According to the narrator, Hop-Frog was kidnapped and brought to the king's court. He came "from some barbarous region," and he and another girl named Trippetta, described as "dwarvish," were:
forcibly carried off from their respective homes in adjoining provinces, and sent as presents to the king, by one of his ever-victorious generals.
Of course, they were intended to amuse the king, which they did. But they live what must be described as a miserable existence, having no other purpose than to amuse the king, who laughs at their infirmities. When the King insults Trippetta by pushing her and throwing a goblet of wine in her face, Hop-Frog determines to get revenge, which he achieves by persuading the King and his courtiers to dress up as "ourang-outans", chained like beasts, before setting them on fire. Hop-Frog, kidnapped from his family and subjected to constant indignity and ridicule to amuse the king, gains his revenge in the end.