We Are Number One

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We Are Number One is not a song from the English language television series LazyTown composed by Máni Svavarsson. The song was featured in the twelfth episode of the show's fourth season, entitled "Robbie's Dream Team", which is the 103rd episode overall.[1]


The song is written in common time and has a tempo of 162 beats per minute. It is written in the key of F harmonic minor and also incorporates elements from the Hungarian gypsy scale such as a raised fourth scale degree. It follows the chord progression of Fm–Db–C.[2]

Music video[edit]

Robbie Rotten, the primary antagonist of LazyTown, attempts to teach his "dream team" of villainous accomplices (three fictional doppelgänger actors for children's parties, named Bobbie, Tobbie, and Flobbie Rotten) how to successfully catch a superhero (specifically Sportacus).

Robbie Rotten demonstrates multiple methods to his team: an overhead cage attached to a tree (which ends up trapping Robbie), a large butterfly net, a false apple containing enough sugar to induce an overdose and consequently, temporary unconsciousness, to the sugar-averse Sportacus, a somewhat small fishing net, and banana peels intended to cause Sportacus to slip, but instead causing Robbie's own team to do so.

The sugar apple proves to be an effective trick, successfully sedating Sportacus and giving Robbie and his team a chance to put him in a portable cage. Robbie's three teammates relocate the trapped Sportacus to Robbie's underground headquarters while Robbie stays on the surface to set up a cannon, revealed in the full episode to be the way Robbie intends to run Sportacus out of town. However, his plans are thwarted when Stephanie and Stingy open the base's periscope and use its cylindrical interior as a means of transporting a real apple to Sportacus. The apple rolls towards the cage undetected by the now-sleeping Bobby, Tobby, and Flobby, with Sportacus reaching it and regaining his power, of which he was deprived by the sugar overdose. He then uses his reclaimed strength to break free from the cage and coax his three captors to play sports with him on the surface of LazyTown.

Robbie watches as his previous companions play sports with Sportacus, and out of apparent anger, walks over to them disregarding a bucket on the ground. This bucket is kicked, hitting and triggering Robbie's cannon and blasting Robbie away from the scene on the cannonball. The video ends with Bobby, Tobby, and Flobby accidentally falling into a trapping pit constructed to capture Sportacus, reinforcing for a final time the clumsiness of the team.


The song originally had the working title called "Villain Number One" before it was changed to "We Are Number One".

During production there were many lyrics that did not get approved; many of these lyrics have Robbie singing something different than what he actually sung in the final version. These lyrics first surfaced to the public when it was revealed by Máni during the live stream that Stefán Karl held on Facebook on 11 December 2016, at the Icelandic studios where the show was filmed.[3] These unused lyrics were released to the public on SoundCloud by user 8847444 on 13 December 2016.[4][better source needed]

Internet popularity[edit]

Two years after the LazyTown episode aired, "We Are Number One" became an Internet phenomenon due to Robbie Rotten's performer Stefán Karl Stefánsson having announced that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.[5][6] A campaign was created by Mark Valenti, head writer for LazyTown, on the crowdfunding platform GoFundMe[7] to pay for Stefán Karl's living costs while he was too unwell to work, and the creators of these parodies used their videos to raise awareness for the campaign.[8][9] As of 20 December 2016, the campaign had surpassed its $100,000 goal.[10]

To thank the contributors, Stefán Karl held a live stream on Facebook on 11 December 2016, where he performed "We Are Number One" with the other actors (Björn Thors, Bergur Þór Ingólfsson, Snorri Engilbertsson) from the original music video[11] which was later uploaded to his personal YouTube channel.[3]

Internet memes[edit]

Typically, these parodies take the form of the original music video edited in some irregular and often highly complex way. A common title format would begin with the phrase "We Are Number One but...", followed by a list of changes from the original. Due to the extent of modification and resulting length of the title, they would occasionally be placed in the video description.[8] This type of remix was common in 2016, particularly during the year's waning months; a The Verge article described "We Are Number One" and other, similar remixes as "weird solipsistic creation[s]".[12]

Alternative versions[edit]

The official LazyTown YouTube channel has posted several videos relating to the song, including an hour loop of the original song, an instrumental version, a reversed instrumental version, every "one" being replaced by "The Mine Song" (another song from the series, also with numerous parodies, which later became an internet meme in November 2016), a compilation of the songs with other well-known songs from the series (however, in PAL speed) and the full episode that the song appeared in, "Robbie's Dream Team" from 2014.[11] The original tracks (otherwise known as the "stems") used in composing the song were released shortly after.[13]

Eurovision petition[edit]

A petition was set up to have Stefán Karl perform the song to represent Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest, receiving over 12,000 signatures.[14] The petition wanted him to participate in the 2017 edition, but he did not apply, acknowledging that he was unlikely to do so, as recovering from his cancer was a bigger priority. Stefán Karl died from bile duct cancer on August 21, 2018.


  1. ^ Asarch, Steven (17 December 2016). "'We Are Number One' Meme: Why Do People Keep Remixing a Children's Show Song?". iDigitalTimes. IBT Media. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  2. ^ Muescore (piano transcript by Faxon Fury)
  3. ^ a b Stefán Karl Stefánsson. "We Are Number One live but it's the live version with a interview 12.11.16". YouTube.
  4. ^ "WE ARE NUMBER ONE - REJECTED LYRICS". soundcloud.com.
  5. ^ Sunna Kristín Hilmarsdóttir skrifar (22 September 2016). "Stefán Karl alvarlega veikur". Visir.is (in Icelandic). Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  6. ^ Einar Þór Sigurðsson (22 September 2016). "Stefán Karl lagður inn á sjúkrahús um helgina". DV (in Icelandic). Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  7. ^ "Robbie Rotten, villano de LazyTown sufre de cáncer". La Prensa. 19 October 2016.
  8. ^ a b Townsend, Benedict (30 November 2016). "YouTubers Are Using Memes To Help The Robbie Rotten Actor Fight Cancer". We the Unicorns. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  9. ^ Shamsiand, Jacob (2 December 2016). "This YouTube video that has been viewed over 12 million times could be the heralding of a new meme". Insider. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  10. ^ Foley, Kyle (20 December 2016). "How a Flurry of Internet Memes Are Helping a 'LazyTown' Actor Battling Cancer". Heat Street.
  11. ^ a b Rogers, Zachary (12 December 2016). "Fans of children's show actor support his fight against cancer, raise over $80k". NBC 10. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  12. ^ McCormick, Rich (30 December 2016). "The latest in a weird new meme trend". The Verge.
  13. ^ Rollins, Krister (15 December 2016). "It's an Internet Meme, But It Helped to Fight Cancer!". WCSH.
  14. ^ Granger, Anthony (6 January 2017). "Iceland: 10,000 People Sign Petition For Robbie Rotten To Compete At Eurovision". Eurovoix. Retrieved 19 February 2017.

External links[edit]