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"Hi, I'm Adam Conover, and this is 'Adam Ruins Everything'."
Adam Conover, Once per Episode

Adam Ruins Everything was an informational comedy on truTV that aired from 2015 to 2019, hosted by CollegeHumor alumnus Adam Conover. In each episode, Adam plays a know-it-all with fourth-wall-breaking powers who barges into other people's lives and pesters them with harsh truths. A tie-in book was released on April 10, 2018.

In 2022, a Creator-Driven Successor titled The G Word with Adam Conover was launched on Netflix, hosted by Conover and produced by Barack Obama.

Adam Ruins Listing Tropes:

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  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Adam takes Hayley on a tour of one of these in "Adam Ruins Hygiene".
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: The real Linus Pauling, who infamously promoted fake ideas about vitamins, was hardly the Casanova that the show portrays him to be.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: In contrast to the lonely Jerk with a Heart of Gold that Adam portrays in the TV series, his persona in the original CollegeHumor shorts was a foul-mouthed Jerkass who took perverse pleasure in ruining people's enjoyment of things.
  • Adjacent to This Complete Breakfast: Adam debunks the alleged nutritional value of milk, orange juice, and especially breakfast cereal.
  • Affectionate Parody: "Adam Ruins What We Learned In School" is an animated episode that's one to kids' educational TV shows, the most obvious one being The Magic School Bus. Other references include Dora the Explorer and Rocky and Bullwinklenote  in the second segment, and the entire third segment is one to Schoolhouse Rock!.
  • After the End: In "The First Facts-giving," Adam explains this is why the British were able to colonize what is now the Eastern U.S. with relative ease. The episode explains that numerous Native American groups, from Meso-America (modern-day Latin America) all the way into what is now the U.S. lived in complex societies that would often include densely packed urban centers, and would regularly trade with other groups, whether they were also organized in complex societies, or were nomadic. When the Spanish took over Meso-America, brought with them numerous diseases that the Indigenous populations were not immune to. Thanks to the trade routes, disease was able to spread faster than the European settlers, thus by the time the Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth rock, over a hundred years after Cortez arrived from Spain, the local tribes had been severely decimated by sickness, and the Pilgrims assumed that, barring the occasional local, the land they were on was an empty continent waiting to be colonized.
  • The Alleged Expert: According to a "Re-Animated History" bit about the history of anatomy, for over a thousand years, anatomists were all taught the teachings of the Ancient Greek physician Galen, with professors not even examining human bodies themselves. During the Renaissance, professor of surgery and anatomy Andreas Vesalius did his own research on actual human bodies and found that Galen had made hundreds of mistakes because he had only studied the anatomy of animals and just assumed that human bodies were similar.
  • All-Natural Snake Oil: "Adam Ruins Malls" states that that the merchandise sold in nutritional supplement stores is dangerously under-regulated, and the ingredients don't always match what's on the label. On a slightly less worrying note, "Adam Ruins Nutrition" points out that most "natural" orange juice is made with highly processed (but harmless) packets of orange byproducts in order to extend its shelf life without losing flavor, along with a LOT of sugar.
  • All Part of the Show: The snobby collectors in "Adam Ruins Art" assume Adam smashing one of the paintings from the inside is performance art.
  • Alpha Bitch: An adult version appears in, funnily enough, the episode where Adam proves that alpha males don't exist. She proceeds to mentally dominate Alpha!Adam while Normal!Adam narrates that humans' closest genetic relatives are not chimps, but bonobos, which are actually matriarchal.
  • Alternate Timeline: In "Adam Ruins Having a Baby" Emily finds out she's pregnant, so Adam shows her and Murph the misconceptions and cultural biases that people have of having a baby. At the end of the episode, Adam tells them that everything until then was a What If? scenario and tells them that at this point in history, it's perfectly okay for couples to wait as long or a bit longer than they already have, or decide not to have a child at all. They then go to the beginning of the episode where Emily is not pregnant, and she and Murph decide to wait a few years more.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: In-Universe, many of the subjects that Adam covers have been forgotten by history and replaced by myth and legend. For example;
    • In "Adam Ruins the Wild West", guns were outlawed in many frontier towns, a significant number of "cowboys" were Mexican and black, and women - particularly members of The Oldest Profession - played a significant role in taming the Wild West.
    • In "Adam Ruins Drugs", opiates were prescribed 100 years ago for anything because an ad reassured that they were not addictive.
    • Patti (Emily's mother-in-law) explains to her that up until the invention of baby formula in 1865, women who couldn't breastfeed (and couldn't afford to hire a wet nurse, or who came from cultures where wet-nursing was not practiced) had no choice but to feed their babies breadcrumbs soaked in water...and that many of those babies died from malnutrition. Complete with a "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer.
    • In "Adam Ruins Sex," Adam explains the real reason that many infant boys in the US are circumcised (for non-medical and non-religious reasons). The practice goes back to the Victorian era, where it was popularized by doctors and non-doctors (including Harvey Kellogg, the guy who invented cornflakes) as a way to curb the sex drive and urge to masturbate by instilling a Primal Fear in baby boys. He also mentions that it wasn't just done to boys either: Kellogg thought the way to keep girls from masturbating was to apply carbolic acid to their clitorises or to lop off the visible part of the organ entirely. Thankfully, this ideology has mostly died out, although the practice of paring away boys' foreskins (for non-medical and non-religious reasons) remains in effect for largely cosmetic reasons.
  • Ambiguously Gay: The Reanimated History narrator mentions how handsome JFK is pretty much every other sentence.
  • An Aesop: Every episode ends with Adam's suggestion of what to do instead of what he just ruined (donate money instead of canned food, use public transit as much as possible, etc.).
  • And I Must Scream: In "Adam Ruins What We Learned In School" a child is trapped in King Tutankhamen's tomb for millennia by mistake, claiming to have "learned that hell is just a word" after being alone for thousands of years when he finally escaped. This is basically glossed over.
  • Animated Episode: When debating with a science student about the validity of test data obtained from lab mice, Adam transforms himself and the student into animated mice, a la Pinky and the Brain.
    • In another episode about Christmas, Adam turns himself and his guest into characters from Peanuts to talk about the history of Christmas.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Due to his immature and abrasive nature, Adam sometimes serves as this to Rhea despite being three years older than her. Likewise, Rhea comes across as a Cool Big Sis due to her maturity and competence.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "Arsenic? BPAs? Little bugs?"
    • Call-Back in "Adam Ruins Malls": "Advertising? Racism? Little bugs?"
  • Artistic License – Economics: Averting this trope is the whole point of Adam Ruins...the Economy. For example, the unemployment rate only counts people who are looking for work, not people who make some cash to live by until they find a steady job. The Dow Jones only measures how well the best performing companies are doing, if one of those companies is not doing so well, its replaced by another that is. Also, the promise made by politicians — that American factory workers will get their jobs back to compete with China — is impossible. Since China has so many people and is surrounded by countries that extract raw materials, they can afford to use cheap manual labor to produce so many of the goods we buy. In the U.S. however, companies manage to make a profit in their factories by using robots, and by concentrating mostly on hiring people that can provide services, instead of producing goods.
  • Artistic License – History: A brief shot "The First Factsgiving" shows Native Americans tilling the fields with horses. Horses are not endemic to the Americas, and did not first appear until they were brought by the Spaniards.
  • Art Shift: Quite frequently - his discussion about "Buy One, Give One" programs takes him and Emily through a TV, then to a dry-erase drawing before popping back out in the real world.
    • Now, there are little animated skits after commercial breaks where a cartoon Adam discusses a minor topic involving the episode's theme.
      Adam: Ever Wonder Why (X thing related to the theme of the episode)?
    • The most prominent is in "Adam Ruins What We Learned In School", which is entirely animated in the style of The Magic School Bus.
    • The Reanimated History series is entirely animated.
  • Ascended Extra: After being a recurring bit character throughout the first two seasons, Uncle Sam finally gets to be the ruinee for a whole episode in "Adam Ruins America".
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: In "Adam Ruins Work" the Säkkijärven Polka, a Finnish song, plays while Adam talks about German workers.
  • Aspect Ratio Switch: In "Adam Ruins Hollywood", this happens twice. The show's default aspect ratio is 16:9, but the first shots are vertical smartphone video when Mark is showing his excitement to be at the Awardie Awards. This features a blurred and cropped version of the exact same video playing in the letterbox, similar to what some TV shows do. The second time, the frame briefly letterboxes to Cinemascope when actors in an ultraviolent movie explain that PG-13 movies have contained more violence than R movies.
  • Asshole Victim: The positive takeaway in "Adam Ruins Shopping Malls" is that malls are dying due to oversaturation. Considering so many of them were made by abusing a loophole to use them as tax shelters as well as bastardizing Victor Gruen's original intent, it can be seen as nothing less than Karmic Death. Instead, cities are now replacing them with urban renewal projects such as outdoor town squares with local businesses, public space, and even housing which was Gruen's original intent for them.
  • Audience Surrogate: Everyone who is not Adam, from recurring characters like Emily and Murph to the one episode characters that appear throughout the series act as this whenever a topic is explored in an episode. Adam himself is this trope whenever someone else uses his Reality Warper powers to explain something to him.
  • Awful Truth: Adam's main joy in life comes from pointing these out in the most obnoxious way possible.
    • In "Adam Ruins Animals" we learn that Trophy Hunting, while distasteful to some, is actually helping to save entire species because the money from it is the only way some countries are able to afford conservation.
      "I want to save endangered animals, but I have to shoot them in the face."
    • In "Adam Ruins Immigration", the aspect of building a huge wall across all of the 2000+ mile border between Mexico and the United States is ruined for one hopeful security guard when Adam points out how a large percentage of immigrants fly into the country by plane entirely legally, and just overstay their visas.
    • It's revealed in the Holiday episode that his sister Rhea caused this obsession: emotionally scarring him by saying Santa wasn't real, teaching him that knowing the truth is better no matter how rough it is.
    • In "Adam Ruins Going Green," we are shown that there is actually very little a single person can do to help stop global warming, and most singular efforts like buying an electric car just change where the pollution comes from and can even increase your carbon footprint. Also, that super famous crying Native American PSA that made you feel like crap for littering was actually corporate propaganda to push blame from corporations onto consumers (and the guy was Italian-American).
    • In Adam Ruins... the Suburbs, after being told that little Donavan attends a mostly white school because of racist "red-lining" policies introduced during the New Deal, Ron comes to the conclusion that: "People in the past were the worst!"
  • Badass Fingersnap: Adam (and others) can activate his powers with a snap, but due to the tone it's rarely that impressive. The most Badass example so far is probably "Adam Ruins Justice," when Rhea banishes Adam's sample jury and takes over the final act.
  • Based on a Great Big Lie:
    • "Adam Ruins The Wild West" explains how the image many have of The Wild West with cowboys protecting people from "savage Indians" stems from a circus act staged across the country by Buffalo Bill.
    • In "Adam Ruins Justice" Adam explains how everything that is commonly known about the infamous McDonald's Hot Coffee civil suit is wrong. It was actually a terrible incident that nearly cost a woman her life after she received third-degree burns from coffee that had been near-boiling temperatures. She was also one of 700 people this had happened to. Pretty much everything that is known commonly about the incident was a smear campaign by corporations to discourage people from suing about unsafe practices.
    • "Adam Ruins Drugs" is one long screed on how the War on Drugs is this.
