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PSY and Gotye: 2012's biggest viral videos

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The main takeaway from this list of 2012’s most viral YouTube clips? The days of “Charlie Bit My Finger” and “David After Dentist” are over.

Only one of these 10 videos — “Facebook Parenting” — was made by an average Joe; the other nine were all professionally produced. “There are more and more people who know how to build an audience, how to use YouTube,” YouTube trends manager Kevin Allocca explained to the Wall Street Journal. “There are companies who spend millions and millions of dollars trying to do create these videos.”

So yeah, that’s kind of horribly depressing. But watching these videos might cheer you up — even if many of the entries won’t surprise you at all. (Spoiler alert: Yes, Virginia, “Gangnam Style” made No. 1.)

10. Felix Baumgartner’s supersonic freefall from 128K — Mission Highlights

Red Bull gives you wiiiings! Unless you’re jumping out of a frickin’ helium-filled balloon that’s flying 128,100 feet above the surface of the earth. Then Red Bull just gives you a parachute and hopes for the best.

9. Facebook Parenting: For the troubled teen

In light of recent events, this eight-minute clip that concludes with a disgruntled dad shooting nine bullets through his daughter’s laptop is even ickier than it was when it hit YouTube in February. But hey, 35 million views couldn’t be wrong… right?


8. Dubstep Violin – Lindsey Stirling – Crystallize

Dreamy visuals, balletic dance moves, and a thumping beat combine to make violinist Lindsey Stirling’s music video a winner. This is what you want to be playing when you’re making a dramatic entrance into an opera house after faking your own death, or something.


Yo, men and women are DIFFERENT? Relationships are HARD? Thank you, SpokenReasons, for breaking the comedy world wide open.


An idyllic town in Belgium. A big red button. A sign: “PUSH TO CAUSE DRAMA.” The result? You’ll have to watch to find out, though knowing that the whole thing is a publicity stunt for Belgian TNT might partially ruin the effect.

NEXT: Presidents rapping, KONY 2012, and the year’s biggest songs