Slang dictionary

side character energy

[ sahyd kar-ik-ter en-er-jee ]

What does side character energy mean?

Side character energy is a characteristic that describes how a person sees themselves and their attitude toward life. Side character energy is typically associated with people who are funny, content, and self-assured or who don’t seek to be the center of attention.

Side character energy is often seen as a counterpart to main character energy or main character syndrome. A person who is said to have main character energy typically acts as if they were the main character of a story, exuding self-confidence and prioritizing themselves. A person who has side character energy, on the other hand, is described as acting as if they aren’t a main character. Instead, this person acts similar to a quirky or loveable supporting character.

The specifics of side character energy often depend on the term’s user, but the term is typically used to mean a person is funny, quirky, content, humble, or satisfied with life. The term is also often used to mean a person who would prefer to support others rather than view their own desires as most important.

Side character energy is often used as a positive term when a person uses it to describe themselves. Sometimes, side character energy is used jokingly as a self-deprecating term or to describe someone else as not being as assertive, confident, or important as that person believes themselves to be.

Example: My side character energy means I prefer to sit on the sidelines and crack jokes.

Related words

.5 selfie, main character, main character energy, attention economy

Where does side character energy come from?

side character energy

The term side character energy references the term side character, which is commonly used to describe supporting characters, especially in fan communities and pop culture discussions. A story revolves around a main character, or protagonist, with that character appearing the most often in the story. A supporting, or side, character exists to support the main character in some way. They don’t appear as often, and we usually don’t know as much about them as we do about the main character.

The word energy references a figurative aura that a person who acts like a side character supposedly gives off or to a figurative source of power that drives them.

The term side character energy has appeared on social media since at least 2019.

However, the term became more popular in 2020 to describe people as being quirky, supportive, unassertive, and/or content with not being the most important person, as compared to main character energy.

Examples of side character energy

I would like to think I’m the main character but my side character energy is just too strong to deny
@Pipml30, June 5, 2022
So side character energy is the best of both worlds – you get to put in how much or how little energy you want to put in, enjoy the fun, but also do what suits you, instead of chasing that perfect curation.
Faima Bakar, HuffPost, June 22, 2022

Who uses side character energy?

Side character energy is often used on social media as a self-descriptive phrase to mean the person views themselves as being quirky, content, and/or supportive of others.

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of side character energy like most terms we define on, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of side character energy that will help our users expand their word mastery.