This morning, Markiplier subscribers on YouTube woke up to a video titled “I don’t deserve this.”
Turns out what YouTube personality Markiplier, (real name Mark Fischbach), doesn’t think he deserves is the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Celebrity of the Year award. The video is an eight-minute tearjerker, talking about the more than a few Make-A-Wish kids he’s met in the past, and given how many people he’s made happy, even for a few hours, it’s hard to see how he wouldn’t deserve such a title.
Since joining YouTube in 2012, Markiplier’s gaming channel has become synonymous with the YouTube Let’s Play communities. His witty commentary, unconventional choice of games, and an ability to react (and occasionally overreact) in hilarious ways has made him a smash hit. With 15,068,806 subscribers (slightly less than the combined total of people living in Sweden and Norway and roughly 4.6% of the US population), Markiplier is easily one of the top most popular YouTubers, with his channel currently ranked as the #27 most subscribed YouTube channel and the #4 most subscribed YouTube gaming channel. Whenever he speaks at conventions, he is regularly greeted by swarms of adoring fans, and his individual videos generally get hundreds of thousands of views within minutes of being uploaded. With these numbers, it’s easy to see why he’s such a popular Make-A-Wish request, and to congratulate him on his new title, here are five of the most memorable Markiplier moments.
5. That time he went back to Undertale
Read my blog, TV for Short Attention Spans for a few minutes, and you’ll figure out I’m a bit obsessed with indie game Undertale, “The friendly RPG where no one has to die.” What can I say? I’m Undertale Trash. That’s the name given to the large and somewhat obnoxious Undertale fan community, and few people have suffered from the community’s wrath more than Markiplier. He attempted to play the game back in early November of 2015, and while most of his fans were perfectly happy with his playthrough, a small yet vocal minority screamed at him because he, in their opinion, got the voices of a few of the characters wrong, even though the in-universe characters are literally voiced by a Morse-code like system of beeps of various pitches.
To avoid dealing with a notoriously un-pleasable fandom, Markiplier quietly refused to finish the game and joked about avoiding Undertale fans in various subsequent videos. Then, nearly a year later, he started to record a weekly live stream of him playing the game with his friend Tyler.
You can still see the carefully hidden look of disgust on Mark’s face in the early part of the live stream, but pretty soon, he does appear to start actually enjoying himself. Let’s just hope the Undertale Trash shut up enough to let him finish the game this time.
4. That time he let himself get roasted by Reddit
There is an entire subreddit called “Roast Me” in which users upload selfies in the hopes of receiving funny but brutal commentary from the Reddit community. Psychologists have speculated as to why people deliberately set themselves up to be roasted, and while it does appear to mainly be a plea for attention, albeit negative attention, allowing yourself to be roasted on Reddit does require a thick skin. In mid-August of 2015, Markiplier posted a goofy picture of himself in front of his shower curtain with a sign in big letters saying, “Roast Me,” and said to Reddit, “YouTube Roasts Me Daily. Can You Do Worse?”
The top comments included:
“Wow, even your handwriting is loud and obnoxious.”
“Who are you?” paired with the similar, “The best joke in this thread is the mods tagging him as ‘Celebrity.’’
“No offense, but you kind of look like Markiplier.”
“How is it being the PewDiePie (link to PewDiePie’s channel) that still lives with his mom?”
Mark remained a good sport throughout the whole video, cracking up the at nearly every roast and commenting in his usual self-deprecating but good natured style, and the whole video is fun to watch both for the jokes and his reactions to them (and, for a certain part of his fan base, the brief moment in the middle of the video where he removes his shirt. It makes sense in context).
3. That time he refused to let his favorite character die in Until Dawn
In August of 2015, PS4 horror game Until Dawn took over Twitch and YouTube gaming channels. A deconstruction of conventional slasher movies, the game become popular for its celebrity cast (including characters voiced and motion captured by Hayden Panettiere and Rami Malek), gorgeous and realistic scenery, and nearly unlimited replay value due to the vast number of available paths affected by the player’s in-game choices. Markiplier’s playthrough would have been just another entertaining series on his channel until Part 13, when he accidentally allowed a character to die.
Right before Until Dawn character Ashley dies, you can see the look of horror and disgust on Mark’s face as he realizes what his most recent choice did. With his horrified expression soon turning to one of despair, he removes his headphones, leaves his laptop, and starts screaming off screen, only to return nearly two minutes later to berate himself and the game, vowing to replay the entire game to ensure that Ashley, as he puts it, “ends her experience here on the mountain in the happiest way, being bone-zoned by Chris [her love interest], because That’s. What their love. Deserves!” And he proceeded to do exactly that, playing the entire game again off screen until that point just to keep his favorite character alive.
2. That time he finished Blank Dream
Around the time he played Until Dawn, Markiplier also recorded a seven-part playthrough of the RPG Maker Game Blank Dream. A somewhat morbid game to begin with, Blank Dream follows Japanese teenager Mishiro Usui, who as of the beginning of the game, has recently committed suicide for unknown reasons. She is thrown into a dream world where she must recover her memories leading to her death, accompanied by two other dream world inhabitants of unknown origins. The game would be sad enough on its own, but in September of 2015, Markiplier received some tragic news that paused his playthrough indefinitely.
His friend and roommate, Daniel Kyre, of then YouTube gaming group “Cyndago,” had passed away from suicide. After the announcement, Mark stopped making any videos for nearly a month so he could grieve in peace. When he returned, most of his fans understood that he wouldn’t be finishing Blank Dream anytime soon, given what he had gone through. However, his subscribers were surprised at the end of July in 2016 when he decided to spend an hour and a half finishing the game.
Without spoiling anything, the true ending of Blank Dream is incredibly cathartic and rewarding, and seeing Markiplier get the opportunity to rejoice at the denouement he wished he could have had in real life is easily one of the most heartwarming moments of his entire YouTube career.
So, what could top this moment as his most memorable? Naturally, the moment that made him a YouTube star.
5. That time he was the King of Five Nights at Freddy’s
Like Undertale, the indie horror series Five Nights at Freddy’s virtually took over internet during the summer of 2014. The game follows security guard Mike Schmidt’s week at possibly the worst summer job of all time, making less than minimum wage as the night guard at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, a disturbingly dark homage to Chuck E. Cheese’s where the animatronics come to life at night and attempt to murder any humans they can find. The game spawned four sequels, a spin-off game, a novel adaptation, an upcoming movie by Warner Bros., and countless fan games and game theories about the somewhat ambiguous overarching plot, which always has something to do with previous murders committed at the Fazbear franchise’s locations. Many Let’s Players made their way through the series, littered with jump scares of animatronics literally screaming for reaction montages, but none of these were as popular as Markiplier’s, whom Honest Trailers once called “the franchise’s own Jesus.”
Markiplier received this status in 2013 when he became the self-proclaimed “King of Five Nights At Freddy’s,” being one of the first gamers to beat the final night’s “4/20” mode, where all four of the animatronics’ AIs are set to maximum difficulty.
FNAF creator Scott Cawthon had previously believed that this mode was impossible to beat and personally expressed shock and congratulations to Markiplier for managing to do so after roughly seven hours of game play. Since then, Mark has recorded playthroughs of every game in the franchise (minus spinoff FNAF World) as well as most of the fan games, becoming the main face of the fandom for years to come. And on that note, here is the animated version of his original triumph over the series.