What The Hell Is "Johny Johny Yes Papa" And Why Is The Internet Obsessed With It?

30 August 2018, 11:52 | Updated: 3 September 2018, 11:59

Johny Johny Yes Papa What is Johny Johny Yes Papa Johny Johny Yes Papa Nursery Rhyme Lyrics ChuChu TV Johny Johny Yes Papa Eating Candy Johny Johny Yes Papa Animation Eating Candy No Papa
Picture: YouTube
Benedict Townsend

By Benedict Townsend

"Do you think God stays in heaven because he too, lives in fear of what he's created?" - Dr Romero, Spy Kids 2

The internet was invented in 2002 by Chris Internet with the express purpose of generating fresh horrors to unleash upon the world. Case in point, a thoroughly unpleasant kids video that has been spreading around the internet like head lice in a primary school.

Before we delve into "Johny Johny Yes Papa" and what it means for humanity (spoiler: not good!), let me give you a little bit of background. As you may or may not know, there is a whole weird sub-genre of YouTube content that markets itself as 'for kids' but which almost entirely consists of computer-animated nonsense.

Now I don't mean nonsense in the sense that these videos are silly, I mean they are literally nonsensical. They feature characters that make no sense, and often aren't even the same size; nursery rhymes that you've never heard and which don't rhyme and moral lessons that don't need to be taught (they're very obsessed with 'telling lies' for some reason?)

"Who cares?" You say, sitting there in your leather jacket looking all cool. "There are loads of dumb videos online, why are these any different?" Well I'll tell you, Joe Smooth, it's because these videos get billions of views. No, not millions with an 'm', but billions with a 'b'.

These videos get billions of views each. How? For the love of god how? Well because parents simply park their kids in front of them for hours at a time and isn't that depressing. The kids then watch said videos over and over and over again, because kids love repetition. Because kids love repetition. Because kids love repetition.

And so we come to 'Johny' and his father...

Right off the bat - no! That is not the most common way of spelling the name 'Johny'! You are correct! But if you think that is going to be the most unusual thing about this digital acid trip then you are wrong! Dead wrong!

The video features... look, just watch the video first. It would take 50,000 words to describe this brief clip so just dive in. The video can actually be strangely hard to find, but here's a version we found for you, because we're nice like that:

Right let's break this down, shall we?

We open on our hero, Johny. He is a baby. He is also twelve feet tall sometimes but don't worry about that now. Johny has stolen some sugar from the cupboard like a naughty child.

It is at this point that our antagonist (although I would argue he's more of an anti-hero) for the piece: Johny's father, enters the picture. Johny's father - sorry, his papa, has a fetching moustache and snazzy haircut. He is also caucasian despite having what is clearly an accent from somewhere in or around the Indian subcontinent. Again, don't worry too much about this.

Johny Johny Yes Papa What is Johny Johny Yes Papa Johny Johny Yes Papa Nursery Rhyme Lyrics ChuChu TV Johny Johny Yes Papa Eating Candy Johny Johny Yes Papa Animation Eating Candy No Papa
hubba hubba. Picture: YouTube

Papa has caught Johny red-handed like the little rat thief he is and Johny has the audacity to try and lie to his wonderful moustache-toting white Indian father. Papa even asks his son directly if he is lying, in the way that any normal person would - by saying 'telling lies' without any hint of it being a question - but Johny, much like Saint Peter denying Christ, doubles down on his duplicity.

Papa, ever the expert detective (and I, for one, would love a prequel video about Papa's life as a PI before Johny came along and ruined everything), is not so easily swayed by Johny's endless dishonesty. Papa asks Johny to 'open his mouth', making a truly upsetting hand movement as he does so.

Johny opens his mouth, the lie is revealed and the pair brutally fight to the death share a hearty laugh.

It's a story for the ages, and one that is only improved by the fact that it is punctuated with constant cutaways of papa and Johny dancing in some disco to the screeching sounds of one of the most annoying songs ever conceived by man.

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This isn't a nursery rhyme and don't tell me it is.

If you had to name famous Western nursery rhymes what would you say? You would say 'Ring a Ring o' Roses' or 'the wheels on the bus'. You would not - you never would - reply 'Johny Johny yes papa eating sugar telling lies'.

But try telling that to YouTube dot com, which seems to be convinced that this is a real rhyme (it isn't) that is somehow fun and good (it is very much not).

It perplexes me to the point of rage how many videos there are which fixate on Johny and how he needs to stop telling lies and open his mouth. Like this nonsense from 'ChuChuTV' which has, to quote the YouTube page directly: "1,528,292,461 views" (not a joke).

Johny Johny Yes Papa lyrics

For those of you who are wondering, here are the lyrics to this masterpiece:

Johny Johny
Yes Papa,
Eating sugar?
No Papa
Telling lies?
No Papa
Open your mouth
Ha! Ha! Ha!

We may have omitted some 'do do do do do's' to save time.

And, of course, there are now memes:

Something weird cannot spread around the internet without the memelords getting hold of it, and why should Johny Johny Yes Papa be any different?

What a rollercoaster ride this has been. Johny and his papa have really cemented themselves as one of the standout memes of 2018. And do you know why that is? Because the video is actually really good. It's a fantastic video. I love this video.

"Telling lies."

Yes, yes I am.