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The Most Inexplicably Popular YouTube Videos of All Time

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The Most Inexplicably Popular YouTube Videos of All Time

The bizarre appeal of beef in a tube, and other internet mysteries.
YouTube’s most viewed videos of all time perfectly sum up internet culture: random, bizarre, and with a little something for everyone. There are second-tier AC/DC songs, a little British boy getting his finger bitten, and something called "Fred Goes Swimming” – all of which have been seen by more than thirty million people. And stranger still, those are the videos whose crazy popularity we actually (kind of) understand.
Miley Cyrus, 7 Things

The Most Inexplicably Popular YouTube Videos of All Time

Smosh’s Beef ‘n Go

43 million views

Smosh’s earnest irony explains their YouTube popularity, and the "Pokemon Theme Music Video" was actually really funny. And yet, the fact remains that this is a video of someone eating beef-in-a-tube, and it’s been viewed forty-three million times. Just sayin’.

Best Non-Porn Comment:
"damn wtf haha 2 girls 1 cup was nasty haha this is funny but hella nasty hah"

The Most Inexplicably Popular YouTube Videos of All Time

Jessica Alba & Hayden Christensen Use the Force

45 million views

Why would forty-five-million people watch Jessica Alba and Anakin Vader talk about a dumb movie, Awake? Because the title and the thumbnail make it look like it’s about hot Jessica Alba Star Wars sex. Right in the middle of the short clip, there’s a shot of Vader bringing Alba into a bathtub. So, when you see the thumbnail, you think, "This looks hotter than Mustafar!" Now that’s how you exploit the masses.

Best Non-Porn Comment:
"he plaes as anakin skywalker in star warz nt 2 beh a nerd or nuttin but yeah"

The Most Inexplicably Popular YouTube Videos of All Time

Video Stroboscopy of the Vocal Cords

47 million views

If you just glanced at this video, you might think you were watching a bizarre gynecological exam. But if you read the title, you’d know it’s actually a camera looking at a woman’s vocal cords. It’s actually kind of cool, if disgusting, but large portions of it genuinely seem to feature a vagina-Kraken hybrid. 

Best Non-Porn Comment:
"It does look like a vagina. I am a female so i know. If you have ever looked at a vagina up close thats very close to how it looks"

The Most Inexplicably Popular YouTube Videos of All Time

Aerosmith—I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing

63 million views

Hey, this one we can actually explain! It’s here not because it’s a lame comeback ballad from a once-classic American band recorded for Armageddon. Obviously, it’s here because of The Sweetest Thing. Remember? Selma Blair’s mouth gets stuck on that guy’s Prince Albert, and for some reason singing this song helps her get loose? Did “Dream On” ever save a life? Okay, we’re reaching…

Best Non-Porn Comment:
"This is music!!!!!… not fckng lady gaga and the new tiny stars… but one 15-6 years old id*ot cant understand this… great song^^"

The Most Inexplicably Popular YouTube Videos of All Time

Intro La casa de Mickey Mouse (Cancion del principio)

70 million views

Sometimes, a random video gets some plays — and this one, the intro to the Spanish Mickey Mouse Club with music from The Aalborg Fantasy played over it, is quite random — and people ask, "Why is this so popular?" So they pass it around in confusion, until it’s one of the top-viewed YouTube videos of all time. Either that, or there’s something cool here we’re not high enough to understand.  

Best Non-Porn Comment:
"i think the reason this has so many views… its everyone is high off cough surrup and likes getting tripped out by this video. only thing that makes sense to me besides that is the views were hacked and they gave themselves that many. or no one has anything better to do"

The Most Inexplicably Popular YouTube Videos of All Time

Relationship Perfection

71 million views

This video features a girl in a not-very-revealing tank top saying “oral sex” over and over again. Basically, it’s the closest thing to porn you can get on YouTube. But, if you’re curious about lube flavors, it’s actually quite informative.

Best Non-Porn Comment:
Sadly, commenting was disabled for this video, but something tells us it would have been tough to find anything "non-porn" anyways.

The Most Inexplicably Popular YouTube Videos of All Time

Potter Puppet Pals in ‘The Mysterious Ticking Noise’

82 million views

This video has been around since 2007, and although we do enjoy Harry Potter, we just don’t get it. It even won the 2007 YouTube Award for Best Comedy (which, come to think of it, might be why there were no 2008 YouTube Awards).

Best Non-Porn Comment:
"NAKED DUMBLEDORE FTW!!!!!!"

The Most Inexplicably Popular YouTube Videos of All Time

Lo que tú Quieras Oír

101 million views

On the one hand, there are lots of Spanish speakers out there. On the other hand, this soap-opera clip seems a little dull: Miguel leaves a message on Sofia’s answering machine, then she stays in bed or rocks back and forth in a chair a lot. Or are we missing something?

Best Non-Porn Comment:
"once upon a time THIS was the video that appeared top of the google result list when you searched for "youtube" so that’s the reason why it has so many views."

The Most Inexplicably Popular YouTube Videos of All Time

Jeff Dunham – Achmed The Dead Terrorist

114 million views

An All-American comedian performing with a puppet based on an incompetent suicide bomber whose catchphrase is, "Silence! I will kill you!" How this has more views than the population of Italy and South Korea (combined!) is a riddle on par with how Larry the Cable Guy got multiple feature films.

Best Non-Porn Comment:
"I keep forgetting that its Jeff talking all the time. Now thats first class."

The Most Inexplicably Popular YouTube Videos of All Time

Miley Cyrus — 7 Things — Official Music Video (HQ)

122 million views

We know that Miley Cyrus is popular with the young ones, but the huge popularity of this video — the most popular on our list — is baffling. Even if you overlook the fact that she’s clearly not singing, it’s just a bunch of teenagers jumping up and down in front of a white sheet. Even Lady Gaga has to fill her videos with naked Germans and mass-murdering sandwich-makers to get more than 100 million views.

Best Non-Porn Comment: "haha this shows exactly how girls overreact :D"