Why did this cheesy descent into madness, directed by Cho Soo-hyun, become so popular? Maybe it has something to do with one of the things listed above. Or maybe it's because, as The Atlantic and countless others have dutifully pointed out over the years, "Gangnam Style" is a carefully crafted satire of South Korea's 1%. The song, and the visuals above, call out the country -- specifically, Seoul's posh Gangnam District -- for its unhealthy materialism. It's a smart, potent message, one not just applicable to South Korea.
Maybe that's why, for almost five years, "Gangnam Style" reigned as YouTube's most viewed video after busting the site's play counter. As more recent selects on this list -- Fonsi and T-Swift, we're looking at you -- have shown, it's possible for newer hits to rack up billions of views in quicker fashion. But there's something about 2012's "Gangnam Style" that won't die. When I first started writing this post in September 2016, the video had 2.64 billion views. (Only, like, three of the views since then have been mine.) Now it's verging on 3 billion.