Okay, the YouTube Hall of Fame exists only in concept at the moment. But it will one day be a real place where you can visit and receive little guided tours from people who used to be sort of famous. But it has to start somewhere, and that somewhere is here. So NMR: Weekend Edition is kicking off the YouTube Hall of Fame induction campaign. Every time we decide someone is a worthy inductee into the Hall of Fame, we build a case for why they deserve to be there.
This week’s entry: “Shit ________ Says” Videos
This was one of the first MAJOR trends on YouTube. Before the initial video, YouTube was a loose collection of videos. After it, we now have a damn trend a week, with everyone copying everyone, it seems. In essence, this video trend helped establish YouTube and a lot of now major YouTubers in the process (Scooter Magruder anyone)? Hell, entire YouTube careers have been forged off of only making videos that ape this trend. In effect, the “Shit Girls Say” guys, who largely get the props for this trend (as they brought it to YouTube instead of just turning their Twitter account into a terrible TV show a la Justin Halpern with “Shit My Dad Says in 2009) sacrificed the longevity of their own YouTube careers because they invented such an awesomely searchable — and funny/accurate — topic. Like “The Matrix,” which had its groundbreaking effects utilized by every movie thereafter and therefore resulted in the sequels seeming unfairly tired just a couple of years later, the Shit Girls Say people gave their innovation to the world. Of course, if they could have kept it as their own proprietary device, they likely would have, but que sera, sera, I guess. Still, it was a beautiful trend that got abused into oblivion — that’s not creator/comics Graydon Sheppard and Kyle Humphrey’s fault. And it is in their name that we add this inspired meme into the YouTube Hall of Fame.
Eventually, as it expanded to include every subculture under the sun (Women Weightlifters?), even some for whom a three minute video was a stretch to cobble together colloquialisms, the meme shifted outward to also become a poignant piece of social commentary that offered eye-opening critiques for and against differing subcultures, races and genders. Chescaleigh notably had a fascinating comment on race relations with her own “Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls” video.
- Over 80,000 people followed the Twitter account at its peak.
- Juliette Lewis made a cameo in the original Shit Girls Say video.
- Though its popularity was overall shorter-lived, in its heyday, Shit Girls Say’s popularity was greater than Shit My Dad Says.
There is a lot of culture in the zeitgeist that is YouTube. Some things will take longer than you want to “get in” and some things that you think are totally deserving will NEVER get in. There is no chronology at play here, only items as we come across them and weigh their merit. That being said: