The Untold Truth Of Nikocado Avocado

If you're not familiar with mukbang, you might be surprised when you run across Nikocado Avocado on YouTube. Mukbang is a YouTube genre originating in South Korea that shows people eating spreads of food, often while talking conversationally to their viewers (via Tampa Bay Times). In a YouTube video celebrating the Super Bowl, Nikocado Avocado (real name Nicholas Perry), set himself up with a spread he claimed was 20,000 calories: onion rings, nachos, tater tots, cheese curds, chicken wings, and cauliflower wings from Buffalo Wild Wings, plus a pepperoni pizza from Little Caesars. This is typical for mukbang. As discussed in the Harvard University blog Students in Mental Health Research, mukbang (Korean for "eating show") has been both praised and criticized for how it promotes the consumption of big spreads. 

Nikocado Avocado sometimes shoots three mukbangs a day across his five YouTube channels and Patreon account. He discussed this routine with fellow mukbanger Trisha Paytas on her podcast, The Dish with Trish, saying "I don't really eat off-camera, so I'm very hungry." 

Nikocado Avocado has been eating like this since 2016, gaining an immense YouTube following along the way with his high-energy personality and candid disclosures (per Insider). Still, the star has courted controversy and shared far more than just his meals with viewers.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, or know someone who is, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA's Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also receive 24/7 Crisis Support via text (send NEDA to 741-741).

Nikocado Avocado's salad days

Before becoming a YouTuber, Nicholas Perry's dream was to play violin on Broadway (via YouTube). He played beautifully, judging from reviews you can find on Perry's LinkedIn profile or off-Broadway composer Steve Schlalchin's blog Living in the Bonus Round (per New World Waking) — but Perry found himself to be "one small little fish in a huge sea" in New York, where, in his opinion, whom you knew mattered more than talent.

Like his violin performances, YouTube satisfied a craving for attention Perry has had since childhood, as he shared during an interview with Trisha Paytas (via YouTube). Perry found success beyond his wildest expectations with his new medium and a new identity. At first, he used YouTube to discuss his vegan lifestyle. Now, rarely will you see this version of Nicholas Perry on YouTube, instead, the soft-spoken violinist becomes the high-energy mukbanger Nikocado Avocado.

In the oldest video still available on his original channel (from back in 2016), Perry explained why he was shedding his vegan identity: the online vegan community, he felt, had become toxic. Too often, said Perry, vegans got away from the important issues and instead dished dirt on each other — or "spilled tea," as the expression goes. "It's no longer cool to talk about your lifestyle," Perry asserted. "The cool thing to do is talk about someone's personal life. ... That's why this community is s*** right now. That's why I want to leave."

Nikocado Avocado's fans watch for the drama

Nikocado Avocado ate an egg on camera January 8, 2017 (via YouTube). He said it was his first animal product in about five years, and it was the start of a whole new identity. Perry still went by Nikocado Avocado, but his diet and personality would become unrecognizable to early fans.

The YouTuber gained international publicity after the Daily Mail published an article detailing his conflicted relationship with veganism and vegans, playing up how emotional Perry had become in one particular video. This exposure taught him a lesson: drama attracts attention. And on YouTube, attention means more subscribers, more views, and more money. TV Over Mind said Perry's subscriber base grew after he dropped veganism for two reasons — people wanted to see him eat extreme amounts of food, and they wanted to see drama.

YouTuber Christopher Tom, who posts commentary videos with titles like "Why Negativity Gets Views," made a video about some of the Nikocado Avocado drama. "The field of drama is lucrative partially because there's always something to talk about," Tom told Mashed. Another reason drama videos are lucrative is because people watch them. They rise to the surface of the vast sea of content by appearing on people's recommended lists. "YouTube wants to keep you on the site for as long as possible," Tom said, "so its algorithm likes to promote longer videos that have been proven to keep viewers watching."

Drama almost gets Nikocado Avocado canceled

As Perry gained a higher profile on YouTube, he started initiating drama with some of the platform's bigger names. In an apology video to mukbanger Veronica Wang, Nikocado Avocado admitted he initiates drama for clicks. As YouTuber Christopher Tom put it, "There is always an audience for drama, since drama inherently involves other people. ... It's easy to get views using someone else's name and brand."

