"Kids React to... Websites! This episode: TV Tropes!"
React is Exactly What It Says on the Tin — the Fine Brothers, Benny and Rafi, who produce other material on their channel but are best known for this, show viral videos, popular songs, YouTube stars or the like to various people of different age groups, the first of which is Kids React where children from 4 to 14 years old react to such videos. This series, which debuted on October 16, 2010, won a special Daytime Emmy Award in 2012 for "Best Viral Video Series" and it was no slouch in winning this either, considering that the series went up against the likes of Epic Meal Time and College Humor's Jake And Amir.When teenage kids enter high school, they "graduate" to Teens React, the second age group in the React series which debuted November 17, 2011 and is based around a similar principle, just with teenagers ages 14 to 18. (After they graduate from high school, they remain on Teens React until they turn 19.) Since those two were made, another React series debuted on May 24, 2012 called Elders React, which obviously has elderly people in the main roles.The React series came full circle when YouTubers React debuted on December 6, 2012, and yes, this is the closest thing that this show will get to a "Non-Elderly Adults React".All React episodes can be found on the TheFineBros YouTube channel here.As of this video, new Kids React and Teens React episodes come out interchangeably on Sundays, new YouTubers React episodes come out every other Thursday, and new Elders React episodes come out at least once a month on Thursdays when there isn't a new episode of either YouTubers React or Spoiler Alert!note Which is another series that the Fine Brothers do that is also Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
So what examples of tropes have been used in the React shows?
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Absentee Actor: Despite that they rotate the people around, there are a few regulars and fan favorites missing every now and then. Lia not appearing in "Teens React to Jacksfilms" and "Teens React to Dumb Ways to Die" are standout examples.
Ambiguously Brown: Dylan and Emma R. from Kids, Britney and Brianna from Teens and some others.
And Now For Something Completely Different: "Teens React to Slender" where in the then-longest React episode ever, rather than having the teens watch to an online video and responding afterwards, they are forced to play a scary computer game with stage lights dimmed, headphones on, and their reactions while playing are captured in real-time. (They still react afterwards, though.) In a much later episode, they got to play Happy Wheels.
The elders do the same in "Elders React to Flappy Bird".
During "Kids React to Rotary Phones", instead of watching a video, the kids attempted to use rotary phones and discussed the progression of technology.
Audience Participation: Almost every single topic is suggested by fans, although some viewers have negatively commented on the overwhelming preference for more recent topics. Some of the regulars on the React shows have even questioned why did viewers pick some of the videos they've watched, and have made pleas to the fans to pick something better than what they've put up with.
Don got the "Bad Ass" overlay when asked what he would have said to someone in the past who predicted that computer-generated Vocaloid music would fill a stadium. His answer? "I would have said, 'Go f*ck yourself.'"
In "Elders React to Eyeball Licking", Rock was deemed a bad ass after saying that if he caught some guy licking his granddaughter's eyeball, he'd threaten him with a shotgun.
Bill received this overlay in "Elders React to Hunger Games: Catching Fire" by saying he'd win by starting off nice to the other competitors but he'd also be prepared to kill them. When Benny asked him if was ready to kill himself and Rafi, Bill replied, "Pretty much," and laughed about it.
Naturally, Maisie Williams got the "BAD ASS" overlay when asked how Arya Stark would react to a demonic baby in "Teens React to Devil Baby Attack".
Maisie: "She would just decapitate it. It'd be, like, quick reactions, like BOOM! STAB!"
Even Justine Ezarik (iJustine), generally considered to be one of the cheeriest and happiest of the YouTubers, got this overlay when she was asked how'd she react to being a photobombed news reporter by replying that she would throw him on the ground by the neck.
Bilingual Bonus: Maksim (not the piano player) says goodbye in his native Russian at the end of "Dragon Baby" as well as something a bit longer at the end of "Kids React to The Hobbit". Olga Kay does the same thing at the end of "YouTubers React to Vines".
Invoked in "Kids React to Schmoyoho" when Benny asks the kids which past video in the series they'd want to get the Autotune treatment.
You couldn't tell without watching the overlays, but Sam and Niko of Corridor Digital appear in "YouTubers React to Boxxy", which came right after "Kids React to Corridor Digital".
"Teens React to Epic Rap Battles of History" could be considered one to "Thrift Shop", from the sheer amount of Squee from the bulk of the teens to Ethan admitting that white rappers are growing as a thing.
