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Celebrity Deathmatch is a 1998 claymation animation series broadcast on MTV.The concept behind this show is that celebrities would fight each other to the death in the ring, claymation-style.The show first premiered on MTV's 1997 animation show, Cartoon Sushi, with Marilyn Manson killing Charles Manson by ripping his skeleton out through his mouth. After it became a success, "Deathbowl 98" was released and shown during the Super Bowl XXXII halftime show. Eventually, it began running as a weekly series first on MTV from 1998 to 2002, then Uncanceled to MTV2 for two more seasons in 2006 and 2007.There was also a fighting game released for the PlayStation, Playstation 2, Xbox, and Windows PCs. It was also planned for a Gamecube release.
No tropes were harmed in the making of this page. Anyway, they're just words:
Aborted Arc: The overall storyline hinted at two that were never resolved and likely abandoned due to the show's cancellations at those points: Debbie's pregnancy, and the possible return of Stacy Cornbred, which was constantly used as a taunt by Tally Wong.
Animate Body Parts: Stephen King's leg, an arm that may have been either that of Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera, Ashlee Simpson's nose, Albert Einstein's brain and spine, Eddie Murphy's hand, Mary-Kate Olsen's stomach, and Nicky Jr's brain have all been shown to move on their own.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: From the "Bill Clinton vs. Kenneth Starr" fight: *smack* "That's for ruining my presidency." *smack* "That's for ruining my marriage." *smack* "THAT'S for ruining my chances of hiring any more cute interns!"
There was also the Lucy Lawless/Calista Flockhart match, where this Trope was used in a way that was, for lack of a better term, bizarre. An accident in the fight has Callista wind up with her head up Lucy's butt, at which point, after a few minutes of stuggling, Lucy is able to completly "absorb" Callista into her body through that end of her. This somehow causes Callista to end up in her womb, which results in Lucy, at the end of the episode, giving birth to Callista as she would a newborn daughter. (In short, this show is not only violent, it's downright weird.)
Ascended Extra: Famous boxing promoter Don King, who was basically Kenny during season 1, finally appeared as a fighter in season 2, the opponent being Donald Trump.
The Bad Guy Wins: This happens from time to time, where a celebrity with a bad or negative reputation kills a celebrity who wouldn't deserve it, and is often downright sadistic about it. (Of course, there are plenty of times when the opposite has happened.) Word of God claimed that the outcomes of the matches were determined strictly with humor in mind, not on what made sense.
Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Whether this Trope is played straight, Averted, or outright Defied was very much Depending on the Writer, and it could even be different for two celebrities in the same match. Usually the winner of a match turned out no worse for wear (key word is usually) while the loser was beaten to a bloody pulp. But that wasn't always the case.
Jerry Lewis knocking the martini out of Dean Martin's hands causes Martin to start kicking Jerry's ass (after a few sobering "tough love" slaps from Frank Sinatra).
In all of Pam Anderson's fights her berserk button has been Tommy Lee. She challenges RuPaul to a deathmatch because of RuPaul's attempt to flirt with Tommy who was her husband; she even wins this fight because of this trope. In Pam's second fight, her berserk button gets pushed multiple times due to her opponent, Tommy's previous wife Heather Locklear trying to kill Tommy Lee, since they were literally fighting to determine whether or not he dies. In her third fight, she's fed up with Tommy and decides to take out her anger, which leads to a major Curb-Stomp Battle in Pam's favor.
And let's not forget, Locklear also had a berserk button of her own.
Kim Cattrall (to "SARAH JESSICA PARKER"): "Honey, I was making Porky's while you were still popping zits on Square Pegs."
Cynthia Nixon: You were in Porky's? But that was 20 years ago. Which means you're-" (Kapow!)
The episode "Deathcon 2001" featured a match between Linda Hamilton and Sigourney Weaver. Weaver was ahead, having ripped off both of Linda's arms. Linda walked over to where some kids in the audience were sitting and asked if she could borrow their pen, which she took with her mouth. Linda then wrote the words "I'M THE KING OF THE WORLD!" in big letters on the mat, and asked Sigourney that, before she kills her, could Sigourney at least read what Linda had written.
Sigourney (not getting the significance): "'I'm the king of the world?'"
Linda: (Snapping, screaming): "Titanic? In your case, it should have been Microscopic!"
Johnny goes mad when Nick refuses to bring on the main event in the "Backstreet Boys vs. *NSYNC" match. (Both combatants were already dead).
In the earlier seasons, Pamela Anderson's breasts were more like the real Pamela's, but for the season 5 redesign they were turned into Gag Boobs (which she uses to beat Tommy Lee to death). Though if you think about it her redesign might be more accurate considering her earlier apperances only showed her breasts as being above average, yet Dolly Parton (who Pamela should be equal to if not greater than in bust size) had a pair of jugs the size of her head! There's similar problem when Anna Nicole-Smith shows up (this was when she was... well fat to put it bluntly, but she still had a huge chest) where she doesn't look quite Dolly's size, she still looks bigger than Pamela. It was really strange that when Jenny McCarthy and Carmen Electra show up they look bigger than Pamela despite the fact that they aren't tied with Pam in bust size in real life unlike the last two.
Dolly Parton was given special armor that enlarged her breasts on command to be used as weapons during her fight against Jennifer Lopez (who had similar armor equipped on her ass).
Technically, this happened to Jessica Simpson during the fight between Blink 182 and 98-Degrees, where they fought in giant mech suits. After the Blink 182 mech was down and the 98-Degrees robot went haywire, Stone Cold Steve Austin intended to use a growth ray to make himself a giant to staop the robot, lest the president be forced to use a nuclear missle. Thanks to Nick's bumbling, the ray hit Jessica instead making her into a giantess. Proportionally speaking (which means if a girl with a bigger chest than Jessica, let's say Pamela Anderson, was turned into a giantess of equal size to Jessica, she'd be bigger than Jessica at that size as well) she's still got the same bust size, just on a bigger scale, but as a giantess, her breasts are bigger than a human being...each.
