The 17 Most Important YouTube Videos Of All Time

31 October 2017, 12:35 | Updated: 6 November 2017, 13:36

most important youtube videos of all time

By Benedict Townsend

These are the 17 most important YouTube videos of all time. We're using the term 'most important' in a loose sense, but just take it to mean videos that made YouTube what it is today. Videos that YouTube simply couldn't exist without. We've left the top 3 up to you, the good reader, so make sure to head down to the bottom of the list to get your vote in.


17. Despacito

Despacito is the current most-viewed YouTube video of all time, granting it a place on this lost, but it also earns it's place for the truly ridiculous amount of view it has managed to amass in its short time online. For context, Despacito is a full one billion views ahead of the next most-watched video, the video for 'See You Again'.


16. Bike Lanes (Casey Neistat)

Casey Neistat is kind of a video genre in his own right and had a huge influence on the way your favourite YouTubers make videos today. This is one of his earliest viral hits from way back in 2011 and showcases his distinctive style.

15. Potter Puppet Pals

Do we even need to explain why this is here? Sing along everyone: Snape, Snape, Seeeeverus Snape.....


14. 'You Look Disgusting' (Em Ford)

“Three months ago, I began posting images of myself without makeup on social media. The following film contains real comments that were left on images of my face.”


13. After Ever After (Jon Cozart)

At Summer In The City 2016, we watched a giant room full of people lose their sweet minds as Jon began to sing this song. There aren't many original YouTube songs that can do that.


12. FNAF 1 - Markiplier

The video that launched the career of one of YouTube's biggest creators. This video is in this list to represent both gaming and also the huge popularity of horror games that swept YouTube in the early twenty-teens.


11. Pokemon In Real Life - Smosh

Where would YouTube be if Smosh had not decided to start making Pokemon-related videos? No where, that's where.


10. Duet With Myself (Charlieissocoollike)

Charlie revolutionised Vlogging and created tropes and techniques that have survived to this day. He has always pushed the boundaries of what is possible as a video, as shown in this 'duet' video, which was revolutionary at the time:


9. Diet Coke and Mentos

This one is a throwback, but it's on the list to represent YouTube's ability to create trends in the real world, whether it be a cola-candy explosion, a Harlem shake or people shoving cinnamon powder down their throats.


8. What clubbing is actually like

This is what happens when giants collide. Two of YouTube's funniest creators coming together to make a massive (20 million+ views) video. It shows that YouTube is still the internet's favourite place for comedy.


 7. Leave Britney alone (Chris Crocker)

This video is notable for a few reasons. First, it's original viralness cannot be forgotten - this video was everywhere when it was first released. Aside from that though, it serves as a reminder of how YouTube has evolved. Chris Crocker is still a YouTuber and has even revealed the dark story behind 'Leave Britney Alone', which casts the video in a much more tragic light than you would first assume.

It shows, in a way, how YouTube has become a deeper medium. Back in the day it was all just about laughing at simple, funny things, but now it's more apparent that there are real people and real stories behind those funny videos - and that things are never as simple as they appear.


6. Gangnam Style

The first video to hit 1 billion views. What more can we say? ... Except OP OP OP OPPAN GANGNAM STYLE BABY! AHHH YEEEEEAAAHHH!

5. Charlie Bit Me

The first truly viral video.

4. Me at the zoo

"Wait..." You say. "'Me at the zoo'? What the heck is 'me at the zoo'?" Well I'll tell you, dear reader. 'Me at the zoo is very first video ever uploaded to YouTube.

Now it's up to you. The top three will be decided in this public vote. You can only vote once, so choose carefully: