YouTube Poop: Meme as Art, Community

On November 3, 2012, in Fair Use & Remix Culture, by William A - YLT2012

(Disclaimer 1: The linked videos and those related to it may contain offensive content, sudden loud noises, flashing effects, and really offensive content)

(Disclaimer 2: Based on comments received from much more knowledgeable people, this article may not fully represent the current state of YouTube Poop. I have therefore made some edits. Please refer to the comments for more info.)

Imagine how Dorothy must have felt when she was swept up by that cyclone and plopped into the bright land of Oz. Now imagine if, two minutes before the storm, she had drunk three Four Lokos, eaten a large pizza topped with shrooms, and done a thousand jumping jacks. The result is probably something resembling YouTube Poop, a thriving art form that lurks in the underbelly of YouTube. As its name implies, YouTube Poop involves video remixes that reduce their source material into nonsense. The resulting video (called a “poop”) subverts its original content by slicing and dicing the video and audio, adding visual effects, and mashing several videos into one. Far from an incidental outgrowth of the YouTube culture, YouTube Poop draws from a heritage of the vidding community (not to mention being a sterling example of the fair use doctrine). And it’s a large community; there are craploads of poops on YouTube for our viewing (dis)pleasure. A good place to start may be “The Valley Place What Contains Some Dinosaurs” by the venerated (and retired) pooper WalrusGuy.

It's like a cross between a pineapple!

Poops are usually humorous, whether intentionally or not. Most of the humor draws from the pooper’s reinterpretation of memes. In WalrusGuy’s poop, an episode of “Valley of the Dinosaurs” gets outfitted with sex jokes, dark humor, and general absurdity. Another example of YouTube Poop’s memetic flywheel is found in one of the most common sources used for poop: the cutscenes of the CD-I computer game “Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon” and “Zelda: The Faces of Evil.” For whatever reason – the terrible animation or the absurd dialogue, most likely – these cutscenes are popular among poopers. Take a look at the opening scene from “The Wand of Gamelon.”

I wonder what's for dinner?

Now compare it to “jonathan swift returns from the dead to eat a cheese sandwich” by madanonymous.

Don't worry, Zelda.

The visuals have been twisted beyond belief, disorienting the viewer. Madanonymous’ other works draw on this same technique, heavily manipulating familiar sources into oblivion. Other poops may take a more story-oriented approach, such as CaptainOhYeah’s “Bubble Buddy slaughters his victims without pity or remorse,” which uses another popular source: Spongebob.

Bubble Buddy is evil.

Given YouTube Poops’ close relationship with memes, it’s not surprising that they generate their own memes. These memes, or “fads,” involve a short source video that spawns hundreds of remixed responses. One fad, from 2010, used a short clip from a “Rugrats” episode, in which Stu Pickles has an existential crisis about chocolate pudding.

Because I've lost control of my life.

Fads answer the question “What else can you do to this 21-second clip?” by providing response after response after response. It’s here where the community behind YouTube Poop is in full force. It’s best to consider YouTube Poop as an art, a collaborative medium in which video culture is the hero, reinterpreting a source to often hilarious effect. Yes, it’s bizarre, but it’s a wonderful example of the sharing culture that YouTube has created, the cross relation of obscurities and tropes.

For the history and general theory of poops, read here. For more poops, type “youtube poop” into the site’s search bar and enjoy your trip to Oz. refer to the suggestions given by commenters below.

38 Responses to “YouTube Poop: Meme as Art, Community”

  1. chemistryguy says:

    Two things:

    First, cdi cut scenes are not, repeat NOT, a favorite among youtube poopers. They will always be associated with the beginnings of ytp and will continue to be used as long as someone can squeeze one more drop of humor out of them, but they are mainly a dead source.

    Second, do not, repeat do NOT search for ytp by typing youtube poop into the search bar on YouTube. You will be inundated with horrible videos. Not all poop is equal. To find the good stuff you will either have to know where to start or wade through a veritable flood of videos that will turn you off forever.

