10 Classic Viral Videos and the Story Behind Them

Dramatic Chipmunk, Diet Coke and Mentos, and Chewbacca Mask Lady. We’ve all seen them – The classic viral videos. But what’s the story behind them? How were they made? We found 10 videos that got millions of views almost immediately after they got released.

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Dramatic Chipmunk

Short clip of a prairie dog turning its head towards the camera as it zooms in, combined with dramatic music (from Mel Brooks’ 1974 movie “Young Frankenstein”). The clip was first uploaded to YouTube on June 6, 2007. This version … Read full text

Dramatic Chipmunk

Short clip of a prairie dog turning its head towards the camera as it zooms in, combined with dramatic music (from Mel Brooks’ 1974 movie “Young Frankenstein”). The clip was first uploaded to YouTube on June 6, 2007. This version of the clip has almost 43 million views (as of August 2021). It originates from a segment in the Japanese TV show “Hello! Morning”, where the prairie dog is being shown to the hosts in the studio – watch the original clip here. The prairie dog was being referred to as a chipmunk by mistake.

Diet Coke and Mentos

The Mentos-in-Diet-Coke experiment was first demonstrated in public on the Late Show with David Letterman in 1999. In 2005 the phenomenon became popular on YouTube, and a slew of viral experiment videos was uploaded to the website… Read full text

Diet Coke and Mentos

The Mentos-in-Diet-Coke experiment was first demonstrated in public on the Late Show with David Letterman in 1999. In 2005 the phenomenon became popular on YouTube, and a slew of viral experiment videos was uploaded to the website. The Mentos catalyzes the gas release from the Coke, which forces the liquid to exit the bottle in a foam eruption.

Boom Goes the Dynamite

The phrase “Boom goes the dynamite!” was minted by Brian Collins in 2005, a then-student at Ball State University. It was during a sports broadcast that the now-famous phrase was first publicly uttered. Collins was very nervous, a… Read full text

Boom Goes the Dynamite

The phrase “Boom goes the dynamite!” was minted by Brian Collins in 2005, a then-student at Ball State University. It was during a sports broadcast that the now-famous phrase was first publicly uttered. Collins was very nervous, as he had to fill in for the regular sportscaster at the last minute. He also had to improvise a lot since the teleprompter operator made a few mistakes. A clip from the broadcast was later uploaded to YouTube and went viral.

“Boom goes the dynamite!” has later been used frequently in popular culture. Maybe most famously by character Cleveland Brown in “Family Guy,” who blurts out the phrase during sexual intercourse.

Jump to 2:28 in the video to hear “Boom goes the dynamite!”.

Knocked Out by Fish

A news reporter gets hit in the head by a big fish during a massive storm. Staged or not? The video, uploaded to Facebook and YouTube in 2016, quickly received over 2 million views and international media attention, including on p… Read full text

Knocked Out by Fish

A news reporter gets hit in the head by a big fish during a massive storm. Staged or not? The video, uploaded to Facebook and YouTube in 2016, quickly received over 2 million views and international media attention, including on popular talk show “Ellen”.

The video was made by travel couple Aimee and Craig from the UK, also known as “Kinging-It”. They had carefully planned the fish video – to make a viral hit. When Aimee and Craig read about the storm, they got the idea for the video. Said and done, they went to a local supermarket and bought a 7-pound sterling fresh fish, and headed for the shore. The rest is internet history.

Chewbacca Mask Lady

The video Chewbacca Mask Lady (or Chewbacca Mom) was uploaded to Facebook by Candace Payne from Texas on May 19, 2016. She was filming herself while trying on a Chewbacca mask and laughing cordially. The video got 140 million view… Read full text

Chewbacca Mask Lady

The video Chewbacca Mask Lady (or Chewbacca Mom) was uploaded to Facebook by Candace Payne from Texas on May 19, 2016. She was filming herself while trying on a Chewbacca mask and laughing cordially. The video got 140 million views on Facebook in just a few days. It was later shared on YouTube as well. Following the video’s success, Payne was invited to appear on several TV shows. Among them, The Late Late Show with James Corden.

2 Hours Doing Nothing

“2 Hours Doing Nothing” is a 2+ hours video of Madurese YouTuber Muhammad Didit sitting on his bedroom floor staring at nothing. Nothing happens in the video, except for 12 seconds at the end where Muhammad changes his position sl… Read full text

2 Hours Doing Nothing

“2 Hours Doing Nothing” is a 2+ hours video of Madurese YouTuber Muhammad Didit sitting on his bedroom floor staring at nothing. Nothing happens in the video, except for 12 seconds at the end where Muhammad changes his position slightly. The video, released July 10, 2020, went viral on YouTube with over five million views and 40.000 comments to date. Muhammad has stated that the video was a sarcastic commentary on Indonesian users complaining about the lack of “educational” content online.

The video’s original title in Indonesian is “2 JAM nggak ngapa-ngapain.”

Bitchy Resting Face

“Bitchy Resting Face” is a satirical commentary on the facial expression called “resting bitch face,” which makes a person involuntarily appear angry. This video was made by the comedy group Broken People and went viral on the web… Read full text

Bitchy Resting Face

“Bitchy Resting Face” is a satirical commentary on the facial expression called “resting bitch face,” which makes a person involuntarily appear angry. This video was made by the comedy group Broken People and went viral on the website Funny or Die in 2013. It was later shared on several YouTube channels as well.

Double Rainbow

“Double Rainbow” is a viral video filmed by Paul “Bear” Vasquez, uploaded to YouTube on January 8, 2010. The video shows Vasquez’s euphoric reaction to a double rainbow, which he sees from his front yard near Yosemite Nation… Read full text

Double Rainbow

“Double Rainbow” is a viral video filmed by Paul “Bear” Vasquez, uploaded to YouTube on January 8, 2010. The video shows Vasquez’s euphoric reaction to a double rainbow, which he sees from his front yard near Yosemite National Park. The video, which has over 49 million views to date, earned “Bear” a lot of attention, notably an interview on the TV show “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”. Paul “Bear” Vasquez died on May 9, 2020.

300-Page iPhone Bill

A 300-page iPhone bill from AT&T prompted Justine Ezarik, better known as iJustine, to make a video focused on paper waste. The massive iPhone bill was a result of AT&T detailing every text message and data transfer on pap… Read full text

300-Page iPhone Bill

A 300-page iPhone bill from AT&T prompted Justine Ezarik, better known as iJustine, to make a video focused on paper waste. The massive iPhone bill was a result of AT&T detailing every text message and data transfer on paper. It came packaged in a cardboard box. The video, produced in August 2007, quickly got several million views on different video streaming services, including YouTube and Yahoo Video.
iJustine’s video received international news coverage and drove AT&T to change its billing practices.

Edgar’s Fall

Édgar’s Fall is a Mexican video that went viral when it was uploaded to YouTube on May 8, 2006. The short clip features cousins Édgar and Fernando playing at an improvised bridge made out of tree branches. Fernando makes Édg… Read full text

Edgar’s Fall

Édgar’s Fall is a Mexican video that went viral when it was uploaded to YouTube on May 8, 2006. The short clip features cousins Édgar and Fernando playing at an improvised bridge made out of tree branches. Fernando makes Édgar fall into the water, and the latter curses heavily as he makes his way onto land again. The video got much media exposure in Mexico, and Édgar was invited to the launch of YouTube México in 2007.

To date, the video – which is called “La Caida de Edgar” in Spanish – has over 70 million views.

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