The Hydraulic Press Channel is a channel about crushing things with a 100-ton hydraulic press, following in a long tradition of very simple YouTube channels about destroying things. It is based in Tampere, Finland, and is hosted by Lauri Vuohensilta and his wife Anni. Lauri works in a machining shop owned by his family (Vuohensilta Engineering Works), and the press is just one of many pieces of equipment in the shop.
HPC skyrocketed to prominence in October 2015 when the video aptly titled "Can you fold paper more than 7 times with hydraulic press" made it to the front page of Reddit and quickly went viral. The channel gained over a million subscribers in the span of two months, has attracted media attention from around the world, and gotten a number of sponsorships. As several articles have pointed out, what sets HPC apart from other channels about destruction and the hordes of hydraulic press imitation channels that followed in its wake is Lauri and Anni themselves. Lauri has a very thick Finnish accent and gives ridiculously deadpan, Captain Obvious commentary of the events, while Anni cackles at her husband and the destruction.
They also started a secondary channel, called Beyond the Press, where they post videos about whatever isn't about crushing things with their press- vloggy-type videos about their lives, destroying stuff using other machines around the shop, various outings, preparation work for pressing videos, and footage of real work done as part of the shop's business.
They have also contributed (Mostly Lauri's voice commentary) to the creation of a pair of Mobile Phone Games: Hydraulic Press Pocket and Destruction Tuber Simulator. Many of the following tropes can be found there as well.
Welcome to Hoodraulik Press Channel. Today we will be crushing these trope-es. Aaaaand here we go!:
- Advanced Tech 2000: Every new tool they make for the press is named "[Thing] 5 Million". With second generation versions of any given machine gaining a "[Thing] 10 Million" moniker.
- Black Comedy: Lauri frequently makes jokes about dealing with problems in violent ways, usually involving crushing them. Sometimes this extends to overly dark descriptions of things that the 'extremely dangerous' clay animals at the ends of episodes might do. Expect Anni to follow up with her famous laugh soon afterward.
- "Visiting old copper mine and other holiday stuff in Åre":Lauri: (looking at a large hole in the ground at the copper mine) "But in older days there was no fence, so if you came up close with dangerous animals, or annoying children, you could just deal with them by tossing them down there."
- "Crushing unhealthy diet with hydraulic press":Lauri: "And for today's extra content, we have this grasshopper. It may come and eat your crops at any time, and then you will have nothing to eat, and you will die. So we must deal with it."
- "Visiting old copper mine and other holiday stuff in Åre":
- Camera Abuse: Lauri has a slow-motion camera and a GoPro set up inside his press. Whenever the videos involve dust or liquid flying around, the camera will invariably get hit.
- On one notable occasion, when a large Finnish-English dictionary was pressed, the book exploded, knocking his slow-mo camera onto the ground, and the blast shield straight off its mounts, destroying the main camera standing just outside the blast shield.
- In a video where an old pacemaker was pressed, the pacemaker caught on fire, almost making an example of the main camera once again before Lauri hurriedly pulled the camera away.
- During a channel collaboration with the Dudesons, as an extreme example, a GoPro was hooked up to an external screen and crushed while it filmed its own demise.
- Captain Obvious: Lauri's tendency to describe what just happened in very obvious, broken-English terms makes up a lot of the channel's comedy.Lauri: (while filming a roller coaster ride using his GoPro) "I think my filming is bit shaky!"
- Particularly in earlier days, objects that were about to be crushed were usually introduced as being "extremely dangerous, so we must deal with it!". This also lead to some Memetic Mutation.
- Many things are dubbed "The X 5000000", such as their Extruder 5000000, Deep Sea Simulator 5000000, a pressure chamber, or their water heater 5000000, consisting of a drum over a fire with a cutout on top for the steam.
- Given Lauri's penchant for deadpan and understatement, "pretty good" is usually the most he says in praise of something.
- The Comically Serious: Lauri frequently laughs and shows off his childish glee when things explode or respond in fun ways and he smiles often when on camera, but in most of his pressing footage, his usual tone of voice sounds very deadpan and serious to most Americans, where 45% of his channel's views come from.
- Dagwood Sandwich: Lauri crushes one in an attempt to make it small enough to eat.
- Forging Scene: Lauri uses the hydraulic press and other tools to turn a wrench into a knife.
