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A Viral Death : Pulp & Fiber When Viral Videos Die

A Viral Death

Going “viral” is a funny thing. You can’t know if your video will ever go viral. You can’t plan for it to go viral. You can’t predict it will go viral. You can’t guarantee it will, or force it to go viral. The only thing you can ever really know about a viral video is that its popularity has faded. Eventually, everything viral dies. Goes six feet under. Kicks the bucket. Buys the farm.

The viral video game is all about speed. To take part in some of these movements, you’ve got to be quick. What goes up must always come down. A video that was once the funniest thing you have ever seen will inevitably become the dumbest, lamest, most dated video on the internet.

The unofficial chain of viral content is said to go like this: From 4Chan (the internet illuminati), to Reddit, to George Takai, to your grandma asking you to help her post it to her “book of faces” on her nine year old desktop. Once you’ve reached that point, the video has flat lined.

The worst thing about viral videos is that everyone tries to recreate the trend. You see one funny video, and then make another just like it. Eventually, too many recreations are made, and the fate of the video is sealed. There is always that one video that acts as the straw to break the camel’s back. The one video that officially kills the momentum. Today, we are going to go through some of most recent “straws” of the year.

1. The Miami Heat do the Harlem Shake
Let’s get this one out of the way, because it’s what inspired this blog post in the first place. The Miami Heat released their Harlem Shake video 20 hours ago, a couple days after the Raptors released theirs. Now, we can’t judge this based on numbers, because the fact that Miami’s has LeBron James in it is reason enough to get a billion views alone. Maybe we’re a bit jaded, over here in the social media land, but it just seems like a cheap move on whoever is managing the Heat’s online content. Extra points are awarded to King James for enthusiasm, though.


S*it People Say
Now, we still got love for the original. There’s definitely a bit of hometown pride for having birthed the original, and most funny version of these videos, but things escalated very quickly. One that stuck out for me as the a nail in the coffin was S*it Southern Gays say. Not only was it poorly shot, but up until that point, the videos got by on context. I think this video was where it got too specific, making it hard for the broader audience to connect with the humour. ‘Did you see that new S*it people say video?’ is now S*it no one says in 2013.


Gangnam Style
This one is a bit of an enigma, as it was the original video that killed the trend all together. Remember that scene in Sienfeld when George makes a good joke, and learns it’s best to just walk away, rather than trying to milk the room for more laughs? This notion of “leaving on a high note” was clearly overlooked when it came to Gangnam style. Psy worked, and re-worked this angle to the point of no return. Everything in moderation, Psy. Everything in moderation. And now, this:


What are some other viral trends that were taken just a little too far? Let us know in the comments section below!



  • http://casiestewart.com casiestewart


    • anchorend

      THIS, Please make it stop.

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