    • This PSA against littering is probably the most famous in history, but in actuality was produced by companies trying to push guilt over littering onto the consumer so they could continue making cheap one-use products.
    • According to "Adam Ruins... What We Learned in School" the narrative that Christopher Columbus was the hero that discovered America was created by Washington Irving, author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow when he wrote the first English biography of Columbus, and omitted the massacre and enslavement of the Native Americans. This story was further spread by Italian immigrants who wanted to fit in better by showing that their culture was connected in the creation of America. Plus Irving is responsible for the intractable myth that Europeans at the time believed the Earth to be flat (they did not).
    • According to "Adam Ruins Halloween", the popular story of how Orson Welles' infamous radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds supposedly triggered mass panic among people. In fact, very few people at the time even heard it, because it was airing at the same time as a popular ventriloquist comedy show. Even though the night of the broadcast was as calm as any night and there were no reports of anyone being killed or seriously injured as a result of it, newspapers at the time exaggerated some anecdotal stories of people panicking, giving the general public the impression that people had mistaken it for a real news broadcast and rioted.
    • In Give me Facts or Give me Death, Adam dispels the idea that the Continental Army was mainly composed of patriots who were motivated by ideas of freedom from the British Empire. Although there were some who did join out of patriotic fervor, the vast majority of recruits were petty criminals who were sentenced to a stint on the frontlines, drunks that were swindled into enlisting while intoxicated, immigrants who didn't understand English that were tricked into joining, and land owners who believed that independence might lead to lower taxes, and those who were wealthy enough hired poor men to go into the army in their place, and when that wasn't enough, a draft was instituted. To fight the war, Washington and other leaders used what money they had to buy supplies and munitions, and the reasons why the Continental Army didn't mutiny and disband from a lack of pay was the promise to give soldiers back wages after the war was won, and because Washington was a believer in harsh discipline.
    • In The First Factsgiving, Adam explains that the first Thanksgiving was less, "the Pilgrims and the Indians coming together to celebrate a bountiful harvest" and more like "the Wampanoag and the Pilgrims got together for a celebratory feast once they massacred the enemies of the Wampanoag."
    • In a similar example to Pocahontas, the story of 300 is ripped apart by showing how the Spartans were Authoritarian, child murdering and child raping savages while the Persians were a much more noble people who had multicultural empire based on at the time, progressive policies that later got rewritten for the purpose of propaganda against Eastern people, propping up the people of Sparta as a western civilization that needed protection from savage invaders from the East.
  • Bathtub Bonding: Adam and Hayley in "Adam Ruins Hygiene," albeit without water in the tub.
  • Benevolent Boss: Adam argues that being a good boss can actually improve productivity and benefit the economy itself. Even Henry Ford, notoriously anti-union, gave his workers more time off simply because it meant that they could buy his cars.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: "Adam Ruins CollegeHumor" is about how Adam believes that CollegeHumor has been declining ever since he left as a regular cast member.
  • Bittersweet Ending: At the end of "Adam Ruins Hygiene," Hayley finally gets out of the bathroom and goes on her date. Adam, who has clearly developed feelings for her, ends up locked back inside and alone. To top it all off, his Tamagotchi dies.
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: Adam likes peanut butter and sardine sandwiches. And a later episode reveals he has oatmeal with soy sauce for breakfast.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Hayley winds up breaking her neck at the tail-end of "Adam Ruins Death," while Emily narrowly avoids it after hearing Murph, her fiancee, say that he'd planned to take her to a Ronda Rousey meet 'n greet.
    • Also subtly parodied in "Adam Ruins Hollywood" when looking at the movie set for a Ultra Super Death Gore Fest Chainsawer 3000. Also accompanied by an Aspect Ratio Switch to Cinemascope.
      Black guy: Wrong. PG-13 movies have been found to contain more violence than R-rated movies.
      Eyepatch guy: *stabs the black guy* In fact, gun violence in PG-13 movies has doubled-
      Action Girl: *Shoots Eyepatch guy with a shotgun.* No, tripled since 1985. Thanks, MPAA, you filthy animal.
  • Black Face: Averted in "Adam Ruins Christmas." He mentions the Dutch St. Nicholas' slave, Black Peter, but his sister grabs the camera mid-pan to avoid showing him.
  • Black Like Me: A downplayed, but very powerful variation is used in "Adam Ruins... Guns." When talking about how gun-rights activists overlook black people in their activism, Adam role plays with the white gun-rights supporter about what happened to Philando Castile. Adam "pulls him over" and asks him for his license and registration, he complies and, per the law, informs him that he is legally carrying a firearm. The cop tells him to not reach for it, "Castile" responds he isn't, the cop again orders him not to reach for it, and when "Castile" and his passenger insists he wasn't, the man's daughter-in-law yells "BANG!" and says that despite following the law that every responsible gun owner should obey, Castile was shot dead for legally carrying a gun.
  • Bloodstained Defloration: Conversed and disparaged, with Emily Axford saying that female physical virginity is effectively non-existent, as the hymen can be torn any number of ways, and it is not uncommon for it to heal.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: In "Adam Ruins Voting," the Purple Party believes that all guns are gay and that babies should be required by law to vape. Meanwhile, the Yellow Party believes that all gays should own guns and that all people named "Trevor" should be executed.
  • Boring, but Practical: According to Adam Ruins... Science, any scientific research that does not fit the criteria of being personally appealing to corporate funders or the government, does not get funded, even if it may have practical uses for society and humanity at large.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: In "Adam Ruins Taxes," Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan both appear to say they support return free filingnote , shaking their hands and saying
    Reagan: Yes we can!
    Obama: Tear down this wall.. of paperwork!
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Subverted in "Adam Ruins Guns," where the outcome is essentially, neither side has a point. The episode revolves around Adam interrupting a Thanksgiving dinner and telling a gun-safety advocate and her gun-rights father about how they over generalize their respective side of the argument. He tells the gun-safety woman that simply banning guns in the U.S. would not work because of the hundreds of millions of guns in circulation, and a national gun-buy back, like what was done in Australia following the Port Artur massacre, would be too expensive to carry out (imagine buying hundreds of millions of guns at their original price), and groups like the N.R.A. help build a sense of camaraderie for gun lovers. Adam then tells the gun-rights father that the N.R.A. was not always about universal gun rights, and even was instrumental in writing some early gun-control measures, including taking away guns from irresponsible owners and denying the sale outright of anyone who is deemed irresponsible, however in the 1970s new leaders in the N.R.A. began lobbying for universal gun ownership and the repeal of gun-control measures that they deemed too restrictive. When the daughter's African American wife goes to a store to get away from their arguing, Adam enlists her help to show that gun control was used to keep minorities unarmed, Ronald Regan, when he was governor of California, enacted gun control measures to disarm groups like the Black Panthers, and stop and frisk laws disproportionately target minority neighborhoods. Also, she tells her father in law that gun rights are essentially for "withes only," citing the case of Marissa Alexander who after firing a warning shot at her abusive ex-husband, was arrested for reckless gun use, and despite citing Florida's "stand your ground" lawnote , she was given a twenty year sentence. She also mentions Filando Castille, who despite following the law that every responsible gun owner should obey, he informed the police officer who pulled him over he had a registered firearm in his vehicle, Castille was shot and killed when the police officer made the (incorrect) assumption that Castille was going to use the gun against him.
  • Bottle Episode: "Adam Ruins Hygiene" plays out in Hayley's bathroom, except for an excursion into the Absurdly Spacious Sewer.
  • Bowdlerise: Things such as strong language are removed from the original College Humor shorts.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: The uses for the Internet seen in the cafe in "Adam Ruins the Internet" include staying in touch with friends, discussing important issues with colleagues, and harassing children.
  • Breather Episode: "Adam Ruins Hollywood", a lighthearted exploration of fairly innocuous misconceptions about Hollywood which aired following the shockingly dark "Adam Ruins Death".
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: A segment in "Adam Ruins Hollywood" shows how entertainment awards (Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes, etc.) are essentially this.
  • Broken Aesop:
    • Adam spends a whole episode explaining how American democracy is ridiculously corrupt, only to conclude that it's important to vote because voting will change things... eventually. It's just an uphill battle, not a hopeless one.
    • His 2016 election special had an example that was (probably) unintentional. He tells people it's important to find common ground with your ideological opponents... after using various politicians as his punching bags for much of the episode.
    • The episode on immigration starts out presenting the issues from the perspective of a family of legal Hispanic immigrants, but by the end there is a monologue that presents them as if they were illegal immigrants, which makes the overall message rather confusing. Not to mention that the episode never mentions many of the issues brought up regarding illegal immigration, such as crime, instead making it out to be mainly a racial or cultural issue. Of course, Adam may have just run out of time to point out that neighborhoods with immigrants have a significantly lower-than-average crime rate.
  • Butt-Monkey: Ronald in "Adam Ruins What We Learned in School" who is an Expy of Arnold from The Magic School Bus. At the beginning of the episode, when Ms. Dazzle is sending out subjects the class will be learning in school, he's thrown a tennis ball with "Vietnam War" on it and nervously (and quickly) says that he got the ball that says "Grammar" on it. It goes on from there. When Christopher Columbus begins slaughtering the natives, Ms. Dazzle covers the eyes of the two other children, leaving Ronald to see the violence with regret. Then, when the class visits ancient Egypt, Ronald doesn't make it into the time machine and is forced wait thousands of years for the tomb to open again. The lesson he learned from that experience is that "Hell is just a word". The episode ends with him vomiting endless beetles from his mouth due to the mummy's curse.
    • In general, Murph. Adam's obsession with facts and corrections have ruined his proposal, wedding, sex life and even added more stress during a pregnancy scare, and unlike other frequent victims Emily and Rhea, Murph never gets to correct Adam on anything. note 
  • Call-Back:
    • In Episode 6 ("Adam Ruins Hygiene"), Emily says she's going to watch a UFC fight before accidentally locking Adam and Hayley in the bathroom. In Episode 12 ("Adam Ruins Death"), she reveals that she's a huge fan of Ronda Rousey, which becomes a plot point.
    • In "Adam Ruins Voting", Donna lamely defends her self-proclaimed fun-ness by claiming she has two pet turtles. In "Adam Ruins Malls", Adam reveals he also has pet turtles.
    • In "Adam Ruins Work", as Adam tells the boss that 40-hour workweeks were making his employees dumber, the man in the background who had his tie caught in the paper shredder loudly asks, "He AM?!" Then, in "Adam Ruins Summer Fun", Jake is told that summer vacation was making him dumber. He loudly replies, "It AM?!"
    • In "Adam Ruins Sex", Adam gets hit in the side with a basketball thrown from out of frame and makes a wimpy "Owww..." sound (twice). Then, in a video Adam made for the US Department of Education for the FAFSA application for student aid, the woman he's talking to protests that she won't get help because her "basketball skills are sub-par"; she's then hit in the side with a basketball thrown from off-camera and says "Ow!".
    • The guy from the episode about work who says "What?! That's crazy!" reappears in the mall episode.
    • In the opening of "Adam Ruins Housing", the muppet Adam from "Adam Ruins Summer Fun" and the "Ruiner" chair from "Adam Ruins Hollywood" appears as the viewers find Adam flushing golf balls down his toilet while thinking of Hallie.
    • In "Adam Ruins Security", the government agent in Adam's Imagine Spot mentions that orange Tic-Tacs are his favorite. In "Adam Ruins Drugs", the D.A.R.E officer mentions that he loves orange Tic-Tacs after finding one in his drugs briefcase.
