Before the release of Psycho Kid Flees Country, there was much speculation between subscribers to Jesse Ridgway's channel McJuggerNuggets as to whether the Psycho Series was real or if it was all an act for money. While no doubt the destruction is nothing fake or computerized, there were several clues as to whether the series was, or was not staged. Here, these are divided into various aspects.
- According to his Socialblade info, Jesse makes approximately $7,000-$112,000 per month and $84,000-$1,300,000 per year, meaning that he could easily replace his destroyed belongings, move out of the house and even make a living off of YouTube without having to work.
- In the video REAP WHAT YOU SOW!, Uncle Chris asks Jesse how much he makes off of YouTube, to which Jesse responds, "A good amount- I mean, not a lot", as if to cover up his supposed earnings from his videos.
- Youtube will usually give you 1$ for 1000 views usually meaning if he has over 50 million a month than he could make $50,000-$80,000. Jesse claims to his father however that he only makes $8,000 A month
- On the other hand, Jesse has stated in a Q&A that Socialblade stats aren't accurate or even precise, as YouTube revenue takes into account a lot of things. For one, they're tracking not only views of an advertisement (which excludes users with Adblock and similar browser extensions), but how much the advertiser pays for the advertisement. In addition, some of Jesse's videos have copyrighted music and therefore are not monetized, but his most popular videos (the Psycho Series and the vlogs) are. Also, there are companies / businesses that could potentially take large portions of Jesse's YouTube earning due to his ability to earn money off of his videos.
As per the contract with YouTube, Jesse has not revealed how much he actually earns, but he has revealed that YouTube only began paying him in February and that he'd rather pay his college debt of $70,000 first before spending money on anything else; combining this with Socialblade's lower bound of $7,000 per month, this implies that he has received only $21,000 as of May, not enough to pay the debt. In addition, his channel has grown considerably during the time, ranging from 500,000 subscribers and 3 videos per week by Psycho Dad Shatters Youtube Play Button to 1,000,000 subscribers and daily videos (sometimes with more than one video per day) by Psycho Dad Reacts to One Million Juggies.
Value of destroyed belongings
- In Psycho Dad Crashes WoW LAN Party the laptops used by everyone are all cheap, quite easily replaced models and even archaic models. Therefore, they have very little chance of actually handling the particles and graphics of a WoW raid even on low, at acceptable frame rates. However, it is implied that Jesse, Mark and Corn specifically brought low-end laptops as they knew in advance that Jeffrey Sr. could destroy them. In Psycho Dad Flattens Gaming Lair, Jeffrey's laptop could be seen as one of the seemingly destroyed laptops at the LAN party, since it seems to be the same model and has a green "REFURBISHED" sticker like the laptops at the LAN party had.
- Some of the destroyed belongings are fairly expensive and/or irreplaceable, such as the Silver Play Button in Psycho Dad Shatters Youtube Play Button and various trophies in both Psycho Dad Grills Wii U and JESSE SMASHES TROPHIES! (Broken Lens Revenge). If this was all staged then there would be no reason for the dad to agree with his son destroying something so valuable and rewarding to him. The same argument also applies to objects that do not belong to the Ridgways, such as the laptops in Psycho Dad Crashes WoW LAN Party and the RV (not destroyed, but vandalized and later stolen, making the act illegal) in Psycho Dad Reacts to One Million Juggies. It would be very unlikely and unnecessary for his friends to agree on letting Jesse's Dad destroy their laptops by flipping over their table, even if Jesse promised both of them new laptops (which he couldn't as per the monetary issues discussed previously).
- In Psycho Dad Destroys Xbox, Jeffrey claimed that Jesse has been playing the Xbox for several hours. However, when watching Jesse play, he's on the opening sequence of Skyrim.
- In Psycho Dad Axes Laptop, Jesse says that the McJuggerNuggets account belongs to Jeffrey, which, as the vlogs and further Psycho Series videos began to escalate, became very questionable. However, a plausible counter-theory to this was that it could have been that Jeffrey had managed it at the time of the release, and not after, but this eventually proved wrong as to when the series was revealed to be staged.
- In Psycho Dad Crashes WoW LAN Party, Jesse, Mark and Corn are able to apparently raid in an MMORPG -- all three -- without the use of a mouse. The WoW raid, while truthfully an easy raid, does require a mouse at least to raid efficiently. One wonders how a whole organised LAN party did not bring any mice. Also, Jeffrey Sr. is seen smiling when he flips the table.
