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Oh Good for you! Now, you'll probably get a belly ache.
November 4, 2011 5:54 AM   Subscribe

Sorry, kids I ate all the candy!
posted by empath (154 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
WTF? How is this funny? These parents are assholes.
posted by rahnefan at 6:01 AM on November 4, 2011 [33 favorites]


The kid at 3 minutes is the best.
posted by Think_Long at 6:03 AM on November 4, 2011


Also, I for one think it's funny to make kids cry. Maybe it's because I'm not a parent. . . Maybe.
posted by Think_Long at 6:03 AM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I gave all the candy to the richest looking kid. I'm sure he made it trickle down to all the other kids.
posted by DreamerFi at 6:06 AM on November 4, 2011 [27 favorites]


Sorry kids, I'm a mean asshole and now everybody will be laughing at you on national TV!
posted by kmz at 6:07 AM on November 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


Count me as another person who found this a bit mean spirited.

Maybe if the kids told their parents they smoked the
last cigarette in the pack...
posted by wittgenstein at 6:07 AM on November 4, 2011


What a funny idea!
Too bad it wasn't left there.
posted by From Bklyn at 6:10 AM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


When my nephew was 2 or 3 (he's 13 now), the way his mother, my sister, told him it was time to go to bed was to say, "Will - hugs and kisses." (Meaning, it's time to hug and kiss everyone goodnight in the room).

One day at about 2PM I got a prankish idea similar to this one. I whispered to my sister, "What if you told Will it was time to go to bed now?"

She smirked and said, "Will - hugs and kisses."

He IMMEDIATELY burst into tears. She said she was kidding and he stopped crying but, for such a small prank it really kind of haunts to this day. I feel mean and guilty. Making a kid cry (how the hell ELSE was he gonna react? Or these kids on Jimmy Kimmel?) for my own amusement.

So yes....put me in the camp of "not funny at all."
posted by mreleganza at 6:12 AM on November 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


I actually go out of my way to help my daughter understand that some good-natured teasing can be a fun part of life. But this kinda made me feel bad to watch. Meanspirited more than funny.
posted by SpacemanStix at 6:12 AM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wanted to post this yesterday and then I remembered the wretched abortion that was the Brandon's Bedroom post. Sigh.

Seriously, those last two kids were fucking glorious - the little one's scandalized shock and the older one's condescending lecture!
posted by elizardbits at 6:16 AM on November 4, 2011 [13 favorites]


These parents will spent the next 18+ years caring and providing for their kids. I think they've earned having some fun at the expense of their kids. And if the kids don't like it, they can always find other parents OH THAT'S RIGHT THEY CAN'T BHAHAHA
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:20 AM on November 4, 2011 [26 favorites]


I'm having a tough time getting indignant over this. Kids this age throw fits about practically anything. It's not nice, I suppose, but most of those kids will throw bigger tantrums over nothing later that same day.
posted by etc. at 6:22 AM on November 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


This is what it would be like to be a child of a Mad Psychologist.
posted by troll at 6:24 AM on November 4, 2011


I vaguely remember my parents trying this on my brother and me. My brother flew off the handle and started throwing things (as was the style of the time), and I responded, "no you didn't! Dad doesn't even like candy!". Then I walked into the laundry room (the "secret" hiding place) to start looking for it. No cameras, YouTube, or late night hosts, though. (Kids these days…)
posted by phunniemee at 6:26 AM on November 4, 2011


So, have I got this right? Making kids cry is OK when it's about sugar, but not OK when you are hitting them with a belt? I just need to make sure, because I don't want to be a bad parent to the little fuckers.
posted by Elmore at 6:29 AM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, not funny. I've (not on purpose) made my daughter cry, and it's an awful feeling.
posted by tr33hggr at 6:29 AM on November 4, 2011


This is definitely one of those Big Questions — is it okay to bullshit your kids? Some people swear by it. I dunno, man. I'd feel like an asshole. It's like when you're playing fetch with your dog and you make the motion like you threw the ball but you didn't really throw the ball.

I acknowledge that this is a subject on which rational, well-meaning adults can disagree. That said, here is my one big experience being bullshitted as a kid.

This one time when I was maybe 7 we went to visit relatives just after Christmas. My parents were never big Santa Mythos people, Santa Claus was not a guy I thought was real, etc. But these relatives were like "Did you see santa? Oh, wow, he's heading back to the north pole right now! The he is, up in the sky!"

And I'm just 7 years old and my parents are not in the bullshit-your-kids camp, so it's totally inconceivable to me that an adult would just make shit up like that, so me and my little brother are craning our necks, trying to see Santa because obviously he must have just flown overhead, holy shit!

"Aww, you just missed him," they told us.

Later my parents would confess that the whole exchange made them deeply uncomfortable, since they were torn between wanting to tell us the truth, and not wanting to look like joykilling assholes in front of the relatives.

Years later, I sympathize with their plight, but thinking back on how my childish credulousness was manipulated for the amusement of people that should've known better, it makes me pretty angry.

If I'm ever lucky enough to have kids, I'm not going to do this. And if I see somebody else starting to tell them about Santa Clause or whatever bullshit, I'm going to disabuse them of that notion post goddamn haste, I can tell you that right now.
posted by pts at 6:30 AM on November 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


The part where the fat little future domestic abuser punched the wall in rage kind of threw me, but the rest of it was great.
posted by Sternmeyer at 6:33 AM on November 4, 2011


As my uncle used to say, "Make an eejit of a dog, it'll always be an eejit."
posted by Elmore at 6:35 AM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


fat little future domestic abuser

Wow. That's, um. Wow.
posted by shiu mai baby at 6:36 AM on November 4, 2011 [14 favorites]


Sorry Jimmy, we canceled your show...
posted by 0xdeadc0de at 6:38 AM on November 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


It made me laugh, but with a guilty edge. And that kid who punched the wall? Anger management issues, maybe?
posted by Forktine at 6:42 AM on November 4, 2011


And that kid who punched the wall? Anger management issues, maybe?

It helps when you don't have family members who try to intentionally make you upset.
posted by SpacemanStix at 6:44 AM on November 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


Put me in the 'not funny' camp.
posted by pianoboy at 6:46 AM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow some people in this thread must really hate their "fun uncles"
posted by SharkParty at 6:47 AM on November 4, 2011


Yeah I bullshit my nephews all the time, but I usually don't make them cry.

They'll be disappointed when they find out I wasn't really an astronaut, though.
posted by empath at 6:48 AM on November 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


I remember when I was a kid, my aunt was driving and turned up the radio and she said "This is my song!" I misunderstood and asked her if she made it, and she said "Yeah, I did, I wrote it and played all the instruments and everything." She used to play christmas songs on the organ at my grandmother's house so I totally bought that. For years afterwards I told people my aunt made "Funky Town."

