Disclaimer: This document may contain some sarcasm. Do not be alarmed. If you are at all offended by the following, take it personally: it was intended for you.

What is Emo?
Emo is short for `emotional', a subculture (really, really down there..subterranean culture) of punk rock. Recently, it has become a fashion trend and sadly, a way of life. Emo kids are often mods who realize they can't be cool being mods because they don't know how to dress and can't fight very well. Emo fashion is similar to punk fashion, but with many distinctions. All of a sudden, it is cool for spoiled white suburban rich kids to whine and write pretentious, annoying, and cheesy poetry. The individuals who first established `emo' are now very upset because their little secret has become widespread to TRL proportions. Also, like the first rule in the movie Fight Club, the first rule of being emo is don't talk about emo however for the sake of this write-up we will speak its name.

The Goal?
To avoid attention (attract attention to yourself) by wearing the loudest clothes. To imitate Punky Brewster as best you can, i.e. dress and act like a five year old. Dressing as though you rummaged through your father's closet will somehow make people take you seriously. It's true.

Music (the tunes)
Emo tends to be very `emotional' with whiny lyrics (girlfriend dumped me, girlfriend thinks i'm a loser) or overly flattering lyrics (girlfriend is so fine, girlfriend is unforgettable). Popular bands, not neccesarily classified as emo are the Ataris, New Found Glory, Saves the Day, Dashboard Confessional, Jimmy Eat World, Thursday and the Get Up Kids. Don't try to deny it. Of course we all know that the most popular emo/punk band is Blink 182 with their repetitive guitar chords and whiny vocals. Make sure you tell everyone that the bands they listen to are not emo. When they ask you which bands you like, refuse to tell them, they are not good enough to hear them. If you are going for the more Indie/Hardcore ("I'm not emo!") approach then your playlist probably includes such bands as Bright Eyes, Texas is the reason, Cursive, Boy Sets Fire, The Promise Ring, At the Drive-In, Sunny Day Real Estate, Mineral, Ani Defranco, or even Small Brown Bike. Of course, this list is infinite and I could go on forever however what is the use of being an elitist if everyone can name all the bands you like without any effort?
Confused?
You may have noticed that not one of the bands on this list are "officially" emo, thats alright, nobody that is emo actually listens to emo bands anyway

Attitude (your biased and irrelevant point of view)
You have to act depressed (keyword: act), you are miserable. Life does not matter to you neither does anything else in the world. You must also make everyone around you aware of this. Crying, whining, and staring profoundly at the ground is a must.

Issues (die for your government)
It is very emo to be (or pretend to be) interested in "issues''. You really care about Afghanistan, cruelty to animals, dying children in Guam, and Vegetarianism even though you were just eating a quarter pounder at McDonald's an hour ago. Ironically, you must be oblivious of the damage you are causing to American youth culture with your little "movement".

Shows (the scene)
When your favorite band is playing, you need to get in the very front and put your hands in your pockets. DO NOT remove your hands from pockets at any time. Remember: you are emotional. Remain in a motionless state until the band stops playing. After all, you only came to see the musicians, not to hear the music.

Diet (chow, eats, grub, etc..)
You must be a Vegan, or strive to be one.. You eat nothing that is an animal, from an animal, in a 500 mile radius from an animal, or anything that casts an animal-shaped shadow. You believe eating meat is ultimately wrong however that doesn't stop you from going on occasional meat-eating binges while at restaurants. You must also be a "straight edge" enthusiast, despite the fact you drink occasionally, not to mention smoke. No matter. Anorexia is often a trait of an emo kid.

Style (a whole trend in itself)
If the whole "emo thing" does not appeal to you, worry not: you can still cash in. You can always just dress the part. Recommended buying spots include Thrift Stores, Yard Sales and the Salvation Army. Of course, we all know your entire wardrobe was mostly bought at Hot Topic, Newbury Comics, and Spencer's Gifts. Items actually bought at a concert are a rarity, therefore unacceptable. Anything with a star on it is emo.

