Note how, in many of these cases, the producers decide to have fun with the disclaimer by putting it humorously or adding a bonus gag.
"Professional driver, closed course" — Any ad involving racing or car stunts. Or, in many cases, just plain driving. In fact, pretty much any ad that features a vehicle, really.
Seen in one car commercial that parodied Field of Dreams, by having the character build a race track in his corn field. At the end it said "Professional driver on a closed cornfield." Later they changed it back to "closed course."
In a particularly ludicrous case, a tire commercial displays this warning while showing astronauts driving a rover across the moon.
Even better is when they added this to the commercial for "The Cube," when the car never actually moves.
One particular ad showed a car performing its usual fancy stunts, then driving towards a cantilevered bridge just as the bridge was separating and rising. Cut to black with white lettering saying "Whatever you do"; cut back to car driving up the bridge; cut to black with big letters: "Don't do this!"; and finally a shot of the car leaping across the gap in the bridge.
There was at least one commercial for a Ford pickup truck where this disclaimer was showed on a shot of the truck... while it was parked.
Incidentally, while most people understand this, "closed course" simply means they blocked off a section of road. There isn't some big facility with parking lots and stretches of highway built for shooting car commercials.
Lampshaded by a commercial where a man lives his life with the phrase always positioned below him. Eventually works out as he becomes what his label says.
"Trucks cannot snowboard...Or do barrel rolls."
A commercial for the Chevy Sonic shows it doing jumps and grinding on rails as a skateboard would. The disclaimer on the box reads "The Chevy Sonic is NOT a skateboard. Do not attempt." Surprising that they need to have that disclaimer, but considering how advertisements can inspire people, it is justifiable.
One commercial accidentally parodied this, showing a car being driven through a fairly typical subdivision, at a safe speed and in a sensible and responsible manner. So what exactly are we not supposed to imitate?
Ford had an ad spoofing Twilight where the vampire character jumped onto the back of the car carrying the female character and her current boyfriend. The disclaimer said "Stunt vampire. Do not attempt."
A 1972 Volkswagen commercial touts the claim that the Beetle is built so well that it's almost air-tight by driving one into a body of water. The disclaimer notes that "The VW will definitely float, but it will not float indefinitely."
A commercial for an SUV depicted two men driving to a mountain top to distribute the ashes of their Uncle Fred. As they bounce along through the woods, the disclaimer says "Drive like this and you could end up like Uncle Fred."
An advert for Emerald's Nuts featured a woman in her therapist's office saying that sometimes she just wanted to burn the world. Her barely awake therapist says "sounds great" and we cut to his office on fire with him still out of it. The disclaimer at the bottom? "Don't commit arson. Not even once."
An advertisement featured a refrigerator being hit by a large wrecking ball with the admonishment "Do not attempt". Who could?
There was an ad for what at the time was the latest version of Office that showed a man sitting at his office desk, which was racing through the desert. The disclaimer was again, "Do not attempt."
In a Degree ad, a man, after smelling the deodorant they were advertising, proceeds to leap out an airplane, with his shopping cart, and land on the ground, riding the shopping cart down the freeway. Only when he makes it in between two 18-wheelers do we see the "Do not attempt" disclaimer.
Ad showing a Post-it on a wall supporting a kid/a dog. Brief text says "Just Kidding. Cannot support a child/dog."
There was a British commercial for a brand of cereal (IIRC) that tasted so good a man ran back into a burning building to finish a bowl. There was a caption that read "In a real emergency get out and call the fire brigade", but that wasn't good enough for the regulators who pulled the ad off the air after a couple of days.
This Dannon yogurt commercial features a woman who eats it (or in this case, slurps it in one sitting) standing in the aisle of the grocery store (because she loves it so much she cannot even wait until she gets home to eat it). A disclaimer reads "Please Pay For All Items."
A Carl's Jr. commercial had a man in a convenience store eat a really hot burger and chug some mouthwash to cool down the intense heat; the disclaimer read "Dramatization. Do not attempt. Mouthwash fatal if swallowed.". Nevertheless, they re-shot it later so that the man rinses his mouth out with it instead.
Averted with one refrigerator ad where a woman attempts to defrost her open freezer with a flame-thrower. You'd think there'd be some sort of caption with a disclaimer warning people not to try such a stunt at home, but apparently they forgot.
One ad for Visa (the credit card) showed a pregnant woman picking out house paint with her husband, trying to get juuuuust the right shade of vermilion. When she finally found the shade she wanted, and said "This is going to be perfect", the scene switched to her in a gridiron Football stadium screaming "Catch the stinkin' ball, stinker!", with her face painted in the vermilion and light-blue colors of her team. A disclaimer at the bottom of the screen during this scene read: "Do not paint your face with house paint."
A commercial for cold cuts shows a woman shopping in a big-box store with her two children who are determined to try everything on display, from drum sets to trampolines. The disclaimer includes the words "Obey your mother."
A commercial shows a man in a home-supply store playing Darth Vader with a welding mask and a flourescent tube as a lightstaber. After he knocks stuff over, the disclaimer reads "Use the Force responsibly."
Anime and Manga
The Anime series Hayate the Combat Butler parodies this trope — the series' version of Censor Steam, a genie carrying a sign that covers the suspect content, occasionally shows up with a Don't Try This At Home variant instead for not quite as egregious misdemeanors, like littering.
In the manga version, the chapter where Hayate defeats a robotic butler by sticking silverware into its joints and shorting it out is actually titled something like "Good Little Kids Shouldn't Try This At Home! And Neither Should The Bad Ones!"
Good boys and girls should never jump out of a moving train.
The anime Cromartie High School has an animated disclaimer, showing one of the characters sitting in a jail cell. In a voiceover, he describes how it was stupid to do what was shown on the show, and the viewers shouldn't, either. ("Seriously, this is a BAD IDEA! I'm tellin' ya, man — don't do it!")
Which is made more amusing by the fact that the tough delinquent characters hardly ever actually do anything dangerous or likely to get anyone in trouble.
In the first episode of Sonic X, Sonic jumps on top of an S-Team race car during a chase, causing the driver to protest that they don't want any kids copying him; Sonic duly warns the kids in the audience never to stand on moving cars. This is possibly a parodical Shout Out to the original Sonic Sez segments of the first animated series.
