Follow TV Tropes


Don't Try This at Home

Go To
In short: Become a cartoon.

"CAVEAT: Bringing about Armageddon can be dangerous. Do not attempt it in your own home."

A mandatory disclaimer heard at least once, and often more times, during any show which presents outrageous stunts or death-defying acts of derring-do. Mandatory because there are more than a few morons out there with so little common sense that they will actually try these things without the proper training and then sue everybody in sight when they get hurt (or their family will do it for them when they get killed or forgot/don't know how to sue). Sometimes played for laughs within a show, as a character turns to the audience and says "Do not try this at home" before beginning the most comically dangerous part of the Zany Scheme.

Compare Content Warnings, Do Not Attempt (both of which for less-than-realistic stunts) and Do Not Do This Cool Thing (when the warning rings hollow to the awesome thing being performed). Sister Trope to And Some Other Stuff, when key parts of a dangerous formula or device are obscured to prevent any attempt at replicating it from going horribly right. Contrast Never Be a Hero. See also Content Warnings, Life Imitates Art, Our Lawyers Advised This Trope, "Harmful to Pets" Reminder, and Television Is Trying to Kill Us.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

Note how, in many of these cases, the producers decide to have fun with the disclaimer by putting it humorously or adding a bonus gag.
  • One commercial for the Game Boy version of Paperboy showed the Paperboy doing destructive and dumb things while he was trying to deliver the papers. The commercial said that the actions were "irresponsible, immature, and very foolish", then recommends you "try it at home...on your Game Boy".
  • "Professional driver, closed course" — Any ad involving racing or car stunts. Or, in many cases, just plain driving. In fact, pretty much any ad that features a vehicle, really. Incidentally, while most people understand this, "closed course" simply means the location is (usually temporarily) closed off to public traffic. There isn't some big facility with parking lots and stretches of highway built for shooting car commercials; however, private locations built for other purposes (such as racetracks and film sets) can be chosen for car shoots so as to avoid potential issues with using public facilities.
    • Lampshaded by a commercial where a man lives his life with the phrase always positioned below him. Eventually works out as he becomes what his label says.
    • Seen in one car commercial that parodied Field of Dreams, by having the character build a race track in his cornfield. In the end, it said "Professional driver on a closed cornfield." Later they changed it back to "closed course."
    • In a particularly ludicrous case, a tire commercial displays this warning while showing astronauts driving a rover across the moon.
    • Even better is when they added this to the commercial for "The Cube," when the car never actually moves.
    • One particular ad showed a car performing its usual fancy stunts, then driving towards a cantilevered bridge just as the bridge was separating and rising. Cut to black with white lettering saying "Whatever you do"; cut back to car driving up the bridge; cut to black with big letters: "Don't do this!"; and finally a shot of the car leaping across the gap in the bridge.
    • There was at least one commercial for a Ford pickup truck where this disclaimer was showed on a shot of the truck... while it was parked.
    • "Trucks cannot snowboard...Or do barrel rolls."
    • A commercial for the Chevy Sonic shows it doing jumps and grinding on rails as a skateboard would. The disclaimer on the box reads "The Chevy Sonic is NOT a skateboard. Do not attempt." Surprising that they need to have that disclaimer, but considering how advertisements can inspire people, it is justifiable.
    • One commercial accidentally parodied this, showing a car being driven through a fairly typical subdivision, at a safe speed and in a sensible and responsible manner. So what exactly are we not supposed to imitate?
    • Ford had an ad spoofing The Twilight Saga where the vampire character jumped onto the back of the car carrying the female character and her current boyfriend. The disclaimer said "Stunt vampire. Do not attempt."
    • A 1972 Volkswagen commercial touts the claim that the Beetle is built so well that it's almost air-tight by driving one into a body of water. The disclaimer notes that "The VW will definitely float, but it will not float indefinitely."
    • A commercial for an SUV depicted two men driving to a mountain top to distribute the ashes of their Uncle Fred. As they bounce along through the woods, the disclaimer says "Drive like this and you could end up like Uncle Fred."
    • An early 2000s ad for the Porsche Cayenne had a man driving a motorhome leaving the driver's seat so he could run to the back of the motorhome to catch a glimpse of the Cayenne behind him. The disclaimer read, "Do not try this in your motorhome."
  • An advert for Emerald's Nuts featured a woman in her therapist's office saying that sometimes she just wanted to burn the world. Her barely awake therapist says "sounds great" and we cut to his office on fire with him still out of it. The disclaimer at the bottom? "Don't commit arson. Not even once."
  • An advertisement featured a refrigerator being hit by a large wrecking ball with the admonishment "Do not attempt". Who could?
  • There was an ad for what at the time was the latest version of Office that showed a man sitting at his office desk, which was racing through the desert. The disclaimer was again, "Do not attempt."
