Family Guy Clips TikTok and Mobile Games Overstimulation ADHD video examples from the sludge content trend.

Overstimulation Videos / Sludge Content

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Updated Jul 24, 2023 at 12:32PM EDT by Zach.

Added Jan 09, 2023 at 09:58AM EST by Owen.

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Overstimulation Videos, also known as Sludge Content or ADHD Videos, refer to a type of split-screen video content (primarily posted to TikTok) that shows a main piece of media in the top half and a secondary piece of media in the bottom half meant to catch the viewer's eye and occupy them, akin to a low attention span and stereotypically associated with ADHD. The media in the bottom half is most often mobile app gameplay, ASMR videos (such as Kinetic Sand or DIY repair videos) and other types of oddly satisfying visuals. Other than for attention purposes, a secondary video is often added to avoid copyright strikes. Starting in late 2022, the phenomenon became increasingly prevalent online, however, forms of overstimulation content date back to the 2010s on YouTube. In 2022 and 2023, specifically Family Guy and Subway Surfers became standout symbols of the genre, leading to memes such as Boring Ahh Family Guy Episode and the Family Guy Pipeline Incident. Due to the discourse and stigmas surrounding overstimulation videos, parodies ensued that spoofed the visual format, often related to "low attention span" stereotypes about Gen Alpha and Zoomers akin to iPad kid comparisons.



Around 2014 and 2015, YouTubers started to post "story time" videos with video game gameplay in order to keep the viewer's eyes entertained. The gameplay was most often from Call of Duty, Minecraft or Counter-Strike. Likely the most prevalent gameplay footage used in the videos was CS:GO Surf footage. Notable YouTubers that utilized the format include LeafyIsHere, [17] Luna[18] and Pyrocynical, [19] among other early adopters (examples shown below).

Family Guy Overstimulation Videos

Predominantly starting in 2016,[1] Family Guy clips and compilation channels surfaced en masse on YouTube which avoided copyright claims by not posting full-length episodes but rather posting "Best of" compilations that edited multiple scenes into one video (example shown below). Many of the channels and videos were variants of the phrase "Family Guy Funny Moments," which became its own Photoshop meme in 2016 in which meme creators added the words "Family Guy Funny Moments" into multiple, notable graphic designs.

Going into the 2020s, the tactics used to avoid copyright strikes by Family Guy clips channels became more obtuse, including random cuts mid-sentence, random zoom-ins and crops, making the videos over two hours long by repeating the full-length episode four or more times, as well as adding contextless clips to interject the episode thereby mimicking "fair use" practiced by reaction video channels. Despite their efforts, many of the channels were taken down by YouTube, usually not lasting more than one week after their first upload.

Despite their impermanent nature, Family Guy clip channels on YouTube gained attention in memes based on the oftentimes absurd nature of their copyright-avoidant tactics. This memetic awareness of the absurdity predominantly surfaced in 2022. For instance, on February 10th, 2022, Redditor RhysofMind posted to /r/InternetMysteries[2] writing, "Strange Family Guy compilations channel which includes videos of underage girls within videos." The post highlighted a Family Guy clips YouTube channel called Family Guy Compilations.[3] Mid-video, the channel often added unrelated clips showing a young girl's vlog. The post received over 280 upvotes in 11 months.

Additionally, on February 19th, 2022, YouTuber[4] Pixels After Dark made a video about the Reddit post, highlighting the Redditor's investigation, speculation and evidence. Over the course of 11 months, the video received roughly 1.2 million views and 57,000 likes (shown below).

Awareness of Family Guy channels' copyright avoidance surfaced elsewhere as well in 2022. For instance, sometime in early September 2022, since-deleted Twitter user JupiterIsPlanet posted a video taken from a YouTube Family Guy clips channel. They captioned the video, "found this family guy clip channel and their videos end like this," highlighting a copyright-claim-avoidant tactic that was an image of Brian Griffin holding a martini glass while sentimental music played. The original tweet received an unknown yet viral amount of engagement and was reposted to places like Instagram [5] as early as September 18th, 2022. An earlier iFunny[5] repost was uploaded on September 14th, 2022 (shown below).

