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YouTube Rewind was an annual YouTube video series that summarized each year in internet culture. The first rewind came out in December 2010, and a new rewind came out annually up until December 2019. Each rewind features songs, celebrities, and cultural references that define that year for the internet.

Watch it here.

YouTube Rewind provides examples of:

  • Almost Kiss: Anthony and Ian... until Epic Rap Battles of History pulls the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on them.
  • Animal Motifs: Goats in the 2013 Rewind; they were shown throughout the video, one of the last scenes was a group of people fleeing from a goat stampede, and the Easter Egg sound effect was a goat bleating. This was a reference to the "Screaming Goat" meme, that was also included in the Rewind.
  • Annual Title: Every video includes the year it was released in the title.
  • Arc Symbol: A special "rewind" version of the YouTube play button, starting with the 2013 rewind.
  • Artifact Title: The Easter Eggs that accompany most of the Rewinds. Initially, they were actual Easter Eggs (i.e. hidden videos) that you could click on at key points in the Rewinds, but YouTube disabled annotations, meaning the only way viewers can watch them now is via non-hidden playlists (in fact, Rewinds 2017 and 2018 never had annotations at all, and jumped straight to this method.) Despite this, they are still called Easter Eggs.
  • Ascended Extra: The animators who appear at the end of the 2017 video have a much bigger role in the 2018 video.
  • Author Appeal: According to this page the "Screaming Goat" meme was the favorite 2013 meme of YouTube's Brand Marketing Manager at the time, hence the 2013 Rewind had goats appearing throughout, and said meme had a decent amount of screen time.
  • Book Ends: The first Rewind in 2010 was a collection of clips of YouTube videos set to music. The 2019 Rewind (which is now officially the final Rewind) was a slightly updated version of the same style of video.
  • Blooper Reel: The "Let It Go" segment of 2014 includes a montage of bloopers where various appearing creators burst out laughing.
    • One of the Easter Eggs from the same Rewind involves John Oliver and Kid President messing up their scene as the Rewind flag falls off its pole.
    • An Easter Egg in the 2016 Rewind shows us that the Bottle Flip segment took far more attempts than what was shown in the video.
  • The Cameo: Mostly cameos of popular YouTubers, but also some cameos of Web Animation characters.
  • Childish Pillow Fight: All the characters break out into a pillow fight in the 2016 video.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Rewind 2018 features several moments where someone thinks of (and mentions) what he or she wants to be in the Rewind, causing it to become real.
  • Clip Show: The first rewind is mostly a compilation of clips of popular YouTube videos. It's supposed to show what people watched in 2010.
  • Creative Closing Credits:
    • The 2017 video has several characters from animation channels appearing next to the credits doing the same dances and challenges from the main part of the video.
    • The 2018 video has the channel Primitive Technology creating a rewind button out of clay.
  • Dance-Off:
    • In 2012's Rewind DeStorm Power has a dance off against MysteryGuitarMan, Dave Days and PyroBooby (an Easter Egg also makes it look like they're all dancing off against each other.) The dance off ends with them sharing a Group Hug, and then driving away.
    • 2015's Rewind places groups of YouTubers into two teams - White and Gold vs. Blue and Black note . Said teams are shown having both a dance battle and a lip-sync battle.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first rewind is a Clip Show. The second is a Top Ten List hosted by Rebecca Black.
  • Easter Egg: Jaiden Animations put a few on a shelf in Rewind 2018, referencing popular YouTube memes and events such as "Sub 2 PewDiePie", the Logan Paul v. KSI fight, and Ugandan Knuckles.
  • Feet-First Introduction: The first we see of Damn Daniel in the 2016 Rewind, are his white van shoes, as he steps out of an actual white van.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In Rewind 2017 train scene, a newspaper can be briefly seen with the headline "April the Giraffe Gives Birth", referencing a viral livestream.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: The 2017 video opens with the Spanish song "Despacito" by Luis Fonsi.
    • Rewind 2016 includes a segment where the main song is "Hasta el Amanecer" by Nicky Jam, who has a cameo in the same scene. Appropriately, the majority of YouTubers that feature in this segment are Spanish speaking.
  • Grave Humor: 2017's Rewind includes a graveyard of dead memes, complete with tombstones depicting when their popularity started and ended. There's also a few added gems note  such as Rick Rolling dying "When Your Dad Did It." and one grave simply saying "Dead Guy? Nope! Chuck Testa".
