In the throes of cryptocurrency bankruptcy and Twitter staff bleed, a meme about a fake currency led by a cat is thriving on TikTok. Just like the recent Tumblr choke Goncharov (1973) memes, “dabloon” jokes kidnapped TikTok’s huge audience and became a common spot for people to role-play by spending and earning an imaginary “dabloon” currency. Thousands of people have joined, as more videos surpass one million views.

These dabloon memes are playful and absurd in a way that defies easy explanation. However, I think it’s great, and you should join the joke too. So here’s the dabloon cat swap TikTok meme trend, explained.

What is TikTok’s dabloon trending?

It’s a giant internet-driven joint RPG phenomenon. Here’s how it works: Scroll TikTok until you come across a dabloon video. The video will use TikTok’s slideshow feature to browse through a series of images. Each of these pictures will show an item and eventually a cat will offer or charge you dabloons in exchange for those items. You can easily recognize a video, because it’s set to a time-lapse version of a game track My singing monsters.

Here’s an example: The video is aimed at you, the viewer, and offers you an item such as hot chocolate. Then this black cat shows up and tells you it costs four dabloons. To be clear, there is no kind of website or external entity that guarantees you dabloon. Every aspect is imaginary and mostly depends on you, the viewer, participating in the joke. An early example of one that took off was proposing a trade of four dabloons for soup.

Several videos are embedded in this article, but you need the TikTok app to view them. For this reason, I’ve also included a full presentation below posted by TikTok user Randombrainrot showing the exchange of various baked goods for four dabloons.

While dabloons are typically traded for other items, TikTok users have gotten creative and branched out. Now you can come across videos that will relieve you of your dabloon debt. Others have posted videos of people being robbed of their dabloons.

What are dabloons?

A “dabloon” is the imaginary meme currency traded in the TikTok trend. The phrase and original image come from a 2021 Instagram meme, according to Know Your Meme. It’s not very clear what dabloons actually are, but based on the original joke, dabloons probably refer to the beans from a cat’s feet. It could also be a riff on the historical real-world currency “doubloon”, gold coins minted in colonial Spain. But I want to point out that this is not a cryptocurrency or anything, it’s just a huge joke.

Why are people talking about dabloons?

The joke — that we’re all exchanging these cats for dummy currency to get dummy items — has taken TikTok by storm. Know Your Meme attributes the origin of the joke to a few key posts that took off last weekend. Now, over 20,000 videos have used the sound clip associated with the trend, with the most popular videos exceeding 1 million views. Also, people are expanding on the dabloon cat world and pranks in other ways. One person analyzed the dabloon market over the past few days totaling 1.2 million views, and another predicted a “Great Dabloon Depression.” In another popular video, one person shared a spreadsheet he made to track all of his interactions with Dabloon.

I’ve kept an up-to-date list of my interactions with Dabloon as they’ve appeared in my TikTok feed. I got into dabloon debt when a feline version of Tumblr sexyman Reigen Arataka, named Reigen Meowata, charged me 10 dabloons for legal services. However, later another cat declared me debt-free dabloon, so now I’m in the black. It’s like an RPG that sporadically pops into my main TikTok feed as I scroll. I chuckle and update friends as I go in and out of Dabloon debt and keep an up-to-date tally of the items I’ve gotten. It honestly reminds me a lot of online RPG Blaseball.

It’s also really funny to see a fake currency based on a meme cat thrive after people question the value of cryptocurrencies. Many of the people posting dabloon videos present themselves as femmes, and this seems like an appropriate response to a culture that has perhaps taken too many crypto-bros at their word.

But other than reading it, it’s just fucking fun. I’m used to logging into Twitter and dealing with mean replies and messages to almost everything I post online, while mindlessly scrolling through fate. Dabloon cats offer a much-needed balm to an online world that has been pretty shitty lately. Now, my zombie TikTok scrolling turns into a waiting game that I can share with friends. Is absurd. It is funny. And unfortunately this cat will charge you a whole 12 dabloons for reading this article.

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