"Beavis and Butt-Head are not role models. They're not even human. They're cartoons. Some of the things they do would cause a real person to get hurt, expelled, arrested, and possibly deported. To put it another way: Don't Try This at Home."
—The original preshow content disclaimer(s)
An early 90s animated cartoon on MTV by Mike Judge, who would go on to make King of the Hill, Office Space, Idiocracy, and The Goode Family.Its stated purpose is to skewer the then-public stereotype of their viewing audience as lazy and unintelligent teenage slackers who did nothing but watch videos all day and were easily amused by bodily functions and dirty jokes.The titular characters were a pair of not-too-bright - which in the case of B&B is quite possibly an overstatement of their intelligence - heavy metal music fans who literally did do practically nothing but watch real-life music videos on their TV and make snide Mystery Science Theater 3000-esque comments about things in the videos that annoyed or amused them.Inserted for filler between video screenings, the boys would wander around their hometown of Highland, Texas, generally annoying those they met and committing acts of petty vandalism. As the show went on, these two pieces slowly changed importance, with the video-watching becoming secondary to the brainless antics of the heroes.The most common targets of the boys' pranks were their elderly neighbor Tom Anderson, their hapless school classmate Stuart Stevenson, and most of the faculty of their high school. The character who took the worst abuse was Principal McVicker, who was driven to drink, medication, and in the finale, an apparently fatal heart attack.The dimwitted duo were, in turn, foiled by the sarcastic Daria Morgendorffer, who occasionally tricked them into publicly embarrassing themselves, and local hot-rodder/gangleader Todd, whom they admired (as the closest thing to a father they ever had) but who invariably ended up maiming them.It horrified the Moral Guardians from the get-go, and a few of its more controversial aspects had to be dropped — notably Beavis' pyromania, after they reportedly inspired a viewing child to set a fire in his house that killed him and his siblings. In one case in real life which apparently was inspired by the show's antics, a boy killed his brother by giving him a ride in a commercial dryer, the way one of the characters did to the other, which made the show rein in some of its more outrageous acts of stupidity. (Note that the exact same thing was portrayed in an episode of the TV show Law & Order and nobody tried to copy it from that show; this might also say something about the intelligence level and maturity of B&B's audience.)Also spurring objections were the boys' constant use of fireworks to blow things up, along with their tendency to amuse themselves with physical violence and animal cruelty, most notably the infamous pilot episode "Frog Baseball".A total of 199 episodes were produced, as well as the 1996 feature-length film Beavis And Butthead Do America, several computer games, comic books, and tons of associated merchandise. Additionally, supporting character Daria successfully spun off into her own show.A later Mike Judge creation, King of the Hill, would retool Tom Anderson into the lead character of Hank Hill.DVD and VHS releases of the series have left out most of the Music Video segments due to rights issues, losing a lot of the series' best moments.In late 2011, the show returned to MTV; while the format had been slightly tweaked — the snark segments now covered both music videos and MTV original shows such as Jersey Shore and True Life, presumably to prevent the sort of rights issues that surround the original series' snark segments — the show remained the same otherwise.MTV has allegedly tried to cancel the show's second run, but there is a campaign going around called "Save Beavis and Butt-Head 2013". A campaign that helps and specialises in supporting the show and trying to get the show Un-Cancelled again, but this time on Comedy Central.
"Tropes are cool, huh-huh":
Abusive Parents: Beavis' mother tried leaving him behind at an IKEA so she could go to Vegas with a gang of bikers.
Daria is happy in this universe, which suggests in the prime universe that Butt-Head caused her to have the snarky personality that Glenn Eichler and Suzie Lewis Lynn would refine on her much-beloved spin-off series.
Ambiguous Disorder: There are occasionally hints that Beavis might have genuine mental problems in additional to being really stupid. For example, in "Most Wanted" he says that he hears voices and has pyromania (which was toned down when the show came under fire for influencing dangerous activity, but brought back when the show was revived in 2011).
At one point while taking a lie-detector test the one thing that came up as 'True' was his statement that 'I killed a bunch of people one time'.
Of course, with B&B, you could actually apply the literal name of this trope to them, since they DID set Mr. Anderson's bushes on fire in "Home Improvement" and Beavis said, "I killed a bunch of people once." in "Lie Detector." Heck, jaywalking was probably one of the only dubious things they didn't do during the series.
Art Evolution: The animation was pretty crude in the earlier episodes, but by mid season 2 it got better.
Ass Shove: Happens to Stewart's dad in "Prank Call".
Asshole Victim: While several of the people who get caught up in the duo's mayhem don't really deserve it, quite a few do, such as Rush Limbaugh expy Gus Baker, who has his grassroots presidential campaign ruined by the duo's antics on his TV show; Mr. Manners/Mr. Candy, who gets fired twice because of his abusive behavior; and Coach Buzzcut, whenever Beavis and Butthead manage to get back at him.
