YouTube has been around a long while, so long, in fact, that you’ve probably developed an impression of it that’s a bit obsolete. Once the bastion of cat videos and fail compilations, YouTube has developed into a platform with some seriously great content — including series and shows with production and writing quality that’ll rival anything you see on TV. Still, finding this content is not a simple task, and so we’re here with a list of the 30 best channels you’ve (probably) never heard of.
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Brothers Green Eats (Food)
Kicking off the list is ‘Brothers Green Eats,’ a cooking channel featuring two brothers who cook a variety of dishes, usually with fun commentary as a side dish. The channel grew in popularity to the point of landing the duo an MTV contract, and the production quality went up to match.
This is Dan Bell (Comedy/Exploration)
Dan Bell’s channel is home to a few different series, including one that tours dead malls and another that involves inspecting ultra-cheap and typically disgusting motel rooms. Both video series have earned Bell a growing audience, but the latter, called Another Dirty Room!, seems to be the shining show here, bringing with it a bunch of (NSFW) comedy.
Steve1989 MREinfo (Neat/Educational)
This channel, its somewhat uninteresting name aside, is dedicated to an interesting and somewhat unusual topic: acquiring and opening old MRE rations, including things from the Vietnam era and more. We get a peek into all sorts of food items, old boxes and cans, and all the details that go along with them.
The Slingshot Channel (Outdoor/Fun)
The Slingshot Channel has been around for years, and so there’s a decent chance you’ve happened across a video here or there. If you’ve never taken the time to really watch the series, though, you should give it a try. German fellow Joerg Sprave builds all sorts of slingshots (and other weapons) and demonstrates them on video. If nothing else, watch the video where he launches a Christmas tree.
Cody’s Lab (‘Educational’)
Cody’s Lab is something of an educational channel, though you’d probably be right in describing it as entertainment. He sets out to perform all sorts of odd things that you’d probably never try yourself, including flushing 240lbs of mercury down a toilet.
The Great War (History)
This history channel is all about World War I.
Vintage Space (Space)
Vintage Space is yet another educational channel that is as much about entertainment as it is learning something. This series looks into vintage space-related items and is a must-see for budding astronomers.
Red Letter Media is one of those channels you’re going to have to watch for yourself to get a feel for it. Perhaps its most popular offering is the ‘Half in the Bag’ series, which is a bit of an acquired taste, but one that’s ultimately worth the effort.
Crash Course (Educational)
Crash Course, as its name suggests, is a video series that takes information about all sorts of things, offering it is bite-sized videos.
Soviet Womble (Gaming)
This is a gaming channel where ‘bullshittery’ takes center stage.
Ashens is mostly a comedy channel, one with a great narrator and quite a bit of NSFW stuff.
Binging with Babish (Food)
If you spend any amount of time on Reddit, you’ve no doubt caught one of these videos by now. For everyone else who enjoys cooking shows, Binging with Babish is absolutely a series to give a chance. The show combines excellent production quality with rapid-pace, humorous attempts at recreating food from popular movies and TV shows.
Funhaus is another one of those things that is acquired taste, but the series have proven very popular among a certain subset of YouTubers, and it is worth consideration. The series mostly revolves around video games, but not in the same way SovietWomble does.
The Slow Mo Guys (Slow-motion)
The Slo Mo Guys channel is exactly what it sounds like: some guys doing stuff and recording it in slow motion. The production value is great, and in fact the team has utilized some slow-motion cameras that are beyond the scope of the ordinary consumer, making it especially interesting.
Primitive Technology (Outdoors)
Primitive Technology is another channel you’re likely to know about if you frequent Reddit, but the somewhat infrequent video publication coupled with the subject matter means many people miss out on this gem. The series revolves around a guy in nature; he never talks, but he has a lot to demonstrate.
Cow Chop (Weird)
Cow Chop is a hard-to-describe mostly-gaming channel.
Vi Hart (Doodling/Music)
This channel is one of those gems you’ve probably never stumbled upon but will enjoy watching regardless. The series revolves around a narrator doodling at a sped-up pace, and it is quite mesmerizing at times. Toss in the musical aspect, and you’ve got a winner.
Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell (Educational)
These videos aren’t posted very often, but the quality is worth waiting for. ‘In a Nutshell’ takes topics you’ve probably heard in the news but not researched much yourself and offers details about them alongside adorable, highly-saturated animations.
Good Mythical Morning (Talk Show)
Good Mythical Morning is a talk show for a new generation.
Hydraulic Press Channel (Smashing stuff)
It’s true, you probably have heard about the Hydraulic Press Channel by now. If you’ve been living under a rock, though, you’re in for a treat. This channel revolves around a big hydraulic press, showing off on video all the stuff it can smash.
Your Dinosaurs are Wrong (Paleontology)
Channel your inner Ross Geller with this show about paleontology.
Domics is one of the few animated shows on this list and it is something like an animated comic strip — funny and definitely worth the watch.
Nerd Cubed (Gaming)
Nerd Cubed is a gaming channel that, in my personal opinion, is the best on the list (as far as video games are concerned). If you enjoy playing games or watching other people play games, this is definitely one for your list.
Today I Found Out (Educational)
Want to wow everyone at social gatherings with your eclectic and vast knowledge of fairly weird stuff? If so, Today I Found Out will serve you well. This video series covers topics about things you may not know, providing all the details via fairly short episodes.
Kitchen Nightmares (Food/Gordon Ramsay)
Kitchen Nightmares is the official YouTube channel related to the actual show, and it offers up small clips from episodes. While that may not sound like the best channel for this list, it really is worth watching if you enjoy Gordon Ramsay’s style of food entertainment.
Yet another educational series has made the list, this one revolving around numbers and everything that makes them awesome. You’ll love this series if you love math, and you’ll probably feel stupefied if you’re not familiar with the topic. You’ve been warned.
Drinking with Goosebumps (Comedy)
This series is exactly what it sounds like: drunk people and 90s’ era Goosebumps books.
Happy Tree Friends (Dark Animation)
Yes, Happy Tree Friends is still around. This animated series has been around for years, once having been quite popular, and the video quality is better than ever. The channel still enjoys more than three million subscribers, though you’re not likely to stumble across one of these videos casually, and so many people have lived blissfully unaware of its existence.
Note: despite the cute child-friendly graphics and audio, this series is very much not intended for young children.
Adam Savage’s Tested (Educational)
If you’re a fan of Mythbusters, you’ll no doubt enjoy Adam Savage’s Tested.
Joey’s World Tour (Food)
Last but not least is Joey’s World Tour, another food channel that, in this case, centers around reviewing food rather than creating it.