Sep. 24, 2013 at 2:22 PM ET
There was some controversy when Miley Cyrus introduced her new video, "Wrecking Ball." The video, in which Cyrus appears riding a wrecking ball sometimes nude, sometimes in underwear and a tank top, quickly smashed records as thoroughly as the wrecking ball smashed the sets of the video.
The video also bemused many observers, who were entertained not just by Cyrus' wild, partially nude ride, but by the fact that she wields, straddles, and sometimes licks, a sledgehammer — all without a single chip to her salon-perfect manicure.
And once the video was out, creative types everywhere found it ripe for parody. And for some reason, most parodies saw fit to replace Cyrus with ... sweet little pets.
Take this one, which inserts a cute little brown-and-black puppy, apparently named Lily, in Cyrus' role, even dressing her in a white top and undies. This one gets credit for some serious planning. The lyrics are redone to reflect a new song title, "Tennis Ball." The walls of Cyrus' video are replaced with walls built with colorful Milk-Bone dog treats and the wrecking ball becomes every dog's favorite, a tennis ball. The little pink tongue sticking out — another Cyrus specialty — is just a bonus.
Another well-done "Wrecking Ball" parody features Regina the roly-poly hedgehog.
"Regina has a medical condition which caused her obesity," her YouTube video notes. "While she is cute and fluffy, her weight is not ideal, and she is on a limited diet and under veterinary supervision. However, she does not let her medical condition affect her sense of humor!" (Read more about Regina's medical condition on Facebook.)
She sure doesn't. Dressed in a tiny white tank top that fits her like a tent, Regina re-enacts Cyrus' video with the help of some styrofoam and what appears to be a ping-pong ball. A regular hammer fills in for Cyrus' sledgehammer, but Regina doesn't skip the tongue display either.
"Still sexier than the original," notes YouTube viewer cfkaterina, who is apparently not a Miley Cyrus fan.
One of the pet parodies has drawn its own share of controversy. In one 7-second parody, a kitten is slowly dragged into view, knocking over two paperback books. Many viewer comments concentrated on the fact that the kitten's (presumed) owner held it by the scruff of its neck in the brief image, but others defended that way of holding a kitten as the way its own mother would carry it. Wrote Chris Ray Maldonado, "It's not holding the kitten that's cruelty. It's playing Miley Cyrus for them that's the cruelty."
Of course, there are also numerous people-centric parodies, including those featuring cute young brothers, a nude BBC host, a charming country version by the Gregory Brothers, and a Vine clip of a naked guy on a tire swing (his pal yells "Nailed it!" at the end). But perhaps the best non-pet parody swaps Cyrus' face with that of actor Nicolas Cage, resulting in a "Face/Off" of epic proportions.
To no one's surprise, however, it looks like Cyrus gets the last laugh. "Wrecking Ball" (the real one) hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in its fourth week. The album it appears on, "Bangerz," doesn't even come out until Oct. 4. "Came in like a wrecking ball" indeed.