Of course, drama can go from asset to extreme liability in a hurry. Perry became the subject of criticism after public disputes with fellow mukbangers, especially Stephanie Soo. As summarized in a YouTube video by Tom, Soo agreed to film a mukbang with Nikocado Avocado at her house in 2019. During filming, Soo felt pressured by him to "spill tea" on a fellow mukbanger, saying Perry refused to take no for an answer, and that his persistence made her feel manipulated. As Soo shared in her own video about the conflict, she had confided in Perry earlier about being sexually assaulted. She said she felt even more unsafe after discovering Perry had taken photos inside her home that showed her security system, and eventually ended up threatening him with legal action, according to TheTalko.

If you, or anyone you know, have been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Nikocado Avocado seeks a fresh start

In a commentary vlog, Christopher Tom concluded that, while Nikocado Avocado and Soo both played a part in instigating the drama for their YouTube channels, Perry came out looking much worse. Showbiz Cheat Sheet reported that, following the dispute, people began flooding the comments under Nikocado Avocado's videos with one word: "canceled." Sportskeeda looked at the incident and declared Perry among YouTube's most hated. Even so, reports by TheTalko and others saying that Nikocado Avocado had lost a significant number of subscribers were untrue. The social media data site Social Blade shows that, while Perry's subscriber count plateaued during the Stephanie Soo drama, it started growing again in March 2020 and hasn't let up since.

Nikocado Avocado may have suffered some consequences for his behavior, however. He started a new channel, More Nikocado, in February 2020, announcing in his debut video that he was changing his ways. "You guys know I've learned a hard lesson recently in my life, and I am willing to start all over," he said. That lesson may have been felt in his wallet as much as his heart. In a video posted to Perry's Nikocado Avocado 3 YouTube channel in July of that same year, Perry said he started the More Nikocado channel because his channel 3 had been demonetized. 

Fans were concerned about Nikocado Avocado's mental health

Nikocado Avocado's fresh start included getting back on medication, as he told fans in a February 2020 video. In a different YouTube video uploaded that same day, he said, "With the help of certain things and certain people, I feel a lot better."

In Perry's interview with Trisha Paytas for The Dish with Trish, he spoke about his history of mental illness, which started at a young age. His parents put him in therapy at age 5, and by age 7 he was prescribed an antidepressant. When Paytas asked why he began going to therapy at such a young age, Perry replied, "Behavioral issues. I would, like, want attention. I wanted the spotlight." He also shared that he was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder during this period.

Before Perry went back on medication in February 2020, commenters on his YouTube channels expressed concern for his mental health. He posted several emotionally charged videos in the months after the Stephanie Soo controversy erupted. While Perry later stated he had been playing up his emotional distress for clicks, viewers felt they were seeing a cry for help (via Insider). "This isn't even funny or entertaining anymore," one commenter said. In a May 2021 video, Nikocado Avocado disclosed that he had not been doing well.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Where does Nikocado Avocado see himself in 10 years?

Viewers would be wise to take some of Nikocado Avocado's videos with a grain of salt. (If you were to take him totally seriously, you'd believe he and husband Orlin Home were splitting up and getting back together almost every week.) Perry shared in a June 2020 video, "As a YouTuber, listen, when it's time to hustle, it's time to cry. ... It's a tough world — lots of competition on this website."

In 2020, Nikocado Avocado also began discussing his physical health. His condition appeared to worry him so much, he posted a video in November saying he was quitting YouTube. "If I don't take control of my health, I'm going to die," Perry said (via Instagram). He ended up taking just one day off.

In his interview with Paytas, Perry said he would stop doing mukbangs at age 30 (via Overcast). When asked what his long-term goals were, he said, "I come from a performance background. ... I can't sing, can't act, don't do dance, anything like that, but I do like being on camera. I do like the attention. ... Honestly, if I imagine myself 10 years from now ... I'm still gonna be on the internet, making videos."

Nikocado Avocado reached 50,000 subscribers as a vegan (via YouTube). By May 2021, he was approaching 5 million subscribers on five channels: Nikocado Avocado, Nikocado 2, Nikocado 3, More Nikocado, and Noodle King. Some of these channels attract millions of views per week, and Naibuzz put his net worth at $2.3 million. As for mukbangs, though Nikocado Avocado said he'd at least cut back, it's been such a reliable moneymaker for him. We guess we'll only know for sure if we keep watching.