The Vlogbrothers and Sibling Relations

VlogBrothers YouTube logoI’ve always been a big fan of documentaries and educational videos, and that got me to watching educational YouTube channels like SciShow and CrashCourse. Both of these channels were created in part by two brothers: Hank and John Green. Watching the mini media empire they have built has really got me thinking about sibling relations.

Renaissance Men

The Green brothers have a gazillion successes behind their names. John is a bestselling author and Hank is a musician, scientist and serial entrepreneur. Most of their success stems from their original YouTube channel, VlogBrothers. Back in 2007, Hank and John decided to stop communicating textually, and start making daily videos to each other, for the whole world to see. YouTube was still fairly new, and over the course of that first year, they gained attention with a mix of smart and silly videos. Binge-watching eight years of VlogBrothers videos got me to thinking about my relationship with my sister, and how sibling relations grow and change as we get older.

Happy In Their Own Way

Leo Tolstoy once wrote, “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Coming from a happy family, I disagree with this quote. I think that happy families are all happy in their own way. However, we don’t pay as much attention to the quietly happy families.

With this in mind, it’s important not to draw broad conclusions about sibling relations based on the VlogBrothers and my relationship with my sister. But as far as I can determine, it’s important to renew your relationship with your sibling(s) as an adult. You can tell that Hank and John were not as close when they started the Vlogbrothers project back in 2007. They spend a lot more time reminiscing about childhood memories. You can see them catching up along the course of the first few years, transforming an old childhood bond into an adult friendship. My sister and I had a similar experience. When my parents moved to Samoa, my sister and I moved back in with them, only this time as adults living in an exotic locale. This strengthened our relationship and made us closer as adults.

Renewing Relationships

I think that all long-term relationships must be renewed over time. This is true for parent/child relations, romantic relationships and friendships alike. But when it comes to sibling relations, there is a special bond involved. It’s the bond of growing up with someone in the same environment, then trying to stay close as you build your own independent lives. The Green brothers have done just that, and my sister and I are amongst the lucky ones too. So if you have an adult sibling with whom you’re still close, be thankful for that ever-evolving relationship.

Steve Lovelace

Steve Lovelace is a writer and graphic artist. After graduating Michigan State University in 2004, he taught Spanish in Samoa before moving to Dallas, Texas. He blogs regularly at

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7 Responses

  1. May 13, 2015

    […] called “Why Are American Health Care Costs So High?”, this YouTube clip features author John Green talking about the Byzantine health care system we have here in […]

  2. August 4, 2015

    […] brother, John Green. I was hooked, and after binging through Crash Course videos, I moved on to Hank and John Green’s original YouTube channel, Vlogbrothers. Soon I was counting myself as a fan, a Nerdfighter as they […]

  3. February 8, 2017

    […] game growing up. I started playing it before I was old enough to really understand it. As did my little sister. Once, when we were still both pretty young, I convinced her to exchange her ugly orange $500 bills […]

  4. February 15, 2017

    […] me sister, I was following the Pythagorean Theorem, driving on a diagonal through the city streets. My sister, who was still in high school at the time, was quick to point out that the Pythagorean Theorem only […]

  5. February 28, 2017

    […] A punny reference to John Green’s novel “Paper […]

  6. March 2, 2017

    […] entertaining, channels that fill the role abandoned by the History Channel. Two of my favorites are Vlogbrothers and Lazy Game Reviews, but there are a couple of the channels I’ve gotten into […]

  7. November 21, 2017

    […] but that wasn’t much fun. The fun part was watching the victory dance when you beat your little sister. Or laughing at the funny names your dad would make up for the gorillas. Because of these memories, […]

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