21 YouTube channels you should subscribe to in 2021

Lindsay Dodgson
YouTube
Mateusz Slodkowski/Getty Images
  • Make your YouTube homepage a nicer place to visit in 2021 by following these creators.

  • Some of the YouTubers break down issues like racism and sexism.

  • Others cover drama in the YouTube community.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

It's been a strange year on YouTube.

"The king" Shane Dawson got canceled, controversial creator LeafyIsHere made a short-lived return, and it was the end of Unus Annus. And that was just the half of it.

Nonetheless, many have found themselves spending a lot more time on the internet this year, leading to a boom in livestreaming which was helped along by a murder mystery game called "Among Us" and an elusive, faceless creator called Corpse Husband.

The platform is still facing some of its ongoing challenges, such as the battle between individuals and corporations, channels being held hostage by false copyright claims, and creator burnout, but it remains a place of comfort for people to keep returning to.

Here are 21 creators to add to your subscriptions to make your homepage a nicer place to visit in 2021, listed by size.

Cringey covers drama and misinformation on YouTube.

Cringey
Cringey. Cringey / YouTube

On Cringey's channel, she breaks down various dramas. She goes through medical claims made by some big creators such as DissociaDID, a YouTuber with dissociative identity disorder, and therapist YouTuber Kati Morton, with a fine-tooth comb, urging people not to take an influencer's word as gospel. 

Cringey is on a one-woman mission to fight misinformation and false claims, and has covered some of YouTube's most contentious figures, such as Onision and Amberlynn Reid, and called out the erratic feuds and backstabbing in the drama channel community

If there's a scandal unfolding on YouTube involving mental health, psychology, or badly sourced science, you might want to join Cringey's 13,000 subscribers.

Cherita Explains It All sums up everything you need to know about the latest YouTube controversies.

Cherita Explains It All
Cherita Gaskin from Cherita Explains It All. Cherita Explains It All / YouTube

Cherita Gaskin of Cherita Explains It All is an indispensable member of the commentary community. Because the majority of people who run commentary channels are white, when Gaskin offers her opinion as a Black woman, it's a crucial part of the full picture. 

Gaskin has around 13,000 subscribers, but deserves far more for her patient, thorough, and informative look at what's going on in the world, both on YouTube and in wider celebrity culture.

One of her most popular videos, for example, told the story of how beauty YouTuber Jackie Aina was bullied off Twitter, while another focused on controversial comments made by actor Terry Crews.

Atiya Walcott's uploads are always a surprise.

Atiya Walcott
Atiya Walcott. Atiya Walcott / YouTube

Atiya Walcott has been steadily growing her following to 14,000 over the past year, with an eclectic mix of content, including vlogs documenting her nose job, reactions to TikToks, and commentary.

Walcott is one to watch in 2021 because she has an enthusiasm for so many different kinds of video themes and trends. Each upload is different, so it's always a surprise. 

In September, Walcott reacted to Tana Mongeau's universally condemned apology video. Mongeau was apologizing for racist microaggressions in her past, and Walcott, a Black woman, pointed out everything that didn't sit well with her. 

But as well as being informative, Walcott is entertaining because she has a great sense of humor. Her channel description sums up her goal: "I just want to make you laugh."

Katie Ionita provides commentary with empathy and care.

Katie Ionita
Katie Ionita. Katie Ionita / YouTube

If you want to watch more videos from up-and-coming channels, Katie Ionita's videos are a great place to start. She covers the potentially damaging behavior of some of YouTube's stars, true crime, and sometimes talks about her own life experiences.

Ionita has been making videos for about five months and built a following of 21,000 subscribers. She's still experimenting with her content and finding the place she fits on YouTube, but her sensitive approach to complicated issues and her sunny personality make each video a joy to watch. 

She's likely to become a bigger voice in YouTube's commentary community over the next year.

Sister Zio makes captivating in-depth documentaries.

Sister Zio
A shot of one of Sister Zio's videos. Sister Zio / YouTube

Sister Zio appeared on YouTube about eight months ago with a four-minute breakdown of how Ellen Degeneres was being "canceled" on Twitter by former employees. Since then the anonymous YouTuber has uploaded four more videos, each examining something in the internet zeitgeist.