Hair (the doo)
Your hair must be black or at least dyed an ugly dark magenta color. If you are truly punk, you do not shower. You must used 10 gallons of gel in your hair everyday, so much that you are actually styling the gel rather than the hair. You should also have a short haircut, long hair is not emo. Mop tops are usually the most common approach for boys while girls tend to go with the Zelda approach or something equally masculine. Although this appears to be the case for the current Cosmopolitan emo fashion, there also appears to be a new nascent rebellion in the midst. Outrageously long and uncultivated hair now appears to be taking local high schools and community colleges by storm

Accessories (the essential non-essentials)
Glasses: Thick, black-rimmed, or horn-rimmed glasses. You most likely do not need them, your vision is probably good enough that you could do without them. Even in a world where more fashionable glasses and contacts are readily available you chose these instead. Lenses are optional. You are striving for the "Weezer geek rock" look.

Necklaces: Good choices are those metal/wooden ball necklaces.

Piercings: Studs are a good choice if you really want to emo. The other popular piercings are lebret or other lip rings.

Belt: This is mandatory (aka "a must"). A studded belt is the most popular choice amongst emo kids. Although reserved for members of the now extinct punk culture, the belt has become a distinct trademark of the emo subculture. To increase your "punk" status, wear multiple three stud pyramid belts. The more, the better. Other belts often seen are ones with loops, stars, or any other kind of silly Lisa Frank design. Please note: these belts do not neccesarily have to be in the loops of your pants. It is pretty obvious you missed the majority of them. Yeah, we know this goes against the function of actually holding up your pants but who said a studded belt was supposed to be functional?

Bracelets: You must wear excessive friendship bracelets on both of your wrists. If your hands are a slight shade of purple, you are doing the right thing. The irony in this is you have no friends.

Messenger Bags: Standard backpacks are too common and typical of the society you live in. That is why you must rebel. Only messenger bags will do. One strap, one individual. Your bag must be adjusted to a level just below your shoulder blade. In other words, it is necessary to strangle yourself with your bag. Also, it must be covered with excessive pins and patches supporting various "underground" bands that you claim to have bought at shows. It is also okay to wear a patch without understanding is meaning or purpose, just as long as it's there. It is perfectly alright to have more than one patch for the same band.

Clothes (the threads)
Shirts: For girls the popular emo fashion is a tight t-shirt with random logos/messages or tanktops. Boys prefer the ugly 40s "Nick at Night" approach. The goal is to find the ugliest button down shirt you can. Other picks are v-necks and one size too small cardigans, which should have an ugly senior citizen type pattern to it.

Jackets: Common picks include brands such as Dickies, think "gas station jacket". Steal one from Mobil if you have to. You may also choose a more athelete approach by wearing various "vintage" track jackets. Suggested jackets include Adidas and Puma.

Pants: Wear heavy slacks which are often too tight and short. You can also wear cuffed denim pants. Shorts are not emo, neither are tight black jeans.

Socks: This one applies mostly to girls. Your socks must be very strange. White, regular socks are unacceptable. You must express your creativity through your Argyle socks. They must be very colorful with lots of different patterns and cartoon characters. They must also be in sharp contrast with the other attire you are wearing, which is usually dark, dull, and lifeless. It is a good idea to show your socks off whenever you can by rolling up your pants (this should have been covered in `pants'). Important: make sure everyone sees your socks by putting your feet onto a table/desk or calling attention directly to your feet. If you can't be validated, then what is the point?

Shoes: You must own a pair of converse all star low tops, as they are an indicator of your punk status. Any kind of skateboarding shoe will do as well, regardless if you actually skateboard or not.

