The Untold Truth Of The Sister Squad

Members of the Sister Squad — an unofficial group consisting of James Charles, Ethan and Grayson Dolan, and Emma Chamberlain — are arguably the hottest young stars on YouTube right now. Together, the four friends, who sometimes post videos as a group, have over 30 million subscribers, and their joint videos have millions of views. These "sisters" have gone on spooky haunts, purchased expensive gifts for each other, gone on road trips together, and much more. Whether they're spilling the tea or just eating massive amounts of food for a mukbang video, the genuine love and friendship among Sister Squad members is palpable through the computer screen. But their close friendship isn't without its fair share of drama, and there was a bit of controversy with one of the sisters reportedly leaving the squad...

Feeling out of the loop? Well, listen up, sisters! Here's the tea on the untold story of the Sister Squad.

James Charles is the glue that holds it all together

The Sister Squad would not exist without beauty guru James Charles, who has over 15 million YouTube subscribers. In October 2017, Charles was asked to collaborate with the Dolan Twins for a Halloween video, and the threesome immediately connected. In an October 2018 interview with Heard Well, Charles explained, "We just clicked really quickly! ... We both are just very, very business-focused, strong-willed kids. We just have a lot of the same values and they've been two truly amazing friends of mine."

Soon after, Charles reached out to Emma Chamberlain, whose YouTube fame was on the rise. Charles — already a breakout YouTube star in his own right — DM'd Chamberlain, offering her advice after the vlogger mentioned him in several of her videos. At 17 years old, the content creator eventually moved to Los Angeles in 2018 and met Charles in person. The two quickly became friends, and eventually Charles introduced the Dolan twins to Chamberlain. Thus, the Sister Squad was born.

Are Sister Squad members party animals?

At the time of this writing, everyone in the Sister Squad is under the age of 21, so you won't catch them partying in L.A.'s finest bars. While some kids partake in underage drinking and recreational drug use, these YouTubers remain positive influences for their massive followings by staying away from those activities.

In a November 2015 tweet, Grayson Dolan wrote, "I wish drugs and alcohol didn't exist. I see what they do to people and it's horrible. I never have and never will use drugs to alcohol." His twin brother, Ethan Dolan, shares his brother's values on drinking and drug use by also abstaining. In the Dolans' October 2018 lie detector Q&A video, Ethan was asked if he has ever smoked weed or gotten drunk. He answered no, truthfully.

Like the Dolans, Emma Chamberlain previously stated in a 2018 interview with Forbes that she doesn't smoke or do drugs. And neither does James Charles. He shared that he doesn't drink or do drugs in a July 2017 YouTube video.

James Charles and the Dolan Twins gave Emma an L.A. makeover

When Emma Chamberlain moved to Los Angeles in 2018 at age 17, James Charles and the Dolan twins made her feel welcome. After reaching out to Chamberlain through social media, Charles stayed in touch with the vlogger, who was in the process of moving to pursue a full-time career as a YouTuber in Los Angeles. Upon her arrival, Charles — who also moved to L.A. when he was 17 — and the Dolan twins, offered Chamberlain sage advice on living in the City of Angels, and they even gave her a makeover.  

In her L.A. makeover video, Grayson explained, "I don't think that location has anything to do with the type of person you are and your character." He added, "If anything, Emma is going to change for the better." Chamberlain added, "When I said I was moving to L.A., everyone was like, Emma...  they were concerned. Please don't be concerned."

Emma Chamberlain once dropped her sisters on Instagram

In February 2019, Emma Chamberlain shook her fellow sisters when she unfollowed just about everyone on Instagram — including James Charles and the Dolan twins. As J-14 reported, the YouTube star was only following 17 fan accounts as part of a social media cleanse, a move she made to see how her life would be sans Instagram. Fans cried out that the Sister Squad was no more, and they worried there was an actual falling-out within the group.

Chamberlain responded to fan outcry on Instagram Stories, where she explained, as reported by J-14, "A lot of people are concerned that I unfollowed my friends. Don't worry. I still love every single one of my friends with my whole heart. There's nothing — we're good. With all of them. And that's a genuine promise." She explained, "I'm just kind of doing a little social experiment for myself to see what it's like to just only have my thoughts and not anything else." Don't worry — Chamberlain appears to have since re-followed everyone in the Sister Squad.

Did Ethan Dolan basically confirm Ethma is a thing?