Audio Erotica: Deconstructed and parodied in the episode "1-900-BEAVIS" where the two are understandably aroused by the silky voice of a woman...shown to be that fat and repulsive chain-smoking trailer resident seen in some episodes.
Ax Crazy: The Crazy Farmer / Janitor. Mainly in the episode "Cow Tipping".
Balls of Steel: In the episode "Buff 'N Stuff", Coach Buzzcut tells Butt-Head to "Kick me in the Jimmy". The only reaction to Butt-Head doing so (twice) is his face turning red while he goes "YYYESSS!"
Banned Episode: The third-season opener "Comedians" featured Beavis trying to juggle flaming newspapers and burning down a comedy club. Because it aired only a month before the Ohio mobile home fire that Beavis and Butt-Head were blamed for, this episode was swiftly pulled out of rotation and later heavily censored.
Other Beavis and Butt-Head episodes were banned (some of which did return from being banned with content cuts made) for instances of Beavis saying "Fire! Fire!" or flicking a lighter ("Stewart's House", "Kidnapped"), animal cruelty ("Frog Baseball", "Washing the Dog"), inhalant and drug abuse ("Home Improvement", "Way Down Mexico Way") or anything that might be considered poor taste in the aftermath of Columbine and September 11th ("Heroes", "Incognito"). Many of these episodes have aired on Viacom-owned networks overseas unedited.
Thanks to the revival, you can now add "Holy Cornholio" to the list.
Breather Episode: The episode "A Great Day" shows nothing but good things happening to Beavis and Butt-Head and ends with them loaning money to Todd, who doesn't beat them afterward, but instead THANKS them! This is pretty much the highpoint of Beavis and Butt-Head's lives, unless the ending to "Virtual Stupidity" is canon.
Their lives' high point would be when they sneaked into a nudist colony and stood there looking at naked people all day - a Flash Forward to decrepit old age has them stating that very thing.
Not if you look at "Spill" from the revival. It's the only time so far that they've ever been hugged by a woman!
Broke The Rating Scale: Some videos were so bad that Beavis and Butt-Head's only commentary against it was to stare at the TV in shock and change the channel.
Burger Fool: The boys inexplicably had jobs, if at the local burger joint.
They're usually the only ones working during their shifts, meaning Burger World is probably so understaffed their boss has no choice but to keep them employed.
Butt Monkey: Stewart, and by extension, his parents. This show is arguably the Trope Namer as well, since it was among the many insults the boys traded with each other.
Mr. Anderson is a pretty extreme example of this as well, especially in the movie. Also, Mr. Van Driessen, Principal McVicker, and the title characters.
Call Back: Beavis' infamous "We're never gonna score!" speech from The Movie is actually a reworked version of a similar rant he did in the episode "Teen Talk".
In 2011's "Snitchers", a lawyer seeking to discredit B&B's testimony recalls "Frog Baseball" and how they got failed all the way back to kindergarten in "Held Back".
Also in the episode "A Great Day" when the boys are laughing at two dogs humping on Tom Anderson's lawn. Butt-Head says to Beavis, "I think that's our dog, remember?" in reference to the one they adopted in the episode "Bad Dog".
Beavis' used to be "Fire! Fire! Fire!" until the trailer incident. Afterwards he made do with anything the sounded similar. "Water! Water! Water!"
Pretty much their entire vocabulary is limited to catch phrases. Take a sip for every time Butt-Head says "Whoa," "Oh yeah," "Dumbass," "Uh, no," "Come to Butt-Head," "Uh...OK," or "This sucks," and you'll be on the floor in a few minutes.
Caught with Your Pants Down: In Beavis and Butt-head Do America, Beavis (in his Cornholio persona) sees Mr. Anderson's camper, pulls out a picture of the woman he was sent to "do" and then goes into the camper. Later, Mr. Anderson is curious to find out why his camper is rocking, and investigates. Hilarity Ensues.
Centipede's Dilemma: In the "Trouble Urinating" episode, the boys become unable to urinate after thinking too hard about how they actually do it.
Chaotic Stupid: All they care about is food, girls, heavy metal, and whatever captures their interest at the moment, most notably, any sort of carnage, to which effect they were too amused by the wreckage of an airplane crash to help the victims. They're too lazy and stupid to care about anything else, like work or their education. Sometimes their actions may cause harm to someone unintentionally. This is very clear in the movie, as there is a terrorist threat to Washington D.C. involving a biological weapon, all they understand about it is that they can "score with a chick".
Chick Magnet: Not in the series itself, but in "Letters to Santa Butt-Head", several women write/vocalize their desire to have Beavis as a Christmas present, which naturally just pisses Butt-Head off.
Cluster F-Bomb: While not with that specific word, a lot of swearing in rapid succession appears in the duo's review of the song "The Late Mistake" by the Comateens.
Beavis [in time to the music]: Dammit, dammit, son of a bitch. Dammit, dammit, son of a bitch.
