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Top 5 ''WHHYY?!'' Black Friday Facts

VO: Chris Masson

Top 5 "WHHYY?!" Black Friday Facts

Is Black Friday even worth the effort? Or are Black Friday deals all hype? Have you been reading Black Friday ads with plans of lining up outside of Walmart? Or are you waiting for Cyber Monday? Either way, these are the most head-scratching, facepalming facts about this post-Thanksgiving consumeristic ritual. Special thanks to our users for submitting the idea on our Interactive Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Written by Michael Wynands

Top 5 Black Friday Facts

Wake up from that turkey-induced coma and put on your favorite shopping outfit, because ladies and gentlemen… bargain-hunting season is about to begin. But is it, really? Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Facts. In today’s instalment, we’re counting down the top five terrifying but true facts about Black Friday. It’s celebrated the day after American Thanksgiving each year, and although it began as a simple kick-off to the holiday shopping season, in more recent years, it has grown into a consumer culture phenomenon. Come with us as we explore the bad, the ugly and the uglier that this dark day has to offer.

#5: It Started With Something So Innocent & Wholesome… Parades

Each year, eager shoppers partake in what can only be described as a miniature World War III. But they’re not taking the beaches of Normandy… they’re storming the front gates of their local Walmart or Best Buy, in the name of rock bottom prices and their God-given right to own a newer flat-screen TV. Historically, parades have been held to celebrate the end of a war… but in this particular case, a parade worked as the opening shot. Starting in the 1920s, department stores like Macy’s began sponsoring parades the day after Thanksgiving as a platform to announce holiday sales, and encourage people to start shopping. The tactic worked, and many retailers followed suit. By the 1960s, Philadelphia Police began calling it “Black Friday,” a day of commerce… and chaos.

#4: Meet Black Friday’s Unholy Offspring: Gray Thursday

Black Friday is a lot like the ocean… it’s huge, seemingly full of treasure, but most certainly not for the faint of heart. Because like the ocean... it’s a destructive force. Sometimes it hits like a tsunami, other times, it slowly eats away at something, like the shoreline… or National holiday. Where a turkey once stood, the unchallenged centre of attention atop its pedestal, it now faces competition, in the form of “great deals.” Black Friday has officially seeped into Thursday. It began with the midnight openings… then stores opened at 10pm or 8pm on Thursday, after Thanksgiving dinner. Now many department stores are opening on Thanksgiving. Who has time to give thanks for everything you already have, when you could be out buying new stuff?

#3: Ironically, Black Friday Deals Aren’t Even That Great

Central to the allure of Black Friday is its promise of unbelievable deals. Sadly, that promise is all marketing. Sure, there’s the odd doorbuster that may very well be the steal of the century. But these stores aren’t really applying massive discounts, they’re simply selling the illusion of incredible savings. According to data compiled by the website ShopAdvisor in 2014, most products usually hit their lowest price on December 18th with an average discount of 17.5%, compared to the less than 5% discount on Black Friday. So, what about the huge savings advertised? That’s often based on the MSRP–Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price– an extremely high price they’ve likely never sold at. Perhaps try checking Amazon, since that super deal may very well be their standard price.

#2: Doorbusters Are Sometimes Door Impostors

So… about those doorbusters. Getting your hands on a Samsung or Sony television at a quarter of the regular going price might seem like a worthwhile reason to skip Thanksgiving dinner, but you usually get what you pay for, even on Black Friday. In recent years, some major manufacturers have started making cheap versions of their products, called “derivative products,” using lower grade parts and components, specifically for doorbuster type deals. They often closely resemble or even share the name of a flagship product, but with a slight variation in the model number. They might look great, but in the end, they’re typically little more than cheap knockoffs made in-house. Not all doorbusters are derivatives, but consumers should do their homework before purchasing.

#1: Saving Big Can Cost Lives

What began as post-parade shopping has become a bloodsport, and you should be afraid to get involved. According to a poll taken by website RetailMeNot, 12% of respondents admitted to going Black Fridayshopping under the influence of alcohol. So is it any wonder that things turn ugly? In 2011, a woman was arrested for pepper-spraying a crowd that included children to get access to a new palette of video game consoles. In 2008, a male employee was trampled to death as customers rushed through the front doors of a Walmart. Rescue workers were injured just trying to get to him. According to, 7 deaths can be attributed to Black Friday, either directly or indirectly with many more injured every year.

Will you be going shopping on Gray Thursday and/or Black Friday? If yes, what are the deals that have you willing to risk life and limb? For more terrifying top 10s and sad but true Top 5s, be sure to subscribe to

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