His videos mostly consist of him behaving strangely and throwing, mixing, or smashing food ingredients against the countertops and floor of his kitchen in a wild manner, causing a large mess. It is this randomness that makes his videos comedic. This shows that he is a pioneer of clickbait.
He uses a large number of eggs in his videos, and frequently claims to have an "egg fetish"; he also frequently uses dolls, chicken meats, raw fish, and printed images. Most of his later videos start off looking like real how-to videos, only to become bizarre, chaotic and disturbing, usually due to a mishap he experiences. However, his earlist videos were legitimate tutorials for simplistic tasks, such as closing doors or picking up items.
Frequently wasted food
Due to the horribly huge amount of food that is frequently wasted in his videos, this has lead to the channel becoming somewhat controversial. People often flood the comments with jokes saying "Children in Africa could have eaten (object/food item)."
While there is some controversy surrounding the waste of food, these comments about kids in Africa dominate most of the recent videos' comment sections, leading to many people getting annoyed at others that post these joke comments. All his videos have a decent thumbnail which makes the video look like it's a normal how-to video. He also classifies his videos in the "How-To And Tutorials" category, despite the actual content of the video.
His videos start as seemingly normal guides but derail into his iconic frenzy-like video style, which is clickbait.
On two occasions, HowToBasic's channel was terminated: the first time on December 23, 2014, and the second time on December 2, 2015. No clear explanation was provided, but many people suspected the thumbnails were misleading and that's what the terminations were for. However, he successfully appealed both terminations and was reinstated within that day or the next day.
Due to the nature of his videos, HowToBasic has limited or no ads running on his videos, even after confirmation by manual review. Some of his videos got age-restricted, and never taken down, while the following videos were taken down for Terms of Service violations.
- How To Kill Someone (reuploaded): Removed for violating Terms of Service in fear of future murders.
- How To Make Cookies (reinstated): Removed due to a copyright claim, albeit there were no copyright issues.
- How To Make Vegemite (reinstated): Removed on two occasions because some people suspected he vomited into the mixture and that Vegemite may have been mistaken for vagina.
- How To Wipe Your Bottom (private): Removed for nudity or sexual content under suspicion of real poop found in a toilet.
- How To Discipline Your Child (reuploaded): Removed for nudity or sexual content due to brief clips of a man's exposed buttocks being slapped that would often flash up at random for a comedic effect plus having an egg land on it.
- How To Make the Sh*t Hit the Fan (reinstated): Removed for nudity or sexual content because some people suspected that his crotch was shown.
- How To Use a Dishwasher (reinstated): Removed for spam, scams, and commercially deceptive content with no clear indication of what was misleading, maybe perhaps the video's custom thumbnail.
- How To Train a Cat (reuploaded): Removed for violent or graphic content, although he actually chucked a shoe and not a cat at the TV and possibly for animal abuse.
- How To Paint a Realistic Eye (reinstated): Removed due to a copyright claim, albeit there was no copyright issues.
- How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs (reuploaded): Removed due to a copyright claim by KQED, most likely because of the music used.
- How To Cure Ebola (reuploaded): Removed due to alleged hate speech.
- How To Get Rich With CS:GO (reuploaded): Removed for allegedly promoting a scam CS:GO Cosmetic Website.
- How To Win The Hunger Games (reuploaded): Removed for unknown reasons.
- How To Teach a Dog to Sit (reuploaded): Removed for animal cruelty alongside with the "How to Train a Cat" video.
Face reveal video
After reaching 10 million subscribers, HowToBasic worked on a project for the face reveal video many were anticipating since the day HowToBasic reached 1 million subscribers. The video was released on March 24, 2018, which includes many YouTubers claiming they are HowToBasic as well as the following notable users. Viewers believed HowToBasic did not do an actual face reveal and that it was a joke just like previous How To videos.
HowToBasic made a video called 'Face Reveal', and the person that was shown is Michael Stevens, or VSauce, who is the #1 YouTube educator with 16 million subscribers. He explains why he made his "tutorials," because machines are used to find these tutorials, not videos. Michael (from VSauce) claims that machines are used to find tutorials by Googling how to do these different things. Michael reveals that he has left hidden eggs in several of his videos as a clue to his identity as HowToBasic, but these eggs are not actually present in any of the videos shown and were edited in for the face reveal video.
After VSauce's part of the video, Maxmoefoe came in and claims he is HowToBasic. People would explain how Max did a video in collaboration with HowToBasic. Max said he used a tennis ball machine filled with eggs to make the eggs hit him and he used a green screen to show the hands throwing at Max. And Max did audio sounds to sound like HowToBasic is grudging when throwing (even though Max's grudging sounds way different). Max also shows his play buttons that have the name 'HowToBasic' in it, on the Gold play button and 2 silver play buttons with HowToBasic and the 2nd HowToBasic channel. In the end, Max showed a blooper and the cameraman said "Do you think people will believe that?", and people say Max did not do the face reveal nor owned HowToBasic.
A Twitch streamer known as Warrun (or beansceneTV), claims he has done the face reveal. At the start, he shows a clip that was leaked a few years ago, Max (on the video) said, "Hey HowToBasic" and "That's HowToBasic", and the face is familiar to Warrun's face, but with a longer beard. He also shows a BTS video of a video "How To Correctly Serve a Watermelon". In the BTS video, there is one watermelon. But in the actual video, there are two watermelons (half each). People speculated that the BTS video was made just for the Face Reveal video. In a another BTS video of "How To Make a Vegan Cake", he uses red syrup, but in the actual video, it's chocolate syrup. He is then later crowded with famous YouTubers, each of them claiming to be HowToBasic (e.g. Ricky Berwick, Markiplier, theneedledrop, Callum's Corner and others).
