The YouTube Hall of Fame: ‘Hitler Reacts’ Parodies

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 4.47.38 PM

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: Hitler’s Reacts (Bunker Scene Parodies from Downfall)


Here’s why:

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: “Did Hitler just make it in a Hall of Fame? Let alone the YouTube Hall of Fame? And before Grumpy Cat?” I know, it’s a controversial choice. But these parodies — and there are a lot of them — seem to be some sort of catharsis for YouTubers. Maybe they have the effect of turning him from a boogeyman into a clown? I don’t know, but people seem to like it and who are we to argue with the will of the people? The controversy surrounding this clip weren’t just limited to the subject matter either — the filmmakers objected to what they saw as the mockery of their serious film and tried to get all Hitler Bunker videos containing copyrighted scenes from Downfall, which is all of them, taken offline.  And yet, typing in “Hitler Hates…” or “Hitler Reacts…” shows just how well that worked out (to be fair a lot of videos initially were taken down and reposted resulting in drastically lower view counts):

Hitler Hates Hipsters

Hitler Hates the iPhone

Hitler Hates Facebook

Hitler Hates John Deere

According to Know Your Meme, the Hitler Reacts trend was made with a Spanish dub in 2009 by DReaper4 who used the clip to complain about the lack of new features in a Microsoft Flight Simulator demo. After complaints for an English language subtitle, he uploaded one. It was subjected to that copyright claim though and taken down.

Some notations:

—  A Hitler Rants channel was started on YouTube and there have been over 560 uploads to it with over 29 million views.

— There are well over a thousand derivative videos worldwide.

{photo credit: Know Your Meme)

{photo credit: Know Your Meme)

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:

If there is something you absolutely think deserves to be in the YOUTUBE HALL OF FAME, recommend it in the comments below. And do some article sharing, wouldja?