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7 of the least helpful how-to-guides on YouTube

Thanks for nothing.


Luke Winkie

Internet Culture

Posted on Sep 6, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 2:25 am CDT

I use YouTube instructional videos for everything. I’ve tied a tie with YouTube; I’ve turned on a pilot light YouTube; I’ve installed software with YouTube. Seriously, it’s awesome. The internet is our dad. Once upon a time, I thought you just reached a certain age and automatically knew how to do all the handiwork around the house. In 2016, I realized you just have to put your faith in the advice of strangers across the void.

That being said, YouTube is also home to some truly unnecessary self-help guidance. Some are dumb, some are irresponsible, and some are borderline dangerous! Here are seven how-to videos that I personally guarantee have never, ever, ever helped anyone on planet Earth. Watch at your own risk.

1) How to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich

You know what’s worse than a how-to video about making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? A how-to video about making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that doesn’t even show the process of making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It’s a slideshow with a voiceover. Like, you didn’t even get to step one. Zero stars.

2) How to get you security deposit back

Wow, lady, you have definitely never seen the inside of my apartment.

3) How to get ripped doing pushups and core moves.

The start of this video is a man telling you to do “scorpion pushups,” which literally just means “do pushups while doing a handstand.” It is the most amazing fuck-you to anyone naive enough to type “get ripped with pushups” into YouTube, and I kinda love it.

4) How to breathe underwater

I am disappointed this video doesn’t just start with: “OK, first things first, you need to be the son of God.”

I don’t want to be the guy who tells a 10-year-old kid he’s not actually breathing underwater, but really, come on, man.

5) How to fly an Airbus A320

Oh cool, I think I got the hang of it now.

6) How to make your penis bigger

This video of a man wrapping his dick in a warm towel and talking about “penis exercises” has 2.5 million views. If you ever doubt the extreme fragility of the male ego, please watch this video again.

7) How to get your ex back

Find someone new, go on a couple dates, find common ground, fall in love in the quiet social contract of your bedroom, and slowly recontextualize your former love as a human being, not the sole solution to your misery.

Or, I guess you could do this.

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*First Published: Sep 6, 2016, 8:00 am CDT