Inside the rise and fall of YouTube star Nikocado Avocado

Business Insider US
Nikocado Avocado has established himself as a controversial YouTube personality.
  • Nikocado Avocado, also known as Nicholas Perry, is a 28-year-old YouTube star who gained over 3 million subscribers across various channels with his extreme eating videos.
  • The YouTuber, who posts frequently to four separate channels, has made a name for himself by filming emotionally-turbulent, "clickbaity" videos.
  • In December 2019, YouTuber Stephanie Soo accused Perry of abusive behavior, sparking discord among the YouTube community. 
  • Since Soo's allegations were made public, Perry has continued to post emotional videos exhibiting erratic behavior, and subscribers have expressed concern for the YouTube star's health. 
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Nicholas Perry, known as Nikocado Avocado to his over 3 million YouTube subscribers across his various channels, has made a name for himself in the extreme-eating vlogger community.

Since 2016, Perry's consumption of entire fast-food menus (often accompanied by his pet parrot) has captured the rapt attention of a YouTube audience. He is known as a mukbanger, someone who posts videos of themselves eating or binging large amounts of food online.

In 2020 the 28-year-old, who posts a video almost every day, garnered attention for his months-long feud with fellow YouTubers who accused him of abusive behavior during a collaboration video. Perry's controversial response videos in the wake of the accusation had subscribers - and an entire YouTube community - concerned. 

Perry has continued to post wild videos and stunts, building a large platform around his controversies. 

Nicholas Perry was born on May 19, 1992, in Ukraine. He said he was adopted shortly thereafter and grew up in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Perry said he acted out as a child, always "wanting the spotlight."

The vlogger told YouTuber Trisha Paytas that he learned of his adoption early on and struggled to make sense of his biological parents' decision. As a result, he said he acted out and received mental health interventions as a child.

"I was in and out of therapy since I was, like, 5 [years old]," Perry told his fellow mukbanger in a 2019 interview for Paytas' podcast The Dish With Trish.

"I would just, like, always want attention," he said. "I wanted the spotlight." 

Perry also told Paytas that he'd been prescribed antidepressants when he was 7 years old. Later, as a preteen, he said, he was diagnosed with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder).

Before the YouTube star's online career began, he planned on pursuing music.

Perry played violin before his online career.

On Paytas' podcast, the vlogger opened up about his pre-YouTube career working as a freelance violinist. Living in New York at age 21, Perry had dreams of playing in the pit orchestra for a Broadway show. 

While he had the musical talent, he explained, it was difficult to make a living in a city of talented and competitive musicians.

"I was just a small, little fish in a huge sea," he said.

While living in New York, Perry met his husband, Orlin Home.

Perry (left) and Orlin Home (right).

According to a video Perry posted in 2016, the pair first met in a Facebook group for vegan men.

After several months of communication, the two met up in New York when Home made the trip up from Colombia for the Woodstock fruit festival

The two began as friends (although Perry arrived for their first meeting wearing a tuxedo to serenade Home) but their relationship evolved after they traveled together in central America, Home said.

Perry began posting YouTube videos in 2014 as a vegan vlogger.

Perry in an earlier YouTube video.

Before he was known for videos of consuming entire fast-food menus, the YouTuber frequently filmed videos about his vegan lifestyle.

Perry posted a video in 2016 explaining why he no longer wanted to be a vegan YouTuber, citing his changing beliefs about consuming animal products and his frustration with the "vegan community." 

"What is with vegans?" he asked in the clip, "I'm never 'vegan enough' [for them]."

Years later, Perry opened up to Trisha Paytas about the effect he believes veganism had on his health. 

"I had a rotted tooth, a vitamin B-12 deficiency, and I developed hypoglycemia," he told the YouTuber on her podcast. "I don't know if it was directly related to veganism, but I'd never had it before."

After leaving veganism behind, Perry made a name for himself in the mukbang community.

Perry in a mukbang video.

Mukbang videos, first popularized in South Korea in 2010, usually consist of a host eating a large amount of food while communicating with an audience. The word mukbang is a combination of the Korean words for "eating" and "broadcast."

Perry became one of the first American men to partake in the extreme-eating trend, as mukbang videos at the time were dominated by women. 

Between his four channels, Nikocado Avocado, Nikocado Avocado 2, More Nikocado, and Nikocado Avocado 3, the YouTuber has over 3 million subscribers and his videos frequently receive over 1 million views.

