Am I a Weeaboo? Signs You Might Be a Weeaboo

Updated on December 30, 2014

"Weeaboo" (pronounced we-ah-boo with emphasis on the first syllable) is a common slang term on the internet. It also sees a lot of use in anime, manga, and video game communities both online and offline. If you've been to an anime convention, video game expo, or other nerd fandom event, or if you spend a lot of time in geek communities online, you've probably heard it used and also come into contact with the people it describes.

But what does it mean, and what characteristics and behavior does it refer to, in particular?

People commonly described as "weeaboo" may look something like this.
People commonly described as "weeaboo" may look something like this. | Source

Calling Someone a Weeaboo

Before we get into explanations and descriptions, it's important to understand that "weeaboo" is a derogatory term. If someone calls you a weeaboo, that person is not being nice. If you call another person a weeaboo, don't be surprised if they get angry or take offense. Just like any other insult, don't go casually throwing this word around or you risk making a lot of people mad.

So, What IS a Weeaboo?

In nerd and fandom communities, "weeaboo" is synonymous with "wapanese." Both terms can be used for males or females and are negative descriptors for non-Japanese people (usually, but not exclusively, Caucasians) obsessed with Japanese culture. But what could possibly be bad about cultural appreciation?

Simply expressing a love for Japan and Japanese culture do not make you a weeaboo. The term does not refer to people like Japanese Studies majors, Japanese language students, Japanese history buffs, and other enthusiasts. Rather it connotes a belief in the superiority of Japanese culture above all others combined with a relative ignorance of Japanese culture outside of a particular fandom.

For example, an anime fan who has never learned to speak Japanese, studied Japanese history or literature, or even been to Japan, but who asserts that Japan has the world's most superior culture because of their cartoons is a weeaboo.

I Think I'm Turning Japanese, I Think I'm Turning Japanese... Maybe Not

"Weeaboo" can also refer to a person who wishes she was Japanese and tries to dress and act in ways that make her seem more "Asian" (when such efforts usually just make her seem culturally insensitive and ignorant in reality).

For this reason, non-Asian cosplayers, gothic lolitas, mori girls, and other followers of Japanese fashion trends are sometimes labeled "weeaboos," often unfairly.

Japanese fandom does not make you a weeaboo. Cultural ignorance does.
Japanese fandom does not make you a weeaboo. Cultural ignorance does. | Source

Are All Anime, Manga, and Video Game Nerds Weeaboos?

Some fans of Japanese media are weeaboos, but most are not, so using it as a blanket term for Japan-based fandom is insensitive and inaccurate.

The vast majority of anime and manga fans, Japanese video game enthusiasts, gothic lolitas, cosplayers, visual kei fans, and other "Japan nerds" just want to enjoy their hobbies. Most don't consider themselves experts in Japanese culture simply because they enjoy a single niche aspect of it (and certainly don't wish they were Japanese or consider their own culture inferior).

Many also make an effort to become truly educated about Japanese culture, history, and customs out of curiosity, enthusiasm, and a desire to learn. Weeaboos do the opposite. They already consider themselves experts and therefore make no effort to achieve an educated, accurate understanding of Japanese society and culture.

Give Japan nerds the benefit of the doubt. No matter how they choose to dress crazy or get psyched over strange hobbies, they aren't necessarily weeaboos. Someone should only be considered a weeaboo after he/she has repeatedly demonstrated ignorance and shown no desire to learn.

You might be a weeaboo if your room looks like this.
You might be a weeaboo if your room looks like this. | Source

Weeaboo Characteristics and How to Spot a Weeaboo

That said, here are a few warning signs to look out for that indicate someone might be a weeaboo:

  • Inserting Japanese words and phrases like "kawaii" or "desu" into everyday conversation incorrectly or excessively (or both).
  • Loving things simply because they are Japanese, not because they are actually good.
  • Owning a collection of fake replica samurai swords made in China.
  • Constantly talking about wanting a Japanese boyfriend or girlfriend, despite not knowing any Asian people.
  • Correcting you about Japanese culture... and being wrong.
  • Dreaming of moving to Japan... and not taking any Japanese language classes or doing any sort of practical preparation.
  • Thinking Japan "understands" them because of its cartoons, comics, or video games.
  • Putting down other cultures, including their own.
  • Asking for chopsticks at non-Asian restaurants. Then using them incorrectly.
  • Buying overpriced imported Japanese media they can't even read.
  • Making the two-fingered anime girl pose in every photograph.
  • Being bored by actual Japanese literature, art, and history.

SNL's J-Pop America Fun Time Now: A Hilarious (And Mostly Accurate) Representation of Weeaboos

Questions & Answers

  • Does owning a body pillow make you a weeaboo?

    While the two things are heavily correlated, there is by no means a causal relationship between owning body pillows and being a weeaboo.

  • I like thick Asian girls. Am I a weaboo?