  2. Good sir, I am a major figurehead in the community and I thank for for posting this article

    The only thing I wish for you to change is the KnowYourMeme link. We actually hate that website and its information about us very much.

    For more informative information about the community actually WRITTEN BY US, you should look here http://youchew.net/wiki/index.php?title=Chewiki

  3. and PLEASE dear God dont search Youtube Poop on the search bar. The only reason those poops are even popular is because of the memes.

    We actually don’t care for memes at all

  4. This is only the tip of the iceberg, and largely not even the good stuff, I’m afraid. Try Chemistryguy or Avojaifnot as comparison.

  5. Colin Kochevar says:

    Wow. Yeah this is only the tip of the iceberg :D Check out 1superchops, chemistryguy, Jallerbo, Tofucakecan, and combuskinisawesome, for some really good stuff! Thanks for writing about our community! There is so much more you didn’t talk about, but it’s cool that you did at all!

  6. Jerry Barbrough says:

    I don’t know, this whole Poop thing looks really odd to me.

  7. Caleb Lee says:

    Youtube Poop. An acid trip for your eyes and ears, a way of life for hundreds of brilliant artists.

  8. dumb says:

    this article is autistic as fuck. youtube poop is not art, and it’s going to die out within 5 years. all it is is some sub-genre of youtube remixs, and it is dying as we speak. youtube poop reached it’s peak in 2010, and now it’s popularity is declining exponentially. the majority of people would rather watch yet another annoying orange gangnam style 8-bit parody or something of that caliber.

    this article makes me depressed. why would you bother wasting your time writing this bullshit.

  9. Belmont says:

    Mmmm, you could’ve picked much better examples to use. Walrusguy is pretty outdated, and his still is almost universally reviled by most poopers today. You had good intentions, but memes and Youtube Poop don’t generally mix anymore. We do our own stuff, and we’d like to keep it that way. Whenever we’re mentioned, it’s always in relation to stuff like this, and it’s kinda embarrassing. We don’t like it, and we really don’t like it when our stuff is called “modern art” or whatever. For a Yale writer, you are horribly misinformed. You obviously know your stuff, but you failed to research enough into this.

    Better examples would’ve been pilli10, MrJLBrown, Geibuchan, Stuart K Reilly, Likety, superchops, SashicX, MountainDewManN, DinnerWarrior, mowub, ilovemadnesscombat, or heck, even myself (MRLOL785). All of these people are more indicative of the modern styles of Youtube Poop than WalrusGuy or Waxonator.

  10. Radock says:

    you should’ve mentioned me i changed the world i am the remix funny art meme master : )

  11. Stuart K Reilly says:

    how come my comments aren’t showing?

  12. Thank You. Please look at our YouTube Poops featuring Carl.

  13. William A - YLT2012 says:

    Hi, everyone. Thanks for reading. For some reason WordPress is filtering some of the comments as spam (it’s not me, I promise). I will go through the comments and unmark as I see fit, though if there is a large influx of comments as there has been in the past few hours, I may be unable to get all of them.

    Stuart, I’m sorry your original comment was filed as spam. I also apologize for potentially misrepresenting the current state of YTP. You and other qualified commenters raised some valid criticisms. The point of the post was to provide an introduction to those who had never heard of YTP. I believe I have a moderate knowledge of the art, but, as you may understand, compressing all of that information into a single post would be difficult. Sorry if some important aspects were lost.

    Thanks for the feedback. On Stuart’s recommendation, I will change the KnowYourMeme link to the YouChew link.

  14. Dale says:

    Any reason why my initial comment was withheld? Is it because I used the name I go by in the YTP community?

  15. William A - YLT2012 says:

    I really don’t know. I posted a comment here when I wasn’t logged in and I was filtered as spam. Again, apologies. I’m also realizing that the reason this is getting attention is because of David Bailey: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppOxFOa0GGk

  16. AwfulFawfultheFalafe says:

    Welp, this’ll look good on my applications.

