For those who don’t know, YouTube Rewind is a video produced by YouTube that celebrates the most ‘viral’ moments of the year. It is released every December and showcases some of the platform’s biggest stars in elaborate sets and colourful dance routines. The first one was released in 2010 and since then, they have only gotten bigger and better.

As this year comes to an end, we can’t help but wonder, what will be included in this year’s video? You’re right, we’re still three months away but with the way these big productions are executed, you can rest assured that this year’s YouTube Rewind is already being planned

With the demonetisation issues that some content creators have dealt with and the controversies surrounding PewDiePie, YouTube has had a lively year, to say the least. It will be interesting to see if they will include these issues or ignore them completely.

If not, then what will we see? Snapchat’s hot dog filter? Slime? Fidget spinners? Below you’ll find our list of what we think should be included in YouTube Rewind 2017.

Viral Videos

The bread and butter of YouTube. Some popular ones are challenges like ‘The Floor is Lava’ and ‘Try not to laugh’ but this year we’ve seen all kinds…

Children interrupt BBC interview
We all saw it. It was cute and unexpected. Basically, an expert on Korean issues was interrupted by both his children while he was in the middle of a very serious BBC interview. If we want to read about our thoughts on the incident and learn how to conduct a video interview from home, check out this post.

‘In a Heartbeat’
If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favour and do it now.

Did you see it? Good. In a Heartbeat is a short-animated feature produced by the Ringling College of Art and Design and directed by two of its students Esteban Bravo and Beth David. Not only has it been laureated for its plot and positive portrayal of gay relationships but also for its animation. The project was finished thanks to a Kickstarter campaign that received great support. Hopefully, we’ll get to see more of these characters in the future.

Salt Bae
Turkish chef Nusret Gökçe (don’t ask me how to pronounce that) went viral early this year when he uploaded a video of himself preparing a steak. Have you ever seen such elegance and style? James Bond pales in comparison. The video was first popular on Instagram but then went on to become a sensation on YouTube, as well.

‘History of the World, I guess’
At the time of writing this blog post, this video has gathered 32 million views (wow!). It is probably one of, if not the most viral video of the year. It is hard to describe because it’s narrated in such a particular way but, basically, musician and comedian Bill Wurtz (is he related to Conchita?) explains the history of our planet in a 19-minute composition of music, jokes and colourful visuals.

Frozen + Spiderman
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then go ahead and search ‘Elsa and Spiderman’ — it is weird, to say the least. If I’m not mistaken, these are videos created by toy companies that take advantage of the millions of parents who are constantly looking for streaming content for their children but don’t want to pay for a Netflix account. Just look at the views! It is unlikely that YouTube will recognise this type of content since it borders on copyright infringement. But I personally think it would be hilarious to see some sort of reference in the final production.

YouTube Rewind 2017, Spiderman and Elsa videos

Movies/TV Shows

Along with viral videos, we often get references to some of the most popular movies and TV Shows of the year in YouTube Rewind. This time around, for the first category, could be Spider-Man, Beauty and The Beast and Wonder Woman. We could even make some space for The Emoji Movie, which has become famous for simply being one of the worst movies not only of 2017 but of all times.

TV doesn’t get featured as much as other media, although there was a scene that paid homage to Breaking Bad in 2013’s edition. If we had to pick two shows for 2017, we’d say Game of Thrones and Narcos.

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Songs/Music Videos

Along with video games, music videos are the most popular type of content on YouTube. Out of the top ten most subscribed channels on YouTube, four are destined to music videos (Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry’s VEVO). These ‘Top of the Pops’ tracks serve as the soundtrack to every year’s YouTube Rewind. In past editions, we’ve seen ‘Gangnam Style’, ‘The Fox (What does the fox say?) and ‘Can’t hold us down.’ It is safe to say that this year we’ll hear at least a couple of these tunes:

  • ‘Shape of you’ by Ed Sheeran
  • ‘Despacito’ by Luis Fonsi feat. Daddy Yankee
  • ‘Look what you made me do’ by Taylor Swift
  • ‘Love’ by Lana Del Rey
  • ‘The Cure’ by Lady Gaga
  • ‘Chained to the Rythim’ by Katy Perry
  • ‘4:44’ by Jay-Z


Every year we see a large cast of some of the most popular YouTubers being featured. Makes sense, they’re the face of the company, after all. They’re entertaining and is always fun to see them doing something different, like Rhett and Link parodying Ariana Grande’s ‘Side to Side’ or the Green brothers getting ice-cold water poured on their heads.

This year, aside from the main staples (AKA YouTube royalty) like Grace Helbig, Anthony Padilla and Tyler Oakley, for 2017 we’ll most likely also see the Paul brothers and Lele Pons. These figures have risen prominently on the platform after their departure from Vine (RIP) and thanks to the millions of views they bring in every month, it is safe to say that they won’t be ignored.

YouTube Rewind has also made the effort to include stars from other countries. The British have always been represented by Zoella, Marcus Butler and Dan & Phil, but in recent years we’ve also seen YouTubers from Japan, India and Mexico. Hopefully, the trend will continue and expand to other territories. After all, half of the Top 10 most subscribed channels by YouTubers are in foreign languages (four in Spanish and one in Portuguese).

Still, the biggest question is, will PewDiePie be part of this year’s Rewind? For those who don’t know, the Swedish YouTuber found himself earlier this year in the middle of a media scandal when, basically, he was accused of anti-Semitism. Aside from losing a contract with Disney, he left the ordeal relatively unscathed. That was until a racial slur escaped his lips during one of his live streams. Oops. As expected, there was an uproar on social media. In the end, he uploaded a video apologising. Some accepted his apologies, others didn’t and everyone moved on.

