The Social Media Phenomenon That Is Sweeping Across Jeep Nation.
Owning a Jeep Wrangler is sort of like being in a cult or a gang that mixes comradery with strange traditions. One of the most notable traditions is the Jeep Wave where Wrangler drivers acknowledge each other with a quick wave as they pass, but one of the newest trends – called Jeep Ducking or Duck Duck Jeep – is spreading like wildfire.
And while there are many theories as to the origin of the Jeep Wave, it’s pretty easy to track down the start of the Jeep Ducking movement. To find out more about this fun-loving Jeep trend, we talked to its creator, Allison Parliament.
So How Did Jeep Ducking Start?
It’s said that the Jeep Wave dates back to soldiers throwing up a “V” for victory during WWII, but Jeep Ducking was introduced much more recently… during the Covid-19 pandemic. Allison Parliament currently lives in Alabama but she is originally from Ontario, Canada, and as Covid-19 continued to spread, she headed home in June 2020 to be with her family. After 20 hours driving, Allison had stopped at a gas station in Canada to fill up.
That’s where a man saw her Alabama license plates and proceeded to physically assault her by grabbing her and shoving her up against her Jeep. The trauma of this event made Allison want to get out of the city, so she drove a couple hours north to a smaller town where her great uncle lived – she wanted to get away from people and he also had several vehicles she could borrow instead of driving around in hers.
Allison had just bought a 2018 JK Wrangler so that she could enjoy being outside and going camping, and while it was her first Wrangler, it wasn’t her first Jeep. When she was in college, she owned a Jeep Liberty, and growing up, she learned how to drive on her great uncle’s collection of antique military Jeeps – one of which she used to learn how to use a manual transmission. Allison told me that she’s always been around Jeeps, and that “Jeep has been a part of my life since I was born.”
While visiting her family, Allison went into a small shop where she ended up buying a bag of ducks. The original purpose was to “torture” her cousin by leaving ducks throughout his house for him to find over the course of months once she left, which was a game the two had been playing for a few years. After walking out of the shop, though, a Jeep caught her eye. She decided to write “nice Jeep” on one of the ducks and leave it on the Jeep. The stranger witnessed Allison leaving the duck on his Jeep and approached her, and after she explained what she did, the two strangers shared a laugh in a time when laughs were hard to come by.
“Being Kind Is Second Nature”
Following this encounter, Allison and her cousin started talking about the idea of leaving ducks on Jeeps on a larger scale, and in July 2020, she created a Duck Duck Jeep page on Instagram and eventually the Official Ducking Jeeps Facebook page. Within a month, these social media pages had grown “like wildfire” amassing around 10,000 followers. Today, the Facebook page has more than 50,000 followers, with other Duck Duck Jeep groups totaling around 200,000 people worldwide, including Jeep lovers in Africa and Europe. In less than a year, this single act of random kindness has turned into a global phenomenon.
In talking to Allison, it’s clear that kindness is in her genes. As a teenager, she lived in Indiana and her family had a neighbor who suffered from ALS, and she and her family would regularly take them meals and help them out around their house. She also said that her aunt was a school teacher, and she was known to buy jackets for students who needed them. In a similar tradition, Allison uses her Jeep Ducking social media influence to raise money for a charity that helps teachers buy supplies for their classrooms, and the money comes from the sale of t-shirts and decals (made by her mother) as well as a portion of sales contributed from vendors.
We wanted to take the good that we created and do something better with it.Allison Parliament
Jeep Ducking Today
The act of Jeep Ducking is pretty simple. You carry a bag of rubber ducks around with you, and then randomly put them on other peoples’ Jeeps as you see fit. There are no rules; the whole point is to perform a random act of kindness, after all. Not only does this bring a smile to a stranger’s face, but Jeepers are finding creative ways to use these ducks to spread the word about local Jeep groups, gain followers on social media, and even advertise their business.
Like the Jeep Wave, Jeep Ducking is helping to create a broader Jeep community, but it isn’t without controversy as some Jeep owners take things a little too seriously. At the end of the day, it’s all about having fun and spreading a little happiness. My wife and daughter carry around a bag of ducks to put on other Jeeps, and even NASCAR legend Rusty Wallace has gotten in on the Jeep-ducking action!
Lifelong automotive enthusiast with a soft spot for offroading. Wrencher turned writer, but I still love to tinker on just about anything with an engine. Dream car: tie between a ‘71 Hemi ‘Cuda and a ’91 GMC Syclone. #GirlDad #SaveTheManuals