Comedy, oddity and tragedy.
Those three words not only describe much of 2020, but they also describe much of 2020’s top trending YouTube videos, made public by the platform on Tuesday.
From a parody of quarantine stereotypes to comedian Dave Chappelle’s emotional grappling at the height of the racial injustice protests, this year’s top 10 trending YouTube videos are vastly different from years past.
“In the U.S., this year’s top trending videos show how creators quickly adapted to the unforeseen challenges of 2020 while also addressing the unique, personal needs of their communities,” YouTube said in a statement.
The 10 videos resonated the most with American audiences this year, YouTube said, having been watched more than 356 million times and totaling around 48 million hours.
Here is the complete list of the YouTube videos that defined 2020.
8:46 - Dave Chappelle, by Netflix is a Joke
In this half-hour part stand-up, part sermon, viewed 29 million times, the legendary comedian tackles police brutality and racial injustice in 2020 – though they have long been subjects of his comedic work.
“This is not a Special but rather an impromptu purging of feelings and thoughts delivered by Dave during his show in Ohio on June 6, 2020,” the channel Netflix Is A Joke stated.
Building the Perfect Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder, by Mark Rober
Mark Rober had a problem. Squirrels, those jerks, kept stealing his bird seed.
His solution? Building an incredibly intricate squirrel-proof bird feeder, which he created using mechanical engineering.
The video has been seen more than 50 million times and is 21 minutes of pure gold, but don’t take our word for it – just ask any of millions who have watched it.
First Debate Cold Open, by Saturday Night Live
The first presidential debate, moderated by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, was memorable for a variety of reasons.
In this 13-minute sketch, viewed just under 30 million times, “SNL” does what the show does best: pointing out all the absurdity of the hours-long event, so much so that it’s unclear whether you should laugh or weep.
Whatever you choose, the video is a delight. Plus, Jim Carrey plays Joe Biden.
We Broke Up., by jeffreestar
When makeup guru Jeffree Star confirmed his breakup with longtime boyfriend Nathan Schwandt, shockwaves were felt throughout certain swaths of the internet. This video, for example, has more than 33 million views.
After five years together, Star summed up his feelings in the video bluntly: “I’m devastated. I’m so sad.”
I Bought The World’s Largest Firework ($600,000), by MrBeast
The title for the video, with more than 56 million views, says it all: He bought the world’s largest firework.
The video description takes it a step further: “I cant believe i spent this much money on fireworks lol”
Maybe you can’t believe it either, but luckily there’s a video of MrBeast setting it off – and that part is free.
I’m Coming Out., by NikkieTutorials
NikkieTutorials, a Dutch makeup artist, came out as transgender this year in a video that has more than 36 million views.
“I love you all so much,” she said in the comments of the 17-minute video.
Minecraft Speedrunner VS 3 Hunters GRAND FINALE, by Dream
Gaming videos have long been a huge part of YouTube, so it makes sense that this video has gotten more than 50 million views.
In this 41-minute roller coaster, user Dream and friends do a challenge with the game Minecraft. While Dream attempts to beat the game, his three friends attempt to stop him.
“It’s a race, and it’s super intense and we had a lot of laughs,” Dream wrote in the description of the video.
Ricky Gervais’ Monologue - 2020 Golden Globes, by NBC
This was set to be comedian Ricky Gervais’ last time hosting the Golden Globes, so he didn’t care whom he offended, he said.
And that was clear: He took aim at everyone from Felicity Huffman – who served a stint in prison for her involvement in the college admissions scandal – to Leonardo DiCaprio and his reputation for dating younger women.
It’s a wild ride for sure, and having been viewed on YouTube 16.5 million times, it’s one lots of people didn’t want to miss.
Quarantine Stereotypes, by Dude Perfect
A uniquely 2020 experience, this video – with 41 million views – chronicles all the funny ways we’ve adapted to the pandemic.
Whether you struggle with video conference technology or got really into a new hobby this year, you, or at least someone you know, are comically represented and, kindly, poked fun at.
Some Good News with John Krasinski Ep. 1, by SomeGoodNews
With hundreds of thousands of deaths from the coronavirus pandemic and heightened tensions over racist violence, this year has been filled with bad news.
So John Krasinski, the actor lovingly known for his role as Jim on “The Office,” came through for us in quarantine with his YouTube show highlighting positive stories. It did everything: a tribute to frontline health care workers, a virtual prom and even a virtual wedding.
Krasinski hosted eight episodes of the series before selling it to ViacomCBS. Episode 1 was the biggest hit, with 18.3 million views.