The internet’s most surprising collab has resulted in one of the most popular podcasts on Youtube right now, featuring veteran creators Ethan Klein and Trisha Paytas. Here is the oral history of Frenemies, the most unexpected podcast in the game.
The pod lives on the H3 Podcast channel, led by husband-and-wife duo Ethan and Hila Klein, with more than 2.4 million subscribers and over 400 million total views. The breakout success of the channel is Frenemies, which consistently amasses views in the multi-millions. Frenemies is anchored by Ethan Klein and the internet’s most resilient creator, Trisha Paytas. Paytas has lived many lives online, a YouTube mainstay for more than 12 years who has weaved her way in and out of controversy in recent years on the foundation that ‘no one can really be cancelled,’ ‘you cancel yourself by leaving.’
Two unlikely friends, the road to Frenemies was winding, beginning in 2018 when Klein put Paytas on blast in an ‘Instagram vs. reality’ commentary video. In response, Paytas spoke out and blasted Klein right back, addressing his disrespectful commentary about women’s appearances, including fellow creator Tana Mongeau, whom Klein called a ‘twinkie’ as he compared her photos posed and candid. What followed was several guest appearances from Paytas on the H3 Podcast, where viewers watched the two slowly warm up to each other and develop the internet’s most surprising friendship. After clearing the air, Paytas was chosen as ‘The Bach3lorette,’ H3’s spinoff of the famous show in which they put out an open call to their viewers interested in dating Paytas. Shortly after the announcement came an even bigger one, The Bach3lorette was cancelled. Why? Because Trisha had begun secretly dating Moses Hacmon, Ethan’s Brother-in-Law. The H3 Podcast posted a video, now sitting at 1.1 M views, titled ‘Trisha Paytas Ruins the H3 Podcast,’ where they attempt to unpack this shady new couple, not holding back on their genuine disapproval.
In September of 2020, the H3 Podcast channel dropped a new video, ‘Trisha’s New Boyfriend is Hila’s Brother – Frenemies #1,’ where the pair announced their new podcast series, committed to continue until it inevitably implodes. The podcast dropped to near universal acclaim, viewers from both the H3 camp and Paytas’ followers coming together in surprise and delight. Since then, the podcast has dropped 21 episodes, each one bigger than the last. The episodes have ranged from lighthearted trivia to heated arguments and storm outs from Paytas. The show has hosted celebrity therapist, Dr. Drew to unpack the pair’s friendship and have honest conversations around Paytas’ borderline personality disorder diagnosis, and how it factors into the outbursts and meltdowns we see on the show. The title of Frenemies is apt, what started as a hit piece on Paytas’ appearance evolved into a genuine friendship, which can be seen in many an episode and through Klein’s own words, stating his love for Paytas and reassuring her with statements like “I am always on your side, always.”
In a sense, Frenemies has given Trisha Paytas her voice back. After years of heated controversy, Paytas seemed to have lost all credibility. The internet slammed her when she posted uninformed and offensive videos in which she claimed to be a transgender man and to have dissociative identity disorder, to name a few. The criticism always quiets, proving Paytas’ own
point that you can only truly be cancelled if you leave, but Paytas never quite got her credibility back. After her experience and fallout with mega-creator David Dobrik and the Vlog Squad, Paytas spoke out about their exploitation and somewhat shady dealings, but it seemed that no one really believed her. Frenemies has given Paytas a platform to speak, aided by the level-headed Klein, who isn’t afraid to push back or question Paytas. On the podcast, Paytas has revisited her fallout with the Vlog Squad, her experiences with drugs and mental hospitals, bullying by the hands of Jeffree Star, and the dissolution of her relationship with longtime friend and disgraced creator, Shane Dawson. Klein has time and time again defended his co-host, calling her a very honest person and shutting down comments labeling her a liar.
Following the show’s most intense episode, ‘Trisha Quits the Podcast & Storms Out,’ in which Paytas slams Klein with expletives and vows to never return, the pair did just that. Frenemies closed out 2020 with a therapeutic video led by Dr. Drew, in which the pair dissect the moments leading up to the meltdown and navigate the road forward. In January of 2021, the podcast returned with its first video of the year and a very special announcement, Trisha Paytas and Moses Hacmon were engaged. The two discuss the engagement, and Klein is quick to shutdown comments of disapproval stating, ‘the fact that my brother-in-law and Trisha are engaged is a great way to start the year. I love you both and I’m just very happy and excited about the future that you guys hold.’ That’s coming a long way from his original comment on the pair, ‘I disavow this.’
Beyond the juicy history and heartwarming friendship, Frenemies has risen as a breakout pod for its humor. Together, Ethan Klein and Trisha Paytas are genuinely hilarious, their content bleeding over into the TikTok world, where thousands of Gen-Z’ers are dueting and sharing clips from Frenemies episodes every day. The podcast has been celebrated both by viewers and fellow creators and seems to only rise in popularity with each episode. Ethan Klein and Trisha Paytas’ turn from enemies to cohosts to friends to family can only be described as they would, ‘the biggest Uno-reverse card’ of the year.
New Frenemies episodes drop on Youtube every Tuesday on the H3 Podcast channel.