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Difference Between Emo and Goth

goth-emoEmo vs Goth

Emo and Goth are actually distinctive in their own way ‘“ and their key differences are what we will try to uncover here.

First, here’s a quick definition of the two. Emo actually stands for emotional hardcore. It’s a type of punk rock music which originated in Washington during the mid-90s. Goth, on the other hand, has a much earlier origin dating back to the early 1980s and it’s the short term for Gothic rock.

Now, what are the similarities between the two? Basically, both emo and goth are forms of experimental underground music and hardcore punk. Their musical influences are basically the same, with punk as the root. Emo has stayed close to home when it comes to the musical influence while goth has veered off towards electronica.

More about music ‘“ goths usually listen to The Cure, Sisters of Mercy, Christian Death and Dead Can Dance. Emos have more of these types of music to listen to: Fall Out Boy, Scary Kids Scaring Kids, Chiodos, My Chemical Romance and Dashboard Confessional.

Second, let’s enumerate the key differences between the two. As far as their personalities is concerned, the aura that goths and emos resonate is somewhat similar and are usually associated with depression, cutting, darkness and more of the not-so-pleasant aspects in life. However, you cannot categorize one particular type of personality as being solely goth or emo ‘“ it still varies.

How about their tastes in fashion? This one’s pretty easy. As mentioned earlier, the one color that they have in comon is black. But the similarities stop there. For goth, it’s black all the way except for those who belong to the raver or glitter-goth categories. Aside from an all-black ensemble, they also have black nail polish, lipstick and eyeliner. They also go all-out in the accessories department, using leather chokers, corsets, lace, frills or dangling jewelry. For emo, black is still a dominant color but they also like band t-shirts, tight jeans, scarves, hoodies and layered clothing.

Finally, there’s the difference that they have in culture influences and expression. Emos express themselves in poetry such as Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’. They also make critiques based on post-punk and punk philosophy. Goth, on the other hand, has a sub-culture related to black magic, vampires, witchcraft, and their way of thinking veers more towards the nature of death, fiction and fantasy.

Now that you know the basic similarities and differences between emo and goth, it is pretty easy to distinguish one from the other, isn’t it?


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19 Comments

  1. good job of studying the two….i believe most of all the difference in personally greatly shows…cas most of the time goths are secluded they arent really talkative bunch unless your talking about a subject that interest them…on the other hand emos can be that way too but only few actually are more of them are like partiers they love to rave about their favorite bands and what not but in the end both groups are trying to stand out but in the end as well they both fail at doing cas honestly its hard to stand out when the way you are trying to stand out by is actually consider a fad…i’ve listen to both goth rock and emo rock…….must note they are horrible……what happened to that good ole 80s hair metal that was pretty cool…even though i was born in the 90s i still find the guitar rifts in the songs amazing but as far as emo and goth bands go fairly limited talent among the band members its like they arent even trying to prove my point listen to 5 emo rock popular bands you’ll notice a shocking fact…..THEY ALL SOUND EXACTLY THE SAME………….just lazy….not even going to try to experiment with sound or anything…as for the goths i understand that its probably a aquired taste in that genre of music…but the main bases of both though they are ruled by their musical influnce just like MJ would wear a red jacket and a rinestone glove…his fans would do the same….but something i discovered is most goths act that way to get people to fear them not exactly the attention…unlike emos who crave attention and quote unquote “die for it”…..i wonder what’s next though……seriously people need to start seeing the great pleasure and blessing life is….but then again most of them are spoiled brats…….cas they say their parents hate them or they hate the world but whos putting out for all that expensive clothes seriously i’ve seen the stuff they wear and its EXPENSIVE…your going to have to be loaded to if you really want to be this way….tripp pants cost from 50-70 bucks good luck trying to express your inner darkness now……..i’m guessing no ones paying attention to the “k” fad thats going on in japan its like emo meets andragenist or however you spell it …laters

    • Ok first off I have to say I am impressed with the article. Nice coverage of both sides of the cultures. Now seeing how this is a reply thou it would be rather dumb to not make it such so anyways. To you King you really don’t know anything of the culture so let me make a not to fine point. Those people that go and complain about their family hating them…..yea that is the emo side of the house. I can’t tell you the amount of times the outsider looking in on the cultures got it completely wrong.

