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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Faceless: The bounty hunter the Drones work for is never shown beyond his arms.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: The Crazy Frog... Or, whatever his creator intended him to be.
- 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.
- 900 Number: Crazy Frog was heavily popularized as the mascot of Jamba!/Jamster, the most infamous of the companies operating in the SMS text message version of this trope/market.
- 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.