She farts in the bubble bath. She uses her fingernail to scrape vaginal discharge from her thong. She pulls long strands of hair out of her butt crack with glee and only shaves the lower third of her calves. She gazes out at the world with red, glassy eyes, breaking her silence only to utter the occasional guttural croak.
Who is this genteel goddess of femininity? She’s Foul Bachelorette Frog, a vestige of late-aughts meme culture. Today, Foul Bachelorette Frog’s legacy has largely been lost to the swirling Xibalba that is Tumblr’s archives, but the amphibious meme remains a putrid oasis for a generation of women raised without the benefit of tell-all TikToks and period influencers. In fact, for many of us, she served as a sort of deranged North Star of secret feminine behavior, normalizing everything from throwing out dirty dishes instead of washing them to ripping out your nipple hair with your teeth.
Foul Bachelorette Frog first appeared on Perez Hilton’s internet more than a decade ago as one of the final members of the Advice Animals collective. If you’re unfamiliar, Advice Animals was a seminal series of macro images that featured dopey animals meant to represent the worst of human archetypes. The series started with Advice Dog, a dopey labrador puppy who advised netizens to “Go to the Vatican and swallow the Pope.” Then came Foul Bachelor Frog, a meme that debuted around 2008 and employed a bulbous bullfrog to represent the wild things men do behind closed doors — e.g., “Piss in the dark; move dick until you hear liquid hitting water.”
But just as God gave Adam a counterpart in Eve, some anonymous meme lord created the ultimate life partner for Foul Bachelor Frog. In 2010, Foul Bachelorette Frog was born, first via the Twitter account @bachelorettfrog, then via the now-defunct fckyeahbachelorettefrog Tumblr page. (The Tumblr technically still exists, but it’s been co-opted by a Malaysian wedding photographer.) Know Your Meme describes her as “unhygienic, lazy and jobless,” a bastion of feminine ooze in the form of a small green amphibian. It’s true: Foul Bachelorette Frog was every bit as disgusting as her male counterpart. She jacked off constantly, marveled at her own bodily functions and let her body hair grow wild and free. She was, in a word, foul.
Of course, this was 2010. There were no celebrity gynecologists podcasting about yeast infections. There were no TikTokers weighing the merits of menstrual cups. Instead, in 2010, the entertainment industry was just dipping its gnarled toe into what’s loosely known as “Cool Girl canon.” Edgar Wright had just released Scott Pilgrim vs. the World unto the starving masses, solidifying the appeal of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Friends With Benefits, Hollywood’s premier argument for high-fiving after sex, loomed large on the horizon, hitting theaters in 2011. A year after that, Gillian Flynn would pen Gone Girl, complete with the now-infamous Cool Girl monologue courtesy of the very psychotic character Amy Dunne.
In the book, Flynn writes: “Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are, above all, hot.”
While Cool Girl canon demanded women make a very public show of their bro-ish tendencies, it also required that female bodily functions remain snugly within the bounds of male acceptability. Belching was okay; vividly describing the agony of removing a dry tampon was not. That’s where Foul Bachelorette Frog flourished. She wasn’t trying to prove that she was one of the guys — she was gross on her own terms.
I found the frog at 16, during an afternoon spent covertly looking up memes on my parents’ clunky desktop computer. I can’t remember who introduced me to her, but I can remember scrolling across her memes for hours, taking occasional breaks to sweep my deftly flat-ironed side bangs behind my ear. I’d stumble on a particularly relatable meme — “No clean panties; search hamper for least crusty pair” — and gasp. “I do that, too,” I mused in disbelief.
I wasn’t the only one — the meme spread through my high school friend group with shocking swiftness. My friend Emily tells me that the meme’s approach felt revolutionary as we crept toward womanhood. “I feel like I was in that phase of realizing all of the things women do to make themselves conventionally pretty — shaving the legs, makeup, doing hair, outfit changes, toenail polish, etc.,” she explains. The meme helped her recognize the weirdness of it all — and helped ease her mind about taking shortcuts. “The ones about shaving only the parts of your legs that will show below your capris were very funny and comforting to me,” she says. “It was maybe both a realization (and then later a reminder) that even with all the grooming and upkeep, most of us are just normal and kinda gross.”
The meme wasn’t just for foul bachelorettes like Emily and myself, though. It also resonated with dudes like 23-year-old Carson. He says that the meme “made it easier to relate to stuff girls go through, especially in puberty.” He recalls a few memes about period panties and discharge that gave him “a window into the female experience that is usually not readily presented to dudes,” and reassured him that girls were just like him: “gross and human.” He even goes so far as to say that Foul Bachelorette Frog “helped me sort of break down the divisions between femininity and masculinity that society ingrains in us.”
Like the rest of the Advice Animal crew, Foul Bachelorette Frog’s legacy is now largely relegated to Tumblr, where the tag #FoulBacheloretteFrog is still used with some regularity. She also pops up on Reddit, especially on the lingering Advice Animals subreddit. But beyond that, Foul Bachelorette Frog has been lost to the sands of time. On Instagram, there are only 197 posts tagged under #FoulBacheloretteFrog, and on Twitter, there are five accounts that post the memes, but all have fewer than 100 followers.
It makes sense; Foul Bachelorette Frog’s appeal doesn’t have much of a place in the internet’s current iteration. Period discourse has been normalized across social media, “goblin mode” is chic, women are “going feral” as a summer trend and the Cool Girls are sprouting armpit hair with abandon. I can even easily find an aesthetically pleasing Instagram graphic that helps me decode my own varying shades of discharge.
Nonetheless, Foul Bachelorette Frog remains an important reminder for the disgusting women of my generation. We were too young for bra-burning, but too old for menstrual influencing; more likely to spend our time making Joseph Kony famous than discussing the workings of our weird bodies with friends we worried might not understand. But Foul Bachelorette Frog proved what we now know to be true: that we weren’t navigating the foul aspects of adolescence alone. Yes, she could do everything Foul Bachelor Frog could do — backwards, in heels, dusted in a fine layer of her own haphazardly shaven body hair — but the meme also made it easier to tap your freshman year roommate on the shoulder and beg for help after accidentally bleeding through your sheets during a heavy flow night.
With any luck, she’d flash a knowing smile and offer the kind of comfort that can only come from a fellow foul bachelorette: “I know exactly what you mean.”