a white van

Why did Markiplier Destroy His Van?

Many YouTube stars are known for doing unusual, funny, or shocking things. Attempts to gain subscribers over time can lead to more and more outlandish stunts.

YouTuber Markiplier is a prime example of a star who embraces these antics.

At the end of 2019, a recent effort to drive more subscribers to one of his channels eventually ended in the destruction of his van.

Who is Markiplier?

Mark Fischbach, better known to fans by his YouTube handle Markiplier, rose to fame by posting his playthroughs of videogames.

His other ventures include a couple of YouTube productions, a clothing brand, and Unus Annus, a YouTube channel he created with Ethan Nestor (YouTube’s CrankGamePlays).

The Barrel

“The Barrel” is the nickname given to Markiplier’s van.

In October 2017 he posted a video detailing the test drive and purchase experience of the van for his viewers. He also gave them the opportunity to name it. “The Barrel” was selected from a viewer tweet and announced in a video posted the next day.

The tweet explained the meaning behind the name as twofold: the wood paneling inside the van resembled a barrel, and Markiplier had wanted to drive the van to eat at the Cracker Barrel restaurant.

“The Barrel” was featured in several videos since and took Markiplier on many adventures.

The Challenge

“The Barrel’s” safety was threatened in the Unus Annus video “The Good Kind of Cupping,” posted November of 2019.

In the video, Markiplier and Nestor thanked their viewers for boosting the channel’s subscribers to one million and issued a challenge for two million total subscribers by the next week.

If the challenge was met, one subscriber would win the chance to be in a video with them. If not, “I’ll be taking a bat straight to Mark’s precious van,” promised Nestor. No reasoning was provided as to why this consequence was selected.

The Van’s Destruction

Unfortunately for the van, the challenge was not met. Markiplier announced in another video that they fell “woefully far” of their two million subscriber goal for Unus Annus and heavily implied viewer responsibility for the failure.

A video entitled “Ethan Destroys Mark’s Van with a Batwas posted the following December with this message.

The time has come. We gave you a challenge, but you failed. Now, Mark’s precious van must pay the price. Rest in Pieces, The Barrell.

The video, which garnered over 2.6 million views, opened with inside shots of the van.

Nestor’s face appears distorted through the exhaust fan, his voice garbled as he speaks to the van in comforting tones about its impending demise.

Then, still perched atop “The Barrell” holding a multi-colored baseball bat, he addresses both Markiplier and the viewing audience.

“Even though this is a punishment to you,” Nestor says to Markiplier, “…this isn’t your fault.”

He reaches out his hand to Markiplier’s face, who quickly backs away.

Nestor then points toward the camera as he addresses the viewers: “It’s your fault. We gave you a simple task,” and explains the channel failed to gain two million subscribers.

you didn’t follow through with your end of the deal! So poor little innocent Mark here has to be punished. For your sins!

The next few minutes are spent reminiscing over good memories experienced with “The Barrell” and bantering about how to facilitate its destruction.

Afterwards, Nestor proceeds to hit the top of the van with the bat, and eventually shatters all its windows. He also hits the side of the van and knocks off a rearview mirror. Markiplier stands nearby, watching in grim acceptance.


YouTube personalities are incredibly creative at coming up with new stunts to stay relevant. In short, Markiplier’s van was destroyed as a consequence for not reaching two million subscribers in the allotted amount of time given for the challenge.

Markiplier is the quintessential embodiment of this: issuing challenges to generate more subscribers and providing consequences if that challenge fails to keep viewers interested.

By appealing for more subscribers and allowing Nestor to destroy the van when their challenge was not met, Markiplier once again showcased why he’s so successful.

From the original success of his gaming channel, to his van’s destruction on Unus Annus, we can always expect the unexpected from Markiplier.

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  • Emma Denner is a freelancer and blogger in the Midwestern United States. She enjoys writing, exercising, and is obsessed with her dog, Sadie.

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