Much like Nirvana's video for "Smells Like Teen Spirit" 20 years ago, Rebecca Black's clip for "Friday" came from out of nowhere and immediately hijacked the imagination of pop culture. That said, the engine driving Black's "success" – and yes, those scare quotes are necessary – was the overwhelming disdain of the general public for a 13-year-old girl and her extraordinarily dippy pop tune. In a year when cyber-bullying was a hot topic, the treatment of Black by legions of internet commenters was a worst-case scenario, even if it inadvertently launched the fledging singer's career and earned her a role in Katy Perry's video for her hit "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)."
As much as "Friday" could bring out the worst in people, it also inspired hilarious parodies and kind-hearted covers, including a memorable version performed by Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert on Late Night. Colbert and Fallon's extremely joyful cover cut straight to the heart of the "Friday" phenomenon, highlighting the tune's freakishly catchy hooks and wonderfully ridiculous lyrics. ("Fun, fun, think about fun: You know what it is!") Though "Friday" is famous for being "bad," it's really just silly, weird, and off-kilter. Thousands upon thousands of truly terrible or utterly forgettable songs come out every year; it takes something truly special to fascinate even a fraction of the many millions of people who watched the "Friday" video this year.