It takes peaceful things, like Zen gardens, and things that typically bring me great joy, like cake cutting, and bastardizes them beyond repair. I had to stop watching long before the end of its nearly six-minute run. But when I tabbed back over to YouTube to find an antidote, I was met with another form of chaos:
YouTube returns approximately 1.3 million results for the search term “most satisfying video,” many of them titled exactly the same thing—“The Most Satisfying Video Ever”—and uploaded by the same channel, Just Cool Stuff. Each video is between 10 and 15 minutes long, and includes a different array of OCD catnip and generally neat stuff to watch: a man slicing a bullet with a sword, balloons popping in slow motion, you name it. To complicate matters, the cool image selected as the video’s thumbnail bears almost zero resemblance to the content within. Great.
How was I ever supposed to find the most most satisfying video palate cleanser? Let’s get to the bottom of this.
What makes the most satisfying video?
Every one of these videos relies on some common tropes. Liquid pouring smoothly, cake decoration in time lapse, objects that naturally fit together—all these things are pretty universally satisfying to watch. Conversely, the things that made the first video so unsatisfying were examples of things being done poorly, not symmetrically, or in a way that breaks up a pattern where your brain wants there to be one.
There’s also something to be said for a relaxing soundtrack contributing to the satisfaction quotient, but if heavy metal soothes you, far be it from me to rule otherwise. But the visual quality contributes too: HD video is always going to be more satisfying than some poorly shot grainy footage from 1993.
Going solely on the visuals, there should be a way to narrow down the competition here, right? See for yourself.
Testing the most satisfying videos
1) The Most Satisfying Video Ever
At the 2:20 mark, they just drop a perfectly good iPhone into a saucepan of blue liquid. You expect to see someone fish it back out and find it still working, but no, now it’s just blue and worthless. What the FUCK.
Verdict: Nope. One down.
2) The Most Satisfying Video Ever
This one starts off with calmer music and a machine cutting notches into a metal gear with astounding precision. It’s off to a good start, and I’m pretty sure I could watch the lasagna-making segment for days.
But then, again around the 2:20 mark, a 12,000-piece pyramid crumbles to the ground just as its builders put on the finishing touches. I’m beginning to think the Just Cool Stuff folks have a sadistic streak.
Verdict: Nope. No wonder this one only has 60,000 views.
3) The Most Satisfying Video Ever
Something’s not quite right in this compilation: For one thing, this video uses recycled footage from one of the others; the calligraphy and cooking clips stuck out to me in particular. Furthermore, the pottery clip goofs up the perfect vertical stripes at the last minute, and the couch-cushion Tetris is a bit of a nail-biter until everything shifts into place at the end. Jury’s still out on if watching someone smush pigments around to make a baby-shit brown paint is soothing or disgusting.
But we’re getting closer. And if the 45 seconds of powerwashing at the 4:15 mark did it for you, have we got good news.
Verdict: Close, but no cigar.
4) The Most Satisfying Video Ever
Dye! Glass blowing! Cheese! This is tremendous; I feel better already.
Two minutes later: Picking up a piece of pizza and having all the toppings slide off. What the FUCK. Automatic DQ.
5) The Most Satisfying Video In the World #6
I needed to get away from the Just Cool Facts rabbit hole, so I tried this recommendation from the sidebar instead. Congratulations, Just Wow Me, you’ve found a trypophobic’s worst nightmare.
Verdict: Hard pass.
My sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and 10th tries were just as fruitless, with spiders, an Alfred Hitchcock outtake, messy cheese slicing, crummy editing, and a grammatical error in the title being the dealbreakers, respectively.
Video No. 11 got pretty dang close, but it was bookended by some frustrating giveaway nonsense from the channel that put me in such a foul mood I started stress-eating Halloween candy. It’s March.
The most satisfying video in the world—finally
Finally, I found an entry from the experts at Digg.
It’s got all the favorites—cake decorating, egg separating, metal drilling, the works—and all presented in fairly high quality video.
Most satisfying videos by category
That covers our compilation needs, but what if you have a particular itch to scratch? Rest easy. We’ve got you covered.
Things that just fit
For more random favorites, from pictures of things that fit together just so to videos like these, follow along with the Oddly Satisfying subreddit. For more handcrafted glory like the woodworking and noodle making selections, subscribe to r/ArtisanVideos.