Video Essay meme example.

Video Essay

Part of a series on YouTube. [View Related Entries]
[View Related Sub-entries]

Updated May 18, 2023 at 12:06PM EDT by Zach.

Added May 16, 2023 at 05:11PM EDT by Philipp.

PROTIP: Press 'i' to view the image gallery, 'v' to view the video gallery, or 'r' to view a random entry.

This submission is currently being researched & evaluated!

You can help confirm this entry by contributing facts, media, and other evidence of notability and mutation.


A Video Essay is a genre of long-form video content that analyzes a specific topic, theme, person or thesis. The genre of a lengthy, in-depth video essay saw a rise in prevalence on YouTube in the early 2020s, leading to the format becoming a subject of memes and parodies in the following years.


A video essay is a long media format that provides an in-depth exploration of a specific topic, theme, person or thesis. The genre was born and has been influenced by essay firms, a genre of non-fiction cinema.[1]

On YouTube, the genre of video essays first started gaining popularity in the mid-2010s, which was prompted by YouTube beginning to prioritize watch time over views in 2012. Lindsay Ellis, Wisecrack, Every Frame a Painting, and Innuendo Studio, among other channels, are widely regarded as the pioneers of the video essay genre on YouTube (example videos shown below).[2][3][4]

In the early 2020s, the genre saw a massive rise in prominence on YouTube, reflected by multiple media reports and social media discussions about it.[1][5][6]

Use in Memes

Starting in the late 2010s, video essays and the rising popularity of the format have been the subject of jokes and memes on social media, primarily on Twitter. For example, on June 26th, 2019, Twitter[7] user posted a modified In This Essay I Will joke that received over 2,800 retweets and 12,700 likes in four years (shown below, left). On December 23rd, 2019, webcomic artist Shen Comix made a tweet[8] about watching a three-hour-long speedrunning video essay instead of a film that received over 2,300 retweets and 17,500 likes in a similar timeframe (shown below, right).

Saltydkdan @saltydkdan True bravery is not a measure of how scared you are, it's a measure of how much you are willing to do in the face of fear, of which Luigi does a LOT. In this video essay, I will prove without a doubt that Luigi is a better and more fleshed out character than Mario- GameSpot @GameSpot. Jun 26, 2019 Nintendo discusses whether Luigi will stop being a coward in Luigi's Mansion 3 2:25 PM Jun 26, 2019 Shen Comix @shenanigansen "i have no time for movies" i say, queuing up another 3 hour video essay about speedrunning the ice level in mario kart 5:54 PM Dec 23, 2019 ...

Video essays remained a prominent subject of jokes, memes and parodies through the early 2020s. For example, on November 4th, 2019, YouTube[9] user School Zone posted a parody video titled "Every Shitty Video Essay Ever," with the upload accruing over 1.9 million views in four years. On June 7th, 2020, YouTube[10] channel Ruppture posted a parody titled "Your Average Video Essay." The video earned over 129,000 views in three years (shown below, right).

On January 25th, 2020, Redditor Odaric posted a Yeah, I've Got Time meme about video essays that received over 44,700 upvotes in /r/dankmemes[11] in three years (shown below, left).

The format also gained an association with predominantly white content makers and audiences. For example, in April 2022, a White Man Has Been Here meme about the genre went viral on social media (shown below, right).[12]

Me clicking on a 40 minute video essay about a game l've never played the evening before a test that l'm supposed to be studying for: YEAH, IVE GOT TIME. u/Odaric White man has been here. DRAMA RABBIT HOLE DEFENSE WICOL 15 €2:00:15 49:35 In Defense of Nicolas Cage In Praise of Shadows How can you tell? VIDEO ESSAY Yo Mama: Drama Rabbit Hole ft. @Yo Mama DaftPina SHOCKING The Shockingly WEIRD Way Codename: Kids Next Door Ended Jordan Fringe

Various Examples

owen @gunbangs My New Video Essay +) MAKES YOU THINK Smiling Friends - The First REAL Adult Cartoon Wojak meme Productions 532K views 3 days ago 3:30 PM Mar 1, 2023 128.6K Views : YouTube loading a 2 1/2 hour video essay Reddit loading 40 second clip a ando @andobiki me watching a video essay sponsored by expressVPN vs me watching a video essay sponsored by CuriosityStream F r 2:35 PM Nov 21, 2021 πC √ = = (~₂ TC 1/ 000 : wym + s T

Search Interest

External References

Recent Videos 8 total

Recent Images 33 total

Top Comments


A good video essay can be long or short, "Line Goes Up" by Dan Olson is a good example of a long-form video essay. There is a virtue in conciseness and you gotta put in the extra mileage for the long-form ones, but they can give a solid outlook onto a subject and cover a fair number of details and nuances.

But a guy who cranks out a 2 hour long ramble about how they don't like the Sequel Star Wars movie or the supposed evils of the "SJW agenda" or whatever while he plays Gears of War every three days is pure pain.


+ Add a Comment

Comments (23)

Display Comments

Add a Comment

Hey! You must login or signup first!