YMMV / Real Time with Bill Maher

  • Acceptable Targets: Everything and everyone is a target to Bill. After all, this is the guy who hosted a show called Politically Incorrect. Even the things Bill likes aren't immune to criticism.
    • Acceptable Religious Targets: Bill doesn't care for religions, but he really, really hates Catholicism.
      • And Islam, but his problem is more with its tenets and leadership than the people themselves.
      • Though he's often lumped into the "atheist" category (and has even referred to himself as one a few times), he's actually dissed militant atheism, saying it's just another form of certitude. Basically, unless you're a hard agnostic, your views are not safe from him!
  • Anvilicious: Though some would argue Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped.
  • Confirmation Bias: Maher attempts to subvert this, but generally if you agree with him you will like it, if you disagree with him you will hate it.
  • Critical Research Failure: Defended South Park for being against religion, when the creators of South Park are not against religion. Really his defense was of South Park's right to free speech, especially when the groups they target (in this case, Viacom under political pressure) are offended by it, despite the fact that the SP creators disagree with him on a lot of issues. He's made the same argument towards Rush Limbaugh, saying that he'd rather live in a country where people are allowed to say things that may offend others, than one where no one has the right to say anything that might rub against the grain.
  • Don't Shoot the Message: Many liberals and atheists dislike him both for his sexist comments and anti-vaccination statements.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Bill doesn't think adultery is that big a deal, as he's discussed adultery scandals from French politics.
  • Foe Yay: It's rumored he used to date Ann Coulter.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • From the May 8th, 2009 episode: "New Rule: The Supreme Court is a deliberative body, not a sausage party. We need a court that looks like America, not like a hundred-year reunion of the Whiffenpoofs. That's why Obama needs to find a non-lawyer, single parent with disabilities who is also a bi-curious black woman. [slide of Michael Jackson] Michael Jackson, your comeback starts now!" He died a month later.
    • In March 2012, after the Trayvon Martin shooting, Bill did a New Rule criticizing President Obama and the Democratic party for not fighting for stronger and more sensible gun laws, saying "Stand Your Ground, guns in bars, guns in church, guns in the classroom... Where does it end? Why not guns in the delivery room? What if my fetus is armed and comes out firing?". In April 2013, Texas Congressman Steve Stockman said in all seriousness "If babies had guns, they wouldn't be aborted.".
    • Arguably Hilarious in Hindsight, but in the aftermath of the September 2008 recession, Bill tells his guests he found footage of someone on his show who saw it coming and tried to warn everyone. Who was it? Bill himself, in a 2005 episode.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: In April 2011, Bill delivered the New Rule "Charlie Don't Serf", in which he urged Americans to stand up to the corporations who have been abusing the American socioeconomic system. In September that same year, the first Occupy Wall Street rally took place, which managed to influence American politics, coining terms like "The 1%", and has made people pay more attention to the increasing disparity between rich and poor people.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In the last show of his halfway point in the 2013 season, Bill remarked that "I get why Republicans don't want to come on my show, but I couldn't get Obama when he was a senator, Biden won't come on, Pelosi won't. Am I just the pot-smoking potty-mouthed talk show host to most Democrats?" Nancy Pelosi was his very first guest when the show came back from break (supposedly she saw said line and asked to come on).
  • The Scrappy: One of Bill's most frequent guests, Stephen Moore, is widely hated for being seen as a near-cartoonish conservative strawman. And yet he's one of Bill's closer friends. Funny how that works.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The last "New Rule" always go in-depth on an issue, often delivering an extremely important message.