[[quoteright:348:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s_Got_Talent_2012_logo_6013.png]]

TalentShow created by Simon Cowell which takes the ''Series/AmericanIdol'' concept and expands it to pretty much anything you think people will pay to see (or not, in the case of the bad acts). It was launched in 2006 and is still ongoing. People audition to win $1,000,000 and (since Season 3) a one-year contract to do a show in Las Vegas. Performers go in front of three (four as of Season 8) judges equipped with buzzers, if all the judges buzz then the act will end prematurely. The show has been hosted by Regis Philbin (Season 1), JerrySpringer (Seasons 2 and 3), and Nick Cannon (Season 4 onward); and the judges are (current ones in bold):
* Brandy Norwood (Season 1)
* Creator/DavidHasselhoff (Seasons 1-4)
* Piers Morgan (Seasons 1-6)
* Sharon Osbourne (Seasons 2-7)
* '''Howie Mandel''' (Season 5 onward)
* '''Creator/HowardStern''' (Season 7 onward)
* '''[[Music/SpiceGirls Melanie Brown]] aka "Mel B"''' (Season 8 onward)
* '''Heidi Klum''' (Season 8 onward)

The first half of each season sees the judges travel the country holding open auditions, putting forward any act that's worthy enough to consider. Then comes "Judgment Week" where all the decent acts are gathered and the judges choose which ones are actually going to compete in the live shows. The last half of the season takes place in Hollywood (in earlier seasons) or New York (Season 7 onward) with live shows where viewers vote on who goes forward, though the judges get to pick between acts on the fence (for example, the top three vote-getters go through and the judges choose between the fourth- and fifth-place acts) and they still offer their opinions and can use their buzzers to register displeasure.

Two memorable performers, JackieEvancho and PrincePoppycock (both Season 5 finalists) have their own trope pages.

''Series/BritainsGotTalent'' is its TransAtlanticEquivalent.
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!!This show contains examples of:
* AscendedFanboy: Creator/HowardStern has talked about how he was a fan of the show before becoming one of the judges.
* AttractiveBentGender: I give you [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EoEZuDfAus Derrick Barry]] (Season 3), so hot, he has The Hoff questioning his sexuality.
* BadassPreacher: Real Encounter (season 9): a group of members of the ministry who do stunt biking.
* BackForTheFinale: Every season brings a bunch of acts back to do a big number or two together, one with semi- and quarterfinalists and one with SoBadItsGood acts from the audition rounds.
* BellyDancer: A pair of them in Season 5. Piers and Howie didn't even try to hide their HelloNurse reactions.
* BerserkButton: Insulting [[Music/BlackSabbath Ozzy Osbourne]] is... [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6h2VlVcRM0 not such a great idea]].
-->'''Sharon''': Nobody, ''nobody'' [[AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther disrespects my husband]], so [[PrecisionFStrike f***]] off!
** And through it triggers panic instead of anger, don't even think of [[TerrifiedOfGerms shaking Howie's hand or touching any part of his body (including his forehead)]] in any way.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: See BerserkButton.
* BigBudgetBeefUp: Happens in the live show rounds for obvious reasons. These performances usually have better costumes, better sets, and - all too often - gratuitous backup dancers.
* BlackBeltInOrigami: To a Tae Kwon Do act in Season 8, Howard hilariously claimed to be a {{Shotacon}} master.
* BroadcastLive: When the acts compete for the audiences' votes, it switches to live broadcast.
* BrutalHonesty: Morgan and Stern have played the role of the judge who gives out the most of this.
* TheBusCameBack: Season 6 had an act called the Miami All-Stars ran by a married couple, a group of very talented dancers. Season 7 would feature the Untouchables, which the married couple from the Miami All-Stars had trained. Now Season 8 has the youngest Untouchable dancer, Ruby, and her partner, ''and'' her brother with ''his'' partner.
* ButtMonkey: Being the host, poor Nick is the go-to choice whenever an act needs an assistant of some sort. This usually results in him being put in danger or humiliated, sometimes both. Howie lampshades this during a clip show in Season 9, noting Nick has the toughest job on the show and it's to the point a performer just has to ''ask'' him to come on stage for the judges to crack up, because they know what's coming.
* CampGay: PrincePoppycock, though it seems the "Camp" part is just a stage persona.
