Dat Boi (a colloquial pronunciation of “that boy”) is a nickname given to a 3D character model of a green frog riding a unicycle, typically accompanied by catchphrases like "here comes dat boi!" and "o shit waddup," that went viral on social media in early 2016.
In June 2015, Tumblr user phalania submitted a post with the message "here come dat boi!!", followed by a picture of the video game character Pac-Man with the caption "o shit waddup!" (shown below). Although the original post was removed, reblogs managed to accumulate over 75,800 notes in the next year.
On April 3rd, 2016, the Facebook page Fresh Memes About the Mojave Desert and Other Delectable Cuisines posted an image of a green frog riding a unicycle with the caption "here come dat boi!!!!!! / o shit waddup!" (shown below). The frog graphic originates from the Animation Factory Essential Collection 3.
On February 23rd, 2016, Tumblr user gollypon posted a breaking news parody image featuring Pac-Man along with the caption "Here come dat boi!" (shown below, left).On April 23rd, the Browse Dank Memes Tumblr blog posted a multi-pane comic featuring a scene from 2012 superhero film The Avengers followed by the unicycle frog (shown below, right).
On April 26th, 2016, the tumblr user Browse Dank Memes posted a poorly compressed image of a frog riding a unicycle with the caption "Here comes dat boi!" (shown below, left). On April 29th, Tumblr user casualchriss submitted a photoshopped image of five unicycle riding frogs with the caption "We dem bois!!!!!" (shown below, right).
Since its surge in popularity, Dat boi has been featured in multiple publications including the Guardian's “Month in Memes” on June 2016, NYMag, Paper Magazine, and Vox. Multiple Facebook pages dedicated to the meme have also sprung up, including a page called It's Dat Boi which has over 100,000 likes.
YouTuber ZimoNitrome uploaded a music video titled “dat boi!!!!” on May 3rd, 2016. The video features lyrics of the meme’s catch phrase to the tune of Crank That (Soulja Boy). As of June 2017, the video has reached over 8 million views.
On May 4th, 2016, Twitter user @MrMagDude discovered the unicycling frog in his AP Physics textbook and tweeted “'DAT BOI' IS FROM AP PHYSICS 1 ESSENTIALS. pg 179.” The tweet has since received 11,000 retweets and 16,000 likes as of June 2017.
In the middle of March 2017, Dat Boi surged in popularity on /r/me_irl as users began reposting the original frog and making more experimental variations. One of the most popular series of posts was by thederpytroller, who on March 20th made a post for every letter in "o shit waddap," and the subreddit upvoted each post so that the words "o shit waddap" could be read on the front page. tupptupp_XD then posted a drakeposting image that hailed the moment as one of the greatest feats of human achievement, gaining over 17,000 upvotes (shown below).
Meanwhile, dozens of new Dat Boi variations were upvoted on the subreddit. The Daily Dot covered the phenomenon, adding that a copypasta about the quality of Dat Boi had been posted to /r/copypasta on the 18th that reads:
You want to know why I love dat boi? Dat boi is a completely self-made meme. So many other memes are based in nostalgic childrens shows, funny faces, relatable situations, or references. Not dat boi. Dat boi is completely absurd. It's a low-res frog on a unicycle, and an arbitrary method for greeting him. The first person to ever upvote dat boi did not do so out of recognition. The first person to ever upvote dat boi did not do so because a pre-existing meme format. The first person to ever upvote dat boi upvoted a meme literally pulled from the ether by sheer human creativity and willpower. Dat boi is evidence that humans can stare into the meaningless void of eternity and force their own meaning onto to it. I will always upvote dat boi, o shit waddup!
On September 9th, 2017, Redditor futuretimeguy12 posted a picture that featured two images of dat boi with the text "THIS IS A MESSAGE FROM THE FUTURE. On Friday September 15th, there will be a Dat Boi Renaissance. Our boi will return and there will be hundreds of new and original dat boi memes. /R/ME_IRL, ONLY YOU CAN FULFILL THE PROPHECY." The post (shown below) received more than 6,100 points (87% upvoted) and 120 comments.
Over the next week, Redditors on /r/me_irl began posting more variations of dat boi, amassing thousands of upvotes. On September 15th, Redditor oximoe posted a black and white dat boi with the caption "when I was a yung boi," receiving more than 10,700 points (92% upvoted) and 100 comments (shown below, left).
That day, Redditor MeIrlisCompletetrash posted a three-panel comic of dat boi photoshopped into the show King of the Hill. The post (shown below, center) received more than 4,200 points (92% upvoted) and 50 comments in 15 hours.
Additionally, Redditor Thor246 posted an image of dat boi with Team Rocket from Pokémon. The post (shown below, right) received more than 3,800 points (96% upvoted) and 20 comments.
On September 9th, Redditor Amezylst posted a wireframe skeleton of the dat boi frog in the /r/me_irl subreddit. They captioned the post "1 updoot and I give this skeleton a body on September 15th." The post (shown below) received more than 17,400 points (81% upvoted) and 260 comments. One week later, Redditor Amezylst posted a papier-mâché dat boi with caption "dat boi has been granted a body and entered our physical realm!! The prophecy was right!!!." The post (shown below) received more than 16,700 points (85% upvoted) and 500 comments.