The dub plays it a little differently. Sonic does the same thing and receives the same complaint from the driver: "What if some kid tries this?" Sonic turns to the camera and says:
Sonic: Kids, don't use Formula One race cars to chase hedgehogs!
In a later episode, a Chaos Emerald was found under a water, and Chris Thorndyke was helping Sonic go get it. During an attempt with a hosepipe, Chris holds up a sign saying, "Good kids: Don't imitate this!!" Sonic then holds up a sign saying, "You mean I'm not a good kid?" This only happens in the Japanese version—for the international version, TMS ruined the joke by blanking out the signs and not bothering to put in any replacement text. This happens again a bit later, when Chris holds up a similar warning sign as they are about to use a bell in their scheme, and TMS, of course, blanked it out senselessly.
In episode 10 of Fruits Basket Hatsuharu trips Kyo with a rope while Kyo is running (fortunately Kyo gets an Instant Bandage). Hatsuharu then breaks the fourth wall to say that doing this could cause serious injury to anyone besides Kyo, so Don't Try This At Home.
Also used in the Hueco Mundo arc by Dondachakka after Pesche reaches into his loincloth and pulls out his sword
At the end of one chapter of Sgt. Frog, the Sergeant can be seen with his back turned to the reader, using a screwdriver to take a Rubik's Cube apart. There is a caption at the bottom of the panel saying "Don't try this at home, kids".
School Rumble, Episode 2, shows the main character, Tenma, climbing down the school's outer wall from the second floor using a pair of toilet plungers as tools. As soon as she steps out the window, a caption appears reading "This is a joke. Please do not try at home."
Kaleido Star's first OVA has May climbing from one speeding taxi to another with the standard "Good children should not attempt this!" message. All while the Gonzo team were clearly having too much fun with the camera angle now that they weren't on TV.
In Chapter 0 of Kamichama Karin Chu, Kazune is going to England. Not wanting him to go, she replaces his passport photo with a picture of Francis Xavier, a Jesuit missionary. There's a caption of Nya-ke/Shi-chan saying, "This is an illegal act called 'forrrgery of official documents,' so good kids, don't trrry this ★" under the panel.
In Waq Waq, when Fran uses Ninjutsu: Flying Squirrel to float in the air by holding onto a sheet, the narrator states "Because situations like these will never arise in real life, please do not imitate, you might die."
Parodied in Samurai Pizza Cats: "Kids, don't try this at home. We're professional cartoon characters."
In Himitsu Project's fanslation of Yu-Gi-Oh!, under the panel with the infamous game between Yami Yugi and the bully Ushio where they must stab a pile of money placed on their bare hands, you can find the following disclaimer "If you try this at home, you are stupid".
In one two-part episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Amon duels Manjyome while both are standing on ledges suspended from helicopters. Judai - one of the witnesses to the duel - makes this warning in the preview for part 2 (spoken at the end of part 1).
In the dub of episode 77, when Mai executes a quick 180 turn in her car, she says "Do not try this at home!"
In one episode of Kämpfer, Mikoto is doing rather dangerous things at a water park, such as pushing Akane off of a diving board. Two disclaimers pop up during the episode: first, "good children should not imitate Mikoto", and later, "even bad children should not imitate Mikoto".
The second episode of Panda Z features the eponymous character trying to eat a big plate of hot, steaming batteries. Every other scene had a text scroll across the bottom with phrases like "Batteries are not food", "Do not expose batteries to heat", or "Do not cut batteries".
The Trigun anime gives us this comedic line: "The Deadly Dodgeball Face! A technique that involves holding the ball to your mouth with intense suction! TRY THIS AT HOME, KIDS!"
A truly unforgettable moment from the very first episode is when Vash, just prior to getting the actual bad guy Hoist by His Own Petard, glances into the camera with a Cat Smile and remarks: "Dangerous toys are fun - but you could get hurt!"
In the Katekyo Hitman Reborn! OVA, Reborn will appear with a sign saying: "Good kids don't do so." This is because the events in question are things like sleeping on a bus roof while it's driving, having water fights in Hot Springs, and peeing on ice sculptures.
Fran literally breaks the fourth wall by saying not to try anything that Bel does at home. Bel is not too pleased.
At the beginning of every episode of Is This A Zombie?, we're helpfully reminded "Our protagonist is a zombie. Do not try this at home!"
Star Driver parodies this occasionally: at one point it holds up a notice, when a character rides the top of the bus to school, that only people who live on the fictional island the show is set is allowed to ride on the roof of a bus. Later it advises viewers to not shoot fireworks at each other "like these idiots are doing", and to not use supernatural powers when your friend is around to get caught in them.
In one of the Mai-HiME sound dramas after the main events of the series, Nao (who is in middle school) offers Mai and the others (who, except for the middle school age Mikoto, are in high school) some alcohol, and they start drinking. Nagi then reminds listeners that they shouldn't try this until they're 20.
In the Cooking Duel of Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA 2wei, while Suzuka was wrapping up Tatsuko like a mummy to prevent her from further screwing up the cake they were baking, Nanami breaks the fourth wall to address the readers.
Nanami: Kids, be good and don't imitate this please!
When Walker uses an Aerosol Flamethrower in the sixth Durarara!!, the narration notes that this is, in fact, a terrible idea and more likely to set you on fire than your opponent. It then notes that Walker knows this and does it anyway, because he's Walker.
In the second Ah! My Goddess OAD, packaged with vol. 43 of the manga in September 2011, Keiichi does the old Mentos and Diet Coke eruption trick by holding the Mentos in his mouth and spitting them into a 2-liter bottle of Diet Coke. An onscreen caption says "He is using it the wrong way. Children, don't do what he's doing." (Putting the Mentos in his mouth would probably make them less effective anyway, since the nucleation points on their surfaces would dissolve away.)
A shot in Sankarea that shows Chihiro's grandfather eating hydrangea leaves includes a warning to the viewer that hydrangea leaves are poisonous, and that the grandfather's acts should not be imitated.
In an episode of Heaven's Lost Property, a don't try this at home message pops up when Sohara, Astraea, and Nymph counter Tomoki's attempt to peep on them by using mirrors to reflect sunlight through his periscope into his eyes.
In episode 15 of My Bride Is a Mermaid, Chimp outlines a plan for Kai to kidnap Sun to take as his bride. The screen says, "This is a crime. Don't try this at home."