The documentary-style video about divisive YouTuber Gabbie Hanna is particularly impressive. At nearly two hours long, it covers everything from the start of her career to her plummeting popularity over the summer.

Whoever is behind Sister Zio, which has 23,000 subscribers, hasn't uploaded for three months, but there is a new video coming

VangelinaSkov gives a matter-of-fact perspective on mental health topics.

VangelinaSkov
VangelinaSkov. VangelinaSkov / YouTube

Vangelina Skov has been on and off YouTube for about three years, but their channel saw an increase in engagement when they started covering the fallout of the dissociative identity disorder (DID) community this year.

Skov covered everything that unfolded in the DID community — from accusations of cultural appropriation to concerns over inappropriate artwork — on their channel, bringing in thousands of subscribers.

The drama has settled down among DID YouTubers, and Skov still covers it whenever there is an update. But growing their channel to over 30,000 subscribers gave Skov the opportunity to widen their scope and they now cover topics about mental health, such as borderline personality disorder.

Skov is very matter-of-fact and open about their own mental health struggles, so they have built up a lot of trust in the community. They often collaborate with other commentary channels to have interesting discussions about the stigma surrounding mental health, problematic YouTube drama, and Q&As. 

Pastel Belle sensitively delves into the darker corners of the internet.

Pastel Belle
Pastel Belle. Pastel Belle / YouTube

Pastel Belle has been raising awareness about some of the most toxic areas on the internet recently. Belle's videos are usually discussions about the goings-on in the YouTube community, often with analysis of why some of the behavior and conversations are harmful or triggering.

Belle has been on YouTube for about three years and in the past 12 months has steadily grown her following to 38,000 subscribers. Her videos are a mixture of facts, her opinions, and using her own experiences as a reference. She has also interviewed people who have fallen victim to some of the internet's darker communities. 

Fans appreciate that Belle is considerate about the topics she covers, never placing undeserved blame, but giving her audience the full story. 

Christopher Tom covers contentious trials and tribulations in digital culture.

Christopher Tom
Christopher Tom. Christopher Tom / YouTube

Christopher Tom covers some of the most contentious trials and tribulations in digital culture. Tom has a great mix of videos, including some long-form documentary-style features that catalog a creator's downfall or rise to the top. Other videos are snappier and opinion-based. 

He's tackled the controversies of various figures on YouTube such as Onision, Boogie2988, and Gabbie Hanna, as well as some common themes on the platform including periodic cancellations and stan culture. His thoughtful approach has earned him 63,000 subscribers.

The anonymous YouTuber behind uncle herman analyzes some of the platform's biggest scandals.

uncle herman
uncle herman. uncle herman / YouTube

Self-described "alpha male" uncle herman covers the latest YouTube dramas and controversies. The anonymous YouTuber behind the account has only been uploading videos for around seven months, but they started with a bang. 

There are no angry hot takes on uncle herman's channel, which has 92,000 subscribers — just calm, considered opinions and analyses of some of the platform's biggest scandals. 

If you want to know everything that's happened with Gabbie Hanna's shadow-ban claims, how many times Trisha Paytas has self-diagnosed herself, or the result of Nikocado Avocado's downward spiral, this channel has you covered.

JayLaw's channel is a mix between YouTube history and investigative journalism.

JayLaw
A shot of JayLaw's 2019 Rewind video. JayLaw / YouTube

JayLaw describes his channel, which has 92,000 subscribers, as a mix between YouTube history and investigative journalism.

He isn't particularly focused on the current news and daily dramas of the platform. Rather, he delves into topics that interest him. For example, he's looked into the media's negative portrayal of PewDiePie, the magic of Mr Beast, and rounded up the 10 most influential moments in YouTube's existence.

If you're looking for a YouTube video equivalent of a long read, JayLaw's videos are the place to start.

Adam McIntyre doesn't let fame or clout get in the way of his opinions.

Adam McIntyre
Adam McIntyre. Adam McIntyre / YouTube

Adam McIntyre has been making YouTube videos for five years, but focused on commentary in 2020. His recent boom in success may be down to his unbeatable work ethic, posting as many as four videos every day.

He now has 135,000 subscribers — or besties, as he calls them — who love him for his dedication in never holding back his opinions on heavy hitters such as Tana Mongeau, Jeffree Star, and Jake Paul.

