The 10 best, worst, and dumbest things that happened on YouTube in 2018

20 December 2018, 16:28

2018 on youtube list
Picture: Shutterstock
Benedict Townsend

By Benedict Townsend

As chosen by me. Deal with it.

2018 was a hell of a year on YouTube dot com.

There was the good, the bad and downright iconic - and all of those elements are going to be covered here today, as I deliver my highly subjective list of what I consider to be the 10 biggest YouTube-related occurrences of two thousand and eighteen.

I will almost certainly miss out some important things and you will probably get mad about that - but much like a sparrow gliding in the wind on a beautiful Kyoto spring morning hearing the sound of a nearby Walkman, I don't care.

Let's dive in, shall we:

10. YouTubers team up with Ariana Grande

Thank u, friends.

Ariana Grande was one of the stars who defined 2018 (for a variety of reasons, both joyous and tragic) and she welcomed some YouTube stars onto her shooting star of fame when she invited them to be a part of her video for 'Thank U, Next'.

Colleen Ballinger was there in full force (more on her later) as was Gabi DeMartino and former YouTuber star (and current star star) Troye Sivan - and they did not disappoint.


9. David Dobrik and Liza Koshy split... à la caméra

Laura Lee could take some notes from this video in terms of how to cry properly on camera.

Break-ups are never easy - but imagine not only breaking up, but breaking up in a video which goes on to be viewed over 47 million times. That's a unique situation, and yet it's the situation that David Dobrik and Liza Koshy found themselves in after they announced their amicable separation to legions of fans.

This has made the list not only for the ludicrous amount of views that the video has amassed but because it's one of the most aggressively 'YouTube' things that has ever happened. Where else would you find a video like this?

8. Joe Sugg captures the cold hearts of a nation

He foxtrotted his way into the big time.

Joe Sugg received a less than warm reception from the locals when it was announced that he would strutting his stuff on uber-popular British reality show 'Strictly Come Dancing'.

However, Joe overcame the naysayers and sashayed his way into a very respectable second place. But it wasn't the top prize that truly caught his eye - in Joe's own words, he "may not have won the glitter ball, but (he) won something a million times more special" - that being the affections of his dance partner Dianne Buswell.

The pair evaded questions about their relationship throughout the competition and then finally revealed that they are an item once it all came to an end. Bless.

Then they went on a £2,800 date with Alfie Deyes and Zoe Sugg. You know, as you do.

7. TanaCon is... well, a bit of a con

Lol, you didn't think I'd miss out TanaCon did you?

tanacon tana mongeau
Picture: Tana Mongeau

Sometimes you can see a disaster coming along from a mile away, like when someone asks if you want to go paintballing, or when you see a shark driving one of those trucks that has lots of cars on the back. TanaCon was one of those disasters.

From the moment it was announced, all the way through the barely thought-through planning period, and then the event itself, there was never a flicker of doubt in anyone's mind that it would be anything other than an unmitigated disaster.

The event was a disaster, but gave birth to Shane Dawson's excellent series about what went wrong, so there was a silver lining to this cloud of sadness.

The drama continued long beyond the event itself, with Tana mocking the event's organiser with a Halloween costume and him replying by releasing a long, tedious documentary about the event as some kind of weird revenge that went nowhere.

Also Tana made merch for the event, about half a year after it happened, because honestly why not.

6. Shane Dawson gets chills, views

Shane on, you crazy diamond.

Shane Dawson was probably the most talked about YouTuber of 2018, which is honestly pretty amazing in a world where Logan Paul exists. His various documentary series got more views than uhh... god I don't know - listen I've done enough jokes in this list already, haven't I? Do you really need one more? The point is a lot of people watched these damn videos.

His Jake Paul series proved to be the zenith (good word) of his documentary hype, leading to both praise from fans and criticism for some of the tone of the videos. Criticism Shane handled pretty masterfully.

In the end, it got more views than the D section of a CD shop around April 2016. Think about it.

5. Logan Paul.

How long have you got.

logan paul japan
Picture: Logan Paul

What can I say about Logan Paul that hasn't been spat at him by almost every person on the planet. Logan decided to kick off his 2018 by going to a well-known suicide hotspot and filming the body of a recently deceased man.

