How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

How to Commit the Perfect Toy Murder


How to Commit the Perfect Toy Murder

[ click the image to enlarge ]

Oh how they sing. Oh how they dance. You gave it as a gift, not knowing any better. Or someone else gave it to your kid, not knowing that it could ultimately make you want to stab pens in your ears or kill yourself. But whatever you do, don’t do these things! There is another way…

Sometimes toy murder is necessary. Let’s give our consciences a lollipop though and call it something else, “murder” is such a harsh word. Something like: electronic toy euthanasia. Or better yet, “assisted malfunction.” Paging Dr. Toyvorkian!

I’ve included some higher-risk emergency methods, just in case. However, bear in mind that “accidents” are risky because they’re caused by people, and people happen to be things that kids can point fingers at. Tiny, quivering, accusatory fingers. A real jury is nothing compared to the guilt lasers that shoot out of your kid’s big, watery eyes of misery and betrayal. Better for it to look like a natural toy death. No one to blame! And your child could also be a lot less likely to want another one since the last one “broke.”

I know what you’re thinking. Deceiving your kids is generally not a good way to parent, but sometimes you have to choose between the lesser of two evils: A) deception, or B) high-strung parenting brought about by musical and animatronic torture, accompanied by restless sing-songy nightmares. Your choice.

And remember, despite how amazing the Toy Story films are, toys are not actually alive. Relax, take a deep breath, and grab a hammer.


In other toy-related news…

The Ways Toys Can Suck for a Parent
Know thy enemy.

Toys Make You a Singing Psycho
Apparently the topic of insanity-inducing toys it trending right now in the social network of my home.

New Hazard Signs for Parents
Sort of toy related. Maybe only 10-20%, sure, but that’s something!


94 Responses to “How to Commit the Perfect Toy Murder”

  1. Canadian Dad says:

    I have performed open heart toy surgery on a number of annoying toys. I too ‘think’ that Toy Story is a sham and that toys can be “fixed” without feeling bad. Every now and then I get a little scared that they are watching me but that’s just me, right???

    Great Post Guys!

    • Nicole says:

      I feel that way about stuffed animals! When the kid has too many of them, they have to go… but after that Lotso character, I’m scared they’ll kill me in my sleep!!!!

    • Andy says:

      RIGHT!!! Those fixed, vacant, glassy stares… (shudders) πŸ˜‰

  2. Michelle says:

    “Assisted Malfunction”. Hilarious! Yes, sometimes these electronic toys drive me mad!!! Mad I tell you!!! Seems like we have no less than 20 toys going at the same time. Hello Hammer Fairy! πŸ˜‰

  3. ddywgn says:

    Toyvorkian; top shelf stuff there. I’d line up any and all Elmos for him. We have a very strict “No Elmo” policy in our house, Barbie can get in after a complete overhaul inspection by a dozen, highly trained TSA agents; but not that little red bas…

    • Andy says:

      Smart move. Your house is probably a lot more terror-free than ours.

    • Sleep_deprived_1 says:

      In Mayim Bialik’s book Beyond The Sling, she explains that she never purchases battery operated toys. Her children still receive them as gifts, but when the batteries die she simply states that the batteries are drained and her kids seem to continue onward with little disturbance in playtime. Smart woman!

  4. kate says:

    Ohhh how I remember when, on a beach vacation, my dad told us that once our Tamagotchi digital pets died, they were gone forever, and would require burial in the sand. We believed him, and when they both died we buried them dutifully in the sand where presumably they still are.

    We were so young and naive…….

  5. Monica says:

    So Funny and so right there with ya. Dr. Toyvorkian is Genius. Love this.

    On a separate note, who saw the video of the parents that put their toddler in a washer and turned it on and then couldn’t get the child out. They were at a Laundromat and an attendant had to cut power to the washer and it still took a minute to open the door. The kid is okay but those parents don’t deserve to have children. The dad placed the toddler in the washer so the toddler didn’t end up in there by accident. WARNING: the video is desturbing. Horror at what could have happened.

    • Andy says:

      That’s f##king awful! Why did you mention it if it’s horrifying! Some people are going to get struck with the “MUST LOOK” bug and go seek it out!

      Anyways, I’m glad you enjoyed my post. I promise I’ll never do a How To as dark and horrific as the video you described. Holy crap!

