If you told me twelve months ago that the top internet sensation involved toilet people with humanoid heads I would have been… not even slightly surprised, to be honest.
In a lot of ways, Skibidi Toilet, which was voted by YouTube as the trend of the year in their ‘Year On YouTube’ recap, is a microcosm of the internet in all its unhinged brilliance.
Animated by Alexey Gerasimo and broadcast on his channel DaFuq!?Boom!, Skibidi Toilet tells the story of the epic war between natural enemies: the tyrannical toilets with human heads (the titular Skibidi Toilet) and humanoids with television heads.
In each episode, one side gets the upper hand in the war, before subsequently losing to the other side in the following episode.
With a juddering animation style that harkens back to Garry’s Mod and PS2 graphics, Skibidi Toilet has already amassed over 15 seasons and 13.8 billion views overall.
Each new installment of Skibidi Toilet is more outrageous than the last, and while the series is especially popular with Gen Alpha, it has more in common with millennials than you think.
Namely, the crude artistic style, literal toilet humor, and general chaotic senselessness harkens back to the YouTube Poop era. It is simultaneously unique and comfortingly reminiscent, with some netizens dubbing the series as this generation’s Slender Man.
On the one hand, this comparison makes sense; the toilet people are undoubtedly cursed, and there’s a fair share of jump scares in the episodes not unlike the ones the Slenderman game became infamous for.
But on the other hand, the absurdist humor that serves as the beating heart of Skibidi toilet is unmistakably post-ironic in a way only Gen Alpha can truly understand.
The sheer randomness of the meme also serves to show how arbitrary the creator economy can be. It’s impossible to predict what will go viral at any given moment, and it can be difficult to tell sometimes if something is a good weird or just… weird.
If nothing else, I will never be able to listen to ‘Give It To Me’ by Timbaland in the same way again.