Charlie Bit My Finger

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Charlie Bit My Finger - Again!
Charlie Bit My Finger screenshot.png
Harry and Charlie as seen in the video.
Starring Harry and Charlie
Release dates
22 May 2007 (2007-05-22)
Running time
55.7 seconds

"Charlie Bit My Finger – Again!",[1] more simply known as Charlie Bit My Finger or Charlie Bit Me (referring to a quotation in the video), is a 2007 Internet viral video famous for formerly being the most viewed YouTube video.[2][3] As of June 2015, the video ranks as the fifteenth most viewed video on YouTube with over 820 million views.[4] This video also won the 2014 VMA's Best motion Video.

The 55-second-long video,[5] which was uploaded on YouTube in May 2007,[6] features two English brothers, Harry Davies-Carr (aged three) and Charlie Davies-Carr (aged one). The two are seen sitting in a chair when Harry puts his finger into Charlie's mouth and gets bitten. "Charlie bit me," he observes and puts his finger back into Charlie's mouth, which gets it bitten harder. Harry, who is hurt, says "Ouch" repeatedly and his brother begins to giggle. Afterwards, Harry smiles and repeats "Charlie bit me. And that really hurt."[2]

Background[edit]

Even had I thought of trying to get my boys to do this I probably couldn't have, neither were coerced into any of this and neither were hurt (for very long anyway).

Howard Davies-Carr, father of the boys[7]

Howard Davies-Carr, the father of the boys, said the video was "simply an attempt to capture the boys growing up". While watching the finger-biting scene on his camera after recording it, it "didn't particularly stand out". It was not until he transferred the video onto his computer a few weeks later and played it again that he realized it was funny.[8]

The Davies-Carr family lives in England. Howard uploaded the video onto YouTube so that it could be watched by the boys' grandfather, who was living in the United States.[2] He chose YouTube because the size of the video file was so big that it could not be sent by email.[9] Originally the video was set to private and he mentions, "I was just about to remove (the video) before it exploded[....] but once it had (exploded) I had lost control of the clip anyway so I left it."[10] Howard commented on the video: "The clip only went up as I wanted to share it with the boys' godfather. I was naive about the whole YouTube thing. It became viral and once that happened there was nothing I could do. People have sent lovely comments and messages and I now upload a new video of the boys every six weeks."[2]

Views[edit]

"Charlie Bit My Finger" had received 2.6 million views on YouTube at the start of February 2008[11] and 12 million hits in March 2008.[12] In December 2008, it was the twelfth most viewed video on YouTube with 65 million views.[13] In April the following year, the video had received 92 million hits.[14] It became the second most viewed video in August 2009,[15] and took over the title as the most viewed video ever at the end of October 2009, when it replaced Evolution of Dance.[2] As of November 2009, "Charlie Bit My Finger - Again!" had received over 130 million views.[2] In addition to being the most viewed, it was also the "most favorited" and the second "most discussed" video on the website in the United Kingdom.[6] In a May 2009 report compiled by Visible Measures, which measures video hits across 150 video-sharing websites, "Charlie Bit My Finger" was the thirteenth most viewed viral video on the Internet.[16] In 2011, it was surpassed by Justin Bieber's "Baby", Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance", Eminem feat. Rihanna's "Love the Way You Lie"and Shakira's "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)". In September 2011, it was surpassed by Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull's "On The Floor", becoming the 6th most viewed video on YouTube. In November 2012, it was surpassed by Psy's "Gangnam Style", becoming the 7th most viewed video on YouTube.[9][17] It has since been surpassed by two Katy Perry songs: "Dark Horse" and "Roar", two Taylor Swift songs: "Blank Space" and "Shake It Off", as well as Psy's "Gentleman", Enrique Iglesias's "Bailando", and Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass", and OneRepublic's "Counting Stars", becoming the fifteenth most viewed video on YouTube. As of June 2015 it has had over 820 million views and remains the most viewed YouTube video that is not a professional music video.[18]

