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YouTube Kids' Channel

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This is one of the least bizarre ones.
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YouTube Kids' Channels are supposedly aimed at children 8 years or younger, and usually try to pass off as Edutainment. Though YouTube has hosted videos targeted to kids since its beginning, this new (and infamous) breed emerged in 2013-2017.

While they are notorious for their No Budget and unprofessional nature, some are widely infamous among parents and adults in general for their content that is rather inappropriate for their Target Audience, such as Family Unfriendly Aesops, not-so-subtle Vulgar Humor, Family-Unfriendly Violence, Nightmare Fuel, and just plain weirdness. A large majority of them feature popular copyrighted cartoon characters from whatever is most popular with kids at the time, often without researching them. Mickey Mouse, Elsa from Frozen (the reason the channels are known as "Elsagate" to the mass media), and Spider-Man are the most popular characters used in these videos.

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The videos are notable for ranking in millions of views very easily, sometimes within a matter of days, but just why they do stumps adults. One argument is that they're bots but another argument is that they are popular with kids who are just too young to click on something else. YouTube has a popular "YouTube Kids" app that is full of these videos (though attempts have been made to fix this). As a result, the videos likely auto-play and thus rake up views. Comments on these videos will usually be gibberish or simple feedback from alleged viewers.

The origin of this trend is hard to tell. A potential origin is normal toy channels that roleplayed with dolls. Someone eventually decided to start cosplaying characters in videos, it caught on, and the whole trend began. It seems like YouTube too has caught on, as many of these channels have been deleted — presumably for their inappropriate content and/or unauthorized use of copyrighted characters.

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Popular Formats:

  • "Educational Concept" videos: The most popular ones. A very simplistic and formulaic genre of videos meant to teach educational concepts, such as the alphabet, numbers, and colors, by using stock art of popular kids' characters. The most popular kind of such videos are "Finger Family", featuring disembodied hands swaying to the "Finger Family" nursery rhyme and with heads of the characters attached to the fingers. Some are well-known for using very off and definitely child-unappealing things, such as Adolf Hitlernote . "Educational Concept" videos are suspected by some to be created by computer bots who will use whatever's popular.
  • Toy Reviews: Many YouTube channels genuinely review toys, however a good chunk fall into this because they "review" things by a loose definition. They mostly play with the toys and pretend it's a review. There's some overlap between this and similar videos like "Unboxing videos" and "Kinder egg videos", but the latter two do have more genuine channels.
  • Animation Videos: The most infamous format by far. They're low-quality Web Animation usually either made with Adobe Flash or rendered in shoddy CGInote  based off of popular kid's properties. Their usual style is a Super-Deformed-esque art-style, no dialogue except for stock sound effects, plots that will make no sense even to adults, and, of course, lots of questionable and age-inappropriate topics and themes, but they'll still label themselves as "educational".
  • Live-Action Skits: Similar to Animation Videos, but are filmed in live-action and star people dressed up as characters from works popular with kids, commonly Superheroes.
  • Nursery Rhymes: While many, if not most, are mundane web-animations aimed at little kids, quite a few lean into this category. The most infamous are the "Johnny Johnny Yes Papa" videos about a boy trying to eat sugar without his father knowing. That trend began in 2009 when the video "Nursery Rhymes Johnny Johnny Yes Papa Songs with lyrics for PreSchool Kids" was uploaded by Shemrock.

Note: Regardless of the trope name, not all kid's channels count. Most are quite innocent, and some manage to be surprisingly good. YouTube Kid's Channels refers to the infamous variant.

Contrast YouTube Poop and videos made with GoAnimate, which also Subvert kids' favorite shows, but for not-kid-oriented purposes.


Examples:

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    Channels 
  • "Webs & Tiaras", a now-terminated Canadian channel that began in March 2016 and became YouTube's third most-viewed channel in two months with about 1.7 billion views. It featured live-action skits, most infamously the Spider-Man × Elsa videos, and was the subject of a Guardian article that brought the trend into the spotlight.
  • "BillionSurpriseToys - Nursery Rhymes & Songs" is one of the more famous channels for bringing "Johhny Johnny" to the mainstream. In 2018, their animations caught on and became memetic. The video that made them famous, their original "Johnny Johnny" video, has since been deleted, but they have various other derivatives.
  • "DisneyCarToys" is one of the oldest examples, dating back to 2012. It started out as a relatively tame example where videos generally consisted of adults playing and role-playing with dolls.
  • The channel "KiddyMoonSongs" seems to be the origin of the Finger Family Video with this video. It at minimum kick-started the trend.
  • "Hey Kids!" was a channel that was terminated because of its content. It claimed to essentially be a babysitting channel where parents could let their kids watch videos to pass time, however it was more sinister. Unlike many channels, it was obviously run by a person who spoke to the kids. The channel used a large-eyed avatar with human lips and a mouth. The avatar was demeaning and frequently made fun of kids for various things, such as their inability to brush their teeth properly or say their ABCs. It also featured women who sung rhymes and such. What caused the channel's termination was videos featuring Hitler babbling about "Mighty AI 2.0" and literally saying "Heil Hitler".
  • "TOYS In Japan" is the most well-known Finger Family channel. It also produces videos for the Ten Little Monkeys nursey rhyme. Some videos on the channel are "5 Little HITLERS Jumping On The Bed", "HITLER Vs MICKEY MOUSE Finger Family Video", and "DONALD TRUMP - DINOSAUR ANKYLOSAURUS CANDY WALKING Finger Family" (all with the capslock in the title).

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