The Brief: A sad boi, sad boy, or sadboy is a man or boy who is expressive of his emotions and depression. The connotations of this term depend on its context.


Sad boys can be musicians, skaters, Tumblr bloggers, eBoys, soft boys, art boys, or any other type of boy. The term is generally applied to a boy who outwardly expresses his sadness, depression, or other struggles with mental health. This label can be belittling or serious, self-applied or a form of namecalling, depending on context and whether or not it’s used to mock or validate a sad boy’s feelings.

Often used synonymously with “emo,” the difference between a “sad boi” and any other boy or man who is sad is that sadboys appear to lean into their emotions, channeling them to create art about their sadness or mental illness.

In music, the term “sad boy” may refer to emo rappers like Lil Peep or other artists whose music explicitly deals with darkness and sadness. Known sad boy musicians include James Blake, Hobo Johnson, and Rex Orange County. Swedish rapper Yung Lean is the leader of the hip hop group the Sad Boys, who are known for their lyrics and sounds that reflect deep melancholy.

The phrase sad boi hours usually refers to a period in the early hours of the morning in which sad boys feel particularly sorrowful and may wallow in their feelings by posting selfies to social media or composing sad songs.