  • In a Degree ad, a man, after smelling the deodorant they were advertising, proceeds to leap out an airplane, with his shopping cart, and land on the ground, riding the shopping cart down the freeway. Only when he makes it in between two 18-wheelers do we see the "Do not attempt" disclaimer.
  • A British Kellogg's commercial for one of its brands, Crunchy Nut, showed a man riding on the back of an Irish Wolfhound in order to get home to have a bowl of the product - this advert contained a "Don't try this with your dog at home" on-screen disclaimer during scenes of the man on dog-back. Ninety-three people complained to the UK Advertising Standards Authority about the commercial, but the obvious comedic nature of the ad (as well as the disclaimer) helped it escape a ban.
  • These ads show a Post-it on a wall supporting a kid/a dog. Brief text says "Just Kidding. Cannot support a child/dog."
  • There was a British commercial for a brand of cereal that tasted so good a man ran back into a burning building to finish a bowl. There was a caption that read "In a real emergency get out and call the fire brigade", but that wasn't good enough for the regulators who pulled the ad off the air after a couple of days.
  • This Dannon yogurt commercial features a woman who eats it (or in this case, slurps it in one sitting) standing in the aisle of the grocery store (because she loves it so much she cannot even wait until she gets home to eat it). A disclaimer reading "Please Pay For All Items" pops up as the woman comically slurps the cup.
  • A Carl's Jr. commercial had a man in a convenience store eat a really hot burger and chug some mouthwash to cool down the intense heat; the disclaimer read "Dramatization. Do not attempt. Mouthwash fatal if swallowed.". Nevertheless, they re-shot it later so that the man rinses his mouth out with it instead.
  • Averted with one refrigerator ad where a woman attempts to defrost her open freezer with a flame-thrower. You'd think there'd be some sort of caption with a disclaimer warning people not to try such a stunt at home, but apparently, they forgot (Fridge Logic (no pun intended) suggests that they thought nobody would be able to do something like that in real-life).
  • One ad for Visa (the credit card) showed a pregnant woman picking out house paint with her husband, trying to get juuuuust the right shade of vermilion. When she finally found the shade she wanted and said "This is going to be perfect", the scene switched to her in a gridiron Football stadium screaming "Catch the stinkin' ball, stinker!", with her face painted in the vermilion and light-blue colors of her team. A disclaimer at the bottom of the screen during this scene read: "Do not paint your face with house paint."
  • A commercial for cold cuts shows a woman shopping in a big-box store with her two children who are determined to try everything on display, from drum sets to trampolines. The disclaimer includes the words "Obey your mother."
  • A Disney Theme Parks commercial shows a man in a home-supply store playing Darth Vader with a welding mask and a fluorescent tube as a lightsaber. After he knocks stuff over, the disclaimer reads "Use the Force responsibly."
  • Inverted by the Israeli home design company Golf & co., which uses the slogan ‘Golf & co.: Try this at home’.
  • Another commercial in the series showed a woman swimming underwater in a giant fish tank in a restaurant had the disclaimer "Do not try this at home. Unless you are a mermaid."
  • Captain 20 decided to tell kids not to try to fly like Superman when he made this PSA about the difference between fantasy and reality.
  • Commercials for superhero-themed roleplay items (such as Captain America's shield or Spider-Man's web shooter) have a disclaimer stating "professional stunt - do not imitate", even when the most dangerous stunts shown in the commercials are cartwheels and leaps beyond one foot-tall walls.
  • These promos for an Ed, Edd n Eddy marathon parodied this trope.
  • This infomercial shows Phil Swift demonstrating the power of Flex Seal by using it to fix damage done to a bucket by a knife (accompanied with the words "Don't try this!") and a chainsaw (with the words "Seriously don't try this!").
  • WWE actually have PSAs stating that the wrestlers are trained professionals and the stunts should not be attempted at all costs airing at regular intervals on channels that broadcast their matches because of reports that children were actually trying the stunts and getting themselves and their friends hurt.
  • Sony Computer Entertainment Europe once commissioned a video for a demo disc showing a man chowing down on an entire PlayStation 2note  at a fancy restaurant. The video ends with the notice that PS2s are not edible and that this shouldn't be tried at home.
  • Some early 2020s ads have a disclaimer reading "Filmed prior to COVID-19. Please respect all safety protocols" or something similar.
  • Terry's Chocolate Orange had a commercial where Dawn French jokingly suggests having it as part of a diet. A disclaimer pops up reading, "Completely useless as a part of a calorie-controlled diet".
  • There's a Canadian ad for Kraft mac and cheese (a.k.a. Kraft Dinner) that showed a man "cooking" a giant batch of it in a washing machine at a laundromat. A disclaimer reads "Don't try this. You'll bung up your machine." Later, somebody else puts plates inside another washing machine, and another disclaimer says "Don't try this either. You'll break your plates."
  • A Hot Pockets commercial with skydivers eating the titular product has the disclaimer "Do not attempt in the unlikely event that you actually built a giant skydiving chamber in your living room."