Perry's videos received online attention for reasons beyond his food consumption. Subscribers were guaranteed frequent melodrama.

Perry in one of his videos.

"Junk food has made me crazy. I have episodes of manic where like, everything seems really hard for me, " the YouTuber told Trisha Paytas. "I'm like a tornado."

Perry frequently posts videos with thumbnail images of himself sobbing into trays of food. Some titles include "nobody likes me, i'm done" and "my life is falling apart."

Perry said that he's always been dramatic and chooses to take advantage of his low moments for YouTube success.

"I'm just like 'well, fuck it, everyone already hates me' or 'I'm already dramatic, lemme just grab the camera and film it,'" he explained. 

He went on to acknowledge in the podcast that his emotionally turbulent videos generate the highest number of views.

"They like when I'm upset, they like when I'm crying, they like when I'm hyper," he said, adding that he intentionally makes video titles "clickbaity." 

Perry's YouTube drama escalated in December 2019 when another mukbanger accused him of abusive behavior.

Perry (center) with mukbangers Stephanie Soo (right) and Zach Choi (left).

In a video posted to Perry's channel in December 2019, the YouTuber collaborated with mukbangers Stephanie Soo and Zach Choi. In the clip, the three vloggers joked with each other while consuming a massive quantity of spicy noodles.

Four days after Perry posted the collaboration, Soo posted a video titled "Why I Am Scared Of Nikocado Avocado," in which she described feeling unsafe with Perry in the past and while filming the collaboration. Soo also accused Perry of sending her harassing texts and taking photos from inside her home when she briefly left the room. Within hours, the video received hundreds of thousands of views (and has reached over 12 million views at the time of this post).

Soo's allegations against Perry inspired a series of increasingly lengthy back-and-forth videos between the two, who produced text messages and video footage to refute each other's claims. 

The videos have received millions of views and the comments sections are flooded with support for Soo and disdain for Perry. 

"You are such a horrible, toxic person. You deserve none of the success you've had," one commenter wrote on Perry's page. 

Amid the deluge of YouTube comments and Reddit speculation about the feud, mukbangers weighed in the controversy.

Mukbang YouTuber Bethany Gaskin (left), known as BLovesLife to her subscribers, weighed in on the feud.

Mukbanger Bethany Gaskin, known as BLovesLife to her nearly 3 million subscribers, posted an hour-long video to her channel in the wake of the feud. 

"Just my two cents over homemade chili," she captioned the video, in which she recalled her positive experiences collaborating with both Perry and Soo, but ultimately sided with Soo. 

Zach Choi, who joined Perry and Soo for the collaboration video, revealed in an Instagram story that he had hired legal representation to address the claims Perry made on social media.

"For those of you waiting for a response to @nikocadoavocado continued harassment, I have retained an attorney and he will be handling these matters going forward," he wrote.

Perry's videos recapping the aftermath of the feud had subscribers concerned for his mental health.

Perry in a January 2020 YouTube video.

In a January 2020 video titled "We Broke Up," a visibly-distraught Perry blamed the negative comments and YouTube drama for the demise of his relationship with his husband.

"All of your comments over the last month are seeping into his head and he is questioning us as a couple," he said. "And it's all because of YouTube."

In another video titled "Orlin left me, I hate myself, Goodbye youtube & life," one of seven videos Perry uploaded within the week, the YouTuber sobbed while discussing his breakup and his desire to quit vlogging (while consuming vast quantities of Taco Bell). 

The comments section of the video quickly filled with subscribers noting the escalation from Perry's typical YouTube theatrics and concern for his mental health. 

"This isn't even funny or entertaining anymore," one commenter wrote. "This is just disturbing and weird."

Perry, however, showed no signs of slowing down. Soon after his feud with Soo, the YouTuber declared a new online enemy - and enraged subscribers by forgetting Kobe Bryant's name.

Perry watched Dobrik's content and criticized the famous vlogger.

In the video, titled "David dobrik STOLE from me, the truth," Perry called out his newest "enemy": YouTuber David Dobrik. Dobrik's offense? Seemingly, having a Tesla and giving away cars in viral videos, which Perry watched from his iPhone while filming.  

"I watched this in bed today," Perry said through tears, "and I broke down. That was supposed to be me." 

He went on to accuse Dobrik of "stealing [his] DNA" and "[his] future."

While devouring Panda Express noodles for the camera, Perry brought up the recent death of Kobe Bryant — forgetting the NBA legend's name.