Butt-head: If those were the words, it'd be cool.
Beavis: You know, I was thinking of writing a song called, "Dammit, Son of a Bitch." Kinda goes like that, it's like, "Dammit, dammit, son of a bitch. Dammit, dammit, son of a bitch. Son of a BIIIIITCH, sonofaBITCHsonofaBIIIIIIITCH. Dammit, dammit, dammit."
Beavis: Wait, you can get arrested for being an idiot?
Butt-Head: Yeah... You might want to lay low for a while, Beavis.
Content Warnings: Even some within episodes, like in "Stewart's House" and "Way Down Mexico Way," where it had warnings like, "If you're not a cartoon character, swallowing a rubber full of drugs will kill you," or in the case of the episode where they paint Tom Anderson's house — "Sniffing paint thinner is very dangerous. Just look at what it did to Beavis and Butt-head." Later episodes had the warning that serves as the page quote (only it went like this):
"Beavis and Butt-Head are not role models. They're not even human; they're cartoons. Some of the things they do would cause a person to get hurt, expelled, arrested — possibly deported. To put it another way: Don't Try This at Home."
The first warning was:
"Beavis and Butt-Head are not real. They are stupid cartoon people completely made up by this Texas guy whom we hardly even know. Beavis and Butt-Head are dumb, crude, thoughtless, ugly, sexist, self-destructive fools. But for some reason, these little weinerheads make us laugh."
Continuity Nod: Given the type of show this is, there's not a whole lot of continuity. There are occasional exceptions. The most memorable is Mr. Manners/Candy. When he first shows up, Beavis and Butt-head annoy him to the point that he attacks them, causing him to get into a fight with Mr. Van Driessen. When he shows up again he initially doesn't seem to remember them, until they piss him off again and he mentions that it took him six months to find another job. Unfortunately for him, this time he ends up picking a fight with Coach Buzzcut. It ends much worse for him.
In "Late Night with Butt-Head," Mr. Van Driessen says, "Great idea showing the decay of a rose, Cassandra." In "Animation Sucks," we see that Cassandra has drawn exactly that.
The two's first meeting with Todd starts with him running over their bikes in the Maxi-Mart parking lot, and then harassing them for it. In a much later episode he does the same thing, and reminds them that he told them not to leave their bikes lying around.
Their latest meeting with Todd results in them having to testify against him in court. Todd's attorney then attempts to discredit them based on their stupidity, referencing "Frog Baseball" and "Held Back".
During the "Ghosts 'n' Stuff" video in "Drones":
Beavis: I know Daria killed herself, I remember that.
Cool Teacher: Mr. Van Driessen defies the principal for his students' sake, protects them with Berserk Button ferocity and happily works with them during his off-hours to encourage their interests. Most of the class seems to begrudgingly respect him for it, but his efforts are completely wasted on Beavis and Butt-head.
Cozy Catastrophe: This trope comes into play in one of the revival episodes, when the duo mistake an evacuation for the apocalypse. Rather than being horrified at the idea of being the last two people on Earth, Beavis and Butt-head seize the opportunity to loot the town and do whatever they want.
Crapsack World: One of the more subtle jokes of the show is how, as stupid and irresponsible as Beavis and Butt-head are, the adults around them are even more irresponsible in dealing with them. Highland Texas itself appears to be a filthy, crime-ridden town populated mostly by assholes, idiots, and complete pushovers, even if one ignores the presence of the duo.
Much of the show's humor revolves around this, including a Funny Moment in The Movie when Tom Anderson quite literally catches Beavis (in Cornholio mode) with his pants down in his camper.
Also, the Jackyl song "Mental Masturbation" on the 1993 compilation album The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience.
Darker and Edgier: The Movie. While the film still has a comedic beats, the plot is much more serious than any other episode of the series. A criminal who confuses Beavis and Butthead for the couple who had hired thugs to kill his girlfriend Dallas. Dallas also hides Beavis pants an extremely dangerous biological weapon. The CIA learns this and starts to go after the duo. Also, do not forget that in many cases, Beavis and Butthead were about to die. In addition, a couple of scenes almost sexual.
The Dog Bites Back: For the first few seasons, Butt-Head was incredibly abusive to Beavis, and any injuries that came his way were either accidental or from a third-party. This includes (repeatedly) slapping Beavis during videos. At one point Beavis finally snapped after a rapid series of such incidents, and took advantage of how Butt-Head was sitting. From then on, there was about a 1-in-3 chance of violent reprisal from Beavis.
Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud: In "Tornado", Beavis and Butt-Head are sucked into a tornado and thrown back onto the ground unhurt, only to be crushed by falling objects.
Drill Sergeant Nasty: Mr. Buzzcut, although he's nowhere near as abrasive to students who aren't pushing his buttons.
He still threatens to "physically kill" the entire class if they don't shut up.
