With just a few giggles, four sisters took the internet by storm. But it wasn’t just any laugh that won the hearts of everyone who watched their minute-long clip. And the foursome weren’t just any set of sisters chuckling, either – something which is still apparent when looking at them today.
The Mathias quadruplets are not just one in a million – they are approximately one in 15 million. That’s because they’re identical quadruplets conceived completely naturally. Yes, a single egg in their mother Allison’s womb split four times to create a set of four daughters all alike in looks.
And those four identical faces giggled with identical laughs in a home video that made them famous across the United States and beyond. In the now iconic clip, the babies’ dad, Steve, stood off-camera recording while mom Allison held all four of the girls.
As Steve then makes silly noises, all four of his daughters – Mary Claire, Anna, Grace and Emily – burst into laughter at the same time, at the same pitch and for the same duration. Yes, remarkably, each pause and each new giggle seems to occur at exactly the same time.
“I think it’s just one of those videos you can’t not laugh at,” Steve said on a 2017 episode of Oprah: Where Are They Now? “There’s something about the syncopation of them stopping and starting laughing. It’s just the contagious-type laugh.”
“Contagious-type laugh” is, perhaps, something of an understatement, though. Indeed, Steve’s minute-long home video resonated – quite literally – with audiences across the United States when it was featured on the TV show America’s Funniest Home Videos. The clip made audiences laugh so hard, in fact, that it won multiple cash prizes from the show.
In 2006, the video was even named as the program’s “Funniest Video of All Time.” And that title also earned the family a cool $250,000 – “money which changed a lot of things in [their] lives,” according to Steve.
The clip then went on to score major online success, too. Yes, the video took the internet by storm and has been viewed over 15 million times on YouTube alone. And the giggling quads still make viewers smile and laugh to this day. Indeed, the family noted the video’s “incredible staying power” while on the Where Are They Now? program. “People are still delighted with that video,” Allison said.
And the Mathias family didn’t stop there, either. You see, Steve then uploaded a clip from the day after he shot the original giggling video. In the second video, he sits at the table with his daughters and once again makes all four of them laugh. Remarkably, that footage also found fame and has more than 22 million views on YouTube.
The girls, meanwhile, were guests on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno in 2007 and The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2008. They even appeared in a commercial for Target in 2005. Between those appearances, though, their parents used YouTube and their now defunct website, mathiasquads.org, to share the quadruplets’ most memorable moments.
It wasn’t until February of 2017, however, that the world really got reacquainted with the Mathias quadruplets. You see, Oprah decided to feature the family on her Where Are They Now? program. The show revisits past guests and reveals what their lives have been like after their initial appearances alongside Oprah.
By this point in time, the famous quadruplet sisters were 16 years old and breaking out from their identical childhoods. Indeed, the foursome now had their own unique personalities, interests and looks. “We’re similar and different to each other just by the things we’re interested in,” Grace said during the interview.
Grace subsequently went on to describe the girls’ unique hobbies, and it seems that they all have an artistic flair. “Mary Claire and Emily… they enjoy doing digital art on their computer,” Grace said. “And Anna enjoys orchestra a lot. And I enjoy photography.”
As for their looks, meanwhile, the girls have given up on wearing matching or coordinating outfits every day. “I think we stopped dressing alike maybe in, like elementary school, when our mom was kind of like, you guys can dress yourselves in the morning, because she’d always pick out our outfits,” Anna recalled.
“So whenever that happened is when we kind of started choosing our own style,” Anna went on. “We all have similar senses of style, but there are also [differences]. Emily likes her hair short and the rest of us like it longer.”
And having snipped her hair shorter than her sisters’ styles, Emily told the Miami Herald that she often has to explain to people why she went with a different do. “They want some reason, maybe that I wanted to be different from my sisters,” she said. “I just wanted to cut my hair.”
The sisters, though, still have a bond that can’t be broken by different hairstyles. Mary Claire, for example, said that she was glad to have sisters who were more outgoing. “I don’t really always have to speak for myself because there’s always somebody else doing it for me,” she said.
In a few years, though, it’s likely that all four quads won’t be living under the same roof. You see, while each of the foursome dream of attending college, they envision themselves at different universities. And Grace reckons it will be a completely foreign experience to be without each other. “It’d be hard to adjust not having them around all the time at the same place,” she said.
Still, the girls recognize how lucky they are to have had so many years together under one roof – and how lucky they are to have so many siblings. In fact, imagining life as an only child didn’t sit well with Mary Claire. “It’d be sad and lonely,” she thought. “We wouldn’t have three best friends.”
And Anna also realized the depth of the connection the sisters shared, and she too wouldn’t change it for anything. “The [America’s Funniest Home Videos] thing would never happened if I didn’t have sisters,” she said. “Most of the stuff that has happened to us or me wouldn’t have happened if we didn’t have each other.”