10 Old Videos That Went Viral Before YouTube Even Existed

A Little Bit of Viral Internet Nostalgia for You

YouTube wasn't always the number one platform that sent the funniest and most shocking videos off into a virtual abyss of viral glory. Before the days of YouTube, people had to resort to sharing videos on web humor sites, on forums, and by email.

It's easy to take popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Vimeo, Tumblr and others for granted these days. It's also pretty crazy to think that it really wasn't very long ago at all that we actually didn't have any of these, given how much we rely on them now to share content.

Let's take a trip back to a simpler time before social media was such a big deal and when getting your videos seen by a large internet audience was much more difficult. And before you could even do that, just finding a place online to upload and host a video for free was hard enough.

Here are just 10 videos that went viral before YouTube, Facebook and everything every other video sharing site we use now ever existed.

1
Star Wars Kid (2003)

Star Wars Kid
Screenshot of YouTube.com

Star Wars fans still love this one to this very day. In the early 2000s, a teenager filmed himself reenacting an imaginary fight scene with a pretend Star Wars light saber.

According to Know Your Meme, the video was uploaded to Kazaa and then spread from there, ending up on several Internet humor websites and was eventually transformed into parodies and remixes created with different special effects added to it. It's been estimated that the original unedited Star Wars Kid video has now been viewed over one billion times.

2
Dancing Baby (1996)

Dancing Baby
Screenshot of YouTube.com

Here's one that really takes you back — all the way to 1996, in fact. The Dancing Baby (also known as the Oogachaka Baby) features a 90s 3D animation of a baby in a diaper dancing along to the intro of a song by a Swedish rock band.

This video went viral via forwarded email chain messages, back when we were still in the first stage of the World Wide Web, long before the Web 2.0 era. If you want to know the full story behind it, you can check out this TechCrunch article for a brief history of the Dancing Baby meme.

3
Don Hertzfeldt's Rejected (2000)

Rejected Cartoons
Screenshot of YouTube.com

A short comedy film called Rejected began popping up on Internet humor sites in the early 2000s around the time it had been nominated for Best Animated Short Film at the 2000 Academy Awards. The cartoon consists of odd, nonsensical skits that even include some NSFW content.

Quotes like "I am a banana" and "My spoon is too big!" from the film became popular one-liners that have been reenacted and parodied by all sorts of fans of the original.

4
Numa Numa (2004)

Numa Numa
Screenshot of YouTube.com

You'll probably never see a more enthusiastic fan of Moldovan pop music than the guy in the Numa Numa video.The creator of the video filmed himself dancing and lip syncing to O-Zone's Dragostea din tei, and then uploaded it to the entertainment site Newgrounds in 2004.

It brought smiles to a lot of people's faces and thus went viral. The video has been viewed millions of times since it was uploaded — possibly even reaching over a billion views by now with all the copies of it spread across the internet today.

5
The End of the World (2003)

The End of the World
Screenshot of YouTube.com

Ever thought about what chaos might ensue when the world finally ends? The End of the World (or The End of Ze World) is a ridiculous flash animated cartoon that went viral after it was uploaded to Internet humor site Albino Blacksheep in 2003.

Several parts of the narration in the cartoon became iconic Internet catchphrases, like "I am le tired," and "WTF, mate?" After it made its first debut, uploads of the video quickly spread to other humor sites as well, obviously adding to its virality.

6
All Your Base Are Belong To Us (Early 2000s)

All Your Base
Photo from KnowYourMeme.com

Another viral video that really takes us way back is the unforgettable and grammatically incorrect clip of a video game character saying "All your base are belong to us," from the 16-bit 1989 game Zero Wing.

The robotic sounding, grammatically incorrect catchphrase crept on to the Internet in as early as 1998, according to Know Your Meme, and grew into a viral hit in the early 2000s on sites like Something Awful, Newgrounds and forum discussion boards across the web.

7
Badger Badger Badger (2003)

Badger
Screenshot of YouTube.com

Badger Badger Badger is a flash animated cartoon that fist appeared on weebls-stuff.com. It featured a bunch of badgers, some mushrooms and a snake, all dancing to a ridiculous song.

The song just repeats the word "badger" as several badgers pop up, then "mushroom" a couple of times, and lastly "snaaaake, it's a snaaaaake!" The entire animation only lasts a few seconds but went on in an infinite loop, and before long, it became the inspiration for many parodies, spin-offs, and remixes.

8
The Llama Song (2004)

Llama Song
Screenshot of YouTube.com

Who could forget the Llama Song? In 2004, a DeviantArt user uploaded a flash animation video of a crazy song about llamas and a bunch of photos of llamas that appeared every time the word "llama" was sung.

After all the llamas, the song starts listing off more unrelated objects, people, and ducks. According to Know Your Meme, the video quickly racked up over 50,000 views on DeviantArt before spreading to Newgrounds and Albino Blacksheep, where it attracted hundreds of thousands of more views.

9
Peanut Butter Jelly Time (2002)

Peanut Butter Jelly TIme
Screenshot of YouTube.com

In 2002, a random flash animation of a banana dancing to the song “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” by The Buckwheat Boyz has shared to popular Internet forum Offtopic, which then quickly spread to other sites like Newgrounds, eBaum's World, Albino Blacksheep and more.

It's nothing more than a slightly annoying dancing banana the whole way through the video, the but the video went on to spawn all sorts of parodies and remakes in the early to mid-2000s.

10
We Like The Moon (2003)

We Like The Moon
Screenshot of YouTube.com

If you were at all familiar with the site RatherGood.com in the early 2000s, you knew that it was a mystical mess of weird and insane flash animation cartoons by its creator, Joel Veitch. We Like The Moon was just one of the many videos that caught on for its creepy spongemonkey characters and terrible musical performance — a regular trend in Veitch's videos, featuring odd and silly songs by his band.

Eventually, We Like the Moon got picked up by Quizno's, and it became the inspiration for some of its advertisements that appeared on television for a short while.