    Having a preference for a specific type of appearance in a partner doesn't make you a weaboo. Many people have a physical "type." If you were to say "I like submissive, obedient Asian women," that would be problematic because you're expecting them to act a certain way (like an outdated stereotype, in my example). But simply thinking thick Asian women are beautiful doesn't say anything negative about you and doesn't make you a weeb.


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    • profile image


      4 months ago

      Wait i have a katana set but they were given to me by my dad and i like the art style of anime so am i weeboo

    • profile image


      4 months ago

      That's so true my friend is like that

    • profile image


      4 months ago

      If I got Aids does that mean I'm a weeb, cause if it does I will kill you and everyone you love

    • profile image


      5 months ago

      i joke sometimes that i exceed weeb because not only i am big fan of pop culture, but i also have a degree in East Asian culture and languages.

    • profile image


      6 months ago

      Why are here so many people asking if you're a weeb if you do this and that? No, you're not a weeb if you sing japanese songs. No, you're not a weeb if you own a ton of body pillows (I'm envious). You're only a weeb if you wish to be born Japanese, if you're fetishizing Japanese people and if you think that Japan is superior than other countries!

    • profile image


      7 months ago

      This insult me

    • profile image

      developper rivera 

      10 months ago

      human errata

    • profile image


      11 months ago

      r u a weeb if u put an anime pic as ur pfp

    • profile image

      cawk and bawl torture enthusiast 

      12 months ago

      who doesnt like a good CBT


    • profile image

      13 months ago

      Im freaking offended. Dont go talking about stuff you know nothing about!! Im a PROUD weeb and I am nothing like that absolute SHITE you wrote. Being a weeb is not a bad thing!! You're just an ignorant person who refuses to believe otherwise.

    • profile image


      13 months ago

      Does it make you a weaboo if your in love with an anime girl?

    • profile image


      13 months ago

      If a weeb thinks i'm cool am i a weeb?

    • profile image


      13 months ago

      Thank you for this enformation i thought i was a weaboo before this beacuse i love causplaying anime and drawing anime and like the culter some what

    • profile image


      14 months ago

      Looks like I’m a weeaboo

    • profile image


      15 months ago

      Does it count being a weeaboo if one can really manipulate their face to make them look Japanese, speak Japanese decently and all that, but they were never Japanese in the first place? Some Weeaboos may claim they are half Japanese.

    • profile image


      16 months ago

      Bruh. We dont always look like that. Most of us are into, well, more.. cultured anime... Like boku no hero academia, boku no pico, and deathnote.

    • profile image


      18 months ago

      The whole weeaboo thing is an American thing. In Europe the whole concept does not exist. In my native language it does not exist. The concept of cultural appropriation does not exist where I live as in most of the world. So I can't care anything less. I'm laughing at you American.

    • profile image

      what is life 

      19 months ago

      if you sing a japanese song does that make you a weeb? like an anime opening for example. and also uh.. if you learn japanese does that make you a weeb?

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Does wearing J Fashion make you a weeaboo?

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      I don't think I'm a weeaboo. I love Japanese culture, but really I appreciate a lot of Asian cultures because there's beautiful architecture, food, I love the languages, etc. I don't "put down" other cultures. That's wrong. I put my country down because so many bad things have happened and it's sucky.

    • profile image

      Isadora Pirkey 

      2 years ago

      I only matched 1 of the traits but partially matched others: I do make a peace sign in every picture taken of me, I fantasize about having a Japanese boyfriend but I am part Asian and my grandma is Asian, and so are a lot of my cousins, and I do want to live in Japan but I am currently learning Japanese. I do find myself being overly obsessed with anime, Lolita fashion, cosplay, manga, etc. what do you think? Am I a weeaboo?

    • profile image

      chris danger trademark 

      2 years ago

      stop doing this please.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      i love Asian culture. most specifically Japanese. because in East Asia i feel they have the most beautiful temples, exquisite gardens, excellent architecture, wonderful food, kind people.. interesting history etc. i dont like anime manga or all that other stuff. just the country itself. i have been 4 times and sort of obsessed. ive had 3 asian partners in the past and hope to marry a Japanese and settle there this year. i study japanese language in my free time and have a good grasp of their culture. i imagine from this description im either a otaku or japanophile? is that right?

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Am I considered to be a weeb if I wear japanese style of modern clothing? I don't want to be japanese but I really like their style of clothing

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      (I'm a weeabo)I have 5 body pillows, and binge watch anime, maybe have a couple samurai swords and some anime creators hidden in my closet I AM NOT A WEABO!!!!!!! (I'm a weeaabo)

    • Christy Kirwan profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Kirwan 

      2 years ago from San Francisco

      Since your friend already has an enthusiasm for Japan, I recommend encouraging him/her to get educated. Get your friend interested in Japanese current events and history. Information is the cure for ignorance and your friend's existing love might bloom into something more cultured (and less annoying to be around).

    • profile image

      Roblox Master 

      2 years ago

      What do I do if my friend is a weeaboo?

