Motherhood

Have You Ever Seen Surprise Egg Videos?

Alfred Eisenstaedt

My greatest failing as a parent can be summed up in three words: Surprise Egg Videos. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, then you are living your best life…

If you do, then you know that there are hundreds of people who make a crazy amount of money by filling plastic eggs with toys and then making YouTube videos of themselves opening them up. This phenomenon is so, so weird.

The unknown has always been a hot commodity, evidenced throughout history by everything from Pandora’s mythological box to the raison d’être for the gift-wrapping industry. Lately, though, it’s become an epidemic. Remember when a “surprise box” was just opening an old purse you hadn’t used in a while to discover a petrified baby carrot, three dollars in nickels and a pair of mismatched earrings?

Nowadays, there are dozens of subscription services that will mail you a grab bag for a flat fee. The products inside these packages — artisanal pecan honey mustard, a Batman-shaped key chain that doubles as a beer opener, the world’s tiniest tube of BB Cream in juuuuust the wrong shade — would never tempt us on a retail shelf, and probably aren’t even worth the cost of shipping, but it hardly matters. What we pay for is the thrill of discovery.

I wouldn’t be thinking about this trend so much, if not for the fact that it has hooked my four-year-old son, too.

Picture this: In a YouTube video, a bunch of plastic eggs appear on screen against a wall in what is clearly someone’s basement. A pair of disembodied hands enters the frame, and begins cracking open the eggs, one by one, while a disembodied voice narrates the contents — toys, candy, trinkets. These videos are confusing until you see that they have over 10 million views.

The most successful of these entrepreneurs step up their game. They craft eggs the size of port-a-potties in their backyards and let their kids tear them apart with mallets. They fill inflatable pools with cheese balls and bob for toys while dressed as Spider Man or Elsa. My son cannot get enough.

Recently, though, I’ve been steering him clear of YouTube. I mean, isn’t the entire world still a surprise to children? I recently explained to my son that clouds were made of water and his mind was completely blown. Can a SpongeBob figurine tumbling out of a foil packet compete with the enormous surprise box that is the universe?

But while doing errands one recent afternoon we ducked into a neighborhood shop, and just inside the door was a bucket filled with whimsical “surprise balls.” I caved, bought one, and sat outside on a bench while my son slowly, methodically, unfurled ribbons of colorful tissue paper, letting them snake over our knees like pieces of a fallen rainbow. The trinkets inside were insignificant, of course. It was the unwrapping that was the fun part.

Afterward we walked home, discussing such wide-ranging topics as Darth Vader, spaghetti and volcanoes, and I felt a warm rush of happiness and anticipation that can hit me sometimes when I’m actually enjoying the moment. It gave me a hope that around the next corner could be something more wonderful than I could even imagine. Maybe — just maybe — something that didn’t even come in a box.

The video, above, has gotten 307 million views. 307 million.

Una LaMarche is the author of the memoir Unabrow: Misadventures of a Late Bloomer, as well as three novels. You can find her on Instagram, or at unalamarche.com.

P.S. 21 surprising parentings tips.

(Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt)

  1. Sunny says...

    by the way if anyone knows how to eliminate youtube and iphone from a toddler’s life PLEASE let me know! My husband introduced him and now its kind of out of control. I suppose I should just expect screaming and crying? I want out!

  2. Sunny says...

    Thanks for posting this! I thought my three year old son was the only weirdo who came upon these videos! He is obsessed and I want it to end. Particularly mad at my husband who introduced our son to youtube last month when we were moving/packing….glad my child is not the only one though ; )

  3. Yes, my sons (same age as yours) could watch these for hours if I would let them. Ther papi buys them surprise eggs (only found at the Mexican store we go to) and they go nuts!
    so funny and weird. They will even repeat the video .WHAAAAT?? AGAIN??

  4. I don’t understand viral videos!! How does that have 307 MILLION views? And the pizza rat one has 9! What?!

  5. Marissa says...

    I thought my daughter had found some weird thing on You Tube that only she was odd enough to watch. This make me feel a little better(?) I guess. Hahaha. She’s 3 and I think she found it herself.

  6. Meghan says...

    Oh yes… “SURPRISE! It’s a candy party! Let’s crack open the fun!”

  7. Tane says...

    Thanks for the education. Now that I know what a surprise egg video is, I never have to watch another

  8. This is a truly beautiful post

  9. Shannon says...

    My three old son is also obsessed with surprise eggs. I have a long embarrassing story of a melt down over an egg my son spotted at a store on my 40th birthday – I’ll save that for another day. I attempted to describe surprise eggs to my younger sister and instead told her to go on YouTube. Now I can send her a link to this essay!

  10. Becky says...

    Lol. This is hilarious bc as a hairdresser I have several parents that allow their kids to watch egg videos as a special treat to make them sit still while I trim their hair. And I to have succumb to the egg videos on occasion because my 4 yr old also loves them. And every time I think what am I missing so so so weird.