    • In the forensic science episode, Adam mentions that someone found two identical snowflakes before getting back to the topic of fingerprints, saving it for the Christmas Episode. In "Adam Ruins Christmas'" the "Ever Wonder Why?" segment states that snowflakes are identical in the higher levels of the atmosphere, and change as they fall to the ground, and there may be identical snowflakes out there, just not in the same spot.
    • The Cajun speaking guy has appeared in "Adam Ruins": "Immigration," "Justice" and "the Environment."
    • The two other movies on the cinema marquee at the end of "Adam Ruins Dating" are The Sad British Man and Room 2: Back in the Room, which were mentioned as nominees for the Awardy Awards in "Adam Ruins Hollywood".
    • The actor who portrayed the Horatio Caine Expy returned to play a 1980s' detective in the satanic cult segment of Adam Ruins.... Conspiracy Theories.
    • In "Adam Ruins... the Wild West," when debunking the Cowboys vs Indians myth, he tells the gunslinger that they could devote an entire episode dispelling known fallacies about Native Americans, but quickly moves on. Later, in "Animated History," there's an episode titled "the First Facts-giving" which is about recent discoveries made about Native Americans, and how they really lived before the Europeans arrived.
  • The Cameo: "Adam Ruins Christmas" is narrated by Adam Savage.
    Closing Narration: That Christmas, Rhea learned her big brother wasn’t such a big bother, after all. And that emotionally stunted man taught us that the meaning of Christmas is whatever the (bleep) we want it to be. I guess smug men named Adam really can solve all the world’s problems. Another Christmas myth: broken.
  • Capitalism Is Bad: You could make a drinking game out of how many times the myths or misconceptions is caused by someone making money off of it, whether it be a global monopoly, ad campaigns or lobbyism.
  • Catchphrase: Adam has "Actually..." and "Hi, I'm Adam Conover, and this is Adam Ruins Everything."
  • Cessation of Existence: At the beginning of "Adam Ruins Death," Adam equates death with non-existence. That some (or even many) of his viewers might believe in some form of life after death is not once mentioned. The only time the episode comes close is when one of the experts asks Emily if she has any strongly held values or beliefs that might influence her medical wishes.
    • Although the funeral at the end is held in a church and a woman who appears to be a minister is seen giving a sermon about leaving to be with God before Adam's outburst.
    • In the Adam Ruins Everything podcast episode, he interviews Caitlin Doughty and they do discuss religion a little more, but the episode is more focused on an agnostic/atheist perspective.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: "Adam Ruins Death," full stop. The usual comedic tone was ditched in favor of one of the most depressing things you will ever see on TV. The Downer Ending doesn't help matters.
    • It's even lampshaded.
      Emily: I thought your show was supposed to be a comedy.
      Adam: Well, the line between comedy and drama has blurred in the recent decades.
  • Character Development: Since a number of CollegeHumor actors are recurring as the same characters, we get to see their relationships with Adam develop. It's also been very strongly implied that Adam is desperate to make friends, because he's an annoying know-it-all no one likes.
    • In "Adam Ruins Malls," Emily is willing to spend a day with Adam at a mall. She realizes how useful Adam's lectures are after he exposes nutritional supplements as snake oil. Adam himself starts to realize how lecturing people is not a good way to relate to people.
    • It's subtle, but in season two, Adam seems more willing to accept insight and opinions from people as he lectures others, and is more accepting and introspective when people turn the tables on him.
    • After being chewed out by his girlfriend in "Adam Ruins his Vacation" he agrees that he needs to learn how to take a break from ruining things, and actually does manage to stop himself and relax in the end.
  • Chirping Crickets:
    • Tumbleweed rolling across an empty studio in an Imagine Spot at the end of "Adam Ruins Nutrition."
    • The sound effects guy in the radio studio invokes this by recreating the sound on a cricket-shaped instrument when Adam explains how the "reports of mass chaos" created by Orson Welles' famous The War of the Worlds broadcast was a hoax.
  • Cloneopoly: In the episode "Adam Ruins: The Suburbs," when Adam explains to Ron how the suburbs are a symbol of modern day segregation, he pulls out a game called "Settlers of Suburbia: Red Lining Edition." Adam explains that during The Great Depression, the F.D.R. administration set up programs to help people get loans to save their homes, and to determine who got those loans, cities were red lined. Ron's son, little Donovan gets the green zone part of the board, representing white neighborhoods, and Ron got the red zone representing minority neighborhoods. Every time little Donovan rolled the dice, he got rewarded with community chest-like cards, and built bigger and better lodgings for his little figure, Ron on the other hand got punished by the community chest-like cards, and built nothing on his side of the board. And just as Ron was not allowed to go into the green zone of the game board, Adam explains that the Federal government allowed suburban developers to enforce racial segregation.
  • Coitus Interruptus: How else would an episode titled "Adam Ruins Sex" begin? It almost ends right there, since Adam's revelations are not likely to put anyone in the mood, but he does help the couple get back to it at the end.
  • Cold Reading: The Magician-turned-undercover psychic expert brought in for "Adam Ruins Halloween" explains how this trick works.
  • Conscription: In "Animated History: Give me Facts or Give me Death," Adam says that in order to fight the Revolutionary War, George Washington promised common workers back pay once the war was over, tricked drunks into joining the Continental Army, swindled immigrants who didn't understand English into enlisting, and even made crimes punishable with a stint on the front-lines. When these tactics didn't gather enough manpower, he instituted a draft.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: A segment of "Adam Ruins Conspiracy Theories" has Adam disprove Melinda's belief that the moon landing was faked.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: The beginning of "Adam Ruins Housing."
  • Conversational Troping: "Bacon" has a young couple do a Meet Cute over the same piece of pork tenderloin, which is duly mentioned by name.
  • Cool Big Sis: Adam's sister serves as this despite being three years younger. Rhea is a much calmer, collected and savvy individual who drives him to social situations while also reminding him to tone down his quirky behavior.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: A common theme in the show is how much of American society and culture has been the result of the manipulations created by those seeking the bottom line.
  • Cover Innocent Eyes and Ears: In "Adam Ruins... What We Learned in School", when he mentions that Christopher Columbus ordered his men to slaughter the natives, when they couldn't provide gold, Ms. Dazzel covers the eyes of two of her students, but the Arnold Expy saw everything, since no-one covered his eyes.
  • Cowboy Episode: "Adam Ruins The Wild West" is a deconstruction of The Western.
  • Crazy Cat Lady:
    • There is one in the audience at "Adam Ruins Nutrition," to illustrate his comparison of vitamins to cats - too many of either is generally a bad idea.
    • In "Adam Ruins Animals", Adam claims that cat lovers are a reason why cats have become so widespread and led to the extinction of numerous small birds.
  • Crying Indian: Torn apart to pieces in "Adam Ruins Going Green". Aside from the fact that the PSA was designed to shift blame of littering from corporations to consumers, the titular Indian was actually of Sicilian/Italian heritage.
  • Crystal Clear Picture: Happens at least twice.
    • In the Election Special, Adam shows his "campaign ad" while making the point that the Electoral College makes politicians focus on states with narrow margins. It is on a CRT TV from The '90s, but the quality is HD.
    • In "Adam Ruins Sex", the ruinee shows a VHS tape he made in The '90s about how herpes is horrible to have, but the quality is HDnote . Adam promptly inserts himself into the tape and informs them that unless you're immunocompromised, herpes is no big deal.
  • Curse of The Ancients: Literal example. In the early 20th century, the "jay" in "jaywalking" used to be an N-word-level obscene slur meaning "dirty hillbilly" AKA "moron who jumped in front of a car." Car companies and proponents purposely created the term to put the blame for vehicular deaths on the victims themselves, as many cities were so dismayed by the daily incidents they were about to ban cars altogether. As a result, people were banned from streets instead.
  • Cutting the Knot: At the end of the "Drugs" episode, Emily is taken to prison after a cop discovers she has drugs on her person (which she kept confiscating from Adam throughout the episode). At the end of the "Prison" episode, it's revealed that Adam's sister Rhea, a public defender, got the case thrown out by showing the court the very same episode.
  • Darkest Africa: Subverted. Adam has Teddy Ruge, a native Ugandan, rip apart this image, since it was created by companies like TOMS Shoes to sell stuff. In fact, Teddy argues that donations of shoes not only distract people from other problems countries like Uganda face, but actually hurt the local economy by making local industries - like cobblers, in the case of TOMS - noncompetitive.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • Part of "Adam Ruins Sex" is narrated by Emily, complete with her own "Emily Ruins Everything" title card, and Adam is demoted to the role of one of the ignorant listeners. The segment in question involves the hymen, a part of female anatomy that most men get wrong.
      • When suggested that she call in an expert, Emily walks out of shot, then walks back in and gets a stunningly apropos caption: "Emily: Human Woman."
        Emily: How's this for an expert?
        Adam: Good point, I feel bad.
    • In the final segment of the episode "Adam Ruins Malls," Adam goes to buy a new set of glasses, and Emily once again turns the tables, complete with her own title card again, by pointing out the near-stranglehold Luxottica has on branded glasses frames and the stores that sell them.
    • In "Adam Ruins... Prison," Adam takes the backseat to Emily's cellmate, who goes on to explain that the American criminal system is inherently cruel with its excessive mandatory minimum sentences for minor offenses, use of solitary confinement, and with its insistence on charging ex-cons for administrative fees that they can't afford since they are often refused employment, which results in a high recidivism rate.
    • After getting fed up with Adam interrupting her case, Rhea takes over the final act of "Adam Ruins Justice" to explain how difficult her job as a public defender is and deliver a "The Reason You Suck" Speech about how she's working to change the justice system instead of complaining about it. And yes, she gets a title card too.
    • In "Emily Ruins Adam Ruins Everything", Emily is the ruiner for the entire episode, with Adam being on the receiving end.
      • Unlike most episodes, for the majority of the episode Adam is more than happy to agree with Emily about mistakes that are made. He's very up front about how they're just a 22-minute info-comedy show, and because of that the information they have could well be out of date by the time the episode airs and that the information they have has to be pretty compacted and simplified for the show and production. When Emily starts in how trying to prove to people they're incorrect just magnifies how much they'll insist it's actually true, however, he starts to get worn down like everyone else until the positive ending takeaway.
    • "Adam Ruins Immigration" has Alfonso, Adam's hotter Mexican counterpart, taking over to talk about the dark history of deportations.
    • The episode "Emily and Adam Ruin... a Night Out," Emily takes the leading role of the host, while Adam assists her in explaining to her old friend "Becks" about: how women were tricked into wanting to shave their legs and the "pink tax", how women were forced to wear clothes that look stylish but lack practical pockets and are therefore forced to buy purses (along with how men were told that using a purse is unmanly), and how alcohol's purported health benefits are far outweighed by its many health risks. Adam only takes back the reins at the end to explain that it's perfectly normal for people to drift apart and stop being friends.
  • Deal with the Devil: In "Adam Ruins Games", the demonic storekeeper (played by "Weird Al" Yankovic), tries to get Adam to play his game. Also, Adam gets to keep his soul because he technically didn't sign anything.
  • Death by Falling Over: Happens to Hayley when she stumbles and falls in the hospital room.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: After spending two-thirds of an episode showing the broken system, Adam will spend the next third explaining the solutions.
  • Deconstruction: The entire premise of the show is for Adam to tear apart whatever the subject matter is. Debunking lies and misconceptions which have always been accepted as fact, while explaining the origins of said beliefs.