Online Life (aka America Online & Internet )
I'm sorry but your America Online Screen name "PunkPrincess182", "Xsk8erPunkBoiX" or "SpongebobEmo41" will not do and has to go. As a general rule of thumb you should abide by, anything name with the word or prefix of "blink", "NFG", "punk","emo","ska","sk8", "rawk", "gurl", "boi" or anything ending in the numbers "182" or "41" is not original or creative. Get rid of it now. We don't need another five millions variations of of the same badly spelled screen name with the same banal prefixes, the next time you look on your buddy list look at how many people have these names. Don't worry, emo screen names tend not to make much sense either. They often make references items such as seasons, colors, crying, emotions, obscure vocabulary words, and are often short phrases rather than names.

Examples of good emo screennames... XmydyingheartX, SummerTears, CryingInRain, XX BlueHeart XX, drowning sorrow, gloomy stars

typing: make sure you talk in all lowercase like this...or make.sure.you.write.things.like.this.

away messages: I cannot stress the importance of this enough Set one even though your not actually away, it makes you seem important as if you actually have a life. You away message should contain one of the following.. a poem composed by you or obscure emotional lyrics to a song from an "underground" band that makes absolutely no sense in an away message.
example of bad away message: I am away from my computer right now.
example of good away message:
the fallen angels flown away
and that'll be me someday
with stolen wings and evil ways
straight south with the keys to the pearly gates

The first thing you should notice about this away message is that it makes no sense what so ever, also notice how these lyrics are in all lowercase and do not have quotations around them Yes, You are plagiarizing, the reason we do this is because you want people who view your away message to believe these ingeniously thought provoking lyrics were actually written by you and not some whiny 35 year old in a band that is most likely trying to pick up girls. The other scenario is that these lyrics are so distant and unexplicitable that the bands you listen to must be profound. By the way, just in case you are wondering the above lyrical excerpt is from an Alkaline Trio song entitled Southern Rock. I bet you thought we just picked random pretentious emo lyrics off a website, didn't you?

profile: Once, again try to find the most obscure, depressing and trivial lyrics possible. Do not actually include anything about yourself in your profile, just make sure it contains lyrics. A good example of the type of lyrics that should be found in your profile are the same kind in your away message with several distinctions. Your away message and profile lyrics cannot be the same lyrics. Also, these lyrics cannot be from the same band.

Other famous punk pop icons:
Harry Potter: Founder of the wizard core emo persuasion. Wears glasses and has black, messy hair. Most of his worshippers have only read one of his books, usually the first one.

Huck Finn: Although considered raft punk, Huck is a rebel against society, plus he is also quite illiterate, like most emo kids.

Punky Brewster: The mother of emo. She has it all: the clothes, the attitude, and the dog.

Peter Pan: Proudly proclaims ``he never wants to grow up'', which is the mindset of many of today's ``punks''. His tendency to dress androgynously has also rubbed off onto the emo kids.

Charlie Brown: We don't actually know how he relates to emo but his negative and miserably depressing attitude somehow connects him.

Conclusion:
We hope this has helped you in your quest to become another predictable mindless drone in the MTV generation. Before we finish, we'd like to go over some last minute tips.

First, allow at least one hour before any event (school, concert, court hearing, bed) to properly put on your costume. A neat emo kid is a happy emo kid.

Second, anything claiming to be `emotional hardcore' is just emo with louder voices. Don't be fooled. We understand there is a clear distinction between "pop punk" and "emo", however we intentionally choose not to elaborate on this. Thank for reading.

Am I Emo?
If you have successfully skimmed this guide and fear that you may have conracted this vile trend, then take a deep breath and read on.
1. Stay calm. It can't spread if you don't open your mouth and infect other people with your horrible ideas and lack of fashion sense.
2. Remove all articles of clothing and burn them. Note the screams.
3. Wash your hair. Hair dye contains a mind control agent.
4. Bathe in tomato juice. You may have heard it works only for skunk sprays, but it will work here too.
5. Apologize to your parents for ruining your family name with your little phase.
6. Remove your studded belt. Like cancer, emo will never go away if you do not remove the most lethal part.
7. Stop listening to horrible music immediately.

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