Though not breasts, Angelina Jolie get her already big lips pumped up a couple sizes in her fight against Sandra Bullock.
Call Back: At the end of the "Sex, Lugs, and Rock and Roll" episode, Nick falls off of the announcer's booth and appears to be unconscious. Johnny's reaction? "Nick! Oh no, not again!"note the last time Nick fell off of the announcer's booth was in season 1's "Celebrity Deathmatch Goes to the Movies". The impact put him into a 3 episode long coma.
Chained Heat: Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera get tied to each other's hair for their fight.
Also, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert are tied to each other's thumbs.
Chekhov's Gun: Missy Elliot's lollipops are constantly being swatted away seconds after she places them in her mouth. She eventually manages to use two of them to blind Gwen Stefani before decapitating her.
Clipped Wing Angel: Michael Jackson used his Moonwalker Magic to transform into an animal in a last ditch effort to defeat Madonna. He ended up as a hamster that Madonna easily kicked into the acid.
Contest Winner Cameo: Done at least twice. The first time, the contest winner had his spleen ripped out by John Tesh after he requested it, feeling that it would be an honor. The second time, the contest winner's soul was sold to the Devil by the hosts in exchange for the souls of the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC, who fans had requested to fight each other (they had both been killed in previous matches — the Backstreet Boys by the Beastie Boys, and *NSYNC by KISS).
Crack Defeat: Gandhi over Genghis Khan, and David Spade over Steven Seagal.
Nick Diamond may not be the smartest tool in the shed, but try to take over the world... or try to take his job by claiming he and Johnny are dead...
Pamela Anderson's first fight kinda went like this. She wasn't a moron, but her opponent seemed to have a major strength advantage over Pam. Then, when her opponent thought it was a good idea to flirt with Pam's husband at the time, Tommy Lee, Pam quickly brought her A-game, and proceeded to beat her enemy easily.
During the fight between Quentin Tarantino and Spike Lee, guest referee Woody Allen is constantly being used as a weapon by both of them. When Sun Yi tells him she won't give him loving if he doesn't start fighting back, Allen quickly dispatches both fighters.
Cruel and Unusual Death: The loser of the fight often suffers this. Some examples include getting cut up into paper dolls, getting run over by a steamroller, and swallowing helium and then getting popped.
The Loch Ness Monster VS. Bigfoot. Nessy wins in seconds. Everyone present was expecting the longest, most epic fight in the history of Celebrity Deathmatch, with Stone Cold Steve Austin calling it "a six-second suckfest".
Same with the season 5's rematch of Shaquille O'Neal vs. Kobe Bryant. Shaq ends the fight early by lifting and choking Kobe with one hand and then tearing his head off with the other.
Pamela Anderson's third fight can only be described as this since not only was she kicking the crap out of her opponent, he didn't really get to fight back, the only thing he really did was say things that pissed her off.
Gandhi vs. Genghis Khan. Genghis Khan fails to get in a single hit.
Subverted in David Spade vs. Steven Seagal. Spade only gets in one hit...the winning one.
A similar thing happens in Steve Irwin vs. Medusa where Steve doesn't even try to fight until he (accidentally) rips Medusa's head off.
Andre Agassi vs. Tiger Woods. Tiger never gets any offense in.
Cameron Diaz vs. Meryl Streep is originally intended to be a staged performance with Diaz pretending to kill Streep. However, Streep ends up taking her role too seriously and wipes the floor with Diaz.
Richard Simmons vs. Billy Blanks. Simmons only gets one hit, which does no damage, and all his attempts end up backfiring on him.
Subverted in the Julia and Eric Roberts vs. Marie and Donny Osmond fight. Julia and Eric get absolutely no offense in, and yet they still win the match when Marie and Donny chew each other's heads off.
Cyborg: Shannen Doherty becomes one during her fight against Halle Berry, when a smart car engine falls on her head and fuses with her brain.
It's actually invoked and literalized in the case of Spade vs. Seagal. Before the match starts, Nick says, "Their names are David and Steven, but they might as well be David and Goliath." Seagal, of course, dominates the fight. He throws Spade out to the floor by his underwear, where he finds Chicago Bulls basketball star Scottie Pippen sitting in the front row. Spade borrows one of Pippen's championship rings and, using his underwear as a slingshot, launches the ring right through Seagal's head. When referee Mills Lane asks if Seagal is ok, he says, "Yeah, sure, Grandpa," and collapses face first on to the mat. This is topped off by Spade telling Seagal that the planned sequel to Hard to Kill had been cancelled.
Death by Irony/Karmic Death: At the end of the Derek Jeter/John Rocker fight, Jeter offs Rocker by shocking him with a Die-Hard battery. Prior to this fight, Rocker became infamous for a rant he made against the people of New York City. After his death via electrocution, what does Rocker's charred corpse resemble? The Statue of Liberty!
Disproportionate Retribution: While this does seem to be a staple in this reality (pretty much any excuse for wanting someone dead is legitimate) one case that stands out is the Halloween Episodewhere Stacy Cornbred came back from the dead leading a zombie horde, intent on killing Debbie because she "stole her job". You have to take Debbie's side with this one; that was not her fault.
Another EF moment by Nick, in the Sex, Lugs And Rock N Roll episode, he tries to show Johnny his skill at smashing a soda can with his head which he learned in college... Except he forgot that you're supposed to use an aluminium can, and ends up nearly cracking his head open with a glass bottle.
Pamela Anderson's first attack against RuPaul was to kick RuPaul in the groin... only for RuPaul to No Sell it by revealing s/he was wearing steel-plated underwear. Actually, the first half of that fight was an epic fail for Pam, but when she got her second wind, Pamela went from busty damsel/wimp to busty badass.
