Jimmy Kimmel vs. YouTube

For the third year in a row, Jimmy Kimmel came back into the spotlight with his annual Halloween candy prank. In the prank, parents are asked to film their kids’ reactions when they tell them they ate all of their candy the day after Halloween. Hundreds of parents submitted videos of their heartbroken kids in tears for the chance to make it big on this viral YouTube video with over 21 million views.

While a good majority of people take the joke at face value, there seems to be an overwhelming number of people who can’t understand for the life of them why someone would pull a prank on their child.

My favorite YouTube comment read something like this, “This is NOT funny. I don’t know why anyone would laugh at this. I don’t know what kind of parent would ever dream of causing a moment of distress for their sweet, innocent children!”

Boy, would I have loved to be your child.

Have none of these people ever had siblings? Have these people really never been pranked before? Have we forgotten what a joke is? More importantly, did they miss the part where all of the kids in the video were able to laugh it off as soon as they were told it wasn’t real? Congratulations, angry parents of America — the kids in the videos have thicker skin than you do. In fact, I’m pretty sure even RU res-hall toilet paper is tougher than you, and that’s really saying something.

Another common argument is that these people are bad parents and that their children will be emotionally scarred and have trust issues for the rest of their lives. While I believe every child has a different level of emotional stability, I’d be the first to argue that the only bit of bad parenting in these clips is the fact that these parents raised their children to get violently upset over something like candy. If anything, it speaks well of the kids who were told their candy was all gone and shook it off like champions.

When did it become socially acceptable for a parent to tell another parent that their method is wrong? As long as none of the kids looked like they had been beaten or otherwise mistreated, there should be no reason for a parent to say something like that based on 30 seconds of footage.

In the real world, you’re going to get pranked. You’ll meet mean people and you’re going to have hurt feelings. The only tragedy is that the children of these overprotective parents are going to have little to no experience with dealing with stressful situations or heartbreak. Playing jokes on your kids doesn’t give them lifelong trust issues. It gives them a spine, a sense of humor and it also tells them that you’re not a stick-in-the-mud parent.

We need to bid farewell to the days when people get offended on someone else’s behalf for a pointless cause. We need to stop looking for the damsel in distress in every situation and stop pretending that we can white knight our way through life and come out looking like anything but an arrogant jerk. At the end of the day, a joke will still be a joke, and the only way to truly combat hurt feelings is to make your feelings harder to hurt.