It’s the end of an era. Charlie Bit My Finger, a beloved piece of internet history, is leaving YouTube.
The viral 2007 YouTube video was auctioned off as a non-fungible token – or NFT – on Sunday for an astonishing $760,999 and will soon be deleted from the platform, according to a website set up by the David-Carr family who shot the original video.
“Bid to own the soon-to-be-deleted YouTube phenomenon, Charlie Bit My Finger, leaving you as the sole owner of this lovable piece of internet history (while also getting the chance to say Charlie bit your finger, if you want to see what all the hype is about),” says the website.
In the anonymous auction, an intense bidding war sent the price soaring towards the tail-end of the auction, with user “3fmusic” finally outbidding “mememaster” for sole ownership of the memorable video.
The auction winner will also have the opportunity to make a parody with the clip’s stars, Harry and Charles Davies-Carr, now aged 17 and 15.
According to the website, “The NFT winner will have the opportunity to create their own parody of the video featuring the original stars, Harry and Charlie. Star in it yourself, or give the honor to the biggest Charlie Bit My Finger fan you know, and recreate a hilarious modern-day rendition of the classic clip.”
What is Charlie Bit My Finger?
For those who somehow haven’t seen one of YouTube’s earliest phenomenon, Charlie Bit My Finger is an adorable 56-second-long video that harkens to a simpler time in YouTube history.
In the video, 3-year-old Harry is holding his 1-year-old brother, Charlie, and Harry decides to stick his finger in his baby brother’s mouth. When Charlie chomps down, Harry exclaims the video’s iconic words, “Ouch, Charlie bit me! That really hurt Charlie!”
The official auction description of the “plot” to Charlie Bit My Finger reads, “Harry, aged three, is relaxing watching television with Charlie, aged one, after a day spent playing in the garden. Inexplicably, Harry decides to put his finger in Charlie’s mouth, and the rest is history. The 56-second video takes you on an adorable rollercoaster of joy, pain, love, and laughter, plus all the facial expressions to boot.”
The video has racked up over 880 million views to date, and according to the family website, the clip was initially filmed as “a part of catching random moments as the boys were growing up”, and only intended for friends and family.
The NFT internet craze
The David-Carr family are the latest to join the NFT craze as they follow the path of historic meme sensations.
In April 2021, Zoë Roth, AKA “Disaster Girl”, sold the iconic photo of her as a toddler looking at the camera knowingly as a house is on fire in the background for half a million dollars.
“Bad Luck Brian” also hit a stroke of good luck when the creator sold the original photo for around $36,000 in March.
NFT’s – or non-fungible tokens – are digital assets that cannot be exchanged. Why have they become so popular? They give value to digital files.
Despite that, digital files can be easily duplicated, with NFTs, artwork and other digital files can be “tokenized” to create a digital certificate of ownership.
While there’s still nothing to stop people from copying the file, the buyer of the NFT now has a token of proof that they own the original work.
Aside from content creators, celebrities have also been quick to jump aboard the NFT hype train.
Rapper Snoop Dogg recently released an NFT collection titled “A Journey with the Dogg,” which features memoirs from Snoop’s earlier ears, NFT-inspired artwork, an original track called “NFT”, and “Snoop Dogge Coins”. The collection appropriately sold on 4/20, the high holiday for the cannabis culture, for $33,000.
Lindsay Lohan is also no stranger to NFTs, having created her own token in February, which sold for $50,000.
Recently she released her latest single “Lullaby” as an NFT, which promises a “never before seen experience,” that can’t be found elsewhere.