There are rules against false advertising, but we all know commercials still lie. Drinking Aviation Gin won’t make you as cool as Ryan Reynolds, and driving an SUV won’t turn you into a competent outdoorsman overnight.
Saturday Night Live knows this, and a sketch on the show’s most recent episode cleverly roasts a particularly unrealistic genre of advertising: the children’s clothing commercials that every parent knows are kind of bullshit.
The sketch starts out as a standard spot for Macy’s, complete with jingling bells and photogenic families dressed in dresses and sweaters amidst giant Christmas ornaments in front of a blank backdrop.
Everything changes when the kids start complaining like they actually do in real life.
“It’s too hot!” “It itches!” “[baby screaming]”
Things go downhill from there, as one mother tries to wrangle her scurrying kid into a plaid-lined jacket while another tries to shove her stockinged daughter’s into shoes.
Then, the sketch makes the leap into the domestic where a kid won’t stop squirming with his sweater over his head and another complains about “cozy corduroys that will pinch his little nuts.” Yikes.
But it’s not just the kids who hate these clothes; there’s plenty for parents to disdain too, like rompers with buttons “you’ll never get off in time” for your kid not to have an accident, jackets that don’t fit into a car seat, and impossible-to-put-on-snow-boots.
The sketch reaches its zenith with this last struggle, as a dad unsuccessfully tries to jam boots onto his daughter’s feet while his exasperated wife hovers behind him, offering unhelpful advice.
“Daddy’s a dumbass,” he tells his daughter in a sarcastic impression of his wife, something he definitely should not have said. His wife proceeds to treat him like a kid, to which he replies “Oh no, and miss your brother getting drunk and asking to borrow money?”
That the mom who lets her kid sit in a loaded diaper because her daughter’s outfit is too hard to get off isn’t the most cringe-inducing moment of this sketch says something about how awful kids’ clothes can be for everyone involved.
“Clothes They’ll Hate Create the Memories You’ll Love” is the closing tagline, and rarely has an SNL sketch captured reality so well.