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“What is Love” is a 1993 dance pop song by the Trinidanian eurodance artist Haddaway, which saw a resurgence in popularity when it was featured in the “Roxbury Guys” sketches on TV show Saturday Night Live in 1996. In 2005, a scene from the show in which several characters are shown bobbing their heads in unison to “What is Love” was uploaded as a GIF to YTMND, which inspired a fad on the community website.
On March 23rd, 1996, the comedy television show Saturday Night Live debuted the first “Roxbury Guys” sketch, in which comedians Chris Kattan, Will Ferrell and Jim Carrey bob their heads in unison to the song “What is Love” while driving in a car (shown below).
On June 2nd, 2005, YTMND user ligamentx submitted a page titled What is love, featuring a GIF of the car scene (shown below) accompanied by a looped audio clip of “What is Love.” Within the next seven years, the page accumulated over 1.7 million views, 900 favorites and 800 comments.
On June 23rd, 2005, YTMND user leileilol submitted a pixel art version of the GIF accompanied by a chuptune version of the song titled What is NES?. Several other users followed suit, resulting in the creation of over 125 “What is Love?” YTMNDs. According to the YTMND Wiki, “What is Love” was included in Volume 5 of the YTMND Soundtrack on October 29th, 2005.
On December 30th, 2007, YouTuber YTMNDsGifCollections uploaded a montage of notable “What is Love?” YTMNDs, receiving over 1 million views and 7,000 comments within the next five years (shown below, left). On April 2nd, 2009, a second montage was submitted on the same channel (shown below, right), which received over 450,000 views and 2,000 comments within the next three years. On May 18th, 2012, the entertainment site Crave Online published a compilation of notable YTMNDs that had been uploaded to YouTube.