DFTBA!note Don't Forget To Be Awesome. Or, if John is sick of people asking what it means, it's Dinosaurs Fail To Beat Asteroids.
Vlogbrothers, as the name implies, is the YouTube channel and vlogging project of brothers Hank and John Green. Vlogbrothers (also known as Brotherhood 2.0) was originally a one-year project starting January 1, 2007, where the two brothers swore off textual communication with each other. They were to update one after the other every weekday of the year and each video was to be no more than 4 minutes long. After the year was up, the enthusiastic reception from their fanbase led them to continue the project.Since then, they have developed a sizable fanbase, due not only to the success of their videos, but also music, books and various charity works. Fans are known as "nerdfighters". They are the organizers of VidCon, the world's first and only convention dedicated to internet videos. Both now also host another channel "Crash Course", where each brother gives lectures on subjects they're knowledgeable about, and Hank also hosts "Sci Show", filled with various science news videos. In addition, Hank produced The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and The Brain Scoop, a modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and a show about taxidermy, respectively. John and Hank are also hosts on the mental_floss Youtube channel, from the magazine mental_floss which gave John his first ever writing job, on which once a week either John gives a nerdy triviatastic list video or Hank gives a quiz video.
Aluminum Christmas Trees: Hank made a video (and song) about the demolition derby in response to incredulous comments from people who thought derbies were fictional.
Anti-Love Song: Hank sings "Florida" like a regular ballad love song, but it's actually about how much Florida sucks.
"The Adorable Cannibal" may also be an example because it is actually a love song, but a really weird one that overlaps love and sexual attraction with food cravings, and eating with making out.
Awesomeness Is a Force: The official definition of a Nerdfighter is someone who is composed of pure awesome instead of tissue, bones, etc. Also, the mission of Nerdfighteria, to increase awesome and decrease worldsuck. What more could you ask for?
This comes up whenever he discusses health care reform, as he gets noticeably angry talking about how it was hard for Hank to get insurance thanks to his ulcerative colitis
Blatant Lies: On "Question Tuesday, the day that I answer real questions from real nerdfighters!", John always answers the question "Who the eff is Hank?" (whether or not it was actually asked) with some wordy description of a person, thing, or phenomenon which is quite obviously not his brother. To make it even more Blatant Lies, Hank himself has answered that question once:
Hank: "Hank is a sausage covered in cornbread batter and deep fried."
This became a Brick Joke when someone at the Evening of Awesome at Carnegie Hall asked Hank what his patronus would be, and he answered "It's a corndog"...which IS a sausage covered in cornbread batter and deep fried!
Book Ends: "The Price of Fame", Hank's thoughts about the many comments on his Harry Potter, begins with the opening bars of the famous "Hedwig's Theme" from the Harry Potter movies and ends with the next few notes.
Broken Base: Invoked by fans with the Zombies/Unicorns issue, a completely silly and non-serious break specifically because they decided there wasn't enough conflict. Serious version Defied, they make a point of avoiding topics they disagree on.
Cavemen vs. Astronauts Debate: Zombies vs. Unicorns, which started in the community of YA novelists and has since spilt over into Nerdifghteria, dividing even the Green brothers themselves. Hank is pro-unicorn, and, while John is not exactly pro-zombie, he is definitely anti-unicorn.
Continuity Lockout: Because the series is so long-running and there are so many videos — they passed a thousand on the main channel alone in September 2012 — many jokes and references can easily be lost on new viewers. Sometimes even John and Hank forget how some things got started.
Expressive Hair: John's hair gets puffy when he gets anxious (because of a nervous habit of running his hands through it). "Puff Levels are unusually high today." Sometimes the Puff Level will steadily increase over the course of a video.
Face Your Fears: John is afraid of heights, but he faced his fear and stood up on top of a table to raise money for his favorite charity. It took a long time for him to muster up the courage. He also later rode the Frog Hopper as a punishment.
Fan Community Nickname: invoked Nerdfighters. The name came from an early video in which John encountered the game Aero Fighters and, upon misreading the title as "Nerd Fighters", wondered what he could do with an army of nerds. The nickname is widely and officially acknowledged.
Forced Meme: John has been trying to make "French the llama" a thing since the 2009 Project for Awesome. Even among the nerdfighters, though, it's not particularly common.
Grammar Nazi: John, although he often likes to pretend that he isn't because he believes the purpose of grammar is good communication and not to be an excuse for pedantry. Still... "You should probably know that in that context, "you're" is a contraction, and any time you're contracting "you are" it's spelled WHY-OH-YOU-APOSTOPHE-ARE-EE. Omigod, youtube, before you click "submit comment", read your comment and ask yourself, "DO I MEAN YOU ARE?". And if you do, you need an apostrophe."
Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act: Averted with the Evil Baby Orphanage. They plot to take all of history's evil figures and not kill them but instead raise them from birth as awesome people in a secluded orphanage.
I Uh You Too: While this is obviously a family example rather than the usual romantic ones, John and Hank do seem to have a pretty hard time saying the words "I love you" to each other. Even when forced to do so by beloved nerdfighter Esther, it was clearly an awkward experience for them.
John: Isn't it enough to just show you that I love you without talking about it? I'm a boy! I don't like to talk about it!
Memetic Hand Gesture: The Nerdfighter hand sign — two Vulcan salutes done with palms inward and arms crossed, accompanied by gun-cocking sound effects. Sometimes accompanied by "Hah hoo hah! NERDFIGHTERS!"
