Don’t believe us? Just look. From the unmissable “Baby Shark Dance” (do-do, do-do-do-do) and CoComelon Nursery Rhymes, to Luis Fonsi, Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran, these are the most watched YouTube videos of all time.
Can you believe that YouTube has only been part of our lives since 2005? The internet was a very different place back then. Videos were large and slow to load on the site’s backends and peer-to-peer file sharing networks like LimeWire and Kazaa. Making video faster and more accessible was definitely YouTube’s specialty, and in return, it’s now the second most visited site in the world, after parent company Google, of course.
Like Instagram’s most followed users, celebrities have been created (and undone) through the platform, and many YouTube videos have firmly become part of our shared history, bridging borders, cultures and cultures. languages - who doesn’t remember “Charlie Bit Me” or the earworm chorus of “Gangnam Style”? YouTube hasn’t just changed the way we find and watch videos, it’s changed the way we we communicate with each other across the world.
Over 1 billion monthly YouTube users collectively watch over 1 billion hours of video, according to Google each day. That’s a lot of video. And fresh off Pinkfong’s “Baby Shark Dance,” which recently became the first video to cross the 10 billion-view mark, is the 10 most-viewed YouTube videos of all.
The 10 most viewed YouTube videos of all time
1. Pinkfong’s “Baby Shark Dance” (10.6 billion views)
Good luck finding someone who’s escaped the last decade without hearing this song. (If you have, we salute you.) Those who have kids, and even those who don’t, know Baby Shark. Do, do, do, do. The version of the song that most of us are familiar with is the work of Pinkfong, which is part of a South Korean entertainment company called SmartStudy. It overtook “Despacito” in 2020 to claim the most-watched video title, four years after its initial release. On January 13, 2022, it became the first YouTube video to surpass 10 billion views and doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. So get used to it. Do, do, do, do.
2. “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi feat. Daddy Yankee (7.8 billion views)
Are you still jamming to Luis Fonsi (Fonsi!) and Daddy Yankee’s Spanish slapper in 2022? U.S. too. Despite its own Bieber remix, it was the OG version that long held the most-viewed crown (before being dethroned by “Baby Shark Dance”). Can we say that it is the best real song on the list? The 2017 record – it’s playing in your head right now – became a global hit, and five years later continues to be one of the biggest pop songs in the world. It is safe to say that YouTube has played a very important role in this success.
3. “Johny Johny Yes Papa” by LooLoo Kids (6.3 billion views)
This one is weird, and it only gets weirder from here. “Johny Johny Yes Papa” turns the familiar melody “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” into a story of family lies and sugar abuse. Naturally, it was intended for the treatment of memes, which it received in abundance on Twitter and on YouTube. “Billion Surprise Toys”, an Indian YouTube channel, went full viral by adding “Baby Shark” references and “Gangnam Style” dance moves. It’s been described as “disturbing” and “insane”, well, yeah. See for yourself, if you like this stuff.
4. “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran (5.7 billion views)
Breathe a sigh of relief, it’s a real song. Hi Ed Sheeran! From his 2017 album, Divide, the track is a hit wherever it’s played, and the singer’s sway on social media means it’s no surprise that he’s also making massive numbers on YouTube. For more Ed, “Thinking Out Loud” and “Perfect” also rank among the top 30 most-watched videos on YouTube, at #18 and #28, respectively.
5. “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth (5.4 billion views)
Even if you haven’t looked your way through the set Fast and Furious franchise, you should be familiar with “See You Again”. The moving last track of Furious 7 was a tribute to the film’s late star, Paul Walker. Featuring Charlie Puth on piano and vocals plus rapper Wiz Khalifa’s heartfelt verses, it’s a hit formula with a heartwarming message.
6. “Bath Song” by Cocomelon Nursery Rhymes (5.3 billion views)
The latest five most-watched YouTube videos of all time are a bizarre journey through the Strange Valley. Ready? “Bath Song” flips a few tracks – “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider” and, yes, “Baby Shark Dance” (Washing my arms doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo) – to the tune of over five billion views. It’s a song about hygiene, which, great message. But there is a horror in all of this that we simply cannot ignore.
7. “Phonics Song with Two Words” by ChuChu TV (4.5 billion views)
The same video that once topped our old friend Psy and “Gangnam Style” from the top ten soars to the top. Yes, this is another children’s video. But, on the plus side, this one offers some educational value: A for Apple, C for Cat, U for Uncle; you got the idea. Here to learn.
8. “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring. Bruno Mars (4.5 billion views)
Justice for music! Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ hit “Uptown Funk” continues to climb the ranks, offering some hope for the future. This earworm won material for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 58th Grammy Awards, and really, we’re just happy to see it break through the madness of the remaining entries on this list.
9. “Learning about colors – Colored eggs on a farm” by Miroshka TV (4.5 billion views)
It’s something. Allegedly aimed at “kids”, this spooky video from Russia is set to “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” and teaches children the six essential colors (?): black, brown, pink, white, red and blue. How is it ? Thanks to little eggmen that split their heads to be filled with goo, naturally. And for some reason, there’s that fourth egg that looks sinister. Great stuff all around.
10. “Masha and the Bear – Recipe for Disaster” by Get Movies (4.5 billion views)
We have come to the end. Was the internet a bad idea? Maybe! Rounding out the list of most viewed YouTube videos is Masha and the BEAR. And don’t take my word for it, you can watch it above, or read here why Russian psychologists consider it “harmful” to children’s minds. In this video, with 4.5 billion views, a hyperactive girl named Masha severely disrupts the life of her fellow bear, absolutely no lessons are learned, and everything eventually works out. Fingers crossed we do too.
(Main image: John Esparza/Getty – Feature image: Pinkfong)