In a typical YouTube Poop video, visual and auditory effects are used to alter the underlying work. These videos may convey a story, while others follow a non-linear narrative or contain no storyline at all. Alternatively, a YouTube Poop may comprise solely of an existing video repeated in a slowed or remixed loop. In many cases, YouTube Poops utilize a bizarre sequence of elements that may, depending on the viewer, entertain or confuse. Associate professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University Michael Wesch has defined YouTube Poop as "absurdist remixes that ape and mock the lowest technical and aesthetic standards of remix culture to comment on remix culture itself."
According to the website Know Your Meme, notable trends in YouTube Poops include:
- "Eye Rape", where the creator will remix a clip with flashing, colorful editing to annoy viewers.
- "Ear Rape", which maximizes volume and distorts sound usually by clipping, also primarily to annoy viewers.
- "Stutter Loops", which loop short segments of video (often only a small fraction of a second in length) for the sake of emphasizing a particular part of the video.
- "Sentence Mixing", which cuts and rearranges parts of speech to create new (and often profane) sentences or phrases.
- "Pitch Shifting", in which the creator alters the pitch of a particular segment of audio, often in random or planned sequence for the sake of emphasis or confusion.
- Pitch shifting may also be applied to vocals to create the illusion of singing, particularly in 'YouTube Poop Music Videos' (YTPMVs).
- "G-major", titled in reference to the G-major scale, is a particular subpractice of pitch shifting which distorts not only the tone but other aspects of the sound. It can be achieved by overlaying several copies of the same segment of audio, each with a different pitch to achieve the desired 'chord.' This is often used to create ominous or 'scary' situations.
Media sources of YouTube Poop may include television shows, movies, cartoons, commercials, video games, and other videos obtained from YouTube or elsewhere. There is no generally accepted limitation as to what kind of source material may be used for a YouTube Poop. YouTube: Online Video and Participatory Culture notes that low-budget television shows such as The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, as well as cutscenes from video games for the Philips CD-i, popular movies, music videos, video games, and television shows including My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Gangnam Style, The Room and Team Fortress 2, are frequently used as sources, but as stated on the YouChewPoop website:
- "The fact of the matter is that many poopers can still use CD-i footage to great effect, but it has largely become a tired and old source in an environment in which the fresh and creative is highly treasured."
YouTube Poop is often derivative in the sense that the work of one artist (or 'pooper') is frequently used as the underlying work for another video. Lawrence Lessig, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, referred to this behavior as an example of "call & response" within a remix culture. One consequence of this practice in the YTP community is aptly titled "YTP Tennis," an editing game which involves several iterations of edits of the same source video, back and forth between multiple artists.
In 2004, Matt Mulligan, under the name SuperYoshi, uploaded an edit of the Adventures of Super Mario Bros 3 to the website Sheezyart. It was not until November 2006 that the video was uploaded to YouTube with the title "I'D SAY HE'S HOT ON OUR TAIL". Mulligan, along with Andrew Hartford (Yaminomalex) and a small group of YouTube users, began editing and uploading "weird random videos for the sake of confusing people," with the purpose of making a mockery of the website.[unreliable source?] Australian college student Tom Johns subsequently created the website The Trailer Mash to host such videos, and describes an appropriate video "made with appropriated footage and collage editing techniques for the purpose of annoying or entertaining".
Copyright and fair use
Due to the parodical nature of YouTube Poop and the massive amounts of edited copyrighted material uploaded to YouTube's servers since 2005, YTP creators have long been the subject of numerous copyright complaints. Political scientist and author Trajce Cvetkovski notes that despite Viacom filing a copyright infringement lawsuit with YouTube in 2007, YouTube Poops such as "The Sky Had A Weegee" by Hurricoaster (the word "Weegee" in this case referring to a comical and satirical caricature and Internet meme of video game character Luigi), featuring both scenes from the children's television show Spongebob SquarePants and Nintendo's Mario, remain on YouTube for all to see. 
- "YouTube Poop: Memes and Community". Yale University, Law and Technology. November 3, 2012.
- Van Damme, Tommy (November 8, 2013). "Slow TV: Youtube doet het op zijn manier". De Morgen (in Dutch). Retrieved November 18, 2013.
- Electronic Frontier Foundation. "In the matter of exemption to prohibition on circumvention of copyright protection systems for access control technologies".
- "Scary Roll". Youtube.
- Burns, Kelli S. (2009). Celeb 2.0: How Social Media Foster Our Fascination with Popular Culture. ABC-CLIO. p. 80. ISBN 9780313356889.
- Burgess, Jean; Green, Joshua (2013). YouTube: Online Video and Participatory Culture. John Wiley & Sons. p. 131. ISBN 9780745658896.
- Lessig, Lawrence. "REMIX at Computer History Museum".
- Mazur, A.J. (January 20, 2011). "Q&A with YouChewPoop".
- Cvetkovski, Trajce (2013). Copyright and Popular Media: Liberal Villains and Technological Change. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 175. ISBN 9781137172372.
- Youchew forum
- Youchew interview with Conrad Slater
- YouTube Poop on tvtropes
- Article on 2012 DCMA exemption ruling
- Thesis paper on YouTube Poop