Dan and Phil: A Year in Review

2016 has been a whirlwind for the YouTube community as a whole, but especially for fans of British vlogger duo Dan and Phil, also known by their YouTube names, danisnotonfire and AmazingPhil. It’s been a year full of touring and some epic surprises, and we’re here to recap it all for you.

The year started off relatively low-key, with a few months of regular video making. Phil turned 29 at the end of January, and Dan hosted a documentary about e-sports for the BBC called “Supergamers”. The two also hosted the BRITS backstage online stream for the third consecutive year, and this time, they got to climb to the top of the O2 arena!

It was nice, relaxing break for the pair after the hectic conclusion to 2015, with the release of their first book, The Amazing Book is not on Fire, and the UK leg of their stage show, The Amazing Tour is not on Fire. But the boys were far from hanging up their sequined jackets and top hats- they had 3 more legs of TATINOF to embark on in 2016. In case you don’t already know, TATINOF is Dan and Phil’s live stage show, described as “A theatrical stage show with hilarious anecdotes, sketches, lots of audience interaction we’ll probably regret, a loose story tying it all together and some SURPRISES you’ll never see coming…”

For nearly 3 months beginning in April, the boys travelled across North America, bringing TATINOF to cities all around America, and brief stop in Canada. It was an action packed time, balancing shows almost every day, collecting content for DAPGO and the TATINOF documentary, sightseeing in the cities they visited, and of course, making YouTube videos. Sleeping on a tour bus and living out of a suitcase isn’t easy, but they had each other and their supportive, loyal fan base to keep them going. It also happened to be Dan’s 25th birthday in the midst of the tour, coincidently on the day they were in Las Vegas. You can read our full recap of the American leg of TATINOF here, where we relive some of the best tweets, photos, and fan interactions that happened during the USA tour. We also went to a show and reviewed it!

After a month’s break in July, the pair was on the road again for TATINOF in August, this time in Australia. They recorded one of their days down under where they went to an Australian wildlife park. Watch their adventures with various marsupials- and in particular, a koala named Dewey- in this Day in The Life of Dan and Phil in Australia!

In October, things got a little hectic again, with the release of two TATINOF themed films on YouTube Red. For a while, Dan and Phil had been hinting at the concept of TATINOF being filmed and released for anyone who couldn’t attend a physical show. Two separate films were released on October 5th. One was a filmed version of The Amazing Tour is not on Fire stage show, from their live performance at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. The other film was a tour documentary, showing the behind-the-scenes of TATINOF from writing the script to rehearsing to sight-seeing while on tour. The films were met an overwhelmingly positive reaction from their fanbase, whether someone was reliving the TATINOF tour date they attended or experiencing it for the first time, it was an emotional endeavor for all. Fun fact: Dan and Phil are the first creators from the U.K. to have a show on YouTube Red!

Speaking of Youtube, even with all of the awesome things Dan and Phil have done outside of YouTube this year, they have continued to prioritize their videos and keep making the content that their fans love on both of their individual channels and their joint gaming channel. Let’s take a break from our recap to highlight a few of their best videos from this year.

Dan’s Diss Track

Dan joined the popular challenge going around YouTube to “roast yourself”, and the result was pretty epic. He dissed everything from his hobbit hair to the fact that he dropped out of university- with no holding back. With a few listens, we’re sure you’ll have the track stuck in your head.

A VERY Sleepless Night With Phil

In another installment of Phil’s “Sleepless Night With Phil” series, we follow a jet-lagged Phil as he tries to fall asleep. It’s a nice one to watch if you’re trying to get sleepy as well, as it’s quite calming to watch Phil play with Snapchat filters and make tea, among other things.


Even though it took just under a year for them to complete, it was an absolute blast watching Dan and Phil get attached to the Undertale universe on their gaming channel. We’ll definitely miss their character, Toto, and all the funny voices they do for the different characters.

Phil is not on fire 8

Of course, we couldn’t conclude this list without mentioning the annual tradition imvolving cat whiskers: Phil is not on fire! Another year of weird questions, weirder answers, and all-around fun, brought to you by excessive Sharpie fumes.

