Ear Rape is a term used to define purposefully distorted, annoying or overly loud sound clips and songs meant to shock listeners and sound as unbearable as possible. The technique started on the website YTMND, and is often found in online videos on YouTube, including screamers, YouTube poops and montage parodies.
On July 31st, 2005, YTMND user FelixFX created a page titled "I think something just raped my ears," featuring an audio clip of the Canadian singer Avril Lavigne singing System of a Down's "Chop Suey" over a photoshopped image of someone holding a gun to her mouth (seen below). The page gained over 20,000 views in 16 years.
Throughout 2006, several other ear rape pages were created on YTMND. For example, on May 11th, 2006, YTMND user PsychoCola created a page titled "THIS SITE WILL RAPE YOUR EARS," consisting of a constant distorted tone. On July 30th, YTMND user NESer created a page titled "(NSFW) ear rape," consisting of a similar tone garnering over 11,500 views in 15 years. As of February 2021, typing "ear rape" into YTMND results in over 100 results.
Over the next few years, YouTubers began using ear rape in various YouTube Poops. For example, on December 21st, 2007, YouTuber NewtDestroyer uploaded a video titled "Youtube Poop: Ultra Mega Ear Rape," one of the earliest examples of ear rape in a YouTube Poop, garnering over 4,900 views in 14 years (shown below).
On November 30th, 2008, YouTuber Stefan Fransson uploaded a video titled "BEST EAR RAPE EVER," consisting of various distorted tones, garnering over 260,000 views in 13 years and representing one of the earliest known standalone ear rape videos (shown below).
Ear Rape Remixes
One of the most popular ear rape trends sees users distort the audio of popular songs and memes to make them as unpleasant to listen to as possible. On May 13th, 2015, YouTuber CornKing uploaded an ear rape version of the Friends theme song, garnering over 70,800 views in six years (shown below).
On June 24th, YouTuber ear rape uploaded an ear rape version of the Thomas: The Tank Engine theme song, garnering over 15 million views in six years (shown below, left). On June 2nd, 2016, YouTuber DJ Psychosis uploaded an ear rape version of the Monsters Inc. theme song, garnering over 30 million views in five years (shown below, right). As of February 24th, 2021, these are the two most popular ear rape videos on YouTube.