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Culture & Trends

#YouTubeRewind: Celebrating what you watched, shared, and created in 2016

By Kevin Allocca

Head of Culture & Trends

2016 was the year of the challenge. You did the running man, you caught ‘em all, you took a moment to stand still, you layered … and layered … and layered. We think it’s fair to say, you crushed it.


Now 2016 is coming to an end, and you know what that means … it’s time for #YouTubeRewind.

This year, more than 200 YouTube stars from 18 countries accepted our Ultimate 2016 Rewind Challenge to pay homage to the biggest videos, memes, channels, songs, and pop culture moments of the year. Keep an eye out for some pretty epic surprise guests. Oh, and we got Major Lazer to help us out with an original mix too.

Feel like a YouTube expert? Take our Rewind quiz to see how many trends and creators you can spot.

It's also time to announce the top trending videos and music videos from 2016, according to time spent watching, sharing, commenting, liking and more. From Japanese comedy and European soccer to big celebrity moments and some of YouTube's most popular faces, this year’s top trending videos represent the amazing variety of creativity shared on YouTube every day.

Collectively these 10 videos have 550 million views and were watched for over 25 million hours. The channels behind them collectively have more than 40 million subscribers who tune in regularly to watch the funny, insightful, entertaining things they create.


  1. Adele Carpool Karaoke
  2. Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen/PIKO-TARO
  3. What's inside a Rattlesnake Rattle?
  4. Nike Football Presents: The Switch ft. Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Kane, Anthony Martial & More
  5. Grace VanderWaal: 12-Year-Old Ukulele Player Gets Golden Buzzer - America's Got Talent 2016
  6. Water Bottle Flip Edition | Dude Perfect
  7. Channing Tatum & Beyonce's "Run The World (Girls)" vs. Jenna Dewan-Tatum's "Pony" | Lip Sync Battle
  8. Donald Trump: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
  9. THE $21,000 FIRST CLASS AIRPLANE SEAT
  10. Brothers Convince Little Sister of Zombie Apocalypse
In music, 2016 seemed to be all about "work," with Fifth Harmony landing the year's top music video (and more than a billion views) and Rihanna scoring the biggest audience in the first 24 hours for a YouTube music video in 2016.


  1. Fifth Harmony - Work from Home ft. Ty Dolla $ign
  2. Calvin Harris - This Is What You Came For (Official Video) ft. Rihanna
  3. Hasta el Amanecer - Nicky Jam | Video Oficial
  4. The Chainsmokers - Closer (Lyric) ft. Halsey
  5. Rihanna - Work (Explicit) ft. Drake
  6. Mike Posner - I Took A Pill In Ibiza (Seeb Remix) (Explicit)
  7. Sia - Cheap Thrills (Lyric Video) ft. Sean Paul
  8. ZAYN - PILLOWTALK
  9. Coldplay - Hymn For The Weekend (Official video)
  10. twenty one pilots: Heathens (from Suicide Squad: The Album) [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
For even more end-of-the-year awesomeness, check out the YouTube Rewind channel.

Kevin Allocca, Head of Culture & Trends, and the YouTube Rewind team, recently watched "Ultimate 2016 Rewind Challenge."