  11. Kristin says...

    We also went through a surprise egg obsession! I was so sick of the videos, so we bought a bunch of empty Easter eggs and filled them with little surprises (like cheap dollar store trinkets and weird things like big buttons or pompoms) for her to discover instead. She opened them a million times! Finally, she lost interest and then discovered them again 6 months later. It’s the toy that keeps giving :)

  12. Laura says...

    The rabbit hole of YouTube kid-vids is a wild and crazy place. There are some channels that “mod” video games like grand theft auto and replace the characters in the game with Disney characters or superheroes…that is probably the weirdest one we have encountered!

  13. I am cracking up – my little man is a huge fan of these videos. They are so crazy and weird – until I look at the number of views and subscribers and realize these people are killing it! And then I think – wait, can we pull this off too?! Ha ha ha

  14. Erin says...

    I am SO GLAD you wrote this post! Lol. My daughter trancends to a different planet when watching these. What a relief to know other parental units let their children enjoy these. Nanu Nanu.

    (they are rather calming tho, am i right?!)

  15. Anne says...

    Surprise eggs will be the death of me. Open….Open…SURPRIIIIIISE! (face palm). My daughter LOVES the videos, so her joy brings me joy :-)

  16. sd says...

    This is hilarious. My son has totally watched this video before (as a young toddler) — and as I was reading he came up and insisted we watch it again. I was just dying laughing — the presenter has surprisingly good hand skills!!

  17. Veronica says...

    Kinder Surprises are banned in US :) I guess it is illegal to put a toy inside a chocolate egg. That is why you don’t find them here .

  18. Leigh says...

    My kids (4&5yo) will watch these videos for as long as we will let them. It is the weirdest thing!

  19. tunie says...

    All I can think is how fun for the person who first came up with this idea for a video! Well, then the second thought comes which is IF ONLY THESE EGGS WERE BIO-DEGRADABLE!! I shudder to think of the size of the Pacific Gyre at this point…{{sob}}

  20. Lyra says...

    Hey ben ! Cet article m’a fait réfléchir, surtout en considérant l’arrivée prochaine du temps des fêtes :) intéressant!

  21. Mirella says...

    My kids are both obsessed! Too funny. And admittedly, I have a subscription to Birchbox that brings me joy so there you go :)

  22. Adele says...

    I also recently discovered the slime video craze, which garners as many views. I can sort of see the appeal of these videos (I am “one of those” asmr people), but even though I can understand the soothing nature of meticulous, quiet videos, I just don’t get the slime thing. Even this one is mind boggling! But, I will say, that I kind of love that these exist as a testament to human quirkiness.

    I will say that I never thought about “the universe as a suprise box” — so true!

  23. I have a feeling the hundreds of millions of views that video’s gotten is due to the ASMR quality of the act and sounds.

  24. yeah, never gets old… I remember when I was a kid being obsessed with this machine where a weird chicken laid a (plastic) egg.
    My boys went through a phase of loving opening the ‘blind’ vinyl toy boxes of weird kawaii keyrings (so did I!)

  25. Oh my god, I cannot stop laughing reading this! We were just saying the other day how freaking WEIRD those youtube vids are and no matter what my four year old starts watching on youtube he always ends up on one of these.

    Who the hecky peck are these people?????

  26. Mary says...

    I am 66 and can still taste and smell the wonderful, crappy bubble gum in the tons of baseball cards my little brother HAD to open. I loved Cracker Jacks with the “toy” surprize in every box and still fondly remember many of them. Goes to show you that everything old is new again.

  27. Lauren says...

    “My greatest failing as a parent can be summed up in three words: Surprise Egg Videos. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, then you are living your best life.” Just laughed out loud at my desk! My boys watch these too!! So creepy & who are these people??? I cringe every time I hear, “Hey kids, it’s Disney Collector here…” Thanks for this post. :)

  28. Heather. says...

    A bunch of my friends kids have discovered these, which is why I hover whenever my kid is on the iPad. I don’t know why, but I am weirdly terrified of these videos.

    But there are some worthwhile videos on YouTube that we’ve watched. Like we learned how a toilet works, we learned about guide dogs (which inspired her Halloween costume this year) and we watched surprise eggs of a different kind:

    https://youtu.be/6JCSNvoQl20

    (It’s an eight minute video of a baby robin hatching in a nest. No crazy music or voice over. Single shot. My kid was transfixed. And that has 25 million views)

    • tunie says...

      omg, this video is the ANTEDOTE to all the crazy…thank you

  29. cgw says...

    My daughter likes to watch videos of women (so far, only women have done this) unload their birthday celebration decorations. A woman will dig into her bag, pull out a pack of, say, Cinderella paper plates, then she’ll reach in and pull out a pack of matching paper cups. She’ll show it off, then pull some cake toppers, etc. She’ll also tell us which store or online site she purchased them from. At the end usually the items will be all neatly spread out for the viewer to see. It’s the strangest thing to me, to want to video this, but even stranger is that people like my daughter will want to watch it. But hey, that’s what makes the world go round!

  30. Yes! This cracked me up today. My boys love to watch surprise eggs and growing dinosaur eggs on YouTube. It’s a funny funny thing…

  31. OMG yes! I’ve never ever understood why my 5 year old loves this. Like, never! I think the next weird thing they love is Elsa and Spiderman videos. Anyone seen those? *shudders*

    • Claudia says...