** Daniel Joseph Baker from season 6 complete with Music/LadyGaga songs.
* CelebrityResemblance: Dani Shay, the 22-year old girl from Season 6 who looks and sings like Music/JustinBieber. She has a good sense of humor about it; her audition was a Beiber parody song poking fun.
** {{Bifauxnen}}.
* ChildProdigy: The better child acts are this to varying degrees, but the young soprano Jackie Evancho takes the cake as the biggest one.
** Season 9 saw Adrian Romoff, a 9 year old classical pianist who is in high school.
* CommercialBreakCliffhanger: One of many NBC shows that abuses this.
* CrazyEnoughToWork: A lot of acts are either so fantastic, or so ridiculous, that there's no way they can succeed, but they do. An example from Season 7 is a man playing a broom shaft like a flute.
* CutenessProximity: Sharon Osbourne immediately starts applauding when an animal act opens with a bunch of cats jumping out of a box. In fact, she acts like this with just about every animal act.
* DeliberatelyCuteChild: There's always a few acts that probably wouldn't get as far as they did if they weren't cute kids, and at least one such act will have a comment to the effect that while the act is amazing itself, it's even ''more'' amazing because the performer(s) is/are so young.
* EnemyMime: During the Season 9 auditions, one incident involved a mime that got ''really'' hostile when he was buzzed. [[spoiler:Subverted as it was Nick playing a prank.]]
* EpicFail: In Season 6, Kinetic King spent two or three days setting up a Chain-Reaction Gadget ([[InsistentTerminology NOT]] a RubeGoldbergDevice) for his first Hollywood performance, but when the time came to set it off it failed to do much of anything for no discernible reason. To everybody's credit, he took the failure in stride and the audience and judges acted sympathetically. (He was later given a do-over on the Wild Card show, and America put him through to the semifinals.)
** The Website/YouTube episode for Season 7 was a failure on so many levels, with the largest number of acts ever buzzed in one quarterfinal. It really says something about your show when one of the highlights of the night was a ''dancing handkerchief''. It's also telling that this was the last time they did such a show.
** Cristin Sandu, a balancing act from season 7, fell on-stage in his quarterfinal, abruptly ending his performance. He says that he never fell before in a performance. He was brought back for the Wild Card, but fell again.
** For one that never made it to air, comedian The Greg Wilson performed a bit in the Season 8 auditions that he stole... from the warm-up man, Frank Nicotero... who was ''standing right there''... and it was '''his signature bit'''. Which Howie '''''showed the other judges on [=YouTube=]'''''. Wilson got past the judges at first, but was promptly disqualified for theft and his footage cut from the broadcast before airing. For more info, here's a [[http://www.gameshowgarbage.com/daotw_4-27-2013.html Game Show Garbage column]] about the incident.
* EscapeArtist: Spencer Horsman (Season 7), who claims to be the world's youngest escapist.
** Alexandria the Great (Season 8), who is a middle-aged female escape artist.
* EvenTheGuysWantHim: Found amongst the many Website/YouTube comments on Prince Poppycock was "I'm not gay, but if I were, I'd want to test those lips."
** Stupid Sexy Prince Poppycock?
* ExecutiveMeddling: A couple times, when the judges believed an act made a bad song choice, the performers mention that producers influenced that decision (Arcadian Broad in Season 4 with a ''HighSchoolMusical'' number, the Fiddleheads doing "[[MichaelJackson Billie Jean]]" in Season 6).
* FacePalm: In Season 3, Creator/DavidHasselhoff throws one out to a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcGTiz5Djng botched magic act.]] Later on in Season 6, Piers does the "both hands on face" variation in response to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n7ylyAfSqs the Wild-Card return of "Those Funny Little People."]]
* FollowTheLeader: Since the success of Fighting Gravity in Season 5, every year has seen at least one notable group that uses similar light-on-a-darkened-stage effects (Team [=iLuminate=] in Season 6, two or three in Season 7 but Lightwire Theater is the most similar).
** After the success of Kenichi Ebina in Season 8, there have been several more acts that do a similar miming/dancing to video thing.
* FreudianTrio: The judge panel played out like this until it became a four-judge panel.