    Asian Animation 
  • Season 8 episode 6 of Happy Heroes has Smart S. warn viewers not to hit people on the head since it hurts a lot.
    The King: Ever since then [his magic training], I was knocked by the grandmaster with that wand for so many times that my head has been adapted to the real wand! With just one knock, I will know what that wand is!
    Smart S.: Wait a minute, your majesty! I have something to say! (the frame zooms in on Smart S., who directly addresses the audience) It's painful being knocked on the head. Audience in front of the TV, I warn you, never do this anywhere!
    • Since that season, in the logo at the end of the intro song, the message warns peoples not to imitate dangerous actions were appeared.
  • Certain airings of Motu Patlu will sometimes feature a "don't do this at home" warning for when characters do actions that could be considered violent.
  • In episode 7 of Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf, Wolffy repels a bunch of piranhas that are after him by peeing in the water. A message appears on-screen afterwards advising against doing what Wolffy just did.

    Comic Books 
  • Squirrel Girl likes to take advantage of her fourth-wall-breaking recap pages by warning us kids that we should not replicate the questionable acts done made during the issues. She especially warns us against downloading stuff free off the Internet. But then this was subverted in the very first issue of G.L.A. Misassembled when Grasshopper hops in and announces that there are no kids who read comic books, only overweight thirty-year-old men who still live with their parents, so he encourages readers to try these very questionable acts and do the human gene pool a favor. And then this trope is subverted yet again when he dies during his very next appearance.
  • Cliff Steele of the Doom Patrol, to goggle-eyed youths with skateboards following one incident: "And remember kids, don't walk through plate-glass windows!"
  • Parodied (we hope) in Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), which advises you to not try vibrating your molecules fast enough to slip past an energy barrier.
  • A Burp strip in Oink! was once driven to remind readers not to imitate its star by looking at the Sun through a telescope or binoculars. This was funny considering that Burp was standing on the surface of the Sun at the time.
  • Jonny Fartpants in Viz once worked as a nail gun by having a load of nails inserted anally, which he the farted one-by-one at the relevant target. As the nails were funnelled into his bum, he pointedly warned readers to "be extremely careful when you try this at home".
  • X-Men villain Mojo (essentially, a galactic reality show producer) sometimes includes this sort of disclaimer in his shows. For example, once when throwing an underling to his doom, he notes that his crew are trained professionals, and the viewers shouldn't try to do something like this without proper preparations.
  • Malaysian comic books also have the disclaimer warns peoples not to imitate dangerous actions such of standing on the high building (or suicide-related act such of trying jump off a building). Even Gemeilia (Kokko and Mei, or 哥妹俩) warn kids not to pick their noses or throwing banana peels. Mostly, creator Eddie See is having an cameo appearance wherever someone picking their noses, too.
  • In one The Simpsons story, Bart, while pursing someone he finds suspicious, grabs the bumper of a car and uses it to pull himself along on his skateboard. In the next panel, Professor Frink appears to warn the reader that they should not copy Bart, and shows two possible consequences of doing so (A - Bart slams into the back of the car when it stops, B - Bart goes flying when the car suddenly swerves).
  • One Pinky and the Brain comic has Brain creating a magnet out of an iron bar wrapped in copper wire and shoving the ends on lemon juice. A Note from Ed. follows with "Do not try this at home and electrocute yourself. Our laywers will deny everything."

    Comic Strips 
  • One The Far Side, showing a kid sticking his head in a missile silo.
    Caption: Don't ever, ever do this.
  • Spoofed in one Rubes strip that showed a man's gravestone with the epitaph "He tried it at home." The widow viewing the grave says "I told him not to."
  • Garfield: Garfield readies himself for a 20-hour nap and tells the readers "Remember, I'm a professional. Don't try this at home."
  • A Robotman and Monty strip has Monty on a camping trip spraying his entire body with bug spray, including his eyes, with the words "Cartoon Character. Don't Try At Home" on the bottom of the panel.

    Fan Works 
  • Vocaloid Fan Vids:
    • One advises children not to try any of the things featured in the video at home... in three languages: Traditional Japanese, English, and then Kansai. Considering that it involves Miku juggling balls while Neru's trying to chop her head off, it's pretty well advised.note 
    • Another video of the same author advises, in much the same manner, not trying to juggle a soccer ball while walking the tightrope between two skyscrapers.
  • In The Horror! The Horror! the Realtor's Guide to Household Charms' only comment on the space expansion charm is "Use of this charm by a non-professional warder can result in dire, life-ending consequences."
  • In Harry Potter, Magic Programmer a description of fire manipulation is interrupted by a parenthetical comment about not playing with fire at home.
  • In The Journey Begins McGonagall warns the students that trying to cast mage-level spells would burn out an ordinary witch or wizard's magical core, prompting a flippant remark by the ruler of the magical empire of Camelot.
    King Edward: In other words, don't try this at home, kids.
  • An author's note for Harry Potter and the Rune Stone Path warns real-life divers not to hold their breath like Harry does after giving his only remaining oxygen-supplying rune cluster to a drowning Gabrielle.
  • In Albus Dumbledore and the Harbinger of Magic Luna uses Pettigrew's Dark Mark to summon the other Death Eaters.
    Luna: Don't try this at home - it won't end well.
  • In Part Four of With Pearl and Ruby Glowing, the Late Night Show features a couple of commercials that end with the disclaimer "Do not use [product/service] for sexual purposes", including pizza. One chapter also warns against attempting unsafe abortion as depicted in-fic and explains how to obtain a safe one.
  • In Lockhart's Blunder roughly twenty students accidentally casting the counter to a dark spell on Mr. Filch at once cures him of being a squib. The Daily Prophet article on it states:
    It's not sure if this will work every time or if this was an exemption. So, we implore all of you not to try this yourself, but to bring the Squib in question to St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. Mr Filch didn't skip off into the sunset after the counter was cast. No, he fell unconscious and needed medical and magical attention. So again. DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!

    Films — Animation 
  • In the Curious George movie, to save George being shipped to Africa, Ted proceeds to use a nearby ramp to reach the ship, all while telling the audience to never do something like this. Except, he doesn't realize how bad this idea is until halfway through.
    Ted: Oh what was I thinking?! This isn't an action movie! It's real!
  • Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius: Jimmy Neutron, in the film, remarks to Goddard, "Don't try that at home" after shooting a communications toaster satellite into orbit by hand. The important question: Why say this, when 99% of households do not contain the materials to produce an upper-atmosphere rocket large enough for two human children and a robot dog? The remaining 1% doesn't either, for the record.
    • Parodied in one trailer for the film that had Jimmy asking his parents where he could find raw plutonium. This is quickly followed up by a screen that reads, "Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon do not advocate the pre-teen use of plutonium."
  • Ice Age had a TV spot for its home video release that showed comic violence throughout the spot over an announcer admonishing, "Don't try this at home... or this... or this..." over and over again as the characters do dangerous things to "Orpheus in the Underworld".