      Oh my God! I thought that was only my son! They are so bizarre but he loves them.

  32. Leah says...

    Thank GOD these were not a thing when my son was little. I have to have that tiny Spiderman though…

  33. Susan M. says...

    A cool alternative: youtube videos of volcanoes — the kind with lava flowing around. Toddlers are fascinated, and hey, it’s nature.

  34. Suzanne says...

    These videos have been a life saver for me! I am a special education teacher & have a student (with autism) who is especially hard to motivate & engage. I finally figured out the she will do absolutely ANYTHING I ask if she gets to watch a surprise egg video when she completes the task. Hip hip hooray for weird toy videos on youtube!

  35. Kristian says...

    I’ve made surprise balls for care packages. I wonder if Toby would enjoy making them (literally getting a few trinkets- maybe even passing on some he has but never uses? Or even just nice notes- and wrapping crepe paper around and every so often adding a little something. Might be fun with the holidays coming around…?

  36. i’m still so shocked that this is a “thing” in the US…as others have stated, kinder surprise eggs are available at basically every grocery and convenience store in canada…i happen to be visiting my bff who lives in the US next week – maybe i should bring a few!

  37. Michelle says...

    A Youtuber makes somewhere between $1000-$2000 per million views. Assuming that video has ads, that means this video made somewhere between $300,000 and $600,000.

  38. Caio says...

    We get Kinder Eggs here in Brazil as well! And also something called Chocolate Surpresa (surprise chocolate), it was a brand of chocolate made by Nestlé and made a lot of success on the 1980s/90s. The chocolate itself was a common black milky bar, but what really made it achieve so much success was that each of them would come with a figure made on a thin cardboard paper with a picture of an animal on it! ooh good memories :)
    best from sao paulo brasil!

  39. Kate Morris says...

    Who knew a piece about a YouTube phenomenon could make my jaw drop at its lyricism? “…letting them snake over our knees like pieces of a fallen rainbow.” I mean, beautiful!

    • I felt and thought the same! Beautiful!

  40. I am so happy to report Luna had not gotten into the surprise eggs! No judgement but this Mama is glad she doesn’t have yet another reason to beg for iPad time! She loves creative galaxy on Amazon and its been inspiring her to make a lite of new creations. Hope it sticks!

    Though I’ll admit my love language is gifts so I would probably love to receive an adult egg every now & again! Ha!

    xo Lendy
    http://Www.twoplusluna.com

  41. Liz says...

    I watched about 10 seconds before I realized there really was NOTHING ELSE that was going to happen and cemented exactly how much I despise plastic, cheap trinkets that just turn into rubble at the bottom of your purse.

  42. OMG I am so happy other people’s kids are obsessed with these as well! I have no clue how he found them, but my 3 year old LOVES them. My husband and I just look at each other like… Wtf?! How do they have so.many.views.

  43. Jenna says...

    We get Kinder Surprise eggs here in Australia (although luckily my toddler hasn’t discovered them yet) but I had no idea there were also videos like this out there, so weird! I know Kinder eggs are banned in America as I’ve seen memes about how those are banned but guns are so prolific.

  44. Carol says...

    Korean surprise balls are the best because they fit a lot and take ages to unfurl. I bought one in New York last time I was there and it was my favourite souvenir! There are great tutorials to make them….. instead of toys you can hide little notes and things that mean something to your family…like a small ornament to open on Christmas Eve or little love notes for someone to read…..

  45. Marsi says...

    I got through about 15 seconds of that video.

  46. I’ve never heard of these before! I’m gonna give it a watch now <3

    Abigail Alice x

  47. Catherine says...

    My son is obsessed with these videos too. At first I thought they were harmless but then I realized these videos are only stoking the fire of materialism within his brain. Now I’m faced with the uphill task of diverting his attention elsewhere, but it’s somehow difficult to explain to a six-year-old that the best discoveries in life are non-material and don’t come in little plastic containers.

    • flaneuse says...

      Totally agree with you. These videos are promoting materialism also like the “toys unlimited” channel and others. How can we report to youtube kids to protect our kids about these?

  48. haha this is completely weird and wonderful! ha

  49. We have definitely contributed to this stupid trend! My grocery store has a “KinderEgg’ of sorts for $2.99. We will get that for my 3 year old for a special treat – but at least it has chocolate surrounding it. If I am lucky, he will share that with me! :)

  50. Roxana says...

    Off topic (kind of), but I would love to know what the kids in that old black and white photo are looking at. They were probably watching a play or something. Their expressions are priceless. What a beautiful photo.

    • Roxana says...

      Oh, that’s great! Thank you :).

  51. Casey says...

    I still don’t understand the eggs somehow…but I still watched the whole video. Not entirely sure what just happened lol.

  52. Sarah Z says...

    Such a timely post. My almost-2-year-old son was sick this past week/weekend, and we caved and let him watch more TV than usual. Like quite a bit more and I was doing some heavy mom rationalizing. We found this annoying character “Blippi” who was basically just playing with toy trucks, as my son sat there, not playing with his trucks. Just watching. My husband and I had the realization at the same time like, “Wtf are we doing?” Gah.

