The 3AM Challenge
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The 3 A.M. Challenge is a YouTube video fad in which the participant performs a specific action at 3:00 a.m., such as calling strangers on the phone or playing with fidget spinners, until supposedly encountering a paranormal phenomenon. Typically stylized as parodies of paranormal reality TV shows, many of these videos have gained millions of views on YouTube.
The earliest known video using 3AM in its title is "EXPLORING EMPTY HAUNTED APARTMENTS! (3AM)", which was uploaded by Guava Juice on Oct 30th, 2016 (shown below). However, due to the fact that there don't seem to exist any other videos of this type around this video's upload date, it is possible that Guava Juice edited the title some time after the initial upload to capitalize on the trend. As of July 26th, 2017 the video has over 6 million views.
The trend began seeing more videos appear in the beginning of 2017 and centered around popular video games. On January 2nd, 2017, YouTuber RageElixir posted a video of himself playing Minecraft at 3 A.M. that gained over 3.5 million views (shown below, left). On January 13, 2017, AshDubh uploaded ''DO NOT PLAY ROBLOX AT 3 AM ON FRIDAY 13TH''(below) which to date has over 1.7 million views (shown below, right).
Eventually, this trend expanded to include doing anything at 3 A.M. On Feb 8th, 2017, OmarGhosh uploaded "(ATTACKED BY DEMON) HAUNTED SERIAL KILLER'S HOUSE 3AM Challenge" (shown below, left) which has over 2 million views. On May 5, 2017, ImJayStation uploaded a video titled "(PARANORMAL ACTIVITY) DEVILS MIRROR CHALLENGE IN ABANDONED HAUNTED HOUSE! 3 AM CHALLENGE" (shown below, right), which gained over 875,000 views.
One of the most popular YouTubers associated with the challenge is Ruby Rube, a child YouTube star who often makes videos in line with certain trends that take off on YouTube. She has made 16 3 A.M. videos, many of which have gotten over a million views. Her most popular videos find her talking to Siri at 3 A.M., which has gotten over 4 million views (shown below, left), and calling her school at 3 A.M., which has 2.7 million views (shown below, right).
The trend has been criticized by other prominent YouTubers for being an obvious stab at clickbait. On June 16th, penguinz0, aka Cr1tikal, uploaded a video parodying the trend, gaining over 428,000 views (shown below, left). On June 21st, Pyrocynical uploaded a video criticizing the trend, which has gained over 840,000 views (shown below, right).
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 YouTube:Original video
Jul 26, 2017 at 12:35PM EDT
Jul 26, 2017 at 12:37PM EDT
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