- This video is about shipping. If you don't know what shipping is, RUN. RUN, AND NEVER GET INVOLVED.
Daniel Howell, previously known under the username danisnotonfire, is a British YouTuber.
Dan's videos span a lot of different topics and formats, though he rarely does straight-forward vlogging. He makes videos describing his past failures and other embarrassing or weird experiences, discusses topics he finds relevant/interesting, and has the Internet Support Group series, where he gives advice to fans sending their questions to him. Most of his humor is deadpan or sarcastic/ironic in delivery, and he frequently references memes in a similar way. He often uses a skit format when relating experiences, which makes sense due to his experience in theater and aspirations of being an actor. Oddly, he was getting a law degree before he decided that University probably wasn't for him.
In celebration of getting a million followers, he was set on fire.
Tropes used by Daniel Howell:
- Adorkable: He's a gigantic nerd, and also incredibly socially awkward, and his viewers love him for it.
- all lowercase letters: He types like this, evident in his onscreen editing comments and social media activity.
- Ambiguously Bi: Fans have expressed some confusion about this, due to past claims to being so, and casual remarks on the attractiveness of some male figures. He lampshades this in his "Roast Yourself" video, with, "So your celebrity crush was J-Law, but now it's Evan P.? What the fuck even is your sexuality?"
- At least, there WAS confusion about this. Dan came out in June 2019. He is comfortable with "gay" and "queer" as labels, but also feels no need for labels at all.
- American Accents: He and Phil sometimes do this when fans ask them to. However, Dan is terrible at it as he sounds about as American as Queen Elizabeth. His Valley Girl accent is impeccable though.
- Animal Motif: Llamas, which feature in some video titles, his clothing, and even in the games he plays (they buy a llama hedge in The Sims.) This motif was one of the things he requested to be left behind with his old username.
- The Anti-Nihilist: In his Existential Crisis video his advice is to embrace the fact that you have freedom and you have to control your own destiny because the universe will not stop for your problems and the world won't stop because of your problems, neither the universe or the world will care about your problems and that you must take control of your life because nothing else will.
- Artifact Title: As of 2017, he changed his name on his social media accounts to Daniel Howell for many reasons he explains in this video, allowing this trope to be played straight with his old username.
- Ascended Fanboy: He spent years watching YouTuber Phil Lester, until eventually becoming friends (and later, roommates) with Phil through incessant tweeting and video commenting (an unlikely turn-of-events that he would later parody in a mock how-to video). Dan told Phil that he'd always wanted to make videos on YouTube, but just didn't think he would be any good. With Phil's encouragement, Dan gave it a go anyway and the rest, as they say, is history.
- Atomic F-Bomb: A frequent occurrence when particularly frightened or frustrated or perplexed.
- Berserk Button:
- If you touch his neck, he will karate-chop you.
- His first video. He claims that he can't be in the same room when it's playing, and Phil will act it out or his friends will play it near him just to rile him up because he cringes so hard about it. Phil even says, in response to a "Phil is Not on Fire" prompt, that he would lock Dan in a room full of moths with the video on loop to torture him. Dan, for his part, considers this the most sadistic answer Phil could have come up with.
- Big Eater: Claims to be one.
- Bishōnen: Dan's certainly quite handsome, but is probably better described as "pretty" than "manly."
- Butt-Monkey: Dan himself, but the recurring character "Becky" tends to take a lot of abuse as well. Phil is often Butt-Monkey to Dan's Straight Man.
- Call-Back: In his Photobooth challenge with Phil, they use the moon backdrop and Dan trips over his bed. Phil remarks "Dan just fell off the moon," which was one of the options in their Would You Rather video that happened over two years prior.
- Catchphrase: Dan has had several, many of which rotate with online trends.
- "Hello, internet!"
- "Smooth moves, Dan."
- "Every time..."
- "Oh my God, Becky.", when using generic female characters in his storytelling. This is from "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-a-Lot.
- Dan tends to say "zazzed" for "excited" (which Tyler Oakley thinks sounds like a dad), and will often preface descriptions of actions with "cheeky", i.e., "cheeky spon".
- When a video gets weird or awkward or an Epic Fail happens, he'll often respond with the memetic "delet this".