      If people would get out of the US and experience the world you would see that the “Gothic” Side in say Germany is different then what you see here in the states. I am military and I have been a goth before I enlisted and it has not changed in the ten years I have been in. The way people make it seem here in the states is that all are down and ready to kill themselves. In Germany the “Gothic” culture us actually jumping and thriving. The listen to a wide range of music. The Brown Sugar Bar in Nuremberg caters to Punk and Goth. The Green Goose in the same city along with the Rockfabrik also play main stream rock. Disturbed, Korn, System of a Down. They also do blasts from the past like Hendricks, Rolling Stones and many more. It is only the Emo and Goth culture in the US giving the rest a bad name.

      Now if you look in the right places you will find people that live the life and collect socially to just drink it up and shoot the S*%@. If you ever go to Jacksonville, FL look up “The Factory”. It is run out of a small club that changes it Genres threw out the week and on the night is becomes “The Factory” a lot of us Gothics get together for a great time consisting of drinks, friends and live shows. If you really sit down with the right groups you will find many great artists, musicians, poets. I have run with the Gothic scene for years nearly a decade and I and a lot of the “older” generation of Goths down agree with what the lifestyle has evolved into.

      In short you can’t label anyone that is in the culture unless you really know it. Not everyone that is in it is rich or poor. Not everyone is suicidal or a Masochist. The Gothic stereotype has gotten a bad name for itself because of what people do see. If you really want to complain about it or make unjustified remarks do it after living the life for a year with the right people. I promise your view would change greatly.

      Well I better go before I type everyone’s nerves away. In closing learn before you comment. The article covered a minor part of it all there is still a lot more that you should see. Take care all.

      SPC. Sandri
      A. CO. 3-69 AR.
      Fort Stewart, GA.
      3rd Infantry Division.

  2. Quick definition:

    Gothics: Wear black cloths, black and white makeup, black hair, long hair, listen to gothic, black metal, etc.
    Emos: Copy gothic clothing but with tight clothing and some red clothing instead, red makeup, red hair, short spiked hair, cut themselves, listen to pussy music, etc.

    • ive scrolled through these comments after i was done reading the article and realized something… 85% of american people are complete idiots on the subject. alot of these people actually agree with a lie that states that emoes cut themselves. really if you dont agree with me walk up to one of the low i.q jocks and ask them what they think of emoes. 90% chance they will wrongly believe emoes cut themselves. emoes do NOT cut themselves. goths arent really picked on as much as emoes for this reason but goths still get bullied.

  3. This is from my own point of view along with my own opinion:

    When we’re talking High school Goths and Emos you can actually tell the difference.
    Emos are more for solitude and the depression is a little obvious with them.

    Goths are found mostly in groups and don’t go directly for the depressed look.
    (Again, this is all based off of what I’VE seen)

    When I sat with the goth group one day, they were talkative and really nice. The show a sense of pride toward who they are. Goth for them is mostly just what they love in culture and feel most comfortable with.

    When I spent the day with an Emo (Again, solitude based) they were distant and had a lot of shame for who they are.

    But, there are also emos who aren’t really emos at all. Goth and Emo is not only a type of person but a style. There are those who dress like such but don’t follow the “culture”
    I know a rather happy and preppy girl who loves the emo style and also scene.
    She doesn’t, but most people who do this also want to act how they dress and usually give you this fake emo facade.

    These styles have been evolving and spreading for years and years and now it’s hard to tell who is Goth, who is Emo, and who just likes to dress a certain way.

    Me? I’m just an observer who surrounds herself with many different types of people.

  4. Okay so I’m gothic, and I talk to both gothic and emo people. And truth is there are different kinds of gothic stuff, gothic can just mean you like black! or it can be the religious gothic which is the scary type I do NOT like at all! Religious goth is all black (nails, hair, lipstick, eye make up, and clothing), it’s also some weird music and the vampire witch stuff. Then emo people are depressed people who cut them selfs and often don’t feel accepted anywhere, emo people will also take about any chance to “fit in” somewhere. And just cause someone is gothic or emo doesn’t mean that they are mean or “non social”. Also, gothic not always a way of life or a perspective of the world, it is sometimes just liking black! Many people today mix up gothic and religious gothic but you must recognize the difference cause they are completely different! If you look up gothic you will most likely get the definition of a person who wears all black, with the make up and nails and hair; along with the music and black magic witchcraft like in the article, but that for the last time is not gothic it’s RELIGIOUS GOTH! there is a difference and lots more people are regular gothic then most think! It’s not scary weirdo crap it’s just a mild sense of black fashion and sometimes but not always a little depression.

