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‘Rat girl summer’ takes over the internet. Here’s what the TikTok trend means

Get your snacks ready — we’re already in the thick of rat girl summer.
/ Source: TODAY

"Hot girl summer" is out, and "rat girl summer" is in.

As opposed to past social media trends encouraging people, especially women, to get in shape, be confident and remove anything toxic from their lives, "rat girl summer" provides another approach.

Naz Perez, co-host of the podcast "I Don't Get It," says the trend has specific rules, citing creator Lola Kolade, who appears to have coined the term back in June.

"We are embracing rodent energy now," Perez told Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on TODAY.

As Kolade described in one viral TikTok video, which has garnered over 4 million views, "We're scurrying around the streets, we're nibbling on our little snacks and generally finding ourselves in places we have no business being in."

Rat Sightings in New York
#Ratgirlsummer requires followers to learn from rodents.Anadolu Agency / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Read on for everything you need to know about “rat girl summer."

How to be a “rat girl” this summer

One day after she posted her original video introducing the new trend, Kolade shared a follow-up clip, sharing the rules for having a “rat girl summer.”

You have to go outside

"You cannot scurry in bed," Kolade says. "You cannot scurry on your couch. You need to leave your home."

Rat girls can save two days of the week for "decaying," which Kolade described as a time for scrolling through social media, binging television shows and "rotting in bed."

Eat, and enjoy eating

Rats nibble, so rat girls must as well.

"Starving yourself to be skinny for summer is out. Eating nourishing meals so you can make mischief and cause mayhem is in," Kolade says.

Examples of meals Kolade provided as fuel for wreaking havoc include pasta salad, potato salad, sandwiches and ice cream.

Kill the cringe

"The part of you that feels embarrassed when you want to do certain things, kill it immediately and bury the body," Kolade says. "That's over."

A rat girl's "drive" and "whimsy" should be leading her through each decision, she explained.

No overthinking

"You think a rat thinks twice before stealing a slice of pizza and scurrying across the subway platform? No, we're going with our gut. We're going with our intuition," Kolade instructs.

Kolade says a rat girl's gut will likely lead her to the correct decision, but even if it's wrong, no need to fret. It'll likely make for a better story, anyways.

Other tips for a ‘rat girl summer’

Another TikTok creator, a self-identified "deeply seasoned rat," says her five P's for a "rat girl summer" include pals, plan, plug, plot and perspective.

In essence, the user, who goes by the handle @tamillionaire4eva, explains that the rat girl surrounds herself with friends who are down to have "good, clean fun" and hold themselves accountable. But in order to follow through with the summer vision, the creator advises aspiring rat girls to have a plan for what it entails and create connections to make it possible.

Similar to Kolade, this creator advises anyone trying to be a rat girl this season to embrace their choices and trust that every situation serves a purpose to the grander scheme.

"It's going to be fun, or it's going to be funny," she says of her and her friends' approach to making decisions.

In another TikTok video that has amassed over a million views, one creator describes the different types of girls in the summer — starting with the rat girl.

Showing images of a rat, pizza, a tequila shot, the Snapchat icon, a broken phone and a McDonald's takeout bag, she says the rat girl is "doing whatever she wants."

"She's partying, she's eating whatever she wants, she's scurrying around, she's not apologizing," she adds.

Can you be a rat during other seasons?

Yes, according to some TikTok creators. But if you feel like you have a "rat girl summer" all year, you might just be a "rat girl."

In one video, which now has over 2 million views, creator Lexie Firment described herself as a "pretty rat girl." In a follow-up post, she also gave some signs for recognizing the trait in a video entitled "You might be a rat girl if..."

According to Firment, a rat girl typically has an "organized chaos" pile of shoes by her door and bought the "wrong size aesthetic rug." Seemingly, the rat girl is practical, as her vacuum is generally out and available for daily use.

Another tell-tale sign of a rat girl is purchasing glass jars to organize her kitchen to be aesthetically pleasing, but she's never refilled them, "so they're all awkwardly like a quarter of the way filled."

For a rat girl, face masks used to clear and exfoliate skin can go "horribly wrong." For Firment, she says the under-eye patches often start to cover up her eyes and seal her eyelids shut.

Lastly, rat girls likely don't have a dining room table, according to Firment, because most rent an apartment and don't want to spend the money.

Generally speaking, Firment says that rat girls have the ability to appear "cute" and put together on the outside, when in reality they're repeatedly unlucky and consistently causing chaos — sometimes without even trying.