You might think that before YouTube, there were no viral videos. You would be very wrong. Viral videos started circulating the internet pretty early on, with people downloading and emailing them to all their friends. Who else remembers getting a bunch of forwarded files that you had to click on and wait for an hour for them to download only to find a monkey smelling his finger?
Luckily, YouTube has absorbed all of those old videos and made them a lot easier to find. How many of these do you remember?
1. Llama Song
Songs that made no sense were pretty big at the beginning of the Internet. Originally it was posted to DeviantArt as a Flash animation before it was added to some other sites that really bumped up its views. It makes no sense, but is still somehow entertaining.
2. Peanut Butter Jelly Time
This dancing banana has hung around ever since it first appeared back in 2002. Who knows what a dancing banana has to do with peanut butter and jelly, but it’s probably best not to think about it too hard.
3. Star Wars Kid
This kid recorded himself reenacting a Star Wars lightsaber battle and it ended up online. This video has been apparently been viewed over a billion times, including the 32 million times it has been viewed on YouTube since it was uploaded there.
4. End of the World
I remember sharing this with all my friends in high school and laughing at this ridiculous video so many times. It was uploaded to Alibino Blacksheep in 2003, and created so many internet catchphrases including my personal favorite: “But I am le tired”.
Okay so this ridiculous short film was nominated for an Oscar. With lines like “I am a banana” you can clearly see why right? It actually won 17 different awards at film festivals. Pretty impressive for the increasingly ridiculous cartoons! It’s been viewed over 9 million times on YouTube alone.
6. Evolution of Dance
This guy has been viewed over 297 MILLION times. Granted he was always on YouTube and not on the other services, but he was one of the original viral videos that everyone seems to have seen on YouTube. It even inspired some montages for Jimmy Fallon who has done a few different versions of the evolution of dancing over the years. So, good for this guy! Started a trend!
7. Dancing Baby
Of course, last but not least, the original video that seemed to get sent around by email to every single person. This dancing baby took the world by storm for no real reason other than it was silly.