    • "Emily Ruins Adam" does this to the show itself. As Emily calls Adam out on how he invades people's lives, with many of them feeling like they're being attacked, as everything they know is called into question.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Adam.
    Todd Bodd: How many of you have ever heard of vitamin megadoses?
    Adam Conover: I have! I've also heard of fairies and the Loch Ness monster, but those won't cure your cold either.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Occasionally, usually done to explain how parts of American culture are based off of outdated ideas.
    • In "Adam Ruins Weddings"
      Queen Victoria: The wedding cake was as white as all my friends.
    • "Adam Ruins Voting" is full of it, as it explains the racism that has dominated the American voting process since its beginnings.
    • In "Adam Ruins Drugs" he shows that the villainization of marijuana was basically fueled by racism against Mexicans, which was used by a department in the U.S. government desperate to fund itself.
  • Delivery Stork: In "Adam Ruins Having a Baby", there's a Post-Partum Depression Stork.
  • Democracy Is Flawed: "Adam Ruins Voting."
  • Desecrating the Dead: In "Adam Ruins... What we Learned in School," Adam tells Ms. Dazzle that Tutankamun was one of the least historically important pharaohs in Ancient Egypt, and he was not the reason Egyptology took off. The Pharaohs' tombs had been periodically robbed through the centuries, but when Napoleon occupied Egypt he brought a number of treasures with him, setting a frenzy among wealthy Europeans that resulted in the mass looting of innumerable historical artifacts, including mummies, which were unwrapped as part of an upper-class party game, and mummified remains were often ingested with no respect to the deceased. The only reason Tutankamun became so well known is that his tomb had been so overlooked by robbers (including European expeditions through the 1800's), that when it was "discovered" in the 1920's it too was looted by Europeans.
  • Despair Event Horizon: More than a few of Adam's victims have crossed it after hearing the brutal truth. The end of each episode subverts it as he brings them back with some good news about the topic.
  • The Ditz: Emily's friend, Veronica.
    [during a discussion on wine]
    Veronica: This one says "Ketchup". Am I holding a bottle of ketchup?
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • When a member of Dr. Todd's audience reunites with her former doctor, his request for a checkup plays out like a classic romantic reunion.
      Adam: I think they'll be very healthy together.
    • During the 2016 election special, the same thing occurs between two very polarized voters, one male and female, who putting aside their differences, and decide to go home to "produce legislation".
  • Double Standard: A non-gender version is discussed in "Adam Ruins... Guns." The episode revolves around a white father and his white daughter arguing about guns, and it gets to the point where the daughter's African-American wife runs out to get away from their arguing. When they catch up to her, she and Adam explain to her wife that gun control was set up to help white people feel safe, with law enforcement explicitly targeting minority neighborhoods, citing New York City's "stop and frisk" issue, in which the NYPD would stop a random black person for no good reason and check them for weapons and drugs. Feeling smug, her father then says that's proof enough that gun control is stupid, but his daughter-in-law then says that in practice, gun rights are basically whites only, citing the case of Marissa Alexander, who got arrested for firing a warning shot at her abusive husband and, despite citing Florida's "stand your ground" lawnote , was given a 20-year sentence. She also mentions the case of Philando Castile, who was pulled over and despite following the law, to inform a police officer that he is legally carrying a firearm, was shot for carrying a firearm.
  • Downer Ending:
  • Drugs Are Bad: "Adam Ruins Drugs" shows this is Based on a Great Big Lie; marijuana is perfectly safe(as long as your brain isn't developing AKA over 25), but was smeared as an ultra-lethal violence-stimulant solely to support a variation on Prohibition. Heroin wasn't much of an issue until Nixon used it as an excuse to suppress his critics in the Black community. D.A.R.E. actually increased drug use by acting as free advertising for drugs - and D.A.R.E. actually suppressed all studies that showed this. The War on Drugs created a multi-billion-dollar drug market that employs more people than Silicon Valley, and refined them to be far more potent and cheaper than fast food - while causing drug-related deaths to skyrocket. And perfectly legal drugs benefited from that research as well, to the point that meth addicts can't tell meth from Adderall.
  • Eagleland Osmosis: In the episode "100 Years Ago Today," when Adam talks about the Panama Canal, he agrees with the Narrator that the Canal was indeed an engineering marvel, but its construction was incredibly brutal. Adam mentions that the (white) American workers sent in to oversee the construction were housed in clean U.S. style neighborhoods, paid relatively well, and allowed to shop in stores that catered to their tastes. The (black) Caribbean laborers were expected to toil heavily in the canal's construction, were restricted in living inside shanty towns, were paid poorly, and had to shop for their sustenance in poorly stocked shops. When hearing this, the Narrator asks if Adam was referring to, and Adam exclaims that the Americans did in fact institute a Jim Crow-style system of segregation in Panama.
  • Enhance Button: Spoofed ("Oh, that's too enhanced. De-hance") and then debunked in the forensics episode.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In the episode "Adam Ruins Games", the devil shopkeeper refuses to steal Adam's soul due to finding him annoying.
  • Executive Meddling: Spoofed In-Universe in "Adam Ruins Security". When he lists the numerous way a serial killer could go around a bottle's safety seal, an executive from TruTV tells him to stop giving people ideas.
  • Expensive Glass of Crap: Impliednote  with explaining that wine snobs discernment of wines is not entirely credible. A white wine dyed red will have a different taste to the same wine un-dyed and a cheap wine said to be an expensive one will be better than the same wine labeled as is; the "experts" that partook of the study failed to tell the difference.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: The ruinee in Adam Ruins Science turns out to be a fan of the show, so Adam offers to let her do the intro:
    Winnie: Hi! I'm Winnie Jones, and this is Adam Conover, and I'm on Adam Ruins Everything! [beat] Uh-oh...
  • Failure Is the Only Option: "Adam Ruins Prison" shows that thanks to things like Privately Owned prisons getting money from having prisoners, some even being able to sue states if they are not at 100% capacity, and the "Tough On Crime" movement removing almost all education programs, it's damn near impossible for a prisoner to rehabilitate. Then there is the fact that when a prisoner does get out they are given a mountain of debt, and then it's made almost impossible for them to get a job thanks to the "Have you committed a felony?" box on applications.
  • Fake Charity: In "Adam Ruins... Doing Good," the final memory revisited by Adam and Mr. Hulko, owner of the Hulko Corporation explains that charity organizations set by billionaires like him are this. Adam demonstrates that billionaires will set up their charity drives, and fund them with their own money, however, if a billionaire's company is having money problems, or if they need some quick cash for a personal expense, then they will dip into the charity. Also, the money that billionaires lobby the government to let them keep by cutting the tax rate could be used to fund programs that their organizations are supposed to help with.
  • Fingerprinting Air: A debated element of "Adam Ruins Forensic Science" - though the AFIS program does have similarity to fictional representations of fingerprint analysis, it can't be used in the majority of cases because the majority of fingerprints found at crime scenes are smudged and/or incomplete, making computer analysis extremely difficult. In such cases lab technicians usually get multiple AFIS matches, and start guessing.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Adam and Rhea respectively, in terms of maturity and social skills.
  • Forensic Drama: Spoofed in "Adam Ruins Forensic Science," where Adam's latest victims are a pair of detectives trying to prove him guilty of murder. Turns out he faked the crime as an excuse to bother them, and gets sent to jail for wasting their time.
  • Fourth Wall Psych: Done at the beginning of the death episode.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: If you look closely at the invite for the High School Reunion Pool Party, it clearly states "Hope You Didn't Get Fat!".
  • Freudian Excuse: In "Adam Ruins Giving," Emily assumes this about Adam as the reason why he's determined to ruin things for other people.
    Emily: Who hurt that guy?
    • "Adam Ruins Christmas" reveals that she's not far off: Rhea did hurt Adam a little when she spilled the beans about the Santa myth, but cheered him up and sparked a lifelong curiosity when she told him how fun it can be to learn the real story.
  • Frivolous Lawsuit: "Adam Ruins Justice" deconstructs the "old lady vs. McDonald's" lawsuit by pointing out that the coffee she spilled on herself had been boiling, inflicting third-degree burns. And it also was not an isolated case; the company demanded the machines be run at the highest temperatures possible so it could be brewed faster and thus sold more, meaning over 700 other people had been scalded. What's more, she had originally been trying to settle out of court, asking only for enough to cover her extensive medical bills, and was even found to be partially at fault when the case did go to court. The jury actually were the ones who awarded her the huge amount in punitive damages because they were outraged over what happened, which the judge reduced by three fourths. After the lawsuit was settled, McDonald's lawyers spread rumors that she was nothing but a greedy old lady just trying to get money from someone with deep pockets.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • In "Adam Ruins Hollywood," Adam briefly sits in a chair labeled "Ruiner," and his companion sits in a chair labeled "Ruinee."
    • During the "Emily Ruins Glasses" bit, Adam makes a "Get out of here Ray! You're banned!" pun joke about Ray-Ban sunglasses - prompting the man in the background to huff and walk out of the store.

    G to M 
  • Gamer Chick: Discussed in "Adam Ruins Summer Fun". Adam's argument is that games actually started as gender-neutral, and women even contributed to the industry. However, a side effect of the The Great Video Game Crash of 1983 was that video games started getting marketed to boys because toy sections in stores were (and still are) split between boys and girls, and games were places in the boy sections (really, could've easily been the other way around), hence why it's seen as masculine. Girls statistically enjoy video games just as much as boys, they just feel excluded from the culture. Adam also admonishes the boy for looking down on the "stupid phone games" that many women play. As far as Adam is concerned, "games are games".
  • Geeky Turn-On: At the end of "Adam Ruins Restaurants," Adam spots a "shooting star" that passes above them as they're eating ice cream. Hayley corrects him by pointing out that it's actually a satellite, not a shooting star. Adam is immediately smitten with her and pulls Emily aside to ask her if Hayley is single, to which Emily responds with a "No. Just… No" Reaction.
  • Get Out!: Rhea delivers a cross between this and a Rapid-Fire "No!" while shoving the KKK incarnation of Santa Claus out the door.
    Rhea: Nope. Get out of my home. Nope. You're scum. Get out of here. Nope. Never.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Emily gets a lesson on this in "Adam Ruins Prison", more specifically about how solitary confinement can cause prisoners to suffer delirium. To drive the point home, she hallucinates the whole lecture in solitary while the real Adam has a nice chat with her cellmate.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: While the severity of the reaction will vary depending on the person, you can expect whoever Adam spends the episode hurling facts at to throw a tantrum out of frustration, or at the very least have some form of Heroic BSoD.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: "Adam Ruins Justice" has a few gems, such as "mother falcon" and, appropriately, "I swear to Gull".
    • It is a consistent running joke of the series to substitute swearing with Bird species names. However, later seasons have seemed to loosen the restriction on uncensored swearing.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: "Reanimated History" has one every episode titled Unsung Baddasses from History, when Adam debunks The Narrator's knowledge of well known historical facts.
    • "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Truth" tells the story of James Armistead, a slave who was motivated solely by the idea of freedom to spy for George Washington on the British. Once the war was over, in huge part thanks to his spying, Armistead was rewarded by being resold into slavery. He only gained his freedom because Lafayette vouched in a court of law that he had earned his freedom by contributing so much to the revolution.
    • "The First Factsgiving" tells the real story of Pocahontas (see Based on a Great Big Lie above).