There's not really much more that needs to be said, simply because that last sentence is so mind-blowingly disgusting.

He was also exposed for being very offensive in Japan, in general:

Logan's horrible actions set off a chain of events that lead to him taking the world's shortest hiatus from YouTube and then returning to the internet seemingly having learned literally no lessons at all. Hooray. We're all doomed.

4. Colleen Ballinger has baby

In unrelated news, fellow YouTuber Miranda Sings also coincidentally got pregnant this year

It seemed like everyone was talking about Colleen Ballinger's uterus this year - and with good reason! There was a baby inside it, and then, after a period of labour, there was no longer a baby inside it! Ah the miracles of nature.

This baby boy was born with my clout than more of us will amass in a lifetime. I mean, he literally had his first kiss before he was even born - and it was with Ariana bloody Grande.

3. PewDiePie v T-Series

I haven't seen this much discussion of subs since my last S&M convention!! Heyo!!! Get into it!!!

pewdiepie t-series
Picture: PewDiePie

PewDiePie, a YouTuber that is almost impossible to classify, has once again had a hell of a year.

The main focus this year, PewDiePie-wise, has been his protracted 'battle' with Indian production company T-Series, which started to creep up behind him in terms of subscriber numbers and even threaten to snatch his crown as the most subscribed creator in the world.

But a large selection of the community rallied behind Felix - going so far as to hack printers and pay for million-dollar billboards, all to encourage people to sub to Pewds.

At the time of writing he still has the YouTube crown, so it must be working!

2. The Logan v KSI fight

Boys punch each other to prove once and for all... something(?)... it's not clear what.

As Boxing Day is nearly upon us, I thought I'd take a moment to recount the grand old story of Logan Paul and KSI: two young men who hit each other very hard inside a rope square until they got tired and then it ended.

The prize they sought was nothing less than honour itself (and money). They battled for their fans (money), their home nations (cash) and the pride of their channels (they made so much goddamn money off this fight you don't even know, man).

In the end, who was the real winner? My son, it was the fans.

Lovely. Merry Christmas.

1. Alfie Deyes announces that he's "not a Tory"

Also contender for the best thing that happened in 2018 as a whole.

Listen, this was the best thing that happened in the world of YouTube this year. I will accept no substitutes. It was not the biggest thing, but it was the best thing.

First, because it was unbelievably funny, but second because it was the kind of thing that could ONLY happen in the world of YouTube. Let's break down how this great event came to be:

Step 1: Alfie posted a 'living on £1 for a day' video in which he... just didn't do that. He actually hilariously took a break in the middle of his challenge to go and buy some pointless shite. Jaackmate did a typically brilliant breakdown of this:

Step 2: People started to mock Alfie for being seemingly out of touch with less fortunate people - and, you know, people who literally do have to live on a pound a day.

Step 3: Some people started to mockingly refer to Alfie as a 'Tory'. Now, I'll quickly explain this but it doesn't actually really matter: 'Tory' is a term used to describe someone who supports the Conservative Party in the UK.

(The Conservatives, as with any conservative group, are often painted as being a party for the rich and not the working class, hence people calling Alfie a 'Tory', because he spent his 'living on £1' video buying beard combs and using a personal trainer.)

Honestly, the politics of this truly doesn't matter. What DOES matter is that - step 4 - Alfie felt compelled to make a video, in which he expressly stated that he is not a Tory.

It's just... it's just so funny.

I actually struggle to explain precisely why it's so funny. I guess it's because all the 'Tory' labels were just random insults thrown at him - and yet he treats it all so seriously.

It's like if someone calls you a dickhead, so you decide to hold a press conference where you clarify, in no uncertain terms, that you are in fact not a dickhead and wanted to clear that up, actually.

I think, when I'm lying on my deathbed at the grand old age of 52 (I am a pessimist), I will look around at my beautiful wife (Emma Watson, from movies) and my 6 beautiful children (and also my son Tavin who is average-looking at best) and I will gaze into their eyes as I begin to slip away from this world and into Hell, and for a moment I will feel the most inescapable feeling of pure calm.

And then, just as the last ember of life flickers and fades in my brain, I will see Alfie Deyes' cheeky little face staring dead into camera and solemnly intoning "I am not a Tory" and then, and only then, will I die a happy man.

Here's to 2019.