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Although I have 5 body pillows, and binge watch anime, maybe have a couple samurai swords, I would not consider myself a weeaboo! I simply think that its a nice way of celebrating another culture and embracing it.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      This is why i get irked when ppl call the anime/manga community weeaboos. Yes. okay. some probably are, but a majority of us are most certainly NOT weeaboos. just because we enjoy anime or like reading manga or maybe get excited when we see a cool figure of out favorite anime character and buy it doesnt mean we are apparently "weeaboos" I am so sick of ppl misusing this word. especially when they do not know the person. before actually using the word, educate yourself to what it actually means.

    • profile image

      Sabastion Serino 

      3 years ago

      My friends and cousins called me a weeaboo but i never was sure if i was or if i wasn't. thank you for sharing this information and clarifying i'm not a weeaboo

    • profile image


      3 years ago


    • Christy Kirwan profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Kirwan 

      3 years ago from San Francisco

      HasegawaKuro, I think it depends more on how you act. :)

    • Christy Kirwan profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Kirwan 

      3 years ago from San Francisco

      Moonsunthing, I think the fact that you are making an honest effort to learn more about your fandom and Japanese culture in general instead of pretending you're an expert means you aren't a weeb. Never let others make you feel bad for your enthusiasm and curiosity.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      so my online name is HasegawaKuro (cause i cant think of another name).. Does that make me a Weeaboo ??

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Ok so, I want to know if I'm weeaboo or not. I'm getting INTO anime, and already have 6 posters in my room. I have read/ watched over 10 animes now, and have loved it completely. I would also like to at least VISIT Japan, but will not do so until I know every aspect about it, and know how to speak Japanese, who goes to a country without knowing anything about it? I occasionally say kawaii, I don't use desu, I may sometimes also use baka, but that's it. I also like reading yaoi doujinshi, and fantasize about it :I I honestly want to be an accepted person but honestly, I'm beginning to hate myself for this. I don't want to go over the top, and kind of wish I'd never got into it in the first place, as I have a huge fear of being judged by others. I really really love anime, and wouldn't mind visiting Japan to see how it is. I watch a YouTube channel dedicated to Japan, and all the things that are there, and I would say yes, some of it seems a little bit weird but I actually really like the look of it, I am also really bad at learning languages and don't know how to get someone in to teach me Japanese, but I still try to learn it any way. If I can't learn it, I won't go. I understand if you were to say I am a weeboo, since I make anime references non stop, but ONLY to my otaku and anime loving friends, no one else, because they'd find it annoying and weird. Please be completely fair on your judgement, I just want to know your opinion. Maybe this is a phase I'm going through? I don't know... - Oh by the way, I am 13, I will be 14 this year incase that helps in any way.

    • Christy Kirwan profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Kirwan 

      4 years ago from San Francisco

      @Michaela, I'm sorry to hear that, some people are just haters. :(

    • Michaela Osiecki profile image


      4 years ago from USA

      I used to wear Gothic Lolita a lot and so I was labeled a weeaboo before, even though I don't claim to be an expert in ANYTHING Japanese. I just really liked the elegance of the fashion and that it was a more feminine form of a Goth style.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Lol, none of you have ever heard this term? Well, now you know it exists.

    • cperuzzi profile image

      Christopher Peruzzi 

      6 years ago from Freehold, NJ

      It's nice to know that anime fans can be as big a prick as any other snobbish, pompous, nerdy culture. While an appreciation and even an extreme fandom for a culture lends depth to anyone, it's sad that there is an elitist group of idiots putting down people who are just simply curious.

      I'm happy I never got involved with this nonsense.

    • Christy Kirwan profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Kirwan 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow, this Hub has received so many great comments! As an anime nerd myself, I've had my fair share of Weeaboo encounters at various anime and video game conventions, clubs, and festivals, but I've also been labeled a Weeaboo myself (I hope mistakenly) because of my interests. Thanks for reading!

    • Melinda Longoria profile image

      Melinda Longoria, MSM 

      6 years ago from Garland, Texas

      I hadn't heard of the term Weeaboo either. The SNL video was hilarious. Thanks for sharing. ;-)

    • lifelovemystery profile image

      Michelle Orelup 

      6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I've never heard that term. Thanks for teaching me something new!

    • Oklahomamom2 profile image

      Lindy West 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      This was really funny and interesting topic. Thanks so much for sharing

    • Shadow Jackson profile image

      Billionaire Brains 

      6 years ago from Washington, DC

      This is too funny. I've never heard that term before.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      7 years ago from New York

      Now that was an education. We all certainly know about anime but you've added a lot of other things I didn't know. How interesting are our lives and mixed up cultures?

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • My Cook Book profile image

      Dil Vil 

      7 years ago from India

      This is really interesting! I've never heard of the word Weeaboo. Thanks for the knowledge hub.

    • khmazz profile image

      Kristen Mazzola 

      7 years ago from South Florida

      How interesting! I had no idea that there was such thing as a Weeaboo or even a term for it! Thanks for sharing this look into a new realm for me.


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