- Funetik Aksent: Lauri's thick Finnish accent is particularly infamous. Expect there to be comments on his videos quoting him that replicate his unique pronunciation. "Hoodraulik press", "So ve must deal with it", "Vat da fak", the list goes on. Naturally, some of their merch contains these phrases verbatim.
- Funny Foreigner: The sheer Finnish-ness of the videos is said to be most of the appeal of watching Lauri and Anni in particular, over other imitators.
- Girly Run: In "Exploding surströmming and other canned foods", Lauri filmed himself adding the titular can of surströmming to a campfire, and then running away, flailing his arms.
- The Hyena: In most videos, Anni can be heard laughing in the background while her husband sums matters up in an amazing deadpan.
- Killing in Self-Defense: Invoked and parodied in the "extra content" endings. Lauri always rationalizes that whatever they're squishing with a few tons of force "is extremely dangerous" and might "a-ttack at ANY time" and so "we must deal with it". The less threatening the victim would be if it were real, the better.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: Not a video goes by without someone commenting on how ridiculously hardcore Lauri and Anni's lives are- they enjoy mountain biking, powerlifting, and heavy metal, and Lauri has been working in machining since he was thirteen. And he and Anni have two very cute cats who always like checking out what's going on whenever there's a video inside their house. Also present is a large ginger cat named Nelli, who is present whenever they do experiments at their lake house.
- Learnt English from Watching Television: Lauri mentioned in "Hydraulic press channel Q&A-video" that while he had to take English classes in school, he was a bad student and mostly ended up learning English from English-language video games, TV shows, and films that he downloaded from the internet when he was younger. In a comment on one video, he specifically identifies Top Gear and Fallout as assisting in his English-learning journey.
- Lethal Chef: Played for Laughs whenever there's food episodes on either channel, since they frequently involve destroying the food or using large machining equipment that probably hasn't been cleaned to prepare the food.Lauri: "In Hydraulic Press Kitchen, there is no time for oven." (starts up flamethrower)
- Losing Your Head: It's not an uncommon occurrence for an extra content animal or person to have the head roll off the body during crushing.
- Made of Explodium: You'd be surprised how explosive things can get when crushed under a hundred tons. In particular, completely normal paper explodes with infamous violence, to the point that a dictionary knocked the blast shield right off its mounts and destroyed their camera.
- Male Gaze: Played for Laughs in the Beyond the Press video "Silicone boobs in vacuum chamber and under hydraulic press"- the premise of the video is that in light of the couple's discovery that only men watch the channels, Anni used her YouTube revenue to buy new breasts. She spends the first part of the video prominently displaying her 'new boobs' and even makes sure to do this for the video thumbnail, which are really just large silicone inserts that she's stuffed into her top. Which then get destroyed with the help of their air cannon and hydraulic press.
- Meatgrinder Surgery: Played for Laughs in "Wife vs. husband air cannon challenge"- the challenge in question was to shoot a secondhand clothing mannequin affectionately named Johnny using the aforementioned homemade air cannon. When Lauri lands a hit on Johnny with a zucchini halfway through the video, Johnny's left arm and right hand pop off, so Anni repairs him using duct tape and they go back to shooting him.Lauri: "First aid, Finnish way."
- No OSHA Compliance: Inverted. Lauri and Anni go to pretty extensive lengths to ensure safety in all of their videos, and usually operate the hydraulic presses from behind thick safety glass and other barriers. Many of the Beyond The Press videos show the various safety measures used in doing their more explosive or dangerous demonstrations.
- Poirot Speak: Realistically inverted, and deliberately Played for Laughs by Lauri himself, particularly with his English pronunciation. He admitted in "Hydraulic press channel Q&A-video" that he knows his accent is part of what sells his channel, so if he realizes later on that he's been pronouncing a word incorrectly (such as pronouncing 'hydraulic' as 'hoodraulik' or 'hiddraulik') he'll deliberately keep pronouncing it wrong in future videos because it's funny. Anni naturally considers this hilarious.
Lauri: "...My wife choose-ed this because I cannot pronounce the name of this animal, and it is... skworl."
- On two separate occasions- first in "Hydraulic press kitchen: Fruit salad", and then in "Exploding surströmming and other canned foods" -he kept referring to pineapples as 'ananas', which in his defense is 'pineapple' in most non-English languages.
