Crazy Frog (also known as The Annoying Thing) began in 1997 as a widely-shared audio file of Swedish teen Daniel Malmedahl imitating the two stroke engines on his friends' motorcycles. In 2003, animation student and fellow Swede Erik Wernquist used the sound to create "The Annoying Thing," a minute-long computer animation test, pairing the sound up to the design of a grotesque frog-like creature. Wernquist credited the audio to "anonymous" at the time, but later credited Malmedahl when he saw the animation and gave Wernquist permission.
A year later, the two creators sold the character and sound to ringtone service Jamba!/Jamster who rechristened the character "The Crazy Frog," turning the sound into a hugely successful ringtone. The character was popular enough that Jamster eventually produced a techno cover of Harold Faltermeyer's "Axel F" with samples of the sound, complete with a music video. It was popular enough to keep Coldplay's "Speed Of Sound" off the #1 spot on Billboard and eventually warranted two albums worth of similar covers. A cover of the synthpop classic "Popcorn" had some success, but it was mainly limited to Europe.
After a long period of inactivity, his YouTube channel (found here) suddenly became active once more in 2018, with a documentary on the character's creation being released and new activity popping up on various parts of his account. This would eventually culminate in the announcement of a new album.
The Crazy Frog contains examples of:
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Frogs aren't typically blue. On the other hand, he apparently isn't a frog.
- Animals Lack Attributes: Averted, at least at first. Then it got played straight for a few years due to censorship only to averted again when the videos on the official Youtube channel depicted The Annoying Thing with his genitals intact and uncensored.
- Artistic License Biology: Frogs do not have external genitalia, as fertilization occurs externally. Possibly justified, as according to his creator, he isn't actually a frog.
- Big Bad: Through some of the music videos, there is an unknown individual whose arm is only seen (ala Dr Claw) who really seems to have it out for The Annoying Thing and has an army of Drones seen in multiple videos.
- The original animation of the character gave him a very visible penis. It remained all the way up to the "Axel F" video until Moral Guardians complained and it was digitally removed. This was later reversed years later where all of the videos on the channel have The Annoying Thing's junk restored.
- Along with the removal of the Frog's penis, the "Axel F" video was altered to remove the explosion at the end.
- Bullet Time: "Axel F" slows time down significantly as the Frog dodges the missile at the near-two-and-a-half-minute mark.
- Cartoon Creature: According to the character's creator, Wernquist, the Crazy Frog is "not a frog and it's not particularly crazy either". However, he doesn't specify what the creature is meant to be.
- Continuity Nod: During Tricky, The Annoying Thing gets knocked down by a truck, the same kind seen in Axel F. After that, there's a sequence where he takes control of the robots and has them engage in a dance sequence like in Popcorn.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: In Tricky, the main antagonist has created a company called Space-Y, which according to it's tagline is "Space travel for the Ultra Rich" -complete with usual skull logo-, implying he's trying make a profit from space travel.
- Cover Version: Virtually all of the Crazy Frog's songs were covers, and were merely techno versions of popular songs with samples of the original "Annoying Thing" sound peppered rhythmically throughout.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: The Crazy Frog... Or, whatever his creator intended him to be.
- Humongous Mecha: Druing Popcorn, a giant robot is seen being constructed, supervised by a Boss Drone and his henchmen and activates at the end of the music video, seemingly crushing it's master at the end. It appears again several years later in Everybody where it tries and fails to find and kill it's target.
- Killer Robot: The robots that are sent to hunt the Crazy Frog in "Axel F," also appearing in various other music videos.
- Mascot: For Jamba!/Jamster at its height. Later replaced by Schnuffel.
- Mecha-Mooks: The Drones that chase after the Annoying Thing are red and black robots, seen in most of the videos. A Boss Drone is seen in Popcorn and a giant version of the Drone appears in Popcorn and Everybody. The Annoying Drone also exists but so far has only appeared in Crazy Frog Racing 2 as a clone character.
- Skeleton Motif: The logo seen on all of the Drone types is a skull.
- The Bus Came Back: After 12 years of absence, The Annoying Thing returned with a track called Tricky, which also involved him dealing with Drones and his unknown enemy.
- The Faceless: The bounty hunter the Drones work for is never shown beyond his arms.
- Unknown Rival: The Annoying Thing is blissfully unaware that someone is out there trying to kill him, only knowing that a bunch of robots are after him and that he can take control of them.
- Your Mime Makes It Real: Crazy Frog has been shown to be able to conjure a pretty fast invisible "imaginary" car when he needs to, most notable in Axel F.