McIntyre is someone to watch both because of his persistence in wanting YouTube's stars to take accountability for their problematic antics, but also because he's clearly having a lot of fun doing it. You feel like he's a friend guiding you through the latest dramas and controversies, with the exasperation that will feel familiar to anyone trying to understand why influencers behave the way they sometimes do.

Kahlen Barry is one of the strongest voices on YouTube and social media right now.

Kahlen Barry
Kahlen Barry. Kahlen Barry / YouTube

Kahlen Barry was praised for calling out one of YouTube's biggest stars, Tana Mongeau, in June. He told his subscribers, of which he now has 191,000, about the mistreatment he'd experienced from his former friend in the form of microaggressions and gaslighting.

Up until then, Barry was mostly making videos on one of his favorite topics — Zodiac signs. He'd been growing a following over the past year or so with videos such as "What kind of BFF is your Zodiac sign?" and "Zodiac Signs as Roommates" which have been popular in the astrology community.

But it was his video "finally revealing the truth about Tana Mongeau" that earned him a significant bump of 13,000 new followers, and the encouragement to cover some of the more challenging conversations that have been happening in the YouTube sphere. 

Barry is now one of the strongest voices on YouTube and social media right now, tackling everything from white privilege to the tone-deaf behaviors of influencers. He still discusses whether a Sagittarius or Leo would make a better world leader, but his period of growth and risks over the last six months make him a creator to watch.

MultiplicityAndMe is a wonderful resource for learning more about dissociative identity disorder.

MultiplicityAndMe
MultiplicityAndMe. MultiplicityAndMe / YouTube

MultiplicityAndMe is a channel run by Jess — the host of a dissociative identity disorder (DID) system. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders describes DID as a psychiatric disorder in which a person shows at least two individual identities or personality states — known as "alters" — that can manifest through the person's behavior.

Jess and other alters in the MultiplicityAndMe system, called Jake, Jamie, Ed, and Ollie, educate their 192,000 subscribers about the facts, falsehoods, and misconceptions about DID.

The DID community on YouTube fractured this year, and accusations embroiled two of its biggest creators. MultiplicityAndMe is widely regarded as a trusted resource, particularly as Jess currently works as an honorary assistant psychologist.

As long as you take everything you learn as one person's experience, MultiplicityAndMe is an excellent resource, covering everything from signs someone is faking the disorder and how DID relates to trauma.

Mörges is the opinionated Icelandic woman you need in your life.

Mörges
Mörges. mörges / YouTube

Mörges, who has 210,000 subscribers, posts an unbelievably broad variety of content, from a vlog about spending 24 hours in a cave to a two-and-a-half-hour-long explanation of Shane Dawson's downfall.

Mörges' energy makes every one of her videos entertaining, but it's the ones where she's going in on another creator that are particularly amusing, like when she changed all the names in Jeffree Star's eyeshadow palette to be more family-friendly or tallied every unfunny joke in Dawson's movie "Not Cool."

Once you subscribe to Mörges you'll understand that there's never a dull moment on her channel.

Kat Blaque should be your source on everything LGBTQ.

Kat Blaque
Kat Blaque. Kat Blaque / YouTube

Kat Blaque covers everything from transphobia to performative activism to polyamory, all in a way that's accessible. As a Black trans woman, Blaque never shies away from conversations that others might be too afraid to tackle, especially social justice issues surrounding gender, feminism, and race.

Blaque's commentary is confident but never patronizing. She also leaves room for people who may disagree with her. Her coverage of J.K. Rowling's opinions on transgender women was particularly illuminating — in just over 9 minutes, Blaque provided insight into why it was so hurtful for the trans community and nuance for anyone who might not be clued up on the situation. 

Her approach is clearly popular, with 319,000 people subscribed to her channel already.

CreepShow Art gives you commentary with relaxing illustrations.

CreepShow Art
One of CreepShow Art's pieces. CreepShow Art / YouTube

Shannon from CreepShow Art gives you commentary with a twist. She covers some of the messiest issues on the platform, including Trisha Paytas' feuds, the intentions of YouTube therapist Kati Morton, and Shane Dawson's quiet return, usually with a backdrop of one of her amazing artworks or a gaming stream.