In episode 4 of Binbougami ga!, Bobby says this when he witnesses Momiji pouring boiling water on Momo to feed his masochistic fetishes.
The "Kansai language" is a dialect of Japanese, which is why Miku just looks confused. See for yourself.
Although it stretches the definition of "English" pretty thin...
Another video of the same author advises, in much the same manner, not trying to juggle a soccer ball while walking the tightrope between two skyscrapers.
In Stay Tuned, Helen, in cartoon form, says "Kids, don't try this at home", as she and Roy are dumping a handheld hair dryer (still plugged in!) into a bathtub filled with water to disable Robo-Cat.
Jimmy Neutron, in the film, remarks to Goddard, "Don't try that at home" after shooting a communications toaster satellite into orbit by hand. The important question: Why say this, when 99% of households do not contain the materials to produce an upper-atmosphere rocket large enough for two human children and a robot dog? The remaining 1% doesn't either, for the record...
When Ling Ling Fat is demonstrating his gunpowder at the beginning of Forbidden City Cop, he reminds the audience that Fat Yun is highly trained for such feats, and that children should never attempt detonating gunpowder in their mouths.
In the climactic scene of Follow That Bird, Big Bird is in the back of a truck, in a giant cage, doing about 30 on the interstate. Gordon and Susan have followed him in a Volkswagen Beetle that's had the trunk cover chewed off by Cookie Monster (keep in mind, Volkswagen Beetles have the trunk in the front of the car). Despite the vehement protestations of driver Susan, Gordon leaves the inside of the vehicle through a Cookie Monster-created hole in the roof, and tries to get Big Bird to jump from the cage into the hood.
Big Bird: You should never jump from a moving truck! Why... I shouldn't even be standing up!
Gordon: You have my permission! Just this once. NOW, COME ON!
Ice Age had a TV spot for its home video release that showed comic violence throughout the spot over an announcer admonishing, "Don't try this at home... or this... or this..." over and over again as the characters do dangerous things to "Orpheus in the Underworld".
The 2012 The Three Stooges film ends with one of these disclaimers, featuring the directors Breaking the Fourth Wall and demonstrating how much of the physical humor was done with rubber props (the sound effects make it sound realistic) and with safety being the top priority for the production. However, this was completely pointless, seeing as how the movie was primarily targeted toward the adults who grew up on the B&W shorts, and they would easily know that all of the slapstick was faked. However, they are addressing kids, even though some of the content in the movie was not even suitable for kids at all (the movie had lion testicles, and a guy from Jersey Shore getting his head stuck in a microwave, for starters).
Project X has a warning at the beginning that no one should attempt to re-create the events in the film, given that the film was inspired by events in real-life, this is useful, hasn't stopped people from trying to emulate it though.
The second Jackass movie has one too, saying the stunts were done by professionals and "neither you nor your dumb little buddies should try these at home."
Every instance of someone climbing into the eponymous wardrobe in C. S. Lewis's first Narnia book, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, is accompanied by the narrator's remarks on how dangerous it is to close oneself into a wardrobe, how smart Lucy and Peter are to leave the door ajar, and how foolish Edmund is to close it on himself — no doubt to prevent children from getting themselves trapped in wardrobes while trying to emulate the Pevensies. This becomes Hilarious in Hindsight as of the Walden Media movie adaptation: one of the outtakes has Edmund climbing into the wardrobe and closing the door behind him... and getting locked in.
A Series of Unfortunate Events: the second book, The Reptile Room, warns the reader to never, ever, ever, ever, ever (continued for slightly more than a page) ever stick things in an electric socket. Ever. We are warned precisely 209 times.
The Red Green Book describes a fictional "game" that essentially involves drinking oneself into low-level alcohol poisoning. Understandably, that section of the book contains an editor's note that says "Do not, under any circumstances, ever play this game."
Aside from the Good Omens quote at the top of the page, Terry Pratchett pulls this trope in Interesting Times: When fireworks are mentioned, Rincewind tries to clarify as "The sort of thing where you light the blue touch paper and stick it up your nose?" The helpful footnote on the same page reads, "KIDS! Only very silly wizards with very bad sinus trouble do this. Sensible people go off to a roped-off enclosure where they can watch a heavily protected man, in the middle distance, light (with the aid of a very long pole) something that goes 'fsst.' And then they can shout 'Hooray.'"
"* A message from the author. Not all cauldrons are metal. You can boil water in a leather cauldron, if you know what you are doing. You can even make tea in a paper bag if you are careful and know how to do it. But please don't, or if you do, don't tell anyone I told you."
Another Pratchett example: Nation features an afterword discussing the truth behind some implausible-sounding things that happen in the story; most of them are accompanied with warnings that you should not try this at home. The last one ends, instead, with "Whether you try it at home is up to you."
Footnote Fever struck again when Stephen huffed Axe body spray on screen.
Bullet Point: Do not try. Professional breather in closed bag.
Roald Dahl's George's Marvelous Medicine begins with a warning to children not to follow the protagonist's lead and start mixing up things they find in their medicine cabinets at home and drinking them because it might make them sick. Or well and truly dead.
Dave Barry's Guide to Guys parodies this in a footnote to a passage overendowed with metaphors: "I am a professional writer. Do not try these metaphors at home."
The commentary to several of Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar books discusses the author's love of equestrianism and falconry, and in one notable case is careful to point out that the Tayledras bondbirds and Valdemaran Companions are not normal animals and people should not go into these pursuits expecting real animals to behave like that.
In Sewer, Gas & Electric, when Morris Kazenstein appears in Dufresne's eco-activist video, he warns kids not to try what he's about to do without parental supervision. Namely, sink an illegal whaling ship with a magnetic railgun that fires whole kosher salami.
Pretty much everything Ragnar Benson has ever written is encrusted in warnings that the book in question is for information purposes only and that attempting to actually apply the instructions found within could easily result in a long stay in prison, hospital, or prison hospital. It's probably worth noting at this point that Benson's works include Homemade C4: A Recipe For Survival, The Most Dangerous Game: Advanced Mantrapping Techniques, Ragnar's Guide to Home and Recreational Use of High Explosives, Breath of the Dragon: Homebuilt Flamethrowers, Home-Built Claymore Mines: A Blueprint For Survival, David's Tool Kit: A Citizen's Guide to Taking Out Big Brother's Heavy Weapons, and Homemade Grenade Launchers: Constructing the Ultimate Hobby Weapon.
