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Gone, baby, gone.
November 3, 2012 8:04 PM   Subscribe

Last year, after Halloween, Jimmy Kimmel had parents troll their kids for cheap laughs by telling them that they had eaten all their candy. While many observers, including some Mefites, felt that lying to your kids in this way was being willfully-mean, it garnered 34 million hits on YouTube, so naturally, he did it again. Whether you think this is funny or not is definitely debatable; but if you're an old curmudgeon, like me, perhaps 3 year-old Madeline might just restore your hope for humanity.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy (124 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
This year's clip.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 8:04 PM on November 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, she does, she does. How remarkable. My three-year-old would cut my throat in my sleep if I told her that.
posted by PsychoTherapist at 8:17 PM on November 3, 2012 [14 favorites]


Jimmy Kimmel is a dick.

If there's a hell, he'll spend it being pummeled all over his body, endlessly, by childrens' fists while watching youtube videos of Sarah Silverman so happy she doesn't even care about being funny.
posted by R. Schlock at 8:23 PM on November 3, 2012 [22 favorites]


Wow. That really kinda does make ya hopeful.
posted by XMLicious at 8:26 PM on November 3, 2012


She's still to young to write in for president, right? Because I would. Maybe someday I'll get a chance. I hope.
posted by cccorlew at 8:31 PM on November 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


...videos of Sarah Silverman so happy she doesn't even care about being funny.

So you're saying this is hell?
posted by clarknova at 8:31 PM on November 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


That was very sweet of her. She kind of used a variation of the "I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed" bomb, which if said by the right person can make you want to fold up and die. I don't think I would lie to my kids for the lulz though, but that's just me.
posted by A Bad Catholic at 8:33 PM on November 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Wow. What a beautiful child. Thanks for posting this. It made my day.
posted by 4ster at 8:34 PM on November 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I tend to watch puppy videos more than kid videos. But for me, this makes up for all the sads I had from the Laika post.
posted by Lou Stuells at 8:34 PM on November 3, 2012


That kid is going to rule her social circle with an iron fist for her entire life. And people will thank her for it.
posted by Mizu at 8:35 PM on November 3, 2012 [63 favorites]


That girl was absolutely adorable and sweet. I wanted to give her big hugs and kisses. Maybe I'll just go give me own daughter big hugs and kisses instead...
posted by ashbury at 8:37 PM on November 3, 2012


"I don't want you to be sad... but there's a chance I might get on television if I upset you in a funny enough way." Sorry, couldn't watch past that part. Urge to strangle parent interfering with ability to enjoy child.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 8:37 PM on November 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Someone call the Dalai Lama, I think we found his replacement. This girl is clearly the Buddha of Compassion.
posted by foobaz at 8:37 PM on November 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


So, who of you all lied to your kid about Santa?
posted by LogicalDash at 8:37 PM on November 3, 2012 [16 favorites]


Lying to children is the only good reason to have them.
posted by srboisvert at 8:38 PM on November 3, 2012 [37 favorites]


That kid was incredibly adorable and I want to adopt her right now and have her come live with me and my wife, where we'll feed her candy everyday, until she turns into a teenager, 'cause holy god, those things will make you want to murder them and yourself.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:40 PM on November 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


The term is "mudita".
posted by the cydonian at 8:41 PM on November 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Asshole parents are assholes. Fuckers.
posted by thisclickableme at 8:43 PM on November 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


"I don't want you to be sad... but there's a chance I might get on television if I upset you in a funny enough way."

Yep, this was my reaction as well. Mom was so focused on getting her to be mad, it was annoying as hell. Especially when little Madeline was so excited about her new book. Maddy was all like, "Candy, meh, look at my new BOOK!"

That said, if your child is that well-adjusted and forgiving, then you must be doing something right.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 8:47 PM on November 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


Somehow I interpreted this VERY differently. As in "no, no, I'm not mad" and then you find a hamster head in your bed later. But I grew up with a parent who wielded guilt like a passive-aggressive ninja, so maybe I'm projecting a little.
posted by jeanmari at 8:49 PM on November 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


That little girl seems more well-adjusted and better at expressing her feelings than most adults! She was kind but honest about how she felt ("I'm not mad, I'm just sad"), and then set a boundary for next Halloween ("I think next year I should keep my candy and then we can share it"). What a great little kid.

However, I am in the "this is pretty mean" camp. I don't know how her mom managed to keep going after seeing her daughter's lip wobble and her eyes tear up. I would have been confessing and begging for forgiveness at that point.

PareidoliaticBoy: That said, if your child is that well-adjusted and forgiving, then you must be doing something right.

Yeah, that's the paradox, isn't it? I suspect that when her parents aren't lying to her for the lulz, they are probably pretty good parents.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 8:55 PM on November 3, 2012 [19 favorites]


So, who of you all lied to your kid about Santa?

My daughter has refused to sit on Santa's lap since she was old enough to talk but she never cried over him and he never took anything from her.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 9:02 PM on November 3, 2012


I would never do this to my daughter, Halloween candy is sacred.

