Trending This Week on YouTube: What Is Ellen Twerking Doing To Your Brain?

And ... pencils down! This week, as the School of YouTube took over the hallowed halls of the Spotlight channel, we learned lots of things they don’t teach you in school and got a nifty guide to the human brain, among other cranium-tingling gems.

And here’s what else stimulated our senses:

AsapSCIENCE - 5 Crazy Ways Social Media Is Changing Your Brain Right Now

We can always count on AsapSCIENCE to put our minds to rest about such burning topics as “why are babies so cute?” and “what the heck is gluten?” But we have to admit, our phones froze in our hands and our feed-scrolling fingers went all tingly and numb when we watched this one about the pernicious effects of social media on the brain.

Oh My Disney - DuckTales Theme Song With Real Ducks

Is there anything more effortlessly wonderful than the “DuckTales” theme song? Yeah, we didn’t think so, either--’til we saw this. Oh My Disney, a kooky spinoff of the official Disney channel, threw some actual ducks into the title sequence of the beloved ‘80s sitcom. It had over 3 million hits in just as many days, scientifically proving both the enduring strength of ‘80s nostalgia, and the eternal cuteness of ducks.

College Humor - Everything That Will Kill You

It’s been a banner year for College Humor on YouTube: they’ve had almost 700 million views on videos so far, which is over 100 million more than they had in 2013 as a whole. This week’s hit is a macabre Edward Gorey-esque poem that animates some of the many things that can kill you today. Keep the yuks coming, College Humor!

The Ellen Show - Ellen’s Anaconda Video!

Our eyes never quite recovered from watching Minaj’s paean to the holy rotundness of her anatomy. And with 150 million views so far, it’s on track to be one of the biggest videos of the year. This week, as Ellen DeGeneres donned a pair of acid-washed shorts for a goofy Minaj-approved parody, for one brief, beautiful moment ... the world seemed to swing back into balance.

-- Claire Stapleton

#IceBucketChallenge videos hit 1 billion views

With videos of shivering people flooding social feeds around the world, it’s safe to call this the summer of the Ice Bucket Challenge. And what a summer it was: we saw epic stunts, epic fails, quirky twists and a whole lot of celebrities. We learned a lot about the strange connections between famous people (Bill Gates knows Ryan Seacrest?). The IBC craze even resulted in a couple of marriage proposals. And it’s all in the name of charity: on September 7, the ALS Foundation reported more than $110 million in Ice Bucket Challenge donations.

The meme hit another major milestone this week, too: Ice Bucket Challenge videos have been watched on YouTube more than a billion times. That, combined with the volume of uploads, makes it one of the biggest video memes in the history of the Internet. Yeah, it’s that big.

The trend is also international. People from more than 150 countries have now posted "Ice Bucket" videos on YouTube, and "Ice Bucket Challenge" is August's top rising YouTube search globally. While 90 percent of videos came from the U.S. in the early days of the trend, within two weeks, the majority of IBC videos were uploaded from outside the U.S.:

As a charitable phenomenon, the Ice Bucket Challenge unprecedented in the history of YouTube. As a collaborative, participatory meme, it has a lot in common with last year’s explosive Harlem Shake. But it’s actually even bigger than Harlem Shake at its onset. In the first month after these memes took off, IBC has about double the uploads and three times as many views compared to the Harlem Shake.

Want to relive all the icy magic? Here are the most-watched IBC videos, ranked by views:

-- Claire Stapleton and Kevin Allocca

Trending This Week on YouTube: Toilet Roll Replacement and Sprinting Dogs

In case you missed it (and, really, how is that possible?), this week on Spotlight we discovered what we’ve been doing wrong all this time (a lot, apparently), explored our eating limits with a sumo wrestler diet, and took time to appreciate beauty in all its forms.

Now, let’s jump on board the trending train:


Will Reid - Toilet Roll Changing - Teenage Instructional Video

While we covered what you’ve been doing wrong, this video delves into the topic of what some kids aren’t doing at all. Having met with limited success when talking directly to his teenagers, this father decided to try and reach them through social media. And with nearly 3 million views, it seems there are plenty of others willing to learn how to replace the toilet roll. We await the update on whether his kids James and Beth have learned the initial lesson in this instructional series.


Kelly Gunderson - God’s Gift

Occasionally, the most compelling videos are the simplest ones. Kelly Gunderson lies next to her 87-year-old mother, a woman suffering with Alzheimer’s, and captures a rare moment of clarity she’ll likely never forget. Their joy is palpable and we can’t help but smile at Kelly’s victory, one made even bigger with more than 4 million views thus far.


sciu89 - Run Walter, RUN!!

Our world has changed. Whether it’s a fireman saving a kitten, flying with Superman or going behind the closed doors of the dishwasher, we can now experience life in ways we never could before the arrival of GoPro. And that includes the sheer exuberance of Walter the dog being unleashed so he can run to the ocean. Hold on tight!


EGoZa AS - Суровый Челябинский Дисней.

And speaking of changing our video-watching landscape, what would we do without the Russian dash cams (meteor crash, anyone)? This one captured a particularly surreal scene that we’re still trying to wrap our heads around. We certainly don’t condone violence here at Trends Central and are instead hoping this was all just one big ruse.

-- Marc Hertz

Trending This Week on YouTube: A 'Friends' Reunion, Tasers, and Husky Rodents

We’re capping off a long, languid summer with another week of perky viral vids. On Spotlight, we gasped at gravity-defying leaps of faith, LOL’d at the Internet IRL and wept softly at Saved by the Bell’s 25th anniversary (‘cause we’re that old).

And here are some other trending gems:

Jimmy Kimmel Live - Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow and Jimmy Kimmel in "Friends"

Kimmel’s late-night shenanigans regularly make for monster YouTube hits: who can forget “Epic Twerk Fail,” “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets,” or even “(I Wanna Channing) All Over Your Tatum”? This week, he staged a mini-“Friends” reunion that brought smiles to our faces and a chuff to our hearts. And proving that “Friends” nostalgia unites all of humanity: in just over 24 hours on YouTube, it cleared a whopping 6 million views.

Fstoppers Fans - The Taser Photoshoot Original

A few weeks back, we highlighted “How the Sun Sees You” and this week, another photography project-cum-social experiment was a big hit. Photographer Patrick Hall captured some willing victims being shocked with 300,000 volts of electricity (by a loved one, no less) and the result is something we couldn’t quite look away from. It picked up over 3 million views since Monday.

The Second City Network - Is This The New iPhone 6?

Let’s be frank: we’re gluttons for a little tech industry skewering. With iPhone 6 rumor mania hitting a fever pitch, Chicago improv group Second City posted this ingenious sketch. In this week’s unofficial YouTube comedy contest, we’re gonna go ahead and declare this the wiener. Ba-dum-ching!

PsihAL - Спасение жителя Ольхона/Saving of a fat gopher

This week’s home movie miracle is a cautionary tale about the perils of obesity. A Russian couple swoops in to rescue a rodent so rotund that he’s stuck in his hole. Will the gluttonous gopher live to see another day? Suspense, redemption, and the true value of friendship: this thing has it all.

-- Claire Stapleton