After describing the aftermath of a kitchen grease fire in Maggody and the Moonbeams, Arly warns readers not to set off fire extinguishers indoors to find out if her description is accurate, or they'll be sorry.
In China, there exists the proverb "The young should not read Water Margin, and the old should not read Three Kingdoms". This proverb came into existence because the former depicts the lives of outlaws and their defiance of the social system and may have a negative influence on adolescent boys, as well as the novel's depiction of gruesome violence. The latter presents every manner of stratagem and fraud and may tempt older readers to engage in such thinking.
In the The Shadow pulp series, The Shadow infrequently uses a substance he calls "The Devil's Whisper" — an explosive mixture smeared on his thumb and forefinger that explodes violently when he snaps his fingers. In one story, Maxwell Grant leaves this note: "Note: The explosion from the finger tips, produced by the action of two chemicals, is terrific in its power. It is extremely dangerous in use; for an over-amount, even though seemingly slight, will produce an explosion with the effect of TNT. The Shadow has used it but seldom; on those occasions, with the strictest care. Properly produced, the explosion is so instantaneous that the operator remains uninjured. Because of the danger from these chemicals, I have never made a copy of the formula; and can answer no requests concerning it. ~Maxwell Grant." "Grant" is actually Walter B Gibson, who was, among other things, a professional stage magician. "Devil's Whisper" is a rarely-performed real-world magic trick that is extremely dangerous — if done wrong, the magician would lose fingers at a minimum. The note may have been an attempt to keep curious readers from researching the trick.
Remember, all these events are made with our players safety in mind. They will be wearing safety equipment and will have stunt spotters and stunt coordinators with them at all times. So please, do not try this at home.
"We're what you call 'experts'." Jamie and Adam on MythBusters warn off the brain-dead at least twice every episode, with additional reminders at the start of especially dodgy (or deceptively safe-looking) experiments. See also "We've got years of experience that keeps us safe," and the blanket admonition usually seen at the outset:
Adam: Please, don't try anything you're about to see us do at home. Jamie:Ever!
In an interview, they claimed that they hated to have to say this, because they wanted people (at least those who knew what they were doing) to try their experiments. They did comment that "Diet Coke and Mentos" was entirely safe to try at home, but advised not to do it indoors, since it does tend to make a bit of a mess.
They have a book called "Don't Try This at Home (Unless We Tell You to)", which mixes their myths with at-home science experiments.
This is lampshaded by Adam Savage's Twitter account: "@donttrythis".
They've done this with non-dangerous experiments that might be misused, such as the episode where they defeat a fingerprint scanner with a technique more commonly used to etch circuit boards—they leave out at least one step, and the narrator mentions they might have left it out.
In the MacGyver episode it was hinted that some things you could go ahead and try to do at home. Mainly because most people had access to that kind of stuff and it wasn't life-threatening. Ditto for the phone book episode; you can really interleave the pages of two phone books together without disastrous effects.
During an episode where Jamie had to back out of doing a stunt because it carried too high a risk of spinal injury (the stunt was instead performed by a professional), Adam closed out the episode with "Don't try this at home. We didn't!"
It was parodied in "You spoof Discovery" - "Remember kids, don't try this at home. Even though it's REALLY COOL and we're giving you step by step instructions on how to do it!"
During the Chinese Rocket Chair experiment, the real Adam uttered this gem:
"Remember, kids, no matter how much fun I'm having, under no circumstances should you try this at home."
Another Experiment Show, Time Warp, also has disclaimers. On the episode where they brought in someone to blow giant bubbles to see what they were like on the high-speed, though, the hosts said "Do try this at home, it's fun."
"Neither you nor your dumb little buddies should attempt anything seen on this show." The original, funnier opening warning of Jackass. Changed to a more serious disclaimer when one of their stuntswastried at home. The show also told viewers not to submit videos of their own stunts, and that any tapes they received would be thrown away unwatched.
Brainiac: Science Abuse not only uses this a lot, but invariably reinforces it a few seconds later with "No, really — Don't." Often associated with putting things in microwave ovens that cause them to explode.
"No, really" was Richard Hammond's coda. When Vic Reeves took over, he changed it to "Don't try this at home — or indeed any other place". This was probably because the producers realised that the phrase alone is so clichéd now that people don't actually register its meaning any more when they hear it.
Penn & Teller produced a special entitled Don't Try This At Home! which subverted this by mostly containing stunts which were impossible to do at home anyway, such as enclosing themselves in a tent with a million bees, or counterweighting a truck with several tons of stage weights to drive it over Teller's chest. Further subverted for humourous effect later in the special, when they demonstrate the use of hydraulic squibs for producing blood effects by having Teller throw marshmallows at Penn's fake body — near the end of the scene, Penn yells, "Guess what, kids? You can try this at home!"
In an episode of Married... with Children, Al and Peg go on a game show where the idea is for a contestant to inflict torture on his/her spouse to win prizes. Before the very dangerous bonus round (where electric chairs are used) the host makes this warning to the viewers.
Back in the 1980s, on the David Letterman Show, Letterman would occasionally warn the viewers, "Don't try this at home." On at least one occasion, after witnessing an especially bizarre stunt, he looked at the camera and said, "Go to a friend's house instead."
This punchline was also used by the Reduced Shakespeare Company. The guys are about to perform Hamlet really fast (as in the entire play in under a minute). They give a short disclaimer to the effect that props will be thrown about, etc., and the audience should not try this at home. Adam tosses back "go to a friend's house" as he assumes his position.
Once when crushing random things with a huge block, Letterman used this variant:
"It would be very irresponsible of me not to tell you kids that when you try this at home with your own crane and your own three thousand pound block, be very, very careful."
Once while wearing a suit of magnets, Letterman warned kids not to walk up to the TV with magnets because they will destroy it. A few seconds later he said, "Hell what do I care. Try it at home."
Avoided in MacGyver: There probably was no single instance of this happening, and MacGyver did some awesomely dangerous stuff with things kids could easily get their hands on. Granted, a number of the things while technically possible and based on scientific principles are pretty much impossible to pull off. Plus, in interviews the writers stated that if something was truly dangerous they'd often omit a crucial component so that people couldn't get hurt trying it.