      • Monica says:

        I can’t believe that some parents would even do this. I don’t want to drag anyone down but this kind of stuff just drives me nuts. The cops are trying to locate these parents now. It was on yahoo in their news feed. The Today Show mentioned it this morning. I can not believe how stupid some parents are. Apparently the dad was trying to play peek a boo with his toddler.

  6. Phil says:

    I sat on my kid’s favorite tiara without her knowing it a while back. Why do they keep asking, just as soon as you thought they forgot? Anyway, I still haven’t told the truth, and occasionally have even thrown in a “you must have misplaced it. Terrible.


  7. Pam says:

    A sweet Grandmother-y type took home from the church nursery every.single.battery operated death toy and ‘fixed’ them for the kids, My gratitude knows no bounds every Wednesday night while they play with them the full hour!I have been slowly killing them so as to not raise any alarms!

  8. Nicole says:

    I’m guilty of it. We take batteries out all the time. I’ve even toynapped DVD’s if that’s possible. But with Netflix, that doesn’t work anymore. The kids catch a glimpse of Elmo and, man, it’s all over.

    I never thought about drowning toys. I have toys that I have NO IDEA where the batteries are on those things. Trust me, I look. Or I can’t get the battery cover off!

    I feel guilty, but confess? Never… Some of those toy murders I will keep to myself until I’m senile.

  9. stacy h says:

    might i suggest the use of a scent after said toy murder? they can smell guilt… my newly minted 2yr old never saw me cut her pacifier, but one day out of the blue informed someone i’d broken it. i attribute it to the stench of guilt. and perhaps relief.

    • Andy says:

      Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, just bought Instagram for 1 billion. If someone invented Guilt-away deodorant, he’d need to take out a loan to purchase it. πŸ˜‰

  10. Claudia says:

    My DS is only 9 months old and I have yet to get tired of Elmo saying “E is for Elmo, Haha!” so I hope I won’t ever have to perform any type of “Assisted Malfunction.”
    My husband however, cannot wait til our son is old enough so he can wait til he falls asleep and RE-ARRANGE all his toys so that he thinks they came alive in the middle of the night. I think I married a child * eye roll *

    • Andy says:

      Awww, that’s rad! Child husbands are the best! And when they’re not the best, or are even outright infuriating, they at least provide endless tales everyone can laugh about on a porch somewhere 40-50 years from now. Right? Well that’s what I tell myself. πŸ˜‰

    • Nelmask says:

      -Katie, we have the same system. What happens
      After the kids go to bed…? Mommy puts another 5-10 toys (of the 4 kids in the home) into the bag. Then, somehow, I always
      Manage to leave them alone in the room with the bag for three seconds. At
      Least 3-4 toys from each load we’ve done has made it back into the toy bins.
      I’m proud of my kids for letting us donate so much of their stuff willingly to the others In need. But I fully support a parents choice to kill a toy
      Rather than let frustration or aggravation creep in,
      If on occasion the toyssalt becomes too much. Better that than to yell at a kid because you snap after the same monotone electronic voice says MAMA MAMA MAMA MAMA MAMA MAMA MAMA

      you have my blessing. And probably the blessings of most parents that ever accidentally bought it at goodwill, or received it as a gift. There are toys that no one should have to listen to.

  11. Katie says:

    We have only had a few really obnoxious toys…fortunately in my house, my Munchkin disassembles everything, so we haven’t had any toy deaths by Mommy. However every single night she plays with her My Pal Violet (the one toy she hasn’t disassembled) and after months of being woken up by a strange voice in her room, I now go in and turn Violet off before I crawl in bed and every morning she cries about how Violet is broken & I hug Violet & discreetly flip the switch back on in the process, then give her back.

  12. Manda says:

    Our electronic toys just tend to quietly disappear. We usually have a donation pile three feet high on the back porch. Toys wrap and are hidden nicely in old sweaters. πŸ™‚

    • Andy says:

      YES!!! HIDING is so important when getting rid of old toys! I had that moment when my son was staring at me with big eyes of disbelief at seeing a ton of his toys in a trash bag destined for Goodwill.

