Synth Rat is a keytar synthesizer toting rat character created by TikToker Lil Young Old Man or tarthnyston in June 2020. Videos involving the character are often bait-and-switch type videos where synth rat’s appearance would not b expected by viewers. The videos became associated with the TikTok subculture “Alt TikTok.”
On June 25th, 2020, TikToker tarthnyston posted his first Synth Rat video labeling the character as a fashion statement (shown below, left). The video garnered over 18,500 likes in two months. The next day, TikToker tarthnyston posted a short Synth Rat music video captioned, “Welcome to SYNTH RAT Tiktok. This song is Synth Rat by Lil Young Old Man. Artwork by @thevisualdon” (shown below, right). The video gainered over 4,100 likes in two months.
On July 6th, 2020, TikToker tobydeep commented on never expecting to see Synth Rat (shown below, left). The video received over 19,000 likes in a month. On July 24th, TikToker missbritorres included Synth Rat in a cosplay video that accumulated over 59,600 likes in two weeks (shown below, center). On July 28th, TikToker pxtrickj included Synth Rat in a “Flash Warning Transitions”https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/flash-warning-tiktok-transitions video and acquired over 156,200 likes in two weeks (shown below, right). The hashtag #synthrat has over 8.1 million views on TikTok as of August 2020 and The Daily Dot mentioned the character in an article on TikTok subcultures.