There was a "shockumentary" about sharks, where one man in a wet suit was in a boat dangerously close to sharks, and trying to reach his arm out to attach a tracker (or something). The narrator then said "Don't try this at home", in a completely non-mocking, serious way. One would wonder how you could get close to a shark within your own home.
In Beakmans World, one particularly dangerous demonstration involving ammonia and strong acids has a comical quick cut beforehand of all the characters turning in place with klaxons blaring and rotating red lights flashing before cutting a particularly urgent "Don't try this..." warning.
On the whole, however, this trope is actually avoided, as with careful following of the instructions and parental supervision, you could do most of the experiments shown at home. The "safe" stunts had their own warning: "Experiments should be performed only with adult supervision, and all appropriate safety precautions should be taken. All directions should be followed exactly, and no substitutions should be used."
That's Incredible was famous in the early 1980s for the use of this phrase to disclaim its many stunts, which was understandable considering how many real stuntmen were injured appearing on the show. However, they lampshaded themselves in a story on how a young girl spent a $5 bill containing a birthday inscription from her grandfather, and then received the same bill many years later as change for a purchase. The odds they gave (completely ignoring any multiplicity effects) for receiving that exact bill were something like six quintillion to one. The number is so high to count that they exhorted viewers Don't Try This At Home.
In the Spike series One Thousand Ways To Die, the disclaimer is probably the one that gets the most to the point: "Do not attempt to try any of the actions depicted! YOU WILL DIE!"
In bloody red letters to boot (no pun intended).
On a Farscape transcript Ben Browder tells people not attempt Unity, a special alien mental bond. Since the closest anyone could come to it is banging their heads together and hoping for the best this probably wasn't necessary. Probably.
There was a programme on ITV with the title Don't Try This At Home. It featured numerous dangerous acts including climbing up very high cliffs in awful weather and doing the tightrope inside a building.
Subversion: in one episode of Good Eats, while Alton carves a roast the scrolling text at the bottom of the screen says "Semi-skilled professional in a real kitchen... do try this at home... but be careful won't you?"
Alton seems to like parodying this trope; another variation (spotted in "Raising the Steaks" as AB chows down on a homemade fajita) reads "Professional eater on closed course. Don't try this without a napkin."
"Closed course" warning was also present in "Romancing the Bird", while making cornbread pudding blindfolded.
A comedy sketch show featured a man who came to see a doctor because whenever he walked he would make a funny sound (he farted with every step). Eventually the doctor told the man to shut his eyes, he went to a window and opened it, said to the screen "don't try this at home" and leaped out.
On an episode of QI it was revealed that custard is dense enough to walk on if you have, say, a kiddie pool full of it. The panel jumped at the opportunity to tell any kids watching that they definitely should try this at home.
The footage shown of someone actually walking on custard was from an episode of Brainiac: Science Abuse, which is already mentioned above. In fact, the occurrence might be considered a Shout Out to the show.
Played with when Stephen Fry advises against wiring gherkins to electric lights, then changes his mind and tells the audience they shouldn't do things just because he told them to and they should live their own lives.
The Goodies: "We would like to point out that Ecky Thump is the ancient Lancastrian art of self defence. When practised by the untrained, it could be dangerous."
Aversion: Appears nowhere at all in Top Gear, possibly because no one watching at home has the wherewithal to do most of their more outlandish stunts. Clarkson has been told he has to look disapproving whenever something illegal is mentioned; he remembers this occasionally. And, of course, he's "driving at the speed limit" in all the road tests and races.
Scare Tactics: "Watching us is hilarious, imitating us is dangerous. Don't do it."
Frequently played around with on Tosh0. Exaggerated when Daniel plays "Guess What Happens Next" with a video of an Asian kid who lights his crotch on fire; he spends about a minute driving home the point that viewer should not try this at home.
Zig Zagged with "Surprise Trust Falls". Subverted when Daniel follows his surprise trust falls by saying, "Feel free to send us your own surprise trust falls to our website, and be careful." Doubly subverted when Daniel is "forced" to ask people to stop doing them after people start sending in their own videos. Triply subverted when, after showing the surprise trust falls already sent in, Daniel says, "Screw it, keep sending them in!"
Web Soup has a segment called "Please, please, please, for the love of God, don't try this at home!"
When Power Rangers first aired in the UK, it was broadcast in ITV's morning slot as part of their breakfast show GMTV. GMTV also included a fitness segment with "Mr Motivator", who would appear before Power Rangers to warn viewers that the Rangers were played by trained martial artists/stunt performers and kids should Not Try This At Home.
This was also done when Power Rangers aired on Fox Kids UK at the end of every episode. "You are advised that the fight scenes in Power Rangers (Whatever series it was) are performed by trained martial arts experts and should not be performed at home."
LOST: The DVD featurettes of Terry O'Quinn (John Locke) throwing huge knives are always accompanied by a warning not to repeat it without a professional trainer at your hand.
The Young Ones - "The BBC would like to warn small children that putting people in old refrigerators is a bloody stupid thing to do."
Back in the 1960s Bob Monkhouse's Mad Movies frequently had Monkhouse telling kids never to copy dangerous stunts from silent movies.
Jokingly shown on the sitcom Arrested Development, where when Gob combines eating a sandwich, applesauce, and drinking from three bottles of liquor in order to swallow a key for his magic trick, the words "Professional magician, do not attempt at home" appear on screen.
One of the charms of Sons Of Guns is Will coming up with some new way to remind the viewers at the start of the episode that they're professionals and to not try this at home. What they don't mention is that plenty of what they do with fully automatic weapons and suppressors is illegal for those without the proper licensing.
Ed The Sock would point out it was only OK for him to smoke because he's a puppet.
After one sketch on Harry Hill's TV Burp, he lampshaded this by telling the camera: "Now kids, some grownups think that because you've seen me do this, you might try it, and they write to ITV to complain. So just to be sure: DON'T CUT YOUR HAND OFF WITH A CLEAVER! Aren't grownups silly?"
And in a later show, when he has dropped a washing machine on his own head: a klaxon goes off, "Don't try this at home!" is flashed up as a caption... and he says "You hadn't even thought about it till I just said that, had you?"