  13. Jenn says:

    At our house it doesn’t matter if it’s broken or not! I just cannot seem to get my kids to get rid of anything! My oldest even took one that was broken out of our garbage trailer (rural, no garbage service). He came right over and proceeded to tell me that I couldn’t throw it away, it wasn’t broken, and that it was his! It didn’t matter what I said or showed him on the toy, I just could not convince him!

    – Jenn, the mom living in a house full of broken toys that is going to make a dump trip before school is out in June!

    • Andy says:

      I’ve been there. As our household’s adult-child, I’ve been assigned by my wife to the task of convincing one of the kids to let go of some toy corpse. I’ve been working on getting rid of a broken off air spoiler from a remote control race car. As an adult I see that it’s junk, but, as an adult-child, I understand that by itself IT LOOKS LIKE SPACESHIP!!!

  14. MotherDuck says:

    So genius. Serious…Toyvorkian! I think Toy Story should run with that for Toy Story 14 or whatever number they’re on now.

    I neither confirm nor deny that I’ve committed any such murder.

    • Andy says:

      Ha ha ha ha ha! I love Pixar so much, but I can’t even imagine how those geniuses could work that script out. Ha ha!

      Confirm nor deny? What are we even talking about? This conversation never even tool place. Who are you? What is this screen in front of me??? WHY ARE THERE ALL OF THESE WORDS!?!?!? WHAT IS HAPPENING!?!?!?!?!?

      I’m good now. Carry on.

  15. Tim Lewallen says:

    Instead of destroying the toys in question, just gather them up and take them to the nearest women’s shelter thrift store, Goodwill store, etc. Some other child can get a toy they may not otherwise be able to enjoy.

    • charlie says:

      What do you think Toynapping and Battery-ectomy have as their end goal, Tim?

      • Tim Lewallen says:

        Not the same end goal as A Watery Grave, On/Off Sabotage, Involuntary Toyslaughter or The Hammer Fairy, that’s what.

        • Andy says:

          Are you getting serious on this post or joking? Ha ha ha!

          • Tim Lewallen says:

            I’m not wound up about it or anything, but it is wasteful to destroy a perfectly good toy just because it gets on your nerves. Give it to someone else, sell it in a garage sale, take it to a charity store – anything but smash it or throw it in the trash.

          • charlie says:

            Seconded. Seriously.

          • Mariela says:

            Tim Lewallen,you can give them to a person you really detest who has kids. πŸ™‚

    • Someone says:

      Yeah, I agree that this is better. Much better. But it made me laugh, so you know, Internet points for Andy.

    • Katie says:

      If it makes you feel any better on a serious note Tim…our family does kinda a revolving system. Before every birthday & gift receiving holiday, the kids pick which of their toys will be “gifts” for another child & they get donated & it keeps our home from being overrun by children’s playthings & it teaches them about giving back.

  16. Tina Reher says:

    We have a system of ‘well then it’ll just live with “insert- name-of-person-who-gave-insanely-noisy-toy-here”‘ as a response when someone randomly gifts us with a loud toy. Which is how the singing LaLa Teletubbie hellspawn ended up living with my inLaws. Seriosly WHO THOUGHT THAT CONTRAPTION UP!?!?

    I as a rule NEVER give a gift of a toy with sound, because I know stuff like that is like an armes race and I keep reminding my brother of that whenever he starts suggesting that my daughter should have a drumkit for christmas. (it’s a minefield to be the parents of the only grandchild/niece of a family)

    these days my kid is the one tell to me and her father off for being too loud with our music and such.

  17. fadderly says:

    funny. love the batteryectomy by far. i’ve done many a back alley batteryectomy in my day.

  18. Lisa says:

    Toys at our house dissapear quietly in the night. The kids never seem to notice. So they must have too many toys. πŸ˜€

  19. My son always gets the loudest, most annoying toys from the relatives that live farthest away.

    • Andy says:

      There is a mathematical formula there that I am going to rip off in a diagram once a suffice amount of time passes that I don’t get a bunch of comments like, “WTH does Andy have against toys!?!”

      In my defense, I AM a toy. I can joke about my own kind.

