He frequently collaborates with YouTuber/roommate/best friend Dan Howell, and even hosts two collaboration series of sorts on his channel— the seasonal baking videos (alternate years), and "Phil is Not On Fire", ostensibly a Q&A show, but one that answers very little, with no normal prompts and lots of bizarre and amusing improv instead.
He and Dan also share a gaming channel at DanAndPhilGAMES. Any tropes relating to those videos should go on that page.
In addition to his online content, he and Dan co-host a weekly radio show on BBC Radio 1.
- Ambiguously Bi: For a while, his sexuality was unclear due to him preferring not to label himself and often commenting on the attractiveness of various male and female celebrities. There are also old (now dated) claims of him being bi/not straight. In June 2019, he uploaded this video in which he officially came out as gay, following Dan's own coming-out video.
- Amusing Injuries: Phil is fairly clumsy, and has hurt himself several times in his videos. He tends to laugh them off and see their ridiculousness along with the audience.
- Animal Motifs: There is a repeated lion motif in several of his videos (more apparent in past videos than more recent ones), such as his stuffed lion who is portrayed as a Deadpan Snarker who makes comments about Phil's stories through annotations, his "Draw Phil Naked" fan submissions which would often feature lions, along with a few of his videos being dedicated to lions or at least features a lion in the title. His Krave Challenge onesie was a lion as well.
- Black Comedy: In the "easter nests" baking video, they use a Bain-marienote , and Phil suggests that the hypothetical "Bain-Marie", for whom it could be named, died this way. Occasionally, Phil will lapse into black comedy without even knowing it.
- Butt-Monkey: He tends to be Dan's primary prank and abuse target and tells many stories of having bad luck. That doesn't mean Dan isn't equally matched in those respects.
- "Hey guys!"
- LessAmazingPhil videos have "Try new things!"
- "[X]? More like [Y]!" or "[X]? More like No!", frequently used as weak attempts at insults.
- Celeb Crush: A frequent topic was Phil's thing for Buffy Summers/Sarah Michelle Gellar. He draws the line at Sarah Michelle Gellar with a giraffe-neck, though.
- Color-Coded Characters: To some extent when he is paired with Dan, who is particularly fond of dark and ironic clothing, with both acknowledging how strange it is when they wear each other's clothing because of their distinctive color tastes.
- Comically Missing the Point: Phil has moments where he misinterprets some things in amusing ways and has acknowledged them himself sometimes.
- Once, on a TV interview, Phil said a squirrel "bit him on the Florida"...that is, he said he was bitten by a squirrel, and when asked "where did it bite you?", he responded with "Florida", the location where the incident occurred, rather than the place on his body where he was bitten.
- In Dan and Phil's collab with Rosanna Pansino on Nerdy Nummies, he misunderstands Ro's instructions to start the spiderweb pattern on their donuts by piping two crosses spanning the donut. Phil pipes two small crosses on either side before realizing his mistake.
- Covert Pervert: His innocent personality doesn't mean he isn't knowledgeable of or interested in some things that aren't so innocent, and he's showcased both sides. This is someone who will Squee! over a virtual puppy and use a stuffed animal as one of his symbols, but he will also casually discuss the weirdness of macrophilia during a party game or turn what was supposed to be a simple joke tweet on Dan's account into an uncomfortably plausible Dan-musing on a reindeer-kink fantasy.note
- Creepy Child:
- Phil may have been this, if his stories from The Rabit iz comin to get youu are anything to judge by:All that was left of Adam was a pool of bludd. The police came, and said they couldn't find Adam's body enywere. After that the school was shut down, and the monster that kild Adam still lives under streets. One of the man in seuwer got hold of monster fayse. The face was a mask. Under the mask was Adam's teecher. After that he went to prisun for life.One sunny day a little girl came up to the rabbit and patted it. The next thing she knew the rabbit bit a hole in her neck and she was dead. Then the police came to arrest the rabbit, but the rabbit bit a hole in every policeman's neck and they all died. One day because the rabbit had killed all those people, the army had to come with their big tanks and shoot him, and that was the end of the rabbit.
- Phil says when he was younger he would stare at his parents while they slept with an emotionless expression. He was definitely a creepy child.
- This horror movie he put together as a 12-year-old. Older Phil's commentary further solidifies that point.
- Phil may have been this, if his stories from The Rabit iz comin to get youu are anything to judge by:
- Creepy Doll: When on tour in America, he discovers that his room has quite a few old-fashioned jester dolls in it, which also have stories of being haunted attached to them. He resolves to sleep on the sofa for the duration of his stay.
- Crossover: With danisnotonfire. All. The. Time.
- Cute and Psycho: Older videos showcase more of Phil's... weirder side. He still retains a lot of that vibe. Prime examples are the times when he breaks out the black humour, casually spews odd facts about topics like pyromania, his general tendency to suddenly start staring wide-eyed at the camera without a word for some time and saying things that are sometimes flat-out Nightmare Fuel material. The last April Fool's prank with Dan takes it to an all new height.(in a disturbing falsetto): "Let's fix it with lamb's blood!"
