Last modified on 24 September 2014, at 21:13


This article is about the YouTube channel. For the brothers who created it, see John Green and Hank Green
Vlogbrothers youtube.png
VlogBrothers's last user icon
Web address
Slogan Don't Forget To Be Awesome (DFTBA)
Type of site YouTube channel
Available in English
Created by Hank and John Green
Launched January 1, 2007; 7 years ago (January 1, 2007)
Current status Active

VlogBrothers (sometimes stylized as Vlogbrothers) is a video blog style channel on YouTube. The Internet-based show is created and hosted by brothers, John Green and Hank Green. The first incarnation of the brothers' online broadcasting was the "Brotherhood 2.0" project, preceding the establishment of the pair's regular vlogging activity through the VlogBrothers channel.

The Greens state that their vlog has no consistent format: "Really, it's not about anything in particular. Whether we're talking about our lives, making each other laugh, or trying to get something more important across, people seem to enjoy it."[1][2] The channel passed one million subscribers on March 5, 2013.[3]

The fans and supporters of VlogBrothers are known individually as Nerdfighters, and collectively as Nerdfighteria. Subscribers of the brothers on YouTube are the base of the online community Nerdfighteria. The Green brothers encourage their viewers to become a community by creating websites and various projects, like Project 4 Awesome, to involve their subscribers.[4][5]

At present, the brothers post two videos per week. John Green posts a video on Tuesday, and Hank Green on Friday.

Brotherhood 2.0 projectEdit

The Green brothers, strongly inspired by the show with zefrank,[6][7] devised the Brotherhood 2.0 project late in 2006. The project was launched on January 1 of 2007, based on the premise that the brothers would cease all text-based communication for one year and, instead, converse by video blogs every weekday. The project was made available to the public on YouTube, as well as through the brothers' own Brotherhood 2.0 website.[8][9] On July 18, 2007, Hank Green uploaded a video of himself playing and singing his song "Accio Deathly Hallows" in honor of the seventh Harry Potter book.[10] This video was the first VlogBrothers video to make the front page of YouTube, and the starting point of the brothers' success as vloggers. The Brotherhood 2.0 Project ended on December 31, 2007.[11] However, the brothers decided to continue uploading videos on YouTube due to having a growing fan base and their popularity.

Post-Brotherhood 2.0Edit

The VlogBrothers in 2008

In their December 31, 2007, video, the brothers revealed their decision to continue vlogging even though the project had ended.[11] Following the conclusion of Brotherhood 2.0, a website was set up for their community, known as nerdfighters.[12] The website was originally maintained solely by Hank Green, but is now updated and moderated by a group of community volunteers known as the "Ningmasters". New projects, videos, discussions, groups and forums entirely made by the VlogBrothers fan community are uploaded daily. The brothers' videos continue to be the basis of the international community known as "Nerdfighteria".

In September 2008, the Lending Team "Nerdfighters" was launched. As of February 2014, the Kiva Nerdfighters group ranks 8th on the site for total money loaned through domestic and international microloans. It has roughly 44,000 members who have loaned a collective total of over $3.6 million.[13]

On January 20, 2010, John Green went on paternity leave and "Secret Sister" Maureen Johnson made videos in his place until February 10, 2010. John's only vlog during that period was on January 28, when he read from J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye as a eulogy/tribute to the author. John Green introduced his son Henry Green upon his return to vlogging on February 15, 2010.

Hank Green's video, The Ice Cream Changes, was featured on a CBS News article.[14] Hank Green was interviewed by Forbes in May 2011.[15] Hank's musical video about Tumblr was featured on The Huffington Post, as well.[16] In August 2012, John Green uploaded two noteworthy videos: one telling students why they should be excited going back to school,[17] and the other explaining if college is worth going to.[18] On September 14, 2012, Hank Green made a video celebrating the 1000th video on the VlogBrothers channel that commemorated the brothers' experiences over the previous 5 years.[19]

One million subscribers and continued growth (2013-present)Edit

John and Hank at VidCon 2014

On January 15, 2013, they featured in 'An Evening of Awesome at Carnegie Hall' celebrating the anniversary of John's novel The Fault in Our Stars.[4] The Evening of Awesome also featured The Mountain Goats, Kimya Dawson, and Neil Gaiman. It was a two hour livestreamed event and as of January 16, 2013, is available for viewing on the VlogBrothers' main YouTube channel.[20]

In February 2013, John Green participated in a Google+ Hangout with Barack Obama[21] during which Green's wife Sarah was finally revealed to the world. Prior to this, she had not been seen on camera or in any of his blogs, preferring not to join her husband on camera. Her elusive attitude immediately gained her the nickname "The Yeti".[22]

On March 5, 2013, the channel hit 1 million subscribers and both brothers live-tweeted the occasion. John Green explained that the Brotherhood 2.0 channel was started more than 2,000 days prior to the milestone.[23][24]

Later, on June 25, 2013, John Green went on paternity leave for the birth of his second child, Alice, and six guest hosts made videos in his place, including Hannah Hart (MyHarto), Grace Helbig (itsgrace), Craig Benzine (wheezywaiter), Rosianna Rojas (missxrojas), and the winners of the "Nerd Factor" competition, YouTube users MagicTurtle643 and NerdyAndQuirky. John returned to the channel on July 30, 2013.[25]

In October, film production studio Fox announced that the film adaptation of John Green's young adult novel, "The Fault in Our Stars", will be released on June 6, 2014.[26] In November, John Green created a video discussing bullying in general, as well as his personal experience with getting bullied.[27] Near the end of 2013, the Vlogbrothers channel was documented to have earned 1.6 million subscribers.[28]

On January 7, 2014, the VlogBrothers officially became sponsors of the English football club, AFC Wimbledon.[29][30] Ad revenue from John's videos on the brothers' gaming channel would go to sponsoring and supporting the football club.[31] A few months later, on July 8, John Green announced that due to an increase in the VlogBrothers' sponsorship of the club, a design include the words "DFTBA" and "Nerdfighteria", as well as the Nerdfighter hand sign will be featured on the club's uniform.[32]

Launch of other projectsEdit

The duo also created a sub-project of VlogBrothers called Truth or Fail, an interactive game show on YouTube.[33] The game is often themed, and consists of five rounds of two statements each, relating to the theme. One statement is true, and the other is false. It is often hosted by Hank, but has had a variety of guest hosts including Charlie McDonnell, Elmify, and many more.

Hank has also started a gaming channel, Hankgames.[34] It features Hank, his wife Katherine, John, and occasionally Charlie McDonnell and Michael Aranda playing video games such as Minecraft, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and FIFA 11.

More successfully, the Green Brothers launched Crash Course, SciShow, and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries on YouTube in late 2011 and early 2012.[35][36][37] In 2013, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries won an Emmy Award for Original Interactive Program.[38][39] A new web series, entitled Emma Approved, was launched in October 2013 and is adapted from Jane Austen's Emma.[40][41]

P4A and VidConEdit

Main articles: Project for Awesome and VidCon
John and Hank at VidCon 2012

In December 2007, the two launched Project for Awesome, a charitable movement driven by the YouTube community.[42] The most recent event, occurring in 2013, raised $869,591.[43]

In 2010, VidCon was launched by the brothers.[44] Since its launch, VidCon has become the largest in-person gathering of online video creators, viewers, and representatives.[45]

Educational channelsEdit

Main articles: Crash Course (YouTube) and SciShow

Crash Course is an educational channel[46] that was launched by Hank Green and John Green as a secondary channel to VlogBrothers.[35][47] Crash Course launched a preview on December 2, 2011.[48] Having finished their courses on biology and world history, Hank and John both did mini-series on Ecology and Literature respectively. Following the conclusion of these series, Hank began another year-long series on Chemistry, and John on American History. In 2014, Hank launched a course on Psychology. John is also doing a second Literature course highlighting different books. Crash Course was funded by YouTube's $100 million original channel initiative.[36] The graphics of Crash Course videos are created by Thought Café and Thought Bubble.[49]

SciShow is a series of science-related videos on YouTube hosted by Hank. SciShow was launched as an original channel. Several different scientific fields are covered by SciShow. Among these are Organic and Thermodynamic Chemistry, Physics, Geology, Climatology, Astronomy and Astrophysics, Evolutionary Biology and several miscellaneous fields. The topics on videos uploaded onto SciShow varied; for example, one video detailed the origins of "cute".[50]

