A thumbnail refers to the picture that appears when you search a video in a video website or when you see the recommendation bar, playing a very important role in the videos, however, these are not always the case, as they can manage to be misleading (typically in the form of clickbait), immature, or even disturbing.
- This phenomenon is especially common among videos produced by Elsagate channels. For example, a channel called Mickey Mouse TV has a lot of thumbnails with some weird fetish, for example, two thumbnails have needles on them, however, the most disturbing one is an edited version of the thumbnail of the Mickey Mouse episode "A Flower for Minnie", which changes the thumbnail to have Mickey have extremely sharp teeth with a lot of red dots on his face, trust us, the thumbnail is extremely disturbing.
- There's a video called Super Mario Parody (+18) where the thumbnail consists of a sexualized Rule 63 version of Mario without a bra on, which may lead some people to think that the video contains sexual content, however, the actual video consists of a poorly drawn image of Mario with one of Adolf Hitler's speech being heard on the background.
- TheGamer is a notorious example of click-baiting by using both types of thumbnails. Just some examples of their thumbnails include arrows and circles pointing out things that are obvious on controllers, renders of Nintendo characters on one side and disturbingly realistic versions of them on the other side, and Mario simply standing on a pipe for "10 Video Game Cheats Every Gamer Needs".
- Although more immature than disturbing, some videos for negative reviews on things like movies or shows have thumbnails that contain the uploader, their persona, or a character/person they like beating up or about to harm characters in the work(s) reviewed, which basically amount to less crappy-looking hate art that kids make out of shows like Johnny Test, Teen Titans Go! The Problem Solverz, Caillou or other shows. Thankfully, this type of thumbnail is rare to come across nowadays, however, users like Mr. Enter still make these kinds of thumbnails for their reviews.
- Some users like CALLMEARJ may mislead the viewers to watch someone else content and claim it as they own.
- YouTuber Graystillplays does this often, and while it's not as bad as others in this list, some of the thumbnails gray puts in his videos are either something he tried to do but didn't work (like in the baby in yellow game), a screenshot of a game in spite of the game the thumbnail is in being a totally different game (like Kyle is famous), or something completely absurd and not possible in a game he played. (Like in his Happy Wheels and Turbo Dismount videos)