There are few cultural phenomena on the scale of YouTube Rewind, a head-spinningly packed recap of the video influencers, memes and moments of the year.
Last year’s clip was viewed more than 200 million times, and the newest installment, created again by digital content studio Portal A, is off to a tire-squealing start with nearly 5 million views in its first two hours.
While the Google-owned video platform’s recap is always a bit of a cameo cacophony, there’s typically a theme that runs as a thread through the whole thing. This time around, online gaming mega-sensation Fortnite provides the backdrop, with content creators dropping into a jungle setting via the game’s preferred form of group transit: a school bus hot air balloon.
For better or worse, the Fortnite homage largely ends there (though a free-for-all influencer fight to the death might have been a fun watch too), with the real theme of the video being “choice.” Video stars talk about what they want featured, and then even open it up to (shudder) the commenters.
Perhaps to help the olds like myself feel a bit more welcome, the clip gets an intro from Will Smith setting the scene before we get thrown into a world of nonstop YouTube celebs and pop culture trends.
On first blush, the video seems to have just about everyone you (may) know from YouTube circa 2018, but there are a few notable omissions. Namely, there’s no sign of controversy-courting stars Logan Paul, Jake Paul or Pewdiepie.
But you will find an impressive roster of most other names worth knowing from this year. If you need a cheat sheet, be sure to check out YouTube’s handy gallery of featured content creators. You can also explore the trends in more depth on the Rewind.Youtube hub.
If you’ve got the time and interest to attempt a YouTube Rewind scavenger hunt, here’s the full list of stars and creators featured in this year’s roundup:
Afros e Afins por Nátaly Neri
BB Ki Vines
Bie The Ska
Krystal Yam & family
Lucas the Spider
Luisito Comunica (Rey Palomo)
Manual do Mundo
Nick Eh 30
Pinkfong Baby Shark
@StrayRogue and @DitzyFlama (Bongo Cat)
The Try Guys
Tiền Zombie v4