It’s been 17 years since the laughing quadruplets giggled their way into the hearts of millions around the United States.
First appearing on the hit family TV Show “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” the clip still manages to bring a smile to whoever watches it.
The quadruplets and their mother “went viral” before anyone was calling it that. They first aired on the program in 2000, when they were just babies, then reappeared on the show in 2006.
Now they’re grown up, in high school, and exploring their individuality. They made an appearance on Oprah’s “Where Are They Now” segment, and the family appears to be as tight-knit as ever.
17 years ago, the Mathias family won a prize for having the most comical video to ever appear on the show “America’s Funniest Home Videos.”
The syncopated laughter of the four overjoyed babies staggered in their glowing mother’s arms is enough to make even the most ardent grouch crack a smile.
But life has moved on for the family. After their spotlight faded, they carried on like a normal family. Oprah caught up with the Mathias quadruplets, who were 16 at the time, to see what had transpired after all these years.
“They won three times on America’s Funniest Home Videos, and that came with prize money, which changed a lot of things in our lives,” said Steve Mathias, father and video cameraman.
The family realizes that their home movie continues to bring joy to people around the world.
“I think it’s just one of those videos you can’t not laugh at,” Steve said.
A lot has changed for the Mathias family, and the daughters say they share a number of similarities and differences.
The four daughters—Grace, Emily, Mary Claire, and Anna—were only six years old when their video won the ultimate grand prize and $250,000.
The four girls remain close, but as they’ve gotten older, their interests have taken them in different directions.
“Mary Claire and Emily … they enjoy doing digital art on their computer,” said Grace. “And Anna enjoys orchestra a lot. And I enjoy photography.”
As children, their mother Allison dressed them all alike, but as they got older, she started letting them decide what they were going to wear. That’s when their individual style started to emerge.
The quadruplets say that people try to impose an identity crisis on them. For example, when Emily wanted to cut her hair short, many took it as a sign of trying to distance herself.
“People make a lot of assumptions, like, ‘I just want to be a different person,'” Emily said. “I wanted to cut my hair!”
The Mathias quadruplets have grown up considerably since they were last in the public eye, but still have their futures ahead of them.
“My hopes for the girls in the future are that they become the young ladies that God wants them to be, that they follow His plans for their future,” Allison said.
Now 17 years old, the quadruplets will likely always be in the public eye to a certain extent. Grace, Emily, Mary Claire, and Anna have grown to be lovely, articulate young adults with bright paths ahead.
Regardless of whatever the future holds for them, their giggling, buoyant baby video will have people cracking a smile for years to come.