However, I did tell her that we wouldn't know her permanent eye color until her baby eyes fell out and her grownup eyes came in. Nothing like parenting to help you perfect your poker face.
posted by bizwank at 9:08 PM on November 3, 2012 [207 favorites]


Bizwank, are you Calvin's dad??
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:16 PM on November 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


That was a "gettin' real tired of your shit, Mom" reaction if there ever was one from Madeline.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 9:17 PM on November 3, 2012


I only learned these conversational tactics when I was nearly 30. Kudos, you machivellian munchkin.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 9:20 PM on November 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm so using that eyeball line on my nephew.
posted by arcticseal at 9:26 PM on November 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's informative, that you'd treat your own child in a way you would not in a hundred years treat a complete stranger.
posted by mhoye at 9:28 PM on November 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


You know...my head comes off.
posted by unknowncommand at 9:29 PM on November 3, 2012


My parents told me that if I walked with a spoon in my mouth I'd fall down and scramble my brain, that if I made any noise while the oven was in use whatever was inside it would collapse, that if I kept making that face it would stick that way.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 9:36 PM on November 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Look at it this way: each one of these kids found out that their parents are willing to lie to them for YouTube views and (maybe) the approval of a talking head on the television. On other days, those parents are probably telling them that god exists/doesn't exist, that the Republicans/Democrats are evil, that muslims or jews aren't really people, etc. etc.

Hopefully they will learn their parents are just as willing to lie about other stuff as they are willing to lie about whether they actually ate their candy. And if it helps these kids think for themselves a little earlier, then so much the better.

(I doubt this was running through Kimmel's mind when he put out the solicitation, so feel free to continue hating.)
posted by anewnadir at 9:41 PM on November 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


As a parent I'm not judging anyone. IMHO this falls fair and square somewhere between "payback is a bitch" and "how you like them apples?"
posted by roboton666 at 9:51 PM on November 3, 2012


My parents divorced when I was nine, and my dad kept up a joke for years that he rented a different little red-haired girl that was my same age whenever I was at my mom's house.

I was old enough to pretty much know he was kidding and found the whole thing in good fun. But he still, to this very day (I'm 30 now!), will not admit that it was a joke and continues to maintain that it actually happened.
posted by Squee at 9:52 PM on November 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


Wow. I hope that when I have kids, they grow up to be as caring and thoughtful as this little girl. (They totally won't, but a person can dream.)
posted by wolfdreams01 at 9:52 PM on November 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


(and in future fairness, my kids will respond appropriately to my own stupid parenting screwups)
posted by roboton666 at 9:53 PM on November 3, 2012


Kimmel is boring.
posted by jcworth at 9:53 PM on November 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm voting for Madeline on Tuesday. Madeline for President!
posted by mochapickle at 9:54 PM on November 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Appropriate
posted by Navelgazer at 9:58 PM on November 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


I would have kids if I didn't have to raise them, just watch the adorable bits on YouTube. Perhaps there is a market for this, adorable videos right in your inbox. Kid mispronouncing words, kids wobbling around all bundled up for winter, kids opening presents and getting all excited. Kids might just be more popular than cats!
posted by Ad hominem at 10:00 PM on November 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't have any kids but I've got a gullible teenager who works at my shop. I love lying to her. The best is when she tells the lies, thinking they're true, to our customers who then chide her for falling for them again. For example:

Her: "I like the pizza at this place better. The pepperoni is spicier."
Me: "Oh, they probably use peppermouse there instead of pepperoni."
"Peppermouse?! What's that?"
"It's a spicy kind of mouse from Italy. Are the slices pretty thin?"
"Yeah!"
"Peppermouse."
"Wow. I've never heard of that."
posted by dobbs at 10:08 PM on November 3, 2012 [37 favorites]


I'm voting for Madeline on Tuesday. Madeline for President!

Presidential candidates make 4-year-old cry.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 10:24 PM on November 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Madeline was truly adorable.
I encountered the Jimmy Kimmel video during a trivia night, of all places, where I found it both very funny and also quite painful to watch. I don't like watching kids getting upset, but considering how at that age they can, and will, cry over everything, no matter how small, I can't hold it against these parents that they might not find every instance of their child crying to be an occasion for dismay.

Chances are the kids won't remember the prank anyway. Now if the parents really did eat all their candy, that might leave a mark. Especially if they did it only to film it for Kimmel. This, though? Fine to me, even if I wouldn't actually do it.
posted by gadge emeritus at 10:28 PM on November 3, 2012


Maybe it's just my militant/jokester upbringing, but I found it WAY more disturbing and concerning in terms of parenting decisions to watch the kids who wigged out and threw shit with no repercussions. The ones like Madeline, including Madeline, who reasoned their way through it? Outside of this Kimmel shit, they've probably got some really good/really lucky parents.
posted by rollbiz at 10:35 PM on November 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


The world needs more Madelines and fewer Kimmels.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 10:44 PM on November 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


I wish the parents got their just deserts and were actually forced to eat all their kids halloween candy too.
posted by jamincan at 10:47 PM on November 3, 2012


I actually do eat some of the kids' candy. I call it the Daddy Tax.

Before you start the 5 minute hate on me, you should know that I only eat the candy they don't like, like Almond Joy bars. I would never take their Mike and Ike's or Reese's peanut butter cups.
posted by double block and bleed at 10:48 PM on November 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Mean comedy. Grmph. I hate it. Hey, let's hurt someone (mentally, emotionally or physically) and videotape it and then tell them afterwards, "ha ha, I was only joking".

It's a bit different to my kids begging from now until December 24 for present-of-choice, and me earnestly saying, "I'm sorry, we can't afford it this year, maybe next year for your birthday" and then they open aforementioned desired present on Christmas Day. That's as mean a joke as I can bear to inflict on my kids.

I cannot believe that heaps of parents tell their kids their candy has gone, gleefully videotape the widely-varied reactions, and then send it to a tv show.