After the video was posted, viewers called for Perry's removal from the platform.

"You should not be allowed to have a platform to promote hate speech and lies," one commenter wrote. "I think it's time for YouTube to take your page Man."

One Ohio-based viewer even created a petition titled "Remove Nikocado Avocado From YouTube" that received thousands of signatures. 

As Perry received more public attention in early 2020, he decided to capitalise on the fame by creating an OnlyFans account.

Perry in a recent video.

After taking to Twitter to tease the possibility of parlaying YouTube fame into adult content creation, Perry created an OnlyFans account where subscribers pay $14.99 a month for explicit photos and videos. 

Another video in which Perry called himself "Jesus" had viewers concerned again.

In an April 2020 video, Perry cried, ripped up paper, and called himself "Jesus."

In an April 2020 video, titled "Jesus Is Coming Soon, He Spoke To Me," Perry had viewers wondering whether he's simply trolling his subscribers or if the mukbanger is struggling emotionally. 

"I'm just here. And I'm just stuck in this mess," Perry said in the 17-minute clip. "It's like I'm trapped."

He went on to cry, rip up paper, reference the Olsen twins, bemoan the colour of his Invisalign, and film close-up shots of his face.

"God talked to me in a dream. I saw Jesus and he told me the secrets of the world. God Bless everyone," Perry captioned the video. 

In one day, the video received over 60,000 views and thousands of comments from viewers — several of which compared him to fellow mukbanger Trisha Paytas and speculated about his mental health.

"I can't tell if you're pulling a Trisha Paytas or this is a genuine psychosis-like episode," one commenter wrote. "It's so concerning how far Youtubers are from reality."

"This is the first video that actually scared me," another added. "I'm legit scared."

The YouTube star continued to post about his tumultuous relationship with his husband, Orlin

Nicholas Perry and Orlin Home

Perry and his husband have collaborated on multiple videos together. They have uploaded videos with titles like "Breaking Up with Orlin (on camera)," "Catching Orlin with Another Man," and "Our Final Video Together."

During the videos, the two usually put each other down with harmful words, calling each other "fat" or hitting one another. 

"Y'all I feel like a third wheel in this toxic relationship," one commenter said.

The constant roasting between the two has led other YouTube channels to make compilation videos including titles such as "Orlin Roasting/Fighting Nick Again for 8 minutes staight" or "Nick and Orlin throwing food at each other."

The couple has repeatedly posted about their ups and downs.

Perry and Home back in 2017

The two have made multiple videos about their wedding. The actual wedding day took place at a courthouse in 2017 and the couple later indulged in a meal at Chick-Fil-A. They brought their viewers along the way and then made a mukbang video of them eating wedding cake.

They mention in the Chick-Fil-A video that they would want to want to do a formal wedding with a "five-course" meal, "someday" but they seemingly never got around to it, besides posting multiple mukbang videos with the title "Our Wedding Day."

As the drama with Soo and Perry escalated, Orlin and Nicholas split after Perry posted the video entitled, "We Broke Up."

The pair continued making videos together, including more wedding videos. At the time of publishing, the couple has nine separate videos spanning between two different channels, talking about marriage or joking around about getting married.

Concerns grew after he's seen in a Walmart using a scooter to shop.

Concerns over Perry's health continued to grow after he published a video of himself shopping at Walmart using a scooter. The YouTube page Mukbang Life posted a video of the 28-year-old YouTuber and it currently has over 69,000 views. 

Many of the commenters made comments about his health and how it worried them. 

In November 2020, Perry announced he was leaving YouTube. But he's continued to make videos.

Nikocado Avocado

Perry took to Instagram to announce his departure from YouTube to focus on his health and his relationship with Home. In the video, obtained by influencer news account, @DefNoodles, he said "If I don't take control of my health, I'm going to die."

Nicholas also mentioned that he has now reached 145 kilograms and that it's "nothing to be laughing about anymore." He continued to say that he needs to work on his relationship off-camera. "Yesterday's video was the last one and I meant it," he said.

He didn't stick to that promise.

Read more:

A controversial extreme-eating YouTuber had a meltdown after his former collaborators accused him of abusive behavior

A YouTuber deleted a video which showed her talking about mass suicide while eating cheese, but she called much of the criticism 'false outrage'

A YouTube star admitted his girlfriend is still alive after he uploaded fake videos saying she'd been killed by a drunk driver and he had made contact with her spirit via a Ouija board

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