Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared

Last week a new YouTubers React video was released, this time featuring the video “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared”. YouTubers React is a video series in which various well known YouTubers watch a popular video circling YouTube while their reactions are filmed. They are asked a handful of questions after viewing the featured video to get a look at their thoughts on the video shown.

“Don’t Hug Me, I’m Scared” is an extremely odd video to say the least. It was created by a production company known as This Is It and the video has been shown at festivals worldwide including SXSW, Sundance, and the Los Angeles Film Festival.

With this information in mind tell me why a majority of the YouTubers thought “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared” was made to simply get a reaction out of people? Something tells me meaningless reaction videos don’t get into Sundance.

YouTube logo
Believe it or not, the world does NOT revolve around YouTube.


It seems like YouTubers spend so much time with YouTube that they’re wrapped up in it. Not every video is made specifically FOR YouTube. Conan O’Brian has a channel and his videos are made for television. Movie trailers get uploaded and they are not produced just for the sake of the YouTube audience. The YouTubers missed the message of “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared” because they were thinking with the context of YouTube.

I don’t agree with the YouTubers when they claim the video has no meaning. “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared” emphasizes adults unfaltering trust in children’s television. If we see a show with singing and puppets we assume it’s OK for kids. I can’t tell you how many times and animated show has be given a lighter rating despite it’s adult content.

How often to parents actually watch the shows their kids are watching? Not often, I can only assume. We don’t know what the makers of the shows are slipping into these shows. The best example I could give is Sponge Bob Square Pants. You may not have picked up on some of the odd references at first but they were always there. How many times has he jumped in the bathtub with Squidward? Sponge Bob is a relentless stalker and it’s quite creepy. “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared” seems to be more of a call for parents to pay more attention to what their kids are being exposed to through television shows targeted at kids rather than a meaningless video made to see how many hits it could get.

creepy spongebob
Because it’s not like stalking is a serious crime or anything.


We don’t know what TV shows are teaching kids. If your child or younger sibling was watching “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared” would you have noticed it wasn’t appropriate for them? At a glance, would you have noticed the puppets slicing the cake made out of a human heart. It makes you question what children are being exposed to through TV shows allegedly made for their age group.

To watch the full “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared” video click HERE.

15 thoughts on “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared

  1. I just about cried with fear when I first watched this video! But after reading this explanation about it’s meaning it is ABSOLUTELY GENIUS! How often DO parents check the contents of the kids shows that they let their children watch??? I am definitely going to be a cautious parent when the time comes!

    Good work guys, thanks for opening my eyes :O!


    • Thank you 🙂 I agree with you. If I were to ever have a child I would definitely watch out for them. It’s sad to think of all of the parents out there who don’t care about their kids. Some parents don’t know about what their kids are watching, but some simply don’t care. Hey, parents! Let’s care!


  2. I’ve actually always thought the video had a more literal meaning. If you look at most brilliant painters or artists within the last couple centuries, they all have one thing in common; most of them either went crazy or committed suicide. Their creativity as said in the video, ended up consuming them and, eventually, led to their downfall. For example, Van Gogh’s painting Starry Night is, at first glance, nice. You can see the creative swirls of color to create the stars and sky and such. But, if you think about it, the painting is quite terrifying. The swirls are almost violent, and the stars are large and menacing. If that’s actually how Vincent Van Gogh saw the world, he must have been insane with terror.


  3. I always thought it was how the media was telling kids what to and what not to think. Like when the notepad tells them to look outside at the clouds and tell him what they see, he then pulls out his glass over his one eye and suddenly the puppets all see the same thing. And when he holds out a chart of colors and tell them to take leaves and spell out their favorite color, one puppet said green and the notepad says ” Green is not a creative color”. And when one puppet was actually being creative and painted a clown, the notepad smeared it with black paint. They’re telling kids to be creative, but to be creative in a “cookie-cutter” way.


    • Yes! I see that now, too! Your interpretation reminds me of how kids have to attend and be graded in Art class. I love art and think taking it as a class is a great idea, but I actually quit taking it because of the grading. I stopped taking my work seriously and started producing work that I knew the teacher would like and give me a good grade for. I stopped being inspired for a while. I’m glad I broke out of that mold, but how many other kids do?


  4. I think it’s more about education ‘brainwashing’ children to think the way the MEDIA wants them to think (“creatively”, which is methodically filtered so that creativity is nonexistent), all wrapped up in a sweet, innocent disguise about singing and colorful puppets so parents don’t prevent it.

    I’d say I’m actually pretty desensitized to gore and blood from watching my brothers play Call Of Duty and such, but this… no, THIS, wrenches my stomach to think about. It’s just plain sick and eerie, gave me nightmares.

    Like biting into a sugary sweet donut and discovering a hunk of mold with maggots inside. Yuck. 😦


    • It’s even worse because society as a whole doesn’t take the arts seriously. ” “creatively”, which is methodically filtered so that creativity is nonexistent” is such a strong thesis. We need raw creativity. It’s one thing to be inspired by others, but being controlled is not OK. Creativity is constantly being crushed by authority.


  5. What do you think the significance of June 19 is? I think that since this was the day the emancipation proclamation was ratified it is a subtle way of letting us know that we are currently enslaved, both young and old, by the ideas of the media and the ruling elite.


    • I’m biracial so I swear to you I’m not being racist or discriminatory in any way when I say this but I think June 19 is celebrated because giving African Americans a special holiday makes Caucasians feel like they’re off the hook. It makes people feel less bad for previous wrongs against African Americans because OOOH! everyone gets a day off work so we can celebrate the freedom that should’ve been given in the first place! Juneteenth is a sad attempt at compensation, in my opinion. Freedom is a pretty abstract concept, to say the least. Like you mentioned with the media and ruling elite, are any of us really free?


  6. Im a camp counselor, and a kid showed this to me on Monday July 17. I found it really disturbing and it gave me night mares for days. I had to see if there were any posts on the meaning and these make sense to me reading them now, but I’m curious is there were any subliminal messages in it at all because the dreams I had after were rather disturbing but appeared in escentially the same fashion… did anyone else have nightmares after watching this at all?


    • That’s a very interesting reaction. I personally didn’t have nightmares, but I’ve heard others have. I don’t know about the subliminal messages (though I’m sure they’re there), but I have noticed how many different interpretations there are of “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared”. Even just among this comment box there are many answers. I haven’t quite figured out the title, though. It fits the video, but I’m not entirely sure how. I feel like there’s a reason I just haven’t thought of yet.


  7. I have actually heard many different explanations, but I really like this one. I think it definitely makes the most sense. When I first watched this video with my thirteen year old sister, I about cried. “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared” was exactly my reaction. Do Not Hug Me, I am scared brainless and I want you to go away. But I am a preschool teacher, and when I turn on cartoons that my kids talk about at school and see what is in those shows, I am shocked that their parents let them watch this show, or movie.


    • Thank you for sharing your insight! Being a preschool teacher I’m sure you see a lot of this first-hand. Amazingly enough, though, the TV shows for kids seem to be getting worse and worse. I know it’s up to parents to censor what their kids see, but at the same time one has to wonder who thinks even half of the content on the channels make “for kids” is age appropriate. Kids are like little sponges. They learn from everything around them, including what they see on TV.


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