Drives Like Crazy: Beavis, when he gets behind the wheel during a Drivers-Ed class. He actually makes unflappable Mr. Buzzcut scream in terror as they hurtle into something.
Dude Looks Like a Lady: One Running Gag has Beavis and Butt-head constantly refer to long-haired men in music videos as "chicks". Sometimes they go as far as hitting on them.
Dumbass Has a Point: Some of their comments on the music videos they watch, as well as on life in general, actually make a lot of sense, in a weird way.
Early Installment Weirdness: The earlier episodes of Beavis and Butt-Head are a completely different show from the later episodes most viewers are familiar with. Rather than focusing on the consequences of the duo's stupidity in the usual mundane style of Mike Judge, the antics of the two are told in a wackier, more surreal tone, with Refuge in Audacity being more commonplace. In addition, the animation's even cruder than it already was in the later seasons, Butt-head's voice is different, and there are stronger indications of Totally Radical (i.e. metal guitar riffs).
Even Evil Has Standards: Beavis and Butthead can both be a sadistic guys if they see someone being beaten, but they consider repulsive see a explicity video of a woman giving birth. Though this is obviously logical in nature, this has been one of the few times where the duo is surprised for things they consider "unpleasant".
Exiled from Continuity: Judge is not allowed to use Daria anymore since the show was resurrected, as MTV has stated that they want to keep the character freed up so as to possibly revive her show down the line.
During a music video, it is explained that she moved, as per the canon of Daria.
Fake-Out Fade-Out: Beavis and Butt-Head's reaction to this occurring twice in the Godley & Creme music video "Cry" is priceless.
Fantastic Racism: In "Animation Sucks", Mr. Van Driessen shows the class an animated film he created about green and purple characters who didn't like each other because they were different colors.
Far Side Island: In "Beavis and Butt-Head's Island", the two get stranded on an island in a fountain at the mall. They remain there for days, complete with tattered clothes.
Fire Breathing Diner: Beavis and Butt-Head eat tacos with "Mexican Death Sauce" (which a taco stand owner put in the duo's order after they fed hot sauce to his dog) in "Way Down Mexico Way".
555: According to "Screamers", Stuart's phone number is the typical set of numbers followed by 8989.
Foot Focus: Although there isn't really any in the show itself, there was one music video by The Go Gos on the show that had some close-ups of the girls' bare feet, causing Beavis to admit that he likes women with nice feet. Butt-Head, however, didn't seem very interested.
Franchise Zombie: Subjective from a Word Of God standpoint; Judge has pretty much stated that the last couple of seasons before the comeback were forced upon him by MTV, who wanted to keep the cash-cow show going. Not that it kept the episodes from still being pretty damn funny in their own right.
Frivolous Lawsuit: Joe Adler. Though Beavis and Butt-Head are the ones who hire him. Twice.
Funny Background Event: In the 2011 episode "The Spill", a volunteer expresses her concerns about whether or not she is able to truly help young chicks that have been victimized by oil spills. As she talks, Beavis and Butt-Head are beating the crap out of each other in the background over one of the oil-covered birds under the belief that cleaning them will get them a chance to score with said volunteer. It's doubly funny in that the volunteer's speech about the pitiful condition of the oil-covered birds could just as easily apply to Beavis and Butt-Head.
Genius Ditz: Both Beavis and Butt-Head are incredibly stupid most of the time, but when they're commenting on music videos (and reality TV shows in the newer episodes) they can be surprisingly witty and clever with their comments.
To elaborate, this was after Beavis' catchphrase was Bowdlerised (to "fryer, fryer") because of the episode of actual pyromania it was falsely accused of in Real Life.
In their riff of Mike Watt's "Piss Bottle Man", Beavis briefly suggests that he should change his name to crude prank call name "Mike Hunt" (say it out loud). Though this is subverted when Butt-Head questions why that's even funny to which Beavis has no idea.
The Ghost: It is implied that the duo live with their mothers who are said to be prostitutes. They sometimes talk about them and call to them (mostly in the music video segments) but we never see them.
Helium Speech: In one episode, Beavis and Butt-Head buy balloons and try this on themselves. Upon hearing each other speak in high-pitched voices, the duo come to the conclusion that "WE'RE NEUTEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRED!!!"
Heterosexual Life Partners: Beavis and Butt-Head each seem to be the other's only real friend. Stewart would hang out with them, but they can't stand him.
Horrible Judge of Character: The titular characters pretty much latch onto all the worst people. Similarly, some people (especially in the movie) can't see the bad in them.
Human Mail: The pair attempts to mail themselves in one episode.
Also done in a video Beavis and Butt-Head watched: "If I Only Had a Brain" by MC 900 Foot Jesus.
The Hyena: Beavis and Butt-Head are constantly laughing. The only time they stop is if they're annoyed or more confused than usual.
Or when they're seriously threatened, like in "No Laughing".
Or when something has made them cry, like in "Door To Door".