Catchphrase: Lia's "creeper" and Morgan's "Follow me, camera!" There's also Eric's "Swag".
Lia did stop using "creeper" after, of all things, "Kids React to Minecraft", but she finally said it again in the Teens and Elders React crossover episode, "Teens/Elders React to Election 2012".
Invoked one time with Morgan (ignoring her no-longer-used, "Follow me, camera!" catchphrase). She yells out "Pig supreme!" when reacting to the Rebecca Black video ("It was like "pig supreme". It's a dessert with a pig on top"), which would fit all the requirements of a catchphrase apart from her using it only one other time. (In the same filming session, but shown in a different video, she shouts "Very fantastic. Pig Supreme" when reacting to Talking Twin Babies.)
Cloudcuckoolander: Morgan, every now and then. Justified since she's five years old at the beginning of the series. In recent days she's been growing out of that, or at least she's better at expressing it... along with some Hidden Depths.
Dylan also started out as being a bit of this, but then later he started showing his own hidden depths... and started wearing glasses.
Royel and Emma R. are often this as well, and they're both about the same age at six years old. Sadly Emma's been growing out of it, but Maksim (also 6!) is a serious contender.
Maksim: "I wish my parents were witches and wizards, then I can do everything I want."
Maksim: "Does that mean they're a gate? Or the Golden Gay Bridge?"
Maksim: "If I got a box of microscopes, would I be gay?" (After being explained that "gay" used to mean "happy")
Maksim(Explaining the problems of some states not recognizing same-sex marriage): "Some people wanna live in one state, and... and they wanna get married... and they just move to the other state, but I'm afraid there's tornadoes... I don't wanna go there, but I have to, because I wanna marry someone I like, that's not right."
Some of the elders are this when they get into things, especially Diane. Newcomer Laura can seem a bit... out of touch at times, then in "Elders React to Grand Theft Auto" she suddenly expressed a (disturbing) interest in illegal activity. Oooookay.
Color-Coded Characters: The shows' thumbnails on YouTube; a yellow background for Kids, cyan for Teens, grey for Elders and fittingly, red for YouTubers.note Well actually, YouTubers React's thumbnails use a red frame surrounding a space shaped like the site's logo, which has YouTubers in front of a blue background within it.
There is also the first (and so far, only) cross-generational React episode in "Teens/Elders React to Election 2012". Kids React had a separate, individual episode, though their reactions were mentioned to both the teens and the elders.
William and Dylan in "Jedi A-holes Strike Back" by Freddie Wong, who returns the favor by appearing in YouTubers React episode 2.
Deadpan Snarker: Plenty of the older kids fall into this, mostly Jake and William. Out of the teens, Rumor, Tom, Adam, Alix, and most definitely Eric have their moments. YouTubers React takes this Up to Eleven of course, and the elders are naturally in a class of their own.
Benny Fine: "Do you want to get married one day?" Adam: "Yes. (Beat) I couldn't think of anything smartass to say."
Don't Try This at Home: The Fine Brothers put up this warning for "Kids React to Cinnamon Challenge", "Elders React to Challenges (Cinnamon, Salt & Ice, and Milk Chug)", and "YouTubers React to Knife Game Song", and for good reason, too.
Jake Short: "All of the stuff in this video was attempted by non-professionals, so don't try this at home. Try it at your friend's house."
With "Elders React To Eyeball Licking", the Fine Brothers didn't out and out say this as they did with the other ones, but they did show all the health risks it involves, plus the phrase "if you don't want any of the 650+ diseases you can get from this, don't do it", and also highlighted the elders pointing out how stupid the idea is.
Dirty Old Man: Not really, but a few of the male elders had no particular qualms in commenting on the attractiveness of certain young females in the videos.
Boy, were the YouTubers disturbed when Benny mentioned that Magibon's most popular demographic were men 45 and older.
Eagleland/Testosterone Poisoning: The "BAD ASS" overlay involves camo patterns, warpaint, bullet holes, a bandolier with throwing knives and to top it off, a bald eagle carrying a machine gun.
Invoked (with the latter trope) during "Teens React to FPS Russia", of course.
Adam: "It's too awesome for words, maybe short grunt noises like UUHHH!! UURRRHH!!1"
Expy: Emma R. is a lot like Morgan back when the latter was 5.
