Frog & Toad Get FOMO | Skillshare Projects

Jack Pollock

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Frog & Toad Get FOMO

Frog and Toad have some of my favorite childhood stories, stories of heartwarming adventures and lifelong lessons that stand the test of time. "Cookies" is not one of those stories. 

In the tale, Frog and Toad can't stop eating cookies, eventually calling on birds to devour them before they're able to. It's a lesson on willpower that asks you to eliminate temptation altogether, rather than exercise self-control over it. I always found that to be an odd take so I've taken to a retelling that replaces the craving for baked goods with Instagram addiction, an even more dangerous draw in my opinion.

I'm including my breakdowns here and hope to have the short story ready to share later this week!

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ORIGINAL STORY BREAKDOWN

Story Beats

Setup: Frog and Toad are tempted by some delicious cookies.

  • Toad bakes cookies and brings them over to Frog
  • They eat them up - one after another, after another
  • Fearing sickness, Frog suggests they use their willpower to stop
  • Frog tries to hide the cookies, but Toad points out how easily they can still get to them
  • Eventually, Frog summons a flock of birds who devour every last one

Ending: Frog is proud of their restraint, but a regretful Toad vows to bake a cake.

Setting

Geography: Frog’s house, but with no real details established. Illustrations look like a cottage.

Time period: Unspecified, but likely mid 20th century.

Character Profiles

  • Frog: Strong moral compass, there to be the voice of reason in their friendship
  • Toad: Foolhardy by comparison, there to learn through mistakes

Writing Style

  • Entirely driven by dialogue with very little scene building
  • Predictable back and forth between Frog and Toad
  • Simple, direct language without much nuance

Key Question

How can we eliminate temptation?

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RETELLING BREAKDOWN

Key Question

How can we control temptation?

Setting

Geography: A suburban home in the US, very generic.

Time period: Present day, with all the pulls of our on-demand, ready-to-order world.

Writing Style

  • Dialogue-driven, staying true to the original but with more colorful language
  • Matter-of-fact narration of a children’s book, contrasted with the modern circumstances

Character Profiles

  • Sam: Teenager, wise beyond his years, first of his friends to have a summer job
  • Pop: Wants to be the cool dad, always knows what channel the game’s on

Story Beats

Setup: Pop gets Instagram

  • Sam tells Pop about Instagram after his phone starts blowing up at dinner
  • Pop downloads the app and turns into an Insta-zombie
  • A concerned Sam educates his dad on the perils of social media, including FOMO, Doggo-speak and #spon
  • They agree to go on an Instagram hiatus and live fully IRL but they can’t escape the pull
  • Eventually, Sam realizes they don’t need a hiatus, they just need some rules to follow so they can make the Gram work for them

Ending: With all this new time on their hands, the two decide to launch a podcast about their journey and kickstart their father/son side hustle

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