After you’ve watched enough YouTube creator videos, you begin to recognize certain trends that run across the seemingly broad spectrum of talent. When you’re putting out a new video every week or sometimes every day, you tend to run out of fresh popping awesomeness! Everybody, from the Ray William Johnsons (what do you mean there’s only one?!) on down, end up committing one of these sins at some point during their wild tenure as a YouTube creator. In fact, the real secret to becoming a YouTube success might just be to make one super video that encapsulates all of these things. Damn, that is a good idea. Back off, you jackals, I got there first!
7. The Parody video
This is pretty much the least offensive of the cliches, because it actually involves some modicum of creativity. First, you pick some pop culture trend, say Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know,” and then you either spoof the cheesy music video or you change the lyrics to create your own fresh new song. How Weird Al of you. In this video example, I’ve actually gotten YouTubers “The Key of Awesome” doing a parody cover of Walk Off The Earth’s cover of Gotye’sSomebody That I Used To Know.” This might just make the “Cliche-o-Meter” explode.
6. The Reaction video
You know you’re not long for success when all your views revolve around you or some member of your family looking amused/horrified/astounded at something we cannot see. Sometimes its that video where the monster suddenly pops up, sometimes its 2 Girls, 1 Cup. I get it, I get it. Those girls eating poop and then vomiting is the worst thing you’ve ever seen. Apparently, you feel your grandma’s reaction to it was so hilarious that you forgot that you aren’t supposed to show your grandparents that sort of shit in the first place. Perhaps it is you who is the true monster?
5. The Song video
The most prevalent example of this cliche seems to be Justin Bieber’s“Boyfriend.” I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s even a video of me performing this song out there somewhere. It’s common knowledge that everyone has got to be a “triple threat” these days to “make it,” and YouTube creators are apparently just as susceptible to this style of thinking. If they aren’t crapping all over someone else’s masterpiece, they’re performing their own original song. Apparently I was learning to write my name with my pee while EVERYONE else was taking guitar and vocal lessons.
4. The “I Just Review Other People’s Videos” video
I debated including this one on the list because several of the Bigs do this as their main schtick, and you people seem to eat it up. It’s fine, I guess, because back when they started doing it, nobody else was, ergo, it wasn’t cliche then. But since then, the emulators have crawled out of the woodwork to make review videos one of the most common formats going on the Internet.
3. The “Shit ____ say” video
Justin Halpern became a god to the online community when his Twitter feed, “Shit My Dad Says” got picked up by CBS and made into a William Shatner show. Then it got cancelled and everybody forgot about Justin again. But his “Shit ______ says” idea stuck and “Shit Girls Say” became huge on YouTube. From there, every creator worth his or her salt had to post a video boiling an entire demographic down to their most grating idioms. Especially vegans. Everything they say is irritating.
2. The Gamer video
I think this one might be the most obnoxious to me because I’m not a gamer and I’ve never been content to just sit and watch someone play video games. This style of video makes the creator into that annoying snot-nosed friend you left back in the seventh grade. Not only do they make you watch them play, they want to discuss it. Yes, I get it, you are bad at the game and can say silly things while doing it. Some of you even do an annoying voice. Don’t.
1. The Generic Question video
This is the lazy content creator’s magic golden egg of success. There is nothing more mindless and cliched than some content creator fulfilling their promise of “new content every day” than by taking to their iSight and saying something like, “Can you think of a funnier word than ‘blarts’? Respond in the comments below.” Rare is the regular content uploader who hasn’t succumbed to this warp pipe. Just think, people. While you and I are slaving away at work, sucking “The Man’s” teat for mere shekels, these web celebs are getting rich off Adsense because 100,000 of you tuned in just to whore out your opinion about boxers versus briefs. Some of these videos are longer and more elaborate than others, but they all end the same. The Generic Question video is, without question, the YouTube version of the “Nigerian Prince” scam. I curse anyone who has made one, or worse, responded. Most of all, paid to do it or not, I curse myself for watching.
Can you think of any cliches I’ve missed? Respond in the comments below. Hah! See what I did there?