Friends and Friendship, Online and Off

map of China made with Renren profile photos
Renren is a Facebook-like social networking website in China.

Lasting friendships between two people of the opposite sex is maintained through mutual disdain.

Korean drama "Playful Kiss" starring Kim Hyun Joong, Jung Soo Min, Lee Tae Sung.

[If you want to] fuck your schoolmates, use Renren! Use Renren, and the whole world will be in hands! You can easily find your love rival, your ex-partner, your current partner, your good friend, your ex-partner’s partner, your partner’s ex-partner, your good friend’s partner, your partner’s good friends, your love rival’s ex-partner, your ex-partner’s love rival, your love rival’s good friend, your good friend’s love rival, your love rival’s good friend’s ex-partner, your ex-partner’s good-friend’s love rival, your love rival’s ex-partner’s good friend, your good friend’s ex-partner’s love rival…

Renren, map of China made with user profile photos.

[Note: is a Facebook-like website in China. “Renren” means everybody. The user’s real name is required for certain privileges, such as unlimited space in online photo albums. Most Renren users use their real names as screen names.]

One of my colleagues had a pet phrase: 滚犊子 [gǔn dú zi, an expletive in Northeastern Mandarin, meaning “get lost”. 滚 means “roll”, and 犊子 means “calf”.]. Later he was criticized for being vulgar and told to be more civilized. A couple days later, he changed it to: 翻滚吧牛宝宝 [literally, “roll, cow baby”]… 

Baby Calf Kristina Hauk

There’re always a group of invisible friends who “lie” there like dead bodies on your friends list, every so often twitching to life, from time to time even changing their epitaphs .

unhappy girl

[Note: This describes the situation for many Chinese users of the popular instant messaging and online chat tool Tencent QQ, referring to users who never seem to be online (because they’ve set themselves to invisible) but whose status messages mysteriously change every so often.]

If you have a stupid friend, please do cherish the time you spend together…because, who knows? One day he or she might just suddenly become smart… [and no longer be your friend]

poster of the movie The Eagle Shooting Heroes

[Note: Quips like this one are common on Weibo. The humor is often embedded in the mischievous forwarding of such quips with the names of specific friends attached, as if to reference or accuse them.]

If you also have a friend who likes to diet but never seems to get any thinner, please cherish him or her, because you may not know when he or she might die from fatness…

piggy making faces

If you also have a friend who likes staying up all-night, please cherish him or her, because you ma not know when he or she might just suddenly die…


“When I was young”, “one of my friends”, “one of my classmates”, “some other family’s kid” are collectively the four unsurpassable legendary people.

mother chiding two daughters

In any class, the one with the highest score and the one with the 2nd highest score are usually rivals/enemies, while the one with the lowest score and the one with the 2nd lowest score are often friends.

two students whispering about top students being too competitive to be friends
“Truly shameless!!” “I know!!!”

The moment when you feel farthest from a friend is when you see her wearing the clothes that you’ve never seen her wearing before, and taking a photo of herself at a place without you. The photo description is about things you have no idea of, and the replies come from people you don’t know…

iPartment 3


Written by Rensi

A translator of trending Chinese Internet humor and Chinese pop music.


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