On TikTok

While Family Guy clips channels on YouTube were struggling to avoid copyright claims, Family Guy clips channels on TikTok were not struggling due to a split-screen tactic that manifested in 2022 which showed the Family Guy episode on top and a different piece of stolen media on the bottom. The two primary genres of video added to the bottom half were mobile app gameplay and DIY repair videos similar to fixing things with ramen videos. Although it's hard to pinpoint which TikTok page started the trend due to copyright strikes and channel removals, they seem to have predominantly surfaced in September and October 2022.

The split-screen tactic was ultimately based on the precursor "Reddit Stories" and Subway Surfers format that used a text-to-speech voice to narrate a Reddit story while Subway Surfers or Minecraft gameplay played on the bottom. As an example, the TikTok[6] channel familyguy2050 started off by posting "Reddit Stories" and Subway Surfer content in June 2022. By December 2022, the TikTok page had pivoted to Family Guy and mobile app gameplay content. Both video examples have over 1 million plays each. All aforementioned examples from the timeframe have since been deleted, due to the volatile nature of the genre based on copyright strikes.

Due to the success of Family Guy clips channels on the platform, other accounts began using clips from other cartoons, such as The Simpsons, South Park and SpongeBob SquarePants, going into early 2023. Clips from live-action shows, reality shows and movies also started to surface in overstimulation videos. Podcast clips and stand-up comedy also became prevalent in the genre (examples shown below).

@fhsthj #breakingbadmemes #breakingbad #walterwhiteballin #fyp #film ♬ Love You So – The King Khan & BBQ Show

@cartoonklips1 What is bro cooking ⁉️#fyp #foryou #southpark #southparkclip #cartoon #southparkclips #southparkbestclips #foryoupage #viral ♬ Sonic – MoneyGamer


As overstimulation videos became prevalent on TikTok in late 2022, meme creators on the platform began to parody the visual style of this content. For instance, an early parody was posted by TikToker[13] 7jackmansions on November 28th, 2022, who added multiple pieces of media into the video such as soap shaving and Rick and Morty, earning roughly 248,300 plays and 32,000 likes in one month (shown below).

@7jackmansions Body hurts #funny #clips #funnymoments #cartoon #satisfyingvideo #game ♬ original sound – 1080jack

Parodies most notably surfaced after the Family Guy Pipeline Incident which was a "related search" algorithm glitch that happened on TikTok in November 2022 due to DIY pipe repair videos that played beneath Family Guy clips.

Following the "related search" algorithm glitch of the "pipeline incident," creators started exploiting the search term by writing it in their Family Guy clip video's bio so that the algorithm would recommend their video over others. Exploiting this, some creators started to add jumpscares of creepy imagery to avoid copyright claims and also to prank the viewer with the bait-and-switch tactic.

The first-known Family Guy jumpscare was uploaded by TikToker[7] toasterbreaddddddddd on December 2nd, 2022, earning roughly 42,700 plays and 1,300 likes in three days (shown below, left). More creators latched onto the idea, leading to memetic awareness exhibited by TikToker[8] antipsivision on December 4th, 2022, who posted a video asking, "Who made the Family Guy clips scary?" In one month, the video received roughly 681,200 plays and 138,700 likes (shown below, right).

@toasterbreaddddddddd No bec imagine someone actauly find this scary (jumpsare warning ig) #scary #familyguy #clips #normal #spooked #family ♬ original sound – Sprite cranberry

@antipsivision Help#fyp#foryou#familyguy#help#shitposting#mandelacatalouge#real ♬ original sound – AntiPSIVision

More parody formats emerged in late December 2022 and January 2023, becomingly increasingly meta and absurd. For instance, on January 3rd, 2023, the TikTok[9] account jamaicanfamilyguy posted an overstimulation video that had all the Family Guy characters speaking with Jamaican accents, earning roughly 108,100 plays and 18,700 likes in one week (since deleted). On January 8th, 2022, TikToker[10] prod.st10 posted a Family Guy clip above his own hip-hop beat, gaining roughly 104,700 plays and 21,500 likes in one day (shown below).

