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Definition of TFW

TFW in meaning is the abbreviation of the Anglo-Saxon phrase for “That Feel When”, or translated into English, “that feeling when…” It is an internet slang that allows the user to be able to give context to a particular experience through their feelings when something happens to them.


That feeling when…
What I feel when…


It is believed that Tfw originated with the “I know that feeling bro” meme. This is an image that originated on 4chan over a decade ago, depicting two friends hugging and was used as a reaction to show solidarity with the experiences of other posts.

It will also depend on who posts it, as TFW can mean “that feeling when” or also “that face when”. These variations resemble each other, although “that feeling when” is the one most commonly seen in conversations over the Internet.

However, their use has evolved. And while the above examples refer to mundane situations, many also use it in reference to specific circumstances in the extreme for comedic effect.

There is also another typical use of TFW and that is to convey the “painful” type experience that can be recounted but with often amusing contexts, in a sad and ironic way. As for example: “TFW Ana wants to see your abs but you don’t have any”.


Some claim that this acronym is separate memes. That the term is “tfw no gf” which is short for “that feeling when you don’t have a girlfriend” referring specifically to the experience of not having a partner and is accompanied by an image of a sad or crying person.
However over time, several people on Twitter and Reddit have removed the last two letters completely.