  17. Nashmetal100 says:

    Well this is kind of cool of youtube poop to get exposed but this isn’t the full story of Youtube poop this is like the beginning chapter of it. And don’t even think of even looking for youtube poops in search bar cause most of them really kind of sucks and but there are some good poopers out there if you are lucky enough to find them. You should check out some of the modern Youtube poopers also.

  18. chemistryguy says:

    David Bailey is actually one of the best sources ever.

  19. JoeTheBlueDragon says:

    I guess I’ll just echo what everyone else said, but with a little more sympathy. YTP is something that cannot be grasped fully in one article, any attempt to do something like that is bound to fail, but we, the community ,greatly appreciate your effort to bring light to our hobby.

    That said, there’s a lot I really do feel like adding, but I don’t know if time would permit me. You’ve hardly scratched the surface in styles and popular videos of the genre, and you don’t really have to listen to the majority of these comments. Searching for poops with the search bar can be fine depending on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for something stupid and immature, but hilarious, then use the search bar. If you’re looking for the self-proclaimed artistic colorful style that I’ve grown very bored with, then you’d probably want to go to youchew.net and look at the recent videos, those ones are generally hard to come by, but it’s getting easier and easier with every day.

    My point is: Keep searching if you really are interested in this strange thing called Poop, there’s no one person who can tell you what videos are good and what videos are bad. It’s a crazy thing, Youtube Poop, and there’s an even crazier community surrounding it, but that’s a story for another time.

  20. hahahound says:

    Boy, Im so behind I can’t even recollect who the modern day poopers are. Most of my favorite poopers are either retired, or on hiatus now. I guess likety, chemistryguy, and jabbercash are all I can think of. Geibuchan is definitely a pooper ALL should check out at.

  21. Hoipendaddy says:

    When I first saw the article, I was not surprised that you referred to WalrusGuy in the first section. As some here have said, he does not codify the contemporary style of YouTube Poop. A good codifier for the contemporary style would be Stuart K. Reilly, CommanderGwonam (his account fell victim to copyright claims, so he now goes by CommonGwonam, with some of his old poops mirrored on SaltySpaghettiStudios), and, possibly most recognizably, Imaperson. While not active anymore (he has not released a poop in about half a year), Imaperson’s name has become synonymous with current pooping trends, so much so that many contemporary poops have been labeled “Imaperson poops” by the YouTube Poop community. Further developers of the Imaperson poop would be poopers such as avojaifnot, sporedotcam, and JabberCash. A more advanced form of pooping is present in the works of Likety, who takes a different approach to pooping than the standard Imaperson poop.

  22. SandovArt says:

    Hola

  23. stu says:

    they are still not showing up on my end but that’s fine I don’t care at essence I know you’re reading them thank you much for changing the link and please take some time to read the wiki if u find the time

  24. stu says:

    please eccuse my spelling im on my phone.yet another piece of technical garbage that gives me headaches

  25. thapoint09 says:

    Not the best article (kinda misguiding), but eh.

  26. Trip Skylark says:

    these aren’t an artform, I am sorry

  27. ricesnot says:

    I am disappointed by the total lack of bones in this article!! Bones are shifting the face of video editing into startling new territory (good territory)

  28. PikalaxALT says:

    Saying YTP isn’t art is like saying an elephant splattering paint on a canvas isn’t art. It’s all a matter of perspective. I happen to view YTP as a form of creative expression in some cases. Of course, it’s mostly just teens and young adults mucking around with an audio/video editor.

  29. Acid says:

    Hey, thanks for the article! I understand there’s better things to be writing about so thanks. I understand why people are complaining though, it’s like saying “search music in the YouTube bar to hear the best examples of music” and I doubt Mozart will come up (and as a composer it’s especially relevant).
    You can’t really do anything about the complaints though, an interest in the “wrong type” of Poop is better, by far, than no internet at all.
    We’re grateful.

