It’s Not Complicated: Ranking The AT&T Kids Commercials

Last year, AT&T rolled out a series of commercials entitled “Brackets by Six-Year-Olds.”  Remember those?

Of course you don’t.  The set of ads featured a straight-faced man interviewing kids about different basketball teams in the NCAA Tournament.  The commercials were funny, but didn’t become an internet sensation like their counterparts this year.


Beck Bennett, the man in these TV spots, returned this year to interview new kids, but this time asking the children simple questions and improvising with whatever they answered in a series of advertisements called “It’s Not Complicated.”   In an interview, he stated the commercials originally had scripts for the kids, but their ad-libbing was far better than anything a writer could come up with.  It took me two months to realize these commercials were for a phone company.

Everybody I know quotes these kids on a daily basis, and despite the commercials being aired ad nauseam on television during the NCAA Tournament, they have yet to grow stale.  AT&T has made FIFTEEN NINETEEN TWENTY TWENTY-THREE of these commercials, and I suspect more are on the way.  I decided to compile all the “It’s Not Complicated” commercials here on Aggro Swag, and rank them in order of their quoteability and unintentional comedy.  Kids really do say the darnedest things.

We all have Bill Cosby to thank.

23.  Robot

OK, that one sucked.  We’re off to a bad start.

22.  Video Games

I don’t think I’ve ever seen this one on TV and rightfully so.  They are going to get better.  Trust me on this one.

21.  Faaaaast

Heh heh.  OK, on to the good stuff…

20.  Cowboy

You’re trying too hard, Cowboy. Listen to your friend The Lion, he’s a cool dude.

19.  Up Top

True story:  In the midst of an exciting Elite 8 where we were all on edge, this commercial comes on and EVERYONE stops mid-sentence.  I even heard a few “shh’s” from my friends, myself included.  We were all like, “THE KIDS. THEY AREN’T KIDS. THEY ARE HALL OF FAME BASKETBALL PLAYERS NOW! OHMYGOODNESS!” Whoever came up with these ideas deserves a spot in the Marketing Hall of Fame.

18.  Slow Turtle

The Ginger is a bit too smug for me at the start.  Orange Sweatshirt sees that smugness and doubles it.  “I KNOW WHYYYYY!” OH DO YOU? PLEASE EXPOUND UPON YOUR VAST KNOWLEDGE OF TURTLES, MISS LADY!

[remembers these are just kids, pours shot of whiskey, takes deep breaths]

I could watch Bennett’s “Wha—mmm” at 0:08 over and over again.  That and the face palm by The Ginger are the best GIFs that doesn’t exist yet.  WHATCHU WAITIN FO, INTERNET?

17.  Tree House

This one kind of let me down.  It reeled me in with the disco dancing in unison.  It immediately lost me when the poor man’s Aaron Bailey from Full House creeped me out with his squeaky run-on sentence. “That’s a pain in the buns” saves this ad from dropping any further in the rankings because that’s just a great line.

16.  Mother’s Day

“Mother’s Day” features two kids that may or may not be cartoon characters disguised as tiny children.  If your heart doesn’t melt after hearing Dot from Animaniacs say “my mom is a really good snuggler” then we’re going to have some problems.  Girl in Purple showing us how hugs work is a nice touch.  Let’s get back to the Muppet Babies.  The grunts coming from Mini-Jonathan Taylor Thomas remind me of myself after every Taco Bell visit.  Especially the second grunt.

15.  Couch Warmer

Something tells me “BENCH!” kid has heard that line from his Pee-Wee basketball coach more than once this season.  I had to watch this commercial three times before I realized that little blond girl wasn’t a muppet.

Let’s go to Disinterested Black Child for his thoughts:


14.  Dizzy

The beginning starts off with Weird Voice Girl who no doubt would piss me off within minutes of meeting her.  It’s followed up with a clearly attention starved child who may or may not have brain damage after this commercial.  The last part to this ad is my favorite, and it’s Overalls Girl getting SHUT DOWN when trying to show off.  Leave it to the men, little lady.