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Stay Tuned, Helen, in cartoon form, says "Kids, don't try this at home", as she and Roy are dumping a handheld hair dryer (still plugged in!) into a bathtub filled with water to disable Robo-Cat. Of course, Helen and Roy are trapped in a variety of demented TV shows, and their kids are watching this all play out on TV.
  • At the end of The Men Who Stare at Goats a note includes that people shouldn't try several of the attempted psychic abilities at home, including mind control and cloudbursting while driving. But invisibility's okay. And note that they specifically said "while driving". Well, yeah; cloudbursting while not driving is just staring up at the sky. Elvis used to do it.
  • At the beginning of Beerfest, a movie that (unsurprisingly) involves inhuman amounts of beer ingestion, the viewer is warned that "if you attempt to drink this much... You will die."
  • The protagonist of The Crow: City of Angels says this before taking a mook's gun and shooting himself in the mouth.
  • The excessively violent exploitation film, Killers on Wheels, ends with the hero killing everybody from a hostile bike gang with all kinds of excessive, violent methods, with plenty of Gorn and blood thrown in to boot. It then ends with this announcement from the filmakers (it is in all caps in the film itself):
  • When Ling Ling Fat is demonstrating his gunpowder at the beginning of Forbidden City Cop, he reminds the audience that Fat Yun is highly trained for such feats and that children should never attempt detonating gunpowder in their mouths.
  • In the climactic scene of Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird, Big Bird is in the back of a truck, in a giant cage, doing about 30 on the interstate. Gordon and Susan have followed him in a Volkswagen Beetle that's had the trunk cover chewed off by Cookie Monster (keep in mind, Volkswagen Beetles have the trunk in the front of the car). Despite the vehement protestations of driver Susan, Gordon leaves the inside of the vehicle through a Cookie Monster-created hole in the roof and tries to get Big Bird to jump from the cage into the hood.
    Big Bird: You should never jump from a moving truck! Why... I shouldn't even be standing up!
    Gordon: You have my permission! Just this once. NOW, COME ON!
  • The 2012 The Three Stooges film ends with one of these disclaimers, featuring the directors (actually actors portraying the directors) Breaking the Fourth Wall and demonstrating how much of the physical humor was done with rubber props (the sound effects make it sound realistic) and with safety being the top priority for the production. This may look completely pointless, seeing as how the movie was primarily targeted toward the adults who grew up on the B&W shorts, and they would easily know that all of the slapstick was faked. But to be on the safe side, they are addressing kids; even though some of the content in the movie was not even suitable for kids at all (the movie had lion testicles, and a guy from Jersey Shore getting his head stuck in a microwave, for starters), they know that some parents will let the kids watch. In the end, they're maintaining a tradition, as the actual Three Stooges would do this during personal appearances as well, to show the kids how they kept from being seriously injured doing their slapstick.
  • Project X has a warning at the beginning that no one should attempt to re-create the events in the film; given that the film was inspired by events in real-life, this is useful -but hasn't stopped people from trying to emulate it though.
  • The second Jackass movie has one too, saying the stunts were done by professionals and "neither you nor your dumb little buddies should try these at home."
  • Matilda has a DVD bonus feature detailing the filming of the scene in which Matilda blows up the TV. In the end, Rhea Perlman (who portrayed Matilda's mother) warns viewers not to re-enact this at home, because then they'd have nothing to watch Matilda with.
  • Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life: Most of the lessons consist of rather simple "See this stuff we're doing? It's a bad idea. Don't do it."
  • The Sure Thing: Gib is teaching Alison to shotgun a beer. He looks into an imaginary camera:
    Gib: For all you kids watching, this is very dangerous. Let's not try this at home.
  • Girl vs. Monster opens with Skylar and Henry trying to fix a crooked banner. As they don't have a ladder, Skylar gets Henry to toss her up in the air, straightens the banner, and lands on her feet, unharmed. Henry immediately points out that it was a real "don't try this at home" moment. Sure enough, when Alpha Bitch Myra later attempts the same thing (rather than swallow her pride and ask Skylar to help), she breaks her neck.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: I Love Wolffy 2: The text "Dangerous action! Do not imitate!" appears on-screen when Wolffy bites on some electric wires to electrocute the cannibals.

  • When Meibo "attacks" Hai An with chalk in Infinity Game it says "Danger, do not imitate this action" twice.

  • Eminem’s song “Role Model” about how his alter ego Slim Shady is an Anti-Role Model. To illustrate, the song opens with Slim announcing that he’s going to try drowning himself. He then adds, “You can try this at home. You can be just like me.”
  • The song "Cartoon Heroes" by Aqua features the line "What we do is what you just can't do" to remind kids not to try all the things they see their cartoon heroes doing.
  • When the Irish music group Darby O'Gill covered Tom Lehrer's The Irish Ballad, they added this disclaimer after detailing one of the female protagonist's murders.
  • Songs to Wear Pants To's "I am The Reason Why Girls Are Hot" ends with "Yo I got a flamethrower and a microwave \ bring any girl to me and I'll make her real hot \ Don't try this at home, kids... bring her to my house".
  • "Hellbent" by Self includes the line "I've been trying things at home that I saw on television, and I'm doin' 'em wrong!
  • The Dead Milkmen song "Part 3" contains the warning: "Don't any of you kids try this guitar solo at home - that man is a trained professional"
  • Warrant's "Cherry Pie" has one very quickly, just before the final verse begins: Jani Lane shouts "I'm a trained professional!" over a brief guitar solo.
  • Welcome to the Disclaimer! (On "Ixnay On The Hombre", featuring also this trope.)
  • The music video for Captain Tractor's The Last Saskatchewan Pirate. It's really all lowercase letters.
    captain tractor wishes to assure its audience that no shoppers were harmed during this filming at the palatial west edmonton mall. that also goes for the students who participated in the making of this film. do not attempt this at home.
  • The music video for "We Are Your Friends" by Justice vs. Simian, which shows people doing stunts in a flat, has a warning like this at the start.
  • The video for Madness's "It Must Be Love" features guitarist Chris Foreman and saxophonist Lee Thompson playing their instruments underwater, and opens with Foreman warning the viewers not to try this themselves.