There are some differences between what they like and dislike though; Morgan loved the PonPonPon music video, while Emma R. was just screaming in horror.
Bryson could also be seen as an Expy of the long-absent William (though he joined the kids well before William actually left).
Interestingly, William's snark and savvy seems to be separated between Eric and Adam from Teens.
Ethan's been deliberately growing one, even leaving his afro pick in it sometimes... until he trimmed it right off by "Teens React to The Fox". Sigh.
Fun T-Shirt: Several from the teens, YouTubers and even elders. Of special note, Alix has a The Legend of Zelda one, and newcomer Richard from Elders has this 'Irish Yoga' one.
Gender-Blender Name: The black chick on Teens is named Kennedy, and a blonde girl in Kids is named Cooper.
Genre Blind: In spite of the many examples of Genre Savvy throughout all the shows, a few examples crop up every now and then.
Literally none of the YouTubers expected that they would be the victims of a Rickroll. When the Fine Brothers offered to show them some news footage related to it, literally only three people worked out it was going to happen again, and of those three two of them were a double act. Lampshaded by Jack Douglass, who commented "Should have seen that coming!"
Genre Savvy: There are many examples, and generally anyone who's on the show becomes this if they aren't already.
Yehuda is the first one to be suspicious of the mirrors in the elevator. Rock apparently anticipated the direction the video would take when the first male victim appeared.
Quite a few guys predicted the screaming goat in YouTubers React #6. Similarly, Smosh even mentions Rule of Three for the Knife Game one.
Kurt Schneider was the only person to predict that Don't Hug Me, I'm Scared was going to suddenly get disturbing, even timing his guess as to when it was going to happen and getting it exactly right.
This gem from "Teens React to The Fox":
Tom: "It's funny, 'cause I just seen these guys on Ellen, the talk show and... I knew that was one of your questions I just knew it!"
"YouTubers React to the Farting Preacher". Phillip DeFranco was the first to assume Pastor Tilton met some kind of Laser-Guided Karma eventually, as well as predicting the "fart version" of the whole episode whether they consented or not.
Loads and Loads of People: There are quite more than a few regulars that get rotated around often in each React series. Usually, these recurring people may be absent so that the Fine Bros can balance each episode between regulars, newcomers, and the occasional Special Guest.
"YouTubers React to the Farting Preacher". Half of the guests actually sensed that the fart sounds were being added to the episode "right now" rather than in postproduction.
Mood Whiplash: What follows "Teens React to Bullying (Amanda Todd)"? "Kids React to 'It's Thanksgiving' (Nicole Westbrook)".
Near the end of the latter episode, Morgan went from being calm and polite to mad and argumentative upon hearing that a lot of people dislike the song just for the heck of it. Note that Morgan was one of only a couple kids who likes this song and was very defensive of it.
Benny Fine: So many people are so mean about this video, but you're so nice about it.
Morgan: Thank you.
Rafi Fine: So many people seem to find it fun to not like videos.
Morgan: That is bad! Bad! Just don't even give it thumbs down, just say you hate it, but don't show it!
There's several cases of conflicting views lined up together.
Nice Hat: Some kids and teens on random occasions. Jake's fedora is a notable Kids React example.
Rock from Elders wore his stetson into the studio for "Election 2012" and (quite appropriately) "Gangnam Style".
Yehuda Fine wears his black baseball cap backwards.
Jeordy's feathered hat in "Teens React to the Cup Song"
N-Word Privileges: From Ethan laughing off the idea that he would still be a slave if not for progress and amendments, to Royel just blurting out "is he black?" in response to the One Pound Fish guy (Pakistani, for the record).
Once per Episode: Question Time!note Only Kids React shouts it; the others don't even have an exclamation point.
One of Us: Several kids on the show, especially William. Also invoked with the teens, and seems to be the whole point of YouTubers React.
A beautiful one at the end of "Elders React to Jersey Shore":
Catherine: "Take a shower, wash your hair, put on some clothes, go out and get a job and leave us the f—k alone."
One of the rare meaningful ones from "Teens React to Dumb Ways to Die":
Kostas: "Big things going really fast are gonna f—k you up, so don't f—k with trains." Overlay: "KNOWLEDGE (A public service announcement from Teens React)"
We got one from Jordan Maron, aka CaptainSparklez in "YouTubers React to Farting Preacher". Normally, he doesn't use swearwords beyond "crap", or "damn", but upon learning that the farting videos were fake we get this gem.
