6 Bizarre YouTube Genres That Are (Somehow) Hugely Popular

Someone explain the popularity of these bizarre sub-genres to us.
6 Bizarre YouTube Genres That Are (Somehow) Hugely Popular

YouTube is incomprehensibly big right now. It's hard to even say how many videos are on the site, or how much time you'd spend watching said videos, because of the insane rate new content is added -- about 300 hours' worth every minute. That's 432,000 hours a day. That's 157.6 million hours a year. That's insane. And amongst all that content, some definite and inexplicable trends have begun to carve out niches for themselves. Now, obviously we all love cat videos, footballs to the groin, and people throwing dildos onto football fields. But there are other, way more bizarre sub-genres gaining popularity out there. Can you explain any of them?

Unboxing Videos

6 Bizarre YouTube Genres That Are (Somehow) Hugely Popular

Unboxing videos have become a cottage industry, if your cottage was on a lake filled with chemicals that make you drowsy and fish that are too cheap to buy things, and which just like watching other people be happy while they swim dopey circles in their own piss. There's a woman who opens Disney toys on her YouTube channel who made about $5 million in 2014. She just opens boxes. There's nothing more to it. You don't even see her face. It's hands. Hands became millionaires.

You get over 52 million results if you search for "unboxing" on YouTube, and probably very few of those differ from the formula that made Disney Hands a millionaire. It's people opening shit so you can see it. I like to think one or two are made by industrious grave-robbing ghouls, but I simply don't have the time to view them all.

This will have to do.

I appreciate the anticipation of a surprise -- you get that feeling when you're a kid on Christmas morning, or your birthday when you see a box wrapped in colorful paper that gives no clue to what's inside. It's a surprise and it's all yours, and that's super exciting until it turns out to be a box of turds or sweaty rags from a homeless village under the overpass, and your parents laugh and toss out words like "disappointment" and "should have never pulled you from that basket in the river." But the key to that exhilaration is that it's yours.

At some point in time, YouTube managed to hyper-evolve the empathy of others and/or cause serious brain damage in viewers to the point where someone else's surprise became exciting for them as well. You should recognize this as being as satisfying as watching a hot person at a bar go home with someone else, and yet that's not how it's presented at all. It's presented as though your goal the whole time was for the hot person to go home with someone else, and you're just happy you got to see the two of them leave together. I'm no sociologist, but I think I can reasonably proclaim this to be insane behavior.

Disgusting Grossness

6 Bizarre YouTube Genres That Are (Somehow) Hugely Popular

There's a YouTube channel run by a lady who calls herself Dr. Pimple Popper, in what I assume is an homage to Seinfeld. Pimple Popper and her ilk -- those who squeeze cysts and zits -- make up about a million videos on YouTube. That's enough to convince me that this is a legitimate form of entertainment for some people. Pimple Popper herself has nearly two million subscribers and over 600 videos, all of them from her practice as a dermatologist, squeezing sludge out of people's bumps, holes, and crevasses. Her most popular video has 16 million views. Let's add a few more and see what all the fuss is about.

Why, it's a sweet old man with a nose full of pressurized slime. Why not? Call 16 million friends and get them to come see.

Other videos involve more of a Biblical-type deluge of slosh and slime to make your skin crawl.

Fast-forward to the two minute mark, and then try to hold back your lunch. It's Slurm! Back Slurm!

I wonder what it would take to move this audience from watching pimple-popping videos over to the straight-up shit videos which we have all heard are big in Germany. Consider: You're watching a video of a disgusting waste material being forced from a human body. There's not a lot of wiggle room to claim one is more gross than the other, and that's all the reason you need to judge anyone you've ever met who likes watching these videos. People like to say things like "Judge not, lest ye be judged," but all you need to do is a quick mental tally of all the shit videos you've watched if you want to place yourself in the driver's seat of moral superiority on this one.

Just Playing Games


If you've been on the internet too long, there's a chance you recognize the name Pewdiepie. Not because that name is awful (though it is), or because the person behind it is awful (he seems fine), but because this man (or boy) is the King Shit of internetting. He internets better than all of us. We know this by the annual reports of how much money he makes from YouTube, which is in the tens of millions. In fact, he's YouTube's biggest star. He plays video games.

Now sure, the video game landscape has changed dramatically in the 30 or so years it's been a real force in home entertainment. The difference between an Atari 2600 and an Xbox One is pretty remarkable. However, for some of us, one thing will remain constant no matter how advanced video games get, and that is that watching someone else play a game as boring as shit.

For those who can't be bothered, that's a speed run of the NES Final Fantasy. It's only three hours and 50 minutes. What else do you have to do?