Impact[edit]

As a result of the video's inadvertent fame, the boys gained recognition. Following the video, multiple clips were uploaded by their father to YouTube. They feature Jasper, the third child in the family.[9] Shelley Davies-Carr, their mother, told The Sun in 2010 that "a lot of people like seeing Harry and Charlie growing up and following the family story. They knew I was pregnant with Jasper and now they're watching him grow up."[9] In the same article Howard noted, however, that he has "deliberately kept away from the personal bits. You don't see their birthdays, school plays or things like the first they cycled. All I do is put up one clip every six weeks and an awful lot happens every six weeks."[9] Howard has stated that he will not continue to upload videos of his children when they grow older. He said in 2010 that "I don't know if they'll take it over. I'd like to think they'd have an interest, but it will be their decision."[9] Shelley commented on the success: "Susan Boyle has never had the hits we have had. The video got on to a college networking site in the US and from there it went viral. I think the British accents have helped make it so globally viewed."[2] According to a 2008 interview with Shelley, the boys get embarrassed when they see themselves on television. She also noted that in 2008 they were "shy about their new fame."[13][19] Howard commented in 2009 that his sons "are now almost legendary. People want their autographs, it's just crazy."[6][19]

In their list of YouTube's 50 greatest viral videos, Time ranked "Charlie Bit My Finger" as number one.[20]

The video's lasting impact was underscored by the Davies-Carr family's appearance as mystery guests on Channel 4's Big Fat Quiz of the '00s on September 30, 2012. Among the references to the video includes an episode of the U.S. television series The Office.

In a 2012 interview Howard Davies-Carr discussed the pitfalls of their children's accidental fame saying, "There are an awful lot of unscrupulous people out there who will try and take advantage of people that don't understand what they have."[21] When it comes to the topic of the boys getting older, the boys father has reflected, "When the boys get to 18, I'd like them to think back and think, 'O.K., I've got something in my life which is more than just what I was when I did the 'Charlie Bit Me' video."

The parents have passed on invitations to talk shows and on making public appearances in media outlets.[21]

In 2014, during his "After The Oscar's Special" on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Jimmy Kimmel enlisted the help of many big name celebrities to showcase some of YouTube's greatest videos. The first video to be showcased was "Charlie Bit My Finger" and was parodied in a video entitled "Bitman Begins" and featured Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, and brothers Chris & Liam Hemsworth. Chris played the role of Harry, while Liam played the role of Charlie. The video was a mock trailer for a film featuring the actors. The climatic scene takes place on the roof of a building where Harry wants revenge on Charlie for biting his finger. "Harry" screams the line "Charlie bit me, Charlie bit my finger!" They fall off the roof onto the street below. "Harry" then utters the famous line "Ouch Charlie, that really hurt" while "Charlie" just laughs.[22]

As of May 2015, the clip is the only video in YouTube's Top 30 most viewed that is not a music video.

In an April 2015 interview, Charlie said he thought it was "a bit odd that loads of people have watched it." Also according to the interview, Charlie and Harry's parents have made thousands from the video through advertising and sponsorship.[23]

Financial impact[edit]

It was reported that in 2011 the family made over £100,000 off advertising revenue from the video. The profit from the video was enough that the family could afford to purchase a new house.[24]

Their success has been compared to winning a lottery.[21] Since the "Charlie Bit My Finger" video was posted, other videos of babies have gone "viral" on the site YouTube and the families are monetising them.[25]

At one point in time, their father Howard Davies-Car stressed that he didn't want to commercialize on the boy's success but realized that unlicensed merchandise was being sold based on their video.[9] In response to requests from viewers online the family created "Charlie Bit My Finger" T-shirts, mugs and limited edition calendars.[2][26]