    Mythology & Religion 
  • Any book of Catholic exorcism prayers to be used by exorcists will have very strict and severe warnings that laypeople and even priests not authorized by their bishops to perform exorcisms should never attempt to use the prayers or even read them. The reason is that in Catholic theology, these prayers directly address demons and command them to leave. Attempting to deal with demonic forces on such a direct level without training could lead to serious spiritual harm.

  • The straightest, most serious and most thoroughly justified example imaginable appears at the beginning of one Escape Pod sci-fi short fiction podcast. The content warnings are usually delivered in a fairly lighthearted manner, but when one story featured auto-erotic asphyxiation by young children as a plot point, there was an audible note of fear in host Stephen Eley's voice as he delivered the warning. Listen to it here, and please, heed the warning.
  • Every episode of My Brother, My Brother and Me opens with announcer Bob Ball noting, "The McElroy Brothers are not experts, and their advice should never be followed."

    Professional Wrestling 

    Puppet Shows 
  • Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons: "Captain Scarlet is indestructible. You are not. Remember this. Do not try to imitate him."
  • The Dinosaurs Image Song "I'm the Baby (Gotta Love Me)" tells the listeners not to stick peoples' fingers in sockets and light them up.
  • Muppets Now: Bunsen and Beaker's segments are always preceded by a message from Kermit and Joe From Legal advising viewers not to try what they're about to see at home.

  • Parodied in an episode of Hello Cheeky. The gang present kung fu on radio, followed by about fifteen seconds of exaggerated yelling. This is followed by "Children are warned not to do what we have just done because you feel a right berk."

    Tabletop Games 
  • There is a rather hilarious "disclaimer" in Exalted first edition rulebook that goes "Exalted is not really the secret history of the world. You cannot really cast spells. You should not hit your friends or loved ones with swords. This game is not intended to be played by people who can't tell the difference between fantasy and reality."
    • Of course, given how detailed and immersive the setting is, this might be helpful actually...
    • This is pretty common for White Wolf; both Vampire games have disclaimers that amount to "Remember: this is a game. You are not a vampire. If you start thinking you are one, please seek help."
      • Considering that White Wolf was one of the companies hit hardest by the moral panic surrounding tabletop RPGs in the early nineties, these disclaimers were probably more for the benefit of the Moral Guardians than anyone actually intending to play the games in question.
  • A review of the notoriously panned F.A.T.A.L., which can be found here (DANGER: LANGUAGE USED IS DECIDEDLY NSFW), features the memorable line from Jason Sartin, "Remember, folks, Darren's a professional, and we're reviewing on a closed course. Don't projectile vomit blood at home!"
  • Many fantasy roleplaying games have a disclaimer in which the authors basically tell the reader not to become involved in the occult simply because the game world postulates that magic actually works. (The disclaimer in C. J. Carella's Witchcraft is particularly humorous in this regard.) Weis and Hickman's Darksword Adventures contains the rules for Phantasia, a roleplaying game set in the Darksword novels' world of Thimhallan. One of the book's conceits is that it was written by a character in the fictional world for Earth humans (a future advanced spacefaring culture, who refer to the planet as "Kinsky-3") and that the game is actually played in the fictional world. In Thimhallan, magic is Life and Technology, or Death is considered Evil, and so the "author" cautions readers against playing characters who have no ability to use magic and expresses reservations about discussing the "Dark Arts" of technology within the rules.
  • In the same vein as its novel cousin, the Dresden Files RPG plays this for a Fantastic Aesop. In particular, the author Billy (an in-universe character) specifically disclaims any responsibility for the reader (or their characters) trying out the Shadowman's heart-exploding spell and "having [their] fool head chopped off by a Warden".
  • In an official (if completely tongue-in-cheek) ruling for cards in Magic: The Gathering that create food tokens, the following is said:
    Do not eat the delicious cards. Not even for second breakfast.


    Theme Parks 

    Visual Novels 
  • In Little Busters!, if someone picks up fireworks when battling, a note from Kyousuke will appear saying 'It's actually dangerous to point fireworks at someone, don't try this at home.'
  • The disclaimer for LifeSigns: Surgical Unit states in part "Furthermore, the examinations, operations and other behavior performed in this game differ from the real ones. Do not imitate them under any circumstance."

    Web Animation 
  • Episode 1 of Inanimate Insanity opens with the following disclaimer, based off the one from Total Drama: "The following cartoon contains scenes of actual stupidity, some of the stunts which you are about to see were performed by animated objects! Do not try any of what you see here at home! Seriously, you could get really messed up!"
  • Variations of this trope are used in Supermarioglitchy4's Super Mario 64 Bloopers, the most common being "Don't do drugs" (which is used in some bloopers such as "Ssenmodnar 2", "Super Happy Magical Fun Fun Island", and "Yoshrooms").
  • Played for laughs in The Gmod Idiot Box episode 8, where, in a parody of Will It Blend?, the Engineer tries to blend three revolvers.
  • In Taco-Man Plays a Video Game, scenes of Taco-Man performing such activities as smoking and pointing a gun towards his head get accompanied with reminders for kids not to do them.