The same aunt also told me that my mom worked at the strip club by my elementary school (i just knew what it was called, not what it was) when we were driving by it. Boy was THAT embarrassing after I told all the kids at school where my mom worked.
posted by empath at 6:52 AM on November 4, 2011 [19 favorites]


My dad used to do things like this to me all the time. My dad and grandfather loved to joke around like that, he never recorded it and put it on national tv though.

The worst was when we each had these little pies that my grandmother made for us. They were small chocolate pies about the size of a tea cup plate. Well I was taking a long time to eat my dinner and everybody else was already eating their pie. So my Dad said he felt bad for me and would go get my pie, he went and go it, came back in the dinning room and said "heres your pie!" and then smashed it into my face. I was not to happy about it, but looking back it didn't really cause me any long time damage. I think this year it might be time for payback though.
posted by lilkeith07 at 6:53 AM on November 4, 2011


I understand the discomfort, but really, I don't think it is that big of a deal. A recent study* has shown that every style of parenting leads to screwed up adults, and of all the things that even the best parents do to traumatize their kids this barely makes a mark.

*not an actual study.
posted by Saxon Kane at 6:54 AM on November 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


The ongoing journey of unravelling all of the half-truths and un-truths that were casually laid upon me by the more interesting relatives is one of life's greatest pleasures. One of our family friends is a woman who (unfortunately?) looks a lot like Geddy Lee and a cousin made me believe she was actually in Rush for years. Every time I realize I have believed an insane thing for 3 decades because of a wacky relative, it is like eating rare and delicious candy.
posted by SharkParty at 6:55 AM on November 4, 2011 [13 favorites]


I suppose it's a sign of a terrible parent that my five year old wouldn't believe me for a second.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 6:56 AM on November 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I didn't believe she was in Rush for three decades though... only around one.
posted by SharkParty at 6:56 AM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Funny. Sorry.
posted by eugenen at 6:56 AM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


That video was pretty funny by itself. But it what really made it work for me is that I knew when it was over I'd be able to come back to Metafilter and read people whine about it. Delicious!
posted by mullacc at 6:58 AM on November 4, 2011 [23 favorites]


I had a friend who told me that he and his siblings woke up one Christmas morning to find nothing at all under the Christmas tree. While they waited in shell-shocked despair for their parents to get up, Dad finally emerged with a detailed song and dance about how he had awakened in the middle of the night to see Santa about to leave after leaving nothing. Santa, he said, told him the house was home only to bad children and so no one was getting anything that year. Then Dad regaled his now-despondent children with a tale of bravery of how he chased Santa into the yard, wrestled back and forth with his toy bag and then, just as the sleigh was lifting off, tore a big hole in the bag causing -- he was pretty sure -- a bunch of presents to fall out of the sleigh all over the yard. Sure enough, the kids ran out into their front yard and found several wrapped presents in the shrubbery, on the lawn, and driveway. The re-telling of How Daddy Saved Christmas became part of that family's annual celebration forever after.

(I didn't press him for details about "weird" brother Walter, the sibling who -- despite repeated restraining orders -- finally wound up in prison after assaulting, year after year, every Santa he saw.)
posted by Mike D at 7:04 AM on November 4, 2011 [31 favorites]


Interesting. What I saw when viewing these were spoiled children throwing full-blown tantrums. Seeing them scream and carry on made me very, very glad to not have kids.
posted by kinnakeet at 7:06 AM on November 4, 2011


Seeing them scream and carry on made me very, very glad to not have kids.

You should join me and my wife for a rousing game of You Will Wear These Goddam Socks Young Lady Or We Will Cut Your Fucking Feet Off some morning.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 7:11 AM on November 4, 2011 [47 favorites]


My company just came up with this bullshit project where everybody had to put a short bio entry and photo up on the company Intranet (as if there aren't about a dozen really important things the company should be focusing its energies on right now).

So mine says that I'm a direct descendant of Sir Humphry Davy, the 18th century English chemist who discovered chlorine, along with several other elements. And because of this, I still receive a vanishingly small share (because there are a lot of his descendants around by now) of a royalty on all retail sales of bleach.

Is this sort of like that? I don't think the HR Director would actually cry if she ever noticed it.
posted by Naberius at 7:11 AM on November 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


For years afterwards I told people my aunt made "Funky Town."

oh empath

lol irl
posted by elizardbits at 7:15 AM on November 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


This isn't cruel at all- kids don't really have stronger emotions, just worse coping mechanisms. If someone eats my leftover pizza I feel just as bad as I would as a kid... I just somehow manage not to cry
posted by MangyCarface at 7:15 AM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Spoiled? What makes you think their spoiled? As has been said up-thread kids in this age range will break down crying over very small slights. They've got a hair trigger, really. My daughter cried because we surprised her with an unexpected stop at Disney World on the way to her grandparent's house. Hair trigger! (Although sometimes they're totally fine about things you think will upset them mightily like a pet dying.) It has nothing to do with whether they're spoiled or not, they're just mercurial. (I do have a kid this age and she's got lots of friends. So, I'm speaking from first hand experience. Not wildly speculating, as you seem to be.)
posted by oddman at 7:16 AM on November 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


But it what really made it work for me is that I knew when it was over I'd be able to come back to Metafilter and read people whine about it.

No, I think the part where the kids were lied to and cried worked much better. Maybe I just don't understand comedy, though.
posted by swift at 7:18 AM on November 4, 2011


Depressing, because I'm feeling a generational meta-theme about "Boomers ate all the resources and now we're left with nothing".
posted by Standeck at 7:20 AM on November 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


The last two kids were priceless. Lecturing their parents and using math.
posted by Sailormom at 7:23 AM on November 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


I hate this post. I'm going back to Bach.
posted by Elmore at 7:24 AM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I thought it was hilarious, but I come from people for whom bullshit is a fine art and April Fools' is sort of an important holiday. I'm pretty sure my parents pulled this stunt on my sister and I more than once. We weren't a camcorder family, though.

My grandfather, a serious prankster and also the biggest softie ever, used to hide g Christmas gifts so you'd see this room full of gifts without a single one for you. You'd watch your cousins and parents and little sister start to open their gifts and you'd try to be brave and not show that you were disappointed. But just about the time, your bottom lip would start to tremble, Poppy would pull the biggest box in the room over to your feet and it would be the absolute best present ever. The thing you didn't even bother to ask for, because you knew you wouldn't get it.

