So much thought and planning goes into every detail of a toy except, seemingly, how annoying it is. Months can be spent with teams of people planning out every last inch of the packaging the toy is sold in or how it can look the most friendly and welcoming to a child, and yet no one holds up their hand in that room and says, "Hey, maybe this siren is a little too loud?" Or "Hey, maybe that laugh coming from the doll is a little too creepy."
Maybe if the toy had a motion sensor that sets its volume to a level that won't make a parent's ears bleed, that would benefit the whole family. Including the child's. Sure, loud colors and noises grab their attention but there’s a limit to that loudness. And yet, so many terrible noises (and awful ideas) slip through the cracks. We all know these toys are meant for kids but they’re purchased by adults. And when they’re relegated to the box toys don’t come back from, it’s a fed up adult making that decision.
In a perfect world, there wouldn’t be any loud noises coming from tiny plastic toys but there’d also be none of these hilarious stories.
20 When It's Too Realistic
When her little one became obsessed with a toy ambulance, one mother was lenient enough to let the ambulance come along on car rides. Well, that policy lasted about a minute. "We have a toy ambulance we got for like a dollar, it’s from the '90s and has a very realistic siren. I eventually learned my lesson and told the kiddos, 'Am' can’t ride in the car.” Yeah, that’s only one of the most important sounds to hear when you're driving and it’s a lot harder to pull over when no one else is doing it... mainly because the sound is coming from the inside of your car.
19 It's A Home, Not A Swamp
It’s a given that most toys will be obnoxious. Even the cutest song will get old once you’ve heard it a hundred times, but some toys take it to the next level of inconvenience. "Slime. My house is full of bottles of glue and contact lens solution and bags of glitter and little pots of slime. Please, can a new trend come along already? Or can we bring fidget spinners back or something? This is so MESSY.” Let the trend be as stupid as flipping water bottles and as all-consuming as Pokémon, but please just let it not be too messy.
18 A Little Tinkering Goes A Long Way
Some parents persevere in the face of annoying noises and some get a little creative. Creative in a very secret agent, cutting the red wire way.... Except instead of saving an office building from European terrorists, they’re saving their own mind.
"I had to put tape over the speakers of my Bop It... Just snip a wire somewhere. Ruining a kid's day by breaking their toy is worth it for sweet, sweet rest.”
It’s so unfortunate that the wiring on that great toy broke… Darn those cheap toys! Maybe we should hold a moment of silence for the deceased Bop It. A moment that’s also a mid-day nap.
17 Toys That Defy All Laws
Toys aren’t just un-killable in horror movies; they're the same in real life. "My niece got one for X-mas or something, guess it was possessed... but she kept hiding it in her twin brother's closet and it would randomly go off in the middle of the night. So next time we visited the other sister (who has a 3-year-old) she gifted her with it, on the two-and-a-half hour drive that... the thing would not stop… I was ready to toss it out the window. Finally given to sister #2, two days later she informs us she had already taken out the batteries. Thank goodness I never got a Furby when I was a kid."
16 Ghosts Are Forever
What's that old saying? Not all boats are meant for the sea? "Our youngest had this pirate ship that had a button that would play the sound of a cannon followed by 'pirates' yelling and making noise. Well, one day he thought it would be a good idea to put it in the tub which it was not made for. So we set it outside the tub to see if it would dry and ever work properly again. Problem is, it would go off randomly but distorted so we'd wake up at all hours of the night to warbly cannons going off and pirates yelling and making noise. We called it the ghost of the pirate ship."
15 Not Everyone Needs A Catchphrase
The toy in a Happy Meal keeps the kids quiet in the backseat long after the final French fry has been battled over, but at what cost? One mother remembers, "There was a toy that McDonald's gave out the year the FIRST Madagascar came out. Marty, the zebra, has two lines he would scream when you pressed the button: 'HOLLA AT CHA BOYZ!' 'YOU GUYS ARE CRAZY!' Over. And over.”
Please, Marty, be a zebra that doesn’t talk. Be like the other zebras. I know, it’s your thing, you’re a funny zebra but don’t you want to embrace your zebra culture and be totally silent?
14 In Real Time
Something very nefarious happened when one father took the time to have an online respite and type out his complaints. "Our kids have a couple of plastic recorders. The instrument. They drive my wife absolutely nuts. Every time she has tried to get rid of them, the kids find them in the Goodwill box and take them back out. Hilarious to me. Drives her crazy. Our 1-year-old just learned how to make it screech 10 minutes ago.”
Wow, we’re witnessing a mother go mad in real time and it just went to the next level. It's no wonder he’s seeking out an online community of like-minded people. Stuff just got ugly.
13 Of All The Presents Under The Tree
Toys were annoying, even in the past. "My dad loves to tell this story: One year on Christmas my sister (then 3 or so) woke up early and wanted to open presents before everyone else was awake. So my dad tells her she can open one present, to keep her busy until the rest of the family is up. The one she picks turns out to be a penny whistle, which she, of course, begins to play as loud as her three-year-old lungs can manage. My dad had to take it away and let her pick something quieter."
12 Goodbye, Bop It!
It seems like almost every parent of a certain age has a Bop It story... "My niece USED to play all day long ... with her 'Bop-It' toy. Until one day we were road traveling, and her dad nicely asked more than three times to stop playing it because it was already getting annoying, she... kept playing so imagine 'Bop it! Twist it! Pull it!...' Her dad reached it while still driving ... and threw it out the window Hilarious!! I was lmao and my niece was astonished!! Later he actually felt so bad about it that he bought her a new one."