** [[TheMcCoy Id]]: David, Howie.
** [[TheKirk Ego]]: Brandy, Sharon
** [[TheSpock Superego]]: Piers, Howard (the latter leans a bit towards ego thanks to some lightheartedness, though)
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: In Season 8, Kenichi Ebina became known for dance routines that interacted with prerecorded footage played behind him; and after one based on a MirrorRoutine the footage kept going even after the act ended, with "Mirror!Kenichi" playing around during the judging.
* GagBoobs: [[MeaningfulName Busty Heart]], an auditionee in Season 3, whose boobs were so big she ''crushed cans'' with them.
* GenreBlind: Despite slow, sleepy acts in the quarter-finals and beyond being pretty much a guarantee of getting axed from the competition, people keep trying them.
* GenreBusting: Kenichi Ebina. Is he a dancer? Mime? Video director? What he does defies explanation. When he returns to perform during the finals in the next season, Nick lampshades it's hard to classify what he does.
* GroinAttack: One performer in Season 5 had a vaguely-defined act that seemed to center around setting his crotch on fire. In itself...not very funny. Getting buzzed almost immediately by two of the judges, followed by Nick (who had gotten roped into helping him by handing him a lighter) begging Howie to press the final buzzer? Probably not the kind of laughs he intended, but...
** The entire act of "Horse" of Season 7 can be best described as "[[Film/{{Idiocracy}} Ow, My Balls!]] [[TitleTheAdaptation Live!]]"
* HopelessAuditionees: Many genuine, but with a few notable subversions. Admit it, how many of you thought Prince Poppycock was going to be a train wreck before he started singing?
** The biggest subversion of them all? '''Kenichi Ebina''', the Japanese immigrant who many thought was going to be another train wreck based on the fact that his English was broken, which this show loves to exploit. Then his performance began, and we saw his "dance-ish" moves. Then comes Radio City Music Hall, and we saw his creativity and genius. Then comes the finale, and [[spoiler:[[RuleOfThree we saw him]] '''''win''''']].
* Hypocrite: In the semi-finals of Season 8, Mel B told The Amazing Red Panda she doesn't like her performance since she's seen her do it it before. Yet she used her Wildcard pick on Tone the Chiefrocca, the aspiring one-hit wonder artist who sings the same song every time he comes on.
* InTheStyleOf: Some musical acts like to take a hit song and recast it into their own music genre. Season 8 has seen "[[Music/CarlyRaeJepsen Call Me Maybe]]" and "[[Music/TaylorSwift We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together]]" in the style of a symphony orchestra, "[[Music/{{LMFAO}} I'm Sexy and I Know It]]" in the style of mariachi, and all of Cami Bradley's performances.
* IncendiaryExponent: A common tactic among acts. For example in Season 6, Sandou Trio Russian Bar added it to a [[SpikesOfDoom bed of nails]], and Summerwind Skippers added it to a long jump rope.
* ItsTheSameNowItSucks:[[invoked]] The Judges often don't think too highly of acts that do things they've seen before, or acts that keep relying on the same stunts.
** In the early seasons, StageMagician acts were victim to this on the grounds that they've seen all the tricks before. Drew Thomas Magic called them out on this in Season 4.
** In Season 1 they slammed Quick Change for having just one routine they repeated every time they were on. (Also, when they did a guest performance in Season 5, it was the same act ''again''. Despite this, they claim to have a 90-minute routine.)
** After their Top 10 performance, West Springfield Dance Team was criticized by the judges for being too same throughout Season 6. In an interesting variation, it was the ''theme'' of their performances (dark, broody production values), not their actual dancing, that bored the judges.
** Tone the Chiefrocca fared better than Quick Change did in doing the same act every week with "B-Double O-T-Y" in Season 8 - it helped that they admitted up front that they had only one song which they intended to ride as long as they could - but by the time they were eliminated some of the judges noted that the song had run its course.
** Discussed in the Season 8 finale by comedians Howie and Taylor Williamson, as the performers were supposed to go back and revisit a prior act - but that doesn't work for comedy, as jokes aren't as funny the second time they're told. Most of the humor in Taylor's subsequent act came from his [[StylisticSuck ridiculous attempts to enhance old jokes]], rather than the jokes themselves.
* IwoJimaPose: Utilized by dance group Silhouette in their Season 6 "Thank You America" performance.