13.  Laser Boy

The line, “One beam, OK, does a LITTLE bit of damage” could not have been delivered better.  Even if Daniel Day-Lewis prepared for a year for that little kid’s role, he wouldn’t match what this kid brought to the table.  Damn, do I love that line.


12.  Slow Break

A big person next to small furniture is in my Top 10 list of things that make me smile.  Just look at Bill Russell!  I always appreciate it when the one white guy is singled out and picked on.  Larry Bird’s deadpan delivery was terrific and sad.  I bet Bill Russell was so confused by everything that was happening on set.  He must have fallen asleep so many times while they were filming.

11.  Grandma

I learn something new every time I watch these commercials. “Grandma” is no different.  Tubby Timmy’s quick answer shows he has some serious issues with his slower than slow Grandmother.  So slow in fact, that he’s willing to risk her life by taping a cheetah to her back.  Honestly, I can’t focus on anything else besides the girl across from Timmy reenacting what his slow Grandma looks like. I had never seen that until now.  Phenomenal.

10.  Pickle Roll

It’s funny that Large Marge isn’t quite sure about a “Pick and Roll” when she will no doubt be a power forward for the UConn Lady Huskies in 2020.  Blonde girl in Uggs may take credit for making this ad great, but my favorite kid is the boy next to her, whose visible disgust with her lack of basketball knowledge is just wonderful.  He was seconds from slapping her upside the head.

9. Jokes

Lots of levels to this one.  It caught me by surprise one day while watching my eighth Boy Meets World episode in a row.  “Jokes” marks the triumphant debut of Mini Carlos Mencia.  He’s dripping with confidence when he says he’s better at telling jokes, and follows up with his “go to” knock knock joke.  I’ll admit, I chuckled with the “Queen my dishes, please” line.  You know who didn’t?


She is just not having it.  Blondie is all like, “DUDE, you opened with THAT?!” as if she’s a regular at Caroline’s or something.  Then in the most Carlos Mencia way possible, he is forced to explain the punchline. Ginger (geez, there’s like one in every commercial) just doesn’t get the pun.

[shakes head]

White people.

8.  High Fives

This commercial has three standout moments.  “Mmhmm” girl goes from cute to sassy in seconds.  Then we have young Anne Hathaway who, bless her heart, has her hand raised for the entire commercial.  Lil Hathaway is the girl in school that reminds the teacher that they forgot to assign homework for the weekend.  She gets super pissed when Bennett high-fives her.  Important to note that Blue Sweatshirt is on another planet the whole time.  Watch him at the end when he finally gets a high five.  He is blindsided at how much it hurt.  It’s the little things you know?


7.  Infinity

“Infinity” is like a car with every moving part working together.  Pigtails sure sets the bar pretty high with a Trillion Billion Zillion.  Sunshine’s answer of “10” and Bennett’s “…Okay…” just kills me.  There was no thinking involved.  It might genuinely be the highest number Sunshine could think of.  Pay close attention to Stripes across the table after hearing “10.”  He can barely contain himself.  Pigtails is the ultimate One-Upper.  “Infinity TIMES infinity!” she says, which sets us up with what I’d consider back-to-back home runs in the reaction department.  Black girl’s utter shock and Bennett’s mind explosion take this commercial to the next level.  Right on cue, Stripes cracks up again.  This ad is a shiny ‘65 Mustang with the new car smell still intact.


6.  Puppy Brother

I want to know more about Puppy Brother Girl’s actual brother.  He must be the absolute worst.  Although, we’d change just about anything into a puppy so can you blame her?  I love that her hypothetical Show-and-Tell introduction is “Hey everybody, here’s my puppy brother.” Straight and to the point.  No frills.  No nonsense.  The girl across from Puppy Brother Girl is a hidden gem.  Look at that face.  You can pinpoint the moment she goes from acknowledgement to “WAIT A MINUTE.  I’M TOTALLY GOING TO CHANGE MY BROTHER INTO A PUPPY WITH THIS NEWFOUND SORCERY!”


