Mom Criticized For Pranking Her Son Into Believing His Life Might Be Over — ‘I Don’t Think This Is Funny At All’

She told him they would have to jump, but other people didn't find it funny.

Mom pranks her son by telling him to jump on the train @itslolalistens / Twitter; @jsymone7 / TikTok

A mother on TikTok faced a lot of backlash after posting a video of a prank she played on her son, bringing the boy to tears and causing many to say it wasn’t as funny as she seemed to think it was, and pointing out the potential trauma she might have caused.

Although the mom deleted the post from her TikTok account, someone was able to repost it on Twitter, where people similarly reacted to the harsh "joke" she made that caused her son to think his life was about to end.


The mom pranked her son by saying they would have to jump onto a moving bullet train.

At the very start of her video, she prefaced the story with some text that read, “Taking my son on a bullet train to Busan... told him the train doesn’t stop and we have to jump on while it was still moving...”

As adults who have had plenty of real-life experiences, we all know and understand that there’s no way passengers would be expected to jump onto a moving train anywhere, but being in a foreign country (as they are in South Korea) and also being a kid, her son fully believed what she said.

RELATED: A Mom's Open Letter To A Dad At The Beach Building A 'Sand Village' With A Bunch Of Kids After Her Son Wanted To Destroy It


The first thing the son asked his mom was, “Do you think I’d make it?” Again, we as fully-informed adults understand that trying to jump either into or on an incoming train will likely result in someone’s untimely demise, but the mom's confidence in her own words made the young boy unsure of himself and his own abilities.

When asked, out of 100, how likely she thought he was to make it, the mother responded, “45,” which once again only added to the young boy's uncertainty, replying that he was scared. However, it wasn’t until a bullet train on the other side of the station passed by that he was aware of just how impossible it would be to get on the train by jumping on it.


The mom’s prank brought her son to tears after he realized he wouldn’t make it.

The boy's younger brother said that he would make it, and the mom clarified with text that it was because he’d already done it before, so Ruben, the older brother and the one she was pranking, asked if all he had to do was run and jump. 

RELATED: Concerned Neighbors Successfully Rally To Find Mother Who Was Filmed Dragging Her 9-Year-Old Daughter By Her Hair

At this exact moment, a train on the other side of the tracks flew by and Ruben asked, “That’s how fast it goes? And we gotta jump on it?” The realization finally set in that there was no way he’d make it, and was quickly brought to tears because of it.


mom pranks son saying he has to jump on bullet train and makes him cryPhoto: @jsymone7 / TikTok; Twitter

Laughing about the whole situation, the mom wrote on the video, “At this moment he knew life was over,” with crying laughing emojis — but no one else was laughing.

The subject of whether or not it’s okay to play these kinds of pranks on your kids has always been up for debate. While some people believe that it’s harmless, others see the clear emotional distress that the targeted children exhibit.

RELATED: Parents Left Crying Newborn Alone At SeaWorld With Their Frustrated Young Daughter So They Could Ride A Rollercoaster


While speaking to Today, licensed psychotherapist Stacy Kaiser, and Lyss Stern, founder of, explained that it’s important to understand the difference between teasing and causing emotional pain.

For more than one minute Ruben was crying about the fact that, in his mind, he would have to jump onto a train moving hundreds of miles per hour. Even his little brother tried to console him, saying that it was going to be all right, while the dad encouraged him to make the jump and mom stayed silent.

When she finally told him the truth, Ruben started laughing off his tears. “Okay Ruben. Ruben, the train stops. We are not jumping on the train. It stops,” she said, and noticing that her son started laughing, she finally let out the laughter she’d been holding in the whole time.

Ruben tried to take her phone and stop her from recording, not letting out the laugh that he was holding in as his mom continued to laugh and backed away from his reaching hands. She posted one final photo and wrote, “getting on the ‘stopped’ train,” with more laughing emojis while Ruben’s face was one of humorous disdain.


RELATED: 11 Signs You Were Raised By A Bad Mother Or Father (And It's Affecting You Now)

mom pranks son saying he has to jump on bullet train and makes him cryPhoto: @jsymone7 / TikTok; Twitter

Despite the fact that it seems like the whole situation ended well, there’s no telling whether or not she caused irreparable emotional damage. The fact that she inflicted any at all was cruel to begin with.


“I don’t think this is funny at all SMH what was the purpose of this video?” one of the top comments read. “Why play with his emotions like this? I don’t find this funny at all.” However, other comments didn’t seem to care as much, laughing it off or saying, “I’m sorry but,” and saying it was funny.

Thus is the nature of the debate surrounding pranking your kids. Are a few laughs really worth making your kid cry?

RELATED: Mom Shares Video Of Her Son Begging To Not Get Spanked For Being 'Curious'

Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor for YourTango who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics.