The Sweet 16: 16 of My Favorite Videos of the Year

Boyoboyoboyoboyoboy, how do you pick just sixteen videos out of the wealth of videos uploaded to YouTube over the course of the year to call your favorites? Well, a few of my favorites have already been captured in this other list of my favorite videos from the world’s most trending videos lists, so that makes things a little easier. The truth is I’m sure that I’ve missed not just one but maybe one hundred and one videos I’ve seen this year that I’ve loved, but this is the list I was able to compile off the top of my head. I’ve arranged the videos in order of running time, so you’ll definitely have time to watch the first few, but if you want to watch the ones at the end, you’ll need to make time.

Here we go!

Angry Pedestrian Gets Instant Karma

An angry pedestrian grouses at a driver and walks into a pole. This is short, sweet, and to the embarrassingly painful point. It’s a classic viral video, but what lifts it above the rest, for me, is the fact that the subject of the video is wearing a Make America Great Again hat. This video is a metaphor for our political climate, and it’s the salve I needed after last year’s election.

No Pomegranates

What did they do to this poor teacher to prompt this anti-pomegranates tirade? I don’t even want to know. I just want to appreciate the outburst.

Why is everything ironic

Spicyboi is a creator who found notoriety creating an All Star video where she took a bite of an onion every time the word “star” was sung. That was a cool video, but I love this voice-over video of her having an existential crisis in a bathtub, worrying about wasting all of her time worrying about wasting all of her time.

Thunderstruck White Trash Washer Cover

Fun fact: I’ve never spoken the term “white trash.” This video of a guy playing Thunderstruck along to his unbalanced washer is just classic YouTube.

How the Kendall Jenner Pepsi Ad Got Made

I can’t remember a an ad as notorious as the Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad that existed for all of a day. The reaction to Pepsi’s ill-advised ad was swift and uniform – just complete revulsion. There wasn’t one element of that ad that seemed like a good idea, from the generic protest signs to having Kendall Jenner bridge the gap between a beleaguered population and the police who were oppressing them. I know SNL had a great short about the making of that ad, but my favorite will always be this College Humor piece.

Fell In A Well

I learned about this music video through an episode of Internet Comment Etiquette, and I immediately fell in love. The thing with Fell in a Well and Songwriter X and the Skeleton Band is that their songwriting is actually competent, and this song isn’t terrible. But the video does not seem like it would even be possible to make as bad as it is using modern tools. I love it.

Mr. Johnson’s Choir Concert

Making these Mr. Johnson’s Choir Concert videos must burn off half a day’s calories. In these videos, Reggie Couz plays Mr. Johnson a choir director who is conducting a choir, singing the latest radio hits. As he conducts, he dances, which shouldn’t be an unfamiliar sight to anyone who has ever watched a black gospel choir. But Mr. Johnson gets deep into the songs, bouncing around like Jim Carrey in his prime. This first installment also benefited from having XO Tour Lif3 and Mask Off as the songs being performed.

Kirin J Callinan – Big Enough ft. Alex Cameron, Molly Lewis, Jimmy Barnes

Go to 2:08. You’re welcome.

How the Triplet Flow Took Over Rap

A great explainer video isn’t one that answers a question you’ve been dying to know. It’s one that illuminates something you’ve not given much thought to and shows you that it’s worthy of discussion. That’s what episode 4 of Vox’s Earworm series does with the now-ubiquitous flow that you hear in every R&B and Rap song.

Danielle Bregoli reacts to BHAD BHABIE “These Heaux” roasts and reaction vids

Waaaaaiiiittt, let me explain! I know you saw Danielle Bregoli (aka the Catch Me Outside girl) and immediately questioned my taste and sanity. Well, let me offer you this rebuttal. YouTube is at its best when it allows a person to authentically express who they are and, through that authentic expression, connect with other people. In this video, Danielle Bregoli is unabashedly Danielle, and there’s something compelling about watching her react to people reacting to her music as unscripted and authentic as she can be. DON’T JUDGE ME!

The Decline of Solo… What Happened?

Remember what I said earlier about great explainers? This is one of those cases. Do you have any opinions on the Solo cup company? Did you know that the entire paper cup industry had gone through heavy consolidation and that one company makes pretty much every iconic disposable cup that you can think of?

Updates: Talking Is Hard.

This video is another example of connection through authentic expression and is probably a better case for YouTube than the Danielle Bregoli video. Beauty creator Courtelizz1 had a tumor removed from her brain earlier this year (a process she captured on camera for her channel) and has been sharing updates about her recovery along the way. This is one such update, and what I like about this video is that, at the request of her subscribers, Courtney Elizabeth leaves her mistakes in instead of editing them out. She has had to learn to talk again and isn’t able, yet, to speak with the fluidity of someone who has been speaking all their lives. Watching her struggle with speaking shows you the courage she’s mustered to go on making videos on YouTube.

Film Theory: Poppy’s Hidden Conspiracy Exposed

Are you familiar with Poppy, my favorite YouTube phenomenon of the past couple years? If not, don’t worry – this video will fill you in on everything. Film Theorists dropped this video as Poppy intrigue was just beginning to hit, and, as the theorists are wont to do, they went in. Examining every video on Poppy’s channel, MatPat and Steph tease out an intricate narrative that may or may not be true but is fascinating and entertaining to see explained.

History of the Entire World, I Guess

Everybody’s favorite video.

Fire in the Booth – MC Quakez & Roadman Shaq

This Fire in the Booth parody from BBC Radio 1Xtra is responsible for introducing the world to the phrases “Man’s not hot” and “The Ting Goes…” and to the actor/comedian Michael Dapah who performs double duty playing his characters MC Quakez and Roadman Shaq (bka Big Shaq). This is a parody of the BBC Radio series that invites rappers on to talk about projects and freestyle over beats, and it is worth every single minute of its 22-minute running time.

Polybius – The Video Game That Doesn’t Exist

Polybius is a video game that is the subject of an urban legend set in the early days of arcade gaming. The story goes that there was a video game that the government installed in an arcade to conduct psychological tests that resulted in the several gamers having headaches, seizures, and other maladies.  This documentary would be great if it were just an explainer about the urban legend and its impact on gaming, but the creator of the video is determined to get to the root of the story and tracks the urban legend to what is believed to be its source.