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Top 20 YouTube Videos of the Year: What Does 2013 Say?

kid-presidentWhen it comes to viral and YouTube views in 2013, no one, even “What Does the Fox Say?” could touch “Gangnam Style.” I mean even 2013 Psy couldn’t touch 2012 Psy, although he sure tried. The “Gangnam Style” clip has almost 1,851,000,000 views since it was uploaded on July 15, 2012, and it can’t stop, won’t stop.

Almost two billion. Billion. That is a lot of clicks and views and Gangnam styling, yes? Even the spread of the Ylvis “Fox” clip to the younger set — I cannot tell you how many of my parent friends cried “please hit pause” once their kids got ahold of this one — couldn’t put it anywhere near the most popular videos of the year this year. And now that YouTube has counted up almost all of the hits that this year has to offer before we start our counters back to zero in a few days, Psy is back on top of the channel’s music charts, with 612,590,000 views for “Gentleman/MV” as of this writing.

Over in the trending category, Ylvis is in first place, but that’s less than half of Psy’s total. By the way, I still haven’t figured out what the fox says, except for a rough translation of “ding ding ding ding ding duh-ding-duh-ding,” I guess, so you can bet I’m a tiny chunk of those few million views. This is research, people.

This year’s video race was tough. I felt like I saw clips in my feeds on various networks — mostly Facebook these days for me, although your social media mileage may vary — with messages like “OMG you have to watch this” messages attached. Sometimes I agreed. Other times I felt like the video wasn’t worth the hype and moved along. On a few occasions, as with Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” I immediately knew we had a winner of a song and a fun clip on our hands, and I watched it a silly number of times, sometimes even in a row. By now, I’ve gotten pickier, but I found a few clear hits among some misses. Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake’s #Hashtag? Hashtag #winning and also hashtag #yesplease. My other favorites that didn’t make the top ten lists were Commander Chris Hadfield’s performance of “Space Oddity” from space, and Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” featuring a goat, of all things. The last one in particular is probably why I’m not in charge of ranking things.

The video experts put together YouTube Rewind 2013, so you can catch a summary of all of the most popular clips in one place. Kicked off by none other than Kid President, it features a rapid mashup of the hottest stars, songs, and gags from the most memorable (and definitely most watched) videos of the year. It’s fun to watch, and then watch again and maybe even once more again, until you can pick out all of the references.

[videopost src=’http://youtu.be/H7jtC8vjXw8′]

Just in case that moved a little too fast, we’ve rounded up the top 20 trending and music videos you may have missed on YouTube this year.

Top 20 YouTube Videos of the Year:

  • 20 Top Trending Videos of 2013 1 of 21
    kid-president

    Image credit: YouTube

  • "What Does the Fox Say?" 2 of 21
    what-does-the-fox-say

    Coming in at #1 for trending videos, "What Does the Fox Say?" landed in my feeds one day in September out of nowhere and hung around for a good long time. It's at almost 310,000,000 views as I type this. 

     

    Do you have any idea what the fox is saying? Or the horse for that matter? I could use a little animal speak clarification here. 

     

    Image credit: YouTube

  • "Gentleman/MV," Psy 3 of 21
    psy

    Psy rules YouTube for the second year in a row, this time with "Gentleman/MV," in first place for music videos with almost 613,000,000. No, this is nowhere near "Gangnam Style's" over 1 billion, but give it time. Psy is as entertaining and off-the-wall as usual in this clip. 

    Image credit: YouTube

  • "Harlem Shake" 4 of 21
    harlem-shake

    Part flash mob, part individual dance routine, and all a combination of order and chaos, the original Norwegian Army version of "Harlem Shake" comes in at #2 trending overall, a couple hundred thousand views behind "What Does the Fox Say" with just shy of 97,500,500 views today. 

    Image credit: YouTube

  • "Wrecking Ball" and "We Can’t Stop," Miley Cyrus 5 of 21
    miley

    Miley Cyrus was in at #2 and #3 with "Wrecking Ball" and "We Can't Stop" respectively. Just released in September, "Wrecking Ball" is on its way to 446,300,000 views, and already has to be one of the most parodied videos of all time. June release "We Can't Stop" isn't far behind with 322,000,000 views. 

    Image credit: YouTube

  • "How Animals Eat Their Food" 6 of 21
    howanimalseattheirfood

    Grown men with sippy cups and a physical demonstration of how animals eat is #3 in trending videos, meaning more than 92,000,000 people have checked out "How Animals Eat Their Food" so far. I can't decide if the rhinoceros or the flamingo is my favorite. 

    Image credit: YouTube

  • "Roar," Katy Perry 7 of 21
    katy-perry-roar

    I've had a "Roar" earworm off and on since the song was released. That's how I know a pop song is everywhere. Katy Perry's video is #4 behind Miley and Psy, headed towards 293,000,000 views. 

    Image credit: YouTube

  • "Wrecking Ball" (Chatroulette version) 8 of 21
    wreckingballchatroulette

    This guy popped up on Chatroulette acting out Miley Cyrus's "Wrecking Ball" video routine, and the results were, well, predictably hilarious for this kind of situation, I guess. At almost 92,000,000 views, it's the #4 trending video on YouTube this year. 