  • Irregular Webcomic!: In the annotations of this comic.
    And do not, under any circumstances, attempt to emulate Kyros. He is a trained idiot.
  • Used seriously in Collar 6, which has warnings that it's a fantasy world, NOT a guide to BDSM safety.
  • Amazing Super Powers did it in the strip about the watercooler (see Alt Text).
  • Schlock Mercenary warns you: "...but in truth, it is Something You Kids Should Not Be Trying At Home. (I mean it. Put away that linear accelerator RIGHT NOW or I'm telling your mom.)"
  • Near the start of the MythBusters storyline of Least I Could Do, this happens. While the Mythbusters DO use the trope's name for legal reasons, Rayne imagines them saying "Come on. Do it. Do it at home." "But do it bigger'" instead.
  • Darths & Droids:
    • At the climax of the Battle of Yavin, Pete has Corey roll an apparently explosive die. The usual annotation is a disclaimer:
      Many of the things we depict in the comics, we encourage you to try in your own games.

      Not today.

      We disclaim all responsibility where Pete's dice are concerned.
    • Played more seriously in The Rant for strip #968:
      Vehicles often have additional capabilities that don't normally come into the awareness of roleplayers. But knowledge of these features can help save your skin in difficult adventure situations. For example, if your car breaks down in the desert, (the following is roleplaying game advice only, do not try this in real life) you can drink the water from the radiator. [and again in the next paragraph]
  • The commentary for this El Goonish Shive strip goes out of its way to inform readers of the potential hazards of using a sleeper hold.
    • In one comic in which Grace, in squirrel form, is being scratched and petted by Sarah, both Sarah and the commentary point out that it is a very unwise idea to attempt to do this to a real squirrel. Grace can be trusted not to scratch and bite; actual squirrels cannot.
  • Discussed in Paranatural, when Max talks about his Parkour idol Shred Eagle:
    Max: He'd always say "Don't try this at home, kids!" So me and my friends would go around the city and copy his moves in much more dangerous places.
  • Played with in the votey for a Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal comic about impressing your significant other with condom tricks.
    SMBC is not responsible for any unfortunate outcomes of taking the advice contained in this comic.
    SMBC is completely responsible for any awesome outcomes of taking the advice contained in this comic.
  • xkcd strip #620 "Wings" title-text: "Please do not try any of this and die or get arrested."

    Web Original 
  • Cracked's list of 6 Death-Defying Stunts That Are Secretly Easy to Do repeatedly says "Seriously, don't try this yourself."
  • The beginning of the System Shock walkthrough by IT-HE Software, where the author explains that you shouldn't actually indulge in drugs, gleeful violence, or evil in real life.
  • Randall Munroe says this a number of times in his science blog What If?. One of the more amusing examples comes from the entry "Lightning":note 
    Randall: Before we go any further, I want to emphasize something:
    I am not an authority on lightning safety. I am a guy who draws pictures on the Internet. I like when things catch fire and explode, which means I do not have your best interests in mind.
  • The WrestleCrap entry for Mr. America mentions how after Hulk Hogan beat Vince McMahon at WrestleMania XIX, Vince was so angry he told Hogan he never wanted to see him again and would pay him to stay at home.
    RD Reynolds: Somehow I doubt if you, dear reader, ever pissed your boss off royally you’d get the same “punishment.” But hey, what the hell, tomorrow I want you to go in and punch your boss right in the face. Let us know how it turns out for you. (Disclaimer: will not be held legally responsible for any idiotic action you may take based upon our idiotic request.)
  • 17776: Eddie Krieger breaks the fourth wall mid-conversation to warn the reader never to go to Eleven Jones Cave, where he's currently hiding out, since the carbon dioxide levels there will kill anyone who doesn't share his Complete Immortality.

