DaddyOFive Prank Controversy

DaddyOFive Prank Controversy

Part of a series on YouTube Child Exploitation Controversy. [View Related Entries]

Updated Jan 11, 2019 at 05:56PM EST by 3kole5.

Added Apr 18, 2017 at 12:51PM EDT by Don.

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DaddyOFive Prank Controversy refers to a prank video and ensuing backlash in which Maryland resident Mike Martin and his wife Heather Martin loudly yell profanities at their children after pouring invisible ink on a carpet. After the video was uploaded to YouTube in mid-April 2017, the parents were widely accused of being verbally abusive to their children and exploiting them for advertising revenue on the video-sharing platform.


On April 12th, 2017, the DaddyOFive YouTube channel uploaded a video titled "Invisible Ink Prank! (Epic Freakout)", in which a mother and father pour invisible ink on the carpet, then loudly scold and scream profanities at their children while accusing them of making the mess.[1] After the video was uploaded, comments, ratings and embedding was disabled by the channel. The video has since been removed.


Online Reaction

On April 15th, Redditor faudeywauda submitted the video to /r/h3h3productions,[2] where it gathered upwards of 2,000 points (96% upvoted) and 430 comments within 72 hours. On April 16th, DaddyOFive uploaded a video titled "Blocking All the Haters!," in which one of his children says "it's just a prank bro" while the father compares himself to YouTuber Roman Atwood (re-upload shown below) and dismisses the criticism received as jealous hate.

On April 17th, Philip DeFranco uploaded an episode criticizing the parents for repeatedly exploiting their children for YouTube views, specifically their youngest son Cody (shown below). Within 24 hours, the video gained over 1.44 million views and 38,800 comments.

The same day, Mike Martin uploaded a video titled "GETTING READY FOR DISNEY!!", where the family gets ready to go to Disneyland, with the only exception being Cody as he is left behind with his grandparents for bad behaviour, which Heather, the mother, later reveals to be smearing poop everywhere. This statement would raise larger amounts of concern as this is considered by many psychologists to be a significant sign of abuse. Heather would later brush the event off in the video with her wishing Cody would be a normal kid.

First Youtube Apology

On April 19th, Mike Martin uploaded an apology video (shown below) titled "Family Destroyed Over False Aquisations", where the family apologize for the pranks and saying how the pranks pulled were fake, while also putting the blame on Phillip DeFranco for, as he later puts in a tweet, "destroying a happy family and destroying our way of life." The video would later be taken down alongside all their other videos uploaded since the start of the channel.

Keemstar Interview

On April 18th, 2017, YouTuber[7] Keemstar interviewed Mike and Heather Martin, giving them an opportunity to tell their side of the story. However, the interview received a negative reception from viewers, garnering more than 30,000 downvotes and 17,000 upvotes. The post (shown below) received more than 866,000 views.

Second Youtube Apology

On April 22nd, the couple released another apology video entitled "DaddyOFive Founders Issues Public Apology." The post (shown below) acknowledges their mistakes in going ahead with these prank videos. The video, however, has since been removed.

On May 1st, 2017, Rose Hall, the biological mother of Cody and Emma from the videos, received emergency custody of the children. Tim Conlon, Hall's attorney, posted a video explaining the situation. The post (shown below) received more than one million views in four months.

On September 11th, 2017, Mike and Heather Martin were sentenced to five-years probation on charges of child neglect.[8]

News Media Coverage

Several news sites published articles about the controversy, including The Sun,[3] The New York Post[5] and BBC's Newsbeat.[6]

FamilyOFive Channel

On July 2nd, 2017, a video was uploaded to a new channel MommyOFive, in which Heather Martin discusses the controversies surrounding the DaddyOFive channel (shown below). The channel was later renamed to FamilyOFive.

On July 16th, 2018, YouTuber Amanda the Jedi uploaded a video titled "DaddyOFive Still Uploading with Manipulation and No Remorse," which discussed the FamilyOFive channel (shown below). Within 24 hours, the video gained upwards of 269,000 views and 480 comments. The following day, Redditor BushidoBrowne submitted the video to /r/videos,[9] where it gathered upwards of 65,200 points (82% upvoted) and 2,200 comments within 18 hours.

Meanwhile, Redditor 1shouldbeworking_ submitted a post asking about the channel to /r/OutOfTheLoop,[10] receiving more than 8,600 points (91% upvoted) and 540 comments in eight hours. Also on July 17th, The Daily Dot[11] published an article about the FamilyOFive channel titled "DaddyOFive is now FamilyOFive--but the content is still abusive."

On July 18, 2018, the channel was terminated for violation of Youtube's community guidelines.[12]

Sentence Reduction

On January 8th, 2019, a Frederick County, Maryland judge reduced the sentence of the YouTuber parents from supervised probation to unsupervised probation. The reduction comes after the couple violated the conditions of their sentence, which barred them from uploading videos that feature their children Cody and Emma. In August 2018, the YouTube channel Team DO5 Fans, operated by Michael Martin, one of the parents, featured archival footage of the children (shown below).[13]

The video was made in support of the parents, encouraging viewers to a sign a petition to reinstate the channel.

The children currently live with their biological mother, who sent a letter to the judge telling the judge that the couple continued to upload videos of the children. The Martin's lawyer refuted the claims that the video was an infraction. He said, "The order was fairly specific, and I don’t think my clients have violated those orders."

Search Interest

External References

Recent Videos 30 total

Recent Images 22 total

Top Comments

Bilbo Swaggins
Bilbo Swaggins Moderator

I learned about this yesterday from Philip DeFranco, and I have to say I have no sympathy for these parents.

First of all, they actually resorted to the "it's just a prank bro argument

Also the kids saying “at least they’re not beating us” is complete bullshit from looking at their previous videos, which does show physical violence in their “pranks”

And third of all, "they're all jealous haters"…seriously? It's cringy enough when celebrities need to remind themselves somehow that haters are "only jealous", but for you idiots to do it when people are concerned for your children's safety? That is completely irredeemable.

Fuck these parents, and fuck this channel. There is no excuse for their immature behavior when questioned about their legitimately questionable content


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