Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2021

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Communication and Digital Studies

Department Chair or Program Director

Rao, Anand

First Advisor

Crosby, Emily

Major or Concentration

Communication and Digital Studies


In this research paper I articulate three common themes and motives in the popular MTV show Catfish: The TV Show. By conducting a rhetorical criticism on the show, I employ the research question, "What are some emerging themes and motives demonstrated in different episodes of Catfish?" In this paper, I uncover themes which reveal anxieties about digital technology, human vulnerability, and the convention that 'the reveal' transcends reality TV and human connection. I work towards connecting these themes across three specific episodes of the show Catfish and I engage in how the online phenomena of 'catfishing' is still prevalent today in this developing digital age and uncover ways that audiences can be familiar with and recognize certain motives that catfishes might have so we can prevent being victims to these unfortunate situations.

Included in

Communication Commons