A Look Back at This Year on the Internet: YouTube Rewind 2016

It’s that time of year again for the YouTube community. Time to look back on the past year of events, trends, memes, music and other forms of Internet culture- it’s YouTube Rewind! This year’s epic compilation is “dedicated to all the moments that brought us together this year, and love and understanding in 2017.”

This year’s YouTube Rewind was titled “The Ultimate 2016 Challenge”, and true to its word, it featured many of the most popular challenges of the year- including the water bottle flip, highlighter challenge, and 100 layers challenge. It also paid tribute to other trends and moments from 2016, such as Pen Pineapple Apple Pen, Damn Daniel, Pokemon Go, and ‘Stranger Things’. And yes, there’s plenty of dabbing!

As usual, the video is accompanied by a mashup of a few of the most popular songs of the year, and visual references to some music videos. This year, some of the songs included were Justin Bieber’s ‘Sorry’, Fifth Harmony’s ‘Work From Home’, and The Chainsmokers and Halsey’s ‘Closer’. Kanye West’s ‘Famous’ video was recreated, as well as Ariana Grande’s ‘Side to Side’. There was also an epic tribute to Beyoncé’s Lemonade, portrayed by Lilly Singh.

This year, the video is opened by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and closed by James Corden, both traditional media stars that have also found success on YouTube. As with every year of YouTube Rewind, it easily becomes a “Where’s Waldo: YouTuber Edition”. Over 200 creators are featured in under seven minutes, with several of them in the same scenes. The more times you watch, the more YouTubers you’re likely to recognize. A few creators featured this year include: Dan Howell, Phil Lester, Markiplier, Liza Koshy, Rachel Levin, Casey Neistat, Connor Franta, sWooZie, and so many more. There’s someone that almost anyone will enjoy watching, which is the beauty of YouTube Rewind.

One of the best aspects of this year’s Rewind was the diversity. There are definitely large YouTube communities in places other than L.A. and London. The inclusion of filming locations and creators from areas including Tokyo, Mexico City and Mumbai allows for a special connection to be made for fans worldwide.

YouTube Rewind is a high-production project that has garnered lots of attention and hype over the last few years. The theme and YouTubers involved are kept secret until the day the video is dropped. Viewers speculate which events, songs, trends, and YouTubers will be included, as every year is so different! Rewind has only grown each year, with more creators and filming locations added. This year’s video has already gained 13 million views in less than 12 hours! Who knows what will happen in 2017.

Of course, it’s hard to stay on top of all of the references and popular culture throughout the year. See how well you know the trends that featured in YouTube Rewind by taking this informative quiz made by YouTube. Let us know how you do!

What did you think of this year’s YouTube Rewind? What as your favourite part? Let us know on Twitter @CelebMix.

Written by Annemarie Cutruzzola

Canadian arts & culture writer and journalism student.