TikTok’s latest trend explained: A peek into ‘Dabloons’ lore
Now you can be in debt, both in real life as well as online.
Picture this: You’re scrolling through your For You Page when you stumble across a TikTok photo slideshow of a poorly photoshopped cat offering you a bowl of soup in exchange for four “dabloons”.
If you’re confused, here’s a quick summary. Dabloons are a form of imaginary currency circulated by the TikTok community. With the hashtag #dabloons accumulating over 494 million views, the trend has evolved from a mere made-up currency to its very own economy, complete with inflation.
According to Know your Meme, the term “dabloons” first surfaced on Instagram in 2021 in a reference to cat toes. They are also based off Doubloons, a form of currency popular in the 17th and 18th century.
@jimsshopofficial keep your blanket safe traveler! #dabloons #dabloonshop #dabloonscat #dabloon #foryoupage #foryou #fyp #fourdabloons ♬ original sound - DABLOON SHOP
Although dabloons made their debut on TikTok in a video by Jackson LaCour as early as June 2021, the trend really took off in late November this year. Most of the early videos take on an approach not unlike Dungeons & Dragons, in which the viewer takes on the role of a traveller.
The videos followed a similar format: A cat would address the viewer as a traveller, offering an array of items such as soup, health potions and weapons, citing their prices in dabloons. The videos are accompanied by a sped-up version of the song “Cold Island” from a game titled My Singing Monsters.
What makes this bizarre is that there are no actual transactions involved. Viewers keep track of their own dabloons, and the amount that one has is determined by the videos they come across.
For instance, there are videos in which viewers are given varying amounts of dabloons. Viewers can also use the dabloons in their possession to “purchase” items in videos, or if they’re unlucky, come across a video in which they get robbed, and lose all their precious currency.
To the amusement of many on the platform, being an imaginary economy has not spared the community from going through inflation. TikTok users in this niche community, now dubbed “Dabloonians”, were giving out too many dabloons, to the point that prices of the items started to go up.
Things were taken a step further when Dabloonians started to introduce official organisations to the trend. Soon, groups such as the “Mafia”, “IRS”, and “police force” started to emerge in an attempt to implement order to the dabloons economy.
It wasn’t long before brands started to catch on, coming up with creative ways to engage the community.
Domino’s Pizza Singapore was among the first brands in Singapore to jump on the trend, treating dabloonians to a free pizza and 100 dabloons. Singapore Red Cross also posted their own TikTok video equipping viewers with hot tea, warm scones, a first aid kit, bread and four dabloons.
To become an official dabloonian, all you need to do is receive dabloons through a TikTok video and start keeping tabs on your own imaginary wallet.
Considering that dabloon TikTok is still a relatively niche community, a way to get more dabloon content on your For You page would be to search up the hashtag and start interacting with the relevant videos, which would encourage TikTok to feed you with similar content.
Despite the comical nature of this trend, it does potentially act as a means of exposing users to the concept of money, inflation and how the economy works. If there’s something we can take away from this trend, it’s that printing more money is not the solution to anything.
At the end of the day, the dabloons lore is yet another lighthearted TikTok trend that became an unexpected yet defining testament to the beauty of Internet culture.
Because you’ve read this far, Youthopia would like to start you on your dabloonian journey by offering you 10 dabloons. Now, you too, can go forth into the world of dabloons. Travel safe, weary traveller.