YouTube has been around for over ten years at this point, and I think what makes it such an interesting site is the fact that everyone can find their own little niche in there somewhere. I first got on the site back in 2006, and I posted my first video in 2008. None of my own videos will be possibly candidates to answer this question, other than this one which shall be put in as an honorable mention:
What a classic. My sister used to show this video to her friends because she’s seated on the couch in the background. Speaking of Laurie, this is my own personal recommendation for this award:
Laurie does a face plant, jbushft, 133 views, 12/26/2009
This is still funny. I can’t remember if she was upset at the end or not but I’d like to think she had a good sense of humor about her snowboarding inability. Please note that I will only be putting videos clearly put up by members of the internet up, not recordings of TV shows or anything like that, and I’m probably going to steer away from comedy troupes or anything like that. Most of these videos won’t be longer than like 2 minutes, either.
From the “Joke Guillotine” Category
Unplugger, Nik Ramage, 1,445,467 views, 7/18/2007
You know from the second you click on this video that the machine entitled the unplugger, which looks to be needlessly complicated in the first place, will eventually unplug itself. You know it’s coming. You know it’s gonna get unplugged. Yet, it still does. I don’t know if I laugh at it anymore but I almost always will click on it because I know what’s going to happen. It’s the most expected thing, you knew it was going to happen before you even clicked, and yet, you still did, and it still happened. Why is the thing so complex? Why so many gears? Actually, why does the camera hang on the thing after it gets unplugged for so long? It’s ridiculous and clearly made by someone far more intelligent than myself.
From The “Consistently Good YouTube Sketch” category
P.E. with Coach Wiener: Baseball, Honorstudent, 26,606 views, 1/18/2009
This goes against the “sketch troupe” rule I made earlier, but this is the best example of anything made by a YouTube focused sketch troupe. I know David Neher went on to do Community, as well, but this was before that and when these three guys went to a baseball field and made a video I probably watched every day for a month when I first discovered it. I still use the “That Sucked” freeze frame on Twitter if a team I’m watching loses. This keeps up the absurd humor that made up so many great early YouTube sketch groups going for the entirety of the video which was impressive back then and it still has the sort of grit and homemade feel that early YoutTube sketch groups had.
OH YEAH MR KRABS ! ( the original! ), NKassad, 1,497,500 views, 3/4/2009
I think I had a falling out with a friend once because I thought this video was funny and they didn’t. This guy, NKassad, has to my knowledge not attempted to become anything more than the kid who slammed a Mr. Krabs figurine into fake water on a game board and I appreciate that. I don’t know what the guy looks like, who he is, what he does, anything like that. As with anyone, there’s a very, very small, but not impossible chance, that I or anyone else reading this has met this guy at some point. I have no way to know because I don’t know his face, or name, or voice outside of this video from 7 years ago, which is crazy to think about. I will never forget this video, but this person will remain anonymous literally until the end of time. He could be the man giving me open-heart surgery in thirty years and I’d have no way to know.
From the “clip out of context from a movie” category
fang.avi, tiago brandão, 6,897 views, 1/25/2012
This video has been in my Twitter bio since I think April 2012 or so and nobody has ever commented. I have not seen this movie outside of this scene and the filing cabinet scene, but I see Nic Cage frantically tearing open a brown bag that contains only fake vampire’s teeth and I have to share it with the world somehow.
From the “Carrot Highway” category
CARROT HIGHWAY, EVERYTHINGISTERRIBLE, 28,380 views, 1/9/2012
This is just a good video all around. I knew very little about carrots before watching it, I’d say I know quite a bit about them now.
From the “He’s going to Jail” category
“I’m Going to Jail!”, Jasmine S, 305,040 views 7/26/2013
This man is going to jail. I don’t know where this was recorded. I assume it’s a sports championship riot sort of thing but I don’t know where, I can only guess that they’re shouting “Let’s Go Hawks!” which makes me think… Chicago? Blackhawks? Who knows. Who cares. This guy didn’t, at least, and that’s probably why he’s goin’ to jail.
From the “Belgians dancing in front of a green screen to some sort of proto-techno for an hour” category
Radio Soulwax: Cherry Moon on Valium, SLUDGE HAMMER, 405,010 views, 9/8/2011
I have a better stomach for this sort of music than a lot of other people do. This is actually sort of my thing. However, the music itself takes a backseat to these random people dancing by themselves for an hour. This video is a trip.
THE ACTUAL GREATEST VIDEO
Why is “Fred n Bulk n Skull Theme” the greatest YouTube video? Is it because I still laugh when I watch it even though I know what’s coming up? Probably. It’s also because it’s a genuinely well done remix in the first thirty seconds or so, and the descent into madness grows over time until the end of the video when it’s simultaneously unwatchable and the most watchable. Also, I like the title “Fred n Bulk n Skull Theme” because I didn’t assume it was Fred Durst initially, and I know it’s Fred Durst now, I didn’t even know who Fred Durst was when I first saw it. Thank god for limpmixbit for this video. It has been almost six years since it came out and it remains unmatched.