  30. Acid says:

    *no INTEREST at all. My phone sucks.

  31. Vorecannibal says:

    hahaha. ive always considered ytp “art” because it has so many different styles and genres. like, comparing walrusguy to madanonymous was a good example. there are alot of people that go with a “realistic” funny approach like walrusguy like orpheusftw, dikekike, and durhamrockerz. and on the other end of the spectrum you have more “abstract” styles like danfango, linkondrugs, kevmcallister, and likety.

  32. JabberCash says:

    Okay well let me say a little something. If I were you I wouldn’t listen to most of these comments. I don’t think it was bad at all that you featured WalrusGuy on this article. For people new to “YouTube Poop”, I would recommend softer poopers such as WalrusGuy. Honestly, if you were to show them a more hardcore or modern YTP, they would probably think you’re crazy for liking it. For people new to poop, I’d recommend TheElectricCheese, WalrusGuy, Deepercutt, and CaptainOhYeah. Though, all of the YTPers mentioned above are great. I’d also like to say that there are no good or bad YTP’s. Honestly, its all in your opinion. If you’re new to YTP, checking in the search bar is no problem. Though if you want to see crazier more advanced YTP’s, check out the YTP’ers mentioned in the other comments. Also @Hoipendaddy, Imaperson has made a video recently. Check out “The Style Collage 2″, he made an entry for the collab.

  33. JabberCash says:

    Oh man my stuff isnt showing up

  34. Colin Kochevar says:

    It is an artform. Watch 1superchops or chemistryguy for 20 minutes and think about all the stuff there that is and isn’t funny. Then think of the content that isn’t funny, but is still entertaining. That’s art.

  35. Therazoredge says:

    Youtube poop is the type of thing that can stem out to any sort of style, whether it be really creative and entertaining, or just bland offensive cd-i and spongebob remixes that uses all the popular memes in the book. (most of what you posted in your article) I will give you credit for mentioning madanonymous, who does a fantastic job with cd-i, but it seems like you’re just saying “here’s what came up when we searched youtube poop, here’s what we think it only has to offer”. I can think up of many ytpers/remixers who do/are influenced by ytp and take a completely different approach on it. Like myself, i don’t like to consider my stuff ytp, and it’s mostly “OMG RIP HEADPHONE USERS LOOK AT THE COLORS” stuff, but i can say ytp had a big influence on me, as well as other media outside from it.
    There are people who adore the type of videos you posted, but probably the people who love them so much don’t know there’s a whole lot in store. I do understand you assuming it’s what it is from searching it, but ytp is one of those things where it’s not.
    Seeing as how you changed the article up a bit makes this comment pointless, sooooo lol

  36. Hey there.
    As an active poop watcher, commenter and occasional pooper, I am pleased to see public awareness like this. This nonsense has been part of my life for a little over 5 years now (less than 4 with this account) and I have to say, I think that it has outgrown analysis from people like Stuart, “figurehead” he may be. Art, if poop is art, is in the eye of the beholder. To limit one as a viewer and criticize his appreciation is shallow. I still like walrusguy, and I like his later work too, post-poop. The moment people became snobs who reject CD-i and the hidden narrative of evolution that runs through poop was the moment they missed the point.
    I think it is fair to say there are many schools of poop and yes, many participants therein are not good at it, but that does not invalidate their prevalence. You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of poop.

  37. William A - YLT2012 says:

    Hello, everyone. Thanks so much for the comments. Unfortunately, since most of everything is being filtered as spam, and it requires that I go in and approve each one, I’ve decided I won’t approve any more comments. Sorry if your comment was delayed in showing up. As you may understand, I’m pretty busy, so it doesn’t make much sense to keep checking the inbox every few hours. I’ve been really pleased with the discussion here. Hopefully it can continue elsewhere. Thanks for reading.

  38. Peachtotheinfinity says:

    This article could be better, but it’s nice to know YTPers like me are getting some credit