How Trisha Paytas became one of the most controversial YouTubers of all time

Trisha Paytas, a longtime YouTuber, admitted troll and staple in modern internet culture, practically invented the phrase “no stranger to controversy.”

Drama has followed the 32-year-old creator through every phase of her career, from reality TV staple to massively successful YouTube personality with 4.8 million subscribers on her main channel and 1.3 million more on her vlog page.

Paytas has posted Mukbangs, tearful confessional videos, music videos and countless controversial posts since her channel began in 2007, but she is best known for her “will prob delete. prob offensive,” attitude, as she captioned a TikTok of one of her latest stunts.

In October 2020, she said she started seeing a therapist for her mental health issues and deleted all her problematic videos. Fans are excited to see if starting therapy results in actual change or if this is just a part of a ploy to gain subscribers.

Let’s unpack Trisha Paytas’ controversies — or at least some of the bigger ones.

Japanese pop star character ‘Trishii’

In Paytas’ early videos, she played a character called Trishii, who was supposed to be a Japanese pop star. Her portrayal involved dark makeup and what many perceived to involve racist stereotypes against Asians.

In 2011, she shared a music video starring Trishii, which she has since taken down. (Evidence of its existence still remains, as it has been re-uploaded to several different channels.) A year later, she said the music was taken down because a participant asked her to remove it after it faced “backlash.”

“I didn’t think it was bad, it was supposed to be a parody,” Paytas said in a 2012 video

Trolling for views

In 2015, Paytas admitted to Business Insider that she posted a number of YouTube videos just to get views, such as one in which she claimed “dogs don’t have brains.”

She added that she thought “dumbing [her]self down” would get attention and views.

“I just have this constant need for attention,” she told Insider in a different interview. “Maybe that’s a bad thing, maybe not, but it’s how I thrive.”

‘Coming out’ videos

In 2016, Paytas faced backlash over a coming out video in which she claimed to identify as a chicken nugget.

“When you feel like a chicken nugget, you feel like … not delicious,” Paytas said. “Well, you feel delicious, but you also feel, like, fried. And fake on the inside … I’m pink goop and now I’m a chicken nugget.” 

“I don’t think I should be considered crazy for identifying as such,” she added.

Paytas shared another video in 2017 titled “i’m no longer a person” in which she walked around in her underwear with a trash bag over her head and said she no longer wanted to be known as Trisha, a woman or anything else. 

“Because I no longer have an identity,” she said. “I don’t want to be made fun of or compared to my videos because they are no longer me. I am stepping back from a persona, from a person that is Trish.”

Though both videos were mostly teased for being absurd, many took offense to her 2019 post in which she claimed to be transgender.

In the footage, which has since been deleted, she said she identifies as a gay man who likes to dress in drag because she is attracted to gay men and loves “glam.”

She faced backlash in the comments and across social media for making light of LGBTQIA+ issues.

Paytas insisted she wasn’t trolling, invited people to ask her questions and doubled down on her claim on an appearance of the show “The Doctors.”

Past relationships and break-up drama

In her 2016 video titled “who was my worst boyfriend ever,” Paytas detailed her past relationships with “The Breakfast Club” actor Anthony Michael Hall, whom she dated from 2008 to 2013, and “The Producers” actor Roger Bart, whom she was with from 2013 to 2015.

Paytas also dated Sean van der Wilt for a year. They posted click-friendly videos and made a music video before their time together ended with Paytas’ bombshell video titled “he cheated. I’m done.

Her next upload, “Sean Van Der Wilt Is Gay,” faced enormous backlash as commenters said she publicly outed her ex-boyfriend without his consent after she said she caught him kissing another man.

Paytas admitted she “hooked up” with Aaron Carter and said he unfollowed her on Twitter immediately after, which ignited a feud during which they exposed each other’s Twitter DMs. Paytas later tweeted that they are like brother and sister, so they must have made up.

In perhaps her most notorious relationship to date, Paytas was on and off with fellow YouTuber Jason Nash for about a year. She appeared in a number of Vlog Squad videos, which Nash was a part of with David Dobrik.

Nash and Paytas broke up briefly at least twice — once because she thought he called her overweight, and another time because he kept joking about having a threesome with influencer Tana Mongeau. Both times they made response videos directed at each other, but rekindled their romance.

The two split for the final time in February 2019. Paytas revealed the breakup in an emotional video filmed on her kitchen floor — a type of video that would soon become her signature.

David Dobrik feud

Following her split from Nash, Paytas ignited a feud with his friend David Dobrik.

In a video that has since been deleted, she called Dobrik “creepy and disgusting” and compared him to serial killer Ted Bundy — a shocking statement against one of the most popular bloggers on YouTube known for his upbeat prank videos.