So the fact that this is boring is obviously not true for many a millennial, who will happily stare at a screen and enjoy someone else having fun while they silently do not participate in the fun, and instead maybe sip on a Monster energy drink while gloomily masturbating and wishing it was their Solid Snake having all that fun. I don't know. There are all kinds of potential upsides for that viewer. Maybe they're learning strategy for when they do play, or simply enjoying an advanced view of levels or zones they haven't encountered. Maybe they want to know how to solve a tricky puzzle or find some certain loot. All valid reasons to look up someone else playing a game and watch.

Back in 2014, the top 100 gaming channels pulled in 3.5 billion views a month, and odds are that's only increased. The number of active gaming channels is literally impossible to determine, since new ones keep popping up, but for the sake of argument, you can put it at thousands. Billions upon billions of hours of people playing Mario blindfolded or freaking out at Call Of Duty or using hilarious witticisms and virtual bullets to slay opponents, all while millions of viewers just sit and watch someone else having fun.

People High After Dental Surgery

6 Bizarre YouTube Genres That Are (Somehow) Hugely Popular

Not so long ago, the media at large caught wind of YouTube, and the world hasn't been the same since. Once grandma's favorite news team discovered funny cat videos could be used as filler, everyone and their uncle started awkwardly referring to anything they saw as "viral" and sharing it on Facebook, because of course you all have the Facebook down in Boca.

One video in particular, of a young woman stoned out of her mind on the wacky gas after a visit to the dentist, went big-time viral. That set off a trend with soccer moms and thoughtless husbands across the country, all eager to film their own inebriated special someones as they struggled to clear their heads after dental surgery.

It's now a niche market on YouTube, featuring charming family moments like this one, in which a teen girl thinks her mom is trying to kidnap her and that the reason she can't speak or breathe very well is that she's choking on a large black penis.

I can't prove if this is real, but God, I hope it is. I hope it's real for that girl chanting BBC, but more than that, I hope it's real because someone still uploaded it to YouTube.

Putting Stuff In Liquid Nitrogen

6 Bizarre YouTube Genres That Are (Somehow) Hugely Popular

Have you ever played with liquid nitrogen? It's a delightful substance that makes things super cold. And if you get things cold enough, it makes them smashable! Yay!

In general, all liquid nitrogen can do to anything is make it cold. So if I asked you one day, "Hey friend, what does liquid nitrogen do to a condom?" you'd say, "Make it cold." And if I said, "What would liquid nitrogen do to Billy Dee Williams?" you'd say, "Keep him cool." And then we'd fist bump. Despite this, there are over a half million liquid nitrogen videos on YouTube, answering such pressing questions as "What does liquid nitrogen do to a Big Mac?"

And "What does liquid nitrogen do to a giant Koosh Ball?" A question over 26 million people needed an answer to.

So what happens when you put a giant Koosh Ball in liquid nitrogen? It gets cold and breaks, like anything else. Like everything! I feel like on some level, the appeal of a liquid nitrogen is the same appeal as Pokemon. You keep getting lame-ass Pokemon, but you're hoping to one day find that super rare, powerful, and different one -- the one thing that won't be like everything before it -- even if you have no real reason to believe this will ever happen. Your nitrogen Pokemon will be the thing that refuses to freeze and does something really weird, like mastering language or choking someone at the dentist with a big-- well, you saw the video. Incidentally, if that does happen, please don't replicate the experiment. That's really unnecessary.

Virtual Reality With Old People


If you have a mom, then you have a goldmine of potential YouTube hilarity on your hands. No, no one wants to know why she voted Trump, but yes, they do want to see her slip on an Oculus headset and then get deranged on the sofa as she's forced onto a virtual roller coaster.

Scores of videos have been cropping up as the Oculus and other VR helmets have become more readily available, and they're all exactly the same. The person who owns the helmet demands that mom or grandma put it on and go for a virtual ride. The results are almost always the same, and closely mimic this scene from Get Him To The Greek.

Let's watch an old lady do it!

Our only safe conclusion is that the Oculus Rift is in fact a virtual Jeffrey.

If you pop in "Oculus Rift old" on YouTube -- as in "Oculus Rift 90-year-old," or "70-year-old," or "old as the hills" -- you're going to get a quarter of a million results. That's several thousand retirement homes' worth of elderly relatives ready to break real hips in virtual environments. On the one hand, there's a degree of fascination to watching an old person out of their element. But eventually, it becomes like a callous science experiment conducted by shady researchers who just want to see old people made to look foolish and uncomfortable at any cost. This can just as easily be done by making your grandparents listen to hip-hop in public around actual minorities.

For more check out 10 Brilliant Comedy Gems Hiding on YouTube and 10 Brilliant Comedy Moments Hidden on YouTube.

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