- Does Not Like Spam: It used to be bananas - he's grown past it. Because of this change, he made a video tasting other foods he didn't like, and concluded that he still hates cheese, tomato juice, and carbonated water.
- Epic Fail: Phil tells a story of when a creepy old woman came to his door inviting him to meet "The Holy Mother". He refused by saying "maybe next time" instead of a hard refusal. He mentions the paranoia induced by this error.
- Eskimos Aren't Real: As a child, Phil used to think that seahorses were mythical creatures until he saw them at an aquarium.
- Evil Laugh: When he's serious enough about it he's surprisingly good at this, to the point that it scares even Dan at times.
- Extreme Doormat: A trait he attributes to his Britishness. It causes him great chagrin, such as when he finds himself unable to make a comeback to a rude neighbor or when he goes along with an insane gym plan, risking the possibility of vomiting on his trainer due to built-up nausea.
- Failed Dramatic Exit: Phil tells about how his childhood club was taken over by girls and completely changed, and he attempted to storm out in anger...leaving his shoes behind. He defied the embarrassing return, however, and opted to abandon his shoes forever.
- Footsie Under the Table: This happened to him when he was on an elementary school pizza date. His innocence and awkwardness kept him from protesting, but when the girl started lifting his trouser leg with her foot, his ticklish reflex caused him to bump the table and kick her, saving him.
- Friend to All Living Things:
- He loves animals (especially lions), and will try to cuddle any pet he encounters.
- This was also shown in Phil's baby video where it is revealed that he had a "house rabbit", which is his pet rabbit that lived in his house because she didn't like living in a cage.
- He is, however, afraid of horses. This apparently doesn't apply to horses with human faces though.
- Even if he's dead afraid of a bug or spider in his bed or on the wall, he does his best to evict it from the surroundings without killing or hurting it.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!:
- He intentionally swears very little and very mildly on camera, and in the rare occasions where he does drop a more extreme curse, he normally bleeps it out, serving as a good foil to Dan's foul mouth. He has stated that he has built a relatively clean image and his grandparents watch his videos, so he tries to avoid swearing. He does curse off-camera, however.
- In the song The Internet is Here, which ends their first stage show, Phil intervenes when Dan is about to say the word 'shit' by yelling "rubbish!"
- When making a precursor video to their 2018 tour themed on doing what the audience asks, a popular viewer request was to get Phil to swear. He tries to weasel his way out of it with "crap", "ass", and "bloody hell", but Dan's pressuring drives him to give up and just drop an F-bomb for the camera, which is left uncensored.
- Grounded Forever: When discussing the first (and only) time he ever smoked, and immediately got caught...Phil: I was too awkward to discuss it, or make an excuse, so I was grounded straight away. (imitating Lemongrab) ONE MILLION YEARS... DUNGEON! ...In fact, I think I might be still grounded. ...Let's find out!
(cut to Phil on the phone with his mum)
Phil's Mum: Hi, Phil, how are we doing?
Phil: Hi, I was just wondering if I'm still grounded because of that smoking thing when I was eleven.
Phil's Mum: Yes. Forever.
Phil's Mum: Yes!
- Guyliner: Not frequently, but he dons it sometimes when playing a character in a sketch to supplement his storytelling.
- Have I Mentioned I Am Gay?: Downplayed and casual. He seems to have grown more comfortable with casually referencing that he's gay and throwing in gay jokes in the time he's been out.
- Iconic Outfit: Loud, colourful shirts or tees with quirky prints and motifs, black skinny jeans, and mismatched socks make up most of his fashion choices. Sparkly coats and denim jackets may count too. Phil has acknowledged his distinctive fashion sense when having it challenged by viewer-selected outfits both reasonable and sadistically ridiculous.
- The Insomniac: Not chronically, but he sometimes has sleepless nights, which he's turned into a vlog series.
- The Klutz: Says he is such in several videos and occasionally demonstrates it.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: For a time, like Dan, but once the two got haircuts, they stayed.
- Malaproper: He'll occasionally say very different things from what he intended to say, and which sometimes sound inappropriate. If this is the case and he himself doesn't notice, it doesn't pass dirty-minded Dan without a lampshade.
- Metaphorgotten: Frequently attempts to make strange comparisons that fall apart the longer he dwells on them. Occassionally ties in with Accidental Innuendo.
- Midnight Snack: Both Dan and Phil have frequently mentioned his habit of eating Dan's cereal directly from the box at any given time of the day. His doing this is a major pet peeve for Dan.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: Phil is often the victim of this whenever Phil and Dan are together in a video. The best example of this was when Dan and Phil challenged each other to see who was recognised more by the fans which resulted in Dan being recognised faster than Phil.
- Naked People Are Funny: The idea behind the Draw Phil Naked fan art, which was encouraged and showcased by Phil at the end of his videos, with the drawings being innocent and silly with creative censoring. He eventually ended it once submissions started becoming more explicit and ruined the fun.
- Nerd Glasses: He has them, but rarely wears them in videos when he's not being Science Phil, only making an exception when he decides to forgo his contacts.