  53. Lindsay says...

    So weird huh! My kids also loved those videos. They have moved on but still LOVE getting surprise chocolate eggs or other surprise toy bags like Shopkins or playmobile. Its so crazy how riveted my kids are with YouTube videos.

  54. Roxana says...

    This is hilarious. And totally bizarre. I mean, I get the “surprise factor” (birthday presents and Christmas, etc.). I must seriously live in a cave, though. I have never heard about these eggs, etc. It would never occur to me that such a thing exists. Thank you for the warning :).

    My poor media-deprived kids (5 and 3) are just discovering Fruit Ninja on my iPod (And yes, I said “Pod.” I made my husband take the iPad to work, because I was too addicted to it). I set the timer on the oven and they each get 10-15 mins on the lowly iPod to play “video games.” This happens like twice a week.

    The only things we look-up on Youtube are the occasional music video (Pharrell’s Happy anyone? :) and old Muppets videos. They think the Swedish Chef is absolutely hilarious. Actually, he is pretty funny. I’d encourage others to get their kids into old-school Muppets.

  55. Kim says...

    The happiest parenting day of my life was finding out that a friend had a kid who was was obsessed with these creepy videos as my 3 yr old was. You’re not alone!

  56. Cris says...

    “If you don’t know what I’m referring to, then you are living your best life.” . . . Oh, Una! I will live off the chuckles for the rest of the week. Too funny. Great line.

  57. Besides worrying that my kids brains are being fried, the other emotion I feel when seeing these videos is complete jealousy. These people get to play with toys all day long and make big bucks! Where did I go wrong??

    By the way, there are various places in San Francisco to get Kinder surprise eggs. I don’t want to out anyone if they actually are illegal, but I’ve seen them in specialty candy stores in the city and also in the East Bay suburbs.

  58. Madie says...

    I thought we were deeeep into YouTube with our 3 y/o son, but apparently there are further, undiscovered depths of video hell… We miraculously have NOT discovered surprise eggs yet, but he does like to watch some of those videos where grown-ups unbox and “play with” the toys. Right about then is when I say OK! All done w/ the iPad, let’s chug trains!! :)

    • Roxana says...

      Haha! “depths of video hell. . .”

  59. Lauren says...

    The Surprise Egg Videos – the bane of my existence! – Mother in Ohio to a 3 and 5 year old… When will it stop? : )

  60. Michelle says...

    A little like slot machines, just got to see what the next one will roll or watching a new but compelling series on Netflix, get to the end of the episode and you want to see the next one until the entire series is finished (or season for some people I know)

  61. Katie Brown says...

    I’ve been reading your blog forever, during that time we’ve met the “one”, gotten married, had kids and now here we are discovering surprise egg videos. Who knew??? After a brief obsession in my house, I officially put a ban and deleted the you tube app. For no other reason than the just plain creep me out. Ha!

  62. Sarah says...

    As a person who only lets their kids play with whatever they find outside and a few wooden toys this made my stomach turn. The huge plastic pile in the end was the worst. I have to admit though, I immediately understood the weird addictive effect this could have on a person…super super weird.

  63. meghan says...

    I ship my niece and nephew kinder eggs from Canada (shhh) … it’s crazy that they’re banned in the USA – they’re everywhere here and such a hit for kids.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, i LOVED those when i was little!

    • Jessica says...

      I give them to my kids but tell them the chocolate is only for grown ups ;)

  64. Sarah says...

    Maybe this is a weird connection to draw, but I feel like becoming addicted to watching other kids play with toys etc. is not that far off from adults who are addicted to pornography. Why watch someone else doing it, when you could be doing it yourself? But that logic doesn’t hold for those in addiction’s grips. I hope by allowing these videos we aren’t setting our kids up for addictive internet behavior as preteens, teens, and beyond. Anyone else have thoughts on this theory?

    • That is an interesting idea. I feel like there is some biological link to this. Like it triggers some part of the primordial brain linked to hunting and gathering or something. Perhaps there is an anthropologist or similar who could weigh in?

  65. meredith says...

    Its like the marketing powers that be brainstormed into how to make Americans into even more mindless consumers at an even younger age. To the point where you don’t even care what product you are buying, just that you are buying something. Brilliant.

  66. yes my kids discovered them and that’s the only thing they want to watch :(

  67. Lola says...

    My kids cry for ‘eggs’ and even play surprise eggs together when I refuse to give them the ipad! I finally had to delete the youtube app to ensure they only play their games! It is super creepy and I truly don’t get it!

  68. Noooo! I feel these videos are in my future. My oldest (now 7) was obsessed with YouTube videos of other kids playing with wooden trains for a long time. I did not get it. They were playing with trains just like he plays with trains. No narrative, no story, no characters, just kids playing with trains.
    My four year old is obsessed with Kinder Eggs so this would be right up his alley.

  69. Wow. I had NO idea this existed, but that’s probably because I don’t have kids of my own. I can’t get over the 307M views!!!