The Bus Came Back: There was a long period of time when Morgan was absent from Kids React, but she has since returned to the series a bit older now.
The Quiet One: Rafi, probably because he's operating the camera. Benny is the one who asks the questions, with Rafi speaking up only rarely (though he can often be heard laughing at a response along with Benny).
There were also three or four instances of Words of Zen.
A Teens React-specific one has Eric trying to hook up with the pretty women that he has just seen in the videos by giving out his phone number, only to be censored post-production after the 925 area code to protect his full identity.
Two of the girls in "Teens React to Dumb Ways To Die" immediately thought of The Hunger Games when the "playing with a wasps' nest" guy came up.* Katniss got the drop on a whole group of tributes by hiding up a tree, waiting for daybreak and dropping a hive of genetically enhanced bees on them.
Small Reference Pools: On average, about a fifth of the people already know of the subject matter. The teens (and YouTubers!) can be counted on to skew this figure up to a third, but not always - just watch what happened when Lia only just learned about Amanda Todd.
YouTubers React is virtually, "Special Guest: The Series".
Spin-Off: Teens React, Elders React, and YouTubers React are all really this to Kids React.
Strange Minds Think Alike: Lampshaded when the Fine Brothers tend to edit all the nearly-identical reactions in direct succession.
When the elders were asked about what they'd do to the Creepy Child ("Scary Elevator Prank") and the kids about what they'd do when approached by a stuffed dragon toy ("Dragon Baby"), the phrase "probably kick it" came up both times. Similarly, both Morgan from Kids and Madison from Teens say "put some pants on" in regards to the Harlem Shake.
Strictly Formula: We watch a bunch of people of a certain age group (or a bunch of Internet video celebrities) watch a video or a series of videos that are related to the subject of discussion and see their reactions to those videos. Then, two producer brothers ask them questions about what they've just watched. After that, the interviewees say goodbye to us and request that we give a thumbs up to the video we've watched, subscribe to the producers' YouTube channel, and suggest a new topic for them to cover.
One exception to the first part is "Teens React to Slender", which is explained in the Teens React folder. Also, the very special episodes often lack the goodbyes and replace the intro with a message from the Fine Brothers explaining why they've decided to have them tackle these stronger subjects.
YouTubers React tends to be about two-thirds Internet culture (either YouTubers or memes) and one-third pop culture.
Take a Third Option: Literally in "Teens React to Rick Perry's Strong"; a snap poll is taken and it's a landslide vote against voting for Rick Perry, until Devin goes "I'm more of a Ron Paul kind of guy". This is noted beside the scoreboard.
Take That: With so many different reactions, some fall under this, such as this quote:
Harley: "Let us know in the comments what you think the Fine Brothers should be forcing other YouTubers to watch next."
The Voice: The brothers never appeared onscreen until Benny appeared in the bonus footage of "Teens React to Prank vs. Prank'' (as well as Rafi's hand). Both of them appeared in a main video for the first time at the end of "Teens React to Harlem Shake". This is because obviously they want the focus on the subjects, not on them. Besides, it doesn't matter much, since they have appeared in the flesh in their other shows well before these videos were made.
Throw It In: Twins Megan and Shannon sometimes get sidetracked thanks to... well, each other.
The Teens have been shown Salad Fingers as well as Toddlers And Tiaras, and forced to play Slender, generally agreed to be one of the scariest games on the Internet, with the lights out and headphones on. Lampshaded when they were shown "Hot Problems", and one of the teens commented, "What did I do to you guys?"
The children have been shown Don't Hug Me, I'm Scared as well now. This counts for both the Fine Bros and the audience, the latter of whom got more flak as their suggestion resulted in the video.
Very Special Episode: Recognizable by the message screen before the opening, and the opening itself being more "solemn" (such as the Kids React opening lacking the children shouting the title). The Kids React episode for the interracial Cheerios commercial did not even have a title card.
Teens React also covered bullying, having been shown the Amanda Todd video on React's one hundredth episode. Weeks later, they've covered the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
In "YouTubers React to Rick Roll", Justine thought that the news report would be some news that Rick Astley had felt somebody up.
In "YouTubers React to Viral News Clips", Kurt Schneider, plus a few others, thought that the news clips would be autotuned.