Then again, I've never understood the Kimmel or Silverman or Balls of Stone humour. Or Jackass for that matter...
posted by malibustacey9999 at 10:55 PM on November 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


My kids stopped buying the "Halloween/Christmas/your birthday was cancelled!" and "Halloween/Christmas/your birthday was two days ago! We missed it!" years ago, unfortunately.
posted by Brocktoon at 11:01 PM on November 3, 2012


Looking for ratings
As he did last time
Your host Jimmy Kimmel
Told parents to lie.

With a great big lie the parents said
Your candy was eaten
Now go to bed.

They videoed these awful lies
Every time.
But then they lied to Madeline.

She was not one to cry and pout
To kick her heels and scream and shout
To her mother (lying too, I fear)
Madeline just said "Maybe next year."

And all the grownups were quite amazed
And resolved to mend their ways
As did Jimmy Kimmel, that awful dope -
Or at least, we can always hope
That next year will be fine and dandy
The kids will get to eat their candy
And Madeline will go very far
And become a UN ambass-a-dar.

(with apologies to Ludwig Bemelmans)
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:29 PM on November 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


When I was quite little, we used to drive past an indoor water park with a water slide. My folks got sick of us asking to go on the water slide, and told us it was for purple cows.

I think I was fourteen before I reevaluated that belief.

Fortunately for Madeleine, she'll figure out right quick that there is still Halloween candy. And evidently would handle it just fine if there isn't.
posted by nat at 11:31 PM on November 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


There was a point in my childhood when an action like this from either of my parents would have provoked a complete meltdown. I mean, come on! My brother and I used to HUSTLE our asses off running our neighborhood, the neighborhood next to ours and the one above ours. Our costumes were creative but they were designed for speed, baby. When we got home, we'd weed through our loot and toss all the fruit (Razor blades!) and lame-ass homemade treats (Who knows? They could be poisoned!), then heave those pillow cases on the bathroom scales. I distinctly remember having some years come in at over twenty pounds. And after all that work my mom thought it would be funny to lie to me about eating all my candy? I'd probably still be going through counseling for that. That kid has the imperturbability of the reclining Buddha at Fukuoka.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 11:38 PM on November 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


The child is admirable, her mother and Jimmy Kimmel are beneath contempt.
posted by Cranberry at 11:44 PM on November 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Hey, hey guys! I know what might be fun! Let's deliberately upset our small children, and also teach them that we can't be trusted! Yay!!!!! And then when they are upset, we can laugh at them! Yaay! And then, when we continue this kind of behaviour throughout the child's life and they grow up to be resentful, untrusting, and thinking that it's fun to hurt people who are weaker than them, we can complain about how the world's going to hell and blame them for all of society's ills! Yaaaay!

That mother's tone of voice repulsed me enough that I couldn't watch the whole video. I hope the little girl manages to stay so sweet.
posted by windykites at 12:01 AM on November 4, 2012 [22 favorites]


srboisvert: "Lying to children is the only good reason to have them."

Your parents lied to you when they told you this.
posted by boo_radley at 12:11 AM on November 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


i'm not sure i've ever had the experience of looking up to a 3-year-old before, but i welcome it
posted by facetious at 12:19 AM on November 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


...videos of Sarah Silverman so happy she doesn't even care about NOT being funny.

FTFY
posted by hellslinger at 12:23 AM on November 4, 2012


The psychic pain of having your candy eaten. The world is so cruel. Oh wait. You were joking? Ha ha! Good times.
posted by quadog at 12:45 AM on November 4, 2012


I've always felt that the Jimmy Kimmel kid pranks are essentially harmless, even though if I had kids I wouldn't participate in this.

But even aside from this I definitely don't think he is " a dick," and lately I've been pretty impressed by some of his racially focused "man on the street" videos, like this one, which shows some casual racism I didn't even know existed.

For example, from the clip:

" Who likes black people more?"
"I think her"
"Yeah, I think I'm pretty gangster!"

Also:

" Who is your favorite black person?"
" I don't know, i don't watch much television."

Lots of interesting election stuff on Kimmel, too.
posted by sweetkid at 12:58 AM on November 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Christ, every metafilter thread involving parents and children turns into a Rorschach test about everyone's daddy/mommy issues.

The video evidence I see here points to Madeline's mother having some pretty good parenting skills. Everyone accusing her of being an asshole parent... well, I guess I know more about you now.
posted by danny the boy at 1:23 AM on November 4, 2012 [17 favorites]


Ok childless people, this right here, this is the kind of thing that happens every day to us parents that we've been going on and on about and why having kids is so amazing. This free independent beautiful creature, conceived of and literally made from you and the person you love. Everyday, in the most surprising way they say or do something that is borne entirely out of their purity, their love for their family, their sense wonder at the most mundane aspects of daily life, their innate inability to tell a lie, and total security that they will never lack the things that really matter and it cuts through all the bullshit of modern life and makes me ashamed to be an adult carrying all my baggage.

Then they shit and puke on you and scream at 2 am and you realize the net balance of having children is about neutral.

Last year, my little dude got trick or treating and had a blast, but he forgot all about the haul of candy. I mean he gets candy or cookies whenever he wants if it's reasonably appropriate anyway, so obviously this wasn't a major cache for him. We gave it a few weeks but one night, I was all fuck it, I want a damn Reese's, reached into his bag still on the top shelf of the pantry and grabbed four of them. One thing led to another, I discovered his mother had been doing the same thing, and we had it polished off in a week.

