It’s the viral countdown: top 10 YouTube hits of the year

27 Dec 2013

Still from 'Ylvis - The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?) [Official music video HD]' by tvnorge on YouTube

We’ve had Harlem Shakes by the dozen, Miley Cyrus parodies in their droves and a shedload of animal videos on YouTube in 2013. We’ve also had bad lip readings and pop songs as Gaeilge – but which ones came out on top?

About 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, 500 years of video watched on Facebook every day, and more than 700 YouTube videos shared on Twitter each minute, ensuring there is always video trending on the web.

As a Christmas gift to you, we’ve selected our top 10 videos from our weekly viral videos round-up. Each one has clocked up views in their millions, but the real winners here are the videos that made us laugh out loud in 2013.

10: Harlem Shake vFinal (NODE Edition)

While YouTube gave the nod to this army edition of the Harlem Shake in its Rewind of 2013 owing to its 96.3m views, the only version of this viral craze that we’d like to acknowledge is the one intended to put a stop to it once and for all.


Uploaded: 12 February 2013

9: Volvo Trucks – The Epic Split feat. Van Damme

Actor Jean Claude Van Damme’s ‘epic split’ has been copied by many since its upload in late 2013, but there’s simply no matching the magnificence of the original.


Uploaded: 13 November 2013

8: How Animals Eat Their Food

This educational video from Mister Epic Mann teaches you important things about the eating habits of common animals like the cow, the lizard, the kangaroo and the T-rex. Watch and learn, children.


Uploaded: 8 April 2013

7: Class Dublin Taxi Driver

You might recall that 2013 provided us with one of the most glorious summers ever seen on these shores and, here in Dublin, a sunny disposition infected all and sundry – including Ireland’s EU presidency spokesperson Andrea Pappin and taxi driver Wayne Karney.


Uploaded: 5 July 2013

6: Bunnies can fly

With the highs come the lows and straight in at No 6 we have a reminder of the cruel nature of the animal kingdom. Get ready to go from ‘awww!’ to ‘aaggh!’ in less than a minute, viewers.


Uploaded: 25 September 2013

5: The Ohio State University Marching Band Perform their Hollywood Blockbuster Show

Not happy with appearing on our viral round-up once in October, the Ohio State University marching band topped their Michael Jackson tribute the very next week with this performance depicting the heroics of Superman, the magic of Harry Potter and the terror of Jurassic Park with impressive precision.


Uploaded: 26 October 2013

4: Ylvis – The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)

We simply couldn’t complete this countdown without the year’s most-watched YouTube video. Norway’s answer to The Lonely Island stole our viral-loving hearts this year with the as-yet unanswered question of ‘What Does the Fox Say?’, which went on to reach No 6 in the Billboard Hot 100.


Uploaded: 3 September 2013

3: Avicii Vs Lurgan – Wake Me Up as Gaeilge

The Gaeltacht’s Coláiste Lurgan has brought us many popular songs with an as Gaeilge twist but this Avicii track has been the channel’s runaway success of the year. With Stiofán Ó Fearail from Irish band Seo Linn taking the lead along with traditional Irish musicians, we now can’t help but sing ‘Lig mé saor’ when we hear the club hit.


Uploaded: 9 August 2013

2: A Bad Lip Reading of Game of Thrones

We first featured the talents of BadLipReading back in January when they dubbed footage from the NFL, but it’s when they applied this formula to a cult TV sensation that they achieved perfection, and the No 2 spot on our chart.


Uploaded: 16 October 2013

1: Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball (Chatroulette Version)

In a fitting end to the year that was in it, we’ve awarded the top spot in our viral countdown to Miley Cyrus – in a way. Steve Kardynal’s Chatroulette parody of her Wrecking Ball music video will remain funny long after the jokes about twerking and sledgehammer-licking have gone stale and, for that, he deserves his millions (of YouTube views).


Uploaded: 26 November

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Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.