Ali The Cabbage
And finally, a YouTuber known as Ali The Cabbage, did a video (with scary effects) saying that he figured out HowToBasic's identity with image proof. He shows one image that was in multiple HowToBasic videos. He has also claimed it took him "4 years" to find out who HowToBasic is (and many people say he lies). At the end of the video, Ali is being assaulted by a person that people believe it is HowToBasic himself.
- He has officially stated that his name is not 'Aaron Jackson'. This was just a fan theory, based on bloopers from Maxmoefoe's "Krabby Patty Challenge".
- To celebrate his channel reaching one-million subscribers, he uploaded "How To Get 1,000,000 Subscribers". After smashing hundreds of eggs, he creeps along a hallway and stands next to a mirror. Just as he is about to turn and reveal his face, he smashes an egg against the mirror, wags his finger "no" shortly before he flips the bird.
- He makes obnoxious noises while filming the crazy videos.
- There is a theory that HowToBasic has a goatee based on a reflection on a glass door.
- He is left-handed, as shown in "How To Make A Krabby Patty".
- All of his videos are filmed in his underwear to give the appearance that he is nude. He frequently withdraws a large sausage in place of a penis, which is usually either mutilated or shoved in and out of a raw chicken's neck cavity. In "How To Teleport"; when he teleports into a grocery store, his black shorts can be seen very briefly when the camera looks down. In "How To Put on a Condom", he puts a condom onto a sausage and chases people through a clothing store. He was obviously clothed. In public, he wears a tank top and shorts. Outside, he wears a swimsuit, to still make it look like he is nude.
- He frequently drops thick brown liquid onto objects as if he was defecating on them. Sound similar to farting are played during this period.
- In "How to Make a Krabby Patty", he mixes together several objects, (including a condom, a tampon, several bottles of food coloring and glitter, and a Spongebob SquarePants DVD) into an increasingly disgusting mess. He transfers the Krabby Patty into a bucket, and serves it to Maxmoefoe in his "HowToBasic Challenge". Max was unable to consume any of it and vomited numerous times.
- In "How To Fight A Chicken", it is clear that he has a chicken farm in his yard. It is possible that this is where he gets the vast quantities of eggs used in his videos.
- He mentioned that during the "How To Make Wine" video, he cut his hand after smashing a wine glass.
- Several YouTubers have attempted to reveal HowToBasic's identity. All of the face reveal videos made so far have been confirmed to be fake.
- There are rumours about his first name being "Patrick".
- In some videos like 'How To Babysit', it appears that he uses the Apple software 'iMovie'.
- jacksfilms claimed that the identity of HowToBasic is his former college roommate, Darren Cunningham, in a video where Douglass did impressions of fellow YouTubers.
- On May 24th, 2013, more than a month before he turning 19 years old, he was interviewed with Nine News Perth as shown in the video below. In "How To Do Homework" as well as a few earlier videos, he is shown to own a dog, perhaps a German Shepherd.
- Starting in late 2013, his videos started having over fifty to a hundred cutting points with about two or three cuts per second.
- After "How to Save a Drowning Child", HowToBasic, as well as Maxmoefoe, FilthyFrank, iDubbbz, Anything4views, and others lived in a house that is similar to his old house, but the exterior is shaped like a barn.
- Though, in "How to Quickly Deliver a Baby", HowToBasic drives the baby to his old house.
- He usually gives a thumbs up and occasionally the middle finger in front of the camera.
- As of June 2016, he is known to start using firearms in his videos, as shown in 'How To Make a Paper Gun That Shoots', in which he destroys various ingredients by shooting them with a shotgun, and in 'How To Fix a Slow MacBook', he smashes and destroys a MacBook with a shotgun and a pistol.jello.
- He is most likely not a fan of RiceGum as he was in iDubbbzTV's diss track on him titled "Asian Jake Paul" but his hoodie hid his face to further hide his identity.
- He has a second YouTube channel, HowToBasic2, which isn't active.
- People often think he uses expired food in his videos.
- A video called "How To Get High" confirms this in which he opens a sealed bag of lettuce with the expiration date briefly visible.
- People often think he makes a mess and then moves to a different house.
- He hates toy babies as they 'ruin everything' in his videos.
- In his older videos (starting from the first 3 posted on December 8, 2011), he didn't make messes.
- In "How To Edit a Video", the name Joshua can briefly be seen on his laptop screen, as he logs in.
- As of "How To Make the Perfect Coffee", he uses a female narrator through his radio to narrate his videos and give instructions to the viewers while for "How To Make a Slow Cooked Beef Stew" and later April Fools videos, he uses a male narrator to narrate his videos and give instructions to the viewers.
Note: The following dates are according to
- 1 million subscribers: June 17, 2013
- 2 million subscribers: October 6, 2013
- 3 million subscribers: March 10, 2014
- 4 million subscribers: October 9, 2014
- 5 million subscribers: June 21, 2015
- 6 million subscribers: December 2, 2015
- 7 million subscribers: April 10, 2016
- 8 million subscribers: September 21, 2016
- 9 million subscribers: May 14, 2017
- 10 million subscribers: December 29, 2017
- 11 million subscribers: April 2, 2018
- 12 million subscribers: September 16, 2018
- 13 million subscribers: March 18, 2019
- 14 million subscribers: December 18, 2019
- 15 million subscribers: August 3, 2020
- 16 million subscribers: February 13, 2021
Video view milestones
- 1 billion views: March 25, 2016
- 2 billion views: December 16, 2018
- 3 billion views: January 28, 2021
Wikitubia Hall of Fame