Hypocritical Humor: In the titlar student film in "Generation in Crisis", Beavis asks if he could say "nads". The filmmaker, Ken Alder, tells him, "There's no censorship of any kind, this is an independant documentary film... with a generous grant from the ESCO Corporation." Beavis and Butt-head then discuss censorship, and Beavis says something that gets censored anyway, complete with a Censor Box over his mouth.
Butt-Head is sometimes guilty of hypocrisy, such as when he makes fun of Beavis for being a virgin and for having a slut as a mom.
Idea Bulb: Rather flickering ones though. Before the censors intervened, matches being struck, or a hand attempting to light a lighter were both used.
Imagine Spot: Generally, they would fantasize about getting a bunch of chicks. In "The Future of Beavis and Butt-Head", the two imagine some careers, such as running a pornographic video store, working as a wrecking ball operator and destroying the school (with Principal McVicker protesting) and joining the military.
Innocent Innuendo: Inverted. Beavis and Butt-Head give Mr. Van Driessen a list of names for a petition he asked each student to take around the neighborhood. It's all double entendre joke names that go right over the teacher's head.
Karma Houdini: Despite their stupid destructive antics at School, Work, Mr. Anderson's yard, and everywhere else, Beavis and Butt-Head ACTUALLY get away with it most of the time. And when they do get caught and penalized for it, they won't learn anything. (Huh huh huh huh. "Penal".) Retroactively, it makes many of the times they get beaten up in different episodes seem like Laser-Guided Karma.
Whenever the thieves Russ and Harlan commit some art of robbery (i.e. the time they robbed the Stevenson house, breaking into Beavis and Butt-head's house and steal their TV set in the feature film, not to mention that they were also meant to be hired by Muddy to kill Dallas, and looting a office in the 2011 revival), they never get caught nor receive any comeuppance.
Todd apparently takes advantage of and beat up Beavis and Butt-head and he never receives some sort of comeuppance for it and they would get in trouble with the law in his place... unless you count what happens to Todd in "Virtual Stupidity" as canon.
Coach Buzzcut and the crazy farmer from the episode "Cow Tipping", also qualifies.
Kavorka Man: Yeah, they wish. Although in "Letters to Santa Butt-Head", several (presumably more attractive) women write/vocalize an attraction to Beavis and want him for Christmas (which leads to Butt-Head questioning why there are "so many dumb chicks"). It gets better when a particularly sultry woman voices that she wants both of them for Christmas, leaving the two in shock.
Kick the Dog: Coach Buzzcut in "Young, Gifted & Crude", where he flat-out ordered his studends to beat up a new student for no reason.
Butthead has several of these moments, but deserves special mention in "Copy Machine", where he tells Beavis to copy his butt (after Buzzcut had told him not to). This leads to Beavis getting trapped, which leads him to be severely wounded. Just to make it worse, after Beavis is freed take a wild guess at what Butthead suggests he do next...
Lighter and Softer: Than other adult animated series, like South Park or Family Guy. The show itself is full of jokes about bodily functions, sex and lots of swearing, but it still looks light compared to other adult sitcoms.
MacGuffin: The stolen TV, in the movie. Technically, the whole plot is about them trying to find a new one (or get the money to buy a new one) but that becomes irrelevant to the story pretty quickly. Then they find it thirty seconds before the end.
Missing Episode: Many. Possibly the rarest is the third-season opener "Comedians", since it features Beavis juggling flaming newspapers and burning down a comedy club. It aired a month before the infamous mobile home fire the show was blamed for.
"Comedians" was re-aired a few times in a dramatically edited version that has the fire just happen without Beavis' intervention. Far less common were the very early episodes like "Bedpans and Broomsticks" and especially the infamous "Frog Baseball".
So many examples of this trope exist that Mike Judge admits that the master tapes of many of the early episodes probably no longer exist due to the edits.
Mock Cousteau: Heard in the beginning of "Couch Fishing" when they're flipping channels.
Moral Guardians: In-Universe example: Stewart's mother is revealed to be one in the episode where Stewart gets a satellite dish, much to Beavis and Butt-head's frustration.
And even with Sugar and Caffeine. Do the words, "I AM CORNHOLIO!!!" mean anything to you?
My Name Is Not Durwood: After an American Senator referred to our heroes as "Beaver and Buffcoat" (see Fan Nickname on the Trivia tab), the show introduced a Running Gag in which Beavis and/or Butt-Head's names were mispronounced by people who didn't know them well. They were referred to as everything from "Beatrice and Butt-Brain" to "Beavis and Nut-Head" to "Travis And Bernard".
Mythology Gag: A weird one. The second episode has a monster truck run over a row of port-a-potties. We're then introduced to Straculious, the "Roman god of feces" who proceeds to drop a load of crap on the stadium. Cut to 2005 where Beavis and Butt-head are hosting the MTV music awards. One clip has Butt-head dressed up as Poseidon, and Beavis clearly dressed up as a sea horse. Despite this, Butt-head tells him that he's supposed to be Straculious, the "Roman god of feces and manure".