    • Leah says:

      My mother actually does this on purpose for my sister’s kids. There were these slippers advertised on tv a while back that made some obnoxious noise when you jumped in them, and she was DYING to get them for my nephew. When I pointed out how annoying that would be, she replied that it didn’t matter because they live so far away! Of course, now I have a baby girl and am still living with her, so she gets to enjoy some of the toys we’ve been gifted as well. The problem is that the one toy (plastic phone that says only 2 different things over and over and over and over and over and over..) that gets on my nerves, doesn’t bother my mom at all! You know it’s bad when you have to perform these operations to keep the toy away from the grandma more than the child.

  20. heather... says:

    Batteryectomy was my favorite method, until my kid started saying, “Mama, this needs BATTERIES.” Stupid vocabulary.

  21. Evonne says:

    ‘Electronic toy euthanasia’ ‘assisted malfuction’ LOVE IT!!

    But you forgot the mysterious disappearance up the vacuum cleaner…There are certain cheap, crappy toys (like the ones found inside kinder surprises and McDonald’s happy meals) that have small parts and never seem to hold together properly…Many have been sucked into the ‘great void’ around here and as the remainder is useless without the other parts I have taught my children to throw broken toys in the bin!!

    • Andy says:

      Ha ha! “The Great Void”! We wouldn’t dare, our vacuums have been so damned temperamental we go through them like a egocentric lawyer goes through BMWs. πŸ™

  22. Christina says:

    You gave it as a gift, not knowing any better. Or someone else gave it to your kid, not knowing that it could ultimately make you want to stab pens in your ears or kill yourself.

    And still others give said child gift knowing full well the torture it would cause you.

    As was the case with a little cow candy dispenser that moo’d with the slightest provocation. You touch it, it moo’s. Jostled while in a toy bin, moo. Cat brushes against it, moo. Sitting on a solid flat surface and the AC comes on, MOO.

    Luckily, its head came off pretty easily to replenish the candy. Regrettably, that didn’t stop the moo’ing.

    So I’d like to add “Divide and Conquer” to your list. A headless cow isn’t as much fun as a cow with a head. I threw out the head and waited a couple more weeks to throw out the most annoying part of it. Neither child or husband were the wiser. I did confess to husband, though. He was sad, but found it quite hilarious.

    My mother gets coal in her next stocking for that horrid gift.

    • Andy says:

      I admit that I’ve performed toy maming as well, a sub-category of toy murder. I have no guilt about this. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

  23. Kippie says:

    My mother-in-law gave my 3-year-old this hideous baby doll that babbles and waves her arms. It seems motion or light activated or something. My friend Ismael babysat the kids the other night, and the evil thing kept going off. Ismael told me that if that belonged to a Mexican family, they would burn it to get rid of the devil. πŸ™‚

  24. Ilse says:

    My father-in-law always put ‘silent batteries’ in the toys of my husband when he was a child, something I’m sure he wants to try with my son’s few battery required toys.

    Love the hammer fairy by the way, it’s so important to stimulate fantasy πŸ˜‰

    Greetings from Belgium.

  25. Shilpa says:

    My “friend” took a toy from a colleague to pass on to us for our lo. The colleague asked my friend if she hated me. The toy is horrid! It starts up with a perky “hello baby! Let’s play puppy says!”

    It gets worse… As the battery runs down, the voice becomes less like a perky woman & more like a male paedophile “heeeeellllllooooo baaaaaabyyyyy!”

    Seeing as it’s a hand-me-down, when my “friend” has kids, she’s getting the cursed thing back. With fresh batteries.

    • Katie says:

      Lol….we’ve gotten a few of those hand me downs. Unfortunately they came from my sister, who isn’t having more children. I think it’s just her way of sharing all the joy she had with them.

  26. buffi says:

    I cut the battery compartment completely out of several stuffed toys that “talked” – Geoffery Giraffe from Toys R Us, Tickle Me Elmo, and several others – just snipped the wires and then closed that toy back up. Then another friend showed me how to take wire cutters (or bolt cutters if need be) and snip off the little coil things in the battery compartments that can’t be removed from toys. Now I can just say, “Hmmmm, it’s broken, I guess! Too bad!” I hate noisy toys. HATE.

    Then again, we had a few toys that we just never put batteries in to begin with. Lucas had a little push walker toy that had busy-box type thing on the front. It was perfectly fun with out playing music and lighting up and he could push it to play with it, so I decided not to make myself crazy with the noise. My oldest kept showing me that it had an ‘on’ switch and telling me that it needed batteries. I just always nodded & then redirected.

