Smosh: The Movie (2015) Wasn't As Bad As You Remember

Smosh: The Movie (2015) Wasn't As Bad As You Remember
Image credit: Netflix

One of the worst movies ever made or just obsolete humor?

The early YouTube was a bizarre place. In the absence of HD quality, we laughed at the silly jokes and memes, watched the awkward reactions of Ray William Johnson, got life advice from Jenna Marbles, and nodded along to the not-so-competent reviews of the legendary Nostalgia Critic and Angry Video Game Nerd.

By the mid-2010s, that era was over. Though many of the OG YouTubers were still posting videos, and some had gone on to global fame, YouTube was actively looking for new formats and creators. A generation of viewers was changing, and with it, humor was changing too. That's why a sketch duo like Smosh isn't exactly a household name these days, and their first feature film, Smosh: The Movie, is largely forgotten. But was it really that bad?

Let's refresh our memories about the Smosh duo first. Founded by comedians Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox, the project became widely popular with the advent of YouTube in 2005. Their content consists of skits, sketches, all sorts of articles, and even mini-games.

After Padilla's temporary departure due to creative and legal disagreements, the team is back with the same members and plans to refocus the project on sketches again. In 2023, their main channel has more than 25 million subscribers, but there's no denial that the glory days of Smosh are long gone.

Perhaps the movie had something to do with Smosh's fading popularity in the 2010s? That would be the obvious answer, but it's actually the opposite: the movie was the very epitome of the early YouTube, which is also the reason why it hasn't had much success with the new audiences of the mid- and late 2010s.

Aimed at millennials (teenagers at the time), Smosh: The Movie featured the same attitudes and humor as Padilla and Hecox's original sketches on the website. It opens with Hecox's once-popular catchphrase, 'Shut up!' which was played in all of their videos until 2017. The plot is simplistic and silly, following fictionalized versions of the comedians as they arrive at YouTube headquarters to delete a video from their high school days, only to find themselves in a parallel world of YouTube.

In the movie, the chemistry between Anthony and Ian is as goofy and sweet as ever, and the cameos of once-popular media personalities are nothing but a joy to watch.

Yes, even though most of the movie makes you cringe in 2023, the only problem with it is that it's full of obsolete humor — but it's also something that makes the film a unique artifact of its time. So, if you're looking for an hour and a half of warm nostalgia for a bygone era of YouTube and the humor that went with it, Smosh: The Movie is certainly a satisfying watch.