Better yet, in Mr. Van Driessen's very first appearance on the show, he actually gets killed by a monster truck. And then after that, he's still alive and well throughout the rest of the series.
Never Learned To Read: Whenever Beavis and Butt-Head try to read, they typically mispronounce it. When they saw a sign that read "HORSE FARM: TRESSPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED", they thought it meant "whores and prostitutes."
Never Live It Down (In-Universe): When he thinks he saw Beavis crying over a television show (He actually sniffed an onion) Butt-Head rides him about it. For a long time. Until the day he falls over dead in an old folks home.
Never My Fault: Whenever they both screw up something, Butt-Head always blames it on Beavis, who, being the stupidest of the two, apologizes.
Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Averted in the final episode when everybody thought Beavis and Butt-head were dead (they were not). The only people to express remorse were Mr. Van Driessen and Stuart, while others were either glad or just indifferent.
When they are watching videos, pretty much ANYTHING they talk about doing or happening to them or to people they know, meaning it takes place off-screen and not part of any regular plotlines, and which are generally never referenced again, would fall in this category.
No One Should Survive That: The duo are constantly doing stuff that could ordinarily kill a person (which is why the show has that warning that says that "Some of the things [Beavis and Butt-Head] do would cause a person to get hurt, expelled, arrested — possibly deported"). In one episode, Beavis and Butt-Head are swept up in a tornado, and when they are hurled out onto the ground, a phone booth falls on them with no lasting effects.
In "Vaya Con Cornholio," Beavis turns into Cornholio and wanders into an immigration office. They can't understand his nonsensical ramblings and...deport him to Mexico.
Not Quite Dead: In the final episode of the original run, Principal McVicker supposedly died from a heart attack or stroke. Now he's alive and (relatively) well.
Not So Different: A lot of the people Beavis and Butt-Head come into contact with (whether antagonistic or otherwise) tend to end up laughing the same way at some point.
Including, in the movie, the entire U.S. Congress.
When Beavis and Butt-head are getting beaten up by a group of feminists at the end of the episode "Womyn" one can be heard yelling "Kick 'em in the nads!"
Only Six Faces: Of a different sort. The recurring characters all had unique designs, but the show had a habit of reusing the same model for different characters. One guy shows up as a bank manager, a health inspector and a grade school teacher, in seperate episodes, all with different names. Harry Sachz from "Prank Call" is shot dead in two different episodes, and given a different name in the second. The serial killer "Cuyler" from "Most Wanted" later shows up as a mall security guard. In the episode where they were on trial, many of the people in the court resemble Mr. Anderson.
Opening Narration: The disclaimer quoted above, added after the show became controversial.
Out-of-Character Moment: In the episode "Hard Sell" where the duo seethe advertisement about highly paid telemarketing job, Butthead, a moronic Jerk Ass, briefly says "Think of all people we could help with that money''. They quickly laugh at this idea, so this was probably intentional.
Overly Long Gag: During one music video, Beavis and Butt-Head, tired of music videos featuring water, turn the television off, and we're left to stare at a black screen for quite some time, with the camera never cutting back to Beavis and Butt-Head at any point.
Paper-Thin Disguise: In "Incognito", when a teen at school threatens them, Beavis and Butt-Head don hats and sunglasses, rename themselves "Crevis and Bunghead", and speak in British accents. Their antagonist's reaction? "Nice try, Beaver and Buttplug."
Parental Abandonment: The boys' mothers are never seen; Butt-Head constantly insinuates that Beavis' mother is a "slut". Beavis himself seems to confirm this when he tells Butt-Head "My mom's a slut, not a whore. She doesn't charge money." The Movie reveals that their fathers are former heavy-metal roadies turned biker/drifters.
Michael Jordan: What I don't get is how they figured out my password: BALLS. How'd they know I was a pro?
Periphery Demographic (In-Universe): Many assume that the two characters only like metal videos, but sometimes other random videos will be enjoyed by them the most. They rocked out to videos by The Bee Gees and Bananarama. Butt-Head also called several New Age videos "The greatest video I've ever seen" just because they had nude models.
The duo also seem to enjoy Grunge quite a bit, despite the real life rivalry between Grunge fans and metalheads.
They enjoy rap music as well, though it does depend on who sings it. They've enjoyed singers like Snoop Dogg and Coolio, but were horrified by Vanilla Ice.
He still was, he just didn't vocalize it. In "Way Down Mexico Way" he heavily emphasizes the first syllable in "fireworks". At another point they see a music video which is slow-motion of a man casually jogging down the street while totally ablaze; while Beavis never used his former catch phrase, he apparently entered a state of nirvana and calmly and quietly threatened grievous bodily harm when Butt-Head said he was going to change the channel.
