- Accidental Innuendo: A visual example. The Build Team was testing the myth of the Ballistics Barrel, but one of their first tests involved strapping a test dummy on the top of the of the barrel, filling up the barrel with rocket fuel. The ignition came in from a remote-controlled car pushing a firecracker to the hole and repeatedly ramming it there to try to get ignition. In fact, most of the tests in Ballistics Barrel can be considered Accidental Innuendo depending on the actual setup.
- Ass Pull:
- The increasingly ridiculous excuses made by guest Seth Rogen in the Green Hornet Special for every element of the "elevator cut" scene that the build team completely busts, in order to allow them to go on to testing the next part of the scene. It's a fairly standard MythBuster practice to Hand Wave or otherwise ignore busted elements of a given myth if there's still some good TV to be had out of testing the rest of it (the "Killer Washing Machine" myth is a particularly good example), but having Rogen present to argue his points to the very dubious build team doesn't come off quite the same way as the team's usual attitude of "it's already busted, but there's still a chance to blow something up so we're going to keep going anyway."
- Done again, just as annoyingly, with the creator of the Breaking Bad show during the crossover special, this time for both myths.
- It seems to be a running theme, since the representative of The Simpsons used such an explanation to Hand Wave why one myth related to the show was un-Busted.
- James Cameron took a different tack; he basically admitted that Stupid Sacrifice was in play in Titanic... in order for the story to work, Jack had to die, one way or the other, and if he'd thought of a better way, he'd have used it.
- Crazy Awesome: The entire idea of the show is this! Five Mad Scientists blow up, shoot, break, and damage tons of stuff all in the name of finding out if a myth is true or not.
- Cliché Storm: A prevalent form of humour in Kari, Tory and Grant's segments of the show.
Kari: (to the camera, while testing a car-related myth) I feel the need. The need, for speed.
- Dude, Not Funny!: When a (now former) producer forced Kari, Scottie, and Tory to hook up an electric fence battery to an Ark of The Covenant replica, and trick Adam into touching it, his reaction is this. Mostly because it was potentially lethal, and there was nothing funny about how excruciating it was (there's a reason that producer was fired).
- Though, Kari's hilariously insensitive remark, "Do you feel God?, was kind of funny.
- "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The cannon powered by matches in the YouTube episode, in light of the cannonball incident. The bowling ball skipped off the hill in a similar manner to the later cannonball, traveling a long distance. It didn't go far enough to endanger anyone the way the later cannonball did, but still....
- Growing the Beard: The first season had a significantly slower pace than later seasons, one point being that the show would stop to have Heather Joseph-Witham give elaborate and unnecessary information regarding the myth. As well, a higher percentage of the show focused on Jamie and Adam's efforts to acquire the parts needed and their interactions with the bemused sellers (e.g. Jamie trying to get the JATO rocket). Evidently the charm of the show was still there, but the second season started featuring the Build Team and had a greater focus on the actual experimentation and their efforts to recreate the myth.
- Holy Shit Quotient: Whenever you can get one of these guys to go "Holy Shit!" you know you got something big. Among them is the Cement Truck Explosion, the near supersonic Rocket Sled and the terminal velocity See Saw Catapult. The Rocket Sled experiment made Adam stay speechless for several seconds, immersed in pure awe.
Narrator: Awesome is such an overused word. But that truly inspired awe.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: During the Bug Special episode, Jamie likens the toy helicopters on a sheet to a man trying to move a sailboat he's on by blowing on the sail: You don't get anywhere, and can't. A few episodes later, the Build Team enacted that thought experiment. If you have a strong enough fan, and a large enough sail, this can work. Not very well, but the boat does move.
- Internet Backdraft: A common problem when the MythBusters test a particularly controversial myth. While there are legitimate criticisms in their testing methods which led to retests, such as using the wrong type of scope for Carlos Hathcock's famous Scope Snipenote , there are just a many complaints due to viewers just being plain unhappy that the results of the myth didn't conform to their expectations. However, the Mythbusters are all Genre Savvy enough to Lampshade the trope, joking about how they'll be deluged with angry e-mails and forum posts.
- With the 2014 announcement that the Build Team was leaving, the show has been subjected to a torrent of fan hate on social media.
- Like You Would Really Do It: Of course Adam and Jamie weren't really going to microwave a poodle when testing microwave myths.
- Memetic Mutation (Usually due to becoming part of the opening sequence.)
- "I Reject Your Reality, and substitute my own."
- "Am I missing an eyebrow?"
- In a retrospective Adam said that he asked the question in jest, he was trying to calm people down and let them know he was okay. When Jaime responded "Yeah." and added that his hair was also scorched you can see that look of shock on his face.
- This is, of course, because Adam had a date that evening and was planning on proposing; happily, she said yes. To date, they remain happily married.
- "Quack, damn you."
- "When in doubt... C4! Heh heh heh!"
- "Well there's your problem."
- A number of these were featured in the 25th Discovery Channel anniversary episode.
- Misblamed: While the MythBusters do make mistakes from time to time, complaints that they are "highly unscientific" is quite a glorification of how science works. Science is all about coming to any conclusion through testing and then retesting the results. As XKCD said, "Everything else is just bookkeeping." They are also under a time constraint to complete the testing or are given incentive to twist the results in some way (which will happen with scientists just the same, they get money from somewhere). Also, a big aspect of scientific research is verification and replicability, since they are the only ones doing what they are doing it means it is unlikely to be backed by any other research teams, which is not their fault.