Other controversial YouTubers which have gathered big followings in 2017 include iDubbbz* and Filthy Frank. While they are popular, they’re also considered ‘niche’ and their humour can be a bit ‘out there’ — for a lack of a better term. In a year when YouTube has been trying to clean its act to get on the good side of advertisers once more, it is hard to imagine giving them or PewDiePie a leading role in the final YouTube Rewind — even if he is still the king of subscribers. I guess we’ll have to wait until December to find out.

Note*: We featured iDubbbz, PewDiePie and other YouTubers in our list of the best YouTuber merchandise shops. Check it out here.

YouTube Rewind 2017: The aftermath

YouTube rewind it’s always a mixed bag. While the upbeat music and colourful sets make us smile, there’s always someone or something that’s missing. Understandable, I mean, pleasing everyone it’s impossible and that’s exactly why the video giant has gotten into trouble. While some celebrate the global approach of the Rewinds, others think that the videos try to encompass way too much and YouTube would be better off creating localised content for each region.

Personally, I disagree but regardless, YouTube is sticking to its formula (which has been successful until now) and late last year released the biggest and most ambitious Rewind yet. Before the video was released, we made predictions of what would be showcased on it and while some guesses were on point, others were way off. Let’s take a look at how we did.

Rewind 2017 Recap

The video starts off with late-night host Stephen Colbert interviewing Lele Pons (got that one right) and Liza Koshy (oops) about 2017. What some people didn’t get right away was the reference to the viral BBC video when the two kids interrupted their father’s Skype interview. The nod is made when Niana Guerrero enters the room and starts dancing to the beat of ‘Despacito.’

Later we see KSI controlling a train (?) with a fidget spinner and via a cool transition, we see snow turn into salt to reveal the famous duo Rhett & Link with Collins Key. All three dressed as Salt Bae. From there we go to a slime war zone with what seems to be like hundreds of YouTubers. So far so good.

That’s when our predictions start to fall apart. From the slime, we move on to a trippy sequence where YouTubers are floating inside the human body, the ocean and finally space. Maybe it was a video I missed but till this day, I still don’t understand what they were referencing. This is when we get the eclipse scene. This was a popular event of the year that we also failed to predict. Mainly because the 2017 eclipse was only seen in the US but since the platform’s headquarters are located in California, it makes sense they wanted to include it.

Then there’s the obscure Taylor Swift reference. For a moment, we even weren’t sure if it was a recreation from the ‘Look what you made me do’ video because they didn’t use the song (YouTube couldn’t afford the copyright?) and nobody was dressed like the starlet but most sources confirm that it was indeed inspired by the first single from Reputation. Side note: I was surprised to see YouTubers in full prosthetics makeup as it made it more difficult to recognise them.

Before we know it (this video sure goes fast), Anthony Padilla dabbs away from the cemetery and we end up in a completely white scene with Poppy and Lilly Singh. Poppy – POPPY! Why didn’t we see that one coming? There were plenty of things we didn’t guess but this was the only one that made want to bang my head against a wall. Poppy was huge in 2017. So obvious and yet it completely slipped our minds. Oh, well.

The next part was the one that surprised us the most. In a move that’s unprecedented of any YouTube Rewind before it, 2017 included the ‘bad’ things of the year. I for one applaud this decision, the year was filled with political turmoil and terrorist attacks and this served as a reminder that YouTube is a community that comes together in moments of distress.

And from a rare moment of sensibility, we go to — the Paul brothers. No surprise here. The infamous siblings pretend to be about to start a ‘fight’ only to begin dancing together. Backpack kid then comes in and wows everyone with the ‘Floss’. That’s how the dance moves are called, not an actual dental floss.

This is when things start to get crazy — okay, crazier — as all the scenes start coming together through the lava challenge. The video comes in full circle as a bunch of YouTubers burst into the office where we first see Pons and Koshy.

And just when we think the Rewind is over. We got a nice surprise with some of the most popular animators of YouTube adding their own creations to the end of the video. These content creators work just as hard (if not harder — animation takes time) as the other YouTubers and their work is often ignored which is why I think it was nice to have them on the spotlight. Even if it was at the end of the video.

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In hindsight

We were way off on some things. We know the Spiderman and Elsa videos were a very long shot but it was surprising to see that In a Heartbeat was completely neglected. It was one of the of the most viral videos of the year and it wasn’t even mentioned. Surprising considering it would’ve been very easy to recreate it with two male YouTubers playing the parts of the boys and using the heart as an element to transition between scenes.

One thing we did get right, though, was the absence of PewDiePie. The king of YouTube was nowhere to be seen and nobody seemed to care. According to a video he uploaded to his channel, he simply wasn’t asked — I wonder why.

Things we got right

  • BBC interview interrupted
  • Fidget spinners
  • Salt bae
  • Slime
  • ‘Look what you made me do’ by Taylor Swift
  • Floor is lava
  • PewDiePie no show

Things we didn’t see coming

  • Eclipse
  • Poppy
  • Dabbing
  • Disasters/Sad news
  • Animators
  • Backpack kid (the floss)

Things that were way off

  • Spiderman and Elsa
  • In a Heartbeat
  • Pretty much every movie and TV show we mentioned

So now all we have to do is wait for YouTube Rewind 2018. What do you think will be in there?

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Harald is one of the founders of the Printsome-Insights blog! Previously, Senior Content Writer, with over five years experience writing about garment printing, he's now been whisked away into entertaining other audiences with his fabulous words. For over seven years he has been proofreading, blogging, copywriting newsletters/landing pages/social media + editing. Whilst also bringing Printsome brand to life with voice and soul. He is also well-versed in enforcing content styles and content strategies for B2B businesses.

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