Really Gets Around: Based on comments made by the titular characters, it sounds like Beavis' mom is quite promiscuous.
Beavis: "She's not a whore, she's a slut; she doesn't charge for it."
Real Men Wear Pink: Utterly averted in Crying where Butt-head constantly mocks Bevis for crying while watching The Bachelor (the result of finding an onion in his chili dog while watching the show).
BEAVIS (after making himself all dizzy): "I think there is a problem with this video in that it is highly derivative of others within the genre. While viewed on its own merits, it does have a decent groove. However, what it has in groove, it lacks in originality. One can't help but be reminded of such bands as Pearl Jam, White Zombie, Suicidal Tendencies and other bands that bear the mantle of so-called Alternative Rock. One is even reminded of Laurie Anderson when she wore curlers. This video speaks less to the heart and more to the sphincter. In closing, I think Korn would do well to learn from-"(Butt-Head slaps him to bring him back.)"
Sadist: The Duo, Coach Buzzcut, Todd and The Crazy Old Farmer.
Sadistic Choice: During "Massage" the boys are left with two choices. Either give a massage to a disgusting old man, or get arrested for disrupting the massage guys business. They(Very reluctantly) choose the old man.
Sadist Teacher: Buzzcut, although he is still very protective of his students.
Second Person Attack: At least twice — once in the episode "Nosebleed", and again in the introduction to the 3D Jackass movie. Both times it's Butt-Head punching Beavis.
The title "Way Down Mexico Way" is a reference to the song "Hey Joe," most famously recorded by Jimi Hendrix.
Sick Episode: "Sick", in which Beavis and Butt-Head try to get prescription drugs in order to get high.
Similar Squad: Stewart has two friends who are nerdy and polite versions of Beavis and Butt-Head.
Skewed Priorities: Mr. Stevenson has his cell phone shoved in his ass. When it started ringing (Beavis & Butt-Head calling when they saw the police at Steward's house), he want someone to get it thinking it might be his work place.
Slipping a Mickey: Double subverted when the two slip a vial of "Spanish Fly" into what they think is a girl's milk, only to have her boyfriend drink it moments later.
Smoking Is Cool: Todd the badass smokes, and during the music video segments, Beavis would occasionally be seen trying to light a cigarette.
Snap Back: The Running Gag of Beavis getting poked in the eye with a pencil, or losing teeth in acts of physical violence are always undone, sometimes by the very next scene.
This is most obvious in The Movie. Tom Anderson, his wife, and his camper trailer are hit by a wall of water that would easily kill a healthy person. In their next scene, they are both fine. Beavis and Butt-Head themselves wander in the desert until they collapse from dehydration, then get driven over half the country in Muddy's trunk, then jump out of the trunk at freeway speeds. They are perfectly fine in the next scene.
Sound Effect Bleep: Used in "Scared Straight" when their class takes a field trip to prison and an inmate talks to them.
Also in "Generation in Crisis" when the filmmaker brings up censorship.
Also South Park, in that, before Cartman, B&B's voices and laughing were what teenagers loved imitating.
Spit Take: When watching a particularly bad music video, a running gag would have Beavis spit his soda out on the side of Butt-Head's face.
Beavis spit while drinking (non-alcoholic) beer.
Split Personality: Beavis' alter ego is brought to the fore when he has too much sugar and/or caffeine.
"I am Cornholio, I need TP for my bunghole"!
Spoof Aesop: The episode "Supersize Me" teaches us that "Teen obesity kicks ass".
Status Quo Is God: No matter what the characters go through, they will always be back to 100% by the next show.
Sting: Happens several times when watching the Violent Femmes video "Nightmares", whenever Butt-Head said "sucks", followed by Beavis screaming.
Stock Footage: Over the years their music video commentaries would use animation from the earlier seasons. It got kinda weird seeing the two characters go from round and colorful to disfigured and dark within a couple seconds.
Super Bowl Special: During the height of its popularity, MTV would run a special episode against the Super Bowl halftime show.
Superpowered Alter Ego: Beavis' is The Great Cornholio, who emerges when Beavis has too much caffeine and/or sugar.
Take That: To anyone who stands still long enough, but one memorable example was when Beavis and Butt-head went to a poetry reading, and Beavis ended up drinking some incredibly powerful cappuccino, triggering his Cornholio persona. The beret-wearing poetry snobs, of course, thought his insane ranting was genius. They stayed for hours listening to his "I am Cornholio, I need TP for my bunghole" glossolalia. He started to tire as the caffeine wore off, and the crowd started to leave... so of course the guy Beavis was sitting with dosed him with another almost-lethal cappuccino.
Mike Judge was told by MTV that Kip Winger had forbade the network from making fun of Winger videos, and the channel restricted the show from ever making fun of the band's videos again. In response, punching-bag Stewart wore a Winger shirt. Judge later learned that Winger didn't have a problem with the show.