  5. This is great! Anyone who has confused the two, or doesn’t think there’s a difference only has to read this article to get the general separation of the two. Obviously there are probably many different opinions (as I’ve been seeing) and there’s more sub-groups and whatnot, but its a great basic differentiation.

    ((There is also many stereotypes, but you know, stereotypes are often based off of truths.))

  6. A few edits I would like to say, the term “Gothic Rock” isn’t really the term. It is “Industrial Rock/Metal”, but gothic people aren’t just tied to that one sub-genre. Industrial has actually been around since the 70′s, not 80′s. There are many sub-genres that were made in 80′s/90′s though. There has been however a band (Cromagnon) that released an album in 1969 that is now considered Industrial. Also, it’s not JUST about the music, the Gothic culture has been around for thousands of years, and has actually had their own language. Emo people love to complain about how “their life is so miserable and no one understands them” when in reality the majority of them have an middle or upper class home life with plenty of friends. Gothic people are usually the outcasts that no one ever gave a chance in elementary/middle school and they tend to hate the majority of everyone. From a Gothic kid’s view on emo’s, it is “They are whiny pussies that can’t get over life’s problems so they cut themselves.” Sorry if I rambled. This is a very interesting post, and it is a good way to educate the ignorance of American youth.

  7. im emo but goth is easy to tell apart from emo usally emo has straight hair or kinda bed head hair and alot of colors in it most of the time and
    they wear band tees skinnys and converse and goth is kinda either from what ive seen black red or black or black and white or something like that and like with us were laid back and more calm and kinda shy and nice but like some goth they are hyper they can be mean and they are to me they seem kinda mad like there angry or something

  8. Ok….. So I would just like to put out there that not all “goths” and “emos” copy eachother. I personally wear a mix of the two as well as punk. My friend does something quite similar but leans towards “emo” a little more. Also, just because some one wears darker clothes and complains about their parents doesn’t mean they are “emo”. A lot of parents tend to misunderstand their darkly dressed children and can actually be quite cruel to them. Trust me, I know from personal experience. Lastly, I would just like to add that if some one cuts that doesn’t necessarily make them “emo”. True, there are some people who do it for attention but everyone is different. We’re all human guys; shit happens! ;D ANYWAYS great job on the article!

  9. Also, there are many types of Goths but only one kind of Emo. Goths can be further divided into Victorian Goths; these are the Goths who get there style and personality straight from the Renaissance or dark ages, Emo Goths; these are the Goths who are more Emo in both style and personality yet has a more Gothic demeanor or approach, Punks Goth; these are the ones who as mentioned before wear more flaring clothing, and Mixed Goths; these are the ones whose style usually varies depending on mood or random choice.
    Emos, and i mean no insult by saying this, are simply a one style group who’s clothing stay simple as they spend most of their time wanting attention while at the same time avoid attention. They enjoy being themselves yet at the same time lack the pride of Goths and still secretly wish they were someone else.
    And as for me, if you were wondering, I am a Victorian Goth.

  10. I will not leave an overly long response as what I have to say is quite simple. This article, in my opinion, is completely biased and overly incorrect. It in fact makes them sound incredibly similar, which is not true. though they may have close roots they both took completely opposite directions. Also, these two subcultures are not simply fashion statements and music but delve deeper into being ways of thinking and lifestyles.

    Fenrir

  11. I’m glad to have found an article that tells you their real differences. Many people say that they are the same but they have many differences, as similarities. I am Emo, I’ll admit to that but I am not gothic. I listen to bands like Black Veil Brides, Asking Alexandria and the occasional All Time Low (though it isn’t classed as a hardcore band, more punk/rock) and I have cut before. Goths aren’t known to cut, only emo’s. Emo’s can be really happy and bright people once they let you in. If they suffer emotional pain, anger and/or depression, they find it extremely hard to break down their walls and barriers. They feel it keeps them safe. Most emo’s express their pain through poetry but I’m not a very big fan of it. Not all emo’s cut, like not all goths worship some kind of “ruler”. Example some might worship Satan or some might worship another religious god. The majority of Emo’s believe in god, like I.

