Entertainment

02.20.13

Harlem Shake: The Best and Worst of the Viral Dance Routine

From ‘Office Edition’ to a dancing washing machine, Anna Klassen rounds up the best and worst versions of the viral hit known as the Harlem Shake.

Gangnam Style Who? Just when we thought the viral world had ceased its infatuation with horse-gallop dance moves and ridiculously choreographed group numbers, another equally as silly sensation has stepped in to take its place. It’s called the Harlem Shake, and, in case you’ve been living in a cave over the past week, here’s a bit of background: Fans of Baauer’s electric jam “Harlem Shake” upload 30-second clips of a seemingly mundane scene (usually with one person dancing to the beat), that quickly changes to a room full of raging dancers, often wearing masks or holding bizarre props.

Below are nine of the best and three of the worst renditions of Harlem Shake to hit the internet.

WIN: Army Edition

Clearly, the Norwegian army knows how to have a good time. The squad starts out in typical role-call fashion, with one man dancing alone to the catchy beat. But when the chorus breaks, squad members can be seen with neon body suits, skis, buckets over their heads, and even rolling in sleeping bags in the snow. Bravo!

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WIN: Happy Endings Edition

Even the cast of ABC's Happy Endings couldn't help themselves from joining in on the viral sensation, offering up this execution which showcases the cast regulars, as well as some willing extras, getting their groove on in a bar.

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WIN: Washing Machine 

Everyone can do a Harlem Style jig, even the non-humans. Just take it from this household appliance that goes completely berserk when the music starts.

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WIN: Office Edition

Unless you’re a member of The Office and have a gullible co-worker to prank or a pretty receptionist to hit on, your 9-to-5 might be somewhat dull. But these workers took advantage of their day jobs, proving just how much fun office work can be.

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WIN: UGA Men’s Swim & Dive Harlem Shake

In this innovative rendition, UGA Men’s swimmers lend their speedo-clad bodies (and impressive lung capacity) to an underwater dance routine. They even have chairs waiting at the bottom of the pool as props!

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WIN: KSLA News

The KSLA News team put aside the teleprompter for this unexpected tribute to the Harlem Shake where they donned party masks and killer dance moves as an additional element to their usual nightly news.  

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WIN: Matt & Kim 

And the crowd goes wild! Indie Pop sensation Matt & Kim wanted to join in on the viral fun, using their fans as the backdrop for the second half of their Harlem Shake rendition.

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WIN: Oregon Duck Mascot 

One of the first to jump on the Gangnam Style bandwagon by uploading their own delivery, its no surprise that the man (or woman) behind the Duck mascot wanted to be included in the next big thing. Making use of the university’s quad and a bevy of dancing students, Puddles dances his beak off. 

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WIN: NODE Edition 

Friends don’t let friends do the Harlem Shake—no explanation needed.

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FAIL: Cross-dressing

If we wanted to see a man wearing a bra and underwear with a black rectangle covering his junk, we’d have Google’d it. To make things worse, the male offender in question is donning pigtails and a non-blinking expression right out of The Shining

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FAIL: Black Edition 

Perhaps it’s just me, but I’ve been around long enough to know that sticking your hands down your pants in public (like the high school cafeteria, or in history class just for the hell of it) is not a novelty. Also, milk is for drinking.  

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FAIL: Today Show Edition

With a handful of other "viral" renditions to boot, the Today Show should learn to quit while they're ahead (which was never). The morning regulars bop along to a special Valentine’s themed “Shake,” complete with Cupid's bow and arrow, wings, and many glittery red hearts.

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