* {{Jerkass}}:
** Piers runs on BrutalHonesty, but often crosses into just plain mean. He also has a tendency to act, and sometimes outright say, that [[SmallNameBigEgo Sharon's and Howie's opinions are wrong]], solely because they conflict with his. For example, in Season 6 Lys Agnes's performance got a lukewarm reception from Howie and Sharon. Then came time for Piers:
-->"Lys...ignore them. They’re talking complete claptrap."
** Howie began to slip into this during the same season with his antagonism of Piers. Just because the guy's mean doesn't mean you need to spray him with water from a squirt bottle or blow an air horn to drown him out.
** Howard Stern's ego is almost as out of control as Piers at times, and he will talk over the other judges when it comes time to comment on the acts and they try to disagree with him.
* JerkAssHasAPoint: Most people do begrudgingly agree with Piers' decision on bad performances.
* LampshadeHanging: Doogie Horner did this during the Season 5 wild card show.
-->"It feels great to be back on this show that America has clearly said they have no desire to see me on."
** Taken one step further in his quarter-final show when he makes a misogyny joke...and a troupe of ''pig-mask wearing showgirls'' dance on stage while he hits himself over the head with the mike.
* LevitatingLotusPosition: Special Head in Season 8 was able to do something of this sort in his audition.
* LightningCanDoAnything: The specialty of Season 5 competitors [=ArcAttack=], who made music with it.
* MadeOfIron: The Smage Bros., a stunt biking act in Season 6, have this opinion of their assistant Troy Smalls, as he risks his life getting injured constantly, and does get injured at times, but keeps coming back.
* TheMeanBrit: Piers, although he really will compliment acts that are good more often than Simon does on ''Series/AmericanIdol''. Still, he's the only judge who still made regular use of his buzzer once the competition moved into the popular-vote phase.
* MemeticHandGesture: During introductions, Howie does a thing where he waves his hand in front of his face and ends up pointing, and Sharon holds her hands in a heart symbol. Late in Season 7, Howard would poke fun at these by making a RunningGag of doing his own elaborate hand gestures for his introduction.
* MuppetCameo: Terry Fator got to preform with Kermit in the Season 2 finals, where they got "judged" by [[TheUnintelligible the Swedish Chef, Beaker, and Animal]]. Kermit and Piggy were also guest performers in Season 4 (and when Nick got annoyed by some of the chicken backup singers, he threatened to sic contestant Kevin Skinner - a chicken farmer in his day job - on them). They appeared in a Season 9 show as well, even performing a [[HostileShowTakeover Hostile Takeover]] of the intro sequence after Nick tried to tell Miss Piggy she wouldn't be performing (emphasis on "tried").
* MyGreatestSecondChance: Donald Braswell, who finished fourth in Season 3, got into the Top 40 because a Russian Bar act had to withdraw due to injury. Since then the judges get to make Wild Card picks of previously-eliminated acts to give another try in the semifinals.
* NeverTrustATrailer: Comes up from time to time, but two blatant back-to-back examples during Season 7's auditions: First, episode promos suggested that a human cannonball stunt would go horribly wrong when in reality it went fine; and then the next episode showed that a girl would get hurt during an act that involved a chainsaw - but the injury was that she got lockjaw from holding a huge apple in her mouth during the act, not anything chainsaw-related.
** Another from Season 8 had a commercial for the final auditions episode of the season that implied there was going to be a "Susan Boyle moment" (as said by Howard Stern). It showed an old woman with white hair that's curled like Stern's coming out to the stage before the words "Susan Boyle moment" was said. When she finally came out near the end of the episode, it turned out that she was a bad singer who was simply a big fangirl of Howard and likely only came on the show to meet him. Stern, who was on stage with her rather than in his seat as shown on the commercial, did say the words, but it was obvious that Susan Boyle she ain't. NBC, you trolls.
* NiceHat: Anything worn or made by Hannibal Means (Season 5).
** Michael Grimm (also from Season 5) is rockin' that fedora.
** Howie got one in Season 7, though for one show (shown both that night and in a behind-the-scenes montage the next night) he couldn't make up his mind to wear it or not.
** Season 7 again: sand artist Joe Castillo's beret, though Howard isn't a fan of it.
* TheNotLoveInterest:
** The guitarist and singer duo Eric and Olivia (season 7) get confused for being a couple by many people, including the judges. They're really just close friends (Eric actually has a girlfriend).
** Season 9 has a pair of male dancers; one gay, one straight, and they keep having to clarify that they're not a couple.
