For those of us who are chronically online, Def Noodles has become a staple for posting quick breakdowns of all the internet drama. Helping cover significant stories and racking up over 560k subscribers on YouTube and 130k followers on Twitter, Dennis Feitosa, the account’s creator, has built an empire as an influencer watchdog account.
But after facing backlash for inaccurate reporting and an increasing tendency to act defensive, the days when Def Noodles was universally trusted seem to be behind us. As he faces mounting criticism from internet users and commentary channels, many Def Noodles enthusiasts are left questioning whether we are witnessing Dennis’ fall from grace. So, let’s break down the (potential) downfall of Def Noodles.
But first, who is Def Noodles?
Def Noodles skyrocketed to virality at the beginning of 2020. Before the pandemic hit, Dennis was trying his hand at comedy and acting. Struggling to make ends meet, Dennis took to YouTube, creating the persona Def Noodles.
“I started this channel in 2018; back then, I was broke… I had no space to film videos, so I set up a green screen in my kitchen,” he explains in a recent video on his YouTube channel.
Known for wearing cat ears and filming in front of a green screen background of a Minecraft house, Dennis made reaction-style videos to various viral compilations of celebrities and pop culture moments. During the “Minecraft cat era,” Dennis dipped his toe into the social media influencer world, making commentary videos covering popular social media trends and creators (think the likes of Emma Chamberlain and Jake Paul). As the persona of Def Noodles, Dennis took inspiration from TV shows like “The Soup,” providing sarcastic and often outlandish commentary on these pop culture moments.
“Around 2019, the channel took off, and I started doing a bit where I started wearing cat ears… and set my (greenscreen) background as a Minecraft house as a joke,” Dennis recalls. “My channel grew relatively quickly over the next year under this set-up, which I eventually moved on from in the summer of 2021 when I started feeling constrained by the format… I wanted to be able to talk outside of the character.”
Covering what Dennis categorised as “irrelevant news,” the Def Noodles account became known for breaking stories and providing updates on influencer and celebrity drama.
On the shift from the “Minecraft Cat” to Def Noodles as we know it today, Dennis explains, “I continued to do what I had been doing, I continued with a green screen, still with a sarcastic and sardonic point of view, but this time it was me.”
Dennis’ new direction, characterised by his timely receipt-gathering and frequent posting style, provided valuable resources for internet culture reporters, cementing his position as an important member of the online commentary community. For Dennis, this newfound influence culminated during the James Charles grooming scandal in 2021.
Cited by numerous journalists and mainstream media outlets, Dennis compiled a thread of the allegations against James – many of which the beauty influencer maintains are false. Nevertheless, this was the thread that James addressed in his apology video, showing that Def Noodles’ work made a significant impact in holding the influencer accountable.
Def Noodles versus Keemstar
Switching comedy for commentating (depending on who you ask), Dennis quickly became a polarising figure in the YouTube tea community. Drama channels, most notably Keemstar, have called out Dennis for his reporting style and sharing stories that have been proven to be false.
In a recent video titled, “The DISGUSTING DOWNFALL of Def Noodles (Iceberg Explained)”, commentary YouTuber Paige Christie breaks down the drama between Keemstar and Def Noodles after the James Charles saga.
“Keemstar took to Twitter to parody Def Noodles’ style and format of tweeting about news to make a false allegation that Def Noodles was a predator with a fake cited source”, she explains.
With the two creators publicly going back and forth online, the feud came to a head in July 2021, with Def Noodles suspended on Twitter for one year. Dennis went on to allege that Keemstar was behind the ban.
But the Keemstar x Def Noodles saga did not stop there. Dennis has since announced that he is suing Keemstar for defamation.
“Nearly one year ago, Keemstar knowingly published false and defamatory allegations against me; he claimed I groomed numerous underage girls, ” he shared in a YouTube video posted in May this year. “These allegations have caused great harm against me socially and professionally. I am now suing him to clear my name of these false allegations and to hold him accountable for knowingly making false accusations.”
The PapaGut Drama
But Keemstar isn’t the only creator that has criticised Def Noodles. In February this year, Dennis found himself in the centre of controversy after “debating” fellow commentary creator PapaGut. Hopping on Zoom to discuss gaming streamer Kilik’s vulgar comments about The Bee Family’s 15-year-old daughter, Gabriela Burgos, Dennis faced backlash for how he portrayed his channel and handled the conversation.
Throughout the debate, Dennis repeatedly referred to himself as a “comedy channel” or “comedian” rather than an influencer watchdog account. For most of his viewers, humour comes second to reporting, especially when it comes to holding creators accountable.
Upon his long-awaited return to Twitter, Dennis claimed that he made PapaGut famous and that “he looks like a pedophile.” Dennis also posted a picture of PapaGut crying when he was talking about the importance of advocating for sexual assault survivors and their stories, before putting it on a shirt and selling it as merchandise.
Shocked by Dennis’ allegations, PapaGut responded to his posts in a series of Tweets and videos on his YouTube channel.
“The reality is that I’ve put my platform on the line to deplatform multiple predatory content creators (Jorobe, OfficialGemini) while you intentionally misrepresent situations constantly to sensationalize a story,” he wrote. “Using false pedophilia accusations to try and deplatform someone is absolutely disgusting and invalidating to actual abuse and molestation survivors, but it’s clear you don’t actually care about that.”
Many internet users have since criticised Dennis for his immaturity, hypocrisy and treating issues that should be taken seriously as a joke. Pop culture journalist, Kat Tenbarge took to Twitter to share this view.
“He’s now outright falsely claiming people are pedophiles” she wrote, “Which is also what he’s suing over for happening to him?” referring to Def Noodles’ lawsuit with Keemstar.
Holding a 6-hour-long Twitter Spaces conversation on August 1, Dennis addressed the PapaGut situation. Commentary YouTuber, VangelinaSkov, shared a clip of her experience talking to the creator.
Asking Dennis whether he thought he had “gone too far” in this situation with PapaGut, he responded, “I’ve outlined my intentions; I was joking. Jokes hurt people’s feelings, and that’s what it is… You crack enough jokes, and you are going to cross a line. It is what it is.”
As Dennis doubles down and refuses to take accountability for his wrongdoings, there is no doubt that internet users are getting tired of his antics. Publicly humiliating creators like PapaGut, dismissing constructive criticism from viewers and relying on “comedy” to deflect criticism, many of his followers have started questioning his character; and, ultimately, his credibility as an influencer.
So the question then is, will Dennis be able to bounce back? Or has he already fallen too far?