Is It Mean to Trick Your Kid Into Thinking You Ate Their Halloween Candy? Reddit Says Yes

Even late-night TV is in on this popular way to prank your kid, but Reddit isn't having it.

An image of kids with their halloween candy.
Photo: Getty Images.

Trick-or-treating has come and gone—and it was so fun, especially for those families who skipped it last year because of the pandemic.

But some parents seem to have a few more tricks up their sleeves. It involves letting kids think their treats disappeared, and one parent thinks the whole trend is anything but sweet. The person took to Reddit to vent about it.

"[This] might be an unpopular opinion and don't want to be a party pooper, but [I] wanted to discuss," wrote u/thislittledwight in the Parenting subreddit. "I see a ton of parents around this time of year pull a variation of the prank on their kids where they 'eat all their Halloween candy' and then film their reaction. As would be expected, the kids are upset."

Yes, this is actually a thing. In fact, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel holds an annual YouTube Challenge where he asks parents to tell their kids they ate their Halloween candy and film their reactions. (He told people not to do it last year because "kids have suffered enough," but people did it anyway.)

Well, this parent wishes it would all just stop. "I think that's just bullying and mean, and I am lost for why this is supposed to be funny," the poster continued. "I took my little one out, and seeing the pure joy and delight on his face as he got candy was just everything… I cannot imagine stomping on that evening by pretending to accidentally eat all his candy and then filming him in that moment of sadness."

The poster went on to say they're not trying to sound judgmental. "But this is something that doesn't seem funny to me," the person said. "We do pull harmless pranks around the house, so it's not like I'm against them, but this one is so sad and awful."

It turns out the opinion isn't so unpopular. The post has racked up more than 400 responses in less than a day, and people tend to agree.

"[It's] like stealing candy from a baby, recording it to show them that you did it, but not actually doing it—because you didn't want candy, you just wanted to see them cry. Yeah, [this] sounds like some grade-A assholery," the top commenter bluntly put it.

"Does anyone seriously think any of these videos are funny? I always just thought they got clicks because of the cringe factor," replied another.

Another poster kept their response short, sweet, and spot-on. "Like I say to my kid, it's only fun if everyone is having fun. Otherwise, it's just bullying," the Redditor wrote.

Playing tricks on your kid and posting about it on social media isn't new. There was the cheese-throwing fad and the head-bumping prank (which induced crying). Recently, parents have posted videos of them using a horse filter to freak their babies out.

"I think the whole thing about making kids cry and upset and then posting about it is mean, personally,"Becky Reback, head of parent/family coaching at Evolved Education in New York City, told Parents in August about the horse filter phenomenon. She added posting photos and videos of your child crying on the internet could embarrass them one day.

So maybe save the pranks for April Fool's, or at least keep the reaction videos off the internet.

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