Sister Squad fans have been shipping Emma Chamberlain and Ethan Dolan seemingly ever since the pair first began appearing in each other's videos. The two are often seated next to each other in videos and playfully tease one another — which is totally the universal sign that two people like each other, right? Dubbed "Ethma" by their fans, speculation of a romantic relationship between them increased when Dolan blocked a male fan on Twitter after he flirted with Chamberlain, as reported by J-14. And Dolan just about confirmed he has kissed Chamberlain after defending her lips in a January 2019 tweet. Additionally, a fan pointed out in a 2018 tweet that Polaroid pictures in Chamberlain's home appear to feature Chamberlain and Dolan embracing.

Regarding their alleged romance, Chamberlain denied the relationship rumors in a 2018 interview with Access, responding, "Literally I show up in a room with a male, and I'm now shipped with them. It doesn't matter. It's not even just the Dolans, it's every guy I'm friends with."

Grayson Dolan gives fans hope he and James Charles are dating

Emma Chamberlain and Ethan Dolan aren't the only members of the Sister Squad who have shippers! Fans of the YouTube-famous group have reportedly long speculated that James Charles and Grayson Dolan have been dating. While Charles is openly gay, Dolan is much more private about his sexuality. Despite the lack of confirmation, fans continue to hope the twosome will end up together.

Fan speculation soared after the Dolans took a lie detector test for an October 2018 video. In the video, the brothers took questions from fans — and from Charles, who asked if Grayson would marry him. Grayson immediately responded, "No," but the man reading the test detected some type of deception from the twin. Ethan jumped in to say, "Okay, we don't need to f***ing make that rumor get any bigger," adding, "Should we just say Grayson and James are obviously not f***ing dating?" 

It's worth mentioning that Charles has also tweeted that he wished his fans would stop "[overanalyzing] popular influencer friendships on social media."

The Sister Squad was there for the Dolan twins when their father passed

On Jan. 19, 2019, the Dolan twins' father, Sean Dolan, sadly passed away from a battle with cancer. The brothers had previously opened up about their dad's diagnosis in a 2016 YouTube video. After the Dolans expressed their sorrow through touching tributes on Instagram, they received an abundance of support from their loyal fans and from other popular YouTubers — including longtime BFFs James Charles and Emma Chamberlain.

Charles, who has expressed his respect for the Dolan twins in the past, jumped on Twitter to respond with a heartfelt comment beneath Grayson's post that read, "I love you both," as reported by J-14. The makeup guru also took to his own Twitter to write, "F**k cancer." Like Charles, Chamberlain expressed her love for both twins on Instagram, writing, "Here for you guys always. Love you."

Fortunately, the Dolans have had a tremendous amount of support in their lives to help them through difficult times.

Emma was a Dolan twins fan before she became their bff

Before Emma Chamberlain blew up on YouTube and became best friends with the Dolan twins, the young social media influencer talked about how the brothers were two of her favorite vloggers to watch on the video platform. In a May 2018 video with YouTuber Tana Mongeau, Chamberlain shared, "I was a Dolan stan. ... It's not that I grew out of it, I just realized that they're too hot for me, and, at that point, they became unattainable." When asked who her favorite Dolan twin was, she responded with, "I think Ethan." Of course, as fans know, it wouldn't be long before Chamberlain met the Dolan twins and, along with James Charles, formed the Sister Squad.

In a May 2018 mukbang video with the Sister Squad, Chamberlain told the Dolan twins about the first time she ever watched them on YouTube when she was 15. "I watched one of their videos and it was like, 'Oh, this is so fun and so fresh.'"

Chamberlain's impressive journey — going from having no chance with the Dolan twins to becoming best friends with them and possibly even dating her favorite — is a prime example that dreams really do come true.

Living in fear of their fans

Being in the public eye can be scary, especially when overzealous fans take their fandom too far. And all members of the Sister Squad have had frightening experiences with fans who have invaded their privacy.

In December 2018, James Charles expressed frustration over his fans making him feel unsafe in his own home. He tweeted, "Please stop showing up at my house. i will not hug you, i will not take a photo with you, and i absolutely will not sign your palette. it is extremely disrespectful & makes me feel very unsafe in my own home. respect people's privacy, it's really not that hard."  Emma Chamberlain also insinuated on Instagram Live that someone had showed up at her home, making her feel unsafe.

