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Content: An Intimate Introspection
Since 2005, the content on YouTube has greatly evolved based on the platform’s algorithm. From the trend of slime videos to the phenomenon of mukbangs, fads have come and gone on YouTube. However, one element has remained constant: the audience has always been highly attuned to their creators’ personal lives. There is nothing the audience loves more than a couple to adore, so it is no surprise when YouTube breakups occur, the audience is eager to know more.
Inevitably, creator relationships in the public eye have always garnered attention and admiration, but they also led to a sizable amount of criticism. Therefore, YouTube breakups have led to a considerable amount of discourse. Let’s talk about some of the platform’s most impactful YouTube breakups.
David Dobrik and Liza Koshy: “We Broke Up”
In 2018, prominent YouTubers and well-established influencers Liza Koshy and David Dobrik announced their breakup in a now-deleted video on Dobrik’s channel. This was not the first YouTube breakup that shook the internet and the platform. However, it was one of the biggest.
David Dobrik, known for his infamous 4 minutes and 20-second weekly vlogs starring his group of friends, typically included his girlfriend Liza and YouTube sensation in her own right. His self-entitled channel sees a staggering number of 17.9 million subscribers and over 7 billion views. Liza Koshy, known for her infamous comedy videos on Vine, seamlessly transitioned onto Youtube and garnered an audience of over 17 million subscribers and over 2 billion views.
At the time, David and Liza were largely uncontroversial figures and unanimously loved on the internet. BBC and Teen Vogue covered the news of their break up. An article by The Verge noted that the video announcing their mutual parting had received over 17 million views.
The video began similarly to Dobrik’s previous vlogs and showcased the familiar intro card and jingle. Due to the nature of the topic, Dobrik’s video was longer than usual. The pair discussed their distancing and eventual decision to part ways on an amicable note. Later that same year, in a vlog titled, “SOMEONE BROKE INTO HIS HOUSE!!” Liza Koshy was featured in the very beginning of the video in a scripted bit.
The video began with Koshy taking a pillow with a print of Dobrik’s face, laying it on the edge of the bed, and punching it in a rage, followed by laughter of Dobrik in the background. Now in 2023, however, the pair are rarely seen together on a public platform, cementing their YouTube breakup to be the end of their relationship.
Colleen Ballinger & JoshuaDTV
Colleen Ballinger, most famously known for her channel Miranda Sings, was previously in a romantic relationship with YouTuber Joshua Evans that ultimately ended in a YouTube breakup. The pair was frequently showcased on each other’s channels, and in 2014, they announced their engagement.
In true YouTuber fashion, they posted their proposal video on YouTube. In 2015 she posted their wedding video, including the reception, vows, and an array of heartwarming speeches. YouTube stars Jenna Marbles and Julien Solomita were in attendance, as well. However, a year later, Colleen Ballinger posted in a now private video titled, “Life Update,” Colleen mustered through the tears to announce her divorce to Joshua Evans.
In the video, Ballinger made a point to be respectful of Evans and emphasize the love she still had for him. Similarly, in a deleted video entitled Heartbroken, he stated that he “respected her life” and decisions, though it was not his wish. Their breakup premiered on YouTube. However, it did not end seamlessly there. In 2017, Colleen Ballinger posted a video called “Why I don’t want to talk about it,” she indirectly addressed their drama after he made several videos insinuating her wrong-doings.
She stated that she “[doesn’t] want to hurt anyone, ” so she has not discussed the details of her hardship and the breakup on YouTube or the internet. Therefore, this YouTube breakup was largely kept under wraps and left untouched by Colleen’s side out of respect. Since then, the pair has moved on to new relationships, and Colleen Ballinger has created a podcast with her husband Eric called “RELAX! with Colleen and Eric“.
This One Isn’t a Prank: Jen and Jesse
Another one of many YouTube breakups is with creators Jen and Jesse. This duo was famously known for their channel, “PrankvsPrank,” now titled simply “Jesse.”
Their videos showcased their back-and-forth prank wars. This entertained millions with videos like “GIRLFRIEND CAUGHT CHEATING PRANK – PRANKVSPRANK,” where Jen placed a fake male mannequin in the bed. Another prank video titled “SURPRISE HAIRCUT ON GIRLFRIEND – PRANKVSPRANK” garnered attention when Jesse pretended to cut off a chunk of Jen’s hair.
The pair began the phenomenon of couple pranks on YouTube. However, after the pair began to daily vlog was when the problems came to a head. In May 2016, the pair filmed a serious sit-down video titled “A NEW CHAPTER” on what is now Jen’s channel called Jen Smith. Unlike the previous YouTube breakup videos, this one is still up, with over 15 million views.
However, comments and likes are disabled. The pair discussed their mutual decision to part ways and have ended things on amicable terms. In November 2022, the pair reunited for a series of videos in which they vlogged their outings in the city and their (nonromantic) baseball date. They reminisced, showed their old apartments, and proved that their friendship remained intact.
Breakups on the Internet
So why do people love YouTube breakups? YouTube couples and breakups work similarly to celebrate breakups. Loyal and active fans interested in the lives of their favorite entertainers will feel heartbreak, especially if the breakup is emotional. Each of these creators developed a sense of community with their audience. As a result, their fans got invested. The internet scene is constantly changing and evolving, and so will the lives of our favorite influencers.
We can all agree that relationships are complicated. Add a layer of public scrutiny, and it becomes a different ball game. These YouTube couples were at the forefront of their content and image. The YouTube breakups led to disappointment and mourning from the fans because of their love and admiration for the creators. These YouTube breakups act as a spectacle and a moment in time for audiences and creators alike.