    In my personal opinion, neither are outsiders and they find it even harder when people say they’re just doing this stuff for attention. They feel as if they are hated and unloved, that people don’t approve of them and they just want to find a way out. I have felt all of this and it is very hard to cope with, even if you aren’t classed as ‘Emo’ or ‘Gothic’.

  12. I’d have to disagree with the poetry thing though. Emos and goths both write poetry. That’s all ^_^ I am goth btw

  13. Being Emo doesn’t always mean you cut yourself. It’s a way of expressing your emotions through music, art, and style. Although I’m not saying that all emo’s don’t cut themselves ( which I don’t cut myself). Some emo’s prefer hanging out with others like them so they can have that feeling of being secure and not worrying about what others think about them (almost like a support group) while others tend to draw attention to themselves. You can be who ever you want to be as long as it makes YOU happy!

  14. I agree but actually Goths outside the ”glitter/lolita” scene also wear other dark colors like blood red, deep ocean blue or grass or what i like to call it ”weed” green and Goths write a lot of poetry, all of the Goth songs are poetry , try a song like ”Cthulhu rises” or ”Sinew of Anguish”. i used to be what people call ”Emo” but then i got more interested in Metal, dark lifestyle, make-up and all that stuff but a lot of your information is correct.

  15. I agree but actually Goths outside the ”glitter/lolita” scene also wear other dark colors like blood red, deep ocean blue or grass or what i like to call it ”weed” green and Goths write a lot of poetry, all of the Goth songs are poetry , try a song like ”Cthulhu rises” or ”Sinew of Anguish”. i used to be what people call ”Emo” but then i got more interested in Metal, dark lifestyle, make-up and all that stuff but a lot of your information is correct. For those who wonder, i am a Victorian Goth now who listens to Heavy Metal, Doom Metal, Metalcore, Death Metal, Deathcore, Groovemetal, Thrash Metal and Nu-Metal, i am religious, a muslim, but i don’t believe that a thing like ”Sin” exist, i hope that one day we all will live in a darker place but in peace, i like SteamPunk a lot, i wear make-up, i loooooove self-destruction and i make music, write poems, act and paint.

  16. hello this article was i guess educational but some things were off putting to me maybe im just different or young or whatever but i like hardcore music like fall out boy and black veil brides but i also listen to songs like say something and i listen to nickel back and that kind of stuff. im also a otaku which means anime expert or lover. anyway my choice of music varies from heavy metal to soft and cuddly because i listen to music that is well connected to my heart and inner feelings. i do not cut myself i mean sometimes by accident but never on purpose. i like dark clothing like i have a all black,or a very dark blue, clothing choices and i like just sitting in the dark at night and i do not like light when im thinking. i guess im a mix of emo and goth. i honestly i hate attention i have 4 friends and thats all i need because they understand me kinda. i have daddy issues you could say and i have deep depression issue you could say because well the crap i went through i should be able to have depression issues. i will not tell you what i went through because that has not worked out before and people have made fun of me as a child for having these issues. it has gotten so bad i dont see my father nor do i talk to him. i do not complain about hi in any way. yes i don wish i had someone that understood every fiber of my being but thats impossible. so you could say im a mix of emo and goth but i think of myself as myself. there’s one other thing i had a sledding accident and i had ten hours of surgery but the point is that ever since then i have not felt happiness weird right so i may be messed up or cruel (i dont show mercy) and you may call me any names you want but hurt my friends make fun of my friends your dead im not saying empty threats i mean i will be sent to Juvenal prison then prison for man slaughter and i will be laughing at you the whole time for you got what you deserved. the reason is i value my friendship so much death is nothing i am not afraid of dieing or any injuries for thats how much im willing to give up to protect my friends. but theres on other piece of advice i want to leave you with its better to live for your friends then die for them because then you will have caused more damage then ment to. your emo/goth connor

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