During the Three Stooges vs Three Tenors fight, Larry Fine got the idea to de-age himself back to his prime, and ended up de-aging himself to a sperm cell because he accidentally set the year too low. Subverted in that he still somehow managed to help Curly Howard kill the two remaining Tenors by slamming himself into Luciano Pavarotti eye.
Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: In the match between LeAnn Rimes and Ol' Dirty Bastard, ODB becomes furious and gets a serious second wind after Rimes insults his mother, eventually beating Rimes to a bloody pulp. (Of course, the general theme of the match is to suggest that he isn't as "bad" as his reputation makes him out to be... Rimes, on the other hand...)
The second Halloween episode had, among other things, zombies laying siege to the arena, led by the zombified corpse of the show's first interviewer, Stacy Cornbred, looking to get her job back by any means necessary.
Also cropped up when Rage Against the Machine fought the Machine... which was a killer robot. Tom Morello was quick to call this out.
Explosive Stupidity: Jessica Simpson attempts to kill Nick Lachey by throwing a grenade at him, but is absent-minded enough to forget to remove the pin. An enraged Lachey takes it upon himself to show her exactly how you're supposed to detonate a grenade... And boom goes the dynami- er, grenade.
At first, it seems like Kristin Davis was killed by Kim Cattrall's poison in the four-way "Sex and the City" fight, only to pop up near the end to finish Cattrall off (the only one left alive), revealing she had never ingested said poison:
Davis: Unlike [Cattrall], I never swallow!
Aretha Franklin uses this tactic to win her fight against Barbra Streisand after placing a diseased rat in a nearby bucket of water. She plays dead, tricking an exhausted Streisand into drinking from the bucket and contracting the Bubonic plague.
Don King tries to pull this off during his match against Donald Trump. However, Mills sees through his poorly-acted "death", and then becomes averted seconds later when Trump actually does kill him.
A variation: Sam Donaldson claimed Nick and Johnny died in the arena explosion as a means of taking over the show in "A Celebrity Deathmatch Special Report". In reality, Johnny was being rushed to the hospital via ambulance with Nick at his side.
Not to mention the Naomi Campbell vs. Rebecca Romijn-Stamos fight. During the fight, Nick, Johnny, and special guest Gilbert Gotfried kept joking that it couldn't get any hotter... and then one of the girls tackles the other and ends up on top of the other and it just becomes a straight up Catfight. Then Nick and Johnny reveal they hid microphones in the Deathmatch ring to pick up all the naughty sounds Rebecca and Naomi are making. Then, Gilbert "accidentally" dropped a riding crop whip and a pair of handcuffs into the ring, which one of the girls quickly made use of.
Carmen Electra and Jenny McCarthy fighting each other wearing bikinis in a mud ring as per fan request during the "Fandemonium" episode. Jenny was so busty, a guy had to pull with all his might to get her top tied on.
Every fight Pamela Anderson is in. First fight includes a stripperiffic outfit and a breast bounce that keeps being replayed by Marv Albert for the rest of the episode. Second fight: she has her mouth shoved on the top of the ring post and later has her top ripped off, leading Mills Lane to say "Ooh! I'll definitely allow it!" In her third fight, she was in tiny shorts and a top that looked like a bikini, and received a breast expansion that made both of her boobs as big as a human head.
The Elizabeth Hurley/Anna Kournikova prefight interviews include Hurley naked, with only random objects covering her naughty bits (it's a reference to the end of Austin Powers), and Anna getting rubbed down with lotion by Debbie Matenopolous. That same fight also had pits filled with twelve year old boys that would tear them to pieces due to the fanservice driving them crazy. Kournikova gets knocked in...but manages to kill them all
Also the three-war fight between Tyra Banks, Kate Moss, and Claudia Schiffer. With Tyra in a bikini and Claudia in some leotard thing.
The couples tag-team match of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore vs. Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman starts with Demi deciding to strip.
Dolly Parton vs. Jennifer Lopez. Basically, Dolly's enormous breasts vs. J. Lo's big butt. That's all you really need to know.
Lucy Lawless vs. Calista Flockhart ends with Lucy beating Calista by bending over in her Xena dress.
In the Martha Stewart/Sandra Bernhard fight, while Sandra might not be a traditionally pretty face, she decides to fight in a tiny purple bikini and pulls it off.
Supermodels Rebecca Romijn and Naomi Campbell have a match in their underwear... which ends with Naomi coughing up her own stomach and spraying Rebecca with lethal stomach acid, causing her to melt down into a flesh-colored puddle of goop with only her bra and panties remaining.
The Melissa Joan Hart/Alyssa Milano fight starts out as fanservice, with Johnny and Nick stating it was to see who was TV's hottest witch. Alyssa is decked out in a revealing leather outfit and Melissa is wearing a red bikini. Then they start casting spells on each other that turn them into ugly, stereotypical wicked witches.
Flanderization: Nick's Cloud Cuckoolander/loser status is played up considerably more in the revival. The celebrities as a whole are also portrayed much less sympathetically than in earlier seasons, with Take Thats which are far more blatant and sometimes border on mean-spirited, sometimes to the point that their faults are all that is seen on the show.
In layman's terms, the revival is this to the original show.
The Fool: How Sherlock Holmes is portrayed in his match with Jack the Ripper.
Forgot About His Powers: In "Fandemonium 2000", Nick had to figure out a way to bring back both the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC who had died in a previous fights (against the Beastie Boys and KISS, respectively). ...he completely forgets that he has access to a Time Machine that has brought lots of previously dead celebrities beforehand.
Even better? This isneverpointed out.
Funny Background Event: At the very beginning of the Jamie Kennedy vs. Ali-G fight. As Ali-G tosses his script away, Mills Lane is hit in the head with it in the background and falls over the ropes. Blink, and you'll miss it.
The Moral Guardians, the B.O.O.B. (Broadcasters Opposing Offensive Behavior).