    I agree with your decision to steer him off YouTube for a bit. As a four year old, there is so much to discover in the real world. This is probably the only time in his life where he doesn’t HAVE to be online on a daily basis. He should take advantage! :)

    Christina | http://www.cuddlepill.com

  70. Anna says...

    Oh, this made me so nostalgic and definitely made me laugh. I think I still have my Kinder Surprise lion collection stashed somewhere. The unwrapping, chocolate, the scent of that egg- it all was such a treat!

  71. Fernanda Iglesias says...

    OMG yes my 6 year old love these videos. She even has one bookmarked and mouths along as it plays…….so disturbing ****Mental note**** need to spend more time at the library or bookstore.

  72. Lauren says...

    My nephew is completely addicted to these. Per your recent article, my fears about having another baby have been fogging my brain. But this article brought up the best memory from childhood that makes me so happy to be giving my son a sibling. Long before the Internet, my sister & I invented our own version of surprise eggs-mailbox. We would put boxes outside our doors and swap little treasures pretending to be mailmen. It was the biggest thrill to hear that knock on your door and get to find an awesome surprise from your siblings typically off limits stash. I know there will inevitably be YouTube videos they obsess over, but I hope they invent little games like that to play together. I guess there’s much to be said for the thrill of a surprise!

  73. Janine says...

    My niece is into similar YouTube videos. They usually involve someone making figures out of Play-Doh, and they’re actually quite relaxing.

    However, she’s also into watching videos of kids (and sometimes adults) playing with toys; occasionally, the people in the videos dress as her favorite characters while playing with the corresponding toys.

    Some of the videos are downright creepy, but most of them are just mind-boggling. Why would you want to watch someone else play with a toys you have and can play with yourself?

    When we eventually have kids, I’m going to try to keep them in the dark about YouTube for as long as possible (spoken like a true childless person).

    Or, like the parents on Raising Hope told their son, I’ll just tell them, “The Internet tubes don’t come to our house.”

    • Kylee says...

      You can do it – my twins are three and still don’t watch tv, or play iPad games. That includes when we’re all out to dinner. I’m not at all judging those that do, it’s just I find kids tv so irritating! We’ll have to introduce it soon though, so they’re not social exiles ;)

    • I have a 3.5 and 1.5 year old. There are no youtube or other apps in their lives. It is possible and it is LOVELY.

  74. Laura says...

    A lot of my work has to do with discovering YouTube channels and every day I am so surprised by the type of content out there. There’s “The Pushing Guy” that literally just pushes objects and has thousands of viewers. The Disney Collector is another, where a woman unboxes toys (no surprise there, you already know what toy it is). A completely different rabbit hole are the ASMR channels. Just know that if you search for those, you need to have earbuds/headphones on. Many times I am surprised but also impressed that these people have the talent/initiative to turn their ideas into channels with a significant following.

    BTW, if you haven’t seen family vlogs, that is also another rabbit hole. Think reality tv but actual reality where people document simple things like going to the market, getting ready, etc. Their main job is literally to document their lives! The most popular might be the Shaytards, but I like keeping up with the SacconeJolys. Zoella is one of the most subscribed to female YouTubers and she also has a vlog channel (and just to hint at their popularity, Zoella’s first book was that year’s fastest selling debut novel).

  75. Anna says...

    My son loves these too! Not even sure how we found them on youtube but they were a huge help in using as a reward during potty training!

    • Beth says...

      What a great tip! Wish we had thought of that when we were potty training our son.

  76. I have never heard of this and my daughter is 9 years old already! Even though my husband and I work heavily with high tech computers (a software architect and a radiation oncologist), we brought up our daughter with minimal technology: no iPad or even a television. It wasn’t like we took some sort of heroic refusal of such things. It started out as a money saving method: we needed the highest speed internet to both work at night after she went to bed, so we cut out cable tv. To satiate her appetite for new discoveries, we borrow books from the library twice a week and watch DVDs borrowed from the library or Amazon prime. Since books are the primary source of entertainment for her, she has borrowed and read over two thousand books to date. She did get an iPod six months ago, and use it to listen to music (her second favorite past time after books). One of my favorite post of yours is “Trying Out Slow Parenting”, because I am firm believer of that philosophy! Kids’ brains need the time and space to make their own connections and deepen their understanding of the world. Your boys are so adorable, enjoy and savor these tender years!

  77. Isabel says...

    Oh yes, I’m familiar with these videos. I was so weirded out by my toddler’s fascination with them that I had my tech-savvy husband block them from our server.

  78. This phenomenon reminds me of the popularity of those whispering videos. Who knew that was a thing? Well, someone did!

  79. Kristi says...

    I know. Will our children fondly reminisce about surprise egg videos over beers when they are 28 just as I’ve done about Smurfs and Gummy Bears cartoons? A common link for a generation?

    I feel as though there is a neurophysiology experiment just waiting to be done to address this universal phenomenon among toddlers. Probably lights up the same parts of their little brains as heroin:(

  80. Molly says...

    Ok this may sound super strange, and I can’t believe I am commenting, but what if the fascination is a combo of the mystery reveal PLUS an auditory thing for some of these videos? The soft “popping” of the egg could be weirdly satisfying?
    When I was really little I would watch certain movies on repeat simply because I liked the sound of their shoes when they walked, or how they would uncrumple a piece of paper–I know–WEIRD. Just a thought!

