Each video is set to the song Harlem Shake by electronic musician Baauer and each begins with one person dancing to the song alone, surrounded by other people. When the bass drops, the camera transitions to the entire crowd doing the dance, often appearing scantily clad.
Almost inevitably, there have been comparisons with “Gangnam Style”, which spawned its own meme in 2012. There are however crucial differences. Psy’s “Gangnam Style” is the most watched YouTube video of all time. Its success meant that it could bask in viral glory, never overshadowed by its imitators.
“Harlem Shake” is far more of a mass-participation movement than a conventional phenomenon. If we’re going to compare it to any video memes from last year,. Carly Rae Jepsens’s “Call me Maybe” is a more likely contender.
Nonetheless it is a viral phenomenon and, with the help of YouTube, we’ve assembled the 16 most popular “Harlem Shake” videos out there right now. Given that you’re getting more or less the same action from each video, our descriptions won’t go too in-depth.