    Image credit: YouTube

  • "Just Give Me a Reason," P!nk featuring Nate Ruess 9 of 21
    p!nk

    P!nk's "Just Give Me a Reason" video featuring Nate Ruess is closing in on 244,000,000 views and rests in the #5 music video spot on YouTube for 2013. Her gift for vocal interpretation with a big dash of drama comes through loud and clear in this sweet clip. 

    Image credit: YouTube

  • "baby&me," the new Evian film 10 of 21
    babyandme

    If cute sells water, Evian is in luck. This dancing baby video will make you lose your mind if you're into things like tiny kids breaking it down to "Here Comes the Hotstepper." I am, so I'm responsible for a few of its current tally of just over 69,100,000 views, which is enough for the #5 trending video spot. 

    Image credit: YouTube

  • "Blurred Lines," Robin Thicke 11 of 21
    blurredlines

    Given the sheer number of times I've personally heard this song this year even when I wasn't seeking it out, which is let's just say "a lot of times," I'm surprised it only hit #6 on this chart. Regardless, that's where Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" falls, with almost 242,400,000 views currently. 

    Image credit: YouTube

  • Volvo Trucks – The Epic Split feat. Van Damme (Live Test 6) 12 of 21
    vandammesplits

    Jean Claude Van Damme's split between two great big trucks is up to almost 66,000,000 views, and is in the #6 trending spot for 2013. I guess the Enya background music is meant to calm those of us who worry about such stunts going very, very wrong. This test was set up to demonstrate the stability of Volvo's steering, to which I say, "Okay, I believe you." 

    Image credit: YouTube

  • "Stay," Rihanna 13 of 21
    rihanna

    "Stay" has a sadness and a depth that is matched in its video, featuring Rihanna's duet partner, Mikky Ekko. This clip is up to almost 227,000,000 views since its February release, and is in the #7 music video spot on YouTube for 2013. 

    Image credit: YouTube

  • "YOLO" (feat. Adam Levine & Kendrick Lamar) 14 of 21
    adam-levine-yolo

    "Two words about furniture: killing machines." 

     

    "YOLO" is another classic joint from Lonely Island — aka Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg, and Jorma Taccone — featuring Adam Levine and Kendrick Lamar. It takes the "You Only Live Once" tagline and turns it into a threat, basically — a very funny threat. It's just shy of 54,600,000 views at this writing, and is the #7 trending video for the year. 

     

    Image credit: YouTube

  • "Naughty Boy," La La La 15 of 21
    naughtyboy

    "Naughty Boy" is the 8th most viewed music video this year, nearly at 219,000,000 views since its April release. This video is a fasciniating, beautifully filmed mini-movie. 

    Image credit: YouTube

  • Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise 16 of 21
    carrie-telekinetic-coffee

    I laugh out loud at Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise every time I see it, but I guarantee I would not have been laughing at this promo for the remake of Carrie if I hadn't been in on the joke. I don't know what the clip did for business for the movie, but at almost 52,000,000 views currently, and the #8 trending video for the year, it was certainly good for YouTube clicks. 

    Image credit: YouTube

  • "Come and Get It," Selena Gomez 17 of 21
    selenagomez

    Selena Gomez's "Come and Get It" is in 9th place with just shy of 192,000,000 views. Selena's grown up (that much is clear) in this really beautiful clip for an addictive song. 

    Image credit: YouTube

  • "THE NFL: A Bad Lip Reading" 18 of 21
    tom-brady-nfl

    "The NFL: A Bad Lip Reading" was one of the few videos I remember this year that made me laugh to the point of tears. I'm a fan of the combination of the familiar and the absurd, and as a football fan, this fit the bill. It's at almost 45,600,000 views and came in 9th for trending videos of the year. 

    Image credit: YouTube

  • "Wake Me Up," Avicii 19 of 21
    avicii

    Avicii is up to almost 210,000,000 views, making "Wake Me Up" the 10th most watched video on YouTube in 2013. Aloe Blacc is the vocalist on what this Swedish electronic dance DJ called an "experiment" that also features Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger. (Careful: this one will grow on you.) 

    Image credit: YouTube

  • Mozart vs. Skrillex | Epic Rap Battles of History Season 2 20 of 21
    mozart-skrillex

    Mozart and Skrillex in a rap battle? Sure. At just over 43,800,000 views and the #10 spot for trending YouTube videos this year, it would appear that many others agree with me. The comments indicate that Mozart owned Skrillex. Truth. 

    Image credit: YouTube

  • "Best Song Ever," One Direction 21 of 21
    onedirection

    It's a One Direction mini-movie and a video all in one. "Best Song Ever" ranks as the 11th most watched YouTube video in 2013 (an extra because Miley had a twofer back up there at #2 and #3). I love these guys. A little over 184,000,000 views for this clip indicate that I am not alone. 

    Image credit: YouTube

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