By Jessica Klinner
Nothing unites everyone in the world more than a viral video. They make us laugh. They inspire us. They may even confuse us. These videos are the ones that we all enjoy watching because so many other enjoy watching them as well. At the end of every year I look forward to looking back at the viral videos, and that’s exactly what I’ve done in this list. The 10 videos listed below are only a small sample of viral videos from 2013. I hope you enjoy looking back on them just as I did.
1. “#Hashtag” with Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake
Whenever Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake collaborate, they create comedy gold. The “Hashtag” video aired on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and gained immediate attention from audiences. Any Twitter user will find the video hilarious because of its relatability and honest comedy. Fallon and Timberlake carry on a conversation using mostly hashtags. They even created a hand signal to indicate a hashtag while they talked. Anyone familiar with Twitter will die laughing while watching this video.
2. Jimmy Kimmel Twerk Prank
Twerking: the new dance move on everyone’s radar. In response to this new dance movement, many people filmed themselves twerking to instruct other how to master the art or simply for recreational purposes. One young woman shocked the country when her failed twerk attempt on camera ended with lighting herself on fire. Jaws around the country dropped as they watched the events of the video unfold. Later, it was revealed that the video was actually a hoax, and late night TV show host Jimmy Kimmel was behind the whole thing. The creators of the twerk fail video posted it online without any sort of promotion. It went viral, and currently has over 15 million views. Kimmel said he hoped the video would bring an end to twerking, but it seemed to only spawn more videos of people twerking to get attention.
3. Screaming Goat
It all started with a Taylor Swift song and slowly spiraled out of control. The notorious screaming goat began appearing in music videos everywhere. While it caught some off guard, others relished in expecting it. It’s most fascinating because goats are not supposed to make a noise that sounds eerily similar to a human scream. It’s funny. It’s strange. Put it in the middle of a music video, and it’s downright entertaining.
4. Kid President
Kid President began as a project set forth by the Freed-Hardeman University’s Office of Marketing and University Relations to promote the school’s benefit dinner, and turned into something much bigger. The first viral video featuring Kid President called “A Pep Talk From Kid President to You” currently has over 30 million views. Robby Novak is the 10-year-old comedian behind the Kid President persona. He has created a video series as Kid President urging viewers “to make the world awesome”, “be a party” and “to give the world a reason to dance.” Kids President’s videos challenge us to make the world a better place. He reminds us all of the simple facts we inherently know, but often do not act upon.
5. Harlem Shake
Dance crazes come and go like the seasons. In 2011, it was LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem.” In 2012, it was Psy’s “Gangham Style.” 2013 will always be known as the year of the Harlem shake. Everyone from celebrities to students made a Harlem shake video. The song starts out with a steady beat in which participants act uninterested in the song. After a voice commands to “do the Harlem shake,” everyone erupts into an odd behavior or dance and continues to repeat that same behavior for the rest of the song. It seemed that no outfit was too weird and no behavior too crazy for the Harlem shake videos. Every video consisted of the same things, but that never stopped anyone from watching every version they came across and loving it.
6. Wrecking Ball
In the words of young Miley Cyrus, she’s just being Miley. It has been years since Cyrus released any new music. After her performance at the VMAs, all eyes were on the former Disney Channel princess turned grown-up artist. When Cyrus released her video for “Wrecking Ball,” everyone had an opinion on it. The controversial video featured Cyrus atop a swinging wrecking ball, unclothed and later, seductively licking a sledgehammer. Many people ruled this video unnecessary, but Cyrus declared it as her artistic representation of the song. Whether positive or negative, the video received tons of attention and that’s really all any artist can ask for.
7. Carlton Dance
People grow older and TV shows go off air. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air will always be associated with the famous “Carlton dance.” Early in 2013, Will and Jaden Smith appeared on the BBC’s Graham Norton Show. The two entertained the audience by rapping different songs including the theme song from Fresh Prince, but the real entertainment came when the Smiths invited their friend Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton Banks) to join them onstage. What followed would go down as one of the most memorable moments of the year. The three proceeded to perform the Carlton dance. The viral video filled viewers with nostalgia and joy. Even though Ribeiro will be plagued with being asked to perform that dance wherever he appears, it’s good to know that he still embraces it with a smile on his face.
8. What Does The Fox Say? by Ylvis
Norwegian comedy duo Ylvis created this strange yet catchy tune and rode it to the top. The song sounds like it should be a learning tool for young children learning their animal sounds. The verses are quite normal with a light melody, but when the chorus kicks in, things get weird. The video currently has over 334 million views. It goes to show that strange sells. Throughout the song, several different propositions are made as to what sound a fox makes, but by the end of the video, viewers are still left wondering: what does the fox say?
9. Coachella Lie Witness News
In this video, Jimmy Kimmel sent his crew to Coachella to interview festivalgoers about what bands they were excited to see perform during the weekend. There was a small catch, though. The interviewer made up all of the band names. All of the people being interviewed went along with the fictional band names, saying they were excited or not so stoked to see their set. Sometimes they would even describe the sound of these non-existent bands. Many music fans enjoy knowing about bands that no one has ever heard of so this prank was perfect for such a big festival as Coachella. Even though none of the bands existed, it didn’t stop people from pretending to know them.
This video features a woman performing a very unique way of exercising called prancercise. The term is defined as “a springy, rhythmic way of moving forward,similar to a horse’s gait and ideally induced by elation.” If you’ve seen the video, this definition will make perfect sense. Joanna Rohrback, the creator of this innovative new workout, posted the video in December of 2012. It sat on the Internet unnoticed until May 2013 when it went viral. The video was so popular that John Mayer featured Rohrback performing a new version of prancercise she named “romancercise” for a lyric video of his song “Paper Doll.” Currently, the video has over 9 million views.