    Web Videos 
  • EXTREME ARSON! -Not actually a sport, please don't try this at home.
  • This video starring the Swedish Chef of The Muppets fame warns at the beginning "The Swedish Chef is a trained professional. (Sort of) Do not try this at home. (Seriously) Thanks. (Really)"
  • Chubbyemu features Dr. Bernard Hsu generally telling people that whatever ended them up in the ER was a stupid thing to do, and because of the dangerous Internet challenges popping up latelynote , some of his videos even have the words "Don't do it". When a real M.D. is telling you not to do something, don't do it. As some of the videos show, even people who accidentally did those things may die. Just don't do it.
  • =3 features Ray constantly telling people to not try things at home. One episode actually featured him telling off people for not listening to this trope:
    Ray: Now, I know every time I say don’t try this at home you guys are like "Sweet, something I'm gonna try at home! Honey, get me my beer, the midget on the Internet is tellin' me not to do somethin' so I gotta do it!"
  • Two Best Friends Play kicked off their RustleMania event (in which they played a bunch of wrestling videogames) with a parody of the PSA's from WWE's home videos (see Professional Wrestling, above). Matt, Pat, and Woolie explained the serious injuries to their reputations that they've sustained—and that one gaming session that left Pat's thumb really, really sore—and they urged their viewers against Lets Playing at home.
  • Recurring use by the French videomaker Experimentboy (mainly in his video descriptions, but sometimes also in the video itself). As his videos essentially consist in playing with fire, destroying things with a lawnmower, cooking dangerous things in microwave ovens, or firing improvised ammunition (tin cans, nails, dolls, etc) with a spud gun, this is totally justified.
  • Highcraft: In "HIGHLIGHT FOREST", when Travis starts asking where his car keys are (in reference to doing cocaine), text appears on screen that says "HE'S JOKING DON'T DO THAT PLS".
  • JonTron:
    • At the end of his Hercules Games episode, JonTron kills himself by swallowing a bottle of pills and a large swig of vodka, while displaying a sarcastic disclaimer:
      Dear Kids: Please don't kill yourselves and then sue me.
    • At a later date, he has plenty of fun with this trope in Waterproofing my life with FLEX TAPE during the last infomercial shown; the salesman has decided to demonstrate how good the product is at plugging holes by assaulting a bucket with a knife and a chainsaw, and the whole time a "Don't try this!" warning is onscreen (escalated to "Seriously don't try this!" when the chainsaw comes out):
      JonTron: Don't try this. Don't try this. It's not even a "don't try this at home", just Don't try this! Phil... he's gone insane, he came in here earlier with a knife and a chainsaw, please help! Send help!
  • In the Barney the Purple Dinosaur episode "Barney's Internet Adventure", Barney sees this warning as he watches the famous "Diet Coke + Mentos" video. He thinks they're taking a shower, so he decides to go take a shower using Diet Coke and Mentos in the outdoors.
    Barney: Boys and girls, they said don't try this at home, that's why I'm outside! (rimshot)
  • Played for laughs in the Area 11 skit "Monopoly", in which Kogie makes Parv chew his Monopoly houses for failing to bail him out yet again. He then tells him to swallow them, at which point the sketch pauses to a mock announcement from InTheLittleWood telling people not to do this at home since they will probably die. After he's finished, this exchange happens:
    Martyn: Is that what you want?
    Sparkles: Pretty much.
    Martyn: Okay, good. [reaches for a spliff] Kogie's sketches are really doing my head in. [lights up]
  • In this YouTube video a father magically "shrinks" his dog (introducing the new puppy).
    Father: Don't try this at home.
    Daughter: We are home!
    Father: Forget what I just said.
  • Averted by Games Repainted: the Repainted team actively encourages fans to do their own repaintings and send them in for the team to play.
  • The Nintoaster Instructional Video repeatedly hammers in the point that one should not try any of what's shown in the video at home unless they know what they're doing (and for good reason, given it involves sensitive electrical equipment).
  • Will It Blend? included the "Don't try this at home" warning along with Tom's "Don't breathe this" warning if the after product of a blended item had a chance of causing sickness or worse. If an item would do no worse than making a mess in your blender, the disclaimer "Please try this at home" was used.
  • Is It a Good Idea to Microwave This? used the simple text warning "Don't try this at home" in the earlier seasons. Later on, in the show's run, a stinger was placed first thing in the video that referenced the "We're what you call experts" disclaimer from Myth Busters. Late run episodes used a variant message in the stinger. If an episode's results were particularly dangerous, such as the fireworks and airbag, the message not to attempt the experiment yourself was heavily emphasized.
  • Outside Xbox sometimes make cocktails from video games. Some go better than others.
    • After misreading the recipe for a cocktail led to putting a handful of nutmeg into the cocktail shaker - which is a legitimately toxic amount of nutmeg to put into anything - a disclaimer at the bottom of the screen stated "Spoiler: This is a dangerous amount of nutmeg. Like seriously, a dangerous amount. Do not eat this much nutmeg ever."
    • Their video of the Dragon Flame cocktail from Hitman 2 included the "don't try this at home" warning because it is vile: it includes chili and raw egg.
  • In the Cooking with Dog episode about boiling a fresh octopus arm, Francis says that some people who live in coastal areas where octopus is caught will dedicate a particular washing machine at their local laundromat for cleaning the goo off of octopus arms, claiming that the machine does the job faster than the hand-rubbing with coarse salt method that Chef is doing while also tenderizing the meat. Without missing a beat, Francis gently warns not to try this at your local public laundry.
  • The H.Bomberguy video "Soy Boys: A Measured Response", he eats a mouthful of grass in defiance of EU regulations, only to immediately spit it back out.
    "Grass contains silica, which can seriously mess up your teeth, like, permanently. Do not even do this for a joke!"
  • Life of Boris: Usually subverted. Boris usually recommends you not try his antics at home "unless you know what you are doing, in which case, go ahead". The one time this was played absolutely straight was in the "Cooking With Chainsaw"-video which proclaimed that Boris can do it only because he is a professional "debil" (idiot).
  • Averted with Joseph's Machines, a YouTube channel dedicated to building Rube Goldberg machines.
  • VG Myths: "Can You Beat Pokemon Without Getting Hit?" includes a warning at the end of the episode where Gamechamp usually puts a call to attempt the challenge. Justified as she started having actual nightmares about if imaginary damage counts as damage.
    Gamechamp: This run was an unforgettable experience! If you'd like to try it out yourself... don't! Please, this is a very bad idea! [...] Do a challenge run, I always encourage doing challenge runs. Just don't do this one! Please, you deserve better!
  • One The TRY Channel episode (trying strong American alcohols), has one of the liquors be Clear Spring Grain Alcohol- at 95% (190 Proof). Leather Jacket Guy and John, before taking their shot, state that while they're "trained professionals", "don't try" doing it yourself.note 
  • Big Clive:
    • Clive does a lot of rather dangerous things, often with very little warning other than "this is very dangerous", with a notable exception being the time that he decided to put 240v mains current across his chest arm to armnote  and was spurred to add a very long content warning at the start of the video.
    • "Wood fracking" or "fractal burning" is the process of using electricity to make pretty patterns on pieces of wood. "The Most Dangerous Project on the Internet" is about the extreme dangers of using microwave oven transformers as a power source: Clive says that over 30 people in the USA are known to have been killed by them, and compares the power output to overhead power lines and the electric chair. The thumbnail shows Clive holding an MOT, with the text THIS WILL KILL YOU.
  • Rocked, in the episode on Buckcherry's 15, one of the Shower of Angst cases that Luke does because the lyrics make him feel dirty has him taking a bottle of bleach to wash himself and his mouth. The Stinger has him showing the bottle had water, while warning first the trope name then "Don't try anything you see at Regretting the Past! Including bleach and hearing awful music!"
  • Tek Syndicate has a video on how to apply thermal paste to a CPU the "Kentucky Way", which features all manners of abuse such as using toothpaste rather than actual thermal paste — a large amount of it no less — and washing the motherboard under a tap. At the end of the video is a warning not to actually try this at home and a link to a video on how to properly apply thermal paste.
  • Let's Game It Out: In one of his playthroughs of Cooking Simulator, Josh discovers that you can pick up a knife by the blade end, but expresses relief that you can't cut anything with it that way, since he would hate for anyone to watch his video and think that's the correct way to use a knife. However, considering the rest of the video has him gleefully ignoring any attempt at realistic safety practices (including sticking his head in the deep fryer to see how the steak is cooking), this is clearly played for Hypocritical Humor.