    • "Mutually Assured Ruination" tells the story of Margaret Chase Smith who stood up to McCarthy and was instrumental in his downfall.
    • "An Ancient History of Violence" tells the story of Queen Boudica, who united the rival Celtic tribes of Britannia by leading a years-long rebellion against the oppressive Roman rule, and though her army was defeated and died, she was instrumental in changing Rome's treatment of the natives.
    • "The Copernican Ruin-aissance" tells the story of the anatomist Vesalius, who revolutionized the study of anatomy by stealing bodies and dissecting them, and proving that the beliefs on human anatomy held since the days of the Ancient Greeks were totally wrong.
    • "100 Years Ago Today " tells the story of Harvey Washington Wiley and his "poison squad". Under Wiley's supervision, the "poison squad" ate a steady diet of commercially available preserved foods to prove that they were prepared using dangerous chemicals and that the companies selling such products were knowingly selling them to the public.
  • Glass-Shattering Sound: Hayley's scream makes Adam's glasses crack in "Adam Ruins Hygiene."
  • Hard Truth Aesop: A number of episodes explore the idea that your own sense of discomfort to certain things may go against the logistics of why those things exist in the first place.
    • When it comes to charity work it's more effective to just donate money. Most of the other methods of donating to charity can be counterproductive, inefficient, and serve to bolster your ego for having done a good thing rather than actually help a good cause.
    • Environmental conservation, like most anything, requires some significant funding to help protect the land from poachers or industry. And especially in remote areas of the world local communities can still be threatened by endangered animals and will not hesitate to kill a lion on their doorstep. The main source of income from these conservation projects come from hunting licenses, and carefully regulated hunting seasons can improve population control.
  • Heel Realization: In "Adam Ruins Malls", Adam gets to experience firsthand what it's like to have something "ruined" when Emily tells him about Luxottica's monopoly on the glasses industry and realizes that him doing that to others makes him difficult to be around.
  • Heroic Vow: Adam can't use his magic powers to make his life more convenient because he took a vow to only use them for spreading knowledge.
  • He's Dead, Jim: The doctor's..."delicate" diagnosis of Hayley's fall.
    Holy crow...she dead.
  • Hidden Depths: Emily has shown in a few episodes that she is obsessed with the idea of "getting swole/jacked.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: Ironically, in "An Ancient History of Violence'', Adam's presentation of a number of major historical figures and groups who had well recorded ruthless streaks emphasizes their more positive contributions.
    • In the segment centered on Boudica, Adam tells an account about how she rallied the Celts in Britannia, and lead them in revolt against the Roman Empire, presenting her as an honorable freedom fighter, who liberated Celtic slaves from Roman control. The show does not include mention of the three cities Boudica razed during her campaign, in which tens of thousands of non-combatants were believed to have been killed, including other Celts in some cases.
    • In a segment devoted to disproving the traditional Historical Villain Upgrade about Xerxes, Adam glosses over a number of dark elements of the Persian Empire (or otherwise just dismisses them by claiming they were written by an Unreliable Narrator). The in-universe Xerxes (literally) advertises Persia as a place where they don't kill or enslave the conquered people, when there are a number of accounts that they did that to cities that wouldn't surrender, or revolted. During the Ionian Revolt (which was caused by Greek dissatisfaction with the Persian appointed rulers), the cities of Miletus and Eretria were both razed by the Persians, with accounts that all the men were killed, and the women and children were sold into slavery, and there is also the well documented burning of Athens (which had time to evacuate because of the Battle of Thermopylae). Suffice to say, all these events go unmentioned. The show also shows off Xerxes as being very respectful of local cultures, and promising to participate in them to earn the people's support. While prior Persian rulers did make a point to appeal to local customs and religions out of political necessity, Xerxes himself was considered exceptional in that he didn't even pay lip service to other culture's customs; some historians actually hold that his increasingly apathetic views of certain demographics and cultures is what may have lead to a series of revolts in Egypt.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: If a famous or historical figure puts in an appearance, you can usually expect Adam to give them the shabby treatment, especially if they have otherwise high standing in American culture.
    • In "Adam Ruins... What We Learned in School", Adam states that Christopher Columbus ordered his men to slaughter all of the Indians on the island of Hispaniola (modern-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic) when they told him there was no gold on the island. There actually was gold on the island, and the Indians were not killed in the way Adam describes. Columbus and his men set up a punishment and reward system where the Indians would work in shifts to bring to the Spanish a set quota of gold. Punishment for not bringing the allocated gold meant a beating, dismemberment, or death. Bringing the allotted amount allowed an individual to get some food and rest before the next shift. Of course, the gold that was available for mining eventually began to run out on the island, coupled with the fact that the Spanish brought new diseases with them, and when the Indians started to mutiny, Columbus's men swiftly, and brutally, put down the revolts. Additionally, modern genetic studies have determined that the natives did leave a genetic trace in the modern population of the island, so the death toll, while staggeringly high, was not 100% (as is often claimed).
    • In "An Ancient History of Violence", Adam derisively compares Sparta to North Korea, for its hyper militarized society; factoring out how that comparison is rather suspect even at face value, this comparison fundamentally misses a number of known qualities of Spartan society. It is true that Sparta had a large population of slaves called helots (consisting mostly of defeated enemies of Sparta), they were exceptional in that they didn't exterminate the men and render the women and children as chattel, with most historians agreeing the helots were probably akin to medieval serfs than chattel slaves. And while it is true that Sparta wasn't a democracy (no state in this period was by modern standards), it was more of an oligarchy than an autocracy, and by the time of the wars with Persia, it's believed that the kings actual powers were very limited, with more power falling into the hands of the Euphors, or the Gerousia (a council of elders); also, while their power was limited, there was in fact a citizens assembly called the Ekklesia, who elected the Gerousia. Sparta was also exceptional for its day for providing full suffrage of women, something even the Persian Empire (which the show otherwise sings the praises of) didn't have. Adam also cites the accounts of the Spartans supposedly throwing illformed babies off a cliff, but the actual possibility that they did so is dubious, as there is no archaeological evidence (the purported location has only ever uncovered adult remains), and no contemporary Greek sources report it (the only source for this was the Greco-Roman historian Plutarch, who lived long after Sparta had fallen). Some historians suggested that since a lot of accounts of Sparta were written by its enemies, some of the negative aspects were exaggerated, which ironically enough, is the same point Adam hammers home about the accounts of the Persians.
  • Hollywood Heart Attack: Parodied. Tony illustrates the problems with canned goods, namely the high sodium giving people high blood pressure, by throwing an epic flailing fit culminating in his heart bloodily bursting out of his chest after a single sip of soup.
    Adam: Well, that's an exaggeration. Your heart wouldn't literally explode. Great work, Tony. [Tony gives a thumbs-up]
  • Honest John's Dealership: Adam has a tendency to explain certain industries as if they were these, including the Car dealership industry, the funeral industry, the wedding industry, and the egg-freezing industry, all of whom take on naive customers and extort money out of them for services they may not want. For example, the egg-freezing industry taking on clients that are 20 - 30 years old who are worried about infertility, and are more than willing to pay through the nose to freeze eggs that they may never even use, despite egg-freezing being geared towards chemotherapy patients, not the average healthy person.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: In "Adam Ruins the Wild West", Adam lists several brothel madams who not only played a substantial part in forming towns in the old West, but used the profits from their businesses to fund local charities, such as Laura Evans, who provided workers' compensation for injured men and shelter for victims of domestic abuse, and Diamond Jessie Hayman, who provided food and clothing for victims of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
  • Hostile Show Takeover:
    • Adam's TV host powers come from knowing more than his audience. When someone knows something he doesn't, they can literally steal the show and teach Adam something he doesn't want to know.
    • Any time there is a Show Within a Show, even a homemade sex-ed video by a public school teacher, Adam can and will hijack it if it spreads misinformation or perpetuates misinformed trends.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: When Emily takes over during "Adam Ruins Sex," she tries and fails to use Adam's powers, making a bowl of fried chicken appear and turning Murph into a hunky guy before Adam explains how the powers work.
  • Human Head on the Wall: The "Economy" episode begins with a man who has several hunting trophies. Adam makes his appearance as a head mounted on the wall, and the Guest of the Week responds with...
    Hank: Did I kill a man?
  • Humans Are Flawed: The episode "Emily Ruins Adam", which deconstructed the show itself, points out that, even when presented with logical evidence against their previous convictions, people might respond by rejecting it and perceiving it as a personal attack rather than helpful advice, (known as "the Backfire Effect"):
    Emily: Fact is, humans just aren't that logical. We're complex, biased, emotional creatures. If you really want to change peoples' minds, you have to accept that.
  • Hypochondria: Rachel in "Adam Ruins the Hospital" clearly falls into this trope. She's been to the hospital ten times in a short period of time.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    John Kellogg: Masturbation causes insanity and circumcision is the cure! The other cure, a delicious bowl of Dr. Kellogg's Granola. It preserves your sperm for strength!
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode is titled "Adam Ruins (subject of the episode)".
  • Ignored Epiphany:
    • At the end of "Adam Ruins a Sitcom", Adam makes a speech about how comedy can adapt to and shape increasing social awareness without needing to rely on outdated and harmful stereotypes. The showrunner doesn't listen and decides to just cancel the show when all the stars agree with Adam.
    • In "Adam Ruins Work," Adam convinces the office manager to talk to his superiors about hiring the interns and providing them a livable wage, providing an equal salary for all employees of similar working experience, and cutting the workweek from five days to four. The senior executives respond by offering to replace the missing Nerf darts, the manager accepts, and Adam walks away in disgust.
    • In "Adam Ruins Doing Good," when the owner a large corporation pledges that his company will be an example of actual corporate responsibility, instead of doing more half-hearted actions that are nothing more than tax write-offs, his inheritors pull the plug before he can modify his will and leave them penniless, implying that they will do more of the same.
  • Ignored Expert: In "Adam Ruins Weight Loss," he explains that John Yudkin warned that it was the rise of sugar consumption that was leading to the prevalence of heart disease and obesity in the modern era, but he was ignored by the public, mocked by the mainstream scientific community that had been paid by the sugar industry to declare fat the culprit, and he died in obscurity.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Abrasive as he is, Adam's character is shown to be pretty lonely. He just can't seem to stop spouting uncomfortable facts.
  • Immortality Immorality: "Adam Ruins Death" takes an interesting spin on it. The quest for immortality is not only an impossible one, but several attempts throughout history have ended badly for everyone involved (A Chinese Emperor who drank Mercury poisoned himself, a Chinese alchemist accidentally invented gunpowder, cryogenically frozen people are unlikely to be revived in the future [assuming the company keeping them frozen doesn't lose their bodies or go bankrupt and let them rot], and transferring your intelligence to a computer is more akin to cloning than immortality).
    • On the other hand, Adam is saying that the average human's obsession with living longer and not discussing death with their friends and loved ones drastically decreases the quality of life for terminal patients. This is very sensible, but he never mentions how more people are reaching their 80s than ever before in history - and the bulk of that lifespan increase started in the nineties. There's no reason for that trend to end, which means people could start living a lot longer any time now!
      • The takeaway was that even if lifespans are increasing, and even if you are young and healthy and have a long life ahead of you, something could still happen. (i.e. getting hit by the Little Bugs truck, or slipping and falling and breaking your neck, or getting sick, or what have you) So it's never too early to make your end-of-life wishes known to your loved ones, so that if God forbid something like that does happen, your loved ones aren't in the predicament Murph was in of not knowing what to do, or the one that Adam's hypothetical future kids were involved in, not being able to agree on the best course of action and having those disagreements cause a rift in the family.
