One of the best things about the time we live in is that great video content is becoming easier and easier to find. YouTube is usually at the centre of it all, but if you look at the most watched videos on the platform, you usually end up with a few fun videos, and a bunch of songs. There’s a similar list from YouTube India as well, which adds in a few fun more interesting clips actually. But even this misses out on some of the other great videos that burned bright over the year, even if they didn’t generate as many lasting views.
So we set out to collect as many of the best viral videos as we could find. This isn’t exactly a scientific list, just the stuff that was everywhere for us, and it’s possible that you might find something for the first time in this list. Some of the videos are more than a year old too — the focus here was less on the most successful videos released in 2017, and more about which videos we were all watching this year. And beyond that, if there’s a great video you think everyone should see, do share it with us and the other readers via the comments.
Without any further delay, let’s get to our list, in no particular order.
1. Ping Pong Trick Shots
This one made it to YouTube’s list of the top videos of the year as well, but we’re not going to deny it a spot in our list just because of that. The fact is that this is one of the coolest videos and we have no doubt you will spend a lot of time rewatching it and wondering whether things were staged.
2. Children interrupt BBC interview
In a really depressing year, this funny clip was one of the bright spots — a serious BBC interview is suddenly taken off the rails with young kids who aren’t particularly impressed by the cameras, and just want to have some fun. You can’t help laugh at the clip, and looking at the numbers, it seems like that was the case for most of the rest of the world too.
3. Salt Bae
This Turkish chef went viral in January for the way he sprinkled salt in it, but the videos are actually great to watch for a number of reasons. He’s clearly good at what he does, and his knife work is just as over the top and fun. It’s no surprise that his videos are big hits, and became meme fodder for a thousand GIFs as well.
From Salt Bae to Distracted Boyfriend, 10 Memes We Loved in 2017
4. Polishing a rusty knife
Of all things to go viral, this was something we didn’t really expect. This video comes from a YouTube channel that teaches you how to cook different types of Japanese food, and it’s great to watch for just that alone, but one of the best videos there is of the chef polishing a rusty knife. It’s a weird video to become so popular, but then again, it’s instructional, the voice is pleasant, and the visuals are quite unexpectedly exciting, and there’s a cute cat. As you compare the red and rusty knife at the start with the finished product, you can’t help but be amazed.
5. Sean Spicer SNL
Did anyone expect former White House Press Secretary to be such perfect fodder for an SNL sketch? Comedian Melissa McCarthy does a beyond perfect job of impersonating the former bureaucrat, and had us in splits. In a season where Kate McKinnon did a brilliant job of impersonating Hillary Clinton, and Alec Baldwin was perfect as Donald Trump, McCarthy still stole the show, so you have to watch the clips.
6. History of the entire world, I guess
This 20 minute video is quirky and brilliant, and it feels like something that might have been made in the early days of YouTube. This particular video also made YouTube’s list of the top videos of the year, ad it’s easy to see why; the quick patter with great writing and clever visuals all come together to keep you watching non-stop despite being a pretty long clip for YouTube. It’s 20 minutes, and if you haven’t seen it already, watch it now.
7. Used car commercial
When a caring boyfriend made a used-car commercial for his girlfriend’s 1996 Honda Accord, the world listened. The car was up for auction on eBay and he decided to apply proper commercial techniques — and the results were nothing short of amazing. The car actually drew enough attention that eBay pulled the plug on it, and it had to be re-listed and then finally sold.
8. The plural of octopus
From the official Merriam-Webster dictionary channel, this wonderful video, which was published years ago, went largely under the radar for years — and then suddenly blew up just a month ago, and today the proper plural of octopus is all over Reddit and Twitter. If you don’t know what the plural of octopus is (or even if you do), watch this video; no spoilers from us.
These were our top picks, but which ones were your favourites? Tell us, and once again, if there’s something you think is worth adding, do share it with everyone via the comments.