YTMND talk:Definition of a fad

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The purpose of this page

The reason why I'd like to know what a fad specifically is is because there is none — technically, anything with enough search results qualifies as a fad. As a result, there are about fifty seven billion fads, some more faddy than the other. There are some that are undeniably fads, and those that are questionably fads. This is confusing. Using this discussion page, I'd like to come up with the single definition of a YTMND fad. Please list your ideas below (and sign each of your comments by typing "~~~~" without the quotes). Messedrocker 01:36, July 22, 2006 (CDT)

Reparodied many times

When it's reparodied many times, I see it as a fad. It's Smiddle, LOL | What is Talk Page? 01:58, July 22, 2006 (CDT)

Well, that's a given. I believe that when the final definition is laid out, that should be like the preamble or something. What I'm looking for is specific figures. Messedrocker 02:15, July 22, 2006 (CDT)

Repeated ad nauseum

I'd say a fad is something that used to be funny but has been repeated so many times that it now boils your blood to even think about it, let alone see it. Max 19:58, July 22, 2006 (CDT)

That's actually something that could be added to the definition: "YTMNDs incorporating basic elements of a fad are bound to attract at least a small level of criticism for including the fad." Messedrocker 20:01, July 22, 2006 (CDT)
anything i hate is a fad. j.s. bach would have used the phrase "variations on a theme." Jon 20:34, July 22, 2006 (CDT)


I think what's more important than the repetitiveness of a fad is the, well, fad-like nature of a fad's popularity. People make Cosby sites these days because Cosby sites are the cool thing to do, and when Cosby sites stop appearing on Up and Coming and the Top 15, people will make sites about something else. On the other hand, DYTMND was never a fad because even though there were fifty of those damn things, it was all the same guy making them trying to convince people it was the next big thing. For that matter, "The internet is for porn" isn't a fad either--as popular as it is, it's never really inspired a lot of spinoff sites. --Jim Smith 20:12, July 22, 2006 (CDT)

Fads shouldn't be excluded because it was primarily one person -- the Cosby fad was primarily motivated by Kassius's constant Cosby YTMNDs. Though it can be argued that there was a cosby fad before Kassius's reincarnation, and that after he got involved, everyone else did. However, I agree that there needs to be plenty of spinoffs and it has to be featured as Up-and-Coming, Top Rated, or Top Viewed. However, what needs to be disambiguated is the number of people that need to get involved in order to make it a fad. Messedrocker 20:39, July 22, 2006 (CDT)
I'm not saying we should excluse fads driven by a single user, only the ones that never managed to attract more than a handful of imitators. If I remember correctly all the Cake Song YTMNDs were initially by the same user, but eventually it won users over until it became a true fad. That's what separates fads from Joshcube's failed attempts to start fads. --Jim Smith 20:45, July 22, 2006 (CDT)
Yeah, I managed to grasp that, but I'm just making sure. Would you like to respond to the other suggestions? Messedrocker 20:52, July 22, 2006 (CDT)

Specific figures

Would anyone like to make specific figures of a fad? Like how many page views the original got? Or number of pages of results? Messedrocker 20:53, July 22, 2006 (CDT)

Pages of results doesn't always work, for example the lol fad and the What is love fad. Searching lol YTMNDs gets you more than "lol internet" YTMNDs, and what is YTMNDs brings you nothing. It's Smiddle, LOL | What is Talk Page? 05:07, July 23, 2006 (CDT)

Suggested Fad Criteria

Apologies if I screw this up. I've never commented to a wiki discussion before.

Sacrelige as it may be, I disagree with Max that fads must be, by definition, annoying. For example, I consider any and all sites featuring Sean Connery and the "You're the man now, dog" soundbyte to be part of one massive fad based on the original YTMND. Obviously, folks must not find this too irritating, or they wouldn't keep visiting the site that inspired it.

This is just me shooting the breeze, but I'd define a fad by the following criteria:

1) It has to be somewhat widespread. The other day, I created a site and someone made their own NEDM version of it an hour later, saying it was part of a "fad" I'd started. I'm flattered, of course, but one site does not a fad make. I don't know what the magic number is, but it's definitely greater than two. And they can't all be made by the same guy. That's not a fad, it's a motif, or an unhealthy obsession.

2) The sites that are part of that fad all have to have common elements. "Epic Manuever" is an obvious fad because all the sites have the same features in common: the title, the music, and the the outlandish action going on in the image. You could make an Epic Manuever site that only involved some of these elements and still be recognized as part of the fad, but this is why users will inevitably leave comments demanding you change the music to "Nighwish" or get the title right.

By contrast, Darth Vader has inspired at least two noteworthy fads on YTMND: "NOOOOOO!" sites, and "Vader Sings!" sites where the music is altered to resemble his deep voice. Just because Vader is involved with both concepts doesn't make them the same fad. The same goes for all the Superman-related YTMNDs. You don't look at a Supercat site and think of "WRONG!", or the infamous artwork of Clark Kent undressing behind a young boy.

3) The fad has to be identifiable. This is kind of self-evident, but I point it out because one could technically describe "animated gifs" as one giant superfad. I don't think this counts, because the description is too general. "5'ed for using a 22khz mp3." No one ever says that. "Crappy inside jokes" are widespread and all feature the same elements, but this isn't a fad, it's just coincidence. For a group of sites to be a fad, there has to be something deliberately the same about them that you can immediately notice.

This is what separates PTKFGS from YESYES. While they both use the same joke, each fad uses different watermarks and page titles to distinguish one from the other. Meanwhile, the so-called "4th Universe" has never crystallized into anything specific, because there's no consensus on what to call it. No identity, no fad. I find it kind of dumb that we should even have three different "alternate universe" fads, but that seems to be the way it works.

Anyway, that's my two cents on how fads work, for what it's worth.--Mike Smith 10:01, July 23, 2006 (CDT)