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You’ve probably already seen almost every one of YouTube’s 10 most popular videos of 2012 — but plenty of gems are out there that didn’t quite hit critical mass.
So we’ve compiled a list of staff favorites and popular videos that made us laugh, cry, or ponder the universe. We’re not including anything from the top 10 list, because, let’s face it, you don’t need to watch Gangnam Style again.
Instead, check out the clips below for some entertainment and insight you might have not seen. And do let us know in the comments what other great viral videos people missed this year.
1. A conversation with my 12-year-old self
What happens when a budding filmmaker talks to himself from 20 years ago? Jeremiah McDonald cut clips of himself from past and present to make a surprising hit that collected more than nine million views.
2. Dollar Shave Club: Our blades are f***ing great
The startup Dollar Shave Club decided the best way to sell its straightforward service was through a hilarious off-the-cuff ad. This ad helped give the young company buzz, and it was more funny than most professionally made ads. Recently, the company raised $9.8 million in new funding.
3. Mister Rogers Remixed: Garden of your mind
Many folks remember Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood from their childhoods, as the show aired 1968 to 2001. So when this autotuned remix of Mister Rogers clips from PBS and popular YouTube user melodysheep hit the web, it transported us back in time. The song’s quite catchy, too.
4. Never, ever give up: Arthur’s inspirational transformation
This video tells the tale of Arthur Boorman, a disabled veteran of the Gulf War. Doctors told him he would never been able to walk unassisted again. Through yoga, training, and instruction from former professional wrestler Diamond Dallas Page, he was able to lose a lot of weight and regain the ability to walk on his own. While the video is cheesy to the max, its inspirational message and positive tone have attracted 7.1 million views.
5. Catch the Ice Dude
A word of caution that we shouldn’t have to tell you — don’t jump into a swimming pool that has iced over. You’ll probably hurt yourself and look dumb doing it. Just like this guy.
Check out videos 6-10 on the next page!
6. Hot weather in Richmond this weekend
This weather report starts off looking like any other, but it quickly turns into a report from another dimension, with volcanic eruptions in Virginia, a global superstorm over the Atlantic Ocean, and Godzilla.
7. Preacher Phil Snider gives interesting gay-rights speech
A fairly typical-sounding speech that advocates against gay rights takes a highly surprising turn in this video. So surprising that it has attracted 3.3 million views.
8. ‘Edward and Bella': A bad lip reading of Twilight
The popular Twilight franchise released two movies in 2012, both of which made boat loads of cash. Like any blockbuster series, it’s worth poking some fun at. This “bad lip reading” of scenes from the Twilight saga is so ridiculous that it’s hard not to laugh out loud. It has collected more than 16 million views to date.
9. 3D-printed ‘Magic Arms’
One of the most inspirational tech stories we saw this year, this video tells the tale of a 2-year-old girl who regains the use of her arms through a 3D-printed exoskeleton. The girl was born with a rare disease called arthrogryposis that makes it so she can’t raise her arms without assistance. Through the use of 3D printing, a Delaware hospital created a mobile plastic exoskeleton that lets her to use her arms for everyday activities. While the clip has nearly 700,000 views, it deserves many more.
10. Tired of Bronco Bamma and Mitt Romney
Finally, one girl had a fit and tapped into our collective exhaustion with the presidential election. While Mitt Romney’s secretly taped “47 percent” video may have had the biggest impact on the election in terms of videos, this clip showed what voters were really feeling as the election came to a close. The video has collected more than 16 million views.