In both the Kids React and YouTubers React episodes of Don't Hug Me, I'm Scared, the participants mistook it for a British version of Sesame Street.
Younger than They Look: Quite a few of the kids and teens. In particular, Mikaela only just joined Teens React, by way of turning fourteen well after Bryson and Seth, both of whom easily look younger than her. Also inverted, of course - for one, Jake Short returned to Teens React ("Hair Tutorial Gone Wrong") eight months after he first appeared in "Salad Fingers", and he HAS NOT AGED A DAY.
Breakout Kid: Likely due to being older, Lia Marie Johnson was significantly more popular than the other regular kids—which is probably what led to Teens React. She even appeared in the video that announced Teens React.
Morgan Bertsch seemed to be the viewers' new favorite kid on Kids React after Lia moved over to Teens React.
William Sherman was also a popular kid on the show, due to him being more aware of what happens on the Internet than any of the other kids, as well as for being a Deadpan Snarker. In the comments section of some post-William Kids React episodes, some fans have stated how much they miss him and even tried asking why was he no longer on the show.
Cat Fight: What Megan and Shannon do when asked if they could do any karate moves.
Special mention goes to Cooper, currently holding the record for youngest child by joining up at the age of 4.
Morgan, who wants to teach Honey Boo Boo how to play baseball, definitely counts.
Children Are Innocent: Occasionally subverted, but played straight a surprising number of times. For example, one kid commenting on "Don't Hug Me, I'm Scared" (particularly a disturbing part where a cake is cut open to reveal red, raw meat) insisted it was just "peanut butter and jelly," prompting the Aw... CUTE! overlay. Also, none of them understand why anyone would get angry over the Cheerios commercial portraying an interracial family.
What Are Records?: The kids in Kids React have no idea how to work a rotary phone. Granted, rotary phones have been obsolete for longer than some of the kids have been alive, but it's still interesting to watch their confused reactions.
What Were They Selling Again?: In "Kids React to The Epic Split", some of the kids don't even realize that the video they've seen was a commercial.
(On the Pitch Perfect "Cup Game" clip with Anna Kendrick kinda bending over) Rumor: "Can I just say that on Pitch Perfect, her... cleavage kinda bothered me..." Ethan James: (kinda stoned) "Like, she's really good... and she's hot, so I'd settle for her..."
Madison: "Oh. Future Pig... Sss... I have no idea." Lia: "For Peoples' Safety!" Eric: "Frequently... Piledriving... Sumo-wrestlers."
Episode Title Card: Sort of; it's the only React series that has a visibly unique Title Sequence for each episode, using black-and-white screenclips of some of the teens who appeared on the episode. The one you see on the image above is showing Kostas as he appeared on "Teens React to Pew Die Pie".
Ian Hecox: I had to dance behind the Shit Girls Say guy, and it was very creepy because he looked like a very attractive woman.
Bait and Switch: The Rick Roll in place of the bonus material doesn't count since that's the premise; that would be the sudden Nicolas Cage during "YouTubers React to Goat Remixes".
Book Ends: YouTubers React started with the subjects watching more than one clip, thus the episode itself is just numbered instead of "X React to Y", which is how Kids React started out like. This switched to standard format on the third episode.
The fact that episode one started with past dance crazes with "Evolution of Dance", and ended with one of the latest ones with "Gangnam Style".
Mondegreen: In the K-pop episode, Anthony and Ian of Smosh misheard the main line of the Girls' Generation song as "I got a boy on my chin". The real line is part English and part Korean, and translates to "I got a boy, a handsome one". With them being Smosh, this quickly went viral.
Mundane Made Awesome: This React series has the most dramatic background music, as if the Fine Bros are trying to tell us that watching YouTubers watching and reacting to other YouTube videos is awesome.
Mythology Gag: The title animation is actually based on the one for the Fine Brothers' Spoilers series.
Shane Dawson: "I've never done it... only three times... on all three of my channels."
Recycled Set: Up until episode 22 when they finally got a new set of their own, the YouTubers appeared on the other React series' sets* Which according to this behind-the-scenes video posted by Shay Carl, it's all one set. instead of an original set, and neither their age or gender had an effect on what set they appear on, although returning guests got the same backdrop as before for continuity's sake. The only thing that was unique to this React series before the new set was a small YouTubers React cling covering the laptop's logo, which still appears in newer episodes.
Rick Roll: Episode 5. Played straight in the bonus material.