Remember when people realised that the internet could do anything you wanted if you told it to do it in the right way? Some genius human’s created Google, emails pioneered the way for fast communication, and you could search for anything you wanted and get the answer immediately. The internet was a whole new world to explore, and what did the majority of us do with it in the early 2000’s? We made viral videos that displayed a form of bizarre surrealism that became an inside internet joke. Oh, and they made us laugh like hell which meant we just had to share it with all of our friends via our Motorola’s at lunchtime. So, get ready to unlock memories you didn’t even know you had as you dive back into these OG memes…before they were memes.
We’re going to start by saying, Salad Fingers is terrifying. So terrifying that you probably only loaded the video up on NTL when your Mum wasn’t in, because she would question what the hell you were watching. Salad Fingers is classed as a Flash Cartoon, which gained popularity on various sites such as Newgrounds where people could make their own animations, upload them, and people would watch in awe, amusement and sometimes horror, but we would all keep watching. Salad Fingers appeared to gain some sexual gratification from grabbing inanimate objects and the whole thing is far from sexy, it’s not funny, it’s just downright creepy, so why did it go viral and why did we all watch it?
Have you watched LOTR: The Two Towers after 2005, and as soon as Aragorn drops the line, “Legolas, what do your elf eyes see?’, you immediately burst into song singing ‘They’re taking the hobbits to Isengard’. It happens, and we understand because this remix was wild.
‘They’re Taking The Hobbits to Isengard’ was uploaded to flash website, Albino BlackSheep in 2005 and featured an overly synthesised backing track made up of the character Legolas’s line from the film. The creator of this mashup obviously had a lot of time on their hands and was more than amused by Orlando Bloom’s not so brilliant delivery of the line (we should give him a break though it was his first major movie). Subsequently, in 2013, Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson uploaded a video in which Orlando Bloom (dressed as Legolas) sings along with the “Taking the Hobbits to Isengard” video. In 5 days it had 6.9 million views. When the target of the meme approves, surely that means the meme is a certified classic.
We’re pretty sure everyone with internet access in 2003 saw Badger, Badger, Badger. It was certified as one of the top 5 internet fads of all time by PC World, and when it was first uploaded it infinitely looped, meaning the video had no end. The badgers jumped up and down, with mushrooms popping up occasionally, followed by the appearance of a desert snake. When we were 13, this was absolutely hilarious, we would load up our computers, wait 30 minutes to connect to the internet, and the first thing we would do is watch Badger, Badger. Laughing so hard, waiting for ‘It’s a SNAKE, SNAAAAKE’, then you would go to school the next day and realise everyone else did the same thing last night. We were as one. When the internet ends, we’re pretty sure this will be in the credits.
He’s the most famous Moldovian pop music fan in history. ‘Numa Numa’ guy, also known as Gary Broslma uploaded a lib dub video of the song “Dragostea din tei” when he was 19 and titled it “Numa Numa Dance” in December 2004. Within 3 months it had been viewed over 2 million times, and this was back in 2005 when not everyone had internet access in their pockets. The video went insanely viral, and Gary was classed as a hero for his overemphasised and hilarious dance moves and facial expressions. He made viewers laugh all over the world and went on to be an actor in the US. His lib dub also propelled the original song into the Top 10 all over the world. You go Gary, the world may have laughed at you in 2004, but in 2020 you’re definitely a meme legend.
The release of the Harry Potter film series was nothing less than a phenomenal success, but with that came a significant amount of parody videos to follow. Potter Puppet Pals was probably the most famous. The first episode in which Snape hears a ticking sound and all the characters break into song (‘DUMBLEDORE, Ron, Ron, Ron Weasley’) was played everywhere. Shown via flip phones in schools, teachers couldn’t walk down the halls without hearing a kid shout ‘DUMBLEDORE’. Why this went viral we’re not so sure, maybe Harry Potter mania was just everywhere, although one thing we can say is that the tune is still quite catchy.
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