- In Psycho Kid Gets Arrested, the cop only has handcuffs, and does not have a correct police belt, firearm, badge, and/or outfit. Many judge this to be the fakest in the Psycho Series at the time of it's release. Also, the cop arrives in the nick of time as if he was at the store when he got the call from the woman in the background. Also, unlike an actual police officer, he doesn't tell Jesse his rights when arresting him. If the video is slowed down to 0.25 speed at around 3:49, one can see Jesse doesn't have handcuffs on. An hour or so later, Voros Plumbing (the name of the store) calls themselves famous. However, if it was a real incident, then Voros Plumbing would never do such an act. This act also does not affect the relationship between Jesse and his girlfriend. Jesse has also not refuted, debunked, or explained anything about the officer's quick arrival, behavior, or uniform in the update video; he merely apologies for the actions in the video, similar to Psycho Family Apology. In the video SCARED STRAIGHT, Jesse's mother tells him it was a prank set up by his father and Jeffrey and that the cop was his father's friend. Jesse also explains he wasn't actually taken in a police car or into a police station. However, this contradicts with a Tweet on the day he got "arrested", saying he just got out of the police station. Some viewers could view this as simply a way to counter the criticism of the video's authenticity. However, in Scared Straight, Mrs. Ridgway confirms the cop was indeed fake, but he was hired by Mr. Ridgway to scare Jesse into being respectful.
- In Welcome to Eagle's Landing, which was uploaded on April 2, 2015, Jesse claims that after his first car -- a Mitsubishi Montero -- got destroyed in Psycho Dad Wrecks Car, he purchased an Eighth generation Toyota Corolla (E110), replacing his older vehicle. However, in Psycho Dad Wrecks Car, one can see the Toyota in the background of the several vehicles in the lot at 0:09 - 0:10 mark. The vehicle could also be seen in "Everyday Situations" 07: Stuck, which was uploaded on January 28, 2014, a year and 1/3rd from April 2, 2015. This could possibly also mean that the Ridgways somehow got the Mitsubishi for a cheap price for the purpose of Psycho Dad Wrecks Car.
- In McJokerNuggets *PSYCHO UPDATE*, Jesse shows that there is a hole in his wall from the chair that Jeffrey Jr. threw in Psycho Family Halloween. However, the hole is not actually visible anywhere in this particular video, leaving some to speculate that the hole was added after this video was filmed.
- There is an old, unlisted channel trailer titled "McJuggerNuggets Needs YOU!" and during the first two seconds of that video, there is a tree falling down on top of the same car seen in Psycho Dad Wrecks Car. However, the tree lands right behind the car, and doesn't damage it. In Psycho Dad Wrecks Car, the tree is never seen and the car takes visible damage in its windshield from the firewood Jeffrey Sr throws. The firewood appears to be freshly cut, and the size of the pieces seem to match the size of the tree trunk in McJuggerNuggets Needs YOU!. In McJuggerNuggets Needs YOU!, the car is intact, so this was obviously filmed before the events of Psycho Dad Wrecks Car. This is very skeptical, seeing as Jesse unlisted this particular video shortly after it was uploaded. This may have been the original version of Psycho Dad Wrecks Car, though it was canned and added into McJuggerNuggets Needs YOU! by accident, proving that the series may be staged.
- In the vlog LIVING IN THE PAST!, at around 13:18, the clock states that the time is 09:35 (PM). At 13:24, there is a cut during the video and the time shows that it is 10:35 (PM), indicating that they would have had to reshoot, or practice the following argument for the next hour.
- In Psycho Family Hunting, Jeffrey Sr. tells Jesse that the drive to the hunting site would be two hours long. At the time his truck left, it was exactly 5:59 PM. By the time they got to the site, however, it was 6:14 PM, which is clearly less than even an hour.
- In Psycho Dad Destroys Xbox, Jeffrey never actually states that Jesse had been playing Skyrim, and it is likely that Jesse played another game for the hours before Skyrim. This is possibly backed by Jeffrey even mumbling about "Skyrim, you kidding me?" as if Jesse had just started.
- During the Eagles Landing arc, various neighbors and friends of Jesse (Mark, Corn, Buzz, Jesse's girlfriend, Mr. H and Uncle Larry) all claim that they know Jesse's situation with his father and believe Jesse when he states that he has been really kicked out of the house. If the series was fake, some of them would likely act completely differently, and any traces of acting would be clearly visible. In addition, Jesse didn't live stream during this time of his life, even though he could have benefited off it as he has his Twitch partnership.
- The fact that Jeffrey somehow is able to record the Psycho videos at the right moment as if it's a script and that Jeffrey Sr. is almost always destroying Jesse's belongings (being some of Jesse's most valuable and expensive equipment) sounds very skeptical.
