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YMMV: Penn & Teller: Bullshit!

  • Anvilicious: Although some would argue that Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped.
    • The main flip between this depends on whether they're debunking people who are accidentally (or intentionally) using faulty scientific claims and/or simply don't understand the subject, and when they're talking about things that, to a degree, boil down to little more than opinion and cultural values.
    • There are three main positions they argue from: skepticism, atheism, and libertarianism (both social and economic). Since, in America at least, the first two are associated with Liberal politics episodes dealing with the third tend to be the ones that divide the fanbase.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Penn's (and occasionally Teller's) use of profanity instead of straight out accusations of corruption and lies is meant to protect them against lawsuits. As weird as it may sound, it is safer to call someone a 'motherfucker' (which expresses an opinion, and thus is protected by Freedom of Speech) than a 'liar'. Though, since they gave away the "code" during the first episode, they still had to be a little careful. Seeing as how no one managed to successfully sue them over the show, it seems to have worked.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Penn and Teller are often prone to opposing mainstream aesops in their show. Perhaps an especially memorable case is Holier Than Thou, wherein they had some memorably harsh criticisms of such popularly revered figures as Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi and the Dalai Lama, but especially Mother Teresa.
  • Fridge Brilliance: At the end of the Season 4 intro, when Penn and Teller get hanged, Teller's feet are twitching. Teller is smaller than Penn, so of course it would take longer for him to hang.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: One of the jokes in the PETA episode is about the logistical problems of 'freeing' all the domestic animals in the world and the point that if they have rights they have social responsibilities. Since the episode aired it came to light that PETA actually has a plan to deal with this: utter extermination of domesticated animals.
    • In that episode they already noted that PETA actually euthanizes most of the animals it rescues, making their stance for animal rights seem hypocritical. This extermination plan just adds to it.
      • And according to the state of Virginia, the percentage of animals euthanized by PETA the last few years has escalated over 90%.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In the 2005 episode on government surveillance, they're impressed by the competence of a Kenyan immigrant compared to the other agents they study. "Yep! You gotta go to Kenya for a real American who can follow fucking directions!
  • Memetic Mutation: (You need... to) SHUT. THE FUCK. UP!
  • Missing Episode: Purchasers of the Season 7 DVD set were likely surprised to discover small text that read: "Does not include The Vatican episode." The description for the episode has also disappeared from Showtime's official episode guide. No official reason has been given for the Canon Discontinuity, which would seem to point to Executive Meddling, and even Penn and Teller have stated they don't know. Odds are the only reason the warning appeared on the DVD set was that recent seasons of Bullshit! include references to all the topics covered that season in the opening credits of each episode. Ironically, the episode was largely about the Vatican's various censorship attempts.
  • Nausea Fuel: The "mucus mask" bit, with the snails that wind up clustered around people's eyes.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The shots of the baby receiving the operation in "Circumcision".
  • Retroactive Recognition: Since the show, being quasi-documentary in nature, went out of its way to find people in the public eye willing to talk about a particular subject the show was covering, it's likely you'll recognize someone who appeared on this show on other news or information programs (Jack Thompson from the "Video Games" episode or Richard Cohen from "Family Values" are particularly visible individuals, not to mention Sheriff Joe Arpaio). Given the show, you could call this trope, "Hey, it's that asshole!"
  • Unfortunate Implications: In a second season episode, Penn and Teller bring on their friend, the musician Jonesy, who says his one-step (as opposed to 12 Steps) plan to lose weight was: "Just stop fucking eating so much!" Which resulted in a backlash. They returned to address this in the seventh season episode "The War on Obesity," where they mention, essentially, if it really was just that easy, there would be no such thing as the weight-loss industry.
  • What an Idiot: Some time after an episode debunking the use of chiropractors, a group of chiropractors bought tickets to their live show just to tell Penn and Teller that they were offended by the episode and are boycotting them.


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