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The Many Versions of "Somebody That I Used to Know"

Updated on February 27, 2017
Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannie has been writing for HubPages for over 7 years. She covers a wide variety of topics—anything from hamsters to office work.

Some Song That I Used To Know...

If imitation is the highest form of flattery, then Gotye should be extremely flattered right about now. In 2011, Gotye released a song with Kimbra called, "Somebody That I Used to Know" in Australia. It was such a huge hit that it has been released in many other countries since then. Recently, VH1 promoted the video quite a bit, and yes, "Somebody That I Used to Know" has become a huge hit in the U.S.

The song is very unique from anything else being played on the radio. Furthermore, the video is eyecatching because it features Gotye and Kimbra nude with painted bodies. It is probably the simplicity of the song and the video that wins everyone over. It is basically about a couple that broke up, and how they treat each other today. The lyrics are actually rather haunting with phrases like, "Told myself that you were right for me, but felt so lonely in your company." Most of us can relate to the pain Gotye feels in the song. It is interesting because most of us also can relate to Kimbra's retort, as well.

Since "Somebody That I Used To Know" is so unique, it goes without saying that it has been getting a lot of attention. For this reason, many musicians and comedians have decided to create their own versions of the song and the video. If you visit YouTube, you can find parodies of the song, as well as some interesting renditions of the original song. I certainly hope Gotye is enjoying all of the many versions of his song as much as I have.

Original Version of "Somebody That I Used to Know"

Walk Off The Earth's Version

If you've ever wanted to see 5 people using one guitar, then I highly recommend checking out Walk Off The Earth's version of "Somebody That I Used To Know." Two men and the one woman in the group sing the song. This version of the song is actually pretty amazing.

First of all, I don't know how all of them managed to coordinate playing on the guitar. Second, the singers are very talented. Because of their YouTube video, Walk Off The Earth has performed this version of the song on several talk shows. YouTube is an incredible tool for new bands and Walk Off The Earth has definitely gotten a lot of publicity for this version of "Somebody That I Used To Know."

Walk Off The Earth - "Somebody That I Used To Know"

Bottom of the Barrel

A comedy group called Bottom of the Barrel created the first "bro parody" I would like to share. This song is called, "Somebody Who Used to Be My Bro." In this heartwarming rendition of the Gotye song, the bros wake up in the morning to find someone has drawn on them. They also come to the conclusion that they engaged in some activities the night before they are not proud to admit. This version is pretty funny, but also a little offensive in some ways. If you are easily offended by profanity and obvious sexual humor, you might want to pass this one up.

Bottom of the Barrel - "Somebody Who Used to Be My Bro"

Bro's Budz

It seems like there is a lot of talk about bromance today, so why shouldn't there be another bro parody for the song, "Somebody That I Used to Know." In this case, two guys decide to move in together. Unfortunately, the roommate situation does not work out for them. There are spats over a scooter, the cleanliness of the apartment, ex-girlfriends and more. "Somebody Who Is Not a Bro" takes you on a sad journey with two guys that just can't be bros any longer.

Bro's Budz - "Somebody Who Is Not a Bro"

Monday Wednesday Friday

Not everyone wants to make a parody of Gotye's original music video. Instead, many comedy groups are happy to mock Walk Off The Earth's version of the video. Monday Wednesday Friday created a video that never quite even gets to the song. In their video, the group members can't even figure out how to play the guitar together. After all, it is not easy to rock out with 5 people using one guitar.

Monday Wednesday Friday - WOTE Parody

The Key Of Awesome

The Key Of Awesome is the poorest band in the world. Apparently Tony sold all their equipment and they are only left with one guitar. Of course, when you are left with only a guitar, it is a great idea to sing a parody of the Walk Off The Earth version of, "Somebody That I Used To Know." This group actually does have some musical talent and this is probably one of the funniest of all the WOTE parodies.

The Key of Awesome - WOTE Parody

Slow Children Crossing

Do you like "Gold Digger" by Kanye West? Do you like "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye and then Walk Off The Earth? Well, you are in for a real treat! Imagine "Gold Digger" lyrics to the sounds of "Somebody That I Used to Know." Oh yes, somebody had the nerve to do just that! Check out Slow Children Crossing's version of two great songs made even better together.

Slow Children Crossing - WOTE / Gotye / Kanye Parody

The Zenami's Mashup Version

Since Gotye and Walk Off The Earth sing, "Somebody That I Used to Know" in a similar way, someone got a great idea to combine the two videos together. This video is refreshing since it is not a parody at all. It simply takes both the original versions and edits the two together.

Gotye and Walk Off The Earth Combination

Obama That I Used to Know - JustNewProductions


As it turns out, "Somebody That I Used to Know" is an unstoppable force on YouTube. I wrote this hub months ago thinking it would end at that. But no, more "Somebody That I Used to Know" parodies continue to emerge each day. For instance, you might enjoy some political humor with this song called, "Obama That I Used to Know." Enjoy!

Obama That I Used to Know

Some Study That I Used to Know - College Humor

Even more college oriented parodies are online at YouTube. You can check out "Some Study That I Used to Know" by College Humor. You can see a teacher sing to a student who does not appreciate everything he was taught in school. Guess he just studied some stuff he doesn't know any longer.

Some Study That I Used to Know

The Star Wars That I Used to Know -

For all you Star Wars fans out there, have no fear! There is even a "Somebody That I Used to Know" version just for you. Are you tired of the new Star Wars movies? Do you want to hear someone sing about it in a song? Well, you'd better. Check out "The Star Wars That I Used to Know" by teddiefilms. You are not alone in your frustration.

The Star Wars That I Used to Know

Even More Versions...

