7 Iconic Viral Videos That Turned YouTube Into a Sensation

7 Iconic Viral Videos That Turned YouTube Into a Sensation

It's hard for milennials to imagine a world without viral videos. But before YouTube launched in 2005, the internet contained significantly fewer clips of outrageous wedding proposals and wannabe pop stars. To celebrate the first ever YouTube Music Awards, here are seven iconic videos that helped transform YouTube into an internet mainstay.

1. "Bro Rape: A Newsline Investigative Report"

Check out Donald Glover, Bobby Moynihan, Dominic Dierkes, and D.C. Pierson before they hit it big. It was hard to go anywhere during my freshman year of college without hearing the phrase "Chad, bro, chill." This video was so big, Donald Glover is still scared he won't live it down.

2. "Jessica's Daily Affirmation"

Videos of cute kids doing cute stuff have become another staple in YouTube's canon. Catch your kids saying something adorable, and the next thing you know they might be inspiring the world "to do anything good, yeah, yeah."

3. "Charlie Bit My Finger"

These tiny British brothers made sibling rivalry more adorable than it had been in years. In Charlie's defense, his brother was totally sticking his fingers in Charlie's mouth.

4. "Lazy Sunday"

Lonely Island are internet titans now, but they were unheard of before they dropped "Lazy Sunday" on an episode of Saturday Night Live. The song helped put SNL back on the map during a slightly slower season, and made the show feel culturally relevant again.

5. Tina Fey as Sarah Palin

Speaking of SNL, millions watched as Tina Fey satirized Sarah Palin and helped determine the fate of 2008 election. YouTube helped spread her message that it's not sexist to question a female candidate's ability to lead.

6. "Potter Puppet Pals"

"Snape,  Snape, Severus Snape...DUMBLEDORE."

7. Justin Bieber.

Where would the world be without Justin Bieber? And where would Justin Bieber be without YouTube?

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Lana Schwartz

Lana grew up in Queens, NY, and after a brief stint in Brooklyn, she currently lives in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan. She's an editorial assistant at Environmental Defense Fund by day, and a comedy junkie by night. Follow her on Twitter at _lanabelle.

MORE FROM

Jenny Slate’s raw, honest exploration of female sexuality is the most riveting part of ‘Landline’

Gillian Robespierre and Elisabeth Holm's new film lets its women characters express their sexual desires on their own terms.

MTV VMA Nominations 2017: A complete list of nominees for the 34th annual Video Music Awards

The 2017 MTV VMAs are going for woke with a new best fight the system category.

‘The Defenders’ doesn’t have patience for Iron Fist’s privilege either — and that’s great

The show acknowledges Iron Fist's shortcomings, and that stops him from ruining this series, too.

Know who’s really winning ‘Game of Thrones’ this season? The show’s editing team

Props to Crispin Green and Tim Porter for episodes one and two, respectively. Y'all are some gross monsters.

TJ Miller’s explanation of the “feminist agenda” in ‘The Emoji Movie’ proves the bar is too low

How feminist can a movie with no female writers really be?

On Lana Del Rey’s lust for social consciousness

For her latest studio full-length, LDR proves there's more to her than the flower-crown aesthetic.

Jenny Slate’s raw, honest exploration of female sexuality is the most riveting part of ‘Landline’

Gillian Robespierre and Elisabeth Holm's new film lets its women characters express their sexual desires on their own terms.

MTV VMA Nominations 2017: A complete list of nominees for the 34th annual Video Music Awards

The 2017 MTV VMAs are going for woke with a new best fight the system category.

‘The Defenders’ doesn’t have patience for Iron Fist’s privilege either — and that’s great

The show acknowledges Iron Fist's shortcomings, and that stops him from ruining this series, too.

Know who’s really winning ‘Game of Thrones’ this season? The show’s editing team

Props to Crispin Green and Tim Porter for episodes one and two, respectively. Y'all are some gross monsters.

TJ Miller’s explanation of the “feminist agenda” in ‘The Emoji Movie’ proves the bar is too low

How feminist can a movie with no female writers really be?

On Lana Del Rey’s lust for social consciousness

For her latest studio full-length, LDR proves there's more to her than the flower-crown aesthetic.