Flash forward to May. The boy asks for a cookie after dinner and we happen to be out. Without missing a beat to suggest he had any suspicion about the fate of his Halloween haul, he looks me in the eye with a quizzical and slightly hopeful face. "Daddy, what happened to my Halloween candy?"

I think only the man who burned down the Christmas tree with all the presents had the right to feel lower than I did and we all learned an important lesson that day.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:30 AM on November 4, 2012 [42 favorites]


Yes, because teaching kids that adults ALWAYS tell you the truth is also a great way to develop their cognition. Before you know it they'll be believing political ads!

My parents did this sort of thing. And they also video(taped) my crying over ridiculous stupid things that in retrospect are pretty hilarious though at the time I was pretty sure my life was ending -- like when I didn't get a piece of birthday cake because I didn't finish my dinner. It taught me to have a healthy sense of humor about myself and to learn to recognize bullshit (or even just well-executed irony), two things that I think have come in rather handy as an adult.

I can see how, with the wrong overall sort of family dynamic, this could lead to trust issue and all the other things you guys are projecting onto this. But with the right sort of family dynamic, it really is just a good laugh without lasting trauma.
posted by olinerd at 1:35 AM on November 4, 2012 [11 favorites]


I wish the parents got their just deserts and were actually forced to eat all their kids halloween candy too.

Just wait a couple of decades when they're sitting in their own filth in some hellhole nursing home in Florida and the kids never call and they haven't seen the grandchildren in years...
posted by MartinWisse at 2:22 AM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Know what I learned from this discussion??? dobbs has a pizza shop and has NEVER brought us pizza! WTF!
posted by HuronBob at 2:46 AM on November 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


"Ha, ha, Mom and Dad! We were only joking when we said the grandkids never want to see you again!"
posted by nobody at 2:50 AM on November 4, 2012 [11 favorites]


But in seriousness, watching the full clip reel PareidoliaticBoy posted in the first comment, I'm not sure what to make of the high-powered kids at 4:14, especially that "I love you too" while pointing at the camera, not really looking up from what looks to be a worksheet from school. Is that sincere?

But the boy immediately after those kids, that's the one that made me tear up a bit: "That's alright. I just want you to be happy."

Are there links to the full submitted videos for each of these excerpts?
posted by nobody at 3:03 AM on November 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I see this is quickly morphing into an argument about good parenting skills. Well for the most part. It's interesting to observe that the people who think this is funny are the same people who aren't making as many judgement calls about what makes a good or a bad parent.

If it's not something you'd do to your own kids, that's fine. But the implication that something as minor as this is tantamount to child abuse is ridiculous.

Kids are little balls of emotion. They'll laugh their heads off at anything and they'll tantrum at anything too. Despite the immensity of the reactions, this little tease isn't going to damage anyone or make them hate their parents to such a degree that they'll disown them when they're older. It's a fun thing that happens in a household which considers the happiness of all people in that house.

I'd do this. Heck, I've done things like this. I'm a tease and a windup merchant and a big lying liar at times, and the girls are growing up fine (I think) despite or because of it. They don't take themselves too seriously, and for the most part, they understand that the world isn't equitable.

Finally, If you think somehow that the behaviour of the Kimmel parents doesn't happen within a considered framework of parenting, then you're probably wrong, and it's disingenuous of you to make such assumptions.

Sidenote: Not that I would mind my kids locking me away in a nursing home to end my days. My job is to look after myself and my children. My children's job will be to look after themselves and their children. There's no way I expect some kind of old age reciprocation.
posted by zoo at 3:09 AM on November 4, 2012 [8 favorites]


Honestly, with the childhood obesity epidemic that's going on right now, taking the candy from your kids is probably one of the better things you can do for them. Though lying to them, then giving them their candy back anyway is the worst of both worlds.
In my house, the Halloween fairy comes and takes most of the candy, leaving other fun things like stickers and play dough, and maybe one or two pieces of candy. The rest goes to my work, err- I mean, back to fairy land.
posted by brevator at 3:37 AM on November 4, 2012


You can have my candy... BUT IF YOU TOUCH MY COPY OF ULYSSES
posted by WalkingAround at 4:23 AM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


OK. So. for serious. I'm trying to get through Ulysses. It is really good, but I can only take like 20 pages at a time.

Should I just tough it out for the next two years or do I give up?
posted by poe at 4:44 AM on November 4, 2012


I think the standard advice concerning Ulysses is to start with chapter 4 when Leopold Bloom makes his entrance - his thoughts are much "easier to read" than Stephen Dedalus' thoughts. (The plot isn't that important, anyway.) Also, it's good to read an annotated version - catching all the references to Greek mythology, Aristotle, Irish politics, etc. was a big part of the fun I had with the book.
posted by WalkingAround at 4:56 AM on November 4, 2012


Ugh, this again. I used to babysit a little 4-year old boy who had just aquired his trick-or-treating loot a couple days ago, and he was so excited to pick out which piece he wanted after his dinner. When I was tucking him into bed, he said, "Can I have my candy? I just want to hold it."

Otto, you are awesome, and I would never never never lie to you and tell you I ate your candy.
posted by shortyJBot at 5:01 AM on November 4, 2012


The wisdom of the ages coupled with the attention span of a flea.

(The latter probably helps with the former.)