- As Phil puts it, he has a tendency to "put Jesus on objects", saying phrases like "Christ on a bike" or "Jesus on a boat", etc. as an expression of alarm.
- Celeb Crush: (and character crushes) Jennifer Lawrence, Evan Peters, Albus Potter, Dylan O'Brien, Oberyn Martell, Thom Yorke... he also has a pillow of Haru from Free!
- Chick Magnet: On Teens React a majority of the women in the video complimented Dan's appearance and WatchMojo placed him as a runner-up for Top 10 Hottest Male YouTubers. In 2019, he came out as gay.
- Cluster F-Bomb: In "How To Speak Internet", the Harries twins troll him with this after finding out that he will be bleeping the swear words.
- Cosmic Plaything: He views himself as this in his "Near-Death Experience" video and believes that God is trying to get revenge on him after he accidentally set fire to a bible.
- Crossdresser: When he is playing female characters.
- He and his best friend Phil are involved with BBC Radio 1, formerly running their own request show on Sunday nights from 7pm-9pm, but having now been moved to Mondays 9pm-10-pm. They also do an excessive number of collaborative videos. The two of them have a joint gaming channel called Dan And Phil GAMES (2014-), and a side channel called The Super Amazing Project (2011-2012). Most of their collab videos on their main channels involve the two of them answering fan questions, generally just hanging out or doing everyday activities such as cooking or playing video games, or interactive choose-your-own-adventure videos. The humour in these videos rely mostly on their back-and-forth and their relationship.
- Dan has also appeared in videos with several other YouTubers, as is the form for popular channels.
- Country Matters: Dan calls Phil this word in the last part of The Impossible Quiz, after Phil accidentally nudges Dan's hand and costs them a life. They censor it, but Dan still comments that everyone will know what word he used anyway.Dan: *beat* YOU FUCKING C***.Phil: I'm sorry!!
- Deadpan Snarker: Especially in contrast to hyperactive Keet Phil.
- Delayed "Oh, Crap!": When he is recounting how he almost accidentally got killed by a speargun while swimming on holiday in "OMG WTF ASDFGHJKL", this was his reaction in his head:Dan: Now, you may be wondering why the video is called what it is, but, I can't really articulate everything I felt in that moment. So I was like: "Heh, oh, right, there's a guy with a speargun. WHAT THE FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!?"
- Discredited Meme: As of 2017, he's officially discredited llamas, Maltesers, placenta, and Delia Smith as jokes/interests that represent him.
- Double Entendre: In contrast to Phil's near-constant cases of That Came Out Wrong embarrassing Dan, Dan enjoys making things weird for Phil on purpose, either through ironic use of cringeworthy sexual words, or by using entendres in the conversation to create uncomfortable phrasing. One example is this exchange in a video on their gaming channel:Phil: If we can get five [correct charades quesses], we get Indian takeaway tonight. I want a samosa and I want a peshwari naan *gestures at mouth* in this hole.Dan: You don't have to justify things, Phil. If you want to put a peshwari naan in your hole, then just do it-Phil (simultaneous): No, I need to earn it! I just need to earn it!Dan: Look, just stuff your holes with naan-Phil: Stop.Dan (still talking):-whenever you get the mood.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Dan often pokes fun at how he looks very feminine.
- In "Personal Space": "Oh my god, Becky, I just saw the tallest lesbian ever and she was such a pervert!"
- Meet Carly Rae Howell.◊
- Epic Fail: This essentially describes Dan's life, which he himself has frequently acknowledged.
- What got him fired from his old job. He knew there would occasionally be "test kids" who would try to buy restricted tools, and that refusing sale was the proper practice. One day, Dan didn't care enough, and sold the kid the tool, which led to his getting fired.
- Falling out of his chair during multiple livestreams and gaming videos.
- Dan and Phil's trip to Australia is a disaster, since, after Dan decides to film a video instead of packing, his rush to get ready results in him spraying aerosol deodorant into his eye.
- Freak Out: Apparently, he had one when he had to resit his law school exam and suddenly realized he didn't want to go to university. Dramatized in "College Dropout." Dan's trying to study for his exam while Phil plays some video games, and then, all of a sudden...Dan: AAAAAAAGH! I'M NOT DOING IT!