  27. I just hire a professional toy assassin. (AKA…our family dog.) She’s a sweet pooch, unless you’re made of plastic or plush fabric. She can rip into a stuffed animal in about 5 seconds and disable a plastic toy with one snap of her powerful toy-eating jaws.
    She’s man’s best friend and a toy’s worst enemy.

  28. Mal says:

    My husband tells the kids that they don’t make that size battery anymore once the batteries run down. Foiled by his mother who last vist gave the kids the two loudest most offensive sounding toys and about 30 ‘spare’ batteries. If she didn’t live so far away the toys would stay at her house.

  29. Yorda says:

    I am evil .. I’ll admit. Haha… I told my boys that those who play with loud sounding toys or toys with repetitive phrases will turn to an idiot :/ , lose their creativity or/and turn deaf. But it works. Whenever they get such toys ? They will head to the dustbin and throw them away without much fuss. Save me the agony of cracking my brains to silently murder the toys.

  30. Drew says:

    Forgive me Andy if I steal your thunder, but in response to Lori’s comment I made this:

  31. This is hilarious! We shared it on our site, giving you guys the appropriate credit, of course.

  32. […] See Charlie and Andy’s post about How to Commit the Perfect Toy Murder on How to Be A […]

  33. Synagermos says:

    Think the most beautiful reaction for a little child is simple to follow the lost – kidnapped sollution πŸ™‚ All the rest i find them rather hard

  34. Bill M says:

    Toy-i-cide is a horrible, albeit, sometimes necessary evil. We had some nonsensical talking toy when the boys were tiny and out of the blue the thing would just go off for no reason whatsoever. Personally, I believed it was possessed, I’ve seen “Child’s Play” I’m no fool.

    I assisted that toy into the great toybox in the sky. May it forever rest in pieces.

  35. Matt schoonover says:

    I’ve actually gotten my kids to help murder some toys by using firework mortars and duct tape. They get a kick out of it, but have brought me toys that belong to the others to blow up.

    I may have groomed some deviant behavior…

    But we had fun!

  36. tasia says:

    When my daughter was an infant my mother-in-law shipped me a box of toys across country Indiana to Oregon. She accidentally forgot to turn the switch off on a ball type toy that made an obnoxious “boinnngg!” noise whenever it moved even the slightest. When the box arrived the UPS man ran up in the late afternoon (we are towards the end of his route) looking really frazzled, threw the box down and said “thank god! Finally!” To a loud “boinnngg!” How long had that poor guy listened to that toy go off around every corner and every bump with nothing he could do about it? LOL!

    • Andy says:

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Amazing! And now I know how to get back at any mean delivery carriers.

    • Nick says:

      I had that toy. It was quickly donated. Not quickly enough… it rolled around in my car for half a week, but still the fastest I’ve ever got the donations out of the cargo space.

  37. Jo says:

    I may or may not have had toys disappeared from my home like there had been a mob hit out on them and they had been taken out like Jimmy Gotta, never to be seen or heard from again… Out of sight out of mind?!?

  38. Christine Heather Taylor says:

    I’m Sorry, We Just Don’t Have Money For Batteries….I Bought The “Snack” U Asked For. Sorry. Maybe Next Month?

    Too Bad I Always Seem To Run Outta Money….

  39. Jan says:

    Vengeance can bite you back by fixing a toy not to work. I once was angry cause I thought my son had left his big wheel behind the car. We were loading up the car, and I got in and slammed it into reverse. But his big wheel was in front of the car, not behind it. So what was I dragging under the car??? OH Cr*p I forgot to load my guitar into the trunk. I was dragging it under the car. Fortunately it was in a hard case. To this day that case reminds me of that incident. I was going to teach my son a lesson about leaving his toys out, but god taught me a lesson about being angry and leaving my toys out.

  40. Audra Adkins says:

    We may have had a Zhu-Zhu pack (yes, pack) that Mommy insisted needed a bath. They brought it on themselves, going off at odd hours in the night. It was a mercy killing though, because otherwise I believe my husband was inviting the hammer fairy over lol.

  41. Nick says:

    I’m all for the watery grave. Tiny toys can be stealthily tossed into the washing machine with clothing. Oops!

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