Cake Boss has needed to invoke this on occasion. When they made a cake for Grucci Fireworks (which included live fireworks), the episode opened with a safety warning. And then Buddy blew up a test cake trying to see how this was going to work; maybe he should have watched the safety warning.
When Buddy was asked to make a fire-breathing cake, he invoked this trope by name during a test run.
Dick & Dom Go Wild open each show with a reminder that they're working with trained animal handlers and kids shouldn't approach wild animals on their own, and repeat it if they do anything particularly dangerous (or cute, like feeding fawns.) And when Dick did the notorious cow pregnancy test note Yes, the one where you stick your arm up the cow's arse to feel the condition of its uterus: "This probably doesn't need saying, but don't try this yourselves."
Taken Up to Eleven by a Discovery Channel Canada show, Never Ever Do This At Home, which involves intentionally doing such ridiculous things just to see what would happen (seemingly in the interest of science, but more of a Refuge in Audacity). Some of the things done by the two excitable hosts (and their safety crew) include: launching fireworks in the living room, turning a small bathroom into a giant microwave to defrost a whole fish and filling a water bed with 1000 gallons of water (weighing 4000 kg) then popping it while still in the same room.
Horrible Histories has had them a few times, usually with the Historical Paramedics, because what they do could be seriously dangerous but at the same time is nowhere near impossible to imitate. One particularly horrible example was the one where they tried to figure out what was wrong with someone by tasting their blood.
When Meibo "attacks" Hai An with chalk in Infinity Game it says "Danger, do not imitate this action" twice.
The song "Cartoon Heroes" by Aqua features the line "What we do is what you just can't do" to remind kids not to try all the things they see their cartoon heroes doing.
When the Irish music group Darby O'Gill covered Tom Lehrer's The Irish Ballad, they added this disclaimer after detailing one of the female protagonist's murders.
"Hellbent" by Self includes the line "I've been trying things at home that I saw on television, and I'm doin' 'em wrong!
The Dead Milkmen song "Part 3" contains the warning: "Don't any of you kids try this guitar solo at home - that man is a trained professional"
The straightest, most serious and most thoroughly justified example imaginable appears at the beginning of one Escape Pod sci-fi short fiction podcast. The content warnings are usually delivered in a fairly lighthearted manner, but when one story featured auto-erotic asphyxiation by young children as a plot point, there was an audible note of fear in host Stephen Eley's voice as he delivered the warning. Listen to it here, and please, heed the warning.
This video starring the Swedish Chef of The Muppets fame warns at the beginning "The Swedish Chef is a trained professional. (Sort of) Do not try this at home. (Seriously) Thanks. (Really)"
A T-shirt in the 2013 Signals Christmas catalog features a flaming pictograph of a man and the slogan "I tried it at home."
Most of WWE's video and DVD releases have a 30-second PSA, which you can't skip, at the beginning which features wrestlers talking about the various serious injuries they've suffered, ending with an announcer saying, "Please, don't try this at home." And they've been having wrestlers tell the viewers not to try any stunts at home about three times per two-hour episode, probably due to Executive Meddling caused by WWE trying to pander to children as their main audience. Later PSAs went one further, saying "Don't try this." No at home. Don't try it anywhere. Someone probably used Exact Words and tried it somewhere other than at home.
Parodied in an episode of Hello Cheeky. The gang present kung fu on radio, followed by about fifteen seconds of exaggerated yelling. This is followed by "Children are warned not to do what we have just done, because you feel a right berk."
There is a rather hilarious "disclaimer" in Exalted first edition rulebook that goes "Exalted is not really the secret history of the world. You cannot really cast spells. You should not hit your friends or loved ones with swords. This game is not intended to be played by people who can't tell the difference between fantasy and reality."
Of course, given how detailed and immersive the setting is, this might be helpful actually...
This is pretty common for White Wolf; both Vampire games have disclaimers that amount to "Remember: this is a game. You are not a vampire. If you start thinking you are one, please seek help."
A review of the notoriously panned FATAL, which can be found here (DANGER: LANGUAGE USED IS DECIDEDLY NSFW), features the memorable line from Jason Sartin, "Remember, folks, Darren's a professional, and we're reviewing on a closed course. Don't projectile vomit blood at home!"
Many fantasy roleplaying games have a disclaimer in which the authors basically tell the reader not to become involved in the occult simply because the game world postulates that magic actually works. (The disclaimer in C. J. Carella's Witchcraft is particularly humorous in this regard.) Weis and Hickman's Darksword Adventures contains the rules for Phantasia, a roleplaying game set in the Darksword novels' world of Thimhallan. One of the book's conceits is that it was written by a character in the fictional world for Earth humans (a future advanced spacefaring culture, who refer to the planet as "Kinsky-3"), and that the game is actually played in the fictional world. In Thimhallan, magic is Life and Technology, or Death is considered Evil, and so the "author" cautions readers against playing characters who have no ability to use magic, and expresses reservations about discussing the "Dark Arts" of technology within the rules.
Guybrush: It just occurred to me that mixing medicine and alcohol is a really stupid and possibly lethal thing to do. If I were a real person instead of a lovable, inept cartoon character with the potential for a few more sequels... I wouldn't even consider it. Skoal!
This is most likely a reference to a (in)famous scene the previous game, Maniac Mansion, in which certain characters could blow up Weird Ed's hamster in the microwave. DOTT treat this event as canon: Ed is still traumatized by the loss of his hamster and has undergone several years of therapy. (Which makes it all the more amusing that the hamstersicle is also his pet).
Was it specifically for microwaving the hamster, or just intruders in his house stealing it? Because while you don't have to microwave the hamster in the course of the game, you do have to steal it to find the keycard that opens Dr. Fred's lab.
"The skaters depicted in this game are either professionals, made-up, or just plain crazy." — The Tony Hawk games.
The Need for Speed series always included a short video disclaimer about safe driving, delivered by whomever was playing the hottie in the FMV cutscenes.
Lampshaded in Ratchet: Deadlocked, which had Dallas, the male announcer spouting out random comments while you fight, say "Remember, don't try any of this at home. Go to a friend's house!"
Psymon Stark in the SSX series will occasionally shout, "Don't try that at home, kids!" after landing a death-, logic- and gravity-defying snowboard trick.
