For people on the outside, goths and also emos room sometimes considered interchangeable.

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This is frustrating come goths and emos alike, as while castle share part characteristics, and both can claim a connection to the punk rock movement in the 70s, the teams are completely different when it involves style, music taste, outlook ~ above life and pretty much anything else you might define lock by.

Because the this, we"ve placed together a guide to the backgrounds of this social groups and their differences, which will certainly hopefully help to make the distinction more clear and also get escape of several of the confusion.


Let"s start with a background lesson:

History the Goths & Emos

The goth subculture originates native the late 1970s and early 1980s in England, wherein it was affected by gothic rock, i m sorry itself began as a subgenre the post-punk.

While there were countless subcultures seeing their at an early stage days in ~ this time, it have the right to be argued that the goth subculture is the just one that has actually not only survived come the modern day yet spread and also become an accepted subculture ~ above a an international scale.

The title of "goth", while used earlier, is assumed to have actually been popularised in 1981, once British magazine Sounds published an short article under the title "The confront of Punk Gothique" i beg your pardon investigated whether gothic rock was "the next large thing".

Early gothic rock groups attributed with specifying the genre incorporate Killing Joke, UK Decay, The Damned, the Cure, and also Adam and also the Ants.


The emo subculture has roots in mid-1980s post-hardcore yet didn"t truly uncover it"s footing and also unique voice till the early on 1990s with teams such together Jimmy Eat World, Weezer and Jawbreaker.

Emo music is a kind of absent music usually characterized by its emotional content, most generally through lyrics focusing on depression and an individual confessions.

It likewise had a large boost of popularity in the at an early stage 21st Century as result of mainstream bands such as My chemical Romance.

Despite the punk roots, emo music in the modern day is an ext commonly tied come indie rock and pop punk.

Goth and also Emo Clothing

Goth imagery and style has tendency to come from gothic literature and also gothic horror films, yet different varieties of goth adopt different fashion styles, from classic 80"s format goths v dark eyeshadow and large hair come romantic goths with their Victorian format of dress, and also plenty of other formats in between.


Emo fashion is much more commonly associated with thin jeans, studded belts, tight black color band t-shirts, and either black or brightly fancy hair v a long fringe.

Goths vs Emos



Short For

Emotional Hardcore

Gothic Rock

Musical origins & Influences

Pop punk, indie rock, post-hardcore, alternative, punk rock

Glam rock, metal, punk rock, classic rock, post-industrial rock

Popular in

Mostly the USA however has spread to other Western countries such together the UK and France


Differences in behavior & Personality

While everybody is different and these aren"t black and also white rules, there space some stereotypical differences in personality in between emos and also goths:

Emos room stereotypically thought about to it is in shy, angry, depressed, to fill with teenager angst and have to be tied come self-harm and also suicide.

Meanwhile, goths space typically connected with gift introverts, pessimistic about people and society, and dressing in all black.

Musical Elements

While both of these genres space fluid and these elements aren"t always strictly adhered to, there are significant themes running v both category on a musical level the make them conveniently distinguishable also for outsiders:

Gothic music tends to incorporate a 4/4 post-punk layout drum beat, high pitched vocals and also a significant bassline v minimal guitar.

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Emo music generally has more guitar, sudden switch-ups, unexplained structures and painful lyrics around topics such as failure or unmanaged emotions.

Are you Goth or Emo?

If you"ve ever before asked the inquiry "Am i goth or emo?", climate this goth or emo test will help you answer the inquiry for good!