Editor’s Note: This article is part of Know Your Meme’s annual Top Ten Review series looking back at some of the most memorable and popular memes, events and people that defined the Internet culture in 2013 as we know it. And brace yourselves, the grand finale list Best Memes of 2013 is coming soon. In the meantime, check out Cheezburger’s year-in-review of internet memes over at Memebase!
ore than ever before, 2013 brought the Internet a slew of epic practical jokes performed on unwitting participants. YouTube saw a surge of hilarious hidden camera pranks, with the rise of channels like VitalyzdTv, LAHWF, SimplePickup, Roman Atwood, Stuart Edge and Magic of Rahat. On Twitter, comedians like Patton Oswalt and Nathan Fielder used the microblogging service to pull off some impressively clever jokes, tricking followers with intentionally ambiguous broken messages or using them to send disturbing texts to their parents. Here’s our round-up of the top 10 best pranks to hit the web in 2013.
#10: Ranting in Two-Part Tweets
In August, comedian Patton Oswalt posted a series of tweets ranting out against anti-conservative agendas but cut off each message mid-sentence giving it a conflicting slant, depending on which was read first. The prank was well received by his fans, with each tweet gaining anywhere from 100 to 800 retweets.
#9: Asking People “Do You Even Lift?” at a Gym
In 2012, Russian American YouTuber Vitaly Zdorovetskiy released a breakthrough video inspired by the disturbing Miami zombie incident, showing the prankster running through neighborhoods pretending to be a ravenous undead cannibal. Vitaly continued releasing additional public harassment pranks, in which he accused random men of staring at his girlfriend, tricked people into thinking it is the end of the world and was even arrested during the filming of his Russian hitman video on charges of threatening to detonate a bomb. In January, he released his first “do you even lift?” prank video, in which he walks up to random men and insults the size of their muscles. A “Gym Edition” sequel (shown below) was released in April, in which he hounds gym goers trying to work out in peace.
Pranksters: VitalyzdTv | Via: YouTube | Date: April 16th, 2013 | Views: 7.4 million
#8: Tipping Servers $200
Andrew Hales of LAHWF burst onto the YouTube prankster scene with his “Holding Hands with Strangers” video back in 2012 and has continued to make public prank videos ever since. In May, Hales teamed up with the pickup artists from Simple Pickup to film each other attempting to kiss strangers on a college campus. In September, he joined fellow YouTube prankster Stuart Edge in a practical joke, which involved giving wait staff $200 tips (shown below).
Pranksters: Andrew Hales & Stuart Edge | Via: YouTube | Date: September 16th, 2013 | Views: 7.5 million
#7: Impersonating a Professor on the First Day
The University of Rochester radio program The Chamber Boys uploaded several campus prank videos to YouTube this year, most of which failed to receive any wide spread attention. That is until September, when the program’s own Patrick Adelman tricked an entire freshman chemistry class into thinking he was their professor (shown below). The video remains their most popular to date, making up the vast majority of the channel’s cumulative video views.
Pranksters: Patrick Adelman | Via: YouTube | Date: April 5th, 2013 | Views: 8.9 million
#6: Fake-Peeing on a Ferrari Parked in Handicapped Zone
YouTuber Roman Atwood made a name for himself back in 2012 with several embarrassing public pranks, which included fake urination with a water bottle, simulated masturbation with a Shake Weight and fake graffiti with a can of air duster. In April, he released another pee prank in which he tricks a rather aggressive Ferrari owner into thinking his expensive sports car was being urinated on (shown below).
Pranksters: Roman Atwood | Via: YouTube | Date: April 14th, 2013 | Views: 14.7 million
#5: Mistletoe Kissing with Strangers
YouTuber Stuart Edge burst on to YouTube with his “Mistletoe Kissing Prank” video in December of 2012, in which various people are challenged to be kissed while standing under a piece of mistletoe (shown below). The prankster has since released a slew of other kissing prank reaction videos, as well as a notable parody of the massively viral Brazilian ghost elevator prank.
Pranksters: Stuart Edge | Via: YouTube | Date: December 12th, 2012 | Views: 24.1 million
#4: Drive-Thru Invisible Driver
The prankster magician Rahat is known for his absurd drive thru restaurant pranks, which he began posting to YouTube in April of 2011. So far, he has fooled fast food employees into thinking his wallet was on fire, his head was missing and that he was knocked unconscious by static electricity. In January, he released his most popular video to date, in which he used a car seat costume to trick drive thru servers into thinking his car was being driven by a ghost (shown below).
Pranksters: Rahat | Via: YouTube | Date: January 8th, 2013 | Views: 37.7 million
#3: Are You Taylor Swift’s Biggest Fan?
In July, 4chan users raided an online voting contest by the Boston radio station Kiss 108 FM, which was giving away a chance to meet American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. Trolls quickly managed to vote a 39-year-old man named Charles Z to the #1 spot, leading the station to announce that the contest had been cancelled. Charlez Z subsequently became a mascot of sorts for online contest raids, where he was voted to the top of contests to meet other pop stars including Selena Gomez and the Jonas Brothers.
#2: Texting Parents “Got 2 Grams for $40”?
Back in April, Canadian comedian Nathan Fielder, known for hosting the reality comedy show Nathan For You, pulled off one of the most epic Twitter experiments of all time when he asked over 30,000 followers to send text messages to their parents announcing that they had “2 grams for $40” before following up that the text had been sent by mistake. His fans immediately began to tweet screenshots of their parent’s disturbed reactions (shown below). In June, Fielder followed up with yet another text message prank, asking his followers to sent a text to their parents asking if it was illegal for their friend to give someone an STD and not tell them.
#1. Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise
In October, the viral video marketing agency Thinkmodo orchestrated one of the most epic public scare pranks of all time in a promotion for an adaptation of the 1974 horror novel Carrie by Stephen King (shown below). An entire coffee shop in Manhattan’s West Village was outfitted with spring-loaded bookshelves and tables moved by remote-control, as well as a pulley system used to send a stuntman flying against the wall. An actress pretended to be enraged by having a coffee spilled on her computer, resulting in her using faked telekinetic powers to wreck the place.
Pranksters: Thinkmodo | Via: YouTube | Date: October 7th, 2013 | Views: 50.4 million