5.  Nicky Flash

First of all, Pigtails has one shot to make a name for herself and comes up with “Fasty?”  This is AT&T not Boost Mobile, girl.  You really blew it.  Nicky Flash on the other hand, creates his own super-stardom with one poorly thought out comment.  What’s the deal with NO ONE calling him out on the fact that NICKY and FLASH do not rhyme.  You can see the wheels spinning in Flannel Kid’s head but I think the hamster in there died a long time ago.  If I was their teacher I would be embarrassed.


We need to talk about the greatness that is Nicky Flash.  This child has secured himself a nickname for the rest of his life.  Here’s how I project Nicky Flash’s career arc to go:  Mr. Flash will be the most popular kid in school.  The fame will get to his head, and Nicky will drop out of school to take his rhyme skills to the hip-hop world.  He’ll appear on records with other artists who can’t rap like Lil Wayne and 2Chainz, do a really controversial song with Brad Paisley, go bankrupt, lose his house and start selling signed 8x10s in Times Square.  Thanks a lot AT&T.

4. Cutest Grape

If you look up cute in the dictionary, you’d see Ryan Gosling, a basket of kittens, and this girl who doesn’t understand the life cycle of a grape. This commercial gets played so much it’s hard not to just go “GAWWWW” when she talks.  Anyone under the age of 5 who pronounces their R’s as W’s is adorable. Not as adorable as a 25 year old so get that fixed you cutie-patootie.

You know what’s REALLY cute? That kid in the cardigan who could not possibly be less impressed with the whole ordeal.


3.  More

That’s the most quotable unquotable commercial ever.  Man, that poor girl’s brain is about 10 steps ahead of her.  Whenever I see this commercial, I can’t help but think of this scene from The Office where Michael doesn’t know where he’s going after he starts a sentence and hope he finds it along the way.  This is a young, female Michael Scott.  ALSO, what the heck is Afro Kid doing with his fingers?  Stop it. STOP IT!

2.  Candy Island

Man, do I love this one.  The overall excitement about a Candy Island by the first three kids is trumped by the black kid’s legitimate concerns about what the animals are made out of.  FUR, MEAT AND BONES? JELLY BEANS AND GUMDROPS? The kid needs to know so badly, as clear by his inability to get the question out without stumbling.  I want buy him a dog made of Butterfingers.


1.  Werewolf

The “Wh-what?” response by Bennett is the same reaction as everyone who watched it for the first time.  The boy next to Werewolf Girl is not having it. The star is Werewolf Girl, and she has been down this block before.  She knows EXACTLY what it’s like to be a werewolf.  My issue here is that for her, the biggest problem a werewolf faces is staying inside and shaving.  That’s like, every Sunday for me.



Posted in TV

13 thoughts on “It’s Not Complicated: Ranking The AT&T Kids Commercials

  1. It’s obvious to me that the kid with Nicky Flash was thinking flash rhymes with fast but when the guy asked why Nicky he couldn’t think fast enough! Hilarious!

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  3. The redheaded kid didn’t get it because the joke teller didn’t tell it right. Think about the structure of the joke. What is the word “please” doing in it? To tell the joke correctly, the punch line should read, “Queen my dishes, PWEASE.” I say this knowing that the real joke is a possibly unkind joke about a speech impairment.

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  5. referring to the Candy Island one, the response should have been. Response to the kid that asked “What will the animals be?,” should have been “Animal Crackers,” not just another candy.

  6. Reblogged this on Adhering Ads and commented:
    Just like a lot of Advertisements, funny just works. We all watch the ads during the SuperBowl because they are normally the best of the best. The most witty and they are all fresh to each person. So get ready Superbowl is coming in a couple months.

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