Frogs have had a long history as memes online, but over the past several months, a wave of frog euphoria across multiple platforms has featured cute wholesome content.
SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:
Frogs have had a role in storytelling for ages. The Brothers Grimm had “The Frog Prince.” Aesop used them, too, in his tales.
ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
In the 1950s, there was a “Looney Tunes” cartoon about a singing frog.
(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, “ONE FROGGY EVENING”)
BILL ROBERTS: (As Michigan J. Frog, singing) Hello, my baby. Hello, my honey. Hello, my ragtime gal.
SHAPIRO: That creature would only sing for one man who tried and failed to get him into show business.
MCCAMMON: And now frogs are hopping all over the Internet.
(SOUNDBITE OF TIKTOK VIDEO)
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: If you’re seeing this, you’re on the frog side of TikTok.
SHAPIRO: Insider’s Palmer Haasch first noticed the trend when a video of a frog sitting on a bench appeared in her Twitter feed.
PALMER HAASCH: I was just entranced. And from that point on, I just started seeing more and more and more frogs showing up across social media platforms.
MCCAMMON: Haasch discovered that frog posts on Reddit more than doubled this spring compared to last year. She saw similar jumps on Google, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Tumblr.
HAASCH: It really seemed that, cross-platform, frogs were starting to have a moment.
SHAPIRO: Frogs had a darker moment not too long ago. Kermit the Frog was used to troll people, and the cartoon-faced frog Pepe was co-opted by white nationalists. But this recent wave of Internet frogs is different.
HAASCH: A lot of what we see now is just cute and wholesome and fun.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: I think I just found my new favorite bodily sound.
(SOUNDBITE OF FROG SCREECHING)
MCCAMMON: Like delighting in frog screeches or videos of frogs posing in cowboy hats or taking baths.
SHAPIRO: There are now recipes for frog-shaped bread, along with just plain old frogs, lots and lots of frogs.
HAASCH: They’re just kind of there. They’re weird in a cute way, and in that sense, they make for prime meme subjects.
MCCAMMON: And Insider’s Palmer Haasch says there doesn’t need to be any deeper meaning to why frogs are suddenly everywhere.
HAASCH: It just boils down to the fact that frogs are cool.
SHAPIRO: No need to kiss them and turn them into a human. These days, you can just love frogs as they are.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “AXEL F”)
CRAZY FROG: (Singing) This is the Crazy Frog. Bing, bing.
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