Ryan's Mystery Playdate

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Ryan's Mystery Playdate TV Poster Image
YouTube star unboxes friends, not toys, in fun family show.

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 76 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 31 reviews

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We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

The show intends to entertain rather than to educate.

Positive Messages

Ryan and his parents work together to complete challenges to reveal clues to his play partner's identity. There's always a lot of laughter and enjoyment in the activities, which encourage the family members to be active and to solve puzzles. Occasional potty humor involves matters like flatulence; in one scene, Ryan must deflate whoopee cushions, and his parents pretend he's stinking up the room by doing so.


Positive Role Models & Representations

Ryan and his parents obviously enjoy taking part in this show together. There's a lot of camaraderie and encouragement as the challenges play out.


Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Kids who know Ryan from his YouTube channel may still have their mind on the many toys he's unboxed over the years. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ryan's Mystery Playdate stars Ryan of the popular YouTube channel RyanToysReview and sees him and his parents completing challenges to help reveal a surprise guest. The tasks are physical in nature and often involve a messy factor like slime or foam, and they always inspire laughter and the impression that Ryan and his folks are having a good time together. Viewers can play along in the guessing game predicting who will come out onstage as the clues are collected. This series is less focused on consumerism and toys than Ryan's YouTube channel, which may be a relief to some parents. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLDENNISON112784 April 29, 2019


I started letting my son watch Ryan's toys review and everything seemed to be good at 1st. After a few episodes I realized the parents are using their Ch... Continue reading
Adult Written byFatherJohn April 28, 2019

Spoiled Kid who shouldn’t be on TV

I didn't allow the children to watch Ryan on YouTube now I have to figure out how to block him on the NickJR app (still haven’t found a way) and on the TV.... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old June 17, 2020

Why bother watching it?

I think parents need to know that Ryan's Mystery Playdate is basically one big add and that young children shouldn't watch it because they might get a... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byHailey13 May 9, 2019


I hate this show the parents are gold diggers the kid is so stupid he doesnt even make the show any more (not) interesting. So un-original. The kid is a brat an... Continue reading

What's the story?

In RYAN'S MYSTERY PLAYDATE, YouTube star Ryan and his parents tackle physical challenges and solve puzzles to earn hints to the identity of a surprise guest. Using elements of imaginative play and creative problem solving, the tasks force Ryan and his parents do things like catapulting mailing packages from one side of the room to the other and retrieving toy frogs from a pool of slime to throw to a waiting partner. After three hints are retrieved, they bring them to the Mystery Guest Box to unveil the day's visitor, who then plays with Ryan.

Is it any good?

As leaps from viral fame to TV fame go, Ryan's is a fairly successful endeavor. The YouTube megastar brings with him his trademark enthusiasm and natural ease in front of the cameras, as well as the likable rapport he has with his parents onscreen. The show also plays on the "unboxing" format that has been Ryan's bread and butter in his viral videos, leaving space for some brief suspense and excitement to build before clues are uncovered and the big reveal exposed.

There's not much substance of note to Ryan's Mystery Playdate, but all of the tasks challenge Ryan and his parents either physically (jumping, rolling, throwing, etc.) or mentally by way of puzzles, and they seem to genuinely enjoy the experience of playing and working together. The bottom line? If screen time with your kids is on the agenda, then watching Ryan and his parents have fun and work  together is a decent viewing option.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the appeal (or lack thereof) of a show like this one. Does it entertain you and make you want to watch more? How do the challenges encourage imagination? Problem solving?

  • Kids: Did you know who Ryan was before watching this show? If so, did you want to watch because of that? How are our viewing habits influenced by the stars involved? Who are some of your favorite YouTube stars?

  • How do Ryan and his parents demonstrate teamwork? Do they always work well together? Is working with family more or less difficult than working with other people?

TV details

  • Premiere date: April 19, 2019
  • Network: Nick Jr.
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Character strengths: Teamwork
  • TV rating: TV-Y
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: March 13, 2020

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