MTV got this treatment when it was referred to as More Television Violence in once episode.
Gadgeteer Genius: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, who, during the course of the show, has built a time machine, multiple Humongous Mecha, an enlarging ray, and genetically engineered mutant fighters made from the DNA of dead celebrities.
The fight between Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee has Pamela crushing Tommy's skull between her breasts.
During the fight between Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and Naomi Campbell, both of the fighters apparently kept a vast amount of items in their cleavage. For Rebecca this included a cellphone (complete with a vibrating ring tone that made her chest jiggle) and a needle, and both fighters kept water bottles in their bountiful bosoms.
The Survivor battle royale has Tina remark the she'll get a face lift and boob job. She's also gainaxing at various points, and she bashes Colby's head in with her chest.
Gainax Ending: "Willie Nelson vs. Tony Bennett" ends with Nelson taking off his bandana to reveal a third eye, which causes Bennett to disintegrate. Neither Johnny, Nick, nor Mills were sure what exactly happened.
"Brad Pitt vs. Keanu Reeves" has Brad Pitt turn into a being of pure energy, become one with the Matrix, get inside Keanu's brain, make his head explode, then go back into the computer and blow himself up.
"Celine Dion vs. Keith Flint" ends with Dion eating Flint's head, then tearing off her skin to reveal that she's actually being controlled by an alien, who runs off into the audience, possesses Don King, and announces his plan to take over the world.
The Survivor battle royale had Tina doing plenty of this.
In the Rebecca Romijn-Stamos vs. Naomi Campbell fight, Rebecca does this do to keeping her cellphone tucked in her cleavage.
Genre Blindness: Parodied during the Jerry Seinfeld vs. Tim Allen match. After Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Michael Richards have turned heel on Jerry for ending the show, Johnny says, "We wrestling announcers are supposed to be so perceptive."
Grand Theft Me: After she beats Helen Hunt, Leelee Sobieski steals Helen's identity so she can keep her far better career, she even tears the skin off Helen's hands and wears them like gloves so she can use Helen's fingerprints for confirmation.
Handwave: An in-universe example for the "Bill Gates vs. Michael Flatley" bout, which gets labeled "Battle of the Clerical Error", since the two had no prior rivalry.
Harsher in Hindsight: In-Universe, in the "Dean Martin vs. Jerry Lewis" fightnote which was being aired from the CDM Vault after Roger Ebert was flung into the announcer's booth, which caused Nick to fall off, putting him into a coma, Nick barely avoided getting hit by Jerry Lewis, who was knocked out of the ring. Nick's response?
Nick: We've had a lot of close calls here on "Celebrity Deathmatch", but it's going to take a lot more than a flying celebrity to take me out!"
Another In-Universe example in "OJ Simpson vs. Joe Namath", a battle filmed in the 1970s, when OJ was still a football player, was full of moments alluding to his eventual murder trial, including describing OJ as "a man who can do no wrong", OJ wanting to fight with (boxing) gloves and finding they don't fit, Johnny mentioning that OJ knows his way with sharp objects, and Johnny saying OJ "is never gonna murder two innocent people and then claim he was in Chicago". However, this reaches the pinnacle after OJ won: after being declaired the winner, OJ begins freaking out for... some reason, adamantly stating that he wasn't the winner of the fight and vowing to find the real winner.
In yet another case of this trope from the "CDM Vault", there's the "Carroll O'Connor vs. Sherman Hemsley" fight from the "Family Night '77" episodenote Not a real episode, mind you; it's another fight from the 1970s., near the start, we see Nick getting into a small fight with his wife, who threatens to leave him one day. Earlier, in the actual episode proper, she tells Nick that she's divorcing him so she can be with David Letterman.
Heal It With Booze: In one match, Sylvester Stallone cauterised a wound by pouring alcohol on it and then lighting it on fire, causing the judges to reverse their opinions about him not being a badass.
Heel-Face Turn: The Undertaker actually plays the hero's role the time he appears, despite his well known reputation for being evil in the WWF. (He does suggest at first that it's a case of Eviler Than Thou, but his actions say otherwise.)
Heroic Second Wind: A common theme is that one combatant will be beaten up without getting a hit in, then make a comeback at the very end of the fight.
Charlton Heston chopping down the tower to kill Russell Crowe ends up causing his own death.
While aiming for Chuck Berry's berries, James Brown's laser shoes get deflected by Chuck's ring, causing him to get crushed my a overhead light. (Johnny quotes the exact Trope name.)
Nick Diamond: Hoist on his own petard? Well I don't think the audience knows what "petard" means. Cause I sure don't.
Chris Kirkpatrick was killed at the end of the "*NSYNC vs. KISS" fight when Gene Simmons crushed him thanks to Ace Frehley popping the balloons that lifted Gene to the ceiling. The very same balloons Chis used on him earlier in the fight.
Bill Gates ultimately was killed by his own Robotic Michael Flatley after he used it to kill the human version.
David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson defeat Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in the Men In Black vs. The X-Files match, despite the MIBs dominating the action while David rambles on about a conspiracy, after the MIBs accidentally point their BFG the wrong way and fire.
Michael Jackson tries to use "Moonwalker Magic" to transform into a deadly creature, but it doesn't work and instead he transforms into a hamster, making an easy kill for Madonna.
David Copperfield tries to one-up David Blaine by levitating over a pit of piranhas, but he loses concentration and falls in.
Steven Spielberg loses in his match with Alfred Hitchcock, despite his opponent barely even fighting, when the spirits from the Ark of the Covenant turn on him because he didn't pay them for their appearance in Raiders of the Lost Ark (And left them out of The Temple of Doom).
Jack the Ripper is killed by a barely aware Sherlock Holmes when the latter zips up the former's knife-lined coat.
Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: Fran Drescher's voice attracts the attention of the Loch Ness Monster (who considers it a mating call). He pursues her offscreen, and she returns later riding on his back and looking very satisfied.