Additionally, Emily Graslie's The Brain Scoop was launched in early 2013, following her appearance in a VlogBrothers video. The channel focuses on taxidermy, biology, and natural history.[51]

Hank Green also serves as the executive producer for "Sexplanations," a channel dedicated to open and honest conversation and information about sex-related topics hosted by clinical sexologist Dr. Lindsay Doe. It was launched in June 2013.[52]

In February 2014, Hank and John Green announced a new channel, "How to Adult."[53] The channel is "dedicated to teaching everything you need to know how to do as an adult that school never got around to." The channel is hosted by vlogger Emma Mills (known as "Elmify" on YouTube) and Young Adult novelist T. Michael Martin. The Greens serve as the channel's Executive Producers.[54] Also launched in 2014, SciShow Space is a new channel on YouTube dedicated to space related news, discoveries and space related science. It is also hosted by Hank Green.


On July 26, 2013, Hank Green made a video announcing the introduction of Subbable, a crowdfunding system to support various web series (both entertainment- and education-oriented).[55] Users subscribe to creators and decide how much they want to pay to receive their content on either a recurring basis or with a one-time donation. The money that users spend to support various projects goes into a "perk bank" and can be redeemed for creator-determined perks such as signed posters or shoutouts in videos. The money that users donate goes immediately and directly to each creator, minus 5% of revenue that goes to Subbable itself to pay for overhead and server costs and roughly 5% that goes to Amazon to process payments.[56]

Subbable was originally created as a crowdfunding system to continue the production of CrashCourse at the termination of the 2-year Google grant that funded the project. Hank explained in his video, "We're asking, and this is weird, for you to pay for content because you want to, not because you're forced to. This is a weird cultural shift."[55]

DFTBA and NerdfighteriaEdit

DFTBA is an initialism that stands for "Don't Forget To Be Awesome," the Green brothers' catchphrase, often followed by a hand sign (or "gang sign," as it is jokingly referred to by Hank and John).[36] The Nerdfighter "gang sign" is the Vulcan salute from Star Trek done on both hands instead of just one, with arms crossed and palms facing inwards. Since the VlogBrothers have taken off, many t-shirts and posters have been made featuring the phrase. The brothers often use it to say goodbye at the end of their video blogs (or "vlogs"). Additionally, Nerdfighteria is an internet subculture, which has inspired student-organized clubs on college campuses.[57] Benedict Cumberbatch as well as Matt Smith (AKA The Eleventh Doctor) have been noted demonstrating the subculture's "gang sign".[58]

DFTBA is also the name for a VlogBrothers' record label that helps to produce the music of several different independent groups. Several of the groups are members of the YouTube community, including Chameleon Circuit, Charlie McDonnell, NicePeter, Smosh, Rhett and Link, and Elliott Morgan (formerly) & Joe Bereta of SourceFed.[59]

Overview of channelsEdit

Note: Statistics retrieved from, as of September 4, 2014.

Denotes Inactive Channel
Channel Launch Subscribers Views Source
VlogBrothers January 1, 2007 2,300,372 471,724,364 [60]
dftbarecords (The Warehouse) November 21, 2008 34,945 1,706,648
Truth or Fail June 2009 152,138 7,528,449 [33][61]
truthorfailnosub June 2009 20,575 17,549,603 [62]
hankschannel November 7, 2009 250,227 11,651,346
hankgames November 15, 2010 160,175 28,115,327 [34]
SciShow January 2, 2012 1,955,541 197,691,393 [35]
Crash Course January 26, 2012 2,130,007 128,413,199
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries April 9, 2012 254,878 50,471,885 [37]
The Brain Scoop December 17, 2012 239,968 8,574,466
Mental Floss (mental_floss) March 13, 2013 1,054,130 81,818,539 [63]
Healthcare Triage September 29, 2013 96,584 3,145,104
Sexplanations May 22, 2013 138,075 8,017,489 [64]
How to Adult February 17, 2014 77,649 1,033,075
The Art Assignment February 20, 2014 86,244 1,203,985 [65]
SciShow Space April 1, 2014 208,650 4,301,656 [66]
Total N/A 9,160,158 1,022,946,528 N/A


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External linksEdit