The Harlem Shake. Oh, man. That song – it dominated pubs, clubs, house parties and people’s iPhones while standing on street corners after a night out for MONTHS.
The tune, by NYC based trap/bass producer Baauer, was released on May 22, 2012, was a hit within it’s own right – Pitchfork praised the track, and it went on to win Dance Song of the Year and EDM Song of the Year at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards.
But it was the video craze the song spawned that really made it one of the most iconic tunes of the decade. The influx of YouTube clips was actually started by Japanese singer Joji/Filthy Frank, who recorded this in early 2013 and then went INSANELY viral.
You all remember that, right? I absolutely watched that clip about 500 times.
That video spawned the meme – people would film themselves at parties, in workplaces, goddamn everywhere dancing to the song’s beat-drop. Some were highly choreographed and involved props and organisation, others were just fucking mental.
The meme developed to be just one weird unit doing a bit of a half-assed dance, then suddenly everyone (and often more people than were originally in scene) dancing up a storm.
There are SO many memorable ones, honestly, but here are 20 that went insanely viral.
1. Army Version
Norwegian army just fucking getting shit done here.
3. University Of Texas
Apparently the biggest Harlem Shake meme in existence.
Fuckkk this was a good one.
Thanks, I hate it.
6. Sunny Coast Skate
This is arguably the first Harlem Shake Video but I must go off what Wikipedia tells me, guys. I kind of back this one as numero uno though because these guys are Aussie!
I’m mainly here for this one due to the dude against the wall doing god know’s what.
7. Whatever This Is
8. The One With The Wanker
I’m actually more alarmed by him staring directly at me while pouring milk on his head.
9. Matt & Kim
HUGE VIBE – Brooklyn duo Matt & Kim starting their Harlem Shake video during sound check, with the beat drop showing the entire crowd going nuts.
I mean, it’s not the best but I do love the on-the-job Harlem Shakes.
11. Florida Gators
This is boring to me but it’s still one of the highest-viewed.
12. Red Bull’s Skydiving
I wishhhhh they didn’t splice it and just went from plane to sky, but holy shit guys.
13. Some More Kids
Sometimes it’s the simple ones that are the best, no?
14. Portland Somewhere
I have Some Questions – mainly, why is there a grown set of women doing one of those kid’s hand-clapping games??
15. Dino Dan??
Ugh sorry I hate when actual BRANDS and SHOWS do these memes. Except that Red Bull one bc that was legitimately good.
16. Supernatural (YES, REALLY)
Even my Editor Josie, the die-hard Supernatural fan, didn’t know this existed!
18. A Flight
Please stop JUMPING IN A TINY TIN CAN IN THE SKY.
19. The Backstreet Boys
20. A… Washing Machine
I think I’ve officially reached my limit.Image: YouTube