The family signed into a partnership with a video management company called Viral Spiral. Viral Spiral, a video management company specializing in viral videos, has helped place the video in advertisements for companies like Sprint and helped to create a brand.[21][27] There was also news of a web series featuring the boys in the works.[28]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Learmonth, Michael (2010-02-22). "Lowered Expectations: Web Redefines 'Quality'". Advertising Age. Retrieved 2010-03-21. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Chittenden, Maurice (2009-11-01). "Harry and Charlie Davies-Carr: Web gets taste for biting baby". The Times. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  3. ^ Stack, Brittany (2010-03-21). "Meet YouTube's 224 million girl, Natalie Tran". ¨The Sunday Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-03-21. 
  4. ^ MyTop10Videos. "Top 500 Most Viewed Videos of All Time". YouTube. Retrieved March 4, 2015. 
  5. ^ Morton, Jamie (2012-05-07). "Kiwi Youtube viewers go their own way (+videos)". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2014-11-05. 
  6. ^ a b c Hutcheon, Stephen (2009-10-28). "Once bitten, now watched by millions on YouTube". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  7. ^ Jarboe, Greg (2009). "Week II: Watch the Best Viral Videos of 2007". YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day. John Wiley and Sons. p. 129. ISBN 978-0-470-45969-0. 
  8. ^ Allan, Vicky (2009-05-30). "Famous for 15 minutes? Who needs that long? Bedroom singers, leisure-park stunt riders and biting babies have all been REAL LIVES YouTube celebrities. How do they feel about their accidental stardom?". The Herald. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Masters, David (2010-07-30). "TWO British brothers have made internet history by clocking up 250MILLION YouTube hits". The Sun. Retrieved 2010-08-15. 
  10. ^ "WHERE ARE THEY NOW? "Charlie Bit My Finger" Family Earned "Tens Of Thousands" From Video". Business Insider. July 13, 2010. Retrieved December 11, 2013. 
  11. ^ Kinkead, Lucinda Dillon (2008-02-03). "YouTube serves up some gems". The Deseret News. p. B01. 
  12. ^ Laidman, Andrea (2008-03-18). "An eye for an eye ...". The Observer (University of Notre Dame). Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  13. ^ a b Moore, Matthew (2008-12-05). "Finger-biting brothers become YouTube hit". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  14. ^ Sostek, Anya (2009-04-20). "In 4 years, YouTube succeeded in catching world's eye". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  15. ^ Neate, Rupert (2009-08-26). "YouTube to allow creators to cash in on their 15 minutes of viral fame". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  16. ^ Moses, Asher (2009-05-06). "Rapper tops viral video list as Boyle closes in". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  17. ^ "Most viewed videos". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  18. ^ "Charlie bit my finger - again !". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-11-22. 
  19. ^ a b Wheeler, Virginia (2008-12-05). "You've been famed - Exclusive". The Sun. p. 49. 
  20. ^ "YouTube's 50 Best Videos". Time. 2010-03-29. Retrieved 2010-04-11. 
  21. ^ a b c d Kofman, Jeffrey (2012-04-29). "How 'Charlie Bit Me,' the Most Watched YouTube Clip Ever, Changed a Family's Fortunes". ABC News. Retrieved 2013-12-11. 
  22. ^ #Kimmel YouTube Film - Bitman Begins - YouTube
  23. ^ "Charlie bit my finger: what the boys look like now". The Daily Telegraph. 24 April 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2015. 
  24. ^ Ransom, Diana (2010-06-18). "Earning Cash With YouTube Videos". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2010-06-21. 
  25. ^ Miller, Claire (2011-10-26). "Cashing In on Your Hit YouTube Video". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-11. 
  26. ^ Charlie Bit Me online store
  27. ^ "Now Charlie can bite your finger too – for a profit". The Sunday Times. March 11, 2012. Retrieved December 11, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Charlie Bit Me’ Kids Getting Their Own Web Show Even Though It’s No Longer 2007". Beta Beat. October 10, 2012. Retrieved December 11, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Achievements
Preceded by
Evolution of Dance
Most Viewed Video on YouTube
Ranked 3rd as of 2014
Succeeded by
Lady Gaga — Bad Romance