5 Moronic Stunts YouTube Stars Won't Quit Doing
If you're under a certain age, you already know that the real celebrities aren't on sitcoms or prestige cable dramas -- they're on YouTube, shouting into the camera to a generation of enthralled teenage viewers. If you're over a certain age and try to watch those channels, you will be very, very confused. The medium seems to be dominated by horrifyingly wealthy young vloggers who channel their creative passions into personality-driven shows that involve the host's friends and family. Their daily exploits run the gamut from pranks to reality show melodrama to perplexing and/or tragic attempts at musical stardom
I've soaked up dozens of hours of these videos, and at the risk of sounding too old and cranky to get it, it really does kind of seem like these guys ran out of good ideas just seconds after purchasing their cameras ...
They All Do The Exact Same Pranks and Stunts
It's a rule that every vlogger's video library must contain some Slimer bukkake pranks. Someone invented a powder that turns water into green slime, and the Logan Pauls of the world burn through metric tons of the stuff. You might have noticed that one of the videos I linked there got more viewers (20 million) than the Game Of Thrones season finale. The creators of that show spent tens of millions of dollars creating plausible dragons, when they could have just been pouring green slime on their giggling bros. So who's the dummy here?
Also weirdly popular: hide and seek. The extravagant homes and super cars that surround some of the most popular vloggers can make you forget that most of them are teenagers who now have enough money to keep dark thoughts of maturity at bay. So in the interim, they'll all keep playing hide and seek in grocery stores and mansions, continuing to make piles of cash off of something that once got me banned from a Walmart.
Meanwhile, typing "cheating on girlfriend prank" into the YouTube search bar is a password that unlocks a magical kingdom of misery. It's countless videos of men pretending to be adulterers and women reacting with faux shock or shock shock. It's like a family video that you'll eventually show your children to give them an idea of the good ol' days, when Mommy thought that her relationship and existence were crumbling around her, and Daddy was a sociopath. Tired of waiting for the newest season of Black Mirror on Netflix? Just go to YouTube! Seasons 5 through 1,000 are already there!
They All Still Do The Damn Diet Coke And Mentos Thing
When the world is but ash and humanity is an irradiated deformed husk of its former self, vloggers of the wastelands will deplete our strategic reserves of Mentos and Diet Coke in a last-ditch effort to really wow our barbarian mutant overlords with their ingenuity in exchange for sparing their lives and/or granting an Instagram follow. It will fail, as that novelty always has since its brief heyday in the Before Times.
While the rest of us moved on from the Mentos and Diet Coke rage, the fascination with the carbonated explosion never ended for YouTube's most popular vloggers. I'm guessing that since most of their viewers were zygotes when man first dropped a bland mint into diet soda, the tired meme is new to them. So why not repeat it thousands of times until this vein stops spitting oil?
To be fair, there are some slight variations. For example, there are thousands of videos of Vloggers filling huge durable balloons called Wubble Bubbles with Diet Coke and dropping in Mentos in to generate the same astonishing result every time: nothing. And vloggers wanting to "take it up a notch" took baths in Diet Coke and Mentos, just like tens of thousands of others had already done a long time ago. Diet Coke and Mentos rockets. Diet Coke and Mentos pools. Diet Coke and Mentos fucking enemas, probably. I mean, someone has to have rammed some minty Coke fizz up their asshole by now.
After having been made aware of this barely explored genre, 17 vloggers are preparing to ram Coke up their asses. They'll have five million views each by the time you're done reading this sentence.
Showing Off Their Sports Cars And Then Getting Pulled Over In Them
What's the fun of being a Richie Rich for a new generation if you can't constantly remind everyone that you own more cars than you have asses that can sit in them? And not just a couple of Corollas, but the fastest, most powerful street-legal cars money can buy -- being driven by kids who got their driver's license eight minutes before they bought their third Ferrari.
Some use their daily vlogs to make a big show of their new car purchases. Jake Paul (the brother of the aforementioned Logan Paul, obviously) seemed to be riding high on an eight-ball before he started rolling cameras the day he picked up his new Tesla, which had been outfitted with custom gear. If that sounds like harmless spending, he also mentions that his new $45,000 bed is supposed to be delivered that day. And then, to stick the landing and take the silver medal in the Insufferable Olympics, he goes on an adventure trying to find a dealership in Los Angeles that will let his 15-year-old friend buy a $400,000 Ferrari before he's legally allowed to drive it.