(Also, one of the more important lessons a parent can teach their children is that LIFE ISN'T FAIR. The ways in which this lesson can be imparted are myriad.)
posted by drlith at 5:31 AM on November 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I see it didn't take violentacrez long to find a new line of work.
posted by localroger at 5:36 AM on November 4, 2012


If you're having trouble with Ulysses, try reading it aloud in your most expressive read aloud voice, like you're reading a bed time story to your kids. DO NOT READ ULYSSES TO YOUR CHILDREN BEFORE BED. But really, the book is hysterically funny once you're transported to early 1900's working class Dublin and reading it aloud in fake accents and over emoting it is a pretty good way to take yourself there.

Save the annotated version for the second read through. It should be enjoyed on a visceral level first.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:23 AM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


localroger: What the hell does that even mean? You've either posted your comment in the wrong thread, or you're comparing this Jimmy Kimmel stunt with a man known to be linked with child pornography??

Really - Is this a mistake or some weird passive aggressive bullshit.
posted by zoo at 7:11 AM on November 4, 2012


I think the thing that galls me most is that the lie is so uninspired.

If you can't be bothered making up your own lies, at least use some from a writer with a little class.
posted by flabdablet at 7:18 AM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Cool kid, but is anyone else disappointed that her mom didn't include the reveal at the end? What's the point of all that, if you don't get to see her reaction to learning the truth? Did Madeline not feel that it was particularly funny, or did she just say "Ok, mommy."? I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED.
posted by orme at 7:20 AM on November 4, 2012


I do not get why this is supposed to be funny. Mean is not funny. This is a nasty prank, the kind of crap older siblings do to the younger kids in the family. It's sadistic.

If this is what humor has become, damn. Where the Hell is George Carlin when we need him?
posted by kinnakeet at 7:25 AM on November 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


On a whim my wife and I tried this with our three-year-old just now. No recording because that's obviously a tip-off for the little guy. Straight-faced, we ate your candy. He looked at me sidelong for a moment, then just said "Nooooooooo." And smiled.

Can't fool him even a little most days, but then again I tease the heck out of him on a regular basis, so he should be well prepared for a life dealing with other people's BS. It's what my dad did for me, and I am passing it on to the next generation!
posted by caution live frogs at 7:26 AM on November 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Flabdablet, I'd had the hardest time figuring out why I was so unsettled by this until you put it into words. Thank you!

I tell tiny relatives outrageous stories all the time (this playground is on an old indian burial ground, at night the bones come up to play, etc.). When the bottle lip starts to tremble and the kids start having a hard time parsing fiction and reality, I assure them I'm telling a story. And it's fun because they know it's a story and they pick it up and create their own mythology. (They'll build on it: "Yes, but they don't come up in the daytime. And if you stay on the sidewalk you are safe! You are safe if you wear purple! Or sing!")

The candy lie is one-sided and mean. Why lose an opportunity to let your kids in on the fun? Why create an opportunity to make them distrust you?
posted by mochapickle at 7:27 AM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it's not that telling the kids nonsense or lies is neccessarily bad. It's deliberately upsetting them that's bad.
posted by windykites at 7:36 AM on November 4, 2012


Is Kimmel the same guy who started the film-your-kids-as-they-open-gag-Xmas-gifts-deliberately-chosen-by-the-parents-to-be-completely-mismatched? That was a better prank than this parents-ate-all-your-candy malarky.
posted by Bwithh at 7:41 AM on November 4, 2012


Finally, If you think somehow that the behaviour of the Kimmel parents doesn't happen within a considered framework of parenting, then you're probably wrong, and it's disingenuous of you to make such assumptions.

You are clearly projecting. People are videotaping their kids so that their kids will have a meltdown that will hopefully get them on television.
posted by 23skidoo at 7:42 AM on November 4, 2012 [2 favorites]



I think this is a pretty dumb prank.

However it did bring back memories of the time my Dad did something similar to me and my sisters.

A few days after Halloween my parents had a dinner party. We had to keep our candy in the cupboard in he kitchen so we wouldn't eat it all at once because the year before my younger sister gorge herself and threw up. The next morning with a straight face he told us he had some bad news that a couple of the guests at the party found the candy and ate it all. I remember being horrified and then asking if it was true. He said yes. My sister who was five at the time said something like 'oh no, oh no. Did they throw up?"

lol. That comment cracked my Dad up and I recall knowing then it was a joke. "Dad you're silly'

My Dad did 'silly' things like this to us on a regular basis. For several years we were convinced we had deer living in our backyard that ran up the trees when we looked out the window. When we couldn't sleep he would prepared a special sleeping drink. The green colored ingredient labeled "H20" was kept in a bottle on the shelf. That worked for years until I was watching a kids science show about water. I look back fondly at the realization that Dad had been tricking us all this time and me and my sisters racing to his workshop to give him little kid hell.

So yeah technically my Dad lied about many things. I never looked at them as lies though. They were 'tricks' that silly Dad did to us. Love my Dad for that. It's part of what made him a fun Dad.

So with stuff like this I really think it depends on the family and the relationship as to whether it's a damaging, bad thing or like in my case part of what 'silly' parents do.
posted by Jalliah at 7:53 AM on November 4, 2012 [8 favorites]


I actually hated the way she kept insisting "so you aren't mad at me?", like she was deliberately trying to make her kid lose it. That's way over the line.

I thought I'd hate the rest of the video too, but some of it did make me laugh. I think because my kid throws tantrums all the time right now for insane reasons and the recognition effect cracks me up.

