The word “tenso” is Portuguese for “tense”. This is a meme that spread through Brazilian blogs and forums, and consists of an image edited to form a sequence that closes up the frame and emphasizes a “tense” face or situation. In form, it is similar to a common vertical 4-Pane, a common exploitable format; although the number of actual frames may vary.
Sometimes the close up reveals something that is not seen in the original image, creating an effect of surprise. In this way, it delivers an effect similar to the when you see it, you’ll shit bricks meme.
This meme started as a joke in the Brazilian gaming forum “Vale Tudo” (UOL Games). Some of the members of this forum claim that it is inspired by 4chan memes and was adapted to Portuguese language, but it is not clear if a specific meme served as inspiration, or if it was instead the common vertical panel format to which they were refer.
In late 2008 the idea started to spread to other forums and became a fad in brazilian blogs and social medias.