Top 10 Harlem Shakes

Posted by - September 19, 2013 - Features

In case you’ve been living under a rock, “The Harlem Shake” swept the interwebs, becoming the latest and greatest meme since the days of Carly Rae tribute videos.  The Harlem Shake phenomenon all started with one video and imitations have since sprung up across the nation, making Baauer a new national icon in his own right.

In the past several days, I have spent the majority of my time watching hundreds of these videos. So I think it’s time to share our own Top 10 Harlem Shakes.The rules are simple (from r/harlemshake):

Rules of Harlem Shake 

NOBODY can be laughing or smiling when only one person is dancing.

When everyone starts dancing, there must be someone convulsing or having a seizure.

Go batshit crazy.

Don’t make lousy transtitions that don’t match the music.

Be at least a little unique.

The original dancer must be wearing a mask of some sorts.


10. T-Pain Edition 


Ah yes, this one follows Rule #6 perfectly. Nothing is more unique than a world famous musician inviting you into his own home. Stripper poles, hula hoops, marching band conductors,  self-portraits, mannequins – this shake has it all. What a life a rapper must have.

9. University of Guelph


In the world of memes, versatility is the name of the game. These Guelph students show just that as they shake in both the classroom and out in the frozen Canadian outdoors. Throw in some crazy costumes and a signature horse mark and we’ve got ourselves a classic.

 8. Peanuts Edition


Now, this one is different because it’s more of a mashup than anything. But it works so well, t’s ridiculous. It’s always fun to see the Peanuts gang get a little hoodrat. And thanks to advancements in modern technology, they bring the Harlem Shake back a few generations.

 7. Portland Edition


Oh Portland, you crazy crazy town. As a former Portlander myself, I can assure you that this truly exemplifies the nature of PDX. Outrageous costumes and masks only found in the Northwest are the backbone of this video, and the size is an added bonus.

 6. Matt & Kim Version


This one dropped just a few hours ago, but it’s quickly becoming one of my favorites. Lovable indie duo Matt & Kim take a unique spin on the Harlem Shake, going from nothing to absolute insanity in less than a second. Always good to see artists from other walks of life join in on the fun.

 5. Firefighter Version


I don’t care who you are or where you’re from. You have to respect firemen and all they do. It’s an added bonus when these guys can have the sense of humor to bring a couple crazy costumes into work with them. God Bless America!

4. Norwegian Army 


Along the same lines as firefighter version, the military is one of the last places you’d expect a Shake. However, after a disappointing initial effort, the Norwegians are back with another go at it, featuring their rockstar army. Just like our friends up in Guelph, these guys can endure the cold for the sake of a joke and we appreciate it.

 3. “Black Edition”


This is what the whole phenomenon is about: people going insane. Believe me, you won’t find anything crazier than these guys. In the “Black Edition”, we find ourselves immersed in the looney bin, as a fella in a Zoot Suit covers himself in milk while Captain America and Captain Kangaroo look on. Welcome to the Internet, folks!

 2: Cal Poly SLO


Mad props to these guys for organizing such an effort and executing it so well. I know a few guys involved with this one and it was no easy feat, let me tell you. 30-foot Nesquick towers, hundreds of dancers, and one Gumby Gone Wild gives us our #2 best Harlem Shake.

1. UGA Swim & Dive


The definition of college is waking up on a Monday morning and asking your friend, “Hey bro, wanna jump in a sleeping bag and hang out in the pool for a couple minutes?” And without hesitation, that member of the UGA swim team delivered. In what is probably the hardest to execute Shake on the list.

We begin with  several swimmers seated around an underwater table and a lone Stormtrooper to initiate the hoodrat insanity. What happens next is a symphony of costumes, effort, and humor as the pool is filled with about 20 Bulldog swimmers, breaking several pool violations as well as social media. Go Dawgs!


  1. […] the Harlem Shake phenomenon,  Baauer was already on his way to startdom. His early productions, such as “Winter is All […]