Then, in January 2019, the Dolan twins had to plead with their fans not to show up at their father's funeral after the hashtag "#seandolanfuneralparty" began trending on Twitter, as reported by NBC News. Ethan Dolan tweeted, "If you are a fan of Grayson and I we love you and appreciate you so much. The best way you could support us during this tough time is to NOT show up at our father's wake or funeral."

Both James and Emma faced backlash over business projects

Obtaining mega success through YouTube videos afforded stars James Charles and Emma Chamberlain the ability to embark on outside business ventures, which have included a beauty line and a clothing line, respectively. But that doesn't mean everything's been all rainbows and sunshine.

On Nov. 13, 2018, James Charles released his very own eyeshadow palette with Morphe, but the excitement over his creation was short-lived. Soon after the palette was released, a fan apparently claimed (in a since-deleted tweet) that the eyeshadows in the palette were staining their skin. Charles fired back in a tweet that read, "You accusing me of lying to fans & not caring about people is a ridiculous cry for attention."

Likewise, Chamberlain faced her own problems when she decided to leverage her newfound YouTube fame to create a merchandise brand for fans of her content. Within 24 hours, the T-shirts in her collection had sold out. And in August 2018, she released a scrunchie that sold out within 29 minutes (via Allure). While it was clear that fans couldn't get enough of her stuff, some were a little outraged by the price tags on many items. However, Chamberlain defended the prices of her merch on Instagram Live, stating she didn't come up with the prices. We're sure Chamberlain and James were happy to have the support of the Sister Squad during this time!

Award winning YouTubers

The YouTuber industry may be relatively new to the entertainment scene, but it wasted no time in establishing itself as a bona fide content-creation machine worthy of awards. The Streamy Awards and the Shorty Awards are the two most recognized awards ceremonies for those who create popular, profitable content for social media and YouTube — and each member of the Sister Squad has taken home an award!

In 2017, Charles was awarded the title of Breakout YouTuber of the Year at the 9th annual Shorty Awards, and the Dolan twins won a Streamy award the same year for being named Creator(s) of the Year. Emma Chamberlain went on to receive the Breakout Creator award at the 2018 Streamy Awards, delivering an undeniably nervous, seconds-long acceptance speech with her typical awkward charm.

"Um, I'm scared, but I just want to say thank you, guys, for being so welcoming because I'm new," Chamberlain said after Liza Koshy presented her with the award. "It's been great. Thanks, I guess. I love you, Mom and Dad."

Mental health struggles

In 2017, the Dolan twins posted a video to YouTube titled "It's Time to Be Honest", sporting bandaged hands and revealing Ethan had punched a window after becoming uncontrollably aggravated during a shoot. When Grayson tried to help his brother, Ethan started to run, causing Grayson to fall and break his finger. The brothers emphasized that being so vulnerable with their fans was difficult, but that they needed to take some time to focus on themselves and feel better both mentally and physically. 

Chamberlain has also struggled with her mental health, revealing in a 2017 video that she left high school during her sophomore year due to mental illness. "Towards the end of the year, I became severely depressed," Chamberlain explained. "I couldn't go to school. I didn't do anything."

Charles told Teen Vogue in a 2018 interview that, while he loves his job, the internet's negativity can take a toll on his mindset. "As much as I love make-up and the creativity behind this, the internet can be a horrible place and sometimes with so much negativity and hate," Charles revealed. 

Hopefully, these sisters are able to lean on each other during tough times.

Is the squad squashed?

In early 2019, rumors began swirling that the Sister Squad was officially squashed for good when fans of the famous foursome realized that the "sisters" hadn't been seen together in months. Of course, a months-long hiatus is alarming when you've grown accustomed to seeing your favorite YouTubers hanging out together on a weekly basis. What's the deal?

While we've been trained as a society to find the drama in every celeb-based situation, the reason for the Sister Squad's hiatus could simply be due to conflicting schedules and busy personal lives. As fans know, the Dolan twins lost their beloved father in January 2019 after a battle with cancer, and the brothers likely need more time to heal before re-entering the spotlight with full-force. For her part, Chamberlain announced on April 4, 2019 that she would be launching her very own podcast later in the month, called Stupid Genius. Of course, Charles is always keeping busy with his ultra-popular YouTube makeup channel, as well his collaboration with Morphe Cosmetics

Life can get hectic, but it doesn't mean things are over for good — so don't give up on the Sister Squad just yet! It's hard for some fans to wrap their heads around the fact that they may just be keeping their friendship off YouTube these days.