Forget about cats jumping on trampolines, cute Asian kids dozing off, or local news anchors not realizing their microphone’s hot when expressing their true opinions regarding their co-workers, there’s no more perfect match for YouTube than videos of Rube Goldberg machines. They’re short, visually-compelling and force you to watch them over and over just to see what’s actually happening. (These, by the way, are the same reasons why porn is so popular.) With a new contraption put together by the Canadian photography company 2D Photography making the rounds (see below) it’s time to put together a conclusive and not-to-be-debated list of the Top 11 Rube Goldberg Machines on YouTube.
1. Homemade Marshmallow Roaster
What this lacks in length – besides an explanatory introduction and slow-motion replay, the action lasts less than a minute – it makes up for in cute do-it-yourself aesthetics! This is one of those that actually feels like you can do it in your own home.
2. Rube Goldberg Billiards>
The best part about Rube Goldbergs is the moment when you think it’s about to be over only for the camera to pull back a reveal a whole other section that still needs to be activated. There’s about three or four moments like that in this one. Honestly, it would have been a lock for the top 5 if not for the annoying tone of the French announcer.
3. Mythbusters Christmas Rube Goldberg Device
While the constant cutting between camera angles on this one means you can’t completely trust it all went down in one take, the clip definitely shows the frustration that goes along with putting these machines together. Not only does the opening of the video show the many false starts the crew had to endure, but the constant race track-like “Come on, baby!” pleas to the machine are no doubt the result of dozens and dozens of failed attempts. You can’t fake that emotion.
4. Rube Goldberg machine from Waiting
This one’s apparently from the end credits of the movie Waiting, a 2005 comedy with Ryan Reynolds, Anna Faris and Justin Long. The movie might have left much to be desired in terms of “quality” – sucker scored a mere 30% over at Rotten Tomatoes – but the machine gets on the list for two big reasons: (1) The stationary camerawork lets you to see the entire thing; and, most importantly, (2) it pours a beer!
5. Honda Commercial
Sure, it loses a little luster after realizing that it’s basically just a glorified car commercial. But it is somehow admiring that an entire car was dissembled just to make a Rube Goldberg machine, a metallic version of using every part of the buffalo.
6. Japanese Rube Goldberg machine
The take-away lesson from this one, other than there better be something tastier at the end of all this work than a bowl of ramen noodles? Japanese announcers can make anything exciting! It’s high time to stick a few on the NASCAR broadcasts.
7. 2D Photography
The aforementioned excuse for this list existing in the first place, this video was just uploaded a few weeks ago and is already well on its way to two million views. What works is the fact that there’s a theme (photography in this one) and its enormous scope. That’s a full four minutes of pure action.
8. Purdue Rube Goldberg Machine claims Guinness World Record
The biggest problem with this video is the fact that it uses so many different camera angles and cuts it’s tough to get a good sense of the machine’s scale; you don’t get a full shot until about 2 minutes in. But seeing as it’s a record breaker sanctioned by Guinness World Records, we’re just going to have to trust that it’s legit. Oh, also having a pretty dramatic goal of telling the history of the world makes this one stand out too.
9. OK Go!: “This Too Shall Pass” video
The classic. Designed by the guys at Syyn Labs over a handful of stressful months, this brought the Rube Goldberg machine back en vogue last year after burning up the Internet. Pretty perfect not only in the amount of visual work happening, but also how they perfectly match the action to the music.
10. “The Falling Water”
Why would something like this, which obviously didn’t take months to design and produced in the comfort of someone’s home instead of a large warehouse, finish a spot better than the OK Go! Video? Because this one makes you a cocktail! With garnish!
11. Creme That Egg!
There’s so much to like in this one. The DIY look. The fact that it produces it’s own soundtrack with a European-sounding mini-puppet band. That there’s an actual endpoint, a goal, a definitive conclusion, that’s hinted at throughout the story of the contraption. Here’s your Rolls Royce of Rube Goldberg machines, folks. It doesn’t get any better.