I could never do it to my kid, though. And Madeleine's awesomeness makes her mother look like a heel.
posted by Omnomnom at 7:59 AM on November 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


zoo, violentacrez was not primarily a child porn guy. He was actually the guy who removed the child porn so the primary mission could proceed.

Violentacrez was a troll. His primary mission was to get people upset so he could laugh at them.

This stunt is a troll. Its primary purpose is to get children upset, tape them, and laugh at them. On national TV.

Inasmuch as violentacrez targeted literate adults, I consider this worse than most of what he did.
posted by localroger at 8:07 AM on November 4, 2012


This prank will be a gold mine for shrinks in about 20 years.
posted by birdhaus at 8:10 AM on November 4, 2012


I liked the part where the studio told Kimmel they had canceled his show, and filmed his reaction. Then they really canceled it, and filmed that reaction. Then they reinstated the show, but all his scenes were going to be loops of those reactions. Well, plus, they filmed that reaction, too.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:25 AM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Video made me cry. The father telling his son "don't you want to share", making it so the child is doing something wrong for being upset that something was stolen from him, that made me really upset.
posted by Danila at 8:27 AM on November 4, 2012


My girls are pretty hardcore when it comes to Halloween. They have a plan, a route, a schtick that they use ("You have a lovely yard"). It's pretty great.

So, this year, my 8yo is working hard. She's not being picky about the houses she hits, she wants to hit them ALL. So, I was confused when she told me that she wanted to visit her friend's house that is WAY off the normal route. I told her that would cut into our trick-or-treating time, but she insisted. We went off our route, down a long, dark street. NONE of the houses on Katie's street were participating. "Let's go back the way we came," I suggested, but on we trekked to Katie's house.

As we got to her yard, it suddenly occurred to me. "Why isn't Katie trick-or-treating tonight?" I asked.

"Oh," my daughter said, "Her mom is at work and Katie still has her leg in a cast so she can't go trick-or-treating tonight. So I'm going to give her half my candy."

Matter of fact. Simple as that. Half. And she didn't dump off the Smarties and Tootsie Rolls, either. She handed over quality treats. She amazes me sometimes. Okay, most times.
posted by ColdChef at 8:29 AM on November 4, 2012 [48 favorites]


[This is not the place for a debate over violentacrez and "which is worse" comparisons to other awful things; please let that drop.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:30 AM on November 4, 2012


For the sake of full disclosure, I should also point out that Katie has a younger sister who didn't get to go trick-or-treating either, and when my 8 yo asked my 6yo if she wanted to share her candy with the younger sister, Maggie replied with a curt, "No."
posted by ColdChef at 8:31 AM on November 4, 2012 [9 favorites]


Whether you think it's cruel or not, this could be a good test to see how you're doing as a parent... I mean, you get so focused on the day-to-day and can get tunnel vision as to what your kid is actually like. And the upside? The kid won't remember (if he/she's 3) and they will be happy when they get their candy back.
posted by CarlRossi at 8:50 AM on November 4, 2012


Maggie replied with a curt, "No."

Blood may be thicker than water, but it's friends who get the candy. With three brothers, I understand your daughter's stance completely. And only my efforts to develop a better sense of equanimity and compassion keeps he from endorsing it.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:55 AM on November 4, 2012


Ok childless people, this right here, this is the kind of thing that happens every day to us parents that we've been going on and on about and why having kids is so amazing...Then they shit and puke on you and scream at 2 am and you realize the net balance of having children is about neutral.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 4:30 AM on November


It took you that long to clean it up, eh?
posted by magstheaxe at 9:49 AM on November 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Madeline is much more mature than her mother. I don't get parents who play tricks on their kids. It's not funny, at all.
posted by outlandishmarxist at 9:51 AM on November 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't get parents who play tricks on their kids. It's not funny, at all.

I suspect you wouldn't have found it as amusing to watch as I did when I suggested to my 4 year old that "Sure, it's OK, you can go get one of those baby gooses (intentional use of gooses)."

And, if you're wondering, a 4 year old can run almost as fast as a mother goose....
posted by HuronBob at 9:55 AM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


she didn't dump off the Smarties and Tootsie Rolls,

What nightmarish hellscape do we live in where Tootsie Rolls are discarded as garbage?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:21 AM on November 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


How dare these parents temporarily highlight their children's greedy and unforgiving nature by modeling appropriate behaviours such as confessing to and apologizing for wrongdoing!!!

How very dare they!!!
posted by Sys Rq at 10:45 AM on November 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Watching the Madeline video I can't help but think that she was either in on the joke from the start or figured out Mommy's joke. Maybe I'm reading too much into her intonation and expression when she says "that makes me really sad" but man that looks like sarcasm to me.
posted by zrail at 10:50 AM on November 4, 2012


zrail given Madeleine-Mom's smarmy tone I would be amazed if this was the first time she had pulled one of these shitty stunts, and Madeleine is probably about 3 going on 12 as far as her relationship to bullshit.
posted by localroger at 10:55 AM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


And, if you're wondering, a 4 year old can run almost as fast as a mother goose....

This would have been extra hilarious if the goose had broken one of the 4 year old's bones, which they're quite capable of doing.
posted by localroger at 10:59 AM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just for the hell of it...

"Kids, what would happen if Mommy and I ate all your Halloween candy one night when you were asleep? How would you feel?"

About 5 seconds pass....

