I began to watch content by the Try Guys in third grade, when the YouTube sensations made their first appearance together in a 2014 Buzzfeed video. I followed their journey as both friends and collaborators religiously since then, binging on series ranging from Try Guys Try [blank] and Without a Recipe, to Keith’s Eat the Menu and Eugene’s Rank King. Some of my fondest quarantine memories involve giggling uncontrollably over a Try Guys segment alongside my sister.
With the recent controversy that turned the friends from a group of four to three, I feel that much of what I’ve known about the Try Guys is false. On Sep. 27, 2022, the Try Guys expelled member Ned Fulmer for cheating on his wife, Ariel Fulmer, and having an ongoing affair with an employee, Alexandria Herring. What started out as rumors on a Reddit thread were confirmed as true by Fulmer in a social media statement.
Honestly, this was the last thing that I expected Ned to ever do. Yale-educated and married with two children, Ned’s life seemed perfect. In fact, Ned had painted his entire personality and brand to be centered around being a family man who was committed to his wife and children. He and Ariel wrote a cookbook together and briefly had their own family channel. “My wife!” he’d often say. Many fans idolized the Fulmers’ relationship, deeming them the paragon of what a loving marriage should be.
It is clear that Ned’s branding was all a ruse. His recent actions make all of his past words hypocritical. This brings into question: What was the point of how he acted? Was he truly dedicated to Ariel, or was he trying to hide something all along? The announcement of the affair affected not only Ned’s personal life—his public image has also been destroyed.
Now, I question the truthfulness of the videos I’ve faithfully watched for so long. I always viewed Ned as the nice guy who has a lovely wife and makes poor, spontaneous decisions for the benefit of viewers. But, this poor, spontaneous decision came to the detriment of all. Throughout my adolescence, I greatly admired Ned and Ariel’s bond and yearned for a future marriage just like theirs. I reflect on this content, racking my mind for clues of distrust or infidelity. The funny moments where Ned joked about how much he loved Ariel and his sons once warmed my heart; now they disgust me.
Will the Try Guys recruit somebody to take Ned’s place? How long will they continue making content? Considering the fact that Ariel was very involved in the business and partook in the Try Wives series, what will the relationship be like between the company and Ariel moving forward? Will Ned and Ariel work things out and stay together? The dynamic within the Try Guys will never be the same.