  • Holding Hands: The main characters in the 2017 video pull through tough times by holding each other's hands.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Since 2012 most of the Rewinds have had titles based on one of the songs used in the video, with the year included in the title (e.g. "What Does The Fox Say?" becomes "What Does 2013 Say?") - the exceptions are "The Ultimate 2016 Challenge" (referring to the fact that 2016 had a lot of challenges trending.) "Everyone Controls 2018" (referring to that Rewind's storyline of the cast controlling the Rewind while they're in it, and the fact it was supposed to be inspired by what the viewers wanted) and "For The Record" (referring to the video being about various records broken by YouTubers and videos.)
  • Manipulative Editing: YouTube appears to do this as a form of Self-Deprecation during the 2019 Rewind, which essentially begins with clips of various YouTubers criticizing the 2018 Rewind. The first clip is of Casey Neistat lowering his head onto a desk in shame, however this clip has been reversed - he actually starts his vlog with his face down and then rises back up to begin the video, and anyone who has seen said vlog would know that he was actually defending Rewind 2018, not cringing about it.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The 2016 Rewind includes a Bottle Flip Challenge that's apparently so epic, that several people around the world stop what they're doing to watch.
  • The New '10s: All ten videos in the series were released in this decade, one for each year.
  • Questioning Title?: Used in the 2013 rewind, "What Does 2013 Say?"
  • Recap Episode: The videos are supposed to be a recap of the viral events and trends of each year.
  • Reference Overdosed: Each video references tons of memes and celebrities.
  • Revisiting the Roots: In response to the overwhelmingly negative response to the 2018 rewind, the 2019 rewind goes back to the Top Ten List format of the first two rewinds.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: The 2018 rewind features the animated Bongo Cat drumming next to live-action humans. There are also animated characters dancing with humans.
  • Seamless Scenery: Most of the scene changes in the 2014 Rewind are connected to each other in someway, with the end of one scene creating the beginning of the next one. For example, the classroom scene ends with two YouTubers fetching the background for the selfie scene, and placing it around the other YouTubers.
  • Self-Deprecation: One of YouTube's tweets about YouTube Rewind 2018 involved it breaking a new record. Said new record was the most disliked video. The 2019 rewind even acknowledges this new record, while going on to highlight other more positive records set by YouTube channels and videos that year.
  • Sequel Escalation: What started out as a Clip Show became a series of high-budget videos adding more celebrities and becoming longer each year. Eventually subverted with the 2018 edition, which had less YouTubers.
  • Shout-Out: The videos feature tons of references to popular songs and memes in each scene.
  • The Stinger:
    • The 2013 video has a stinger where PewDiePie finds the rewind button on a beach and buries it in the rocks.
    • The 2014 video tells How It Should Have Ended, with PewDiePie doing a faceplant on the roof instead of breaking through.
  • Taking the Bullet: Josh Pieters dives in front of fellow vlogger Oli White during the "Slime Battle" in the 2017 Rewind.
  • Top Ten List:
    • The first two rewinds are lists of the top 10 videos from their respective years.
    • YouTube Rewind 2019 tells the year's top ten most liked music videos, breakout creators, and most viewed creators, as well as the top five most like dance videos, most viewed games, and most like beauty videos.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: The eclipse in the 2017 video is in the form of the Rewind logo. It represents all the bad stuff that happened that year (one of the audio clips even references the bombing of an Ariana Grande concert).
  • Very Special Episode:
    • Rewind 2017 has a sequence in which all the characters have to deal with all the terrible things that happened that year. They come together to pull through these tough times by Holding Hands.
    • Rewind 2018 has the campfire scene, where the characters give shout-outs to those who helped out important causes, talked about mental health, supported each other, etc.


Video Example(s):


YouTube Rewind 2017

All the fun and dancing stops during the total eclipse, as everybody stops to remember that, while not everything was great in 2017, they pulled through it together.

How well does it match the trope?

1.86 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / VerySpecialEpisode

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