The Hour of Joy Explained: Poppy Playtime Scene Meaning & VHS Tape Theories

By David Thompson Updated:
Hour of Joy Poppy's Playtime

A viral sensation is sweeping TikTok and YouTube of creators reacting to "The Hour of Joy" in Poppy Playtime.

Poppy Playtime is a horror video game where players take on the role of a former employee exploring an abandoned toy factory, solving puzzles, and avoiding enemies using a gadget called the GrabPack.

Chapter 3 of the game was initially teased with trailers in July and August 2023 but it was delayed to early 2024 due to developer layoffs, eventually releasing on Steam on January 30, 2024.

The Hour of Joy Explained

The Hour of Joy in Poppy Playtime
Poppy Playtime

In Poppy Playtime, players assume the role of a nameless former Playtime Co. employee who goes back to the deserted toy factory following a letter from long-lost staff members presumed dead a decade prior.

The player uncovers that the factory is filled with evil toys, prompting them to seek an exit strategy, while scattered VHS tapes slowly unravel the true narrative.

Chapter 3, "The Hour of Joy," is the final VHS tape, showing the true story of what happened to the missing employees 10 years ago.

Within the Poppy Playtime story, during August 1995, Kissy Missy's relocation to Playcare was interrupted by an unknown entity, coinciding with the start of a rebellion led by The Prototype and its allies against the facility's staff. 

Poppy reveals a tape depicting the chaos as various toys, including Huggy Wuggy and Mommy Long Legs, attack and brutally kill employees throughout the factory. 

The tape shows widespread devastation across different areas of the facility, with most of the workforce slaughtered, and survivors forced into hiding, their ultimate fates uncertain. Many gamers online have been reacting to this sequence, drawing millions of views.

The event, known as "The Hour of Joy," resulted in Playtime Co.'s closure, with the remaining toys resorting to cannibalism as their food source dwindled, setting the stage for the player's arrival in 2005.

What remains unclear is why the playable character wasn't a victim of "The Hour of Joy" in 1995.

Why the Main Character Was Missing from The Hour of Joy

The Hour of Joy in Poppy Playtime
Poppy Playtime

Many people took guesses at who the player was in Poppy Playtime, with some thinking they were important at Playtime Co., shown by Miss Delight knowing them even though she's stuck in one place.

Clues from a cryptic message during the dream sequence hint at the player's missed involvement in pivotal events like "The Hour of Joy," raising questions about potential ties to the creation of the Prototype or other malevolent toys. 

Alternatively, theories propose the player's absence from a celebratory event could stem from guilt over unethical experiments, suggesting a deeper emotional connection to the tragedy. 

While survivor's guilt remains a plausible explanation, the mysterious nature of the player's backstory leaves room for further speculation and intrigue within the game's narrative.

The release date for Chapter 4 of Poppy Playtime remains uncertain, but considering the pattern of previous releases, it's anticipated to arrive either in late 2025 or early 2026. With Chapter 3 being notably larger than its predecessor, it's plausible that the next installment may follow suit, potentially extending the wait for eager fans.

Chapter 3 of Poppy Playtime, titled "Deep Sleep," is now only available to play on Microsoft Windows.

- About The Author: David Thompson
As an editor, writer, and podcast host, David is a key member of The Direct. He is an expert at covering topics like Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and business-related news following the box office and streaming.