Trade Offer Meme


What is the Trade Offer meme? And how did it get to TikTok?

The meme mocks the trade request pop-ups in video games, highlighting incredibly lopsided exchanges.


Kahron Spearman


“Trade Offer” has come to define a notable meme era emanating from the vibrant depths of TikTok. Tracing its origins from the 2020 NBA Draft jingle, the meme mocks the general trade request pop-ups in video games like NBA 2K, highlighting incredibly lopsided exchanges.


an offer she cant refuse

♬ NBA Draft Jingle – Nate Bellamy

What is the Trade Offer meme? And how did it start?

In November 2020, a TikTok video featuring the NBA Draft’s catchy tune surfaced. Instead of basketball prospects, the proposed trade was whimsically profound: it humorously suggested trading U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris for late President Ronald Reagan, swapping the State of California for the much-awaited COVID-19 vaccine, and trading rapper Cardi B for the iconic NBA player Kobe Bryant and his late daughter. While this unique proposal garnered significant attention during the holiday season, March 2021 marked a turning point.

This defining moment saw a surge of TikTokers mimicking the NBA Draft jingle. The zenith arrived when the meme’s pioneer re-emerged, adorned like an NBA executive, hilariously proposing yet another trade on March 18th, per Know Your Meme. This video’s still image subsequently found its way to Reddit, where it evolved into the “Trade Request” meme.


While the November video by @natebellamy4 initiated the trend, TikTok user @tylertctv’s March 8th video fanned the meme flames. Within days, TikTokers like @schmuellersvibechamber, @macncheesegrrl, and @jushlarsen churned out viral renditions, amassing millions of views.

TikTok user @bradeazy, dressed formally, proposed a humorous unequal trade, and his video became the meme’s poster child. Though initially removed from TikTok, its popularity soared on Instagram and iFunny. By late March, @bradeazy’s still image went viral, leading to countless variations and adaptations. Memes from other online communities, like a Team Fortress 2 variant, only amplified its digital footprint.


sounds good to me 🤝

♬ NBA Draft Jingle – Nate Bellamy

Why did the Trade Offer meme endure?

TikTok’s evolution from a teen-centric dancing app to a meme factory illustrates its undeniable influence. “Trade Offer” wasn’t just a meme; it mirrored society’s sentiments.

The humorous, sometimes poignant trades reflected a collective yearning for the pre-pandemic era. It voiced the frustrations and losses of a world grappling with the unexpected challenges and tragedies of the last two years.

And it was a welcome respite from other NBA memes, like ones accusing young NBA star Zion Williamson of being fat.

In summary, the “Trade Offer” meme provided comic relief and became an emblem of contemporary cultural expression, capturing the collective desires and memories of its time.

The Daily Dot