Failing this, he would also use the crappy decoy present to the same effect. For example, you'd open a package of mens' dress socks (I'm female) and while you sat there puzzling it out, he would be like "Oh, silly me, I picked those up for myself. Must have gotten all mixed up. That would explain why I found a that new Nintendo thing-a-ma-jobber in my sock drawer earlier today." And much joyous screaming would ensue.
posted by thivaia at 7:24 AM on November 4, 2011 [17 favorites]


I actually see where kinnakeet is coming from. I personally don't like children at all, but I realize that they have to be allowed to live and feed and whatever... so when I am forced to interact with them, I cope by more or less being a weird uncle. When I see a video where a mild prank causes a child to instantly burst into wailing tears and beating at the walls - not even pausing along the way to ask "are you serious?" - to me it looks totally nuts because as a ballbusting trickster, I have seen kids who roll with the punches a lot better than that. I can't trust a parent to tell me if this is just how kids are, because maaaaybe that just means that they spoil their kids too. Don't you see what a strange and terrifying world this is for the non-reproducing??
posted by SharkParty at 7:25 AM on November 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Mean-spirited but fascinating. The rage of the addict whose stash has been raided! There's also an underlying threat to the kid's very limited autonomy and a violation of fair play: That was MY candy! I foraged for it and it is my sacred right to eat it!
But I agree with oddman. Emotional range, response and thresholds change over the course of development.
posted by Jode at 7:26 AM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm so very glad to not have grown up in the time of youtube.
posted by jquinby at 7:26 AM on November 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


When I was a kid, we used to get one "big" Hanukah present and a bunch of crappy ones on the other nights. Once, on "big" night, my parents concocted a scavenger hunt. I was maybe 7, my brother 5. We searched the house, found all the clues, and wound up in front of the fridge, which we opened to discover...a can of dog food.
My parents immediately explained that we were getting a puppy, but in a weird way it did nothing to mitigate the security-shattering discovery that my parents could, in theory, betray me.
That said, they're gonna learn it sometime. Why not share the moment of their eviction from Eden with the community -- like a modern interpretation of a primitive initiation rite?
posted by haricotvert at 7:42 AM on November 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Years later, I sympathize with their plight, but thinking back on how my childish credulousness was manipulated for the amusement of people that should've known better, it makes me pretty angry. Thanks, pts, that sums it up nicely.
posted by crush-onastick at 7:42 AM on November 4, 2011


I think this was pretty funny, but then again (like some others who commented in this thread) my family was the kind of family that always played little pranks like this on each other. Even as a kid (I think I was 8?), one Halloween I had gotten a bunch of those fake blood tubes. So even up until thanksgiving, I was either running into the house with my face covered in blood as I fake-cried, or would just lie on the floor in blood, waiting for someone to walk into the room.

The "cruelest" prank I remember was one of my aunt's was moving across the country. So the day she was leaving, she was quite emotional as she was saying goodbye. My father instructed my little brother (about 3yo and adorable at the time) to run out of the house and grab and hug her leg as she got to her car, and say "please don't go". The intent was to get my aunt (my dad's sister) to burst into tears. Mission Accomplished. : )
posted by stifford at 7:43 AM on November 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I bullshit my 2 and 4 year old boys all the time, as my dad and grandfather did with me, and they never instantly react like that. They would totally call me on it if I tried that stunt. The trick is to keep it from going too far or being mean-spirited, and back off immediately if you think it is going too far. So if I pushed it, and kept insisting I did eat all their candy, I'm sure there would be tears. But that would just be mean.

Kids reacting like this are probably not often exposed to light-hearted teasing and bullshitting. Or just really sensitive. Or tired.

Of course, as a result of my habit of bullshitting, sometimes the only way I can get them to believe me is by saying "ask mommy" . . . . what they don't know is that sometimes she plays along (which is why someday they are going to be surprised when they find out mommy wasn't a circus acrobat before she settled down with me and became a teacher, and dragons weren't a serious problem at my elementary school).
posted by fimbulvetr at 7:44 AM on November 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


"And that little boy's name was...Grover Norquist! And now you know The Rest Of The Story!"
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:45 AM on November 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


I think they probably didn't show any of the videos that went like this:

"I ate all your candy."

"No you didn't."

"You're right, I didn't. Here it is. Thanks for ruining the video. Now, you'll never be on TV."

*cries*
posted by empath at 7:46 AM on November 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


I think the prank is pretty funny. Kids can have their reality principles tested and make it through just fine.

That said, I would hate to have mean ol' Kimmel gloating over my childhood tantrums.
posted by emilycardigan at 7:50 AM on November 4, 2011


I love the older boy in the last clip. Younger brother (demonstrating with fingers): "Two plus two equals.... fiiiive!" Older boy, small half-smile, whispers: "No, it's four." Beat. "But Jame, you were so close."
posted by likeso at 7:50 AM on November 4, 2011 [32 favorites]


Taking candy from kids previously
posted by morganw at 7:51 AM on November 4, 2011


I love the older boy in the last clip.

Me too, it's pretty easy to tell which parents have adopted the "treat him as a rational being" approach to child rearing. The body language was great too. I am sure he had it all in stride, thinking "well surely they'll have to compensate me, after all that was my candy..."
posted by Meatbomb at 7:55 AM on November 4, 2011 [12 favorites]


Boy, you know what would be funny? Have one of the parents tell the kids that their dog had died, and then watch their reaction. Then, put it on youtube and alert Jimmy Kimmel to the ensuing hilarity. I bet they would cry and get upset!
posted by jcworth at 8:02 AM on November 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I guess I'm still young enough to remember absolutely hating it when my relatives bullshitted me, or told me something to elicit a reaction.

Little kids don't have the advantage of having had an education or several decades of real-world experience, but they do have feelings and emotions. It's pretty fucked up to deliberately mess with and manipulate another human like that.

It's one thing to be a generic trickster, and drop subtle hints/cues along the way that you're messing around. Telling your child that you just ate all of their halloween candy (which, let's be honest, would itself be a pretty fucked up thing to do) with a straight face is another thing entirely.

Also, it's interesting to watch the juxtaposition of this and the other parenting thread on Metafilter.
posted by schmod at 8:02 AM on November 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


The brothers at the end were great, obviously, but I love the kid in blue in the middle too! What an optimistic kid; his mom simply couldn't wipe his smile off, even with her elaborate (and in my opinion, pathetic) ruse on why she ate all the candy.

I'm sure the kids will turn out alright eventually, but schadenfreude, especially delivered from a position of overwhelming power that adults have, does indeed feel icky.
posted by the cydonian at 8:04 AM on November 4, 2011


little kids don't have the advantage of having had an education or several decades of real-world experience, but they do have feelings and emotions.

How do you expect them to get real world experience if the whole world is afraid of fucking with them?
posted by SharkParty at 8:07 AM on November 4, 2011


Kids are insane. Literally. Don't fuck with insane people. It's not nice and they might stab you.
posted by pracowity at 8:07 AM on November 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I guess I'm still young enough to remember absolutely hating it when my relatives bullshitted me, or told me something to elicit a reaction.

