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Culture and Trends

Double rainbows, annoying oranges and bed intruders: the year on YouTube

By Mia Quagliarello

Community Manager

It’s time to rewind back through the YouTube videos that people in the U.S. and around the world were watching and searching for in 2010. These lists of most-watched videos reflect the people, places and events that captured our collective attention and imagination throughout the year. During 2010, you all watched more than 700 billion YouTube videos, and uploaded more than 13 million hours of video. We met a bunch of new faces, some new words and phrases entered our shared lexicon, and we celebrated as some new YouTube partners hit the big time with millions of views. Remember these moments?

  • Columnist Dan Savage took to YouTube to respond to a spate of suicides by gay teenagers by launching the “It Gets Better” project to send messages of hope to bullied gay teens. The campaign went viral, with everyone from President Obama to Pixar employees taking part.

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for … here are the most-watched videos of 2010, compiled based on the view counts of videos uploaded during 2010. In some instances we aggregated totals across multiple versions of the same video to find the most-watched clip that really set YouTube on fire this year.

Globally, as of November 2010, the most-watched YouTube videos (excluding major label music videos) were:
  1. BED INTRUDER SONG!!! (now on iTunes)
  2. TIK TOK KESHA Parody: Glitter Puke - Key of Awe$ome #13
  3. Greyson Chance Singing Paparazzi
  4. Annoying Orange Wazzup
  5. Old Spice | The Man Your Man Could Smell Like
  6. Yosemitebear Mountain Giant Double Rainbow 1-8-10
  7. OK Go - This Too Shall Pass - Rube Goldberg Machine version
  9. Jimmy Surprises Bieber Fan
  10. Ken Block's Gymkhana THREE, Part 2; Ultimate Playground; l'Autodrome
And globally, as of November 2010, the most-watched major label music videos were:
  1. Justin Bieber - Baby ft. Ludacris
  2. Shakira ft. Freshlyground - Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) (The Official 2010 FIFA World Cup Song)
  3. Eminem - Love The Way You Lie ft. Rihanna
  4. Eminem - Not Afraid
  5. Rihanna - Rude Boy
  6. Justin Bieber - Never Say Never ft. Jaden Smith
  7. Justin Bieber - Never Let You Go
  8. Lady Gaga - Alejandro
  9. Justin Bieber - Somebody To Love Remix ft. Usher
  10. Lady Gaga - Telephone ft. Beyonce
The most-searched for queries on YouTube during the year show what was on our collective minds as 2010 played out. Like Google Zeitgeist, these lists reveal the interests, issues and entertainment that connected us.
January - haiti
February - luge
March - eclipse trailer
April - ipad
May - eminem not afraid
June - shakira waka waka
July - double rainbow
August - bed intruder
September - halo reach
October - whip my hair
November - firework

For more reminders of the people, places and events that played out on YouTube during 2010, visit or check out YouTube Trends for more detailed lists.