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Perhaps you’ve seen a cute hot dog, sporting twin stripes of ketchup and mustard, wearing headphones and dancing to music. The origins of the “dancing hot dog” date back to 2017, when it was released as a Snapchat filter. Since then, it’s been in and out of rotation on Snapchat, but has found popularity in other corners of the internet.

Dancing Hot Dog reminds me of the dancing banana from the viral Peanut Butter Jelly Time video from 2008. Both Dancing Hot Dog and PB&J Banana are delicious, anthropomorphized foods. While PB&J banana predates today’s many social media platforms, I see it as a precursor to Dancing Hot Dog. Another delightful food meme that predates Dancing Hot Dog is Nyan Cat, a grey cat with a Pop Tart for a body that can be seen traipsing across the sky, leaving a rainbow trail.

The Dancing Hot Dog is an example of Augmented Reality or AR.

The Snapchat filter adds the hot dog to users’ videos so it looks like the hot dog is actually there in the video, interacting with the environment in real time. He’s always wearing the same outfit of a hot dog bun, condiments, what appears to be an inner jacket of relish. He wears headphones and listens to music. Unfortunately, he does not wear a mask in our COVID-19 times. It’s unclear whether the Dancing Hot Dog has received his COVID-19 vaccine, but one can definitely superimpose him into vaccination selfies for added pizzazz.

The Dancing Hot Dog is delightful because he is full of life, not to mention delicious.

While I would prefer to eat Dancing Hot Dog rather than add him to my Snapchats, I can appreciate the hilarity that random dancing hot dogs add to any social media post. I just wish that I knew more about the details of his life. Who are his friends, and what does he do all day? Does he like picnics, or hate them? What are his favorite toppings? Does he have both a Chicago style outfit and a New York style outfit? Does he cower at the thought of baseball concessions?

A quick Google search provided me with some answers. Dancing Hot Dog has made a cameo at a Giants game, so I guess he’s not that afraid of places where survival is tough for other hot dogs. Furthermore, among his fans, he can likely count a guy who regularly shows up at various places in Fredericksburg, Virginia dressed as a hot dog to bust out some dance moves. Pretty exciting stuff.

In the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve had to protect my mind from too much bad news, and that’s where delightful internet memes come in. As an MIT graduate, internet memes have been a way to communicate with friends and family for years. It’s cool that, as technology progresses, internet memes will continue to get more awesome, and become more ingrained in mainstream culture.  Memes aren’t just a nerd thing anymore – they’re everything!

Sheeva Azma

Sheeva Azma is a freelance science writer, MIT and Georgetown alum, and founder of the science writing company Fancy Comma, LLC. Learn more about her at

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