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By now you’ve probably seen at least one video relating to the internet phenomenon that is the Harlem Shake. Even if you don’t know it by name, you’ll recognise the pattern.
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.
1. Harlem Shake v3 (office edition) — 6 912 357 views
The most popular “Harlem Shake” video takes place in an office and has inspired bored office workers everywhere to film their own versions.
2. The Harlem Shake v2 — 5 321 403 views
This one takes place in a hotel room and involves young men flailing precariously close to a ceiling fan.
3. The Harlem Shake v1 (TSCS original) — 3 938 729 views
Our third most popular video takes place in the confines of university dorm room, which seems kind of claustrophobic.
4. Do the Harlem Shake (Original) — 3 326 281
But not as claustrophobic as this one.
5. Harlem Shake (original army edition)
Ever had the urge to go mad to electronic music in the snow while serving your country? No? Well these guys did.
6. Harlem Shake v4 (Firefighter Edition) — 2 324 208 views
Some firefighters also decided to have a go.
7. Harlem Shake With My Son — 2 131 799 views
Apparently Harlam Shaking (is that the right term?) is now a family activity.
8. Harlem Shake v4 (Official) 1 185 510 views
Ooh look. Here are some people doing it in a loft-style space.
9. Harlem Shake v5 (CollegeHumor Edition) — 1 437 341 views
Come on College Humour, you could’ve at least given us a parody.
10. The Harlem Shake! (SHAYTARDS STYLE)
If this was your dad, would you join in on making the video? I would’ve hidden in shame.
11. UGA Men’s Swim & Dive Harlem Shake — 1 343 895 views
Here’s an underwater version. That’s kind of cool. We guess.
12. Harlem Shake v3.5 Original Skateboards Office — 972 413 views
We were kind of hoping someone in this video would at least be on a skateboard. We were disappointed.
13. Harlem Shake (Grandma Edition) — 905 174 views
Oh look, you used old people to capitalise on a meme. You’re so awesome.
14. Harlem Shake (Matt and Kim Edition) — 876 527 views
Even indie rockers Matt & Kim got in on the act.
15. Harlem Shake v72 (SourceFed Edition) — 712 402 views
See what we meant about offices loving the whole “Harlam Shake” phenomenon.
16. Harlem Shake v4 — 626 699 views
The best part of this video? The designer manages to look incredibly awkward while with a bunch of scantily clad models. Don’t they deal with that all the time?