Used in a more subtle way in Saints Row 2, during a mission after trying to find out the recipe for Loa Dust, Tobia's wife tells about what is in the Loa Dust but does not explicitly tell what exactly it is made of to the player and gives it to Shaundi instead. Given the possible controversy of teaching gamers to produce real life chemical drugs. It was a good idea anyway.
Used in the title of an Xbox game, Backyard Wrestling — Don't Try This At Home, featuring various characters (including members of Insane Clown Posse) mauling one-another with garden-tools and various common-household improvised-weaponry.
Some eroge come packaged with a message like this. An example can be found here.
In Brutal Legend, Eddie Riggs can perform an attack with the roadie unit where he holds his guitar in front of the amplifiers the roadie is carrying, and play it, hurting enemies with feedback. While doing so, he'll remind the player that he is a professional and not to do this themselves.
Tekken Tag TournamentPS2's bowling minigame, when the player overcharges and gets a foul, or chooses to knock out someone with the ball on either side of the bowling alley. The manual is more serious, stating the game is for entertainment purposes and states not to try using the moves at home.
Strong Bad: Kids, this may look like fun, but Strong Bad is a stunt driver on a closed course with a team of licensed crustacean wranglers backing him up. So remember, NEVER put live buttered lobsters down your pants... Unless, you know, you got five bucks riding on it. Then knock yourself out.
Do not try to recreate the cake in the real world. Some people might not appreciate the idea of their heads blown off by a birthday cake.
Rune Factory Frontier pulled this when you're trying to cheat on your wife by triggering the "Love Confession" scenes. If Raguna is already married, his wife will come and beat him up, following with the line "* Do not try this at home." after the screen has turned white.
Monday Night Combat announcer Mickey Cantor sometimes lampoons the trope as parting words. An example:
"Remember the violence you see here is performed by trained combat professionals with a deep personal hatred for their opponents. Do not try any of these things you see here at home, unless you have a certified copy of our home game."
The Spider-Man game tying into the latest set of movies had a spoof message in the tutorial. When it comes to web-slinging, Spidey informs children that they should not try this at home... because "your house isn't nearly tall enough".
Both Jet Set Radio games have the following disclaimer at the start of the game.
"Graffiti is art. However, graffiti as an act of vandalism is a crime. Every state/province has vandalism laws that apply to graffiti, and local entities such as cities and counties have anti-graffiti ordinances. Violation of these laws can result in a fine, probation, or a jail sentence. Sega does not condone the real life act of vandalism in any form."
The disclaimer for Lifesigns Surgical Unit states "Furthermore, the examinations, operations and other behavior performed in this game differ from the real ones. Do not imitate them under any circumstance."
The disclaimer for Science Papa states "Never try to reproduce anything in this game without professional supervision!"
Star Ocean: The Second Story features a private event where Rena reformats a public computer's hard drive, erasing the data. The fourth wall is broken and the player is told "Do not try this at home!"
In Flight, when you purchase an upgrade which allows you to use a fuel engine to make your paper plane go faster, it displays the message "This is totally impossible in real life. Please don't try it at home!"
In Little Busters, if someone picks up fireworks when battling, a note from Kyousuke will appear saying 'It's actually dangerous to point fireworks at someone, don't try this at home.'
Episode 1 of Inanimate Insanity opens with the following disclaimer, based off the one from Total Drama: "The following cartoon contains scenes of actual stupidity, some of the stunts which you are about to see were performed by animated objects! Do not try any of what you see here at home! Seriously, you could get really messed up!"
"Vehicles often have additional capabilities that don't normally come into the awareness of roleplayers. But knowledge of these features can help save your skin in difficult adventure situations. For example, if your car breaks down in the desert, (the following is roleplaying game advice only, do not try this in real life) you can drink the water from the radiator." (and again in the next paragraph)
The commentary for thisEl Goonish Shive strip goes out of its way to inform readers of the potential hazards of using a sleeper hold.
Randall Munroe says this a number of times in his science blog What If?. One of the more amusing examples comes from the entry "Lightning":
Before we go any further, I want to emphasize something: I am not an authority on lightning safety. I am a guy who draws pictures on the Internet. I like when things catch fire and explode, which means I do not have your best interests in mind.
=3 features Ray constantly telling people to not try things at home. One episode actually featured him telling off people for not listening to this trope:
Recurring use by the French videomaker Experimentboy (mainly in his video descriptions, but sometimes also in the video itself). As his videos essentially consist in playing with fire, destroying this with a lanwmover, cooking dangerous things in microwave ovens, or firing improvised ammunitions (tin cans, nails, dolls, etc) with a spud gun, this is totally justified.
RD Reynolds: Somehow I doubt if you, dear reader, ever pissed your boss off royally you’d get the same “punishment.” But hey, what the hell, tomorrow I want you to go in and punch your boss right in the face. Let us know how it turns out for you. (Disclaimer: Wrestle Crap.com will not be held legally responsible for any idiotic action you may take based upon our idiotic request.)
Starting in season 2, Beavis And Butthead was prefaced with a voiceover pointing out that flesh and blood human beings aren't likely to survive some of the imbecilic stunts that the cartoon characters pull off. "Some of the things they do could cause a person to get hurt, expelled, arrested — possibly deported." Season 1 also had a disclaimer, but it was more a case of, "We didn't come up with them, but they're Actually Pretty Funny."
"If you're not a cartoon character, swallowing a rubber full of drugs will probably kill you."
On an episode of Drawn Together, Captain Hero says "No one ever dies, watch!" before cutting his head off with a sword, and walking back onscreen. He then states "Now you try!"
Parodied in the Futurama where Bender becomes famous, then infamous, for children imitating his televised behavior. According to the DVD commentary, the network forced them to include the disclaimer, no matter how obvious the joke seemed. But since it fits into the in-verse television screen, it still works.
Bender: Try this, kids at home! (lights self on fire)
Disclaimer: Don't try this, kids at home.
Parodied again, in the same episode. The kids decide to mimic Bender's actions, and find that drinking and smoking only makes them puke. So they decide to steal instead. One of the kids mentions TV gave them the idea, summoning the disclaimer that Futurama (with a voiceover from Bender no less) does not condone robbery.
Bender: You're watching Futurama, the show that does not condone the cool crime of robbery.
In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Joker's Wild", the Joker escapes from Arhkam with a rather dangerous-looking stunt: tying a rock around a rope made from bedsheets, using it as a grapple to snag a truck passing by the asylum, and using it to pull himself over the fence. He laughs "Don't try this at home, kiddies!" before he pulls it off.