There's no rule for watching commentary videos, but some people put them on in the background to listen like a podcast while they do other things. Shannon's videos, however, entice you to watch, because her artistic skill — be it on paper or digitally — is almost hypnotic. 

Both her creative aesthetic and her strong voice make Shannon's channel totally original, with a subscriber base of 394,000.

Def Noodles always has the scoop on the latest internet and entertainment stories.

Def Noodles
Dennis Feitosa of Def Noodles. Def Noodles / YouTube

Def Noodles, the channel run by Dennis Feitosa, shot from relative obscurity to a vital follow for anyone covering internet drama 10 months ago. Feitosa has been making YouTube videos on Def Noodles for about two years, but 2020 saw his following grow exponentially to 484,000.

Feitosa's reporting in his videos and on Twitter is unparalleled because he's always first to the news. He always seems to have the scoop on when a YouTuber responds to drama, or if an influencer is seen behaving irresponsibly in public. 

His videos are a mix of factual reporting and comedy, and he covers topics such as influencers being accused of grooming accusations and the Stauffer family giving up their adopted child.

Tom Harlock's opinions are served with a healthy side of British sarcasm.

Tom Harlock
Tom Harlock. Tom Harlock / YouTube

Former Vine star Tom Harlock started making YouTube videos in 2017, and since then has explored some of the weirdest cultural phenomenons of our time. And he does it all with a dose of British sarcasm. 

He's examined the televised cooking spectacle "Come Dine With Me," the trials and tribulations of YouTuber Amberlynn Reid, and the strange community of women in pyramid schemes he calls "boss babes."

He's been pretty popular since the start of his YouTube career and currently has just over a million subscribers.

Chris Klemens is raw, creative, and hilarious.

Chris Klemens
Chris Klemens. Chris Klemens / YouTube

Chris Klemens is one of the biggest YouTubers on this list, and he's a great follow for many reasons. He's funny, for starters, and was one of the few major YouTubers to call out the influencers who haven't stopped partying during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Among his hilarious challenges, Mukbangs, and hair dye experiments are some moments of true rawness. In November, Klemens told his 1.1 million subscribers he'd tested positive for the coronavirus, despite following the rules and staying indoors the majority of the time. 

Klemens picked himself up again after the devastating blow and has continued making great content. One highlight is when he spills the tea on the celebrities he's met. Back in March, he documented trading romaine lettuce for Chrissy Teigen's banana bread, which she and John Legend transported over a church parking lot in their daughter's toy car. It was one of the highlights of the early days of lockdown.

Kitboga's scambaiting is second to none.

Kitboga
Kitboga. Kitboga / YouTube

Nobody knows Kitboga's real identity, but he's become a superstar on the internet for his skillful scambaiting. He streams on Twitch, talking to scammers on the phone who think they are obtaining control over his computer. Little do they know Kitboga has a program set up which shows a false desktop, complete with a fake banking website and account details.

Kitboga keeps scammers on the phone for hours at a time and uploads the highlights to YouTube, where he has built up 1.4 million subscribers. He keeps things interesting by creating a melange of characters who deliberately misunderstand the scammers' instructions while keeping them around under the false pretense they will receive a big payout at the end.

While the conversation goes on, Kitboga talks the audience through what the scammers are trying to achieve, to equip viewers if they — or an elderly relative — ever receive such a phone call themselves. He's said in videos before that he started wasting the time of scammers when his own grandmother fell victim to one of their schemes.

Corpse Husband is only going to get more popular in 2021.

Corpse Husband
Corpse Husband. Anthony Padilla / YouTube

Corpse Husband, an anonymous, faceless YouTuber, has been making videos for about five years, growing a following by reading out scary stories in his characteristically sonorous voice. Recently, however, his follower count got a major boost through playing the popular murder mystery game "Among Us" with a group of world-renowned streamers. He currently has over 6.2 million subscribers and counting.

He's never shown his face or revealed his identity, but the mystery helped attract fans of online horror that frequent subreddits such as r/nosleep and r/LetsNotMeet where people post first-person narrative scary stories. 

Corpse is worth a follow because his popularity is only going to continue to soar, and listening to him reading ghost stories in his deep voice is hypnotically relaxing. And, after reaching such popularity with streaming, who knows what his next venture will be.

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