Meanwhile, the Dobre twins and their non-twin brothers shed tears when they bought their dream cars, and cried again when they bought more dream cars, but could no longer muster tears as they bought even more dream cars, all in less than a year. Along with pranks and videos of their general daily adventures, producing videos of themselves buying new super cars that pay for different new super cars is a big part of a YouTube vlogger's regular rotation of recurring bits. But when buying cars that cost more than the average house becomes passe, you have to freshen things up by being constantly pulled over in those cars.
And even when they are stopped by actual police, they'll keep the cameras rolling and turn the eventual legal consequences into a dramatic story arc, as even the nation's criminal justice system is but a cog in the YouTuber content creation machine. It seems to be a specialty of Tanner Fox, whose run-ins with traffic cops are functionally similar to fan-favorite recurring characters on sitcoms. They burst in to disrupt the flow of an otherwise-uninteresting episode to whip out their beloved catchphrases like "We clocked you going 100 in a residential neighborhood" and "We're getting tired of pulling you over."
They Want The World To Know That They Buy People Very Expensive Gifts
Fox assures his viewers that he's not bragging when he flashes stacks of cash that amount to somewhere north of $20,000, which he later uses to buy his friend a car. Flashy generosity is how YouTube vloggers display their utter selflessness. All of them desperately want to make it rain on strippers with the unbridled joy of a rapper, but they first need to reflect on how #blessed they are.
Buying their girlfriends Louis Vuitton bags filled with Louis Vuitton shoes. Buying their dads the Harley-Davidsons they've always wanted. Buying their roommates $20,000 Rolexes. Surprising their brothers with $10,000 Gucci shopping sprees. They're amassing a treasure chest of high-priced items that they'll eventually sell for a fraction of its value when their ad money dries up, possibly at a police auction.
Obviously, giving gifts to loved ones off-camera would be pointless; those cameras are their own portable public relations team. At any moment, they can let everybody know they're both very wealthy and the second coming of Christ. They've turned public gift-giving into its own genre, like a kiddie version of Entourage crossed with an Oprah studio audience giveaway.
They Make Terrible Rap Videos
Hip-hop began as an art form that gave a voice to poor kids who could only express themselves with a turntable and a fistful of rhymes. Now it's used by rich internet celebrities as a vehicle for bragging about view counts and Instagram drama.
Pretending you're tougher than you are is a prerequisite for being a rapper. It's no different for rapping vloggers. Problem is, there's nothing inherently tough about YouTube-famous teenagers with Disney Channel shows like Jake Paul, whose track "It's Everyday Bro" features lyrics threatening to knock PewDiePie from his perch atop the Youtube charts.
During a feud with JAY-Z, Lil Wayne once threatened to kidnap and ransom Beyonce to test how much Jay was willing to pay for his own wife. Meanwhile, this bleach-blond dude on YouTube is trying to menace a wispy racist-for-the-lulz guy who plays video games for a living. Somewhere, every member of the Wu-Tang Clan just felt a phantom pain in their chest.
All their attempts at hip-hop stardom share a lot in common, like how none of them are good. They're all a bunch of kids with new media money with nothing to say, so they all default to dissing each other. It's Prank Show Host against Unboxing Video Maven, Trust Fund Vanilla Ice against Video Game Live-Streamer, Brother against Literal Brother. And I'm not making that last part up. Jake Paul's older brother Logan released a diss track targeting Jake which looks like a neocon recruitment video.
This picture wants to deport me.
There's Ricegum's deeply not-good attempt at feuding with Jake Paul with a video for the song "Its EveryNight Sis ," which features an appearance by Paul's ex-girlfriend. It includes the lyric "Diss tracks, you are my reflection like a mirror is." Lyric annotations site Genius says that line is Ricegum suggesting that Paul is ripping off the YouTube diss track genre which Ricegum popularized. I don't have a followup point for that information, but it does make a good argument in favor of occasional unstoppable super-viruses.
And then there's Howdy Doody doppelganger Tanner Fox, described in a YouTube vlogger wiki as "a professional stunt scooter rider" -- a title that infuriates me for being the perfect punchline that I never got the chance to write. Tanner wrote a rap song called "We Do It Best." Listen and despair:
It includes one line that sums up not just his attempt at a rap career, but also every vlogger who tries to make the same illogical leap: "Boy, I just rapped." I swear on my mother's life, I will not stop until I find the late-1980s D.A.R.E. PSA he stole that line from. It sounds like the kind of thing Mr. T would cut from a first draft of a rap about holding the door open for people for not being hard enough. A bunch of squeaky-voiced teens selfied themselves into a fortune, so of course the next logical step is the domination of hip-hop. That's not an artist expanding their wings. That's mass delusion.
Maybe you'll never afford a Ferrari like these dweebs, but you can get a computer mouse shaped like one. It even lights up!
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