Humanoid Abomination: The Super Freaks. More like scientific abominations, actually, Stone Cold created these creatures out of the DNA of previous fighters using gene splicing and cloning techniques. (As far as this trope goes, they're actually rather tame, and played for laughs.)
Helen Hunt vs. Leelee Sobieski. After winning the fight, Leelee has no trouble convincing everyone that she's Helen Hunt, going so far as to peel off the real Helen Hunt's hands and wear them as gloves, in case someone would check her for fingerprints. Let's repeat that everyone falls for her act, despite her doing this in full view of absolutely everyone. Never mind that they wore dresses of different colors (Helen was wearing black, while Leelee was wearing white).
This was done earlier in the Britney Spears vs Christina Aguilera fight (who did wear identifal outfits, not helping matters), to the point where they were unable to determine who won. As the fight progressed, it became increasingly hard to tell the two apart, forcing Mills Lane to mark Britney with a rubber stamp. The fight ended with the two of them literally tearing each other apart, leaving only one moving arm. Nick Wylde tried to prove who it was, but was proven wrong.
If You Die, I Call Your Stuff: Stacy Cornbred had been dead for all of ten seconds before Nick called "dibs" on her parking space. (In fact, whether anyone in-universe genuinely cared about what happened to her at all is questionable, which is somewhat surprising, as there had never been any outward signs of dislike for her - unlike the later case with both her predecessors, where that was obvious.)
I'm a Humanitarian: In the fight between Lagasse and the Two Fat Ladies, the contestants take their turns mutilating the enemy and using said part to make a dish for Mills Lane, who tries it without any hesitation.
Improbable Weapon User: Man, where to start? Some of the most unlikely things have been used as weapons on this show, which is sometimes the whole point. In the second match using the Dome of Devastation, Nick and Johnny "cleaned out the garage" and put everything on the Dome for the two fighters to use, and in the third match using it they did something similar with a collection of musical instruments.
In the Joe Pesci vs. Napoleon Bonaparte fight, each fighter used a chest full of toys as weapons.
Martha Stewart defeated Sandra Bernhard by glue-gunning her to the mat.
Other unlikely armaments include a milking machine, live animals (including ones that seem harmless, like chickens), an extendable lead pipe, and in the Hitchcock/Spielberg fight, the Ark of the Covenant!
In Medias Res: "A Celebrity Deathmatch Special Report" had a short version of it: The episode opens after the arena had blown up. We ultimately learn how thanks to Sam Donaldson playing the footage of the "Katie Holmes vs. Keri Russell" fight during which the explosion took place.
Is This Thing Still On?: In "Presented by Big Bull Beer", the outcome of the main event fight between Leonardo DiCaprio and Jack Nicholsonnote the girls in the audience rioting after Jack wins causes the head of Big Bull Beer to end their sponsorship with Celebrity Deathmatch (Nick and Johnny had been promoting the beer throughout the show). After they think the taping is over, Johnny and Nick lament the outcome... then begin mocking how crappy the beer is. After a good laugh, Johnny notices that one camera is still taping. Cut to credits.
Loophole Abuse: Believe it or not, someone was once able to win a fight to the death by a technicality. In the Halloween Episode match between Frankenstein's Monster and The Wolfman, the Wolfman turned human again in the middle of the fight. Then he appealed to Mills, saying that because this was a fight to the death and his opponent was already dead (being made of dead body parts) he should be the winner. Possibly Insane Troll Logic, but Mills actually agreed with this. Unfortunately for the Wolfman, he made the mistake of laughing in his opponent's face, and Frankie, who as Nick previously said, did not like teasing, crushed his skull. (Making the fight a very weird double KO.)
Made of Iron: While it seems to be incredibly easy to rip out someone's body parts, the celebrities seem to be very hard to actually kill. Special mention goes to Michael Jackson, who got kicked into a vat of hydrochloric acid and managed to crawl out totally unharmed, protected by plastic surgery, and Colonel Sanders, who gets decapitated and still manages to run around like a mad hen until he falls into a frying pan.
Sylvester Stallone gets blown into a pile of goo by Arnold Schwarzenegger and still manages to completely reform, and actually manages to win the match.
In the Britney Spears vs. Christina Aguilera fight, both combatants tear each other apart until all that's left is an arm. A moving arm. Whose arm it is is never revealed.
Madonna-Whore Complex: Nick reveals he has this after Johnny calls him out on calling Kristen Davis "sweet" and "innocent."
Hilariously literalized on the episode "Masters of the Martial Arts," in the Brandy vs. Courtney Love match. The idea was that Courtney was mad about Brandy getting the lead role in Cinderella and wanted revenge, and Brandy wasn't sure why she was there and wasn't interested in fighting. Brandy offers Courtney a present. Courtney opens the box and finds a baby bear. Out of nowhere, the Mama Bear shows up and destroys Courtney Love, giving Brandy the win. Announcer Johnny Gomez takes the time to remind the viewers not to give wild animals as gifts.
In a VERY strange example, Lucy Lawless was probably this to Calista Flockhart (it makes sense if you watch their fight) till a dingo stole her while Lucy was shooting scenes for Xena: Warrior Princess.
Mean Character, Nice Actor: Christopher Walken and Gary Oldman are portrayed as this - both speak cordially with each before their fight, and have to get into character before they can start killing each other. Walken even apologizes after his wins.
Missing the Good Stuff: One ep interrupts a fight with a totally pointless report that *NSYNC isn't breaking up. We miss some woman getting curb stomped.
Moral Guardians: For some odd reason, this is considered a "family show" in whatever reality it's located in, as Nick and Johnny say many times.