- In "Crushing our awards with hydraulic press", Anni created a clay squirrel for the extra content specifically because Lauri can't pronounce it.
(they laugh a bit)
Lauri: "...Or tree-climbing rat with large tail."
- Pronoun Trouble: As the channel is hosted by native speakers of Finnish, which has no grammatical gender of any kindnote this comes up on occasion. Lauri's spoken English is not quite as good as his wife's, so he sometimes forgets which English pronouns apply to which gender. Once (in "V.I.P. day for HPC") he accidentally referred to his wife as a 'he', resulting in lots of confused comments on the video wondering who he was referring to.
- Rip Tailoring: In "How much can you lift with clothes?", Lauri and Anni test the tensile strength of a hoodie, t-shirt, and pair of jeans by pulling them apart with the forklift that Lauri uses for his business. The t-shirt and hoodie actually end up tearing in a wearable way, with the t-shirt coming away with two large holes in the side and back, and the hoodie mostly losing the right sleeve so you can "show off your guns", as Lauri puts it. Although he jokes that they'll be hitting Paris Fashion Week with the shirt as Anni twirls around with it over the top she was already wearing, several commenters pointed out that a torn, oversized t-shirt like that would actually work in a real outfit with fashionably ripped jeans and a brightly colored top underneath.
- Running Gag: After the incidents with folding paper and the book, every time there's something papery under the press there'll be a comment about its explosiveness under the press. He dismissed toilet paper as not being real paper precisely because it didn't explode, too.Lauri: "...And I am hoping to see some kind of explosion because wood is made out of paper."
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Lauri is prone to impassioned outbursts of "What the fuck?!" or "Voi vittu!" ("Oh fuck!" in Finnish) whenever a pressing goes particularly against his expectations.
- Squashed Flat: Squashing things flat is, of course, the name of HPC's game. Notably, whenever clay animals are crushed so that excess material flows out the sides and upwards, he often refers to them as ashtrays
- Stuff Blowing Up: Things made of paper or wood and ball bearings have a tendency to explode under the pressure of the press.
- The Stinger: Starting with "Crushing Nokia 3310 with hydraulic press", videos started to feature extra content after the ending sequence consisting of clay animals getting crushed. Anni makes these animals, and Lauri follows up with his own brilliant commentary about them.Lauri: "And for today's extra content, we have this [animal]. It looks extremely dangerous and may attack at any time, so we must deal with it." (lowers press)
- Stout Strength: Both Lauri and Anni are competitive powerlifters, and Lauri has been working in his family's machining business as a day job since he was thirteen. As a result, they're both quite stocky and strong. Their wedding photo ("Quick tour at HPC powerlifting gym and some training footage") even shows them powerlifting together!
- Take That!: 10 AMAZING LIFE HACKS with Hydraulic Press is a thorough one against what Lauri calls "stupid life hack videos". Clickbait thumbnail with nothing that actually happens in the video, problems that get increasingly strange, senseless and excessive use of toothpaste, a glue gun and a blowtorch on common materials, and of course a hydraulic pressing applied to every last assembly. It even has the constant, cheery royalty-free music to top the parody off.
- Tonka Tough: In "Crushing Nokia 3310 with hydraulic press", the famous phone was unfortunately crushed flat, subverting this trope. Commenters jokingly insist that the phone must have been defective, or that Lauri's press must in fact be made out of Nokia 3310s itself as well as the crushed phone being defective.
- Truth in Television: For those curious, Beyond the press also shows what Lauri and his family do on a regular basis, actual work for clients, in the shop. The hydraulic press is still used for lots of different things - everything from straightening a bent excavator shovel to changing the wheel bearing for a car - but of course they go well out of their way to avoid destroying things if they can help it, not only because it would cost them some business but it would also be, well, extremely dangerous.
- Visual Innuendo: Lauri uses an extruder built for the press to force marshmallows into a thin, fast moving stream from the bottom. Lampshaded after the press is switched off:Lauri: Anni, I think there is going to be shitload of really bad jokes after this one.
- Vocal Dissonance: Before Lauri and Anni started showing their faces on camera, most viewers thought they were at least middle-aged from their voices. As of 2016, Lauri is 30, and Anni is 26.
- "And for today's extra content, we have this stinger. It looks extremely dangerous and may attack at any time, so we must deal with it."