main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Series: Fear Factor
"The stunts you are about to see were all designed and supervised by trained professionals. They are extremely dangerous and should not be attempted by anyone, anywhere, anytime."
Joe Rogan at the beginning of each episode.

Stunt Game Show / Reality Show hybrid that featured contestants attempting to outperform each other in various stunts to win $50,000 cash. Each show usually featured at least one stunt involving heights, one involving coming face-to-face with or consuming something revolting, and one involving a Hollywood action movie-type feat. Failure to complete a stunt, being too scared to attempt it, or placing too low resulted in elimination.

The show usually pitted six individual contestants (three men and three women) against each other, but occasionally featured couples or teams competing. Also, special tournaments were held in which players could win much more than just $50,000.

A 2011 Revival aired briefly on NBC, still on Monday nights, still with Joe Rogan hosting.

Not to be confused with Fear Factory, an industrial metal band.

Game Show Tropes in use:

This show contains examples of:

  • Catch Phrase: "Evidently fear is not a factor for you."
  • Celebrity Edition: All too often.
  • Covered in Gunge: Some of the gross stunts.
  • Creepy Cockroach: Madagascar hissing cockroaches are a common target of an Eat That stunt.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: One time, while Joe Rogan was explaining a stunt's rules, he got tongue-tied, as one of the female contestants began changing into her swimsuit.
  • Don't Try This at Home: But that goes without saying, now doesn't it?
    • Inverted in Season 6, when they literally tried things at home... by having Capital One sponsor an Audience Game where Rogan visited a family at their home, challenging them to play a stunt to win up to $10,000
  • Driving Into A Truck: One of the stunt challenges required the participants to drive a car up the ramp of a moving truck as the last part of the challenge. Inside the truck was a ramp that would flip the car and send it flying out the side of the truck for a spectacular movie-style ending.
  • Eat That: The Trope Codifier.
  • Electric Torture: Done several times, most notably with electrically charged exercise bicyles... and a Tesla coil.
  • Expy: A show from Down Under called Who Dares Wins, imported to the United States by the Game Show Network at the height of Fear Factors popularity. Message boards quickly dubbed it Who Cares Who Wins?.
  • Fanservice: Pretty much every single female contestant from Season 2 onward.
    • Not just women. Later in its run, save for specialty episodes like Family Editions, everyone seemed to have to be at minimum 'good-looking'.
  • Foreign Queasine: Many of the "gross stunt" food items.
  • Gas Chamber: One of the stunts was having to endure a sealed room that filled with CS gas longer than anyone else.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Oh, did they. It took the chugging of donkey semen and urine for NBC to refuse to air an episode.
  • Grossout Show: One episode in particular featured all "gross stunts".
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: Liberally. You always got a good portion of close-up shots of whatever the contestant would be eating or "wearing".
  • I'm Not Here to Make Friends: This Is A Competition.
  • Non-Gameplay Elimination: If you were too afraid to complete a stunt.
  • Primal Fear: Exploited thoroughly.
  • Reluctant Fanservice Girl: One stunt involved being dragged across a lake by a helicopter, and contestants had to hold on to their rope as long as possible. All three female contestants lost their bikini bottoms while being dragged. The first two were a bit embarrassed by it. The third one, however, didn't seem to mind.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Especially in the car stunts.
  • Traumatic Haircut: One episode gratuitously featured a challenge involving contestants having one of these randomly chosen for each of them, ranging from a complete head shave to "the patch". Previews for future episodes include another woman being shaven bald.
    • Bald of Awesome: Once she got over her fear, the woman in question got the shave and actually looked quite good, rather like what happened when this was done on The Amazing Race. She and her partner went on to win the whole thing.
  • Viva Las Vegas: Several special episodes were filmed in downtown Las Vegas, featuring stunts at its various locales and the winner wagering their winnings at a Blackjack table.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: The "Fear Factor Chuck Bucket", whose use almost always resulted in elim.... err, forfeiture of the "gross stunt prize".

"And evidently, fear was not a factor for you."
FantasyGame ShowFETCH! with Ruff Ruffman

alternative title(s): Fear Factor
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy