YouTube in 2015: Stanky legs, Liam Neeson, and a 6ft man in a water balloon
As insights into the cultural trends of 2015 go, YouTube's annual list of its most popular videos is perhaps the most interesting. After all, falling down the YouTube rabbit hole in a spiral of viral videos, epic lolz, and squandered afternoons is an occupational hazard for anyone that spends their days sat in front of a computer.
While last year's list (excluding music videos) was topped by the frankly terrifying "Mutant Giant Spider Dog," this year the slightly more palatable Heaven King dance crew performing choreography to Silento's "Watch Me" took the top spot for the biggest "trending" video of 2015. That's based a combination of views, shares, comments, and likes, rather than just straight up view counts. Those with children will no doubt have suffered this video and others on repeat ad nauseum throughout the year. And for those that don't, count yourself lucky you don't know what a "stanky leg" is.
Perhaps more surprising is what's at number two: the live-action Clash of Clans Revenge Super Bowl commercial featuring Liam Neeson. For those that don't know, Clash of Clans is a freemium mobile MMO strategy game developed and published by Supercell that's one of the most profitable and popular mobile games of all time. Liam Neeson is famous for speaking gruffly into a telephone and threatening to kill people. Combine the two and, well, you've got over 83 million views and pure YouTube gold. That also makes the Clash of Clans ad the most popular gaming video for year,too.