These days it’s a lot harder to pin down what makes a video “viral”. With normal videos from vloggers reaching millions of views, original videos losing out on their exposure thanks to freebooting, and lots of rival platforms like Vine and Facebook that quantify views differently, gone are the days where weird viral videos like the Numa Numa guy and Charlie the Unicorn can achieve legendary status.
But we still love videos that get millions of views and exposure just for being different; so here is our month-by-month countdown of all our favourite uploads that broke the internet this year!
Twins Come Out To Dad
Coming out to one’s family is already tough enough – but you probably can’t imagine the pressure of doing it simultaneously with your twin brother, over the phone, on camera. But that’s exactly what Aaron and Austin Rhodes did at the beginning of this year; and the result was a massive viral success.
Obama’s Buzzfeed Healthcare PSA
Presidents: They’re just like us! In one of the coolest moves ever made by a world leader, US President Barack Obama made this super #relatable video with Buzzfeed to encourage Americans to sign up at Healthcare.gov to get covered on their health insurance. He plays with a selfie stick, poses in a mirror, and blames Obama for his problems just like everyone else.
SketchShe: “Bohemian Carsody”
I can’t figure it out, but something about this sped-up lip-synch from Aussie comedy trio SketchShe catapulted it in front of almost 27 million pairs of eyes. Was it the internet’s collective love for Queen? Was it the new obsession with video playing in 60 frames-per-second? Was it the three attractive ladies constantly grabbing their boobs for some reason? We may never know.
Amandla Stenberg: “Don’t Cash Crop On My Cornrows”
Hunger Games star Amandla may only have been 16 years old at the time of making this video, but she wowed everyone with her incredibly informed stance on cultural appropriation, systemic racism and intersectional feminism. She has continued to be a great influence since, but this initial video definitely made some waves all across the internet.
Shia LaBeouf’s “DO IT” Speech
We can’t deny that Shia probably knew exactly what he was doing when he helped deliver this art college project in front of a green-screen. This bafflingly intense motivational speech from the former actor has been parodied, memed and quoted to death, but 7 months on we still can’t get enough of it.
Homeless Man Plays Piano
If all the self-satisfied social experiments haven’t taught you already, appearances aren’t everything. When , a homeless man in Sarasota, FL got his hands on a beautiful piano, he showed the world just what he and others in his situation could be capable of. Better yet, the people behind filming the video have since helped raise thousands of dollars to support him!
My Pale Skin: “YOU LOOK DISGUSTING”
It takes a seriously thick skin to put yourself in as vulnerable a position as Em Ford did for this video; but the resulting response has hopefully made it all worth it. Em’s highlighting of all the awful comments she received while wearing no makeup display a serious issue with our perception of women’s beauty, and this video rocked the internet into well-deserved shame.
1,000 people play Foo Fighters
Question: What’s there to do in Cesena, Italy? Well, one answer will soon be “go see Foo Fighters play in concert” after this viral video convinced the band to go! 1,000 super-talented Cesenans and Foo fans joined forces to play “Learn To Fly” to persuade Dave Grohl and his gang to come play in their town. Now how many would they need to convince Taylor Swift?…
If you wanted to tell me that the human condition in 2015 could be summed up by Pizza Rat, I 100% would not argue. This short clip of a lil’ New York rat struggling to transport its massive slice of New York pizza through the New York subway is super-relatable, even for people who’ve never been to New York.
“What Do You mean” Segway Dance
Two things rose to notoriety this year: Justin Bieber (again), and segways/hoverboards/IO Hawks/WHATEVER. It was inevitable that the two would cross over at some point, but this was probably the most awesome possible collaboration. If you can barely stand on a segway without falling on your ass, you might want to watch this for some serious #goals.
Sweet Potato Pie Review
Meet the video that caused Wal-Mart to straight up run out of sweet potato pie this Thanksgiving! YouTube randomer James Wright got so amped about his Patti LaBelle sweet potato pie that his video inspired millions of Americans to “get a taste of Patti”, to the point that every major vendor straight-up went out of stock. Now THAT’S viral marketing!
“People react to being called beautiful”
We’re still pretty early into December to call the best viral video; but an honourable mention has to go to this upload from photographer Shea Glover, where she captures the beauty within everyone with just one small trick: Telling them they’re beautiful. The look on some of these people’s faces are guaranteed to make your year.