Metaphorgotten: John has done this once or twice. After a nice, undecipherable one: "I'm a novelist. I make up metaphors for a living!"
Moment Killer: OK, so they're already married and there's no Aborted Declaration of Love here, but in the "Fifth Anniversary with the Katherine" video, Katherine deftly assassinates a moment and keeps things from getting sappy: Hank starts stroking her hair. When she asks why, he replies "Because I love you!" She then asks him to do it again... And when he obliges, she licks his hand. Complete with "BLEAAAURG" sound.
Many viewers have commented on how appealing they find both John and Hank, and Hank has appeared on several blogs in lists of "certain people [the blogger] would like to do certain things with" (also known as the "celebrity do list" or "guilt-free three").
Both brothers have talked about the hotness of nerd girls, John in response to a young viewer's question about dating (calling them a great untapped resource), and Hank, in usual Hank fashion, in a song.
As shared on the effyeahnerdfighters Tumblr, Hank got lucky with knuckle tat. The two words people associated with him through writing them on his knuckles were "sexy" and "geek", in that order.
Nerdcore: Several of Hank's songs, including DFTBA and The Man Who Throws The Tetris Piece (especially the Dr. Noise cover).
Nerd Glasses: Both wear glasses, but John has a special pair that are extra-nerdy. He chose them on purpose after realizing that his previous glasses didn't have many nerd points.
Hi, this is Hank Green of the Vlogbrothers, and I just wanted to let you know that global poverty rates have dropped 30% since 1990, and they're on track to drop another 10% before 2015. She was talking and I just hung up on her. Ha! Ha, pranked!
Proud to Be a Geek: John, Hank, and Nerdfighters in general. John once talked about how "nerd" wasn't an insult, instead meaning that one prefers intelligence over stupidity and thoughtfulness over vapidity, and believes that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan.
The brothers also named their childhood dog, a dachshund they got for Christmas, Red Green.
And another pet (a snake) was named Blue Green.
Quizzical Tilt: Bubbles the Nerdfighting Puppy was prone to this upon hearing new sounds. Once he stopped, the Nerdfighting community at large attempted to get him to do it again. Because it was eye-meltingly cute.
Raise Him Right This Time: The Evil Baby Orphanage. The idea is that, instead of going back in time and assassinating famous dictators and other evil people, time travelers should abduct them when they're infants and bring them to the orphanage to raise them to be good people instead.
Running Gag: "Who the eff is Hank?", tiny chickens, airports, sock puppets, peep-eating contests, among many, many others.
Shoutout: Lots and lots. To authors, poets, musicians, and scientists living and dead, to movies and books, to other video bloggers. For just a couple examples, see Hank's guitar, which is painted with the words, "this machine pwns n00bs", and John's laptop that has a sticker with the original words "This machine kills fascists".
Sibling Team: Obviously. They were very amused by some speculation as to whether Hank was just a paid actor and the initial project was faked to get publicity for John's books.
Spin-Off: Many nerdfighters have been inspired to do other collaborative vlogs, notably shortsisters and fiveawesomegirls.
Stop Motion: Hank had fun with this in Denver Airport, through doing very basic stop motion animation with himself as the moving object. Somehow, nobody seemed to notice him lying on the chairs in various abnormal positions. He then set the animation to some music.
Stupid Statement Dance Mix: Hank put one together called "Willy's Song;" it was an amalgamation of all the bizarre sounds Nerdfighters had made in an attempt to get Willy to do his Quizzical Tilt again.
And there are several videos in which John uses the names of famous poets in place of swear words.
John: Iím a William Blake gangster, so of course you want my Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Youíre gonna wanna be all up in this William Wordsworth - Like oh Percy Shelley! Oh oh Percy Shelley! Iím the Lord Byroning Samuel Taylor Coleridge - WILLIAM BLAKE!
Viewers Are Geniuses: While both John and Hank often take time to explain what they are talking about, for the most part they assume that the majority of viewers are Nerdfighters and, therefore, smart enough and nerdy enough to understand and be interested in the topics mentioned. Hank and John both make casual references to people, works, and terms many casual viewers might not understand. Also, John can go into literary-sounding musings or descriptions, often filled with quotes from his favorite authors as well as his own books.
Also, Nerd Jokes. You have to be pretty familiar with scientific theories, literature, computer science, comics, psychology, anime, sci fi and fantasy, politics, math and physics, and/or famous historical scientists and scholars to get the jokes at all.
John: Uh... I'm just gonna freeze it right there, Hank, because a lot of young people watch our videos and they don't need to see a thirty-one year old man having what is known in competitive eating circles as a "reversal of fortune".
One nerdfighter asked John to propose to his girlfriend for him. John appeared to be just as nervous before the proposal (and as elated and relieved when she said yes) as an actual groom-to-be would be.
In fact, this is the same way he proposed to his wife, by asking her favorite author to ask her for him.
Writers Cannot Do Math: John has often had to call up "Resident Mathematician" Daniel Biss to do simple sums and even verify that one number is larger than another, and also infamously once calculated that there were 100 seconds in a minute.
You Keep Using That Word: Beginning videos with "Good morning Hank/John/Nerdfighters" became a tradition even though videos are actually rarely made and not necessarily watched in the morning. Lampshaded by Hank.
Links are in the dooblydoo. Hank, I'll see you on Friday.