11 Too Young For Any Kind Of Phone
Sometimes things get so obnoxious, desperate measures must be made. "A toy phone that plays a looped excerpt from the song 'Barbie Girl' by Aqua, the sound quality is like someone talking with a tinfoil covering his mouth, so... annoying. I hid it and bought my kid a new one, no 'Barbie Girl' sounds this time.”
Sure, it felt freeing to hide the toy in the moment and it might lead to buying that same, stupid toy all over again, but at least you learn from your mistakes. You know, right before repeating them and going crazy in a new way.
10 A Nefarious Scheme
If you start looking online, you’ll find so much of the Internet is dedicated to a world-wide silent contest between adult friends and family to buy each other’s kids the most annoying, loudest toys. It hurts everyone and yet we keep doing it. It's just a circle of retaliating through gift giving. Sometimes it starts as a joke, sometimes it’s an act of revenge. Either way, these toy wars lead to some careful “accidents” on a parent’s part. "Some jerk who shall go un-named gave my 5-year-old a toy drum. It took weeks before I could engineer the stepping on it. 'Awww. What a shame!'"
9 So Many Awful Gifts
And even when it’s an accident, it feels so on purpose. "For Christmas, my mother-in-law gave my son a wooden box of... Maracas, a tambourine, a couple of clacker sticks, that hollow wooden thing with ribs that you rub with a stick, a couple of those really tiny cymbals that belly dancers wear, and a HEE HAW redneck 'git yer grub on' dinner triangle and steel ringer stick. How soon can we throw it away? Nobody, not even a 3-year-old, can break a steel triangle. You'd have to run it over with a truck to break it. It's ours until we throw it away."
8 Misdirected Energy
What’s so weird about some of these absolutely awful toys is that they’re supposed to foster and further a child’s creative inclinations, but some actually end up making it all the worse. One mother complains, "My daughter has this microphone that changes your voice into an elf. She loves singing and I think that's just great but the pitch of this thing is like nails on a chalkboard.” It’s so nice this little girl loves to sing and it’s undoubtedly a passion her mother would support… if it weren’t for this terrible toy. And what message does it send that her voice has to be altered? What is the purpose of this toy?
7 Santa Needs To Clean Up The Mess He Left
If the gift was given anonymously or on behalf of Santa, how about Santa comes by to correct some of the obnoxious harm he’s made? ”My oldest was given a horrible Dora guitar and a creepy singing doll. My youngest has these stupid singing cars that he has just figured out how to turn on himself. My mother has been put on notice. If she can buy my brother's kids noiseless, eco-friendly, unpainted sticks and things according to their parents' wishes...she can stop doling out the loud crap to my kids. I am asking Santa for a hammer to 'fix' the toys."
6 When The Farm Animals Need To Shut Up
If a parent knows the specific brand of a toy, that’s either a very good thing or a bad thing. This toy has either made itself know in a parent's life because it’s saving it or harming it. And a lot of people know the name “Melissa and Doug Sound Puzzles" for a few reasons.
"Melissa and Doug Sound puzzles. We had the farm puzzle. If you take out the pieces, the puzzle makes the farm noises until the correct piece is in place. My daughter would misplace a piece and every time we went near that puzzle, the puzzle would moo at us. Had to quickly sell that thing."
5 When An Entire Brand Is Blacklisted
Some parents get pretty worked up over toy brands, and that’s when the rules come crashing down. "We have a very strict 'no Vtech' policy in our house for this reason. The toys DO NOT QUIT. Most toys, one little song or phrase and it’s done. Vtech toys go on for several minutes and then make a little noise just to let you know they’re going to stop making noise. Hate Vtech.” Wow, just like a terrible guest, Vtech is no longer allowed in this house. Does anyone else picture a poster of Vtech that says "Do Not Serve This Toy"?
4 When You're Thwarted
As amazing as it is to have a tight-knit family, sometimes family members can end up making your life harder than easier. "My kids got a lot of the annoying toys. I would take the batteries out right away and tell them it 'Makes noise in the box because they want kids to buy the toy, now you can use your imagination!' That worked for many many years. My brother was in the Marines and he would come visit every couple years when he had a leave. The first time he got to spend time with the kids he noticed a lot of our toys didn't work. He came back the next day with bags of batteries and got all our toys working. He made my life hell."
3 A Toy That's Forever Banned
Sometimes it’s not a brand that’s the specific offender, but a specific toy. Some toys are deemed Public Enemy number one by parents. ”I’ve got a Little Tykes toy giraffe that DOESN'T HAVE AN OFF SWITCH! I mean, who decided that'd be a good idea? That toy is in the deepest, darkest cupboard of our house with nothing near it so that it isn't accidentally switched on. The second one got kicked out to my mums house where it regularly pisses my dad right off. I'm gonna go home and take the batteries out of it 'cause that's the sensible thing to do."
2 Tape Isn't Always Enough
A common solution to a terrible toy is to put tape over the speakers to muffle it. That said, your common tape is often like a tiny bucket trying to contain the sea: it doesn’t make any difference at all. "Fisher-Price BeatBo. We have the small version and I absolutely hate it but my daughter loves it. The small one we have stands about five' and is so incredibly loud I’ve had to put multiple layers of tape on the speaker to make it a reasonable volume. I keep this toy hidden as much as possible.”
BeatBo, you’re not welcome here!
1 When It Just Doesn't Make Sense
This toy barely needs any description or any little story about how annoying it is to be an obvious pain in the neck. One woman says (and she really doesn’t need to say anything else), "THIS It's a rapping goose and it's absolutely the most obnoxious thing I've ever had the misfortune of encountering.” Honestly, a rapping goose sounds terrible. I don’t need to be convinced — I believe you. That goose is no friend of mine and I really don’t understand what this toy is supposed to do, besides go in the ocean after a few short months of half-interested playtime.
References: Reddit, Reddit