Entertainment

The 10 Most Viral YouTube Videos of 2017

"BBC Dad" | BBC
"BBC Dad" | BBC

Lady Gaga's Super Bowl halftime show. BBC Dad. Every goof on Donald Trump's inauguration imaginable. It might be hard to believe these viral moments all happened in the same year -- this year -- but they did! We've got the video footage to prove it.

With the help of YouTube, we're counting down and revisiting the most viral videos of the year. The site created its top-10 list by considering the ways people interacted with its biggest videos -- including shares, watch time, likes, and comments -- before ranking them by views. Collectively, the heavy-hitter viral videos below amassed more than 630 million views, and people spent more than 40 million hours watching. In a year that was frequently dark, depressing, and outright baffling, it shouldn't be surprising that the stuff that resonated most was fun and inspiring (sometimes both).

10. "Children interrupt BBC News interview - BBC News"

Views: 26 million (and counting)
Way back in March, Robert Kelly planned to talk about South Korea on BBC News -- solo. His adorable 4-year-old daughter, Marion, however, had other plans, barreling into her father's study mid-interview like she owned the damn place. She wasn't alone. Though Kelly assumed this meant his talking head days were over, his family quickly became famous for their viral moment, booking interviews and building a fanbase that persists today. "It's still just weird more than anything else," the poli-sci professor toldThe Guardian. "It's nice to think we made people happy, but it’s not really the kind of thing you’d ask for." 

9. "In a Heartbeat - Animated Short Film"

Views: 33.1 million (and counting)
"A closeted boy runs the risk of being outed by his own heart after it pops out of his chest to chase down the boy of his dreams." That's the logline of this touching short, written and directed by Beth David and Esteban Bravo. The project got its start on Kickstarter, grabbing more than $14,000, before becoming a full-blown powerhouse with the humor and emotional heft to rival the likes of Pixar. It's so good, it's on the shortlist for Best Animated Short Film in the 2018 Academy Awards.
 

8. "history of the entire world, i guess"

Views: 36.5 million (and counting)
From Bill Wurtz, the same wizard behind "history of japan," comes a more ambitious yet just-as-hypnotizing piece of edutainment. It's exactly what it sounds like: "the history of the entire world, i guess," compressed into a surprisingly swift, visually engaging 19 minutes. Between the sporadic jingles and unrelenting barrage of info, watching this is kind of like getting a history lesson from a half-sedated, more mellifluous Jean-Ralphio. Overwhelming but fun.

7. "'INAUGURATION DAY' — A Bad Lip Reading of Donald Trump's Inauguration"

Views: 35.7 million (and counting)
"Hadouken! Hadouken to your face!" Yeah, that's kind of what this day felt like, but here's a much more enjoyable (and somehow awkward) version of the day's highlights. The dance, in particular, is something to behold.

6. "Lady Gaga's FULL Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl LI Halftime Show"

Views: 38 million (and counting)
Lady Gaga said "Hello!" to the Super Bowl with 300 drones. It was quite the entrance. What followed, as we wrote on that fateful night, was "a fabulous cavalcade of diamond dresses, star wands, shoutouts to mom and dad, the supreme power of the keytar, and impassioned words on diversity" -- a true halftime spectacle for fans new and old.

5. "Ed Sheeran Carpool Karaoke"

Views: 41 million (and counting)
With Ed Sheeran's visit to The Late Late Show, you got some good duets, Bieber drinking stories, and nipple stuff. It wasn't quite top-10 material in our books, but it was definitely entertaining.

4. "Darci Lynne: 12-Year-Old Singing Ventriloquist Gets Golden Buzzer"

Views: 43.1 million (and counting)
In May, 12-year-old Darci Lynne Farmer took the America's Got Talent stage to sing "Summertime" and remind viewers ventriloquism wasn't dead. She succeeded, earning a standing ovation, getting a Golden Buzzer from judge Mel B ("You made my heart melt!"), and ultimately, going on to win first place in the season finale. Now you can catch the young star on tour.

3. "Ping-Pong Trick Shots 3"

Views: 98.4 million (and counting)
All the Dude Perfect videos make me ask the same questions: How did they do that? How long did it take to do that? Why do they yell so much? No matter how ridiculous these guys are, they always impress. And this ping-pong sequel -- which boasts unbelievable feats with arrows, frisbees, and cookware, all in the name of Oreos -- doesn't disappoint. (Seriously, that's a beautiful flop shot.)

2. "ED SHEERAN - Shape Of You | Kyle Hanagami Choreography"

Views: 125.5 million (and counting)
When "Shape of You" first came out, it might not have struck you as the most dance-worthy song. Kyle Hanagami thought otherwise, quickly using the earworm-y Sheeran single to show off his dance class' inventive choreography. See the mesmerizing results for yourself. Users found the moves so irresistible Hanagami's upload became the most-viewed choreography vid on YouTube -- ever

1. "Until we will become dust - Oyster Mask | THE MASK SINGER 2"

Views: 199 million (and counting)
Coming in at No. 1 is this giant oyster, which effortlessly charmed an enthusiastic live studio audience. Watch above as people wave their hands, cheer, dance. (Try not to do the same.) What's going on? This clip comes from Thai show The Mask Singer, a competition that has celebrities conceal their identities with elaborate costumes before duking it out for musical glory. Unfortunately, the oyster (later revealed to be rocker Panthapol Prasarnratchakij) didn't win the competition, but, if these millions of views are any indication, it certainly won the internet. ("I think this oyster sings better than other species." Fair! Long live this oyster!) If you're jealous we don't have a show like this, fret not: Fox is on it.

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Sean Fitz-Gerald is a staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment. Find him on Twitter: @srkfitzgerald.