Millennials, late 20-somethings, and everyone born after 1985 are growing up with the internet. Some of us remember Xanga, Myspace, AIM, and Youtube before there were even ads. Before Youtube there was Newgrounds and HomeStarRunner. These are some throwback viral videos you *almost* forgot about.
1. Badger Badger (2003)
Like many videos of this time, the Badger song originated from Jonti Picking, a British animator who created the animation in 2003. This video was listed by PC world in 2009 as one of the top 5 biggest internet fads of all time. Also recommended is watching the Where Can You See Lions video.
2. Shoes (2006)
(Explicit language) If there was ever a Youtube video that changed how you say an everyday word, it is Shoes. If you have seen this video, you have heard Kelly’s voice in your head saying “These shoes rule. These shoes SUCK!” while shopping.
3. Charlie the Unicorn (2005)
When 3 unicorns set out on an adventure to find Candy Mountain, it ends up not being so sweet for Charlie. Originally posted to Newgrounds.com as a birthday gift for his mom, this video by Jason Steele has 67 million views.
4. Sassy Gay Friend: Romeo and Juliet (2010)
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING? WHAT, WHAT, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”
This video series reimagines classic stories if the protagonist had a sassy gay friend involved to talk sense into them, which prevents the characters from being “a stupid betch.” This series was created by Brian Gallivan for The Second City and is the main reason I add MiO flavoring to my water.
5. Rejected (2000)
Don HertzFeldt created this animation in 2000 and it has since received 27 awards from film festivals. It was also nominated for an Academy Award. The film features cartoons the artist created for a fictional learning channel and an ad campaign that were ultimately rejected.
6. How Animals Eat Their Food (2013)
Two college students eating lettuce and drinking water out of pink sippy cups demonstrate how several types of animals eat their food, such as tyrannosaurus rex, alligator, and kangaroo. This video has raked in about 130 million views and still counting. My personal favorite is the whale.
7. Drinking Out of Cups (2006)
(Explicit Language) This video is an animation of the voice recording of Dan Deacon. Rumor at the time was that he was high on acid, locked in the closet, and his friends recorded his voice. He has since refuted this rumor, clarifying that he was not high, but recorded himself flipping through tv channels sober and reacting to the television in a Long Island impression. Watch the video and you decide.
8. I’m On A Boat (2009)
(Explicit Language) The Lonely Island, formed in 2001 made it to Saturday Night Live in 2005, and created multiple viral music videos featuring Justin Timberlake, Adam Levine, Nicki Minaj, Kendrick Lamar, and others. Sadly, the group hasn’t produced anything new since their parody “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” bombed at the box office in 2016.
9. Potter Puppet Pals: The Mysterious Ticking Noise (2007)
Every Harry Potter fan’s favorite YouTube video is The Mysterious Ticking Noise. With 178 million views, this short created by Neil Cicierega has been acknowledged in interviews by Daniel Radcliffe and the late Alan Rickman who said it was very beautifully done.
10. Honey Badger
(Explicit language) This video with 85 million views is an informational video on the honey badger narrated by Randall. The video is decisive evidence that the honey badger is the most savage creature in the animal kingdom.
Viral YouTube videos have a way of connecting people who don’t necessarily share the same interests, but can appreciate a humorous video. More seasoned millennials may use this list as a totem of the golden age of internet videos to teach young millenials our heritage. The better we connect, the better we are.