- Jesse acts completely different in his Psycho videos and videos of his that aren't part of the Psycho series. In the Psycho videos, he seems to have some traits of autism and, as revealed in "Psycho Dad Pounds Nintendo DS", Jesse has no real interest in adventure and would much rather play his video games and fool around filming despite being able to do so at home anytime. When not making a Psycho video, he seems to act more mature in lots of ways.
- Jesse got a college degree in film making, so he must have some knowledge on making good-quality videos.
- Jeffrey Sr. has appeared in other videos besides the Psycho videos. If he had as dislike toward Jesse's YouTube career as shown in the Psycho series, it is unlikely he would participate in any other videos. To add to this, several other people within the channel besides the Psycho videos such as Melissa, Uncle Larry, and Tom have appeared.
- In Psycho Brother Stomps Glasses, Jesse smashes a glass bottle against Jeffrey's head. However, since the glass broke so easily, this suggests Jesse used a breakaway bottle. These are bottles made to look real, but they break easily, so they don't cause harm.
- In Psycho Dad Shatters Youtube Play Button, Jesse's Dad knew about his subscribers. 'It's a hundred thousand award, you're already at 500K'. But in Psycho Dad Reacts to One Million Juggies, Psycho Dad apparently doesn't know about Jesse's subscribers. 'what subscribers, I don't know what the hell you're talking about'
- One of the glaring factors regarding the current behavior of Theresa and Melissa is not just appearing in videos beforehand (Melissa shown to be as nice and kind and Theresa being already known beforehand) but appearing as well in the "2Girls1Cup Reaction", in comparison to a later vlog later on where Theresa and Melissa are laughing at pornography.
- Fans/Skeptics have called the New Jersey Police Department ( 1 (856-769-0774) ) regarding some of the content of the series (with the logic of how certain videos such as Psycho Brother Stomps Glasses can be uploaded despite the graphic content) and have stated it "has been taken care of", implying Jesse or someone within the family called the NJ Police regarding the content so no problems will arise.
- In WELCOME BACK, JESS!, Jeffrey Sr. was skeptical as to why Jesse would even want to work on a farm, considering the fact he gained a bachelor's degree. However, in MEET PSYCHO DAD'S BROTHER!, the job that he had available for him was to work at McCann's Farm, proving that there is some scripting in the vlogs, even. Though it's possible that either Jeffrey Sr. changed his mind or he had no other option for Jesse.
- Some of the incidents are quite predictable even by outsiders (YouTube commenters have predicted the events of Psycho Dad Grills Wii U, Psycho Dad Flattens Gaming Lair, and Psycho Dad Demolishes Gaming Room), and the Ridgways, knowing the tension between each other, could notice when an incident occurs. In addition, some videos were deliberately filmed with some knowledge as to what will happen, such as Psycho Brother Clips Head, Psycho Kid's Halloween Bloodbath and Psycho Brother's Frozen Lockout; though, some might consider this to be direct evidence that they're fake.
- Jesse has stated in a Q&A that he has Bipolar Disorder, takes medications and goes to a therapist (which he also mentions in Psycho Kid Torches Christmas Tree). In addition, in videos such as Psycho Family Apology, he can be seen going from calm and polite to angry and shouting.
- Although in "Psycho Dad Raids Stream", Jesse gets his live stream television destroyed, which could be fake, but his father interrupts it mid-way. There is no physical evidence that this would be fake, despite the fact that Jesse's brother supposedly started recording as the father was about to confront Jesse. It was also a surprise to the viewers who were watching the stream, as Jesse wasn't in the stream for a good few minutes, with one of them commenting "no way this is fake. I always thought psycho videos were fake but im convinced theyre real now".
Info said from Characters in Videos
- On January 6, 2016, Kate revealed that Psycho Girlfriend Breaks iPad was staged and reveals her reasoning on twitter. She also reveals her name is Siobhan Sullivan. Also she posted photos on her Facebook page, one of which was taken that same night the video was taken.
- In Psycho Kid Moves Out, Jesse says at one point, "Of course I make money off of you! That's the whole point of the videos!".
1. There's a YouTuber named Is it real?, which made a video where his explaining that McJuggerNuggets videos are fake.
2. There is also a YouTuber that goes by MashButton who put his support on whether the series was fake or not.
So what do you think? Are the Psycho videos real? Or are they fake? Let us know in the poll below!
Edit: By the time of Psycho Kid Flees Country, 75% voted for "Fake!", while 25% voted for "Real!".