Every episode of Total Drama begins with Chris informing us that "This episode of TDI contains scenes of extreme stunts performed by animated teens. Do not try any of what you see here at home. Seriously, you could get really messed up." The latest version has him going out of his way to stress the part about "Animated Teens"; as he says the words 'animated teens' very slowly, the letters A-N-I-M-A-T-E-D T-E-E-N-S are themselves animated to emphasize how stupid it would be to do what he forces his victims to do.
This is true for the original, but not in the American version. Considering the cut broadcast in America is frequently bowdlerised, that's rather surprising.
Supposedly part of an aborted plan to give Jake Long's dragon form helmet was based on the prospect of children imitating it. Yeah, children turning into a dragon and flying without a helmet, makes perfect sense.
You give children's intelligence too much credit, unfortunately.
Sometimes in Animaniacs before they were about to viciously attack an enemy or do a dangerous stunt, Yakko would tell the audience "Kids don't try this at home."
An episode entitled "Lemon Aid" had this. Long story short, Jon, Garfield and Odie were in Jon's car, chasing another out-of-control car down a pier. Garfield leans out the window holding a harness attached to a rope, as he is about to save the man in the other car, and says to the camera, "Kids, don't try this at home. We're professionals, and also we're cartoon characters." It was a really long pier.
In another episode, Garfield leads a pursuing dog into a box for sawing someone in half. Shortly after he starts sawing the box, he pauses to tell viewers, "Don't try this at home."
This is literally the last verse of a song in the U.S. Acres cartoon "Secrets of the Animated Cartoon".
Inverted and played with in an episode of Gumby called "Lawn Party", when he and Pokey were watching ''animated people. When Gumby imitates the lawn mowing sequence himself, he wrecks the yard, and a portion of the house!
Pokey: We've been FRAMED! Never trust animated people!
And in another short, after in an attempt to show how useful a vice is for randomly crushing things, Max detonates a sea mine.
On second thoughts, don't try this at home. Leave it to the professional boneheads.
In fact, he crushes a sea mine specifically labelled "Do not crush in Dad's vice".
The Simpsons has Homer lecture Bart after taking him to see a UFC Expy, telling him "Don't try this at home. Try it at school, somewhere where we can sue if you get hurt - and not just the school, but the county, the state, and that jackass Joe Biden!"
In the first episode of Johnny Test, Johnny tries to fly using cardboard wings from atop a ladder. Dukey addresses the camera:
Dukey: "Kids, don't try this at home."
An episode of I Am Weasel featured the creation of onion rings by putting onion rings all over someone's face and then sticking said face in a vat of boiling oil. The creator acknowledges that the man about to undergo this is "a professional boiling-oil stuntman" and adds that you really, really don't want to try doing this at home.
In an episode of Jackie Chan Adventures, Jackie and Jade swap bodies, allowing Jade to finally do all the things she's been warned never to do every episode beforehand. Jackie as Jade, then dropkicks some Shadowkhan, runs up a wall to knock out another two, and immediately warns Jade never 'to try that at home'.
Spoken several times in Tom And Jerry Kids, usually by a human character, just before Tom was about to do something dangerous. One of them involved him splitting in two, and going around a tree from both sides.
Episode 4 of Ultimate Spider-Man begins with Spidey riding the Spider-Cycle in a subway tunnel. He looks at the audience, in the way he often does on the show, and says, "No, I'm not allowed to do this. And neither are you."
In Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation, Elmyra sneaks out of her parents' car as they're driving through a safari to get herself a kitty ("Or, to be more precise, a cheetah!") just as a voice blares from the bullhorn outside, "And may I repeat so that Warner Bros won't get sued if anyone really does this: DO NOT GET OUT OF THE CAR!"
The real-life Trope Namer was the late motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel, who on his numerous televised death-defying feats in the 1970s included the same disclaimer: "Kids, don't try this at home."
Some humorous variants of this are "Don't try this at home. Try it on the hospital steps." and "Don't try this at home. Go to a friend's house. The latter appears in The Reduced Shakespeare Radio Show.
Rudy Coby got an audience member — a middle-aged woman — onstage as part of one trick, and had her give the warning: "Kids, don't try this at home."
Dane Cook joked about turning the nozzle for a glass cleaner halfway between on/off and to not try it at home, but knew someone in the audience would do it when they got home anyway.
More specifically that doing that would either do nothing or release a ghost.
Dane Cook as the ghost: "Mwhahaha, he told you not to! I am Windextor! I will clean your soul!"
At one of his concerts, Meat Loaf noticed some young children in the audience. He told them "Kids, don't talk like I do when you get home." (Meat Loaf tends to use swear words on stage.) And adds "Wait 'till you get to school!"
One psychology textbook talks about neurosurgeons a half century ago discovering that stimulating different areas on the exposed motor cortex caused different parts of the body to respond. In parentheses, the book adds, "Kids, don't try this without parental supervision."
In an interesting subversion, scientist Theodore Gray's rather awesome book 'Mad Science: Experiments you can do at home...but probably shouldn't' contains fifty-odd experiments that go from making your own 1-volt batteries, casting zinc, anodising titanium and making copper penny foils, to an experiment with 30 pounds of mercury and making your own salt using chlorine and sodium!! In the front of the book Gray talks about how 'don't try this at home' is stifling the inquisitive natures required for tomorrow's chemists. Instead, he says that if you promise to protect your hands and eyes (especially eyes; he has nightmares about the mother of a child blinded doing his experiments telling him off) and use common sense, he will tell you what the real dangers are for each gnarly experiment. To this end, some of the actually doable experiments which have an element of danger are lacking somewhat in the instructions, meaning one will need a basic knowledge of the chemistry behind the experiment before it will work.
Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities illustrates parity by describing a con-trick, requiring "three cups and one mug". Stewart adds "Do not try this at home or anywhere else ... or if you do, keep me out of it."
A live stage show at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, on Horror Movie Make-Up, warns children not to try this at home. "That's right. Try it at a friend's house."
On the old alt.sex.bondage newsgroup, accounts of mind-bogglingly extreme S&M sessions would end with disclaimers such as "—- are highly trained stunt perverts. Don't try these tricks at home."