Dan: I'm not gonna do it!
Dan: No one can make me do it!
Phil: Dan, what are you on about?
Dan: That's it! I'm not going!
Dan: I've had enough! I don't care anymore!
Phil: What aren't you going to?
Dan: My exam.
Phil: What do you mean?
Dan: I'm not going.
Phil: Dan, you have to go to your resit.
Dan: (throwing his book to the ground) NOT IF I DON'T GIVE A FUCKING FUCK ANYMORE, I DON'T!
(Beat. Dan bursts into tears.)
Five minutes later...
(Cut to Dan hugging his knees on the kitchen floor.)
- Freudian Excuse: Discussed in "My Evil Piano Teacher." So far as Dan can tell, the teacher in question didn't have one; she was just a massive bitch. Though Young!Dan in the flashbacks has some rather... squirrelly... theories.Young!Dan: (snooping through his teacher's things) Your son was killed by a piano...? NO! Your husband was a piano, and he died—NO! You wanted to be a piano, but you were born as a human instead...
- Fun with Subtitles: In "How to Befriend Your Favourite Internet Stars", the subtitles for each step and piece of advice are rather...different from what he actually says.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Phil Lester - they met in 2009 and travelled to see each other constantly until Dan moved to Manchester in 2010. The two have lived together since 2011, sharing a total of three homes in both Manchester and London. They are inseparable, spending all of their free time including holidays together. They tend to stick to each other. They have always stood up for each other and unconditionally supported each other through hell and back. Dan even says as much in his coming-out video, saying that Phil was the first person he felt truly safe to be himself around and that's a big part of why they're friends for life.
- Gone Horribly Right: His "roast-yourself challenge" video, being a rap self-diss track, and the April Fools "Dan and Phil Crafts" channel, as both are complete parodies that achieved legitimate success. The former had gone into the music charts after someone illegally uploaded it to iTunes, which then caused it to be ranked at #7 in the hip-hop charts. The latter ended up getting Dan and Phil a silver play button from YouTube due to the amount of subscribers.
- Green-Eyed Monster: He has said in numerous videos that his jealousy and envy are his worst traits.
- The Hero Dies: This happens in "Phil's Christmas Adventure.".
- Hidden Depths: His "Roast Yourself" video reveals that he's pretty good at rapping.
- Hikikomori: Dan enjoys anime and being on his computer. He states that he's borderline agoraphobic and is one bad day away from being a recluse. Dan also prefers his privacy, has trouble with interacting with new people and he is very anxious on stage.
- I Am Not Shazam: One of the reasons he changed his online usernames to his actual name in 2017, since he was often referred to by the "danisnotonfire" name rather than it being considered the name of his content.
- I Am Very British: Dan insists against commentators that he doesn't have a posh accent. He's just articulate.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: His go-to response to some of the worse questions in the "Internet Support Group" series.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: He had a phase sporting this look with what may be considered a stereotypically emo hairstyle (long and straight). Part of this emo vibe was because emos were associated with cool bisexuality and this was more a safe middle ground for him, between being out or closeted and bullied. He cut the hair short later, which kept, and in 2017, he embraced its natural curl and stopped straightening it.
- Mood Whiplash: The "Internet Support Group" videos tend to be this, mainly consisting of ridiculous or otherwise amusing questions and generally terrible advice from Dan, but every now and then actually having a sincere question that Dan will answer with some genuinely good advice.
- My God, What Have I Done?: This what he usually says when he does something embarrassing or does something that he quickly regrets in the future.
- Nerd Glasses: In the News segments for his and Phil's Super Amazing Project videos. Might also put them on for comedic purposes whenever he's making a "deep point" about something, as seen in his video "Psycho Thoughts".
- Nice Guy: Despite the snarkiness, he's still down to earth and genuinely cares about his friends and fans, to the extent of being nearly-overprotective. He's quick to correct himself when errors are pointed out and doles out genuinely good advice when asked for it.
- "No. Just... No" Reaction: Some of the questions he receives in the Internet Support Group videos garner this reaction. Notably, his only response to a girl who had a crush on her teacher was a very stern, "No."