With the return of the series, Mike Judge is also poking fun at YouTube Videos and other MTV shows like Jersey Shore. Their first vic- I mean choice since their return: The Situation and Snooki.
In the first video segment of the first episode of the 2011 revival (less than 5 minutes into the show!) Beavis repeatedly talks about fire, in a Take That to the Moral Guardians who censored the "fire" statements in the original show.
While watching Ministry's "NWO" video, Beavis says that it would be cool to see someone puke. They do.
BEAVIS: "Yeah, but not blood. That goes against the boundaries of good taste. Kids might see that."
But then, Beavis isn't playing with a full deck in the first place, so the sugar/caffeine just makes him even more insane than he already is.
Talking to Himself: Mike Judge does the voices of Beavis and Butt-Head, as well as a good portion of the reoccurring characters.
This Loser Is You: Pretty much the ultimate example. Beavis and Butt-Head are stereotype of metalheads, which is a majority of their fans.
Those Two Guys: Ross and Harlan, the thieves who claim themselves as movers in "Stewart Moves Away" and steal B and B's TV in the movie.
Arguably, Beavis and Butt-head could be considered this In-Universe.
Throw the Dog a Bone: The end of "Holy Cornholio", in which Butt Monkey Stewart goes off to have sex with dozens of beautiful female cultists—the same ones who were trying to mate with B&B through much of the episode.
Toad Licking: Beavis once tried to lick the back of a toad to get high.
Too Dumb to Live: Obviously they are. Subverted for Beavis in the case of an It's a Wonderful Life pastiche, in which Beavis evidently turns out to be reasonably normal without Butt-Head's presence. (He finds Butt-Head's description of the real-world Beavis hilarious though.)
Beavis: What's a bunghole? Butt-Head: You're a bunghole, bunghole!
In a wood shop class, Beavis cut his finger off with a table saw. It wasn't by accident when he and Butt-Head decided to slice up random things from around the classroom with the saw, it was because he just felt like touching the saw.
Among the random things they sliced up, prior to cutting off his finger: the first aid kit, and the phone so their teacher could not call the hospital.
Butt-head once got stuck after crawling inside a pipe. After taking the entire episode to get him unstuck (eventually having to resort to a rescue crew), Beavis went and got himself stuck in the same pipe.
In one of the revival episodes, Beavis tries to photocopy his butt, only to break the screen and get stuck. After eventually being freed, Butt-Head suggests he photocopy his butt so they can see the damage done. Beavis immediately does it gets stuck again.
Trash of the Titans: In some episodes, their house is littered with trash and crushed soda cans, and in others, it's relatively clean.
Trope 2000: In one episode, the protagonists deformed a coathanger and called it the "Butt-Scratcher 2000", trying to sell it.
And in "Good Credit", the boys shop at a "Turbo Mall 2000".
Ultimate Job Security: Virtually every workplace related episode had the duo doing things that would under most circumstances get almost any employee fired, yet this inexplicably never happened. Then again it's just as inexplicable they were even hired in the first place...
They're usually the only employees even shown at the place. They're probably only still employed because the manager can't find anyone else to hire willing to take their place. (Be honest, how many tropers reading this page, for example, would voluntarily sign up for a fast-food job without either their parents making them to "teach them the work ethic" or without a poor economic situation where no other jobs were available?)
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Of a sort. Butt-head's name goes without comment for the entire series, at least by those who know the duo personally. Those that don't either mishear it, or think it's an alias.
Lampshaded in "Holding" where a cop thinks the names "Beavis and Butt-Head" sound like porn names.
Verbal Tic: David Van Driessen, a school teacher, puts "mmkay" at the end of a lot of his sentences.
And then there's the titular duo's constant guttural laughter.
Vocal Evolution: Quite noticably. Compare Beavis and Butt-Head's voices in "Frog Baseball" to any of the post-Season 2 episodes. Also, Principal McVicker sounded completely different in his first appearance.
Writing Around Trademarks: The 1993 album The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience has them on the cover with Beavis wearing a "DEATH ROCK" shirt and Butt-Head wearing an "MTV" shirt, instead of their usual AC/DC and Metallica shirts. Neither band appears on the album. Butt-Head wears a "SKULL" shirt in a picture in the liner notes.
Yandere: Beavis and Butt-Head are both this to Tod, regardless of how much of a violent Jerk Ass he is to them.
Yet Another Christmas Carol: The episode "Huh Huh Humbug" has Beavis in place of Scrooge. Anderson, Van Driessen, and Buzzcut and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, respectively. Principal McVicker and his family stands in for the Cratchits, and Butt-head is Jacob Marley. In this, McVicker is forced by Beavis to work at Burger World.
You Get What You Pay For: Van Driessen hired our heroes to clean his house as a way of teaching them the value of hard work. He only gave them a dollar each for their work, but in the end Van Driessen got what he deserved when he sees that Beavis and Butt-Head destroyed his irreplacable 8-track collection.