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Series: How It's Made
Hailing from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, How It's Made (Comment c'est fait in French) is a Science Show (well, a Technology Show, but we don't have that trope yet) that shows how various products are made, using video shot in actual factories and workshops; a narrator describes what's happening on screen. The show is produced in a way that allows easy redubbing for export — factory employees do not speak on camera, and no reading skills are required. The show has been running since 2001, and so far has featured hundreds of different products, from sporting goods to food to vehicles.

The show is produced by MAJ Productions in association with the Science Channel (which airs it in the US) and Discovery Channel Canada. The US version is narrated by Brooks Moore; he was replaced for one season, but as of the new season (which started in fall 2008 on the Science Channel and January 2009 on the Discovery Channel) he has returned.

So far, the series has avoided making a show about itself, however they have done a promo for the show, showing how the show is made.

How It's Made provides examples of:

  • And Some Other Stuff: A harmless, non-explosive variety. The show sometimes notes that they cannot reveal certain ingredients of some food or chemical products, due to them being trade secrets.
  • Blessed Are the Cheesemakers: The cheese, Swiss cheese, and goat cheese segments.
  • Brand X: Played straight and subverted at the same time. In the narration, all products are referred to by generic names (presumably as a result of Canadian laws against product placements,) but at the same time no effort is made to hide logos and brand names on the featured products. One example is at the very beginning of the "Video Games" segment, where the boxes for video games are shown, all published by UbiSoft (Alex Ferguson's Player Manager 2001, Batman: Vengeance, Myst III: Exile, and Disney's Tarzan: Untamed).
    • Especially hilarious in an episode showing the construction of the Segway; how do you talk about a product known only by its brand name without using its brand name? Evidently, by saying "transporter" and hoping people don't get confused.
    • Some segments do blur out logos or URL's, but it's quite uncommon. On the other hand, the end credits have a "Thanks to:" credit that lists the companies involved.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Literally during a Science Channel promotion for new episodes of the show, where the entire process of the making of said promotion up to the playing of the episode on Thursday evening at 9pm Eastern back at network operations is described by Brooks Moore in the style of an episode segment.
  • Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": Though not an animal, in the "Gas tanks" section, the narrator calls propane gas tanks "barbecue tanks" instead of propane gas tanks!
    • Probably because propane tanks are most associated with propane barbecue grills, thus it's a probably name for it.
  • The Cameo: In the "Video Games" segment, the scenes are entire blink-and-you-miss-it moments, but you have to keep an eye on the video game development team of UbiSoft Montreal (namely, producer Yannis Mallat, lead camera designer Philippe Morin, creative director Patrice Desilets, animator Alex Drouin, AI programmer Richard Dumas, lead programmer Claude Langlais, art director Raphael Lacoste, lead level designer David Chateauneuf, and the rest) who inspired the development of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.
    • Also crossed with Hey, It's That Guy!: Here's another blink-and-you-miss-it moment in the voice actors scene. Notice the dark brown short-haired voice actor in the background speaking through a microphone? That voice actor is thirty to thirty-two-year-old Yuri Lowenthal, who is the voice of the Prince at the time the segment was filmed. What a rare celebrity moment.
  • Clip Show: The "Automated machines" segments, which are video montages of the various machinery seen in each season.
  • Cool Car: Occasionally segments show how car parts for race cars (or whole cars) are made. Dream Cars is basically Cool Cars: The Series.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: Or would that be "Dragons Are Dinosaurs"? In the "Mascots" segment, the guy is making and wearing a dragon mascot costume, yet the narrator calls it a "dinosaur mascot costume", even though it clearly looks like a winged dragon.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: "How It's Made" is about how things are made, though occasionally a segment is about "How It's Applied" or "How It's Acquired", such as the ones about special effects makeup and mining aluminum.
  • Follow the Leader: One of the most blatant examples is Factory Made, another show that basically follows the same premise and airs on the same channel. Food Network also had Unwrapped which details how various types of food and sweets are produced.
  • Food Porn: In episodes about making certain foods, such as this one about sushi.
  • Forging Scene: In segments about custom-made tools and weapons.
  • Gun Porn: During shows where rifles and handgun creation processes are shown.
  • Hiroshima as a Unit of Measure: In the episode showing the manufacture of steel coffins: "This requires 900 tons of pulling force — the equivalent of hoisting 27 fully loaded tractor-trailers." There have also been comparisons of things to the weight of a cat, the length of a number of football fields, and so on.
  • Hurricane of Puns: The US dub in particular loves this trope. This, for example, comes from the episode about kitchen knives:
    "Today's blades are truly a cut above the stone tools that cavemen used. Knifemaking is now a science, producing tools that really give you that edge in the kitchen".
    • That's nothing - every episode in the UK dub ends with a Hurricane of Puns about the items from the show.
    • The original Canadian dub is also riddled with puns, mostly to the same effect as the US version.
  • Product Placement: Inverted. Usually brand names will only be shown when absolutely necessary (as in packaging), and many businesses in and around Montreal and Quebec City getting unexpected publicity from the series, along with businesses in Europe (European products are seen when an American or Canadian equivalent of a product cannot be found).
  • Science Show: As mentioned, more like "Technology Show", but it fits under "science".
  • Shout-Out: In one "Video Games" segment, this one must have been a shout-out to Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time... particularly because the guys borrowed some "behind-the-scenes" making of the game in video. And did we mention that the narrator talks about modern video games instead of old ones?
    • In the segment about veggie burgers, the narrator mentions that the factory wrap and packed about over 9000 veggie burger patties each day.
  • Slow Motion: Typically industrial work machines are dizzyingly fast, and it's really hard to understand what exactly they're doing - all you see is a blur. The show goes to great pains to slow this down so the viewer can see every step: either the machine is slowed down or the video is overcranked. Occasionally the slowed-down machines have jerky movements hinting they're being moved by hand, as they probably can't go that slowly by themselves. When they're done explaining they usually show you how the machine looks when it's not slowed down.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: In one "Chicken Hatchery" segment, some happy/creepy music plays while the baby chicks hatch and get tossed around in a conveyor belt and some machines! That's just so squicky!
  • Spin-Off: The show has amassed so many episodes that they can reconfigure segments to cover one theme such as "Chores", "Boats", "Roadwork" and "Baseball", and call it How It's Made: Remix.
  • Spiritual Successor: To the "Picture Picture" segments from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.
  • Take Our Word for It: With certain products, usually food, steps had to be skipped because the company's wouldn't let them film those parts, or for obvious things such as the most graphic parts of meat processing, would not make for good viewing for the queasy.
  • Technology Porn: The episodes dealing with factory production (most of them, really) show exquisite details of all sorts of machinery, both computer-operated and not. They often slow down the machine (or the video) in order to show you precisely how things work.

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Horrible HistoriesEdutainment ShowHumf

alternative title(s): How Its Made; ptitlemez6rli 3
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