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The Squidward Fad

This is one of my favorite fads of 2000s YouTube. It was started by a fellow named ChristopherCooler, who uploaded the original video (which was simply entitled Squidward) to the site sometime in mid-2008, or, at the very latest, in September 2008. Sadly, today both that original upload as well as the ChristopherCooler account no longer exist on YouTube, and not even a search through the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine yields any useful captures of either, though fortunately a copy of the original video has been re-uploaded by somebody else to YouTube. I probably discovered the fad around October 2008, which was relatively early during its lifetime, but late enough that a good number of derivative videos based on the original—the making of which is the entire point of YouTube fads—could be easily found on the site.

Compared to some other fads of the time, the Squidward fad was simple enough that even I—someone with very limited video and audio editing skills—was able to participate: I contributed two videos myself, the first being squadweed (originally uploaded to YouTube on or very soon after 2 November 2008), and the second being Billyward (originally uploaded to YouTube on or very soon after 9 November 2008; the image used is a screenshot from the season 3 opening of Hannah Montana); both now reside on my VidLii account. The squadweed video was even included in a compilation (at the 0:46 mark) of Squidward fad videos (which I very clearly recall watching soon after it was uploaded back in July 2009), where it has the incredible honor of being placed alongside two other contributions to the fad that were produced by the great Kortez3000 himself: the legendary Moar Krabs/Morbid Krabs video (at the 4:22 mark), as well as another masterful edit of his that is located at the 2:29 mark. I also recall with some haziness that, by the time I closed my YouTube account in the summer of 2010, squadweed had accumulated at least 20,000 to 25,000 views.

Although the fad enjoyed a good deal of popularity on YouTube during 2008 and 2009, during the 2010s it was largely forgotten, and today I would venture to guess that, for those who either have never before heard of it or only learned of it many years after its initial appearance, it probably seems like an obscure and very minor piece of late 2000s YouTube meme culture. For me, however, the Squidward fad was not insignificant, and out of all the fads and memes of late 2000s YouTube, it was the one with which I was most personally involved—partly because of this, I never forgot about it, and even today, whenever I hear the song Gentle Breeze, I am inevitably reminded of it. After all these years, it still feels like it was very recently that I first stumbled upon this pleasant little fad one day on YouTube, quickly took a liking to it, participated twice in it, and then had my participation acknowledged by its inclusion in the aforementioned compilation video, thereby making my mark, however small and limited, on the meme scene of old YouTube.

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This page last modified on 16 September 2022.