@prod.st10 #prodst10 #beats #destroylonelyarchive #opiumlabel #destroylonely #night #schizophrenic #shcizoposting #domcorleo #domcorleotypebeat #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #lone #samples #hldmyhnd #flstudio #flstudio20 #schizoposting ♬ original sound – ST10

Additional Spread

Discourse about Family Guy clips and mobile games overstimulation content surfaced on Twitter in January 2023, inspiring viral threads that highlighted the video genre's absurdity. For instance, on January 6th, 2023, Twitter[11] user GBBranstetter tweeted, "Am I old or is something very wrong here," along with a Family Guy clips and mobile games video reposted from TikTok. Over the course of three days, the tweet received roughly 9.1 million views and 21,700 likes (shown below).

On the following day, January 7th, 2023, Twitter[12] user TallBart tweeted a similar video with the caption, "This is what your little cousin watches 14 hours a day." Over the course of two days, the tweet received roughly 2.4 million views and 41,100 likes (shown below).

"Sludge Content" Name

Due to the discourse inspired by Twitter[11] user GBBranstetter's tweet in January 2023, non-viral quote retweets[20][21][22] started to call the genre of videos "sludge content." Inspired by the tweet[11] and likely the quote retweets, CBC News[23] published an article on January 18th called, "Sludge content is consuming TikTok. Why aren't we talking about it?" that helped to solidify the name.

The name started to gain traction on TikTok going into early 2023, predominantly starting with a TikTok[24] posted by @cbcsasknews (CBC's Saskatchewan outlet) on February 9th, 2023, which received roughly 148,100 plays and 12,000 likes in five months (shown below, left). Notable influencers quickly adopted the term, most notably Michael Stevens from Vsauce who namedropped "sludge content" when he appeared on Anthony Padilla's YouTube[25] channel in June 2023 (upload from TikTok[26] shown below, right).

@cbcsasknews What’s sludge content and what’s it doing to our attention spans? Reporting: Jackson Weaver/CBC, Video: Jackson Weaver and Alex Soloducha/CBC | #sludgecontent #CBC #CBCNews #cbcentertainment #Canada #medialiteracy #tiktok #fyp #corecore ♬ original sound – CBC Saskatchewan

@anthonypadilla #Vsauce explains “sludge content” on tiktok @corndogwilly ♬ original sound – Anthony Padilla

Family Guy Pipeline Incident

The Family Guy Pipeline Incident is a "related search" algorithm glitch on TikTok started by Family Guy clip accounts that used oddly satisfying videos of a metal pipe being filled with cigarettes and carrots to avoid copyright strikes. Due to both visuals of the Family Guy clip and the pipeline video in one TikTok video, the algorithm recommended the search query "family guy pipeline incident" in the comment section. This started in mid-November 2022 and garnered interest as to what the algorithm-invented "incident" was.

@haroldforgothispassword Family Guy Pipeline Incident #familyguypipelineincident #viral #fyp #wenisplumbus #CapCut ♬ original sound – haroldforgothispassword

Boring Ahh Family Guy Episode

Boring Ahh Family Guy Episode, originally known as Movie Long Ah Hell, is a participatory trend in which meme creators take a photo of themselves doing an activity while watching Family Guy on their phone. They then write in text overlay that the activity is "boring ahh" (akin to the slang "goofy ahh"), essentially implying that they are enacting Family Guy overstimulation content in real life. The trend started on Instagram in late 2022 with a photo showing Family Guy on a phone in a movie theater playing Avatar: The Way of Water in the background. Going into 2023, the "movie long ah hell" photo inspired photoshops and ultimately led to different photos with the same premise but in different settings.

Movie long ah hell 2008 forcetraumabluntt 38m boring ahh fireworks : x Als

Various Examples

Search Interest


External References

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