It’s a simple scene. Two brothers sit and giggle on a chair together as their father looks on and records them, then ah! The younger one bites down on his older brother’s index finger, after which he exclaims, “Ouch! Ouch! Ouuuuuuch! Charlie! Ouuuuuch! That really hurt.” Moments pass and the baby brother giggles. His brother resumes, “Charlie bit me, and that really hurt.”
The “Charlie Bit My Finger” Youtube video has been viewed more than 882 million times since it was uploaded in 2007. It landed on the top of Time’s “Youtube’s 50 Best Videos” list in 2010, . Even after 14 years, it’s the most viewed viral video of all time. The two boys, Harry and Charlie Davies-Carr, then three and one, are now 17 and 15.
It was also a much simpler time. The first iPhone came out that year. We were still two years out from knowing that “Tik Tok” was a Ke$ha song, much less an app where homemade videos go viral every day. And, cryptocurrency did not exist yet, not even on black markets.
Now, “Charlie Bit My Finger” is getting the 2021 treatment, and that includes becoming an NFT, or non-fungible token. On May 23 the original video will be removed from Youtube and one person will own it, “memorializing them in internet history forever.” According to charliebitme.com, “the NFT winner will also get the opportunity to create their own parody of the video featuring the original stars.” The family, located in the U.K., is calling it not the end of an era, but the start of a “new beginning” as the boys enter a new chapter of their lives.
This is not the first early era meme to be NFT’d this year. Zoë Roth, the subject of the “Disaster Girl” image, recently sold the digital as an NFT for a whopping $500,000. She donated some of the money to charities and used the rest to pay off her student loans.
“Charlie Bit Me” may be gone soon, but it will not be forgotten.
The auction starts on May 22, at 10 a.m. ET.