* ObliquelyObfuscatedOccupation: As Geechy Guy said in Season 6, deferring to Howie after being put down by Piers:
-->Well, since I'm not exactly sure what Piers does for a living I think I'll go with the opinion of the actual comedian.
* OldMediaPlayingCatchUp: Averted; the first seven seasons had a special round where people audition over a social networking site (originally Website/MySpace, later Website/YouTube). In Seasons 5-7, the guest performances for the [=YouTube=] results shows are viral video stars as well. This was dropped after Season 7, as beyond Jackie Evancho they've almost ''never'' produced anything good from these special [=MySpace=]/[=YouTube=] shows (and the S7 show was a particularly big failure); Season 9 has its own home-submission contest but run through The Today Show rather than a website.
* OneHitWonder: [[invoked]] Tone the Chiefrocca in Season 8 aimed to become this with his rap number "B-Double-O-T-Y".
* OneSteveLimit: Averted as of Season 7, which includes a Howie and a Howard on the judging panel (Mandel and Stern, respectively).
* OverlyLongGag: Mary Ellen (Season 5) as a whole.
* PollyWantsAMicrophone: Trained parrot acts occasionally appear. Season 6 had a couple get past Vegas Week, though they didn't last long in the vote.
* ProductPlacement: In the audition rounds there's a sponsor-branded segment (Orvill Redenbacher's popcorn for a few seasons, replaced with Reddi Whip whipped cream in Season 9) where the judges discuss the acts backstage; for the live rounds this is replaced with an segment during the results shows, where the performers are shown hanging out after the previous night's show and Nick discusses their acts with them. Season 7 adds Snapple as a sponsor, with their name attached to various aspects of the show and branded cups prominently placed on the judges' table.
* RealLifeRelative: Nick Cannon's wife Mariah Carey did a guest performance during Season 4's finals.
* RealitySubtext: In the first episode back after Season 7's break for the OlympicGames, Nick's introduced Sharon as "the irreplacable Sharon Osbourne". Sharon had announced during the interrim that she was leaving the show.
* RefugeInAudacity: A few acts are actually able to make it through the audition round due to sheer audacity.
* ReviewerStockPhrases: Howie uses "Wow!" often, as in "There's just one word to describe you: Wow!" or, in some negative reviews, "I was looking for 'Wow' but didn't see it." Mel B often responds to acts she really likes by saying they were "OFF THE ''CHAIIIIIN''!"
** ReviewerStandardComparisons: Howie often compares dance acts, especially ones by kids, to amateur dance recitals. Most look too much like said recitals for him to get excited about, but he praised the Untouchables in Season 7 for being absolutely professional and not recital-ish at all.
* ReviewIronicEcho: When [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bptapTe7Ylk this contestant]] in Season 5 chose to audition with the song "You're No Good," Piers Morgan remarked, "I don't think I've ever seen a singer choose a more appropriate song to sing. What was the lyric again? 'You're no good, you're no good, you're no good, you're no good!'"
* TheRoast:
** J. Chris Newberg gave one to Piers in Season 6. Ironically, it was this performance that he was able to win Piers over after being a target of his criticism in all previous episodes.
** For the traditional performance with a celebrity in Season 7's finale, comedian Tom Cotter teamed up with Joan Rivers to roast the judges and Nick.
* TheRunnerUpTakesItAll: A few acts may not have won, but they went on to be successful regardless. In Season 5, they brought back some alumni for guest performances: dance group [=JabbaWockeeZ=] auditioned in Season 2 before hitting it big on ''America's Best Dance Crew'' and moving on to a successful tour and Las Vegas contract; Season 4's third-placers, Recycled Percussion, now have a show in Vegas as well; and Quick Change's act from Season 1 became a [=YouTube=] hit and are now the NBA's official halftime act.
** It's been theorized that the only reason that 10-year-old JackieEvancho was the runner-up in Season 5 is that producers felt uncomfortable about having a 10-year-old act in Las Vegas. (Season 1 did not have a Las Vegas deal in its grand prize, allowing 11-year-old Bianca Ryan to win the competetion without any regrets.)
** Music/LindseyStirling made it as far as the quarter-finals in Season 5. Thanks to subsequent exposure on [=YouTube=], she now has a lucrative touring and recording career. Came full circle when she returned to perform as an act in the Vegas rounds of Season 9 and it was mentioned she's done pretty well for herself after losing in Season 5.