Basically, there are now so many versions of "Somebody That I Used to Know" that it is hard to keep up with them. Shown below are a few more parodies on YouTube that people have uploaded. Some of these are not as original as the other videos listed above, but they are still interesting. Who could have imagine Gotye and Kimbra's song would ever become this popular and inspire so many YouTube videos?

Videos used in this hub are re-posted from YouTube.

All written material in this hub is by Jeannieinabottle.

Copyright ©2012 Jeannieinabottle

Rudy and Ruyman

The Art Place

Mark Cecchetti


Submit a Comment

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    You are very welcome! :-) I am rather obsessed with the song, but there are so many versions now that even I can't keep up. Thanks for your comment!

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

    I had no idea about all these different versions of this one song that I never heard before! I learned something new today! Thank you Miss Jeannie! :)

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Hi Thomas!

    Thanks for checking out my hub. Even though this song has been out for a little while, I still never get tired of it. I also never get tired of the parodies. I hope you enjoy them.

    I totally understand what you mean about slow computers. My computer at home is a pain, which is why I am using my computer at work right now. Sure, no sane person comes in on a day off just to lurk around on HubPages, but whatever.

    Thanks so much! It was exciting to win the Hubbie. I kept telling anyone that would listen until it got to be embarrassing. :-)

  • ThoughtSandwiches profile image

    ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada


    Being somewhat on the dull side of the cutting edge of things...I just heard this song like two weeks ago and I liked it a lot. It was almost like he wrote it about me and my ex-wife. Clearly, I suppose other people drew similar conclusions towards their significant ex's.

    The amount of re-dos and parodies is amazing! My computer sucks and tends towards freezing on videos but I'm going to go through as many of the ones you have posted here until that time when I am ready to put a bullet through my monitor.

    Great seeing you!


    PS...Congraters on your Hubbie!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    I just learned this morning there is a Glee version and an American Idol version. I was watching VH1's countdown and the host was talking about how popular this song still remains. It is crazy to see how this song and video has definitely caught on in ways I never imagined it would. Thanks for visiting my hub!

  • Alecia Murphy profile image

    Alecia Murphy 6 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

    The only version I know of is the Glee version and that's only because Goyte dissed it and then took it back. I haven't heard the song all the way but it definitely sounds interesting. It's always interesting to see what happens when a song takes a life of its own. Great hub!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Epigramman - Thanks so much! The score tend to go up and down, so we'll see how long it lasts. This song is everywhere I go, so thought it deserved a hub.

    Gypsy Rose Lee - I am happy to share this song with everyone. Thanks for the votes!

  • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

    Gypsy Rose Lee 6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

    Voted up and interesting. Thanks for sharing and for the great information and for an introduction to this song.

  • epigramman profile image

    epigramman 6 years ago

    Congratulations by the way on a well deserved 100 score and yes this is the definitive hub tribute I would say to just one song .....a world class effort too and I am so proud you have graced our music group with your presence and this hub post. lake erie time 8:56pm

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    RusswRites69 - I am all about helping promote up and coming talented musicians or comics. I was pleasantly surprised to find so many people with geniune talent covering this song. Thanks for visiting my page!

    DeborahNeyens - I am happy I could help you waste a lot of time listening to all these versions of the song. Hehe. :-) I wanted to only hear the original version the other night, but all the other versions kept popping up on YouTube. Who knew there could be so many? I knew a hub had to be created on the subject! Thanks for checking out my hub and the videos!

    bredandagnes - Thanks for sharing that link. I agree it is another great version. I added it to the list. I like that he did the song without a female joining in. I think it still works well that way.

    carter06 - I am happy I could introduce you to the Walk Off The Earth version, which is really great, too. I did not realize Gotye was one of the only Australians with a number one hit in the U.S. Thanks for sharing that info!

    RealHousewife - I am happy to introduce you to the song. I remember hearing it for the first time on VH1 a couple of months ago and thinking, "I like it, but I can't imagine this catching on." Well, apparently I did not give Americans enough credit because it has caught on in a big way. Thanks for checking out my hub!

    Debbie - This song is really great. It gets in your head and then you have to listen to it repeatedly. Thanks for the comment!

  • Deborah Brooks profile image

    Deborah Brooks Langford 6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

    I have never heard of the song till recently.. great hub I do love the song



  • RealHousewife profile image

    Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    Jeannie! I had never even heard of this song before! I really like the song - and the parodies are hilarious!I spent a ton of time listening to the video! It is awesome! Great idea for a hub!

  • carter06 profile image

    Mary 6 years ago from Cronulla NSW

    Such a great hub thanks for sharing it... it's an awesome song and thanks for drawing my attention to 'walk off the earth' what can you say except they are ridiculously good,vocally & musically yeah? And did you know that Goyte is only one of a handful of Aussie artists that has made number 1 in the US.

    Great hub up & awesome.

  • bredandagnes profile image

    bredandagnes 6 years ago from Ireland

    This is great-Thanks

    I just love that song and here's another version I love.

  • DeborahNeyens profile image

    Deborah Neyens 6 years ago from Iowa

    I love this song. I had seen the Walk Off The Earth video, but had no idea there were so many parodies. And I've just wasted a lot of time watching all of them. : ) Fun hub.

  • RusswRites69 profile image

    RusswRites69 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

    Very interesting article. I'm a big fan of the poor getting some airtime.

    The small-scale people get a voice. Good topic. I'm a punk rocker myself. I still get funny looks for liking Joey Ramone. A lot of Australians make good music.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thanks! I am glad you enjoyed it! I can't believe there are so many videos for this song on YouTube. It deserved a hub.

  • spartucusjones profile image

    CJ Baker 6 years ago from Parts Unknown

    Funny Hub! Got a kick out of it, thanks for sharing it.


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