13 Viral Videos Of The First Decade Of YouTube That Changed Pop Culture Forever

By Bradford Hornsby

A decade of YouTube has given us a lot to laugh about, think about and share.

Who would have thought (OK Google thought it.) that the average person would get so much enjoyment out of looking at other people’s user created video.

Here are 13 YouTube videos that took over the internet and became part of our collective culture:

Ice Bucket Challenge:

For a few months the entire world was taking the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness of ALS. Everyone from celebrities to the President took the challenge. Almost as good as the good cause were the many fail videos.

Gangnam Style:

K-Pop star Psy became a household name with hundreds of millions of views of his song “Gangnam Style.”

Harlem Shake:

Another video that got the world involved. Everyone from The Miami Heat to girls in bikinis did the Harlem Shake.

10 6button 13 Viral Videos Of The First Decade Of YouTube That Changed Pop Culture Forever

Bed Intruder Song

After Antoine Dodson, a young hero from Huntsville, AL, saves his sister from an attack, he sings an important message both to his community and to the attacker himself. The video got the autotune treatment and the internet went wild.


Rebecca Black’s “Friday” music video was everywhere with loves and hates. Either way, it has been watched almost 80,000,000 times!

Yosemitebear Mountain Double Rainbow

The stoniest video in viral video history. “It’s full on double rainbow all the way across the sky.”

Dramatic Chipmunk:

5 seconds of rodent madness with over 40,000,000 views!

Keyboard Cat

The original by Charlie Schmidt has garnered nearly 40 million views and it feel like 40 million imitators.

5 1button 13 Viral Videos Of The First Decade Of YouTube That Changed Pop Culture Forever

Leave Britney Alone!

Mega Britney fan Chris Crocker uploaded the video defending his idol. It went nuts and inspired a ton of spoofs.

Hitler Rants Parody

Not really sure what the first one was but they all take the German television movie “Downfall” and change the subtitles. Everything from the death of Michael Jackson and sports scores, to Call of Duty and Mario Brothers have been topics.

Rick Rollin’

1987 music video by Rick Astley performing “Never Gonna Give You Up” has been one of the longest standing and harmless pranks on the internet.

Star Wars Kid

Star Wars Kid went viral in 2002. The kid in question was Ghyslain Raza who wields a golf ball retriever in imitation of Darth Maul’s lightsaber moves from the Star Wars films.

Numa Numa
Gary Brolsma upload it and it went like wildfire. Parodies of the “Numa Numa Song” still abound.



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