If you are an avid YouTube viewer, you have no doubt stumbled across at least one REACT video. Think you don’t know what that is? Well, you do. You just might not have known the official name of the videos you were watching.
TheFineBros, currently a channel under the name FBE (Fine Brothers Entertainment), is one of the few OG YouTube channels still around, having launched their content in 2004. The Fine brothers finally struck success in 2010 when they uploaded a video called “Kids React to Viral Videos (Double Rainbow, Obama Fail, Twin Rabbits, Snickers Halloween).”
Birthing an entirely new kind of content at the time without knowing it, the Fine brothers continued creating REACT videos so much that, in 2014, they created the REACT channel to focus on making them. Here are a handful of the best types of REACT videos that have been uploaded to YouTube.
1. Elders React
In addition to children, teens and college students, the REACT channel also gets reactions from the elderly. In one lyric breakdown video, a group of older folks is given snippets of lyrics by the famous actor, musician and comedian Childish Gambino.
Starting off with the song “Bonfire,” each person has their shot at reading (rather monotonously) and interpreting the meaning of the handful of lines they are given: “Yeah, they say they want the realness, rap about my real life / Told me I should just quit ‘first of all, you talk white! / Second off, you talk like you haven’t given up yet’ / Rap’s stepfather, yeah, you hate me but you will respect.”
There was a general consensus about Gambino’s desire to be taken seriously as a rapper because a lot of rap is not considered serious music.
They move onto one of Gambino’s more popular songs, “Sweatpants,” breaking down the ever-so-catchy line “Got a glass house in the Palisades, that aka / White hood, white hood, (okay-kay-kay).” This line was interpreted in either of two ways: Some of the elders focused on the hints of finally having money, and others pulled from living in a divided America, both of which had to do with class.
The video continues as the Fine brothers pull lines from other Gambino songs, such as “3005,” “Redbone” and “This is America.” After their own explanations, producers segue into a Q&A session. They first ask if the people knew any of the lyrics or of the artist they were reading, to which most of them replied that they did not, with the exception of one woman who recognized Donald Glover.
The best part of lyric breakdown videos on the REACT channel is when the people reacting get to actually listen to the music they have been reading lyrics to. For this group of elders, the facial expressions are priceless, and the small comments are simultaneously funny and heartwarming to hear, especially as a fan of Gambino.
When the Jonas Brothers finally announced that they were reuniting, the internet went crazy. There is no question as to why the REACT channel decided to have college kids react to the Jonas Brothers, and that is because when they were kids, they consumed early Disney so much that it never fails to bring about nostalgia.
That is made obvious when the first college student immediately begins screaming as soon as the music video for “Sucker” starts, and everyone who follows recognizes the song. As the music video plays, almost everyone is agreeing that it is phenomenal that the Jo Bros are back, but this time, they are showing their growth because the brothers’ wives (or girlfriend, for Joe) are the stars of the song.
In an “Alice in Wonderland” sort of feel, the entire video has an exquisiteness because of the makeup, costume, food and location of the shots. Every college kid loved the song and video, and even though the band was all grown up, the 12-year-old-me nostalgia was real.
After finishing the “Sucker” music video, producers decided to take everyone down memory lane by passing other Jonas Brothers music video clips, including “Lovebug,” “Fly With Me,” “Year 3000,” “S.O.S.” and, of course, “Burnin’ Up.”
Ending their trip down memory lane, the Q&A session began, and everyone agreed that their comeback blew up for two reasons: the nostalgia from their Disney days and in their solo acts, and also because of the simple fact that they are brothers working together again.
Many college kids noted the maturity of the brothers’ sound, almost blaming Disney for the ceiling it kept them under, because it is now clear that it affected their music. Producers also asked about social media playing into fandoms and its effect, because this generation was one of the first ones with readily accessible internet at all times.
Of course, the college kids said that it differed greatly from when there was no social media, but the fan-to-artist interaction is much more solidified now, which is a positive.
You can’t get more YouTube on YouTube than having YouTubers collaborate on videos, and that is basically what the YouTubers react videos are. For these videos, FBE gathers some YouTubers of varying popularity and makes them do reaction challenges, including “Try Not to Laugh,” “Try Not to Sing Along” and a few other viral challenges. Some popular YouTubers that they have featured are sWooZie, Rosanna Pansino, Colleen Ballinger, Scott Hoying, the Try Guys and so many other popular YouTube faces.
For the “Try Not to Sing Along” challenge, FBE presented YouTubers with popular, catchy videos that fans request. When someone bops, dances, sings, hums or does anything to show excitement for a song, they lose the challenge. If they make it through with little to no movement, then they win the challenge.
The first online video that the producers passed was one that some predicted would be in the reaction mix. The video was created by YouTube star PewDiePie, and the song was “b—- lasagna.” I personally had never heard the song before, but I could easily see the appeal because the aggressive backbeat was so catchy.
Of the 12 YouTubers reacting, almost half of them failed the first video, but as YouTubers, everyone knew who Pewds was. Everyone also encouraged viewers to subscribe to him if they haven’t already because of his content and humor — also partly because of the ongoing battle with PewDiePe and T Series to stay on top of the YouTube community.
The next reaction video, the 2015 hit “#SELFIE,” was distinguishable from the start. The Chainsmokers’ EDM buildup in the beginning is instantly recognizable, and the drop after the widely known phrase “let me take a selfie” proved difficult for YouTubers not to headbang or whip to. Most creators powered through, however, with only four people failing on this video.
The next song featured was the enticing “Juju On That Beat” that makes anyone want to bop to immediately. One thing that kept a few YouTubers from reacting was the fact that they had never even seen the music video for the song. Still, only four people failed this time around.
The video continues as the production team pulls a plethora of nostalgic videos and songs, including “Le Internet Medley,” a meme compilation video that is mastered into visual reminiscence and song paying homage to the internet’s top memes pre-2011; “The Duck Song” a crudely animated video with a horrendously catchy, rhyming song; “Here It Goes Again,” which is probably the best, low-budget music video on YouTube; and, lastly, “Nyan Cat,” also known as Pop-Tart cat or rainbow cat.
The best part about watching these kinds of react videos is trying to play along with the YouTubers and see if you would prevail like one person out of the 12 or fail like everybody else did.