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Internet Faces A Wave Of New Wholesome Frog 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. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.