Yep, there is mean bullshitting, and there is bullshitting where everyone, including the kids, are having fun. I had relatives who always pushed it too far or were just plain mean. I don't ever want to do that.
posted by fimbulvetr at 8:09 AM on November 4, 2011


> There's also an underlying threat to the kid's very limited autonomy and a violation of fair play.

This. Do you not remember what it was like to be six, to be screwed over and have zero recourse? Do you not remember how frustrating that was?! That impotent anger at the shear unfairness of it all that you can barely comprehend let alone express, because you are six! It's not nice to pick on people who can't defend themselves. This was just mean.
posted by adamt at 8:10 AM on November 4, 2011 [12 favorites]


Boy, you know what would be funny? Have one of the parents tell the kids that their dog had died, and then watch their reaction. Then, put it on youtube and alert Jimmy Kimmel to the ensuing hilarity. I bet they would cry and get upset!

I call bullshit on this particular rationale. Certainly, one could extrapolate other horrible ruses to imagine being pulled on children--what if we just left the house or hid and left a note that we'd run away and they were on their own now? What if we told them we'd sold their siblings to a medical lab for organ harvesting?

Guess what? None of that shit happened. Parents were asked to lie about Halloween candy, and while one could imagine the reactions would be similar: horrified tears, the causes: candy v death, destruction, are wholly dissimilar.
posted by Maaik at 8:10 AM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


A single YouTube link does not make a good MetaFilter post, and this is kind of lulzy and not-okay, so we're closing this up.
posted by crapmatic at 8:11 AM on November 4, 2011


>How do you expect them to get real world experience if the whole world is afraid of fucking with them?

Oh jesus christ, there is a difference between "being afraid of fucking with them" and respecting them and their developing concept of the world enough to not deliberately sabotage it for the lulz.

When we do this to adults, it is called gaslighting, and it is fucked up.
posted by pts at 8:12 AM on November 4, 2011 [8 favorites]


I don't have children, so the thing I don't understand about stuff like this is what little kids think about being filmed all the time. When I was that age, video cameras were the size and weight of a bazooka and people generally only broke them out for family vacations and Christmas morning and other Occasions, but these days parents film stuff like this and their kids watching movies and using iPads and...*insert mundane activity here*. I'm not saying it's right or wrong (this sort of thing goes all the way back to the Super 8 days, it's just more prevalent now), but it seems odd to me.

I'm old enough that I feel like if you're going to film me you'd better have a good reason, but I guess parents having a camera on you all the time is just a normal part of being a kid these days.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:13 AM on November 4, 2011


Where the black kids?

That's what I say every time I turn on the TV.

Telling your kids you ate all their candy? Fucked up, for most reasons already mentioned. Depending on the age/development, kids really care about their possessions, and candy is like treasure. Oh yeah, I fucked your teddy bear too and tossed it in the compost bin. WTF?

Those who could do this prank honestly (i.e. not give it away) must not be able to remember what it's like to be a kid.

I think the prank is pretty funny. Kids can have their reality principles tested and make it through just fine.

Oh, of course they can. It's not a call child protective services moment. And the kid who says "wut" is really funny. Sure, the prank is funny. That doesn't mean it's not also cruel.

I guess I'm still young enough to remember absolutely hating it when my relatives bullshitted me, or told me something to elicit a reaction.

It's amazing how many adults don't get this.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:19 AM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't get the constant filming either. We never film our kids. I'm weirded out when we go to events like school pageants where instead of actually watching their kids sing and be cute, all the parents are pointing machines at them and living life through a screen. I also don't get posting stuff like that publicly online. The kids have no choice in the matter, parents just plaster up stuff for the world to see, and the kids to live down in the future.

Well, that, and those evil contraptions are the work of the devil and will steal your soul, you know.
posted by fimbulvetr at 8:20 AM on November 4, 2011


A single YouTube link does not make a good MetaFilter post

That horse is well out of the barn.
posted by empath at 8:22 AM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


oh god please... playing a prank is not gaslighting.
posted by SharkParty at 8:22 AM on November 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


Some of those little kids were too young to understand and were too young to trick in that way. I felt bad for them. Some kids (like the last 2) took it in stride and were really awesome. But there were a couple kids that were older and responded in completely over-the-top tantrums (I'm looking at you, chubby girl throwing wrappers at the camera and wall-punching boy). As for them, all I can think is spoiled spoiled spoiled.
posted by Windigo at 8:25 AM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


No one posted this yet???

“One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. 'Oh, no,' I said, 'Disneyland burned down.' He cried and cried, but I think that deep down he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.”

― Jack Handey
posted by orme at 8:26 AM on November 4, 2011 [19 favorites]


I'm weirded out when we go to events like school pageants where instead of actually watching their kids sing and be cute, all the parents are pointing machines at them and living life through a screen.

Yep. I wish schools would just record these events and tell parents to put down the cameras, enjoy the show, and download the video and pictures later.
posted by pracowity at 8:27 AM on November 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Up next, we visit a nursing home.

"Hey, your kids are coming to visit!"
"Really?"
"No, not really. Gotcha!" (big laffs, slow-mo replay)
posted by jquinby at 8:27 AM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


These were painful to watch except for the last one, which was absolutely brilliant.
posted by en forme de poire at 8:31 AM on November 4, 2011


Many kids have two different types of "crying" -- there's real crying, and there's ... not-so-real crying. Sure, there are tears, and there is wailing, and there are limbs flailing about, but there is no deep sadness behind it. The crying is for attention, and it disappears as quickly as it comes. This type of crying can emerge when a toy is taken away, or when they have to accompany a parent on a boring errand, or when they don't get gum at the grocery store, or when you look at them the wrong way. I'm not suggesting that it's awesome parenting to deliberately elicit such crying, but I also don't think it's damaging in any way (I may make an exception for the girl who calls her dad "ugly" -- whether from the prank or some other underlying cause, she was hurt, and wanted to hurt him back).

The two at the end, though, were awesome. Someone should give them their own show.
posted by pardonyou? at 8:34 AM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


In the "kids pranking parents" category, I also remember putting my copy of "Chipmunk Punk" on my dad's stereo, and standing next to it as he got home from work, so it seemed like I was "caught" messing up his records, playing them at the wrong speed and scratching them, etc.
posted by stifford at 8:37 AM on November 4, 2011


I'm old enough that I feel like if you're going to film me you'd better have a good reason, but I guess parents having a camera on you all the time is just a normal part of being a kid these days.

I think it really depends. I haven't taken a video of my daughter in months. I took more when she couldn't walk/talk--now we're mostly too busy playing to bother. Every once in a while though, she'll want to make a video. And there are weddings, birthdays, etc, where usually somebody wants to record it. And she LOVES (of course) watching videos of herself as a baby, but that's a whole 'nother discussion.

I would also think the camera out and filming would be a big giveaway that it's a prank, but maybe:

1) kids today are used to being recorded on video
2) kids today are fucking stupid

The other cruel thing about this prank is they're doing it when the kids first wake up, most likely still groggy after a night of sugar/hfcs-induced nightmares or a likely shortened night's sleep.

