YMMV / Maury


  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy:
    • In most cases, as amusing as it may be for the studio and TV audiences, the adults involved in DNA tests are genuinely unlikable people who you don't want to envision with any type of responsibility with a child.
    • There was one case where a mom came on to prove that her deceased son was not the father of another woman's child. However, she did it in a way that would have gotten her booed if she was the second person introduced. Then, the mother of the infant comes out and gets violently booed. When it was revealed the deceased son was not the father, his mom poured on so much verbal abuse, it came dangerously close to a Face–Heel Double-Turn. Maury himself looked increasingly uncomfortable as the bickering went on.
  • Designated Hero: Very often, the person who is onstage first is usually seen in a sympathetic light by the studio audience no matter if the person is onstage second has probable cause to assume that person is being unfaithful or if the person themselves admits to being unfaithful but does not admit to the full extent of their deeds, like having children by other men/women or cheating more than the times they said they did. As a result, the person who is onstage second is seen as being either cruel, a deadbeat, or paranoid and is usually booed and heckled by the audience, no matter how obnoxious, illogical, or dishonest the person onstage first may seem.
  • Designated Villain: The accused fathers in some cases. While some of them tend to be genuine deadbeat assholes, the mother is occasionally a reformed neighborhood bicycle and at times has been a guest on the show multiple times, giving the guy a genuine reason to deny being the father.
  • Fridge Horror:
    • One can only hope the children of the paternity show guests never see the episode(s) featuring their parents, especially in the case of promiscuous mothers. The show is such a Long Runner that, in theory, a child who has been brought on to have her paternity disproven could end up birthing her own child with disputed parentage.
    • Female guests that test numerous men for their children often end up bringing more than one child on the show, some of which test up to 6 of their children. After you analyze the situation, you realize this means that after hearing "you are NOT the father" multiple times for their first child, they have learned absolutely nothing and they still refuse to close their legs. Additionally, if we assume that the first child that the guest brought on the show was the first child they gave birth to, this means that all of the children that the woman has given birth to have basically grown up on Maury.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • During one female guest's fourth appearance, she admitted in a prior episode that she cheated on her boyfriend over 200 times after a DNA test determined he was not the father of her baby. As a result, she was ridiculed by the studio audience. A later appearance revealed that she was homeless and she was sleeping with these men in order to have a roof over her head.
    • Another female guest made a few appearances on the show to find out who the father of her son was. Like the above example, none of the men she brought was the father and she was ridiculed for it. In one of these appearances, she was actually in jail at the time.note  In her next appearance, she revealed that she was working as a prostitute at the time and that's why she was unsure who the father of her son was. This also explained why she was in jail during her previous appearance.
    • In 2007, a 14-year-old girl named Mylela was on the show because she was out of control. Her brother was murdered prior to her appearance on the show and during an interview with producers, Mylela told her mother off, saying, "Who cares if you lose another child? You don't." Not even a year later, Mylela was killed in a drive-by shooting. She was 15.
    • One paternity guest was crushed when she found out a man was not the father of her child and ran backstage in tears, saying that her sister was going to be mad at her. This seemed innocuous enough at first as it simply appeared that she meant that her sister would be ashamed of her because she did not know who her child's father was. In reality, the lady came back in a later episode to reveal to her sister that she slept with her man and he could be the father of her child. The sister's significant other turned out to be not the father, and the woman had appeared since that show to test more men.
  • Heartwarming Moments: Any episode that features an adult trying to find their birth mother/father when the mother/father in question actually is their parent, and when the parent actually does want to be the person's mother/father.
  • Jerkass Woobie: In cases where the woman is proven wrong on a DNA test after taunting the potential father of her child, Maury tries to invoke this with wildly varying results:
    • A particular example of this is Simone. She was homeless and slept with numerous men for shelter AND her boyfriend slept with her sister and many other women, but her behavior was often so obnoxious that the audience usually felt more contempt than sympathy for her.
    • A woman named Kenyetta came on the show because her boyfriend Michael cheated on her with her cousin Emma and may have gotten them both pregnant. Emma was saying that Michael was definitely not the father of Kenyetta's baby and showed no remorse for sleeping with her cousin's boyfriend despite the fact that Kenyetta took Emma in. However, it's hard to feel sorry for Kenyetta because Michael was not the father of either of the babies. To make matters worse, Kenyetta returned again and said she only cheated on Michael one time and displayed extremely obnoxious behavior towards the second possible father. After that man was proven to be not the father, Kenyetta went into histrionics. Even worse than that, Kenyetta returned 2 more times for a total of 4 men tested for her daughter, and both times, she openly bashed the potential fathers, and both times, the DNA tests were negative. However, Kenyetta gets pushed back into Jerkass Woobie territory after she reveals that she slept with these men because she was very insecure about her weight and wanted to be loved.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Scrappy Mechanic: The studio audience, due to their nearsightedness and people viewing them as being incredibly biased towards either gender, depending on the circumstances.note  Many guests especially hate the audience. Some have even resorted to staying hidden backstage so they wouldn't have to deal with them.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Whenever the guy isn't the father, or has a decent argument (got cheated on, kid's of a different race, etc.).