One episode has one match (Tommy Lee vs. Ron Jeremy) being broadcast from an underground fight club in order to evade the censors. It doesn't work — after Tommy Lee wins the match by gouging Ron Jeremy's eye outwith his dick, Johnny and Nick get a very stern warning from the B.O.O.B. The next match (Alanis Morissette vs. Jewel) has Johnny and Nick finally getting arrested after Alanis celebrates her victory by stripping naked in front of the camerasnote A reference to her video for "Thank You," where she walks around a town completely naked, except with her hair covering her breasts and a Censor Box. .
Ms. Fanservice: With all the various female actresses, singers, and supermodels, this is bound to happen:
Mushroom Samba: At one point, Nick Diamond, who is comatose, goes into a seizure and his son starts slamming a button he thinks is the "call nurse" button. It instead increased the amount of morphine he's given. He calms down, yes, but we are then treated to a delusion he has...of Jimi Hendrix referring a deathmatch between Jerry Garcia and Elvis Presley having just for him.
No-Holds-Barred Beatdown/Curb-Stomp Battle: Several matches, most infamously Andre Agassi vs. Tiger Woods, Pamela Anderson vs. Tommy Lee, and Mahatmas Gandhi vs. Genghis Khan. Andre, Pamela, and Gandhi won without a scratch.
Non Indicative Name: On an episode dedicated to rap and hip-hop stars, Tally Wong was disappointed to learn that Lil Jon, Lil Wayne, Lil' Flip, Lil' Kim, Lil' Romeo, and Lil' Bow Wow are not actually "little people" (she had planned to ask them hard-hitting questions about what it was like living with dwarfism).
Noodle Incident: There are a few of these, a lot of them concerning Nick. For example, in one episode, Johnny picks up the phone, and Nick whispers to him, "If that's the ASPCA, I'm not here." (Although, in a later episode, Nick is seen using Medusa's severed head on some kittens, so maybe we can get a general idea of why they're upset at him...)
A season 3 episode reveals that Leonardo DiCaprio survived getting his face caved in by Jack Nicholson. He only had it fixed when he fought Woody Harrelson. This time, he died.
A more interesting instance of this trope is with Courtney Love. An entire episode was structured around revealing this: Despite being torn apart by a bear, she managed to stay alive long enough to undergo enough surgery and physical therapy to be a whole person again. Her fight with Dave Grohl resulted in being crushed by a piano.
Odd Couple: The two commentators, Johnny Gomez and Nick Diamond.
Out-of-Character Moment: Mills Lane usually doesn't show much interest in who wins or loses, but in Sylvester Stallone vs. Arnold Schwarzenegger he shows very blatant bias towards Stallone. He also really didn't like Dennis Franz (which may or may not have had something to do with an earlier incident during Lucy Lawless' match with Calista Flockhart, where Mills had to have him kicked out).
Politically Incorrect Villain: The John Rocker vs. Derek Jeter fight. Unsurprisingly, John Rocker doesn't get the most sympathetic of portrayals, and is electrocuted to death by the match's end.
Professional Wrestling: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Mick Foley, Vince McMahon, and Chyna all appeared as themselves on this show. Austin was a regular cast member, providing commentary for the matches, and served as the science and weapons advisor.
Mandy Moore. Her sweetness doesn't stand up so well when it's put up against P!nk.
Hilary Duff was also portrayed as this in comparison to her competitor, Lindsay Lohan. Unlike Moore, however, she wins her fight, even using her purity as a weapon to get God to help her out (He spawns a ton of alcohol to distract Lindsay with).
Also, in the first season, Brandy Norwood is shown like this when put up against Courtney Love. Brandy, too, wins her fight after she sics a cub bear on Love. She wins accidentally because the mother of the bear cub thinks Courtney was endangering its cub and viciously assaulted her.
Subverted with LeAnn Rimes, for which this is just a front: when her façade slips, she becomes a foul-mouthed, chain-smoking psycho, interested in torturing Ol' Dirty Bastard in every imaginable way. In the end, she loses. (ODB turns out to be not such a "bastard" at all.)
Raging Stiffie: In the battle between the Osbourne kids and the Olsen Twins, Jack Osbourne gets a fatal one after Mary-Kate whispered in his ear that she and Ashley sometimes shower together.
Real After All: "The Prophecy". Stacy finds a prophecy foretelling the death of one of the Deathmatch staff tonight. Various lethal-looking events happen to the staff throughout the episode, but they all survive. At the end she admits she made a mistake. Then she spontaneously combusts.
With this show's premise, it's to be expected that most fanfics would feature real celebrities brutalizing each other. The show's section on Fanfiction Dot Net wound up getting discontinued partly for this reason.
The show itself is arguably an example.
Reality Ensues: After James Van Der Beek defeats Saddam Hussein (beating him to death with the American flag), Mills Lane... proceeds to slap a pair of handcuffs on Van Der Beek for flag desecration, and takes him to jail.
Nick Diamond is very unhappy with new, egotistical sideline reporter Debbie Matenopoulos (formerly of The View) when she replaced Stacy Cornbred, who was killed several episodes earlier. Especially Nick, who is constantly arguing with her; Johnny doesn't seem to have much of a negative opinion of Debbie.
Played more straight with some fan reaction to Tally Wong after the show was Uncanceled. Interestingly enough, this time it's Johnny who can't stand the interviewer's guts, while Nick is more on the neutral side.
Reset Button: Since this is a claymation cartoon, this occurs quite a bit. Perfect example: The arena was shown blown up at the start of "A Celebrity Deathmatch Special Report", and remained that way for the entire episode. The next episode, "Blink-182 vs. 98 Degrees"? Not a scratch.
Averted in 4 cases:
1. Nick, after falling off of the announcer's booth in "Celebrity Deathmatch Goes to the Movies" ends up in a coma until he forces himself awake in "Nick's Return", two episodes later.
2. At the end of "The Prophecy", Stacy Cornbred spontaneously explodes. She remains dead for the rest of the series.note Except for "Halloween Episode II", where she came back as a zombie... only to be killed by Debbie Matenopoulos.