My daughter: "Uh.... You would need to go buy us more."
My son: "Now, Daddy. You need to go now."
My daughter: "Right now."
Me: "But I didn't eat your candy. It's still there"
My daughter: "I want you to get us Kit Kats and m&m's."
My son: "And gummi bears."
My daughter: "And cheetos."
My son: "Yes, cheetos."
Both: "Can we have some cheetos?"
My daughter: "The crunchy ones. That make your hands orange."
Me: "No, you just had lunch. Wait, who's been feeding you cheetos?"

Thanks, Mefi. Thanks a lot...
posted by zarq at 11:01 AM on November 4, 2012 [23 favorites]


Mean comedy. Grmph. I hate it.

Only kind there is.
posted by Theodore Sign at 11:06 AM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Don't negotiate with terrorists, zarq!
posted by drlith at 11:15 AM on November 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Hey! That was my childhood. Minus the just kidding part. (and our parents didn't even go trick or treating with us. or do anything about costumes. or make videos of us.)

I'm sort of jealous of these kids, in their getting to eat all their candy anyway-ness.
posted by bilabial at 11:35 AM on November 4, 2012


I think this is very similar to this post in that, if your parents didn't respect your space or your possessions, you read this as mean, pointless joke at the child's expense. If your parents did stuff like this and it was all in good fun, and were otherwise great parents, you read it as playful ribbing that doesn't really hurt anyone.
posted by almostmanda at 12:06 PM on November 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


I do not have or work in a pizza shop.
posted by dobbs at 12:16 PM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure that if you're looking at your kid and thinking "I could NEVER do that to my child!" then you shouldn't. But there are all kinds of people, including all kinds of kids, and some are going to be more sensitive then others. Cool.

But it doesn't diminish you personally if other parents know their kids are the kind who bounce back quickly and let things roll off and will in fact call you a goober head and laugh their asses off as soon as the camera stops rolling. Assuming that doing this de facto makes someone else a bad parent seems like a big stretch to me.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:33 PM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


if your parents didn't respect your space or your possessions, you read this as mean, pointless joke at the child's expense

Besides being a mean pointless joke, stunts like this are selfish. It's a fucking cheap shot to aggrandize yourself by demonstrating your superiority to a three year old. Where does it stop? Upthread we had a prospective parent of the year who didn't know geese are capable of seriously hurting a small child. (Swans are capable of seriously hurting an adult human.) How dangerous or stupid does the pratfall have to be before it becomes disrespectful and mean? Maybe, you know, it's best to just respect people, even small people who are still innocent, ignorant, and have poor self control, and not pull shit like this at all.

I was barely able to watch the movie Big Fish because I hate this sort of thing so much. You might notice that in that story the kid (who entered journalism as a profession -- maybe having truth issues?) does not estrange himself until his father hogs the limelight at his own wedding. But it's clear the father's habitual lying has been an issue for a long time, and I for one found the happy resolution totally unbelievable.

Victims of child abuse (and the person who gets to decide whether this sort of behavior isn't you, dear parent, it's the child you're pranking) tend to quickly learn to hide their pain. Are you really sure junior is OK with your just-joshing routine? Are you sure he would tell you if he wasn't? Because you might think junior is your li'l best friend, but you are junior's entire life and whether he likes the way you behave or not he doesn't really have much of a choice as to whether you're his big best friend.
posted by localroger at 12:52 PM on November 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


Then they shit and puke on you and scream at 2 am and you realize the net balance of having children is about neutral.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 4:30 AM on November

It took you that long to clean it up, eh?


Heh. I was literally in the baby's room as I posted that, a baby who decided he needed to play at 4 am. I was trying desperately to keep him quiet so his mom could sleep in a bit on her birthday. "Fall back", my ass.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:07 PM on November 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Kimmel's had extraordinarily well behaved kids filmed and terrifyingly angry kids who get physically abusive with the parent. It must be awful to have your own kid hit you. I felt terrible for that mom wih he son who throws the glass and starts slapping her.
posted by discopolo at 8:46 PM on November 4, 2012


Ok childless people, this right here, this is the kind of thing that happens every day to us parents that we've been going on and on about and why having kids is so amazing.

It's great to post rousing paragraphs about the joys and struggles of raising children, really it is, but I wish people wouldn't keep aiming them at "childless people," can you choose words like "people who don't want to have children ever" or something like that? You don't know the reasons behind why people do or don't have children at any moment.
posted by sweetkid at 8:51 PM on November 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


There are two things that bug me about this. First, getting a kick out of tricking your children in such a way that is almost guaranteed to bring tears. I'm not sure what differentiates this from some kinds of bullying (is it because candy is a luxury and they didn't need it anyway?). Then, posting a moment of genuine hurt by a child on the internet. I'm not sure why "just kidding" makes that moment of emotional pain any less genuine. It was a real response to a genuinely perceived situation of loss. Lack of omniscience on the part of a child doesn't change the level of perceived hurt.

As a parent, one of the worst sounds in the world is the sound of genuine anguish on the part of my child. It's the kind of thing that makes you run form one room to the next. I cannot for the life of me conceive of trying to generate this kind of response for laughs, much less sharing this with the entire universe. It takes it from being mean-spirited to almost being... shameful. I'm going to sound like something of a jerk, but I cannot find a way to interpret these videos in such a way that parents aren't choosing the potential to become famous over their children. Because if a parent were to do this to a child, in the quiet of their own home for their own amusement, without the world watching for laughs, you'd probably just think they were an asshole.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:15 PM on November 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


So you guys are clear that actually losing a bunch of candy doesn't really rate on the true tragedies of life scale, right? Much less thinking that you did for a couple of seconds? I'm not a big fan of people using their kids to get on television, but equating this with child abuse is pretty over the top. Sheesh.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 10:59 PM on November 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


Something doesn't have to be a "true tragedy" every time for it to be child abuse. Emotional abuse of the sort that random strangers visit daily upon each other works just fine.