* RunningGag:
** In season 6, Piers started poking fun at Nick's (often strange) suits in response to his questioning Piers' usual "jerk judge" methods.
** Piers also had a tendency to buzz ''any'' juggling act if they dropped one of their items. Howard Stern thankfully has honored said policy.
** Howie and Howard's HoYay.
* ShockingElimination: Especially in Season 4's Vegas round. Kari Callin, Tallan Noble Latz, Ciana Pelekai, The Spiritual Harmonizers, Rashida Jolley, and [[Series/AmericanIdol Kelli Glover]], just to name a few.
** The Season 4 act Acrodunk was even stated by the judges to be one of the best acts in the competition and was almost certainly the most entertaining to watch of the season. Even the judges were shocked by their elimination.
** Season 5 semi-finals, week one: Four acts are called to the stage, among them season favorites [=ArcAttack=], decidedly-less-favorite-but-still-likable Future Funk, as well as creepy magician Dan Sperry and mediocre singer Kristina Young. Guess who got through? [[spoiler:None of them!]] Even the judges and Nick couldn't hide their "WTF?" reactions.
** Subverted in the Season 6 semifinals. Anna Graceman and Landau Murphy Jr. were called to the stage during the results, and it was announced that Anna went through. And then, when it seemed like Landau was being exit-interviewed, Nick Cannon told him that he got through too. Cue a huge surprised look from ''everyone''.
** Season 7's Vegas round eliminated fan-favorite opera singer, Andrew De Leon. It's shocking enough that fans started a petition to get him back on the show via the Wild Card episode. He was later saved by Howie for the Wild Card round and made it as far as the semifinals.
** Speaking of Season 7, the fourth quarterfinal had ''way'' too many acts that deserved the four spots, as acknowledged by the judges. It wasn't as much of a ShockingElimination as a shocking lineup that made shocking eliminations inevitable.
** Season 8's live show eliminations started with Nick calling three acts on stage and announcing that [[spoiler:none of them were going through. ''Twice'', eliminating six acts before announcing someone who ''was'' voted into the semifinals.]]
** There was also two acts (Alexander Magala, an acrobatic sword swallower, and Ciana Pelekai, formerly one of Season 4's shock eliminations, as shown above) losing to Marty Brown, who had completely blown it the night before.
** The elimination of crowd and judge favorites, the acrobats [=KriStef=] Brothers, while another weak country singer, Jimmy Rose, remained in the competition. In fact, the Top 12 show itself felt weird, with a perfectly block split between the first six acts (all eliminated) and the final six acts (all advanced)
* SiblingRivalry: Played up in Season 8, where a brother and sister performed in different dance duos (see TheBusCameBack above), and the show pit them directly against each other as many times as possible.
* StageMagician: There's usually a fair amount of these acts. Mat Franco (season 9) is the first (and so far, only) magician to win the show.
* StealthParody: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUcqzbTqQxc Chipps Cooney's act]] in Season 5. Howie and Sharon thought he was hilarious, but Piers [[PoesLaw refused to believe]] he was going for StylisticSuck. In the same season, Howie ''thought'' that this was what the Indian impersonator was going for...but given his reaction to Howie's explanation of it, he was just bad. In both of these, Howie was directing the respective acts and his fellow judges to see the SoBadItsGood part.
* TheStoic: Season 8's Sprice.
* StuffyOldSongsAboutTheButtocks: The aspiring OneHitWonder Tone the Chiefrocca and his song "B-Double-O-T-Y" in Season 8.
* TalentShowVersion: Of course.
* TakeThatAudience: Piers delivered this when it was revealed male pole dancer Steven Retchless was in the Season 6 semifinals.
-->'''Piers:''' I think America ''did'' get it wrong.
* TemptingFate: When Terry Fator first took the stage, Piers infamously commented "Oh no, a ventriloquist." The hosts love to point out the irony in that statement whenever Terry returns for a performance.
* TerrifiedOfGerms: Howie's a well-known germophobe. It can get hilarious (in a CrossesTheLineTwice kind of way) when a performer, intentionally or not, hits his panic button (see Dan Sperry in the Season 5 [=YouTube=] episode or the very first audition of Season 6).