  81. Jess says...

    My husband and I were recently introduced to this phenomenon and the phenomenon of YouTube videos where a grown adult plays with a child’s toy (sometimes using a child-like voice to narrate). I don’t get it, but I also don’t get the appeal of PewdiePie.

  82. Raina says...

    My daughters found videos on youtube (SOMEHOW?!?!?!) of little girls playing with barbies. Just… little girls playing with barbies, as my OWN little girls sit there, holding their own barbies. So so strange!

    • At least they only found the children playing. Mine found grown women playing with the dolls (disembodied but not sure that makes it any less creepy)…

  83. Sorry I don’t get it lol. We call them Kinder Eggs x

  84. Sofia says...

    us humans… we’re so weird.

  85. the first two sentences of this post are everything! hahah… im sad to admit that my toddler is way into these too. he watches one thats a little different, but still similar, where they name the color of everything they find so….educational? sort of? hahaha…

  86. Katie says...

    This is so interesting! I’m just curious… why do so many people (in the comments on this post) dislike these videos? Why do you think it’s creepy? I’m genuinely curious? It seems like a “haul” video for kids!

    • Jessica says...

      Same curiosity here, Katie! I love your comparison to a “haul” video. Actually, after reading some of the comments here, I did wonder if it’s any different than me watching Lisa Eldridge’s beauty tutorials on YouTube. I also find them incredibly soothing. I mean, the subject seems weird (I also don’t have kids), but I wonder if there is something similar to what adults watch that probably seem nonsensical to kids (I’m thinking about cooking and home renovation shows, for instance).

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i think the suspense may be a big part of it. what’s in the egg? it’s a good feeling, like how WAITING to open your presents of christmas morning can be even more fun then playing with the presents themselves.

    • Roxana says...

      I think the fact that it’s so manufactured is what makes me uncomfortable. Like it’s abusing a sense of anticipation or wonder that you’d otherwise experience when opening a present. Not sure?

      Also, I think the difference between this and a home reno show, etc. is that in those instances you’re watching a progression. There are steps. There’s a logic involved. With these eggs it’s just a mindless “Pop! What’s the tchotchke inside?” Incidentally, I don’t think there is a child alive who doesn’t love tchotchkes. I don’t know why I bother buying *real* presents for my kids when they’d be just as happy with a bag full of junk from the Dollar Store.

      To be clear, I don’t think these weird videos are so egregious, but since you’re asking :).

  87. I am thankful that my Son moved on from these videos. I don’t even know how it happened. One minute he was watching an innocent video about kittens and the next thing I hear is some annoying family talking about surprise eggs and describing the attributes of Superhero toys with the Dad talking in all sorts of voices. It was bad news.

  88. Olma says...

    I’m speechless! :)

  89. Amy says...

    My three-year-old is obsesssssed with them too. To the point that in order to keep him quiet for 10 minutes at church we bring a bunch of old Easter eggs and some fruit snacks and he plays Surprise Eggs (until the fruit snacks are gone). YouTube Kids is a great app in theory if you need to get something done around the house but…

    • Heather says...

      That actually makes a lot of sense to me. This is how I survive my metro commute with my toddler twins: I give them little containers they have to figure out how to open that have cheerios or goldfish inside. Sometimes they get frustrated and throw the containers on other passengers. Or they get bored and drop them on the ground so I’m on my knees in the metro trying to find a plastic lid. But this is so far my best strategy. #LivingMyBestLife

  90. Kathryn says...

    I am confused.

    • SO confused. What is this?!

    • Heather says...

      I feel like I’m in the twilight zone with this post.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha

  91. Lauren says...

    After last week, I decided I’m never having kids. Now I’m sure.

    • Jessica says...

      Lauren, your comment just made me laugh so hard in my office that I almost choked on my Larabar. I needed a laugh today so cheers.

    • Audrey says...

      This made me LOL

    • Roxana says...

      Haha! You totally made me bust out laughing, too!

      And I have two kids, and I’m pregnant.

      Reconsider! Look at the community of which you could be a part! Look at the insanity you could embrace! :)

  92. Amy says...

    My kids love these videos. They always find them. I thought it was just us!

  93. Addie says...

    Its like all paths lead to suprise eggs…and odd adults dressed as spiderman and Elsa!! I give our son the ipad to watch excavator videos and then I hear suprise eggs – its always 2 clicks ways – its like the rabbit hole of ridiculous!! At least its not just me….yes You Tube has gotten a back seat because the adult spiderman videos just creep me out

  94. Auste says...

    I’m so confused. Very glad my littles haven’t discovered this. I think we’ll go out and jump in some leaves this afternoon. Seems equally pointless, yet so much more fun.

    • Ashley F. says...

      I agree with you, this is so weird and confusing. I’ve never heard of this, but also I barely ‘watch’ YouTube except for certain music. I don’t understand parents saying they hate these videos… Then don’t let your kids watch YouTube? I’m especially bothered that people say their kids are finding these videos, meaning they have free reign to search whatever they want? Kids don’t need this mindless screen time. They need things to stimulate their imagination, to make things, to go outside, etc.