  • Insane Troll Logic: The show lampshades some of the pretty weird logic behind current cultural icons. Like how one scientistnote  claimed that vitamins could cure cancer. Or how Kellogg's corn flakes and the Graham cracker were invented to be as bland as possible in order to suppress lustful instincts. Makes Just as Much Sense in Context.
  • Insufferable Genius: The whole point of Adam's character is to harass people with the truth, even when the truth is pretty horrific.
  • The Internet Is an Ocean: "Adam Ruins The Internet" depicts it this way. Adam takes his subject on a rowboat into a cyberspace ocean and literally "fishes" for people's information.
  • Jerkass: Adam's character occasionally strays into this, particularly when he's very obviously intruding on private moments.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Other characters might react with horror when Adam appears, but he's usually providing important information that can prevent you from being played for a sucker, enable you to do more good, or provide vital context on some of the most important things you do, e.g. voting.
    • The Founding Fathers in "Adam Ruins Voting." While their attitude that most of the population is too dumb to be trusted to vote is incredibly condescending, it's also true (or at least could be seen as true in a time period before widespread education).
  • Jerkass Realization: Adam has one in "Adam Ruins Malls." After having a thing he enjoys being ruined for him, namely glasses being an overpriced commodity, he realizes how he's alienated himself from a lot of people.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Sometimes Adam confronts a person like this. Like the man lamenting technology in "Adam Ruins the Internet".
  • The Lancer: Emily is this to Adam. She's the most common reoccurring character and has even done a couple of segments of her own where she "Ruins" something.
  • Later-Installment Weirdness: There are a lot more story arcs in the first half of season 2 compared to the rest of the show.
  • Le Film Artistique: In Adam Ruins... the Internet, when Adam tells the Audience Surrogate about how woefully behind the U.S. is in terms of internet access, his mentioning of how the French system is more efficient than that of the US has the actors representing the internet providers, and the French government hold somber conversation with thick French accents, in black and white, and smoking cigarettes.
  • Lesser of Two Evils: In "Why Trophy Hunting Can Be Good for Animals", Adam argues that game-hunting is this under specific circumstances. While the animal lover he lectures doesn't like game-hunting, the revenue generated from the sale of hunting licenses funds conservation projects and law enforcement to protect animals and their habitats from poaching and human settlement. In other words, the death of a few animals from trophy hunting is saving entire species from extinction.
  • Lie Detector: In "Adam Ruins Forensic Science," Adam debunks the myth that polygraphs are anything other than machines that detect, pretty much, whatever they feel like. He even points out that, in one case, a polygraph worked on a plant. Even the machine's creator decried its use as a reliable method. The episode also points out that known serial killers took polygraph tests when they were investigated as suspects and passed them, and shows how often they still get presented as accurate on TV. However, one of the detectives then reveals that they know that lie detectors don't work, but they use them to Perp Sweat suspects into confessing. Unfortunately, all this is an Engineered Public Confession to the audience.
  • Lighter and Softer: Adam in the TruTV series is a lot nicer than he was in the CollegeHumor shorts the series is based off of, and the jokes less crude. Each episode also makes a point to add a positive take away after all the ruining is done.
  • Look Both Ways: In "Adam Ruins Cars," Adam points out that cars were only invented a century ago, and people used to walk in the streets all the time. Streets became cars-only after a massive campaign shifted all the blame for pedestrian deaths onto "Jaywalkers."
  • LOL, 69: A running joke is for whenever a scientist or worker writes down a number, they contemplate adding in 69, but exclaim that it's too silly, even for them.
  • Loser Protagonist: While Adam is usually portrayed as in the right for lecturing others about what is and isn't socially acceptable, there are times where he's an outcast because of his holier-than-thou attitude.
  • Magical Realism: While the show is, for the most part, grounded in reality and hard scientific fact, within the show's universe, Adam has "special TV powers" that he uses "for learning", which gives him the ability to do things like miniaturize himself and others, teleport, and bring in experts through convoluted and often surreal avenues. It's shown that others (such as Emily and Rhea) can also gain the same magical TV powers if they have something of their own to ruin. However, the powers are basically a means to an end and outside of the ruining portion of the episode, the show's setting is basically pretty mundane - Adam is a comedian, Emily is a school teacher who lives in the suburbs, Rhea is an overworked public defender, and so on.
  • Manchild: Downplayed but Adam tends to become petulant and somewhat immature when interacting with his family.
  • Mandatory Motherhood: Subverted in "Adam Ruins Having A Baby", Emily and Murph say they were always told this. Adam explains to them that, while this is true for some, it doesn't have to be for everyone.
  • Manipulative Editing: Conversed in "Adam Ruins Hollywood" while he talks about how reality TV is often staged. The technique he talks about is sentence mixing, which can make people say lines they never said.
  • Mark of Shame: In "Adam Ruins Prison," states that answering yes to the "have you ever been convicted of a felony" question in an employment application will often result in immediate disqualification from a job needed to stay out of prison.
  • Mirror Scare: The way Adam appears in the bathroom mirror in the opening of "Adam Ruins Hygiene."
  • Moment Killer: Adam loves doing this, frequently not even realizing he's doing it.
  • Mood Whiplash: The emotional tone of "Adam Ruins Having a Baby" changes immediately after Emily is delivered a "gift" from a Delivery Stork: POST-PARTUM DEPRESSION!
  • Moon-Landing Hoax: "Adam Ruins Conspiracy Theories" has a "re-creation" of the "set" (where the director is obviously Stanley Kubrick). The expert brought in explains that it was technologically impossible to stage the moon landing, using the fact that all the shadows in official pictures are completely parallel to each other, as there was only one single light source located 93 million miles away. Shadows produced by lighting in a sound stage would be conical from one point of origin, and the only way to replicate the same effect as the sun would be to use millions of lasers that could only be produced individually through huge bulky machines, and they could only be red lasers back in the 1960s. They also point out the fact that they would've had to prevent 400,000 NASA employees from talking about it, and that the broadcast was picked up in numerous countries across the planet, including the Soviet Union, who would've done anything in their power to prove it was faked just to stop from being one-upped by their Cold War enemies.
  • Moral Guardians: "Adam Ruins Hollywood" shows that movie ratings are decided by Moral Guardians who find sex more objectionable than violence and give movies with the tiniest amount of sex more mature ratings than movies filled with violence. Doubly so for LGBT characters.
  • Most Gamers Are Male: Adam explains how this perception came to be (gaming companies choosing to market to boys after re-branding consoles as toys due to the boy/girl aisle split in stores). When his Audience Surrogate points out that this is just "stupid phone games," Adam's reaction is "Uh, so? Games are games." He explains that the main reason women avoid certain games is simply that they're designed and marketed for men (i.e. the video game industry seems to be ignoring half the population of potential consumers out of sheer habit).
  • Mr. Fanservice: In-universe Dr. Todd Bodd (a Dr. Oz expy) whose real name is Rod has his body regularly complimented, ogled and groped by his female audience. He mentions at one point a former job as a stripper.
  • My Biological Clock Is Ticking: When Emily has a pregnancy scare, she says this, starting the episode. Adam explains to her and Murph that the idea that you have to have children by 35 came from a 400-year-old French census. He also ends the episode reminding them that they don't have children at all if they don't want to.
  • My Country Tis of Thee That I Sting: One would be hard-pressed to find a point where the United States government (personified in the form of Uncle Sam) isn't consistently portrayed as self-serving and greedy.
    • The episode "Adam Ruins... America" is all about this trope. Adam tells Uncle Sam that the American dream is impossible for the majority of Americans due to income inequality. The constitution is notoriously hard to change because legislators insist on interpreting it as it was written hundreds of years ago, rather than changing it to be more contemporary, and since it made slavery perfectly legal, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation was unconstitutional, and it took a Civil War, and new amendments to rectify that. After the Civil War former slaves were able progress during the Reconstruction, but it was undone thanks to the K.K.K. and other white supremacists, who terrorized former slaves from becoming politically active. Shortly after the federal troops dismantled the K.K.K., they were withdrawn, allowing former Klansmen and other white supremacists to enact Jim Crow laws, and the Civil Rights Movement wasn't so much as pressuring the federal government to make new laws to protect everyone, so much as it was to pressure the federal government to enforce laws that had been enacted almost a hundred years ago.

    N to S 
  • Naked on Arrival:
    • Adam's naked entrance in "Adam Ruins Voting."
    • Happens again in "Adam Ruins Art" where he is posing as a nude model.
  • Nerds Are Virgins: In "Adam Ruins... What We Learned in School," when he explains how Ancient Egypt was fetishized when the treasure of Tutankhamun was showcased in the 1970s', a guy climbs onto a statue, kisses and fondles it lovingly. The Ralphie/Carlos Expy asks if that what sex is like, to which Adam responds: "I'm not sure, but I hope not."
  • Newer Than They Think: A major running theme In-Universe is the fact that many traditions or ideas that are treated as timeless are usually pretty recent, and often the result of ad campaigns or rather ugly fads, including the war on drugs, diamond rings, summer vacation, dog breeds, mouthwash, and the idea of not walking in the street.
  • New Media Are Evil: Mocked in "Adam Ruins Internet", where Adam not only shreds the notion that Internet has isolated people, but that people in the old days thought books, and even written language were harmful to the mind when they were both created.
  • N-Word Privileges: Apparently only cats can use the word "pussy" as an insult.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Adam sees absolutely nothing wrong about having a sing-along with mutant sewer creatures, or summoning a headless creature with a Belly Mouth to illustrate his "listen to your body" Aesop.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Dr. Todd Bodd is clearly a stand-in for Dr. Oz. Though he's portrayed surprisingly sympathetically; although the advice he gives on his show is useless pseudoscience, he genuinely wants to help people and isn't intentionally misleading his audience — he's just not very diligent when it comes to fact-checking. When Adam exposes how poorly researched his show is, he's just as surprised as the studio audience.
    • Happens a lot on the show, such as the Paula Deen Expy in "Adam Ruins Weight Loss" and the Theresa Caputo (AKA the Long Island Medium) Expy in "Adam Ruins Halloween".
  • No Fourth Wall: Everyone knows they're on a cable show, and that Adam has Reality Warper powers because he's the host. He's even been interrupted by the crew occasionally.
  • Noodle Incident: It's mentioned in "Adam Ruins His Vacation" how both Adam and Melinda have seen a significant other die on the first date. This is a Continuity Nod to "Adam Ruins Death," but the story of Melinda's dead date goes unexplained.
  • Not Helping Your Case: In Adam Ruins... the Suburbs, when Adam points out that the suburbs are a modern example of racial segregation, this exchange happens:
    Ron: It's not so white here, look... [camera focuses out the window, sees neighbor practicing his golf swing] Okay, bad example; [camera pans to the side] ignore the doggy sweater couple; [camera pans again] A tote bag full of kale? You're killing me, lady!
  • The Not-Love Interest: After Adam, Emily is the most common reoccurring character on the show, and has grown steadily closer to Adam over the course of the series. However, the relationship between Emily and Adam is completely platonic, with each having their own love interests over the course of the series, and it is explicitly stated that they regard each other as a friend more than anything else.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer:
    • Sources backing the facts and studies brought up in the show are cited on screen for the audience, along with a tie-in website for anyone curious.
