11 Epic Rickrolls
YouTube / VEVO
1. Oregon Legislature Floor Speeches
In 2011, a bipartisan effort was undertaken in the Oregon legislature to embed lyrics from "Never Gonna Give You Up" in floor speeches. The result was this nerdy video:
Legislators explained that the planning process involved volunteers, so was budget-neutral.
2. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
In 2008, Rick Astley made an appearance during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, interrupting a performance by characters from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. Enjoy:
3. Speaker Pelosi's Cat Cam
In 2009, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi celebrated the launch of the "HouseHub" YouTube channel by presenting "a behind the scenes view of the Speaker's Office in the US Capitol," mainly involving cats. 35 seconds into the video, something unusual happens.
4. The White House on Fiscal Policy
In 2011, the White House responded to a tweet complaining that the @WhiteHouse Twitter feed was boring. This was in the days before Twitter automatically showed embedded media:
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 27, 2011
5. On the Subway
A cappella group On the Rocks traveled to New York City and decided to share their musical gifts on the A Train. Fellow commuters were not amused. (Skip ahead to 1:00 for the actual performance.)
6. The BarackRoll
On August 9, 2008, YouTube maestro Hugh Atkin cut together clips of then-presidential-candidate Barack Obama speaking the lyrics to "Never Gonna Give You Up" in campaign speeches along with his smooth dance moves, making a somewhat convincing "BarackRoll" video.
7. YouTube's 2008 April Fools' Day Prank
On April 1, 2008, YouTube itself got in on the game by changing every video link on its homepage into a Rickroll. Good luck clicking on "Evolution of Dance" that day; you were in for a Rickroll no matter what.
8. The New York Mets
The Mets held an online poll to select a song for their 8th-inning singalong, and unfortunately for them, left a slot for voters to write in an alternate choice. So online Rickrollers voted in huge numbers, filling in "Never Gonna Give You Up," which ultimately won. When the song played, most people booed, though you can hear in this video at least a few people giving a shot at singing along:
9. EWU Basketball
Multiple Eastern Washington University (EWU) women's basketball games experienced pregame Rickrolls in March 2008. A Rick Astley impersonator lip-synched as audience members either danced or ignored the whole thing. The prank was covered by the New York Times. Here's video:
10. Mario PaintRoll
Although not a prank, this deserves inclusion simply for the effort involved. Mario Paint was a Nintendo game that allowed the user to compose songs using various Nintendo icons on a music staff. Here's "Never Gonna Give You Up" arranged for Mario Paint:
11. ThinkGeek Betamax to HD-DVD Converter
On April 1, 2008, online retailer ThinkGeek advertised a stunningly useless product: a Betamax to HD-DVD Converter, complete with a jokey product description and a list of technical features including "Uses electricity." They even posted a YouTube video demonstrating the thing: