Frankie Jonas, the often forgotten fourth Jonas brother, finally found his place in the spotlight on TikTok.
Kevin, 33, Joe, 31, and Nick Jonas, 28, performed as the Jonas Brothers in the early 2000s and after a hiatus, reunited in 2019 for an immensely successful comeback album that debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 100.
Frankie Jonas has had his share of stardom, including voicing one of the main characters in the Studio Ghibli film Ponyo and making an appearance in Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam, which starred his brothers, but for the most part has lived in the shadow of his older brothers’ musical success. Now, the 20-year-old college student is making a name for himself with his delightfully unhinged TikTok presence.
Since he started posting videos in October, Frankie Jonas has amassed more than 880,000 followers and 14 million likes. Frankie is more than aware that he’s known as the “Bonus Jonas,” and jokes about being left out of the band, forgotten by his brothers’ fanbase, and getting by as he rides the coattails of his brothers’ success.
In one video with over 670,000 likes, Frankie duets a clickbait-like video that claims people can be in the top 1 percent by doing “what 99 percent of people don’t do.” Before the original creator continues, Frankie interjects with a dry, “Have famous brothers and get by on nepotism your whole life.” In another, he uses a song written by the sister trio Haim, which refers to a “secret” fourth sister who they call their “little Frankie Jonas.”
Aside from his brothers’ celebrity, Frankie’s videos are so popular because they’re steeped with Gen Z humor. His content is sardonic, refreshingly self-aware, and just a little surreal. He participates in the “introduce yourself as your high school rumor” trend by posing in front of 2016 news articles about his marijuana arrest. He recreates scenes from Married to Jonas, a 2012 reality TV series starring his oldest brother. His content is wildly at odds with the clean-cut image his brothers portrayed during their Disney Channel careers. When his brothers were around his age, they were promoting abstinence. Frankie, on the other hand, posts tributes to hentai and violates TikTok community guidelines for accidentally showing his genitals.
Frankie’s TikTok presence highlights the generational divide in celebrities from a decade ago to public figures who grew up online. The line that separates celebrities from their followers is less clear on the internet, as platforms like TikTok give public figures and the general public direct access to engaging with each other. Frankie replies to comments, answers questions, and more recently, even put out a call for new friends.
Given the youngest Jonas’ online popularity, TikTok users now jokingly refer to the elder Jonas brothers as “Frankie Jonas’ brothers.”
“Omg is this frankie jonas’ brother????” one TikTok user commented on a video posted by Nick Jonas.
“FRANKIEEEE JONASSSS HAS A BROTHER????” another commented. “SINCE WHEN????”
In a recent TikTok, Frankie preens in front of screenshots of the comments. Nick Jonas replied in a duet on Saturday, calling up his other brothers.
“Joe, Kevin, forget what I said about letting Frankie in the band,” Nick said.
But it doesn’t seem like Frankie needs to be in the band to get some recognition. His TikTok presence is going strong, and even if he accidentally violates the community guidelines again, Gen Z will probably love him even more.