How I’m Living My Rat Girl Summer

Last summer, I began a quest to watch every MCU film in chronological order, which led me down this very geeky rabbithole I still have not clawed my way out of. This summer, I’ve taken on a quest much less noble and much more questionable thanks to my 21 year-old coworkers who introduced me to the concept of “hot rat girl summer.” Before you audibly say “umm what” out loud like I did when they first told me, let me explain what all this entails (pun totally intended).

The idea is that you live a rat lifestyle. You commit yourself to spending five days of the week scurrying around the city, eating snacks, and doing things you have no business doing. That last piece is the most important (examples to follow). Then, you devote two days to crawling up into your bed and rotting away. One could argue this just looks like a normal work week where you spend five days grinding and two of them sleeping your worries away. The difference here is in the level of mischievousness and curiosity you should embody in those five days. I suppose it’s the 2023 version of YOLO or send it.

As lolakola says, “embrace the rodent energy.”


🐀🧀 #ratgirlsummer #rodentenergy #summervibes #summer2023 #weoutside #selfcare


and here are her rules:


Replying to @chaneltampons #greenscreen #ratgirlsummer #rodentenergy #summervibes #summer2023 #weoutside #selfcare #selflove #bodypositivity

♬ original sound – lola

Tamillionaire4eva lives by the five Ps: pals, plan, plug, plot, and perspective


HASHTAG SCURRYSCURRYHURRY!! Also random @Celebritymemoirbookclubpodcast shout out – thank u for making my commutes bearable 🩷🩷🩷🩷 #ratgirlsummer #ratgirl #flyingsquirrel

♬ original sound – tamillionaire4eva

and let’s not forget the “very communal rat-like behavior”


gonna be a summer of scurrying 🐀 #toronto #torontolife #torontotiktok #torontovlog #torontothingstodo #torontomarkets #torontoflea #torontobeaches #torontoeastend #ratgirlsummer

♬ Silk Chiffon – MUNA

What are some things you have “no business” doing? Let me give you some examples:

  • go to a bar by yourself on a weeknight just to see what happens
  • see a random movie alone in a theater on 10 p.m. on a Tuesday
  • walk into a pet store and inquire about every single pet you could possibly own
  • hit up that one situationship to see if they want to go with you to that one really specific event because none of your friends can go
  • throw a party for a completely made-up reason
  • match with people thousands of miles away from you because why not start a long distance relationship?
  • buy an item of clothing that is completely out of your budget
  • go on dates with people who aren’t your type at all
  • join a sports league even though you have no interest in sports
  • go to one of those couples cooking classes either alone or with a friend you literally just met
  • make plans to meet with someone only a few hours before meeting
  • go to a spiritual service just to feel something
  • take on a completely new hobby that involves being in public, such as painting in coffee shops or pretending to be a travel writer in fancy hotel lobbies
  • try being a bottom or a top, whatever you usually aren’t
  • ask to see the locations of all your friends and text them about what they’re doing at that place constantly
  • go to a rollerskating rink to skate and vibe and also picture yourself involved in the lives of that one kid’s birthday party or that couple holding hands
  • get a complete makeover
  • go to a club and try on a completely different persona
  • flirt with someone you meet organically and give them your number
  • sign up for a volunteer opportunity, go, and then never go back — not because you don’t want to but because you keep forgetting
  • tell someone you just want to be friends with them and actually pursue a friendship
  • have an enemy-to-friends affair, or really just hookup with someone you typically kinda hate
  • develop a crush on someone legally much older or younger than you
  • seek out on office crush
  • decide not to care
  • actually get a pet rat
  • go to one of those kid arcades like Chuck e Cheese with your friends
  • go to one of those extremely specific kitsch attractions such as Gatorland in Orlando, an ostrich farm in Tucson, or Cornhenge in Columbus
  • start a conversation with a random stranger

What are some examples of “rotting”?

  • get deeply invested in an extremely niche TV show and watch it for two days straight
  • start and complete a puzzle, LEGO set, or Sudoku book
  • scroll on TikTok for an unhealthy amount of time
  • sleep, and then sleep some more
  • order meals to the house
  • don’t do any chores that need to be done
  • procrastinate on every home improvement project you’ve wanted to get done
  • take an unnecessarily long bath
  • lay on the floor with your pet for hours on end
  • eat snacks throughout the day, instead of a regular three meals
  • call your friends to gossip while covered in blankets on the couch all day
  • read smut
  • lay on the couch and look through Zillow to imagine the life you could have in every house
  • Google high-paying, low-hour remote jobs just for kicks and giggles
  • watch your plants grow
  • ignore all texts from everyone and apologize a few days later with some made-up excuse

At the end of the day, I’m that rat eating old pizza next to an open fire hydrant. I’m hungry, hot, and just want to be wet you know?

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Em Win

Originally from Toledo, Ohio, Em now lives in Los Angeles where she does many odd jobs in addition to writing. When she's not sending 7-minute voice messages to friends and family, she enjoys swimming, yoga, candle-making, tarot, drag, and talking about the Enneagram.

Em has written 71 articles for us.


  1. What?! So we’ve gone from hot girl summer to mermaid core to goblin mode to rat girl summer?

    I don’t understand you young people but I love any fad that prioritizes comfort and snacks.

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