In addition to all the TATINOF and YouTube buzz, Dan and Phil also became chart-toppers this year! At the end of their stage show, the duo perform a live musical number called ‘The Internet is Here’, complete with proper choreography and singing. Since so many fans wanted to have a downloadable version of the song, Dan and Phil decided to release it on iTunes as a charity single in support of Stand Up To Cancer U.K, and post a music video on Dan’s channel. The single shot to number 1 in the U.K charts and reached the top 10 in various other countries. Now Dan and Phil can add “international pop stars” to their Twitter bios!

As if the year could get any better for Dan and Phil fans, the pair released their second book! ‘Dan and Phil Go Outside’, released November 3, is a physical commemoration of over a year of taking TATINOF around the world. It is a photobook filled with hundreds of exclusive pictures and stories from the tour. The boys had to sift through over 22,000 photos from the tour to choose the ones that best chronicled their tour adventures. They got to play around more with this book as opposed to TABINOF, which Dan described as their “self-defining magnum-opus”. With the quirky front cover and funny anecdotes sprinkled throughout the book, it’s clear that they didn’t take themselves too seriously and had some fun.

The last couple months of 2016 were also quite busy, with lots of events and other things going on. As per tradition, Dan and Phil did “Spooky Week” on their joint gaming channel, a week full of spooky games leading up to Halloween. We recapped all five games and the surprise Halloween baking video right here if you’re feeling a little spooky.

Then, the boys attended the first annual British Online Creator Awards in late November, and won three awards between the two of them. Phil is not on fire 7 won “Collaboration of the Year”, The Amazing tour is not on Fire won “Film of the Year” and Phil won the fan-voted “British Creator of the Year”! They also performed ‘The Internet is Here’ live on the BONCAs stage.

They also wrapped up TATINOF for good after performing a few shows for the European leg of the tour in Dublin, Berlin and Sweden. It was time to finally say goodbye to the show after over a year of taking it around the world and putting it on the Internet for everyone to see. This year, it set the record for the most successful YouTuber tour ever, with well over 150,000 tickets sold worldwide.

Then, to everyone’s surprise, Dan and Phil guest starred in an episode of Disney’s The Lion Guard, voice-acting as two gorillas named Majinuni and Hafifu. We never thought we’d be so excited about two cartoon gorillas with realistic fringes.

A few weeks ago, the pair made an appearance in YouTube Rewind, playing Will and Mike from Stranger Things. Fans were happy to see them playing a bigger role than they did in last year’s production. Plus, now we have pictures of Dan and Phil riding bikes, in case we ever need proof that they actually can exercise.

Currently, Dan and Phil are finishing “Gamingmas”, where they are posting a video on their joint gaming channel every day until Christmas Eve, starting on December 1. Because of their notorious sporadic uploads, some fans were doubtful if they could pull it off. But they haven’t missed a day! Dan said in a recent livestream that they intended the Gamingmas videos to be a “nice little happy thing” in the lives of their viewers, especially if the holiday season “isn’t the perfect thing that everyone wants it to be”. Their commitment to this uploading schedule at such a busy time of year shows how much they care about brightening their viewers’ days.

So, that just about wraps up 2016 for Dan and Phil. It’s safe to say that they’ve had a very successful year, both on and off YouTube. The conclusion of the year was well-timed with the conclusion of the events surrounding the The Amazing Book is not on fire and The Amazing Tour is not on fire. As Dan and Phil have said before, the book and tour sum up everything about the Dan and Phil universe and bring it to life outside of the Internet. Working on these projects has consumed their lives for the past two years, so it really does feel like the end of an era.

What’s next for Dan and Phil? No one really knows. With no big plans on the horizon for 2017 so far, it may just be a year of committing more of their time to making videos. But knowing Dan and Phil, they probably have some surprises up their sleeves.

Want more Dan and Phil? Check out some of the articles we’ve written about them this year!

Why Fans Love Dan and Phil | Youtuber(s) of the Week: Danisnotonfire and AmazingPhil | YouTuber 101: Phil Lester | YouTuber 101: Dan Howell

What was your favourite Dan and Phil moment this year? Let us know on Twitter @CelebMix

Written by Annemarie Cutruzzola

Canadian arts & culture writer and journalism student.