Dan Tapster, executive producer (Discovery): We were very keen for [Imahara, Byron and Belleci] to be a part of the show, we are massive fans of theirs, and what they did over 10 years was phenomenal. There were negotiations, and based on those negotiations, they opted out. It's a shame for them. It's a shame for us. But it gave us the opportunity to reinvent the show, which it kind of needed.Adam Savage: Kari, Grant, and Tory are good friends of ours and we love those guys. We didn't want to see them go. The actual reasons for them going—while we have certain understandings of what went on, that's a contract discussion between Discovery and those guys. We don't know much about how that actually went.
- As well, in order to fit X number of myths and make it interesting, not just reducing it to pure testing and zero goofing around, a lot of footage will be excluded from an episode where it shows them doing even more experimentation, so complaining that they are "Doing it once and calling it good" is also false.
- Similarly, despite jokes that they are haphazard and dangerous (Adam: "You know what separates us from a couple of 15 year old pyromaniacs [knocks on panel] ballistics glass..."), they are very much conscientious about safety and if they ever handle the explosives rigging they are being supervised by professionals. The same goes for other situations where they call in experts in how to safely test weaponry, vehicles and other dangerous situations. In particular, the Dec 2011 mishap got a lot of people upset that the MythBusters could have killed people, but the testing was done at a bomb range with those same experts used to make sure the testing was done safely. It was just a freak accident.
- When rocketry expert and "Honorary MythBuster" Eric Gates was tragically killed in December of 2009, critics automatically assumed it was due to an experiment gone awry and called the show unsafe. Gates had died in a completely unrelated construction accident.
- When the somewhat infamous "Buster's Cut" episodes note first aired, several people on Discovery's MythBusters forum blamed Adam and Jamie for them, despite neither having any part in the editing or broadcasting process, and one person in particular "deduced" their contracts must have run up and Discovery must have made the episodes to fill the season while they renegotiated... even though MythBusters had been renewed for an additional seven years before those episodes were made, and Discovery just wanted to add a few extra "new" episodes to extend the season. Despite being informed that this was not the case and MythBusters films nearly year-round (going on hiatus for the summer) and they do not have traditional seasons, instead releasing episodes in batches, he kept on this particular train of thought, no matter how much he was corrected.
- Adam and Jamie for the Build Team's 2014 departure from the show. While the full details about exactly why the decision was made haven't been revealed, indications are that it involves Executive Meddling. There's no evidence that Adam and Jamie themselves were in favor of their departure, but that doesn't stop some fans from blaming them for it. (The show has a history of folks at Discovery pulling strings in ways that the hosts don't particularly like. Sometimes, the hosts push back and ultimately get their way; other times, they don't.)
- Later interviews revealed that the Build Team was let go due to failed contract negotiations. In short, they wanted more money than Discovery was willing to pay. Adam and Jamie had nothing to do with it.
- Most Annoying Sound: Any show where the subject under testing encourages Adam to do a horrible accent for the entire show, especially anything with pirates.
- Never Live It Down: Kari's first official appearance on the show was having her butt scanned to make a simulaid. In an interview episode, she later commented on how well-known this role of her's is.
Kari: Now you Google my name and what's the first thing that shows up? My butt. note
- Older Than They Think / "Weird Al" Effect: Adam Savage's memetic quote regarding substitution of reality actually comes from the film The Dungeonmaster (with an alternate title of Ragewar).
- Padding: Practically every return from commercial break, or every segue from the Adam-Jamie myth to the Grant-Tory-Kari myth, includes a lengthy recap of what's already happened in the episode. This helps pad the episode out to an hour.
- Seasonal Rot: As the show goes on, they started testing stories that are clearly set up for marketing purposes (the scaled-up Newton's Cradle video they were examining was a commercial made using blatant CGI) and attempting to recreate something that was known to have occurred in a controlled environment (like a movie stunt) or are pure fantasy (like the episode testing gags from The Simpsons). Also, in Season 10, Adam stopped referring to what a lot of what they're testing as myths and started calling them tropes instead since a huge chunk of the show is now made up of examining stunts performed in films and television.
- Spoiled by the Format: Because they go on to replicate the results of every myth they bust, you can usually tell whether the myth is true based on how far into the episode they are when they test it full-scale.
- Suspiciously Similar Song:
- In an episode involving whether or not a car will always explode after it drives off a cliff, the Explosive finale included a song very reminiscent of, but legally distinct from, Guns N' Roses' "November Rain". Especially strange considering that "Don't Cry" is the Guns N' Roses video featuring an exploding car going over a cliff, and "November Rain" has a wedding reception as its climax.
- When the build team are trying to chase greased pigs, something suspiciously close to Yakety Sax plays during a sped-up shot.
- They played an off-kilter variant of the Indiana Jones theme when testing a myth from one of the movies.
- Uncanny Valley: The Mission: Impossible face masks had this problem, but still worked well enough in general to be plausible. The Adam mask was worse in this regard, since it was made over a generic head mold and therefore didn't fit Jamie's head all that well.