We’re not starting a cult but some followers on Instagram would be nice. Thank you.
If you’re chronically online like me, you probably would have seen this frog costume appearing on your TikTok FYP.
In case you haven’t, here are some examples:
@echbao123 Trời ơi con tuiiii, trả 🐸 con tui đâyyyy 😭 #viral #frog #ech #🐸 #xuhuong #funny #cute #booktok #fyp #foryou ♬ nhạc nền – Siêu Nhân Điện Lực
@ariaa416 The frog accidentally kicked the child while saluting!#respect #fypシ #frog #happy #funny ♬ original sound – Frog anecdotes
@ariaa416 The little frog was educated by his mother!#funny #frog #fyp #happy #cute ♬ Cute – Aurel Surya Lie
I know what you’re thinking.
What is going on? Who are these frogs? Why are these people cosplaying as frogs? Where can I find more videos like these?
Douyin Frog finds fame
The frog costume gained popularity on Chinese social media platforms Douyin and Weibo in early 2022, earning its name as the Douyin Frog.
The strange amphibian costume is known for several things on social media:
The comical salutes
Every time a person salutes the frog, there’s a 98 per cent chance that the Douyin Frog will respond with an enthusiastic salute.
There’s just something about a frog costume doing a military-like greeting that tickles the internet.
The baby frog balloons
The sight of a person in a frog costume carrying a bunch of baby frog balloons is just very meta.
The random interactions it has with other costumed persons
You thought Mixue’s Snow King is unhinged?
Wait till you see Snow King and Douyin Frog together.
@user10125925224810 Ếch mẹ đụng độ vs Mixue #echhuongngoai #mixue #echmebanechcon #echxanh #vuinhon #douyin_china ♬ suara asli – Mixue CBD Cengkareng
@echxanhne111 Chời đất ơi :))) #echxanh #tiktok #ech #mixue ♬ nhạc nền – Khoa mõ nhọn 🔥👑
The frog costume-wearing trend isn’t just contained within China, however.
In 2023, the trend has taken over other parts of Asia, including Singapore.
The Douyin Frog has been spotted all over Singapore including Simei, Paya Lebar and Orchard, to the delight of many passersby.
@3rachastan AHHHH THE FROG MASCOT IS IN SINGAPORE !!! and the person is super kind 🥺 #fyp #sgfyp #frogmascot #frog #douyin ♬ original sound – chan’s laptop saw skz 🐺
@alexzellsim #singapore #china #frogcostume #frog #funny #cute #fyp #in ♬ original sound – WHAT’S UP!
Still, this doesn’t answer the question of how the Douyin Frog trend started.
Popularised by street vendors
The fact is, before it became a global meme, the frog costume was used by street vendors selling baby frog toys in China.
According to Global Times, it went especially viral when a video of a Shanghai city official requesting a vendor to remove the frog costume was posted.
The street vendor apparently violated city management regulations which dictate that individuals and units are prohibited from setting up stalls and selling goods in public places without authorisation.
Netizens, however, argued that the street vendors are “not creating an adverse impact” and are merely “trying to uphold a pleasant environment” for the public.
Top five ugliest things on the internet
On a separate note, the Douyin Frog costume was also listed as one of the top five ugliest things on the Chinese online shopping platform Taobao.
A report by South China Morning Post said that the annual ugly things list has been viewed more than 90 million times which probably helped to catapult it to being a viral meme.
The costume can also be easily bought on other e-commerce like Shopee and Lazada.
It’s too early to say, but we foresee the Douyin Frog being one of the more common Halloween costumes this year.
And we’re not complaining.
Top image from Alibaba and TikTok.
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