  95. Had never seen these and hope my son doesn’t discover them. I did a HUGE parenting mistake a few years ago. I got this wild hair to create an advent like “calendar” for his birth month. We ALL like to celebrate all month, right? so I saved toilet paper rolls…wrapped them in a tissue paper and filled each one (of the 18 to count down to his birthday on the 19th) with a toy, or a treat, or cash…one even had a roll of quarters. he LOVED it. LOVED. so the parenting fail part, he now demands it every year. and I get to hear and see real tears if I say “oh I don’t think we’ll do that this year.” wtf was I thinking! I’ve created a monster! in camouflage tissue paper. its ALMOST worse than the elf on the shelf…which I made my son buy himself and even though I explained it would NOT be moving around..he insists it moves. yeah I stuck it up in the corner of my closet, he saw it yesterday…mere hours after I put it there (it had come out for his birthday, because the damn thing has a book for their birthday and you have to decorate a damn chair…that he SAT on) can you hear the bitterness? I.am.bitter.

    • Lauren says...

      This is hilarious! You sound like an awesome and very realistic mom! :)

  96. Molly says...

    I was confused about these videos and others until my kids asked me, how is this any different from you watching someone cook dinner on food network? Don’t you cook dinner yourself every night? Why is watching it on TV so fascinating?

    And after that I thought, their down time is their down their down time. Why prohibit something so harmless?

    • t says...

      Ha! I love this. Smart kids.

    • Cooking shows can teach skills? Not sure what is being learned by watching the same basic action repeated ad nauseum?

    • Ana says...

      I really appreciate your kid’s point of view.
      My son used to watch Lightening McQueen surprise egg videos; and my thought was always “Who does this? Who makes these videos?” but I never forbid him to watch it; he only gets half an hour on iPad, so I’ll let him watch anything I feel comfortable with (I sit with him reading so I can keep an eye on his choices).
      I believe the repetition soothes him. Precisely like me watching Jamie Oliver chopping coriander, something I do every day.

  97. Nina says...

    I could have written this exact first paragraph! These videos, and my 5-year old daughter’s love for them, annoy my husband and I to no end!

  98. I didn’t know this was a thing! But I know my kid would totally love it. When my husband and I started dating, we made surprise balls and gave them out to all his little cousins for Christmas. It was a huge hit.

  99. Liz says...

    Even though we give my 4 yo an iPad to watch a particular show (Peppa Pig is his current obsession), if we look away for even just a moment, he has somehow found his way to one of these videos. He loves them. But we have a new household rule – no videos with hands.

    These are so weird, especially because I don’t understand what the adult (the one with the disembodied hands) gets out of the deal? Are they making money or do they just get a kick out of doing it?

    • Ha ha ha “No videos with hands” I love it.

    • Annie says...

      Yes they make TONS of money off the ads that YouTube places. The most popular performer (?) made $5,000,000 in 2014. Five million dollars for opening up plastic eggs and describing what’s inside. Every single one of us is in the wrong line of business…

    • karinny says...

      Yes, youtube pays big money to people with many subscribers. There are people who’s job is to be an youtuber.

    • Roxana says...

      $5,000,000?!?!?!?!??!?! WHAT? I am blown away.

      And feel like the biggest chump ever for not thinking of this.

  100. Dee says...

    These are the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen and we always change the video if our daughter manages to find it on YouTube. I’m ok with buying her an occasional Kinder egg – it’s one thing to open it yourself, it’s another to watch a video if someone else opening eggs.

  101. Antonia says...

    I loathe these videos (and the ones that are like a big toys r us commercial)! Had to remove the YouTube for kids app because they popped up more and more frequently. I wish you could block certain videos on YouTube or just pick the ones you want in a rotation!

    • Laura says...

      You can turn off auto play, so videos won’t be continuously lined up to play next. I think you can also make playlists of videos, or choose from one already made where you can see the line up.

    • Antonia says...

      Thank you Laura!!

  102. Jen says...

    OMG – I am so glad you wrote this post because my boys (2.5 and 4) are obsessed with Surprise Eggs. I truly wish I could delete theYouTube icon on my Apple TV. There’s another one that comes up from time to time – the Finger Family – not sure if your boys have wound their way to one of those videos. If so, I am truly sorry ;-)

    • The finger family. OMG – that sounds so terrifying…

    • Madie says...

      OMG there is one we call “Crazy Babies” where all 5 babies perpetually do something they’re not supposed to do (one at a time), so the mom tells the dad and the dad intervenes (as if! Ha!) It’s like crack for my 3 y/o but my husband and I just cannot deal.

    • Laura says...

      Yeah there are a few finger family YouTube channels and they are all frightening.

  103. M says...

    As someone without kids, I’m curious how normal it is these days for toddlers to have free rein of YouTube (to “discover” these videos). I guess I would have assumed that there’s so much crazy stuff in the internet that kids wouldn’t be allowed to peruse for themselves, but I can understand the appeal to let them entertain themselves with an iPad or phone.