* ThatCameOutWrong: While critiquing Lys Agnes' top 48 performance in Season 6, Howie starts off the way the other two judges did, by saying she looked stunning, however, he then added "The things I want to do to you." When everyone reacted, he clarified that he meant that he wanted to get a lot of people to vote for her.
** He did it again at one point in Season 7, commenting that he didn't realize what he was saying until it came out of his mouth.
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks: [[invoked]] Many acts will change up their act during the later rounds in an attempt to show the full range of their talent and keep things fresh. Sometimes it works, other times the judges are unimpressed, complaining "that isn't what we put you through on". Oftentimes, though, this is [[JustifiedTrope justified]], as they aren't very good at whatever else they are trying to do. One of the most extreme instances came in Season 5 with Chipps Conney, a magician who relied on StylisticSuck to make his act comedic. After getting through to Vegas on that, he suddenly dropped the magic act and decided to do a striptease-like dance. The judges were as confused as hell, and apparently America agreed since he didn't go through.
* TooQuirkyToLose: Practically one of the show's selling points; there are a ''lot'' of weird acts that go on this show, and some of them go quite far.
* TransAtlanticEquivalent: ''Series/BritainsGotTalent''.
* {{Troll}}: Piers does this a bit in playing up his MeanBrit role (Nick even tends to call him an "ogre" when he buzzes cute kid acts). In turn, Howie trolled Piers in Season 6; even bringing back Those Funny Little People as one of his Wild Card picks just so he could watch Piers recoil in horror (whether Howie's trolling is KickTheDog or KickTheSonOfABitch is up to the viewer).
* {{Ventriloquism}}: Fator was the only ventriloquist who was any good. In fact the judges prepared themselves for the worst when they saw him...[[CrowningMomentOfAwesome and then he started singing]].
* {{Visual Pun}}s: The audition performance of Hopeless Auditionee Al Harris in Season 8 revolved around these - for instance, he pulled out a multi-hued window shade and proclaimed "I'm color-blind!" To be fair, he was committed to his performance and some of his jokes were ActuallyPrettyFunny.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Piers and Howie. Howard and Howie pick up the act to a lesser extent after Piers' leave.
* VocalDissonance: Quite a bit of contestants.
** Jackie Evancho on Season 5, ''and how!'' She has the voice of a pro-level soprano, and she's only ''eleven years old''.
** Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. in Season 6. He's a big black guy with dreadlocks and facial hair, and he has a voice reminiscent of [[FrankSinatra Sinatra]].
** Andrew De Leon in Season 7 is a goth kid with freaky eyes and guyliner... and he busts out a feminine opera voice.
*** Season 8 saw another operatic performance, this time coming out of a big black dude.
---->'''Howie:''' ''[in disbelief]'' You didn't ''swallow'' Jackie Evancho, did you?!
** Also from Season 8: Anna Christine is a 10 year old who sounds ''at least'' 10 years older when singing and even talking!
*** Season 8's Aaralyn O'Neil is essentially the opposite of Andrew de Leon -- cute-as-a-button six-year-old girl singing a death metal/screamo song called "Zombie Skin."
* WaxingLyrical: Auditionees will occasionally ask Mel B if they're [[Music/SpiceGirls what she wants, what she really really wants.]]
* WearingAFlagOnYourHead: Prince Poppycock's [[http://www.hulu.com/watch/176702/americas-got-talent-week-15-results-1#s-p1-sr-i1 Season 5 semifinals performance.]] Never has patriotism been so {{Camp}}.
* WhatTheHellHero: Hasselhoff gets this when he buzzed a sword swallowing act while the person '''was in the middle of downing a sword!''' It was very stupid and dangerous to do, the guy obviously flinches and backstage notes that it nearly caused him to pierce his stomach. Sharon and Jerry do call him out on this.
** In Season 6, Howie commented that the dance group "Purrfect Angelz" was "the best Hooters [he]'s ever seen". Piers, who buzzed the group, semi-jokingly asked that Howie apologize to them.
** Later in Season 6, Gymkana had to stop an act after a minor accident with a burning hoop. During the judges' review afterwards Nick chides Piers that maybe the slip-up happened because he broke their concentration by buzzing them earlier.
** In Season 7, Howard verbally attacked Howie for supporting bad lounge singer Big Barry over better musical acts like Andrew De Leon and rock/R&B/hip-hop band Wordspit and the Illest! (Of course, Howard personally liked Horse the GroinAttack victim, so he's one to talk.)
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