  • Tear Jerker:
    • The moments when someone is hoping they are the father of a child, regardless of the results.
    • While we're at it, the times when it's the child him or herself that is looking for the father.
    • A man finds out he is not the father when he wanted to be (this tends to be genuinely heartbreaking). This is made substantially worse if the man decides to leave the woman if the child isn't his, as this will usually result in the man getting booed off the stage.
    • For some reason, any case involving the paternity of a child if the man being tested is deceased, because it never seems to turn out that he was the child's father. Tragic for the mother, the child, and the living family of the deceased to the point of frustration. Best to try to turn off your emotions when an episode features a segment like that.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass:
    • Usually, the parents of the out of control teen girls claim that their daughters were once sweet, loving, and innocent and they don't know why they've chosen to act out.
    • In a specific, non-out of control teen related example, we have Moyisha, who was a recurring paternity guest. During her first couple of appearances, she didn't act especially off putting, despite the numerous men she tested. However, her behavior took a turn for the worse during her 4th appearance. First, she insults and curses out the potential father's sister and mother for simply stating that they didn't believe that the baby was related to them. Then, she tries to physically attack the sister and mom when they came out onstage for virtually no reason and curses the mom again after she says that the baby is not her son's. Moyisha also makes it a point to harrass the mother and sister for child support before the results are read. After Moyisha receives a short "The Reason You Suck" Speech from the sister, the results are read and the guy was not the father.
    • Emma. Let's start with her first appearance where she wanted to prove that a man named Michael fathered her son, Elijah. The twist: Emma actually lured Michael away from her own cousin, Kenyetta, who wanted to prove that he fathered her daughter too. With all that in mind, Michael was not the father of either child. After that, Emma brought on three more potential men; all three were not Elijah's dad. This did not stop Emma from browbeating those three after the results and demanding that they take care of her kid regardless. Addarius got the worst of her abuse, by far. That said, seeing how hurt she was after the fourth negative test pushed her into Jerkass Woobie territory.
    • Simone was always infamous for her crude and pushy behavior towards the men (a total of eleven) she tested for the paternity of her son. However, during her last paternity appearance, she is worse than ever, she proudly admits to harassing the eleventh potential father, flat out telling him that her son is his, despite there already being ten other possibilities, and to top it all off, she hushes him when he tries to speak, saying that "speaking to a real man (Maury)". The man was not the father.
    • Ayriel. She was fine on her first appearance, despite having cheated on her husband Matt after he had saved her life as a child, she was remorseful and wanted to build a life with him. On her second appearance, she had left Matt for another man and was openly bashing him despite acknowledging that she cheated again. Admittingly, Matt wasn't exactly cordial either, but who can blame him?
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: The point of "Man or Woman?" episodes. 10-15 people come onstage as women, while the audience tries to guess if they are really female or male. It's quite easy when you've seen several shows before and realize the patterns. Most of the ones that look the most like women (usually, also with large breasts) and are dressed in the most revealing outfits are actually men, and the ones who move and behave awkwardly, are purposely done up to look like transvestites, and are often bodybuilders, are actually the women, in an effort to hit viewers with a Shocking Swerve. With these facts, you will be right in your guesses most of the time.
  • The Woobie:
    • Whenever a man breaks down in tears when he finds out he isn't the biological father of his beloved child.
    • For some, the children of the guests. Most of the guests are not people you want to imagine raising children.
  • Why Would Anyone Take Him Back?:
    • The times where the same couple come back time after time, and each time leave the show having ended it because s/he cheats, lies, or whatever. This especially apply to the abusive partner episodes, particularly when there are children involved.
    • Sholonda and her husband, full stop. Sholonda cheated on her husband with at least 17 men in one night, resulting in her getting pregnant with another man's baby, lied during her first appearance and said she cheated only 1 time and lied during her second appearance and said she cheated with 6 men, only to finally reveal the truth to her husband after all of the 6 men were proven to not be the father, and even then, she said that it was 14 men and not 17 like the DNA tests proved. Even after all of this, her husband still stayed with her, only to be cheated on yet again and was informed that their second child might not be his. Luckily, he was the father.
    • This was averted with Telia, however, who cheated on her husband with at least 11 men, including his cousin and a 17-year-old boy. Her husband left her after her first appearance.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/Maury