    On that note, I think posts on navigating technology with kids would be really interesting!

    • Katharine says...

      I have two little boys and was so confused by these comments also of kiddos “finding” them. Our kids definitely watch shows but it’s a dictatorship to no end. We give them two choices and that’s it. No finding or discovering and it has to be something I can stand 😂

    • Sid says...

      As someone with kids, I find it crazy how many people do let their kids have free reign on YouTube. My kids have gotten tonnes of time with pads/phones/devices since they were toddlers but, ever since I had the quasi-traumatic experience of discovering videos of people putting animatronic Sesame Street characters (e.g., Tickle Me Elmo) in compromising positions, my kids have no access to YouTube. Between a Netflix “kids” profile and awesome ad-free apps from Sago, Toca Boca, etc. I think they’ve got plenty of non-creepy entertainment options.

    • Agreed. There is insane sh*t on youtube. And I do not like how on the most harmless video, there can be a non-kid friendly commercial. We do not use it at our house (3.5 and 1.5 year old)

  104. Laura C. says...

    My three years old girl likes them, too. It’s my mom who shows them to her- albeit I’ve tell her many times not to use the smartphone and give her some crayons!

  105. Yvonne says...

    my 3 year old is also obsessed with these and they are so very very weird! Glad to hear its a widespread obsession lol

  106. Lana says...

    In Canada, you can get Kinder Surprise eggs – chocolate with a toy inside. The US banned them though because they thought it was a choking hazard (which all Canadians think is kind of ridiculous).

    • Katie_B says...

      I came to check if any Canadians had weighed in yet! I’d never heard of the videos, but my kids looooove Kinder eggs – the crappy plastic toys are (weirdly) cherished long after the chocolate is gone!

    • Emily R says...

      They may be banned, but you can still buy them in some places in the US, or have friends/family bring them over from Europe. We used to buy huge quantities on long trips abroad – and we were 20 somethings. Although I have no desire to watch a video of them, they can break up a long car ride or train ride.

    • Cec says...

      If your kids like these videos, why not make them real surprise eggs from time to time instead of letting them watch these?

    • Jules D says...

      Same in France and Europe. I grew up with Kinder eggs. I never liked milk chocolate but I always loved a good surprise. I would take the toy and give the chocolate to my siblings! These videos are… weird.

  107. Mandy says...

    My daughter also got sucked into these “Toy Movies” a while back! They’re so creepy! I couldn’t take it anymore, and we successfully banned watching them several months ago—we’re all better off for it. 😖

    • Jessica says...

      Ugh, my daughter was sucked into those too and I couldn’t stand half of the kids or parents on them. We had to delete YouTube Kidz app, very disappointing that you can’t select which videos they can watch. Once we deleted it, we noticed her behavior was so much better in the evenings if she just watches a show on tv instead. Right now we are hooked on Full House reruns!

    • Jessica, it’s so interesting that it affects her behavior.

  108. Cheryl says...

    Somehow we’ve avoided the egg craze but my daughter is hypnotized by the woman on YouTube who makes dresses for Disney figurines out of Play-Doh. She has tens of millions of views that are very puzzling. Sure, the woman has interesting manicures all the time. But most importantly the videos contains sounds that are oddly soothing: the crack of a lid opening. The relaxing rhythm of hands molding and rolling. The clicks of the tool making the accessories. There have been studies that it’s not so much the content of the video but the way the narrator speaks that is calming and those sounds appeal to our senses. It results in a LOT of people turning in. They’re not sure why they’re watching, it can’t be for just the Play-Doh product. It’s also the entire package of the video itself being not just *kind of* hypnotizing but hypnotizing in a real sense.

    • Lara says...

      ASMR videos are designed for that purpose; the biggest channels have more than half a million subscribers each and cater solely to triggering this type of relaxation.

  109. Miruska says...

    This is why a Kinder egg is still such a hit. At least it is for me. You have no idea what toy you’ll get. I tell people it’s the chocolate but I am not kidding anybody. It’s all about that toy and a surprise. And i am 44.

  110. PH says...

    “They craft eggs the size of port-a-potties in their backyards and let their kids tear them apart with mallets.” I see you have discovered Hobby Kids on YouTube. Bane of my existence for about 6 months. Beyond the absurdity of it all is the mass consumption of THINGS which bothered me to no end. I’m sure some of that stuff (all supplied by toy companies for FREE) ends up in a donation pile but the phenomenon just make me nauseous. If you don’t know these exist then you are indeed living your best life. (great line by the way)

    • Brianna says...

      Is an egg the size of a port-a-potty different from an American pinata (which I guess is technically a Mexican tradition)? I’m not being snarky – I’m genuinely curious.

  111. Donnie says...

    Ugh, these videos are the worst!! If I find our son watching them, I quickly change the video to Peppa Pig or something!

  112. Heather says...

    I am genuinely confused

  113. Mary says...

    This is hysterical!!! ❤️❤️❤️

  114. This is the strangest thing I’ve ever seen! I had no idea!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      they are the weirdest!!!! anton recently discovered them and keeps asking for them. he is transfixed. so odd.