    Real Life 
  • The real-life Trope Namer was the late motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel, who on his numerous televised death-defying feats in the 1970s included the same disclaimer: "Kids, don't try this at home."
  • Some humorous variants of this are "Don't try this at home. Try it on the hospital steps." and "Don't try this at home. Go to a friend's house." The latter appears in The Reduced Shakespeare Radio Show.
  • Rudy Coby got an audience member — a middle-aged woman — onstage as part of one trick, and had her give the warning: "Kids, don't try this at home."
  • Dane Cook joked about turning the nozzle for a glass cleaner halfway between on/off and to not try it at home, but knew someone in the audience would do it when they got home anyway. More specifically that doing that would either do nothing or release a ghost.
    Dane Cook: [as the ghost] Mwhahaha, he told you not to! I am Windextor! I will clean your soul!
  • Meat Loaf tended to use profanity on stage. At one of his concerts, he noticed some young children in the audience. He told them "Kids, don't talk like I do when you get home." And added, "Wait 'til you get to school!"
  • One psychology textbook talks about neurosurgeons a half-century ago discovering that stimulating different areas on the exposed motor cortex caused different parts of the body to respond. In parentheses, the book adds, "Kids, don't try this without parental supervision."
  • Discussed in Theodore Gray's book "Mad Science," where he performs various DIY experiments and scientific demos of varying safety and sanity. He opens with a foreword discussing his disappointment regarding the overuse of these disclaimers and his feeling that DIY scientific exploration has been effectively neutered, comparing it to Crying Wolf. He then says that many of the experiments performed in the book actually are safe to replicate at home, and promises the reader that he will point out which ones are okay to do, and which ones are too dangerous. And throughout the book, he even provides instructions for how to replicate particular experiments using household materials (as opposed to what he uses.)
  • Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities illustrates parity by describing a con-trick, requiring "three cups and one mug". Stewart adds, "Do not try this at home or anywhere else ... or if you do, keep me out of it."
  • On the old newsgroup, accounts of mind-bogglingly extreme S&M sessions would end with disclaimers such as "— are highly trained stunt perverts. Don't try these tricks at home." These disclaimers have also become increasingly common on porn DVDs.
  • Invoked in a popular meme in some places, which says that in the past, people didn't have to be told not to try things at home, they were smart enough to know it wasn't safe.
  • A T-shirt in the 2013 Signals Christmas catalog featured a flaming pictograph of a man and the slogan "I tried it at home."
  • In this video,, Prof. John Guttag from Massachusetts Institute of Technology attempted to perform the Buffon-Laplace method to estimate Pi note  by... shooting a paper held by a student with real arrows. To quote what is said at the subtitles:
    Subtitle: Semi-professional archer on closed course. Do not try at home.
    • Later on, when he realizes he is not shooting randomly enough, he then attempts to shoot blindfolded. Hilarity ensues.
      Subtitle: Crazy archer on closed course. Do not try ANYWHERE.
  • There is a T-shirt that depicts a Man on Fire with the caption "I tried it at home!"
  • Ray Mears often eats wild plants in his documentaries because he's had a great deal of survival training and knows which plants are edible. He frequently warns viewers that it can be very dangerous to do this if you aren't highly knowledgeable about plants.
  • When then-president Donald Trump began mulling if the coronavirus could be combatted if people took disinfectant into their bodies, disinfectant manufacturers and emergency services almost immediately put out statements that disinfectants are not meant for internal use in any way shape or form.
  • Mentioned in a study about how natural immunity after a COVID-19 infection is more protective against the Delta Variant than vaccines.
    The natural immune protection that develops after a SARS-CoV-2 infection offers considerably more of a shield against the Delta variant of the pandemic coronavirus than two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to a large Israeli study that some scientists wish came with a “Don’t try this at home” label.

Go to a friend's house.
No. No. What I meant by that was "Do not attempt it... ever!"
Too late, already trying it!


Alternative Title(s): Do Not Try This At Home, Dont Try This At Home Kids


Not Role Models

A disclaimer that plays before the episode begins that warns the viewers not to try doing the dangerous things Beavis and Butthead do

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / DontTryThisAtHome

Media sources: