Updated Apr 30, 2018 at 04:29PM EDT by Adam.

Added Feb 22, 2013 at 09:00AM EST by amanda b..

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HowToBasic is a tutorial YouTube web series featuring instructional videos on how to complete basic tasks. Although a handful of these videos actually complete a task, most of them are parodies of standard tutorial videos featuring over-the-top actions that often will involve smashing ingredients, especially eggs, creating large messes.

Online History

The first HowToBasic video was uploaded on December 8th, 2011, with instructions on how to pick up an umbrella (shown below, left). The four-second clip shows a hand reaching out and picking up a white umbrella that is standing upright. As of February 2013, this video has more than 146,000 views. That day, two other videos were uploaded, each 17 seconds or less, depicting how to shut a door and save power. In January 2012, a Facebook fan page[2] for the channel was launched, but it was not actively used until later that year. The channel lay dormant until March 26th, 2012, when a video instructing viewers on how to open a water bottle (shown below, right) was uploaded. On that day, the channel uploaded 93 other instructional clips, all under 43 seconds.

Of the 94 videos uploaded on March 26th, some of the instructions began to become more bizarre, with one video featuring soup recipe (shown below, left) using three different soaps and bread and another instructing viewers that the proper way to eat a cupcake (shown below, right) is to take bites and then spit them out on the counter.

On April 14th, the channel began regularly updating instead of uploading a large amount of videos in one batch. The videos also began to utilize special thumbnail images of delicious looking food the YouTuber would attempt to recreate (shown below), despite the recipes not actually creating the food. The videos also began to regularly incorporate smashed raw eggs and spilled liquids, emphasizing creating a mess rather than something edible.

0:27 0:29 0:12 How To Make a Deliclous Chocola...How To Make Cereal The Correct... 2,119,784 views 10 months ago How To Correctly Add Milk to You... 1,703,152 views 10 months ago 1,357,496 views 10 months ago 0:33 0:34 0:38 How To Correctly Serve a Burnt O...How To Make an Egg Salad Sandw.. How To Blow Up a Lettuce 950,211 views 10 months ago 1,082,975 views 10 months ago 624,324 views 10 months ago 0:43 0:42 0:32 How To Make a Pizza How To Correctly Add Milk to You... 1,364,754 views |9 months ago How To Make a Delicious Chocola... 1,538,398 views 10 months ago 1,896,133 views 9 months ago

"Face Reveal" Video

On December 16th, 2017, HowToBasic posted a poll[18][19] asking if a "face reveal" should be released after the channels gains 10 million subscribers (shown below).

10 Million Subscribers face reveal? 3 months ago 484K votes BASIC Yes 89% No 11% 37K 8.7K:

On March 24th, a video titled "Face Reveal" was uploaded to the HowToBasic channel, in which Michael Stevens from Vsauce reveals himself as the creator of HowToBasic, before getting into an argument with YouTuber MaxMoeFoe, who then claims to be HowToBasic himself (shown below). After the MaxMoeFoeReveal, a man identified as Warrun is shown claiming to the HowToBasic followed by a montage of short clips in which various YouTubers announce "I am HowToBasic." At the end of the video, a man frantically explains a conspiracy theory about the identity of HowToBasic before he is murdered by the YouTuber. Within 48 hours, the video garnered more than 12.2 million views and 185,900 comments.

Meanwhile, Redditor CrazyChicken007 submitted the video to the /r/videos[20] subreddit, where it received more than 44,400 points (78% upvoted) and 2,800 comments within two days. That day, Redditor Fred_The_Pig posted the video to /r/ARG,[21] where Redditor CBTela replied that the video gained encoded messages for "urmomgay" and "no u." On March 26th, Redditor AydanOfHouseCock posted an image macro of the Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi professing to be HowToBasic to /r/dankmemes[22] (shown below).

'Uncle Ben, do you know HowToBasic?' Well, of course l Know him. He'sme

Alternate Reality Game

At the end of the video, a single frame shows a series of emoji identified as Wingdings, which when translated, shows the phrase "/watch?v."[23] The day after the video was posted, a tag was added to the video which read "wait for the =." This led to speculation that a url was slowly being revealed in an alternate reality game.

On March 28th, 2018, HowToBasic uploaded How to Make a Hawaiian Pizza which also featured Wingdings emoji. When translated, they read "mmf2v12."


A subreddit was created to track the ARG, /r/WhoIsHTB.[24] After a month of activity, a moderator appeared to say the ARG was made up by the admin team of the subreddit.[25] However, the following day, another moderator made a post saying the game may still be on, leading to confusion as to whether the game was ongoing. The events were covered in an /r/OutOfTheLoop post.[26]


A Facebook page[2] for the channel was founded in early 2012 and had accrued more than 48,000 likes by February 2013. That number grew to over 2.2 million likes by September 2015. A Twitter account[3] for the channel was also established February 2013, gaining more than 5700 followers in less than a year and 160k followers by late 2015. On April 24th, 2012, a HowToBasic video was first shared on FunnyJunk.[4] Hours later, the channel was linked on MetaFilter[5], receiving more than 50 comments. The following day, Guyism[6] posted a slideshow of the 10 best videos from the channel, resulting in coverage on Uproxx[7], The Daily Dot[8] and movie blog The Substream[9] on April 26th. Over the next several months, the channel was also discussed on gaming forum NeoGAF[10], HTML Giant[11] and College Humor.[12] In December 2012, HowToBasic released an iPhone app[16] compiling the channel's videos that earned a five-star rating within two months.

By April 2014, the HowToBasic YouTube channel received more than 3.1 million subscribers and 396 million video views. The latest count (as of September 2015) had 5.6 million subscribers and 802.6 million views.

Notable Episodes

Personal Life

Not much is known about the vlogger behind HowToBasic except that he is located in Australia. There have been four AMA (Ask Me Anything) requests for him to do an interview on Reddit[13], but he has yet to respond. In addition to Twitter and Facebook, the owner of the channel maintains an Instagram[14] account posting both personal photos as well as highlights from his videos. He also has two other YouTube account: HowToBasic2[15] features bloopers and personal tutorials featuring merchandise for the series (shown below, left) and The Fruit Smasher[16] features less than 10-second clips of a hand smashing fruit (shown below, right).

Search Interest

External References

Recent Videos 230 total

Recent Images 23 total

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