- No Social Skills: Lampshades this frequently. Whenever he's with friend and fellow YouTuber Louise Pentland, their combined awkwardness invariably ends in disaster.
- Oh, Crap!: In "Sexy Internet Dating", he and Phil have one when they realize that one of their prank victims lives in their building, and in "Sexy Internet Dating - London", Dan has one (which Phil soon echoes) upon realizing that he just sent their location to the person they were chatting with.
- Old Shame: Subverted. While Dan is definitely uncomfortable and embarrassed watching his older videos, he can appreciate them as a part of his creative development through the cringing.
- Painful Body Waxing: He gets Louise to wax his legs after he promised a video of it. It's already bad enough due to the method of hair removal, but Louise's relative inexperience doesn't help.
- Precision F-Strike:
- All the time. Sometimes, he bleeps them out but only if he thinks it's necessary.
- Used for dramatic effect in "I Nearly Blinded Myself", when Dan takes his only chance to have things go his way after a truly disastrous day.
- The Problem with Pen Island: His old username was also problematic in that it could cause this, i.e., "Dani Snot on Fire", and he, Phil, and fans have since made jokes about this.
- Protagonist and Friends: In videos by other channels Dan is regarded as attractive or gets more compliments whereas Phil is neglected despite the pair being close friends.
- Phanfiction, Phandom... basically anything with the word "fan" in it is replaced with "phan" as short-hand for a fanwork that is associated with Dan and/or Phil.
- Dan ends the seventh episode of Internet Support group with "I'm out", a typical sign-off, but also the result of discovering that he has run out of alcoholic coffee to get him through any more emails.
- Rapid-Fire "No!": His response to the last question in "Internet Support Group 7," from a kid who has a crush on his cousin.
- Real Person Shipping: Dan/Phil, otherwise known as Phan, is pretty popular in the fandom and Dan knows. He even has a video where he discusses shipping and he and Phil act-out part of a phanfic.
- Running Gag:
- Cat whiskers in the Phil Is Not On Fire series.
- When Dan states something and something in the room falls to reveal something that contradicts what he said.
- When things need to be blocked out for graphic content, the black box reads "unbelievably censored".
- Having to break out the wine bottle once an "Internet Support Group" video gets weird or stupid. By the fifth episode, it's out at the start.
- Dan's existential crises, which are represented by him flopping face down onto the floor, sofa, or bed.
- Dan frequently has exaggerated foodgasms at the end of the Dan And Phil baking videos when they taste their creations. Or even on Rosanna Pansino's baking show!
- An oddly specific and completely unintentional one is Dan falling out of his chair in several videos, which has been triggered both by clumsiness and jumpscares.
- When Dan is particularly annoyed with Phil, he tends to address him as "you [X]" or "you absolute [x]", with the bizarre address nouns having included "spork", "dildo", and "turnip".
- Sadist Teacher: "My Evil Piano Teacher," which is exactly what it sounds like.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: As seen when playing horror games with Phil. Seems to have reached the point where viewers get more scared by Dan's reactions than the scares themselves.
- Self-Deprecation: Almost every single video has him doing this. He even has series of videos called "Reasons why Dan's a Fail".
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Dan mentioned that there is a difference between having a vocabulary and being a waffly twat.
- Shirtless Scene: Dan sleeps shirtless, so this carries into some of the reenactments he does when he is shown in his bed.
- Shout-Out: Many, from many aspects of pop culture. A more subtle one is done in "My Evil Piano Teacher", when he says he went on to play freely and learn songs he liked, he plays "Mia and Sebastian's Theme".
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Nary a video goes without Dan cursing. Phil usually bleeps them out whenever they're doing a video together, but sometimes he agrees with the intent and leaves the cursing uncensored.
- Socially Awkward Hero: Emphasis on the socially awkward part.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Yet another reason for his username change: he was tired of news outlets referring to his handle with more conventional formatting (i.e. "DanIsNotOnFire" or "Dan Is Not On Fire"), as opposed to how he styled it (with no spacing or caps.) This peeve is mentioned before the actual name change in Internet Support Group 7, and the intent to change the username is brought up with it.
- Stalker Without a Crush: Shown in "How to Befriend Your Favourite Internet Stars". In his "Basically I'm Gay" video, he explains his discomfort and distaste for obsessive fans who developed an unhealthy determination to violate his privacy.
- Straight Gay: In 2019, Daniel came out as gay and he states that he doesn't feel like he needs labels. While his friends assumed he was gay, there's nothing too overt or stereotypically gay about him.
- Straight Man: Usually whenever he does a video with Phil. Or anyone, really. Doesn't mean the roles aren't occasionally reversed.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: His mockup of his psycho piano teacher's ad includes the qualification "definitely not a witch".
- Take That, Audience!: Dan is not afraid to criticize his fans for blind obsession or creepy behavior, and seems to be genuinely less appreciative of the extreme sides of his fandom. He's at his most serious about it during his coming-out video, making clear that digging through someone's life to support your shipping narrative is unhealthy and scary, and saying that shipping and speculation online made him feel threatened and even more scared to come out.
- Taking the Heat: When he accidentally presses the panic alarm at an old job, he doesn't confess. When an elderly cleaning employee owns up to the crime, Dan lets her to save his own skin. Because this is Dan, after all, it didn't take long for another incident to finally get him fired.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: He is all of those things.
- That Came Out Wrong:
- "If you've enjoyed this video, please thumb me."
- "Who needs friends when you've got whipped cream and Lara Croft?"
- "Equal amount of exercise with both arms."
- In the Monster Pops baking video, Phil tells him he isn't spooky enough without his horned hood up, so Dan puts it on, accidentally saying "Now I'm hornyyyy...."
- masculine ideas about what that "something" was, confusing Dan. Turns out, that "something" was originally going to be a memetic reference to Dan eating ass, which he changed because he thought it sounded more like a serious crude admission, but the replacement wasn't much better, being so suggestive in itself that it distracted some viewers from the message of the video. In "Trying To Live My Truth", which was otherwise meant to be a contemplative and genuine video, Dan jokes about how all three of his main pleasures (laughter, food, and sex) are similar in that they involve things going in and out of his mouth, and ends the video with a continuation of the joke, listing plans to satisfy each, vaguely saying he'll put "something" in his mouth for sex. People soon had
- When trying to broach the topic of his depression in "The Top Dan Memes of 2017", he refers to the looming concept as the "big black D in the room", meaning the threatening initial starting the word "depression", before instantly realizing what it sounded like.
- Those Two Guys:
- Contrary to most YouTube duos, Dan & Phil 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 two 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. This is eventually lampshaded by them pretending they are surprise special guests on each other's videos, when it obviously isn't a surprise at all.
- They've created a phone app (7 Second Challenge), a book, a party game, and a tour together.
- They've also won the 'Best Vlogger' award despite it usually only being won by one vlogger.
- Transparent Closet: In his coming-out video, Dan acknowledges that pretty much nobody thought he was straight, and even cuts to some moments where he joked about his unclear sexuality. However, he also makes it clear that reactions like "we already knew" or "I was right" are rude and selfish and reduce the value of a person's struggle to come out.
- Trauma Button: Partially played for laughs with whisks, a result of watching a particularly horrifying video involving one while testing the boundaries of Rule 34 with Tyler Oakley. Dan has since appeared to grow tired of the joke as he has with those listed above.
- Troll: 12-year-old Dan unintentionally does this to himself when, years later, adult Dan checks out his old childhood website. Said website includes a link that creates a long chain of pop-ups and a Screamer Prank, both of which he falls for and hates himself for adding in the first place.
- Unluckily Lucky: He often escapes his bad luck by random chance. For example, he unintentionally set off a panic alarm at his first job and was on the verge of a verbal beatdown from his boss. Fortunately for him, an elderly woman wandered into the scene and claimed responsibility without repercussions.
- Weirdness Magnet: While not as much as Phil, he meets his fair share, and they're a bit more unnerving. He had a fake French teacher who stole mugs and hid them in his cabinets, kept his clothes at school, and ate dog treats, was met face-to-face with a spear hunter while swimming, and had an evil piano teacher who kept nothing but meat in her refrigerator.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He admits to having a fear darkness (which is commonly called nyctophobia). He's afraid of the dark because he scares himself with his overactive imagination and he takes a lot of precautions with walking down dark corridors.