YouTube RPF

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RPF Fandom
Name(s): YouTube RPF, YT RPF, Video Blogging RPF, Vlogger RPF, Vlogging RPF
Scope/Focus: YouTube creators
Date(s): 2010(?)-
See also: Rooster Teeth, Phandom
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YouTube RPF is the umbrella term for the RPF fandom centered around YouTube creators. It is made up of a number of smaller, more or less autonomous fandoms centered around specific creators or groups of creators.

Fanworks have been created including het, slash and gen in the form of fanfiction, fanart, podfic, fanvids and indeed vlogs.


YouTube itself was created in 2005; presumably, fans of people creating content for YouTube appeared soon after on various platforms. However, since the platform was relatively new and unknown in 2005, most of the fandom aspects of YouTube RPF can only reliably be traced back as far as roughly 2010. This coincided with the rise of youtubers as a genre of media that one could consume after the rise in popularity of vlogger-style content such as the VlogBrothers and actual vloggers such as Dan Howell and Phil Lester rather than ARG-type content such as The Human Pet or random, comedy-style content like Smosh's "Pokémon Theme Music Video."

Livejournal community Youtube Slash was created Sept 10, 2010 and operated until sometime later when it was purged, like many inactive communities after fandom left for sites such as Tumblr.[1] The first use of the 'Vlogger RPF' tag on AO3 dates back to Jan 26, 2011[2] and Channel Awesome fic was posted on FanFiction.Net as far back as Jue 2010.[3] It's hard to track when it first began appearing on Wattpad, but the Cherimon fic Franky is dated 10 November 2011, so YouTube RPF dates at least that far back on the site.

A branch of YouTube RPF, based on Let's Players, began in 2007 with the first video-based let's play. However, actual let's player RPF with subsequential fandoms and fanworks would not actual begin until much later. Some of the most popular let's players include Pewdiepie (who began making let's plays in 2010), Jacksepticeye (who began making let's plays in 2012), and Markiplier (who also began making let's plays in 2012). While it did not begin in 2020, a new branch of Youtube RPF, called Minecraft YouTube, or MCYT, started gaining traction in 2020. This branch also includes Twitch streamers, though they are also labeled as "YouTube RPF" even if they do far more on Twitch. This branch of Let's Play RPF focuses on Minecraft Let's Players, such as popular MCYT players Dream, Ph1LzA, and GeorgeNotFound.


As of Sept 30, 2014, the 10 most popular ships in 'Video Blogging RPF' according to the AO3 sidebars were dominated by two categories of ships:

Other common YouTube RPF ships:

It's also common to ship youtubers with their real-life spouses or significant others, as is the case with many Rooster Teeth fics featuring Michael Jones and Lindsay Jones or Game Grumps fics featuring Arin Hanson and Suzy Berhow. Sometimes, the predominant Slash pairing in a fandom will include a spouse/S.O. to make an OT3.

Example Fanworks



Responses to Abuse in the YouTube Community

The Fourth wall

Whereas in Bandom, a similarly loosely grouped RPF fandom, the fourth wall has been notably thin, the problem is quite a bit worse in regards to Youtube RPF. It's popular for a YouTuber who's relatively popular to either google themselves and discover fanfiction about themselves exists or, in a stunning dissolution of the fourth wall, to actively solicit fans to send them fanfiction that they then react to and sometimes act out in real life. These videos have been around for almost as long as the fandom is documented, starting most likely with Charlie McDonnell's video Tumblr Weirdness, posted 28 January 2011.

Of course, since the practice is largely clickbait, most often these videos are specifically reacting to NC-17 or otherwise "dirty" fanfiction, rather than ones that are potentially more representative of the works that their fandoms might produce. Generally, these youtubers pick fics that might actually be the "worst," so to speak, out of the ones that they've been sent in order to make a more entertaining video - especially in a video where the youtuber acts out the fanfic. Other trends include reacting to Badfic and, occasionally, a Youtuber writing fanfiction about themselves and then having someone else react to it. Sometimes, a youtuber will do this type of video multiple times if it does well enough the first time in a unique and cyclical exploitation of their fandom.

This phenomenon is not to be confused with video fanfiction, a type of fanvid that's been edited to create a story, or dramatic readings, where someone is reading a fic in a somewhat dramatic fashion - although they can contain these things.

See for example:

Fannish Resources


  1. ^ youtube-slash profile, retrieved Sept 30, 2014.
  2. ^ Save file to folder by idirescentglow, Charlie McDonnell/Alex Day, posted Jan 26, 2011. (Retrieved Sept 30, 2014.)
  3. ^ 60 Days in Change by Kiarah Night, posted 11 June 2010. (Retrieved 15 February 2019.)