Duolingo’s mascot becomes TikTok icon by twerking on tables and thirsting over Dua Lipa
TikTok/duolingo

Language-learning app Duolingo has gained viral infamy on TikTok, all thanks to the antics of their green owl mascot called Duo.

In recent months, their TikTok account (@duolingo) has gained millions of views because of Duo having a finger (or should we say wing) on the pulse of popular trends on the platform. They also have a hilariously sassy and chaotic persona that viewers love to interact with.

@duolingo

This is an SOS #DuolingoEmployee #owltok #livelaughlove #helpme #imscared

After an array of viral videos, the big green bird has certainly cemented its status as an online personality and a meme.

Some of their most viewed videos include Duo’s playful warning threats for people to keep up with their language lessons on their app while referencing pop culture moments like sharing their “emotionally wrecked” wall slide to Taylor Swift recently re-released song All Too Well and “thirsting” over pop star Dua Lipa.

Though this doesn’t mean the platform has shied away from serious issues after they defended the use of LGBTQ material in their courses, hitting back at a negative commenter: “We’ll always say gay rights, sorry not sorry.”

@duolingo

Reply to @agazeblank we’ll always say gay rights, sorry not sorry 🌈

So who exactly is responsible for Duolingo becoming a viral sensation?

Of course, it comes as no surprise that a Zoomer is behind the company’s internet relatability, as 23-year-old social media manager Zaria Parvez began making the owl mascot TikTok’s for the company in September.

She told Insider that the company’s goal is to “have fun and entertain,” and it’s working.

“I think having that foundation of being a brand that’s mission-driven and is free really allows us, and gives us more space, to have fun in a way,” Parvez told Insider.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

As Parvez only started making these popular TikTok’s just a few months ago, she added that it’s not yet clear if Duolingo’s growing TikTok presence has directly caused an increase in people downloading and using their app.

“The way that I think about it is that if I film this and it becomes viral, cool. We get users, awesome,” Parvez said. “But we just want to have fun at the end of the day and entertain.”

Here are some of Duolingo’s most popular TikTok videos.

When you use Google Translate instead of Duolingo

@duolingo

every time you open Google Translate, I lose a feather. #duolingo #swiftok #enchanted #languagelearning #trend #brandtok #comedy

The main purpose of Duolingo is to help people learn a different language, and so you can’t imagine their disappointment in finding out when someone has decided to use Google Translate instead.

Duo perfect captures the melancholy of this by dramatically looking out from behind a glass door and slowly collapsing to the floor in despair - it’s dramatic in the best way.

Especially with Taylor Swift’s song Enchanted which has gained popularity on the app, plays in the background as she sings the lyrics: “Please don’t be in love with someone else, please don’t have somebody waiting on you.”

Since posting, the TikTok has received 11.6m views and 3.1m likes, with tens of thousands of comments such as: “so excited for enchanted (duo’s version” with the owl showing off their pop culture knowledge in its reply, and hilariously wrote: “google translate is my Jake Gyllenhaal.”

Round of applause for saying “bonjour”

@duolingo

real ones let you do the bare minimum and give you full credit 😌 #Duolingo #ourgodisanawesomegod #trend #comedy #god #imscared #DuaLipa #DuaLingo

If this TikTok is anything to go by it’s that small triumphs should be praised, as the on-screen caption reads: “When all you can say in French is ‘bonjour.’”

Que everybody’s favourite owl appearing at the top of the stairs and walking down while receiving a round of applause from colleagues as they cheer the owl on from the side of the stairs.

The video has gained nearly 10m views, with 1.8m likes and again thousands of comments from people hoping to get a reply from Duolingo.

“Duo actually captured all those people and forced them to do this!!” someone commented, to which Duo sassily replied: “You’re not lying.”

Thirsting over Dua Lipa

@duolingo

hi mommy 😌 #comedy #DuaLipa #Duolingo #excuseme #mommysorry #Dualingo

It appears that Duo is quite the Dua Lipa fan after posting a video with a popular TikTok sound created by a TikTok user called @roofjesis where a man says: “Excuse me? Excuse me? Mommy? Sorry. Mommy? Sorry? Mommy? Sorry. Mommy? Sorry. Mommy?”

As Duo stares off into the distance, various photos of the British pop star appear on the screen.

After Duo shared their fangirl moment, the video received 6.2m views, 1.3m and thousands of comments from people who didn’t expect this crossover.

“Last thing I expected to see today is Duolingo calling Dua Lipa mommy,” one person said.

You and us both.

Reaction to Taylor Swift’s re-recording of All Too Well

(it’s emotional)

@duolingo

wearing red lipstick to help me cope for the full 10 minutes #redtaylorsversion #swiftie #taylornation #taylorswift #alltoowell #Duolingo

With the release of Taylor Swift’s 10-minute version of All Too Well, TikTok has been flooded with reaction videos where fans get emotional listening to the extended track.

Duo appears to be one of these Swifties after using the song to demonstrate themselves practising their “emotionally wrecked wall slide.”

Over 3.5m people have viewed the clip, along with gaining 690,000 likes and Swifties took to the comment section to share their thoughts.

“How do you say ‘where’s the scarf, Jake’ in Swiftie,” one fan asked, to which Duo replied: “To do list: blow up Jake’s phone with push notifications.”

Being self-aware of its chaotic energy on the platform

@duolingo

still don’t see a problem with what i do - don’t come for my beak!!! #Duolingo #comedy #avatarthelastairbander #trend #DuaLipa #elements #brandtok

There is nothing people on TikTok love more than a creator who is self-aware, and Duo definitely ticks this box in this particular video.

The mascot shared with viewers their decision making process as to “what assortment of unhinged I want to be” and gave some pretty funny examples.

In keeping with the Avatar: The Last Airbender theme song listing off Earth’s element’s, Duo listed off the different decisions to choose from.

“Twerking on conference room tables,” was the first one with two people spraying the air as the voiceover said “Water”, followed by popping up from the bushing as the caption then read: “thirsting over Dua Lipa,” as the “Earth.”

It then moved on to another that said “trolling people” which was obviously fire, with a lighter appearing in shot, and then finally air was “constantly begging for attention” as Duo jumped over a small wooden ledge.

indy100 has contacted Duolingo for comment.

To view more of Duolingo’s content, visit their TikTok page.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)