My daughter is still young enough (almost 3) and sensibly raised to handle pretty easily, but she's still pretty crazy for candy. She had one half of one Kit Kat Halloween night, and then we traded most of her trick-or-treat candy for a small toy from the candy fairy, but left her about 5-6 pieces. She had 5 M&Ms and 2 Junior Mints after dinner the next night and got out of bed 5-6 times. :| So no more candy after dinner I guess.

I try to treat candy and TV very carefully, just because I know that kids can get fucked up on both. You can't eliminate them completely, because then kids will fetishize them, but you also can't let them take root as regular items of consumption (imo). A tricky campaign--shit like pranking your kids doesn't help much.

I also think older kids are a different story. Past puberty, it's all fair game. I can't wait.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:37 AM on November 4, 2011


Ask my daughter how she can tell her Daddy is teasing, and she will respond 'His lips are moving.'

Dad trolling is great fun.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 8:38 AM on November 4, 2011


Wow. I promise you those kids are WAY more cruel to each other in school. This is just... training... in a safe environment, on how to control one's emotions. I remember the kids that cried in school getting picked on even more because they cried. Hell, my older brother pranked me all the time growing up.

I would like to hypothesize that the two at the end had probably been pranked tons of times by their parents before and that's why they were able to rationalize what was being told to them.
posted by kookywon at 8:38 AM on November 4, 2011


The last one was awesome. I wish I could say I would've reacted the same way when I was younger.

My parents won't let me forget that they made me believe my cat could actually sign birthday cards and write me notes. They caught me trying to force him to hold a pen and write them a note. I thought it was unbelievable but they insisted he could - I guess I had to see it for myself.
posted by sarae at 8:40 AM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


If someone pulls a prank on me as an adult, my first response is never to burst into tears and have a tantrum. How do you think I learned to control those responses? I think in part it's because my emotional brain naturally matured, but also through learning how to deal with my emotions from a relatively healthy does of pranking within the family environment.

None of it was filmed, mind you, but that's a different discussion.
posted by rh at 8:41 AM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's going to be hard to take you guys seriously about things in society that are wrong or problematic in the future when you're calling this "cruel" and "fucked up" and akin to gaslighting. Even though I don't really have any problem with this, I can understand the argument that it's a little mean-spirited or exploitative, and I'm happy to agree to disagree with someone who feels that way. What I can't understand is the level of opprobrium this type of thing generates. These kids will probably be fine: looking back in anger and resentment on the times that your relatives used your childish credulousness to bullshit you in ridiculous ways is not a universal experience.
posted by invitapriore at 8:49 AM on November 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


And that's why you don't use a one-armed person to scare someone.

/buster
posted by found missing at 8:50 AM on November 4, 2011


(..)candy v death, destruction, are wholly dissimilar

It's very easy to say that as an adult. For the parent's here it's clear that A: it's just candy, kid, and B: we didn't eat it anyway, so HO HO HO WE SURE MADE THE KID SAD OVER NOTHING. SEE HOW OUR KID TRUSTED US?

For my son, who is 5, the loss of his Halloween candy would surely be in the same ballpark as the loss of, say, a pet. Because he is a little kid, and little kids have not yet arranged everything out into logical hierarchies. Small deals are big deals. That's why everyone who has kids has seen some sort of meltdown over something so small that it seems invisible. It's that very disparity, between slight and reaction, that makes this 'funny'.

I promise you those kids are WAY more cruel to each other in school.

Maybe. But they know that. They hopefully aren't expecting their fucking parents to be intentionally cruel to them, though (millions of sadder examples than candy to the contrary aside), and that betrayal of trust and emotional safety is what makes this so icky to me.
posted by dirtdirt at 8:51 AM on November 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


My parents did stuff like this to me till I was in my teens!

When I was almost 5 they convinced me that once a kid turns 5 they have to do all the housework. I freaked the fuck out.

Before I could read I would routinely ask what signs said. They convinced me one sign said that there were monsters ahead that ate children.

I actually remember those two things, thats how freaked out I was.

When I was about 16 my mother convinced me Emeril Lagasse had been in prison for murder, and he learned to cook in jail. I actually told people this thinking it was true!
posted by Ad hominem at 8:51 AM on November 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


So, have I got this right? Making kids cry is OK when it's about sugar, but not OK when you are hitting them with a belt? I just need to make sure, because I don't want to be a bad parent to the little fuckers.

If you have to ask, I don't like your odds. I think most of the kids were a bit young for this, and I'm not wild about them doing something like this for a late-night talk show host either, but "bad parents" is a bit much.

Although there are kids you can do this with. You have to prime them for it from a young age though. I basically make up crazy shit every time I talk to my nieces and nephews or if they ask me any questions. They expect it now. One of them just lost her first tooth. She slammed her finger in a door a couple of weeks back and after the initial crying, I told her not to worry, it would just fall off and she'd grow a grown-up finger, and she could put it under her pillow, etc. She didn't believe me, so I told her I'd go get one of my baby fingers from when I was a kid. Then I did the "finger in a box" trick (sans ketchup), freaked her right out but she figured it out eventually. I'd wager she's now done that trick to everyone in kindergarten.
posted by Hoopo at 8:53 AM on November 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


When I was about 16 my mother convinced me Emeril Lagasse had been in prison for murder, and he learned to cook in jail. I actually told people this thinking it was true!

That's great. And the other 2 examples you give are more nuanced than just lying about something.

There's a different between pranking and lying. IMO.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:53 AM on November 4, 2011


Joshing and pranking within a family can be fine. Showing it on national TV? Not OK.

And yes, I find shows like America's Funniest Home Videos pretty distasteful too, for the most part.
posted by kmz at 8:55 AM on November 4, 2011


The parents should have said "I replaced your candy with a plate of beans".

I wanted to post this yesterday and then I remembered the wretched abortion that was the Brandon's Bedroom post. Sigh.

Yeah seriously. But at least I have come to appreciate growing up in a good(ish) family situation. Apparently a lot of people were not so fortunate, and things like this that many find as funny mostly harmless fun, are traumatizing to a good number of people.
posted by cashman at 8:55 AM on November 4, 2011


Wow. I promise you those kids are WAY more cruel to each other in school. This is just... training... in a safe environment

Wow back. That's an interesting perspective. One would hope one's parents aren't administering that kind of "training". Although after reading the Judge/Hillery thread ...
posted by thinkpiece at 8:58 AM on November 4, 2011


Also, one of the best pieces of parenting advice I every received from my sainted mama was, Don't be sarcastic or ironic with little kids. In their ears, it just sounds like "mean".
posted by thinkpiece at 8:59 AM on November 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


I call bullshit on this particular rationale.