    • The show also sometimes invokes this when telling something particularly outrageous from history. Examples include:
      • In "Adam Ruins Voting", the revelation that an elector in Minnesota voted for a candidate for vice president in the presidential election (and misspelled his name, to boot).
      • In "Adam Ruins Immigration", the fact that the name of a project for mass deporting Mexican immigrants was called "Operation Wetback".
      • In "Adam Ruins Malls", a quote from the CEO of Luxottica, the MegaCorp that not only produces most of the prescription eyewear in the world but also employs most of the optometrists:
        Andrea Guerra: Everything is worth what people are ready to pay.
      • In "Adam Ruins Drugs," Emily's students were surprised to hear, word for word, a quote from one of Richard Nixon's aides that the war on drugs was created simply for the sake of undermining hippies and to justify the oppression of African Americans. It should be noted though that said source is controversial, as the man who claims to have heard it only brought it to light decades after it happened, John himself was dead by that time, and his children and colleagues all claim he would not have said the following:
        John Ehrlichman: The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that had two enemies: the anti-war left and black people. We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course, we did.
      • However, such claims are... questionable given Nixon's documented hatred of drugs/minorities/protesters/pretty much everything he himself did not admit to practicing. Even if that particular quote was fabricated, Nixon or people close to him said plenty of stuff just like it, and his legacy prevails four decades after he was impeached for corruption. (warning; transcript is uncensored, and the only thing Nixon wasn't conservative about was incessant foul language)
    • In a great meta-example, in "Adam Ruins Nutrition", to show how easy it is to get a story published in an official-sounding (but ethically-flexible) medical journal, the show is able to get the script of the show itself published in a journal, but just paying the prerequisite fee. Cue the citation in the upper-right.
    • They almost do it again in "Adam Ruins Malls", when Adam mentions that the show had found a manufacturer willing to create a supplement consisting of ingredients Conover picked himself (reminding the audience he's a comic, not a doctor) and the only reason they didn't go through with it was that "the network" (a/k/a TruTV) told them not to.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Adam uses this trope to condemn both sides of the American Gun Politics debate for centering said discussion on the rights, safety, and interests of White Americans, and failing the African-American community. Namely, he pointed that both gun rights laws (e.g., conceal and carry, stand your ground) and gun control laws (e.g., stop and frisk) have not only resulted in racial profiling and mass incarceration of African-Americans, regardless of the politics of the individual states (e.g., historically liberal, pro-gun control California and more conservative, pro-gun rights Florida), but have left African-Americans more vulnerable to gun violence. Adam also called out both sides for enacting laws and policies that violated their own principles when it came to the issue of whether the Second Amendment applied to African-Americans, by pointing out that then-governor of California (and NRA member) Ronald Reagan enacted gun control laws to crack down on the Black Panthers, and that the New York Police Department - whose jurisdiction is the vauntedly liberal New York City - enforced "stop and frisk" policies that targeted African-Americans for decades.
  • One Dose Fits All: A variation was mentioned in Adam Ruins... Science. In the episode, Adam tells the science student that a drug was developed that cured cancer in mice. When the human test subjects were given 1/500th of the amount of the same drug given to mice, the human subjects suffered almost total organ failure.
  • Only in It for the Money: Frequently the cause of problems Adam reveals behind the shady ongoings of a company, holiday rule, law or thereof. Scientific studies also fall victim to this trope.
  • The Oldest Profession: In his episode on the Wild West, Adam explains how prostitutes played a crucial role in the development of the west.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Only when grief-stricken and genuinely troubled does Adam speak with not so much as a hint of snark, and not feel like ruining anything.
    • Adam usually makes a point to stress that his corrections aren't intended as judgments on the ruinees' personal character, so it hits extra hard when he outright calls Dr. Todd a bad person in "Adam Ruins Nutrition".
  • Ostrich Head Hiding: Lampshaded in "Adam Ruins Animals" in the segment talking about trophy hunting.
    Adam: You know ostriches don't really do that, right?
    Veronica: I don't care! It feels good.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: When Emily is in a Coma, her consciousness is in ghost form. This ghost is only able to talk to communicate with Adam and with experts in the Funerary Business, and she can make her comatose body shut down on command.
  • Our Lawyers Advised This Trope: In "Adam Ruins Dating", during his ruin on dating websites, he does a camera aside to do a "in the interest of disclosure..." segment about the fact that CollegeHumor was owned by IAC at the time, who also happens to own Match Group (which includes, PlentyOfFish, OkCupid and Tinder).
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: The entire "Adam Ruins Death" episode.
  • Percussive Maintenance: In Adam Ruins Everything Election Special, Adam briefly hits a TV from The '90s to turn it on. It shows his campaign ad saying he likes Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio above the other states. Surprisingly, the screen is HD.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Adam explains that this idea, as well as the concept of dressing kids up as miniature versions of adults of their respective gender instead of unisex outfits, is a fairly recent development. Jake, whom Adam dresses up into a dress, turns out to like it.
  • The Plague: In "Adam Ruins Sex," Adam explains that herpes is hardly the dangerous STD the media claims it is. In fact, 90% of people have it, and most show no symptoms whatsoever. It just happened to be swept up during the heightening of HIV awareness a few decades ago.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: In "Adam Ruins Work," Adam applies for a job and gets hired, only to immediately start pointing out how his new boss is actually bad at his job. Strangely, this doesn't get him fired. At the end of the episode, Adam convinces the boss to try to effect changes, only to get shut down by the boss's higher-ups, who pointedly ignore the same revelations.
  • Police Are Useless / Police Brutality: The episode "Adam Ruins... Cops" is all about this. For starters, Adam states that although the role of SWAT teams is to detain dangerous criminals, they are usually deployed to arrest people who have committed mundane crimes or have been called in as a joke that have turned deadly, and often assault and destroy the wrong home. He also states that, although there have been a few rare cases where a campus officer has stopped a shooter, putting officers in school almost always makes them even more dangerous since these officers are trained to deal with dangerous criminals, not misbehaving children, so they often use the same heavy handed tactics and create the "school to prison pipeline," since children who got in trouble with a campus officer have a record that labels them a criminal. Finally, even though Adam states that there are a large number of officers that put their lives on the line to keep people safe, police officers actually have no legal obligation to respond to calls for help, and to keep the illusion that police keep communities safe, cities sacrifice a large part of their social safety net budgets to provide police departments with military hardware.
  • Politically Correct History: For the most part, the show actively defies this trope. Adam spends much of the show discussing how things most people think of as normal were actually the result of racism and/or sexism. For example, in "Adam Ruins Voting," with Adam explaining how misogyny, racism, and corruption have been part of the electoral process from its beginnings in the 1790s (and are still a problem, even though things have gotten somewhat better). The woman he lectures is shocked to see how racist the Founding Fathers were.
    • Played straight in "Adam Ruins Having a Baby" when an expert debunks the "having a baby after 35" myth by stating that number came from a census taken in 1600s France. A number of peasants came into Emily and Murph's comprising of a mix of white, black and Asian people.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: In "Adam Ruins Work," Henry Ford and Richard Nixon become this via Historical Villain Upgrade, being portrayed as anti-semitic, as well as advocating shorter working hours.
  • Poverty Porn: Both Discussed and Deconstructed when Emily is quick to understand the good intentions of "Buy One, Give One" companies, in which Adam appropriately points out the flaws. She also demonstrates how she's a typical victim of "poverty porn" as she describes to Adam how she pictures that would-be less-fortunate African and her visual interpretation is so stereotypical yet crass and offensive that she stops in the middle of it, realizing its "condescending" implications.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: In "Adam Ruins Work", Adam discusses how Henry Ford helped to create the two-day weekend, despite his hatred for the two main groups pushing for the change (Jews and union workers), because it meant employees had more time to buy his stuff.
  • Pregnancy Scare: The episode "Adam Ruins Having A Baby" begins with Emily realizing that her period is late, and her and Murph going to the drugstore in a panic to pick up pregnancy tests. She isn't actually pregnant.
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Murph in his hip herpes music clip. Yo!
  • Prisoner Performance: In the episode "Adam Ruins: Prison," when Adam and Emily's cellmate explain how prisons, particularly private run prisons, make money by encouraging governments to keeping them full, several prisoners wear costumes made of butcher paper and portray characters as the "governor" and a private prison representative.
  • Properly Paranoid: The wedding planner at Emily and Murph's wedding expected Adam to give an annoying lecture, so she inserted it into the program.
  • Public Domain: Discussed in "Adam Ruins Summer Fun" — due to the Walt Disney Company's lobbying to keep characters and works of theirs from falling into this so that it can still exclusively profit off of them, the length of time for all copyrighted works to enter the public domain has significantly grown in recent decades. Adam points out not only the limitations this puts on creators of newer works, researchers, etc., but also the sad hypocrisy that many of the Walt Disney Company's most beloved works were, and continue to be, adapted from public domain material.
    • An "Ever Wonder Why?" segment from "Adam Ruins Christmas" talks about how It's a Wonderful Life went from box office failure to holiday classic because of being in the public domain.
  • Puff of Logic: In "Adam Ruins Nutrition," when Adam tells the family in the commercial for Honey Toasted Crunchies that they are indeed, a commercial family, the husband promptly says who he works for ...which causes his family to McFly out of existence.
    Husband: No, I work at... Office?
  • Reality Warper: It's Adam's show, so he can pretty much do anything to illustrate his point. Time travel and Medium Blending are pretty common. Turns out anyone who knows more than the Audience, or Adam, on a subject can do it. This is frequently lampshaded. Adam himself has been called a "magic man" many times in various languages.
    Melinda: Man, these powers are cool! It's fun being the Adam!
  • Reconstruction: Occasionally, the show will point out that questioning things, while annoying, is a very important skill to have. In "Adam Ruins Malls," Adam points out the dangers of nutritional supplements to an unsuspecting Emily. While Emily in turn ruins something for Adam, she acknowledges that it was probably best for her to learn the truth.
  • Regime Change: In Adam Ruins His Vacation, when he and his girlfriend go to Hawaii, he mentions that Hawaii was for a long time an independent nation with a relatively advanced society, ruled by Queen Liliuokalani, until the end of the 19th century when some American sugar and fruit company executives, backed by the U.S. Navy and Marines, decided that they did not like how Liliuokalani was ruling and took over. Soon after, the islands became a U.S. territory, the native Hawaiians were denied any political rights that the white colonizers took for granted, and many of them died as a result of the occupation.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Non-romantic example. Adam goes from a random know it all to an acquaintance and actual friend of Emily and Hayley over the first season.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: The Post-Partum Depression Stork, which is Flash-animated and blended into the series' live-action environments.
  • Running Gag:
    • The people Adam talks to frequently voice concern about coming into contact with "little bugs":
      • In "Adam Ruins Security," a man worries that Tylenol bottles are full of little bugs.
      • In "Adam Ruins Restaurants," Veronica asks if her tuna is actually made of little bugs.
      • In "Adam Ruins Voting," One of the founding fathers, implied to be James Madison, reasons that without the Electoral College, the people could elect "the king of England, or a demagogue, or, like, little bugs or something" as President.
      • In "Adam Ruins Summer Fun," one of the items on Jake's to-do list is "Catch Little Bugs."
      • In "Adam Ruins Death," the truck that runs over Emily has "Little Bugs, Inc." written on the side.
      • In "Adam Ruins Malls," Emily tries to pre-emptively guess the problem with malls before Adam can ruin them. Her guesses are advertising, racism, and little bugs.
