Viral videos we should never forget

Reflecting on some of the internet’s best viral videos

Where would we be without YouTube? The platform which shares our home videos with the rest of the world, for the indulgence of our own entertainment. YouTube has always been a great mode to support our emotions, whether you want to laugh, cry, get angry or even just to make us think, YouTube has a solution.

Most importantly, YouTube gives everyone, regardless of any perceived privilege or lack thereof, an opportunity to go viral. As time goes on and more of us become virtually connected, viral videos become less and less substantial as the competition is too vast. In the TikTok era, we are given videos that are suitably sized for our decreasing attention span, but as we go from era to era in the digital age, there are some videos that defy time. Here are some memorable viral videos that we should never forget.


Liam Kyle Sullivan is remembered for many television appearances, but he will always mainly be remembered for his song, Shoes. The song debuted back in 2006 and has aged like a fine wine. Shoes is sung by one of Sullivan’s online characters, Kelly, who loves shoes. While the music alone is catchy, the limited lyrics make it almost impossible to forget. The song became a viral video back in 2006 but is still remembered nostalgically to this day as we all root for Kelly to get what she wants, shoes!

Charlie the Unicorn

Created by Jason Steele and originally released in 2006 (the dawn of viral videos), Charlie the Unicorn tells the story of Charlie and two nameless unicorns as they head on adventure. The video starts with Charlie resting in the meadow when he is approached by the two other unicorns who pester him into going to Candy Mountain with them, which he reluctantly agrees to. The story ends with Charlie being tricked by the nameless unicorns at Candy Mountain and left alone without a kidney.

Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That

In 2012, Sweet Brown’s home was burnt down, which is why she ended up on the news. As devastating as the fire was, all that anyone will ever remember from this viral video was that poor Sweet Brown ‘got bronchitis, ain’t nobody got time for that’.

The interview of Sweet Brown was such a hit, that it was shortly turned into a song which you can also find in the video above. Although both the original interview and the remixed version will always be memorable, the remix is a clear preference of the viral videos, as that version has 67 million views whereas the original has 14 million.

Double Rainbow

Have you ever seen a double rainbow all the way? If you haven’t then you probably wouldn’t appreciate Yosemitebear62’s excitement. This emotional video was released back in 2010 and shortly after became a hit as man’s enthusiasm for nature became the world’s source of entertainment.

Leave Britney Alone

As the #FreeBritney movement is still present, this viral video will always be relevant. Chris Crocker is an American hero in the eyes of Britney Spears’ fans as he publicly defends the star following her highly documented breakdown in 2007.

The emotive video calls out anyone, particularly the media, who have criticised Britney Spears. Crocker’s speech gained viral video status shortly after release as the world found humour in the arguably theatrical delivery of his message. Whether people remember this video for the message or the theatrics, Chris Crocker’s Leave Britney Alone isn’t likely to be forgotten anytime soon!


Although this one wasn’t necessarily a viral video, it still deserves a place. Rick Astley’s classic Never Gonna Give You Up became the punchline of many online pranksters back in the early years of YouTube. The term RickRoll’d comes from the unexpected appearance of the music video to Astley’s hit. For instance, you wanted to watch a video low budget documentary on spiders but as soon as the video loads, you are greeted by Rick Astley dancing away to Never Gonna Give You Up.

Rickrolling was quite annoying at its peak, but upon reflection, very funny. The best way to describe the concept would be online anarchy and betrayal, but it did teach us the ultimate internet lesson not everything is as it seems.

There is a lot of justified critique surrounding the digital and age, but that should never interfere with the entertainment you get from it. Our attention spans are decreasing thanks to the fast-paced, digital world we live in, that is to be expected, but thankfully our memory is not impacted. Some viral videos were made to last, some will remain immortal thanks to the bottomless pit of the internet.

Viral video

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Dara Thornton
Dara Thornton

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