Ranked: The top 20 most viewed YouTube videos of all time

Baby Shark is my sleep paralysis demon


When you think of YouTube content that gets lots of views, your mind wanders over to popular creators such as Pewdiepie, Logan Paul and the cohort of other high subscribed people on the platform. However, if you think about it, these people only really make occasional bangers, and even then they’re pretty much guaranteed never to reach the hundred millions. Well, we always knew YouTube was a place where lots of people watched music videos, but as it turns out, the most viewed YouTube videos of all time are almost entirely music videos.

Oh, and really REALLY bizarre children’s entertainment videos. So, we’ve ranked the top 20 most viewed YouTube videos of all time so you can see just what the hype is about. Warning – there’s some really weird stuff below:

20. Dark Horse

Katty Perry comes in 20th place with one of her biggest and best bangers Dark Horse, which has a massive 2.872bn views. Weird song, weird music video, didn’t expect anything less from Katy Perry.

19. Lean On

We all need somebody to lean on sometimes, don’t we? ANOTHER song on the list, Major Lazer’s collaboration with DJ Snake is the 19th most viewed video on YouTube with 2.89bn views.

That skort doesn’t really fit in there.

18. Bailando

Despacito’s weird mangled cousin is Bailando, Enrique Iglesias’ response to the popularity of the aforementioned. The whole thing pretty much seems to copy the exact same blueprint, but you know what? It certainly worked, because this tune has 2.9bn views. Enrique is a pop MACHINE.

17. Shake It Off

Of course Taylor Swift was going to be somewhere on this list, and it’s no surprise that she’s done it with her ultimate feel-good hit Shake It Off. 2.966bn views on YouTube alone guarantees that pretty much the majority of the world will have heard this song at some point in their lives.

16. Bath Song

Okay, so this is where the list takes a turn for the weirder. How do you get your misbehaving child to start doing usual adult stuff? Show them a video of animated children in the bath!

It’s like some crazy fever dream and the rest of the YouTube community seems to agree, for the video has been disliked nearly five million times. Oh well, they’ll still be raking it in from their 3.021bn views and 94 million subscribers. Oh, and their total channel views? Nearly 78 billion.

15. Phonics Song with Two Words

They’re practically insulting the intelligence of children by this point. If my mum sat this in front of me as a child I’d kick off, and nothing is more emblematic of that than the fact this channel has disabled both ratings and comments.

3.045bn views. You parents really are desperate to sit your kids in front of anything that occupies them for a couple of minutes.

14. Counting Stars

There was a point in time where you couldn’t do anything to escape this song. Radio, adverts, in the middle of a desert – there was nowhere you could possibly run. The sad part is that OneRepublic really made a few bangers and then disappeared, never to be heard of again.

If you’ve been looking at the comments of these videos, you’ll see that people will literally go from video to video commenting the same thing and banging likes. Just type “who’s listening in 2020?” – you’re welcome.

3.059bn views, 11 million likes.

13. Thinking Out Loud

Where Taylor is, Ed follows. Another huge tune that became tiresome QUICKLY is Thinking Out Loud. I often think out loud about how much Ed Sheeran hates this song. Shit, he probably hates it more than I do, and that’s saying something, but unfortunately the rest of the world doesn’t as it has 3.079bn views.

A particular comment with two thousand likes reads: “So cute. Seriously gonna sing this to a girl someday :)))”


12. Roar

Do you remember that time at the start of lockdown when Katy Perry got totally punked by that fake video of loads of Italians singing this song from the balconies that they were isolating in? That was top tier Twitter. Tbf you’d be forgiven for thinking that the video was real because this song is insanely huge with 3.178bn views.

11. Sugar

Your wedding day is the most important day of your life. A day when you and your partner celebrate each other and the loving union that you share. That is, unless Adam Levine and his band of merry men have anything to do with it. Imagine it, upstaged by Adam Levine on your own wedding day. 💀

Anyway, great song, cute video, 3.286bn views.

10. Sorry

Justin Bieber is next up with his biggest tune to date. Is it only me who attributes this song to a very specific period in their life? Maybe this was THE freshers song, or perhaps you were at your school prom at this point – does anyone get that bittersweet feeling of nostalgia? Just me?

This song is now at 3.341bn views, and signifies the first time that it was no longer embarrassing to enjoy Justin Bieber. Yay!

9. Learning Colours – Colourful Eggs on a Farm

Hrm. This could literally be classed as surrealist art, but if we’ve learnt anything today, it’s that kid’s YouTube videos literally don’t need to make any sense whatsoever. Really, what else is there to say other than it’s completely bizarre that this video is on 3.645bn views.

Now everybody sing along – Учим цвета-Разноцветные яйца на ферме !!!

8. Gangnam Style

Urghhhh. You still know the dance. Everybody does. 3.793bn views.

7. Johny Johny Yes Papa

This got seriously memed back in the day, and it’s pretty clear to see why. The whole thing is, quite frankly, a fucking nightmare. Are we supposed to accept that Johny’s papa is that old? Also, what kind of interaction is this?! Why is he eating sugar cubes?!

This very hateable, sugar cube eating animated child has gained 3.896bn views.

6. Uptown Funk

Another overplayed song that nobody ever wants to hear again. 3.953bn views.

5. Masha and the Bear

Masha! Look out! It’s a bear!!

Masha and this bear seem to be pretty cotch in the grand scheme of things. Especially considering he could and would tear her apart in real life. This video has amassed an impressive 4.466bn views and you know what? I can see why. This is some high-quality entertainment, especially when compared to Johny and his evil papa.

4. See You Again

This song was written in memory of Paul Walker, who tragically lost his life in 2013, and what a great song it is. This was Charlie Puth’s first big hit, and it’s become his biggest song to date – it has 4.734bn views.

3. Shape of You

Ed Sheeran’s second appearance on this list, and arguably his worst tune. The idea that anyone can get any pleasure from listening to this is beyond me – five billion views.

2. Despacito

The most pervasive song of the decade, it is none other than DES-PA-CITO at number two. And without Justin Bieber! Have you heard this song played since? Me neither, thank god.

1. Baby Shark Dance

This whole thing is so enraging. The increase in tempo, in key, the ever-changing stupid lyrics, the fact that it is the MOST VIEWED YOUTUBE VIDEO IN EXISTENCE. I personally can’t wait to interview these two in 10 years and see what this video has made of them – they’re certainly going to need thick skin during secondary school! Seven billion views.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• Ranked: These are the 17 most liked TikTok videos of all time

• QUIZ: Plan your YouTube career and we’ll tell you which uni you should’ve gone to

• All the completely ridiculous YouTube anthems you used to rinse after school