Your "calling bullshit" is immaterial. Causing emotional distress to children by lying to them for the entertainment of a national TV audience? Using the select group of children's reactions as justification shows how easily you are duped. There were no doubt lots of other kids who reacted less prolifically or in a way that we can not so easily judge, but showing their reaction would have dampened precious Jimmy Kimmels stunt.

Lying to kids for TV entertainment is lame. Who enjoys watching people suffer, whether the suffering is "justified" or not? What is the benefit, other than a few moments of laughing at the private antics of others. Really, find some decency there Snooki.
posted by jcworth at 9:01 AM on November 4, 2011


I think 'pranking' tiny children who are too young to get the joke isn't so much mean spirited, but just dumb on the part of the parents. Did they expect different results?

I'm more offended by well-funded, professional chuckle-head Jimmy Kimmel trolling the internet for free content.

I guess one of their writers was sick that week and they had to fill time.
posted by device55 at 9:03 AM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I was in about grade two, my older American cousins insisted that in America 3+3=7. I counted on my fingers to show them that it equalled 6 and they said "Yes, that's because we're in Canada right now. If you did that in America it would equal 7." It made no sense to me, but they were being so serious and so straight about it that I sort of believed them. Decades later I told them this story. They did not remember it, but were delighted with their own brilliance.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 9:12 AM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


My mild outrage is prodding me to leave snarky and satirical comments that will be insulting to those who aren't the targets, and thoroughly enjoyed - and misinterpreted - by those who are. To be honest, I am not sure who is whom, anyway. So if you are offended, well, okay, maybe I meant to, maybe I didn't. My own world is a tautological house of four dimensional cards.

So for your enjoyment, I post them anyway.

"I think this was pretty mean spirited, but hey, if we can't have a laugh at the expense of the vulnerable, what's this world coming to? We going to point and laugh at the Larry Ellisons of the world? Haha, you are rich and I am not! Yeah, I didn't think so."

"I have to tip my hat to the Dad who went to the trouble of piling empty wrappers all over the table. I wonder if he didn't get the memo that this was supposed to be a joke, you know, don't actually eat the candy anyway. That little girl probably didn't need any more candy, it apparently aggravates her "condition". It's not easy being "differently slender"."

"Haha, betrayal hurts! If you thought those were funny, you'll love this one! Hilarious!"

I apologize in advance. I am getting a little tired of writing comments, only to cut and paste them into a text file, never to see the light of day. And since this really is a thread about tormenting the innocent for our own amusement, well, I suppose I'll do this just this once.
posted by Xoebe at 9:16 AM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Lying to kids for TV entertainment is lame. Who enjoys watching people suffer, whether the suffering is "justified" or not?

Eh, come on. They're not "suffering." They're being pranked and they'll get over it and it's funny. For some of the same reasons Zombie vs. Kids was funny despite all the whining. (Though that was also funny for other reasons, and those kids will probably also remember that as an awesome experience rather than just a prank.)
posted by eugenen at 9:17 AM on November 4, 2011


thinkpiece that is right on. i recall it taking many years for sarcasm and irony to register instead of just coming across as straight meanness. i don't get the entertainment value of fucking with your kids*.


*annoying/embarassing your kids: yes definitely, although circumstances conspire to have me be a Weird Uncle instead of Corny Dad
posted by beefetish at 9:19 AM on November 4, 2011


Mean trick to pull, over the top spoiled brat responses from most of the kids.

Might there be some sort of connection between dickhead parents and awful children?
posted by jack_mo at 9:19 AM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I came to say what pardonyou? just said. This is nothing like the crying these kids would cry if something deeply bad really happened. I don't believe it's really crying at all, in fact - I clearly remember the feeling of scrunching up my face, gurgling, and screeching, but somehow struggling to produce any actual tears (and not much later, when I had aged out of that sort of thing, of looking on incredulously as my younger sister and cousins did the same at least three times an afternoon, and often got whatever they wanted). Once children understand that their parents take crying as a sign that something is seriously wrong, they cry when they want their parents to know that something is seriously wrong, which is communication - or when they merely want their parents to believe that something is seriously wrong, which is manipulation. I don't say this out of contempt for children. It's a normal part of their learning to express themselves and also to get what they want from people who incidentally have a ton of power over them. But if you suspect, as I do, that the children in these videos wouldn't have reacted the same way with a strict grandparent or teacher, then that tells you the extent to which their faces are a naked reflection of their deepest feelings. Most of these kids are just pissed off, not despondent. And they'll recover.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 9:23 AM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


wait, it is ok to lie, and more, about Christmas but not ok to joke about taking Halloween candy??

I don't understand people.
posted by evening at 9:24 AM on November 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


evening people are huge dicks thats the secret

just the hugest
posted by beefetish at 9:25 AM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ha ha! Those kids trusted their parents! I'll bet they never make that mistake again!
posted by mazola at 9:38 AM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hmm. I laughed so hard at this that I cried. On public transit. It never even occurred to me to think this was mean. The kids will totally get their candy back. But then, my parents thought it was hilarious to prank us. Sometimes it was stuff like this. Sometimes it was surprise trips to Disneyland. It taught me not to take myself too seriously.
posted by chatongriffes at 9:38 AM on November 4, 2011


I think there's a disparity of reaction here re: how big a deal this is to a ten year old. When I was ten, all of September and October were filled with anticipation and planning for Halloween. And then when Halloween came, it was usually far too quick, and the candy, which was rationed out for at least a month afterward, became hugely important, less as candy, and more as a continuation of the event. Messing with that would have been a far bigger deal than just 'taking some candy away'. And you can argue that my feelings toward Halloween are ridiculous, that I should have been down the coal mine, fine.

That said, if my parents had filmed me doing anything and put it on national television, there's a good chance we wouldn't be talking right now.
posted by Football Bat at 9:38 AM on November 4, 2011


wait, it is ok to lie, and more, about Christmas but not ok to joke about taking Halloween candy??

People are for lying if it makes kids happy and against lying if it makes kids sad.
posted by pracowity at 9:39 AM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh God, this is harmless. They all get their candy. They learn not to trust mom and dad. Jimmy Kimmel gets three minutes of free programming and a viral video to market his show. I get a big laugh. People who love to be offended get offended. Everybody wins.
posted by inturnaround at 9:41 AM on November 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


You forgot dentists. Dentists also win.
posted by pracowity at 9:42 AM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Me too, it's pretty easy to tell which parents have adopted the "treat him as a rational being" approach to child rearing. The body language was great too. I am sure he had it all in stride, thinking "well surely they'll have to compensate me, after all that was my candy..."

Exactly! Which is why I feel the big criers are fucking spoiled. If I did this to my kids, they'd respond with "Well, then, you owe me a bag of candy," rather than burst into sweet, sad, entitlement tears.
posted by grubi at 9:44 AM on November 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


When I was a kid I pulled a really mean prank on other kids. It took me years to realize how mean this must have been.