3. In "Family Night II", Nick is divorced by his wife so she can marry David Letterman. This too remains permanent.
4. In two different matches, The Backstreet Boys got killed by the Beastie Boys and *NSYNC got killed by KISS. In the Backstreet Boys vs. *NSYNC fight, the commentators had to find a way to bring them back.
Pretty much any celebrity that's died on the show that isn't shown to be revived, makes it seem like their deaths never happened in the first place. Examples:
1. Don King is shown being killed by various things early on, but seems to keep coming back just to get killed. Averted after his fight with Donald Trump, who kills him and he's never seen again.
2. Shaq died in his first fight with Kobe Bryant, but is magically alive for their rematch.
3. The Olsen Twins were both torn to shreds by Betty-Sue Olsennote (a Deathmatch original character) during their fight, yet are magically alive for their fight with Jack and Kelly Osbourne.
4. Marilyn Manson crushes Hanson under the light rigging in Hanson vs. The Spice Girls, but Hanson is still alive enough to attempt to pull the same trick on Marilyn in Marilyn Manson vs Garth Brooks.
5. Ricky Martin got killed by Marilyn Manson, but got killed again by William Hung in a later episode.
Ronald Reagan: Makes an appearance in a flashback to 1985, refereeing (and later participating in) the fight between Boy George and Don Johnson. Its apparent by his introductory speech that his dementia has begun to set in.
Aptly enough, before the first commercial break in "Robot Nicky", the Nick Diamond we saw in the announcer's booth was outed as a robot when Johnny accidentally rips off his face. (Although, him being magnetic was a dead giveaway). As we learn prior to the second fight, Nick skipped work in lieu of taking the vacation to Jamaica the the higher ups vetoed and used a robot to cover for himself.
The Hugh Grant vs. All Comers bout ends with Andy Dick attempting an And Show It to You... only to rip out some robotic components, causing "Grant" to fall over dead. As it turns out, Grant liked Nick's idea and joined him.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In the "Kevin Bacon vs. All Comers" fight, upon being told by Nick that he was tricked into coming on the show note Nick said he and his band, "The Bacon Brothers" could perform a song for the audience. , Kevin goes nuts on Jesse Ventura (who was previously kicking his ass) by delivering the Fist of Chaos (punching through his chest, and then punching him in the face), climbing through said hole and, after a few more punches, tears Ventura apart.
He even wants to continue fighting note "Who's next?! Christina Ricci? Tom Cruise?!" ... even though a CDM All Comers match has three challengers, and Ventura was the last one.
Pam Anderson's whole reason for fighting RuPaul is to get back at RuPaul for making a pass at Pam's then husband Tommy Lee, and Pam actually wins the fight because RuPaul made the mistake to do it AGAIN, RIGHT IN FRONT OF PAM.
Sanity Slippage: After winning the "TLC vs. Dixie Chicks" fight, Left-Eye Lopes goes mad with her own ego, randomly starts talking about herself in third-person, claims to be the queen of the Earth "the snake from whence all creation came", and proclaims that from now on, both eyes will be left.
This played a part in Rodney Dangerfield's Batman Gambit against Don Rickles, as it forced Don to make better jokes against Rodney than Rodney made about himself (and burn out his material faster). Became Victoryby Endurance when Don couldn't make good jokes and Rodney lays a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown (Johnny even said Rodney did "rope-a-dope" on Don).
Schizo Tech: The Celebrity Deathmatch Time Machine was made using an old refrigerator.
Shown Their Work: Crops up here and there, mostly during the fights through Johnny and Nick's commentary.
Shout-Out: There have many times the episodes where there are references to the Real Life counterparts
Most WWF stars that appeared on the show used whatever one their real-life counterpart had. Steve Austin used the Stone Cold Stunner quite a few times (even using it on a moose once) while the Undertaker still had his Tombstone Piledriver.
Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon: There was a fight based off of this. Literally; it had Kevin Bacon taking on all comers, and two out of the three who took him on were pissed about his game.
The other was Martin Lawrence, but since he was too crazy and dehydrated to fight, Mills forced Kevin to mercy kill him.
The game itself played a part in the fight. The requirement for this was that Kevin Bacon's co-stars could challenge him; the game was used on said two out of three to justify them being there (since Meg Ryan and Jesse Ventura didn't actually work with Bacon directly).
Spiritual Successor: The Epic Rap Battles of History come to mind, in the sense that two celebrities are also battling each other, be it verbally rather than physically, and pop culture references to both their lives and works are made.
Spontaneous Human Combustion: In one episode it appears that referee Mills Lane is about to suffer from this, but it turns out it's just gas. Later, interviewer Stacy Cornbred starts showing signs of it, and Nick Diamond and Johnny Gomez think it's just gas... until she suddenly explodes.
The Lindsay Lohan vs. Hilary Duff fight featured Dina Lohan in full-on Stage Mom mode, constantly making excuses for her daughter's troubling behavior.
A male example is Mathew Knowles, who is revealed to have implanted a microchip in his daughter's brain to control her every move. When Missy Elliott finds out, she grabs the remote control from him and uses it to make Beyonce humiliate herself.
Stalker with a Crush: In the Lindsay Lohan vs. Hilary Duff fight, it is strongly implied (and eventually revealed) that Nick Diamond is stalking Lindsay. After Lindsay loses, Nick brings her back to life using the time machine.
Stock Scream: In most, if not all, deathmatches, there would be the sound of a woman screaming in the audience, with each matchup featuring the same scream.
An in-universe subversion: near the end of "High Tech Fighting", Nick brings up how Johnny told him that insurance was "like legalized gambling" (after revealing he never got the VR2000 insured after it got blown up)... only for Johnny to point out that he was drunk at the time.
Johnny: Jesus, Nick, you know better than to listen to me while I'm drunk!
