance against unwanted cringeworthy harmful degeneracy subhuman culture which are called "fandoms" who are responsible for destroying online communities and infested them with unwanted social degenerates and normies. Cringe culture prevents mental harm from anyone and encourages self-awareness


So let's debunk these bullshit arguments from these.

First one this is the children thingy some faggots think it's worse if it's on a child. My response is it doesn't matter how old you are.

Second, it is the insecure/jealousy bullshit How we are insecure we don't feel sad our own we just feel fucking sad and disgusted how you are a brainwashed sheep. If we are jealous of this we instantly go this falsehood.

Third, this one is "Let them have fun be there selfs". Hypocritical argument applying us cannot have fun but these intruders can? Is this fun and that what to be drawing shitty delusional "OCs" and behaving an autistic retard Do you want to be brain damaged degenerate? When I was a kid I NEVER did that, to be honest. Also how we are not letting them having fun too?

The last one is the "IT'S HARMLESS!!1" argument. Do you think this degenerate bullshit is harmless just look what happen you do it literally fucked up your brain, destroyed the value of art and making degeneracy synonymous with art more. Have you seen Chris Chan? with "Cringe Culture" He would be a fucking sane person, not a delusional shithead.

Isn't you saying it's "harmful" because of my opinions well your a pussy and you deserve that harm because you're the poison.

Kester14, deactivated account and possibly a troll, Jan 5, 2019

Secondhand embarrassment from what we used to call 'cheesy' stuff

Anon from Fannish Drift Survey, Aug 2020

depictions of aspects of culture that are problematic or reinforcing of stereotypes or bad tropes, things that make the audience aware of the nature of these things, but that many fen willfully overlook or forgive in order to reconcile their affection for the overall source material

Anon from Fannish Drift Survey, Aug 2020


Those with a negative view of cringe culture may see it as bullying. This can include making fun of children, young artist, and neurodivergent peoples. They see trolling and cringe culture as overall harmful. Instead of believing making fun of someone can change their "weird" behavior, they either see the "weird" behavior as normal and harmless, and that cringe culture does more harm than good. For example, they may see the use of cringe culture that makes fun of someone's inexperienced art as something that can drive the person away from art altogether, which is unhelpful to the artist.

Let's end cringe culture, cringing at younger kids artwork? How cruel of you and especially if you're an adult. Picking on others isn't cool whether its directly or behind their back which is both very terrible. People like expressing themselves for fun or hoping for an actual career one day. So destroying them on the road is- excuse my language, fucked up. It's like a parent telling a child straight to their face they're a failure.

Cocomuff456, Jul 16, 2017

the oft unspoken truth of society is that the line between quirky and cringy is often how conventionally attractive you are

thenewmi6, Jul 23, 2020 (Archived 8/10/2020)

why do you people insist on being mean to kids

let them believe in magic. let them enjoy my little pony. let them wait for their hogwarts acceptance letter. let them make stupid tiktoks. let them make sonic oc’s. let them be kids

stomping on their fun makes you look like a douchebag. youre not cool. youre not funny.

Gay-animalcrossing, Dec 20, 2019 (Archived 8/10/2020)

hey when people say cringe culture is dead that also means it's ok to like "tumblr sexymen" and dare i say, self ship with them because i thought that the concept was implying that you can enjoy your interests without fear of judgement i thought that was like. the whole point

nyahbong, Aug 7, 2020 (Archived 8/10/2020)

Links and Resources


Notes and References


  1. ^ As a teenager I was featured in one of these once. I'm not sure of Tumblr still allows them. (Patchlamb 8/10/2020)
  2. ^ See Jacqueline Lichtenberg's essay on "The Negative Value of Positive Input" and keep in mind that some legitimate, even prestigious art schools routinely approve of instructors bullying students, supposedly in order to challenge them to improve.


  1. ^ Cringe Culture, Urban Dictionary. Apr 14, 2018 (Accessed 8/10/2020)
  2. ^ Cringe Culture is Just Bullying for Adults, Mar 22, 2019 (Accessed 8/10/2020)
  3. ^ Cringe Culture, 7/19/2020 (Accessed 8/10/2020)
  4. ^ Cringe Culture is Dead, DeviantART. Sept 7, 2017 (Accessed 8/10/2020)
  5. ^ Sparkledog Tag, Tumblr (Accessed 8/11/2020)
  6. ^ Graphic Design is My Passion, Tumblr. Dec 30, 2019 (Accessed 8/11/2020)
  7. ^ "Cringe" by ContraPoints on YouTube
  8. ^ Still Making Bad Art Blogs, Tumblr. Dec 25, 2017 (Accessed 8/11/2020)