- Nice Guy: Apart from his reputation as one of the most humble and least problematic YouTube creators, he's also known for handing out warm hugs to anyone who might need one and not being the first one to pull away. He also takes the time to respond to as many comments as possible and gives genuinely good advice to anyone who asks for it.
- Old Soldier: Although his personality is anything but that of a broody sergeant, he is quite the Youtube pioneer, as he has been making videos since 2006 and became quite popular before the rest of the British YouTube scene. This long-running reputation has been acknowledged by fellow creators later on.
- Older Than They Look: Don't be fooled by the innocent act; as of January 2018, he's thirty-one years old.
- Once per Episode: "Hey guys!" and Draw Phil Naked, the latter having been discontinued as of September 2015 due to submissions becoming increasingly gross and defeating the original humourous purpose of it.
- Oop North: His first videos showcase his Northern accent. It's still rather prominent.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin:
Dan (hands clasped and eyes shut, in a dramatic crescendo): "Hair of raven, skin of snow! Clumsiest of them all! The time for baking has arrived! PHILIP! HEAR MY CALL!"
- He's ridiculously pale and dyed his hair completely black for many years, before letting the brown emerge a little after softly rebranding his channel in 2019. Dan refers to this along with other defining traits when he 'summons' Phil in a Halloween baking video with this little invocation -
- When asked by viewers to swap styles, Dan notes that this makes Phil look rather fitting in an outfit from Dan's wardrobe, as the outfit combined with his hair and skin give him a Deliberately Monochrome vibe.
- Real Person Shipping: Fans tend to ship Phil with Dan. A lot. This has been discussed, with Dan and Phil even reading fanfiction about them in a video.
- Running Gag:
- Phil's obsession with buying house plants and subsequent failure to look after them properly.
- Sneaking ingredients for himself in the baking videos, to the point where, in the pumpkin cookies video, Dan showed that he had to prepare and get two new bags of marshmallows for their cocoa because Phil had eaten all but one from the bag they already had. He's also prone to eating Dan's cereal as a snack, and their second Google Feud video on the gaming channel has the two playing for the last macaroon they have...because Phil ate all the rest.
- Providing fanciful alternative origins for the ingredients used in their baking, which usually get questioned by Dan.
- Whenever he and Dan dress up in costumes or other novelty outfits, he makes Dan wear the weird or embarrassing outfits while he gets the cool ones. From this, Dan has been made to wear a kangaroo onesie, a muscle morphsuit, a bizarre squid outfit, the Tabitha shirt out of their Howlter family merch, and a Sailor Fuku uniform. Phil gets away with a shark headband, the heroes of the anime they're dressing as, Dil's shirt, and a typical British male school uniform.
- Phil frequently (and incorrectly) using "that broke the sound barrier" after things of very high volume, only for Dan to again remind him that the sound barrier is broken by speed. He seems to be learning, however, as he's since casually dropped the phrase in the proper context when referring to a falling character's velocity in Fortnite.
- Phil taking any possible opportunity to use a certain firework editing effect, because it cost money and he wanted to get as much out of it as he could.
- Drinking out of vases and various large containers in place of a regular glass. The gag started in the 2017 installment of "Sleepless Night with Phil" in which directions for the Kool-Aid he was trying recommended using a "large" glass and viewers pointed out that it appeared to be a flower vase.
- Running Gagged: Draw Phil Naked, a brief fan art showcase at the end of videos, was officially ended in September of 2015.
- Spot of Tea: Phil meets the epitome of this trope on an airplane ride: the Tea People, insane passengers who drank gallons of tea, and, of course, frequently interrupted him with their regular bathroom breaks.
- Take That!: He generally avoids conflict but this response to a hater is a particularly epic example of why it's best not to rile him up."Well, if you're calling people ugly on the internet, you must be ugly on the inside."
- That Came Out Wrong: All. The. Time. His personality is quite innocent, but the way he words things turns normal sentiments into innuendo for anyone above the age of 12. This even applies to the way he fiddles with random objects and his own hands.
- Those Two Guys: With best friend Dan. Contrary to most Youtube duos, they originally weren't a double-act and rose to fame on their own respective channels. However, it is becoming rarer and rarer to see one without the other: they live together, very frequently appear in each other's videos, have created three collaborative side channels, got their own radio show on BBC1, were offered a dual cameo by Disney in the UK version of Big Hero 6, have hosted award shows together, and pretty much always appear side by side for interviews or conventions.
- Weirdness Magnet: Phil appears to have a tendency to attract/encounter strange, possibly paranormal things wherever he goes, from his parents' house to his own apartment to anywhere on holiday. Tea People, a messenger for the "Holy Mother"...you name it, he's run into it.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: The Kool Katz, a club which Phil was a part of when he was 11. It was a Kool Gang which he made after he was removed from the other group on his street, "THE BOYZ". His friend Jessica was the leader and treasurer. Soon the other boys left the group, and the girls spent their time talking about boys and makeup. They also had a new, terrifying ASCII mascot named CiCi.
- Your Mom: Phil drops these frequently when playing games with Dan and there are some collaboration problems or the competition is heating up. However, he tends to use these as reflexive comebacks to whatever Dan was just frustrated about, and so they lack the context or structure to count as a proper insult, joke, or threat.