I was born without a thumb on my right hand, which most people don't actually notice for awhile because I'm left-handed. During winter, our teachers made sure we wore mittens when we played outside at recess. I must have been 7 or 8 years old. I had a few kids around me, and I grabbed a good-size rock. I smashed it down on the thumb part of the mitten and screamed. One kid started bawling; another ran to get the teacher. I bet some of those kids still remember that. I'm sorry!
posted by desjardins at 9:54 AM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: sweet, sad, entitlement tears.
posted by cashman at 9:55 AM on November 4, 2011


Another brick in my wall of hatred for mankind.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:59 AM on November 4, 2011


You people scare me.
posted by found missing at 10:02 AM on November 4, 2011


Jesus, desjardins! I'm wincing and laughing at the same time! (Kind of like my reaction to this whole thread.....)
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 10:02 AM on November 4, 2011


(Yes! My first Metafilter slogan quote! Awsome possum.)
posted by grubi at 10:04 AM on November 4, 2011


"When I was in about grade two, my older American cousins insisted that in America 3+3=7. I counted on my fingers to show them that it equalled 6 and they said "Yes, that's because we're in Canada right now...." Oh man that takes me back! I actually used to do something similar with "little kids" when I would ask, "How many fingers do you have?" When they'd say, rotely, "10". I'd get them to hold up their gullible little hands and quickly touch each digit in turn on one hand while counting, "10-9-8-7-6", then quickly run up the fingers on the other hand while counting, "1-2-3-4-5"... "6 plus 5 is 11".

Never failed to get the scrunchy-faced "Something's wrong with that; I don't know what, but give me a minute..." look.
posted by Mike D at 10:48 AM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


When my nephew was about 4, his parents gave him a Christmas package, and when he unwrapped it, it was full of switches. He was very upset about it at the time, even after they gave him his real Christmas presents. He now says that its his most vivid memory of his childhood.

My kids remember playing catch with me in the yard.
posted by Billiken at 10:50 AM on November 4, 2011


I havent looked at every comment here, but has someone referenced the You Tube vid of a Japanese family and the mock zombie apocalypse they had for their tots?
posted by Billiken at 10:52 AM on November 4, 2011


What I didn't find upsetting: playing a mild prank on a kid.

What I did find upsetting: that the kids (except for that last one) find their parent's behavior so capricious that eating all their candy doesn't hit any of their credulity filters. And that the parents were happy enough about this to keep filming and posting the results.
posted by tchemgrrl at 10:56 AM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I was about six my parents owned a video arcade. (Awesome, I know.) My mother used to tell me that my first word was "Quarter."

I think my response was, "Oh. Ok." She thought all was cool until she heard me repeating that story, 6 freaking years later, to a friend.

She pulled me aside and was all I WAS JOKING OH MY GOD YOUR FIRST WORD WAS MAMA.
posted by functionequalsform at 10:57 AM on November 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


I have a 5-year-old daughter. We try to trick/prank each other constantly. This is funny. And yes, the kids will get over it.
posted by bayani at 11:12 AM on November 4, 2011


This year a couple of my nephews were at my parents house for halloween. The younger one (7) had a complete meltdown over having to divvy up some of his haul for his older sister who is developmentally disabled and wasn't feeling up to going out with the rest of the kids. Normally he is a super kind, independent, thoughtful kid, who is amazing at taking care of his older sister. But the candy is serious business. Like someone said above, kids can have a hair trigger. Once he calmed down, he was more than happy to give up half his stash.

The funny part was about 10 minutes later when my mother just couldn't stand it anymore and tried to confiscate al the candy. When we were kids it was common knowledge that any candy you wanted to keep had to be eaten or stashed away before you got to the house, because mom just saw a big bag of poison and dental bills, and at some point would just flip out, and throw all the candy away. I always thought this was bullshit. Not so much the taking of the candy, but letting us go get it the first place, knowing she wasn't gonna let us keep it. I don't have kids of my own, but thankfully the nephews gave me cover to finally give her some grief over the years of candy-taxation. Let her know if she confiscated their candy, I would just take them out and buy them more, so she backed down. But I could see it was burning her up inside.

I can't be the only one who thought the kid at the end with his arms behind his head came off like a smug entitled little condescending jerk? To me, that's the kid who grows up to be the smarmy management guy from Office Space. I'll take chubby wall puncher any day of the week.
posted by billyfleetwood at 11:28 AM on November 4, 2011


I love the whole "treat your kids like rational beings meme." Please, as if toddlers were rational.
posted by oddman at 11:28 AM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have a 5-year-old daughter. We try to trick/prank each other constantly. This is funny. And yes, the kids will get over it.

Universalizing the individual experience of the special, unique relationship you and your daughter share is not a helpful way to approach this discourse. What's good for your daughter might not be good for somebody else's kid. You don't know.

In general the characterization of general wariness w/r/t being dishonest or untruthful in dealings with children as being joyless or excessively kid-gloveish or akin to the worst excesses of helicopter parenting or whatever seems needlessly dismissive to me—dismissive of a position on honesty that should at least be considered because... isn't honesty good? Shouldn't that be axiomatic?

Please, as if toddlers were rational.

I doubt anybody's laboring under the misapprehension that toddlers are rational. I do, however, consider them worth a basic good-faith effort toward honest discourse, regardless of whether they are currently able to reciprocate that effort or not.
posted by pts at 11:41 AM on November 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


toddlers seem pretty rational. they scream and fuss when they know (or think) it will work; when it doesn't, they stop doing it. i've seen it.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:51 AM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I doubt anybody's laboring under the misapprehension that toddlers are rational. I do, however, consider them worth a basic good-faith effort toward honest discourse, regardless of whether they are currently able to reciprocate that effort or not.

One little thing that makes me kind of proud of my approach with the boy is seeing him interact with other adults in social settings. You'll occasionally get people who think that you need to raise your voice an octave, speaking in this strange hyper-positive way, "ooh, do you have any toys? yeah, wow, isn't that great?!!"

He'll sort of look at these people not quite sure how to react, but I can see it on his face. Are these people mentally deficient? Or do they maybe think I am? WTF is going on here?
posted by Meatbomb at 11:55 AM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Meatbomb, in our family we call that voice "the public parent" -- it's like a whole subset of people who are speaking ostensibly to their kid, but really seem just to want everyone else to hear ... and be impressed by ... their parenting.
posted by thinkpiece at 12:01 PM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sometimes strangers will start talking to my dog in that way Meatbomb is describing. Moreover, they ask him questions. "What's your name?" I think I'm supposed to respond. Instead, I patiently stare at the dog waiting for him to say something.
posted by found missing at 12:06 PM on November 4, 2011 [12 favorites]


I think a whole lot of people are comparing apples and oranges here.