When Lucy pulls the football away from Charlie Brown at the last second it's super hilarious and all that but if you have a parent doing that to their kid every time to "teach them about how life isn't fair" or something then yeah, that's abuse.
posted by XMLicious at 6:17 AM on November 5, 2012


So you guys are clear that actually losing a bunch of candy doesn't really rate on the true tragedies of life scale, right?

Right. Although I do think that intentionally fabricating distress in your child for fun, even for a few seconds, is much worse than losing candy. So, that it's candy is actually a side issue. Delighting in the pain of others (which seems to be justified by some people because it's "just candy" or only for a short while) is an enlightening thing to watch. And makes me a bit ill, honestly.
posted by SpacemanStix at 6:52 AM on November 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


haha! you know what would be really funny? Sneaking into a doctor's office and switching the records so that they tell Jimmy Kimmel he has cancer! LOL!!!! And telling him his parents were killed in a car crash!!! ROFLMAO!!!! hahaha

You know I am kidding. Those would be amateurish pranks, and pretty stupid. You know what would be genuinely funny? Side-splitting hilarious? Jimmy Kimmel actually getting cancer.
posted by Xoebe at 8:05 AM on November 5, 2012


You know I am kidding. Those would be amateurish pranks, and pretty stupid. You know what would be genuinely funny? Side-splitting hilarious? Jimmy Kimmel actually getting cancer.

Congratulations on being a bigger asshole than he is.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:10 AM on November 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


My girls are pretty hardcore when it comes to Halloween. They have a plan, a route, a schtick that they use ("You have a lovely yard"). It's pretty great.

I don't have kids, but I have been ensnared by trick-or-treaters who knew how to play me like a fiddle.

My neighborhood is... um... "transitional." My street is fantastic, but you go two blocks north, and all of a sudden you maybe don't want to be walking around alone after dark. Last year, the progression of kids continued until well after reasonable trick-or-treating hours, and as the night went on, the kids got older and the costumes got less believable. I knew it was time to turn the light off when a pack of kids in jeans and hoodies, who probably drove themselves over, made some halfhearted demands for candy based on the fact that earlier in the night they had been out trick-or-treating with their little brothers. I relented, but mostly because my car was parked right in front and I didn't want to find eggs on it the next day.

So, this year, I bought twice as much candy to handle the late crowd, and settled in for the long grind. And, of course, this year no one showed up. By 7:30, the doorbell had rung twice, and my enormous plastic cauldron of candy was looking pretty silly. And then I hear a big group walk up the stairs outside. It's the daughters of a guy I know up the street who has worked with me on some neighborhood advocacy projects in the past, and some of their friends. Two of them are in princess garb, one is a cat, one is a witch, and one is Optimus Prime (obviously homemade with some parental assistance, and a Seriously Bad Ass Transformer). Optimus is the last of the group to dig in for candy, and as the rest of the group is walking back down the stairs and I'm waving to their dad, Optimus pulls off her mask and says "Thank you for the candy! And if anybody comes by later and doesn't say thank you for their candy, then thank you for them as well!"

Optimus dined well on Kit Kats from our house this week.
posted by Mayor West at 8:36 AM on November 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Me: "No, you just had lunch. Wait, who's been feeding you cheetos?"

Thanks, Mefi. Thanks a lot...


Wait, why do you immediately conclude that it was US feeding her Cheetos? It wasn't us. It was probably somebody from Reddit. Lousy Redditors, undermining your parenting...
posted by infinitywaltz at 11:36 AM on November 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


drlith: "Don't negotiate with terrorists, zarq!"

Ha! I gave them both fruit snacks, instead.

I was actually expecting a much different response from them. We read them stories every night, and when it's one they have heard before, I like to change the names of the stories and characters around. "This book is called, 'Aliens in Underpants save Curious George!'" They laugh their heads off and love to correct me. So I figured they'd realize that it would be completely out of character for Daddy to eat their Halloween candy, and they'd just laugh at the very idea. Did not expect them to demand justice and reparations!

The full prank seems really mean-spirited. I wouldn't have done that to my kids, and the Kimmel video made me cringe.

infinitywaltz: " Wait, why do you immediately conclude that it was US feeding her Cheetos? It wasn't us."

Heh. No, for giving me the idea to ask them in the first place! :D

It was probably somebody from Reddit. Lousy Redditors, undermining your parenting...

DAMN RIGHT. :D
posted by zarq at 2:56 PM on November 5, 2012


I had such a weird reaction to this video. I felt much less sorry for the little kids who threw a tantrum than the ones who just shrugged it off. Possibly because I have a gut reaction to tantrums where I just will not put up with it at all. Sort of "Fuck you, I will eat your candy you little brat" which probably doesn't say anything pleasant about me.

That said, I have never eaten any of my son's Halloween candy, and I couldn't imagine pulling this sort of prank on him. I'd just feel like a jerk for going back on the firm rule in our house of respecting other people's belongings, even if I was just kidding.
posted by madelf at 2:04 AM on November 6, 2012


11111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
posted by homunculus at 1:25 PM on November 14, 2012


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