Also, the David Letterman vs. Jay Leno fight opens with the ref saying "I taught you everything you know. Despite that, both your shows are almost unwatchable."
The Spice Girls vs. Hanson fight can only be described as this, since the two compete for the title of "Most Annoying Band In The World." There's no actual finish, as Marilyn Manson chainsaws off part of the rigging, causing it to crush both bands. He then is interviewed about it where he goes on about being "the most evil man in America."
Time Travel: The Celebrity Deathmatch Time Machine is used to bring back historical figures to fight each other, as well as celebrities who have been killed in past fights. In one episode, the machine accidentally sucks Debbie Matenopoulos back in time, causing Johnny Gomez and Nick Diamond to use the time machine to go back in time to ancient Rome (where Nick fights a satyr in the Coliseum), Victorian London (where Sherlock Holmes fights Jack the Ripper), and the age of the dinosaurs.
A running gag in the Season 5 match Adam West vs. Christian Bale was everyone believing that Adam West was dead and came back through this, no matter how much he tried to convince them otherwise. He eventually gets fed up with this and storms off after he wins.
This joke had also been used before, in the Season 4 (then-series) finale, where Nick insisted that Keith Richards was dead and that Steve Austin (who had actually seen him in a Stones' gig the week before) bring him back with the time machine to fight Dave Matthews. Naturally, Keith Richards shows up alive and well, proving Nick wrong just as his previous week's self comes out of the time machine. Time Travel Tense Trouble ensued, and the past Keith in the present was erased from existence.
Title Scream: Each episode would start with quick rundown on upcoming matches, ending with "tonight on: Celebrity Deathmatch!", which is accompanied by the title logo.
There Are No Rules: The Trope is subverted most of the time. A few episodes claim that it applies as much as any Deadly Game, but other episodes say they have a few rules (the fight between Steve Austin and Vince Mc Mahn says there's a rule prohibiting "ozone-depleting aerosols", which Vince breaks, but is not penalized for), and in others, it seems that Nick and Johnny can add whatever rules to a fight they want. In one episode, Nick does say that the "number one rule of Deathmatch" is, "Don't piss off Mills". And indeed, in most cases, whatever Mills Lane says goes.
The Paul Reubens vs. George Michael fight. Before the fight, Reubens (in character as Pee Wee Herman) said that the secret word for the fight would be "sucker", and that when he shouted it, the crowd was to start screaming wildly. Later in the fight, Reubens tricked Michael into taming a tiger and making it go to sleep... only for Reubens to shout "Sucker!" Yeah, George kinda deserved that one.
RuPaul got challenged to a deathmatch by Pamela Anderson for trying to flirt with Pam's husband at the time, and she decides the best thing to do is to try it again... needless to say, Pam let RuPaul have it.
Brandy accepted Courtney Love's challenge to a Deathmatch despite not wanting to hurt anyone, because she didn't know what a "Deathmatch" was. Subverted in that Brandy does end up winning, albeit by accident.
Trope 2000: The name of the third Fandemonium episode is "Fandemonium 2000".
Unintentional Period Piece: One of the best examples of this trope. From promoting Anna Kournikova and Elizabeth Hurley as the internet's top two pinups, to billing the long-separated Bruce Willis/Demi Moore and Tom Cruise/Nicole Kidman as two of Hollywood's biggest power couples, to featuring a fight between Bill Clinton and Kenneth Starr to finally settle the Lewinsky scandal, it is impossible for Celebrity Deathmatch to escape the turn-of-the-New-Millennium time period in which it aired. The show's pop culture reference-based humor is extremely dated and many of the celebrities featured are now far past their fame. To Millennials who don't have a decent understanding of late-1990s pop culture, this show is a hard watch.
The relaunch that aired on MTV2 likewise dates itself to the mid '00s, and will likely see the same fate as the original series. The first episode alone is built entirely around parodies of the long-canceled and largely forgotten shows The Simple Life and Viva La Bam, while other fights are about such Turn of the Millennium ephemera as The Osbournes, Pimp My Ride, Ali G, crunk rap, Britney Spears' public meltdown, and the Major League Baseball steroid scandal. One fight did reflect how the aforementioned Bruce Willis and Demi Moore had broken up... with the fight being between Willis and Ashton Kutcher, Demi's new lover (a relationship that ended in 2013).
Wimp Fight: Jerry Seinfeld vs. Tim Allen. Ended with the cast of Seinfeld storming the ring to beat up Jerry for canceling the show, which the audience found far more entertaining.
JK Rowling vs Stephen King, until Rowling summons Voldemort. This leads to Rowling's death by King's now-animated robotic leg.
Writing Around Trademarks: Occurred during the fight between Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal, when the hosts had to avoid making explicit reference to Doc Ock, who Jake had brought in to attack Tobey. Instead, they referred to him as "a certain eight-armed villain from a certain hit superhero film" (paraphrasing from memory; that's probably not what they actually said).
Eddie Vedder:(while kicking Stapp three times) Give me back my vooo-ooo-oice!
Scott Stapp:(retributing the "favor" to Vedder) It's my voice too-ooo-ooo!
Vedder eventually wins by scraping Stapp's throat with a piece of barbed wire, which gives him a gravelly Tom Waits-like voice. Unfortunately, Waits himself is in the crowd, and he promptly gets down to the ring and beats Stapp to a pulp.
In one of the first episodes, Mariah Carey, during her fight with Jim Carrey, sings a VERY high note for an extended period of time, much to the displeasure of everyone in the arena. The intensity of the note cracks the In-Universe cameras and proves to be too much for Jim, whose head expands like a balloon before exploding.
Happens again in Jack Black vs. Jack White, where Jack White puts a button-up shirt with a slightly small collar on Jack Black, causing his head to explode. Some of the fights can have silly endings, but even by Deathmatch standards, it's pretty ridiculous.
"So, for all of us at TV Tropes, I'm Johnny Gomez."