Yes, we can all agree that this isn't gonna scar any kids, it's a very minor...thing, and the people who did this are not (necessarily) bad parents.

But there's a whooooole huge difference between telling your kids 3+3=7 in some countries, or that you're an astronaut, for the lulz and telling them something you KNOW IS GOING TO MAKE THIS BURST INTO TEARS, for the lulz. If you do the latter, I'm not offended nor do I think, once again, that you are scarring the children. I just think you're an asshole. Causing someone great emotional discomfort, especially a toddler, for your own amusement = asshole.

Because they won't care or remember ten years down the line is not adequate justification, in my book.
posted by mreleganza at 12:15 PM on November 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


This is nothing. My Mom used to actually eat our Halloween candy when we were at school. Which is why we're going to put her in a nursing home.

She ate our Easter eggs after we went to bed too. Worst mother ever.
posted by fshgrl at 1:00 PM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Those who think kids shouldn't be pranked have never had a small child hand you a fart in a Pringles can. (A prank that might work, if small pranksters couldn't be read like an open, big-print book! No, giggling Josh, I am not going to open it.)

What is unfair is to suddenly start pranking your child, when you've never really that type of parent. You have to start off being silly and obvious.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:29 PM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I approve of this because, as far as I'm concerned, the two best things about being a parent are:

1. Stealing my kids' Halloween candy.
2. Fucking with them.
posted by Shohn at 1:29 PM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've got a pretty low tolerance for other people's children, so watching this isn't my idea of a good time regardless. But filming somebody you're fucking with so other people can laugh at them? How is that not a dick move?
posted by Space Kitty at 1:56 PM on November 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Worth it for the last two kids. When the little brother tries to add 4 and 4 and gets 5, and the older brother says "No, it's four. But you were SO close!" I teared up a little. Awesome kids.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:37 PM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can't be the only one who thought the kid at the end with his arms behind his head came off like a smug entitled little condescending jerk?

Woah! Yeah probably just you. I thought that kid was hilarious, way too smart for a kid that age, and he totally nailed his parents for doing a jerk move. That kid's going places.
posted by Hoopo at 3:05 PM on November 4, 2011 [9 favorites]



oh god please... playing a prank is not gaslighting.


Exactly. I've come down on the side of "funny" in all the parenting prank threads. I love kids, forreals, and want to have them someday. However, I will likely not mess with them because I inherited my father's total lack of poker face. He would try something like this and just start smiling and joke over.

Still think this was funny.
posted by sweetkid at 3:09 PM on November 4, 2011


Is this where I come in to say that I really do eat my kid's Halloween candy? I don't eat it all at once, just one sweet, sweet peanut butter cup at a time. (Really. He doesn't miss it. Left to himself, he would have Halloween candy around until Easter. I'm just keeping an eye on food safety here.)
posted by Daily Alice at 4:59 PM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


What I did find upsetting: that the kids (except for that last one) find their parent's behavior so capricious that eating all their candy doesn't hit any of their credulity filters.

I had the same reaction. Some of the kids were SO quick to believe the cruelty and burst into tears, whereas I'd like to think that I would have called "bullshit" on my parents right away. Are these kids accustomed to lousy treatment from their parents, and so are quick to believe the worst?

My favorite was the kid who laughed, pulled out a box of Nerds he had stashed, and quipped "No you didn't!"
posted by ShutterBun at 5:41 PM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


The younger the kid, the more quickly they reacted with despair. The older kid at the end? He had the maturity to comprehend that his parents eating all his candy would have consequences. So age and the sugar downer after the previous night's pigout probably contribute to the youngsters' distress.

What we don't see is the bit afterwards where mommy or daddy go, 'awe sweetie, I'm only kidding. Here's your Halloween candy, I wouldn't deprive you of something you love so much...' and the kid breaks into a big smile of relief and hugs their legs.

Overall I don't think this is particularly mean, just kinda pointless in the whole scheme of things (except it was lovely to see the last kid be so kind to his younger sibling).
posted by the fish at 5:43 PM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Let me make sure I got this straight: using a belt on your teenage daughter for stealing is wrong, but mentally abusing a younger child for your own amusement is funny as hell...?
posted by rahnefan at 7:04 PM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I liked the part where the selfish fucking arsehole parents hurt their kids so the could sell they footage online for eternity for a cheap laugh.

How is this any different to those 'empty Xbox box' fuckers?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 7:29 PM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Let me make sure I got this straight: using a belt on your teenage daughter for stealing is wrong, but mentally abusing a younger child for your own amusement is funny as hell...?

Oh good lord. There is no equivalence between beating a 16-year-old with a belt and what you saw in this video.
posted by Hoopo at 8:11 PM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I used to babysit a 5-year-old boy named Otto, once soon after Halloween and trick-or-treating. He was so happy about his candy! He was allowed to pick two pieces to eat after dinner, and he did so thoughtfully.

After dinner and playing and a movie, and after the bedtime book and the lights went out, he called out in the dark from his bed, "Will you let me see my candy? I just want to hold it."

I would never fucking have told him I ate all his candy.
posted by shortyJBot at 8:25 PM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Left to himself, he would have Halloween candy around until Easter.

My girlfriend's kids practice similar restraint...there's this bowl of candy in the kitchen with some OLD-ass candy in there.

I admire this greatly in them, but wow, do I not understand it. After my sister and I wold go trick-or-treating and take home our haul, we would ask, "Mom, can we have candy? How many pieces?" as often as we could possibly, possibly justify it until all the chocolate and good stuff was long gone and all that was left were raisins that killjoy parents left and a berzillion of those little 2-packs of Sweet Tarts.

"Oh God," we'd say, "Now we gotta eat this crap." "Mom? Can we have candy? How many pieces?"
posted by mreleganza at 8:55 PM on November 4, 2011


Full six minute video of the two kids at the end.
posted by pardonyou? at 7:05 AM on November 5, 2011



Full six minute video of the two kids at the end.


Those kids are great.
posted by sweetkid at 7:32 AM on November 5, 2011


They sure did a great job of editing those two kids for maximum comedy points.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:48 AM on November 5, 2011


I would like to see a Fine Brothers Kids React to this video. You know for perspective.
posted by Sailormom at 8:04 AM on November 5, 2011


I think I recognize the chilled out, "Whaaaat?" blonde kid near the end. Isn't that Lance and a Cicada kid?
posted by lazaruslong at 1:09 PM on November 5, 2011


In general the characterization of general wariness toward jokes or humor in dealings with children as being cruel or excessively mean or akin to the worst excesses of child abuse or whatever seems needlessly dismissive to me—dismissive of a position on levity that should at least be considered because... isn't laughter good? Shouldn't that be axiomatic?

Fixed that for you.
posted by oddman at 5:27 PM on November 5, 2011


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