21 Vlogbrothers Videos You've Gotta Watch

by Alanna Bennett

John Green's been a rock star for a long time. So has his brother, Hank Green: Together they've been making a mark on an ever-growing, ever-important community for since approximately 2007. Now that John's The Fault In Our Stars will be opening this Friday as a major motion picture, it's throwing everything into an entirely new perspective. We've been extolling the virtues of The Fault In Our Stars for months now — but we've been fans of the Vlogbrothers for even longer. So what better time than now to explore some of the moments that have made the Greens so beloved, and allowed them to transform from two brothers sitting in their houses talking into cameras to two brothers using that platform to genuinely make the world a more awesome place?

Though The Fault In Our Stars has undoubtedly blown up in a way that reaches far beyond its roots, the fact remains the same: John Green is more than a YA author. With his brother he is a veritable cult figure, and the fandom community of "Nerdfighters" who have surrounded the Greens and grown with them are as crucial an aspect of The Fault In Our Stars as the Julius Ceasar quote that inspired its name.

Go to any Harry Potter conference around the world, and Hank and John Green are rock stars. This was true years before John made TIME's list of 100 most influential people, and it will likely be true long after. They've been landmark figures through the thick and thin of the Youtube community, and their voices have helped to guide and shape the generation of fans who will probably (hopefully) turn Fault into a worldwide hit come this weekend. So let's walk through some of what they've said through their shared forum, shall we?

The song that brought them their first fame

There is a certain type of person on this Earth who can sing you every word to "Accio Deathly Hallows." They live at Harry Potter conventions, and online video conventions, and just, well, around you every day. This song, performed by Hank, was posted the week before the final Harry Potter book came out, and it's full of predictions and longing for the series. Some of the predictions, it should be noted, turned out almost eerily accurate.

Hank performed this song seven years later at CARNEGIE HALL. The most telling performance probably came at LeakyCon 2012, where Hank sang the song with Wizard Rock band Harry and the Potters and an audience who loved every second of it. You can literally see how they went from two dudes talking to each other in their basement to leaders in an massive subculture.

On what's so great about nerdiness

Nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff...Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-your chair-can't-control-yourself love it. Hank, when people call people nerds mostly what they're saying is 'You like stuff,' which is just not a good insult. Like, 'You are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness.'

Rest in Awesome, Esther Earl

It's a fact that's been written about over an over again: Esther Earl, a Nerdfighter who died of cancer at 16, was a big part of why The Fault In Our Stars came to be. To see why you should really just listen to them talk about her and her influence. "This star won't go out" is an important phrase to Nerdfighters, and Earl is why that is. You can learn more about the This Star Won't Go Out foundation here.

The video above is from the founding of Esther Day — a day that takes place every year on her birthday and honors family and love — and the video below is what Green said the week she died.

This one, in turn, is from Esther Day 2013:

John explores an abandoned hospital with longtime friend Ransom Riggs

Sometimes it's the simple things in life that bring you joy, like watching some smart, cool people explore a truly creepy place.

Thoughts from small town America

In which John explores a cemetary and waxes nostalgic on stories and the romance of "lighting off for the territories." He also triggered a Nerdfighter investigation into Gussie Manlove, yet another great example of the collective thinking power of the Nerdfighter community. The send-off of that investigation lies here:

Thoughts from the middle of nowhere

Spoiler alert: The middle of nowhere is both really cool and really terrifying.

Hank and John Rule The World

All you have to do to see John and Hank as the nerd rock stars that they are is see them in their element: Playing to thousands splayed out in a nerdy audience.

Every time for the rest of my life that someone whines about the intellectually disengaged tastes of teenagers these days, I will play them this.

John Teaching You Fitness For Nerds

This is John Green, acclaimed best-selling author and one of TIME's most influential people, wearing tights and a (possibly unintentional) crop top and teaching us how to stay fit nerd-style.

John Explains the American Health Care System

One of the greatest things about the Vlogbrothers is their ability to pivot from the thoroughly silly (see: Fitness for Nerds) to the genuinely, widely impactful. If you're wondering why they're so successful in pulling off that kind of pivot, the answer's right here: They're damn smart. For another example, here's Hank taking on the American prison system:

John gives advice on romance and sex

He actually does this quite frequently in his videos, and they're all pretty great. It also functions as yet another episode in "The People In the Airport Think That John Green Is Crazy," and you'll learn waaay more than you ever wanted to know about llama enjaculation.

It also pairs rather well with:

"How To Make Guys Like You"

One of their earlier advice videos, and another example of why the Nerdfighteria fanbase is majority female.

John Helps Two Nerdfighters Get Engaged

Nerd love!

Hank Talks Sexual Identity

In which a young, flamboyant Hank was very confused.

Question Tuesday, the day TFiOS came out

He also puts peanut butter on his face...again. He also answers questions about The Fault In Our Stars, as relevant to this week as it was two years ago.

Hank Green humps the town

A classic moment in Nerdfighter history. It also happened to take place right around the time The Fault In Our Stars started blowing up. Humpy Hank is a legend.

Hank Hankrolls the Universe

Useful for your everyday life.

Images: Vlogbrothers/Youtube