She has continued to bring up their beef over the past few months, but Dobrik has refused to comment since he apologized in 2019 for joking about Nash’s interest in then-20-year-old Mongeau.

Gabbie Hanna feud

In November 2019, drama erupted between Paytas and fellow YouTuber Gabbie Hanna when Paytas uploaded a video claiming that Hanna harassed and talked badly about her.

“She’s a freaking drama queen and I’m a freaking drama queen,” Paytas said in the video. “I don’t think about her ever.” 

Paytas said Hanna told Paytas’ then-boyfriend Jason Nash that Paytas had herpes. Paytas has always vehemently denied having the STD.

“It wasn’t my business to know if trisha had herpes, i have no reason for her to tell me. it WAS my business to warn a friend that he might be at risk,” Hanna tweeted in response. “know what i mean? asking her would just be gossip. telling him to be safe and find out is caring for his health.”

In September 2020, Hanna released a diss track about Paytas called “Call Me Crazy,” in which she called Paytas “insecure” and “self-obsessed.”

Ethan Klein feud

In May 2019, Paytas called out YouTuber Ethan Klein, who runs the h3h3 podcast with his wife Hila Klein, for fat-shaming her in a video titled “Instagram vs. Reality.” In a tweet, she called him a “disgusting piece of s***” and said the video was “harmful for young girls.” Two days later, she asked to appear on the podcast.

Their relationship continued like this for months — Klein would bash something Paytas did, she would confront him about it and then the two would collaborate.

In Feburary 2020, Ethan and Hila decided they wanted to help Paytas find love by starting a “Bachelorette”-style dating show.

On one episode, Paytas expressed an interest in Hila’s brother Moses. They met up when the show was put on hold due to social distancing guidelines. 

“At the end I won the bachelorette. Thank u @h3h3productions,” Paytas tweeted a few days after.

Moses has since appeared in Paytas’ vlogs and she refers to him as her boyfriend

There’s been tension between Ethan and Paytas since then, but on Sept. 15, they launched a podcast together called “Frenemies.” They fight on pretty much every episode.

“I wonder how many episodes we make before this whole thing is burned to the ground,” Ethan said in the first episode.

Feud with Keemstar

Paytas is a common topic of conversation on the YouTube gossip channel DramaAlert, which is hosted by Keemstar.

The two often feud — in August 2019, he quote-tweeted someone who said they had recovered from a crystal meth addiction, saying “Congrats! Hopefully this gives some inspiration to @trishapaytas!”

“Ur bullying causes actual death,” Paytas responded in a tweet. She also called him the “literal devil” and said “this isn’t cute.”

They bicker back and forth constantly.

Feud with Nikocado Avocado

In May 2019, YouTuber Nikocado Avocado went viral with a video titled “Exposing Trisha Paytas With Receipts.” He claimed that Paytas ghosted him when they were supposed to film together several years ago.

She slammed him in a series of livestreams and videos, but he responded by making their DMs public. This led Keemstar to declare Paytas #canceled.

At first, she told Perez Hilton there’s nothing wrong with ghosting someone, but later backed down on that and said she was going through a breakup at the time.

A few months later, Paytas and Nikocado Avocado filmed Mukbang videos together on her kitchen floor in which they ate take-out and discussed the drama between them.

Marriage to a Brad Pitt cardboard cutout

After teasing a wedding for weeks, Paytas revealed in November 2019 that she married a cardboard cutout of Brad Pitt. 

“I never thought I would find someone who wouldn’t leave me, and who wouldn’t talk back to me and judge me for being crazy,” Paytas said in her vows. “This is real and this means a lot. From the moment I got you in the mail, I knew this would last forever.”

Commenters were both annoyed and amused by the trolling.

False Dissociative Identity Disorder diagnosis

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In a 20-minute video titled “Meet My Alters,” Paytas claimed to have Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and “multiple personalities.”

In addition to using incorrect terminology to describe her “alters,” Paytas admitted that she has never been formally diagnosed with the disorder.

DID is no joke — the disorder has many diagnostic criteria and requires long-term treatment overseen by a professional. There is no known cause of the disorder, but many people with the condition say they experienced a traumatic event during their childhood. 

YouTuber DissociaDID, who identifies as a DID system, outlined everything Paytas got wrong about the disorder in a video. Many people called Paytas out for faking and making light of a serious condition.

Paytas posted a video in response in which she claimed to have caught herself switching between alters on camera.

She has since deleted all of these videos, calling them “problematic.”

Only time will tell if Paytas truly plans to stay away from her controversial ways, or if this new chapter is merely another attention-seeking gimmick.

If you enjoyed this story, continue down the rabbit hole with this explainer on Jake Paul’s controversies.

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