      • For "Adam Ruins Animals," the show set up a website called in support of conservation efforts for the American Burying Beetle.
      • This came to a head when he dedicated an entire episode to it, appropriately titled "Adam Ruins Little Bugs".
    • In "Adam Ruins Cars," there's a running gag of people mistaking Adam for being a car salesman because of the way he dresses.
      Adam: I have a pocket square!
      • Called back in "Adam Ruins Summer Fun," when Jake realizes he's wearing a suit and remarks that he looks like a car salesman.
    • In "Adam Ruins Security," Adam proves that signing credit card receipts is a useless form of security by writing "I AM A FRAUD MAN!!" at the bottom of one. Then in "Adam Ruins Nutrition," Adam asks his expert guest, Dr. John Bohannon, about a fake research paper he published to prove how easy it is to release fraudulent scientific studies. When someone tries to stop Adam from calling the paper a fake, Dr. Bohannon replies, "No, no - I am a fraud man." It's called back to again in "Adam Ruins Animals": when Adam and Veronica jump from reality to a children's book, Veronica is transformed into an ostrich, while Adam is transformed into a frog. "I am a frogman," says Adam.
    • The female detective in "Adam Ruins Forensic Science" keeps destroying the nearest form of coffee whenever she's fed up with Adam. Subverted near the end when she angrily grabs a mug, but then concedes Adam's point and takes a sip.
    • Many, many variations on "You can be a little abrasive."
    • Someone says "Holy crow!" once an episode.
    • Any time Adam points out that something makes lowers intelligence, someone will respond "it AM?!"
    • There's been a few characters who say something to the effect of "Let's make it 69...nah, that's silly even for me!"
    • Adam's experts showing up in some strange way or place and getting stuck without Adam's TV powers.
    • When making a generalization about things or people being good sometimes a horrific example shows up followed by Adam mentioning "They're not all winners".
  • School Is for Losers: In "Adam Ruins College", Adam busts the myth that anyone who drops out of college has a chance to become the next Bill Gates. He points out that for every success story, there are thousands of failures. In modern US economy, it's virtually impossible to get a good job without a college education. Anyone, who claims different, hasn't kept up with the changes in the economy over the last few decades. Even those successful "dropout" stories ignore that most of those who did it were already successful before dropping out. Also, in the case of Bill Gates — the most famous example — he already had thousands of hours of programming experience before going to college, and he didn't so much dropout as go on a break.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: In "Adam Ruins Justice," Adam's sister explains that public defenders get paid half as much as a lawyer working in a firm, and have to do five times as much work. Including having to defend people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer, like Emily's cellmate, who's trying to restart her life after being released from jail.
  • Self-Abuse: Adam explains how this attitude toward masturbation led to the Modern American practice of circumcision (and the invention of corn flakes).
  • Self-Deprecation: In "Adam Ruins Hollywood," he admits that though he really is an obnoxious know-it-all in real life, there's no way one person could learn all the obscure facts he rattles off the top of his head all by themselves. He introduces his team of researchers and writers, admits that half of the time he just reads the lines they wrote, accepts a script page from one...
    "I'm dumb, Travis is great." Come on, man.note 
  • Self-Parody: Adam spoofs his own format in the non-canon "Adam Ruins CollegeHumor" where he goes on about how College Humor was better when he was around with only his own opinion to back it up.
  • Sex Is Evil: In "Adam Ruins Sex," he states that Kellogg invented his famous corn flakes cereal to be as bland as tasteless as possible to suppress lustful thoughts, and also around that time (the late 1880s'/early 1900s') circumcision was popularized as a medical procedure to prevent boys from masturbating later in life.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: According to The First Factsgiving, poor Squanto. First, he was kidnapped from his village and sold off into slavery, where he spent several years trying to get back home from Europe. When he finally got back, he found that his village was desolate, and had been looted by the Pilgrims, who captured him and forced him to be an interpreter who could communicate with the local tribes.
  • Shaped Like Itself: The Awardy Awards!
  • Ship Tease: Between Adam and Hayley.
  • Shockingly Expensive Bill: In "Adam Ruins the Hospital", Adam reveals that hospitals deliberately inflate the costs of items and services (sometimes by adding several zeroes) in order to counteract the insurance companies' demands that they keep their costs down. The problems arise when people without insurance get charged the same over-inflated prices for no reason whatsoever. In "Adam Ruins College", Adam also points out the rising costs of American postsecondary education.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Show Within a Show:
    • "Doc Talk With Dr. Todd Bodd" in "Adam Ruins Nutrition".
    • Fatty Melt in "Adam Ruins Weight Loss".
    • One of Each, the sitcom in "Adam Ruins a Sitcom".
  • Silver Fox: Adam’s father is perceived to be quite charming in “Adam Ruins Restaurants” by Emily and her two friends.
  • Skewed Priorities: At the very begining of "Adam Ruins: Animals," when Veronica is en-route to the pet store to buy a dog, she gives a homeless man some coins, and gives his dog a 20 dollar bill. Annoyed, he tells her: "He can't use that, he doesn't understand commerce!"
  • Skyward Scream: Dr. Todd Bodd does not like sugar. Also the security guard in the "Adam Ruins Immigration" episode, who forgets that planes fly over border walls.
  • Sleazy Politician: In his 2016 election special, Adam talks about how Donald Trump's nasty political behavior is really nothing new in American politics, and talking smack goes back to the early 1800s.
  • Snake Oil Salesman: Proprietors of nutritional supplement stores are said to have evolved from these in "Adam Ruins Malls."
  • Snap Back: "Adam Ruins Forensic Science" ends with Adam in prison, but is back out the next episode. Averted when Emily goes to prison in "Adam Ruins Drugs", though, which ties into both "Adam Ruins Prison" and "Adam Ruins Justice".
  • Snooty Sports: In the "Adam Ruins: the Suburbs" episode, as Adam explains to Ron that his suburban neighborhood is an example of modern day racial segregation, Ron tries to deny it, but labels yuppie neighbor practicing his golf swing across the streets as "a bad example."
  • Some of My Best Friends Are X: Lampshaded in "Adam Ruins Guns".
    Sarah: I'm leaving black people out? My wife is black... oh God, I just became one of those people.
  • Special Guest: Quite a few.
    • "Adam Ruins Work" has Oscar Nunez (Oscar Martinez from The Office (US)) as Benny.
    • "Adam Ruins Hollywood" has Rachel Bloom showing up as herself.
    • "Adam Ruins the Wild West" features Peri Gilpin (Roz Doyle from Frasier) as a brothel madam.
    • "Adam Ruins Christmas" has Adam Savage as the narrator.
    • "Adam Ruins The Suburbs" has Regan Burns (Bennet James from Dog with a Blog) as Ron.
    • "Adam Ruins Sleep" has Lance Bass as himself.
    • "Adam Ruins Games" has "Weird Al" Yankovic as Satan. (Yes, you read that right.)
    • "Adam Ruins Death" has Caitlin Doughty (from the web series "Ask a Mortician") as herself.
  • Spit Take: Dr. Todd Bodd spits his orange juice when learning that it's mostly sugar.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Adam has a tendency to pop out of nowhere, startling his victim of the week. He gets maced for it in "Adam Ruins Voting", and implies that it happens to him a lot.
  • Stepford Smiler: Adam can be a little too cheerful when saying some facts.
  • Strictly Formula: Each episode opens with a character, the ruinee, performing some mundane activity relating to the topic of the episode and stating some popular misconceptioninvoked. Adam then suddenly appears, corrects the thing they said, turns to the camera, and says "Hi! I'm Adam Conover, and this is Adam Ruins Everything." Adam spends the rest of the episode debunking three common misconceptions about the topic held by the ruinee, at one point bringing in a special guest who is an expert on the topic and enters the scene in a silly way appropriate to the topic, while the ruinee becomes increasingly frustrated until they hit a Heroic BSoD, at which point Adam brings them out of it with a "positive takeaway". Lampshaded in "Adam Ruins Science":
  • Stylistic Suck: Murph's sex ed video.

    T to Z 
  • Take That!:
    • At the end of Emily's segment on the hymen:
      Emily: Physically speaking, virginity doesn't exist. It's just something we made up to be mean to women, like Entourage.
    • At the beginning of the "Adam Ruins Cars" episode.
      Teenager: What are you? Like, another car salesman? You're dressed like one.
      Adam: That is a terrible thing to say to someone.
    • In "Emily and Adam Ruin... A Night Out," after Emily explains the sexist reason why women's clothes are designed to not have practical pockets, Adam says that his pockets also have a limited amount of space, and she gives him a purse, to which he admits that using one makes him insecure. Emily then explains that just as women were convinced that they don't need pockets, men were told that using purses isn't "manly", and uses a clip from "The One With Joey's Bag" where Ross makes fun of Joey for using an "European man purse", and Adam comes to the conclusion that "Ross sucks!"
  • Tap on the Head: A key element of "Adam Ruins Football" - It's not just the big impacts that cause injury, but a large number of impacts that don't even bruise will cumulatively cause a Death of a Thousand Cuts. The latter is actually worse because no single incident will cause the player to seek medical help, meaning that they're destroying themselves without even realizing it.
  • Tempting Fate: One of Nelson Mandela's followers in "Reanimated History" tells him that she's certain that they'll win... in a reasonable amount of time. Mandela ended up in prison for 26 years soon after.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: The third segment of "Adam Ruins... A Sitcom" Adam talks about "toxic masculinity," which are the stereotypes that state that men must be aggressive but not emotional, they must not show affection towards other men since it's a sign of weakness, and they should talk down to women as a way to remind them to Stay in the Kitchen.
  • Thanksgiving Episode: "Adam Ruins... Guns" centers on Adam dispelling the misconceptions of a gun pro-gun rights father and his pro-gun control daughter have getting ready to eat their Thanksgiving turkey dinner. After the daughter's wife storms out to not hear them arguing, they track her down to a big box store that's having a pre-Black Friday sale.
  • The Friend No One Likes: Adam. It's a Running Gag that he never gets invited to parties; his sister even calls him out on his being a sometimes-insufferable know-it-all.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Adam's summarized breakdowns of his ignorant victim's beliefs can come across as this, in a non-malicious way.
    • Adam's sister gives him one after she takes over in the Justice episode. Calling him out on how he goes around criticizing stuff, without first-hand experience, or actually doing anything to try and fix it himself.
  • The Theme Park Version: In "Adam Ruins the Old West", Adam debunks the glamorized version of the Old West.
  • The Unreveal: In "Adam Ruins a Murder", he realizes that the girl had set up every single death in a Batman Gambit so that she could get away with being a Serial Killer. When she was about to kill Adam, she started to go into a Motive Rant... until Adam teleports away to ruin something else.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Any recurring character's reaction to Adam's presence at the opening of the episode.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: In "Adam Ruins A Plate of Nachos", Adam finally meets someone who genuinely enjoys listening to him ruin things.
  • Too Bleak, Stopped Caring: A lot of people Adam lectures are bummed out, so Adam talks about the solutions that are available to help Avert this trope and replace it with A World Half Full.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: In "Adam Ruins Games", Adam is so annoying that Satan loses interest in stealing his soul.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: Dr. Todd questions the wisdom of having a pitchfork giveaway after Adam's lecture whips his audience into a frenzy.
  • Trashy True Crime: 'Adam Ruins Sleep' has a brief joke where a true crime podcaster talks about how busy he is trying to solve a crime while treating like a game.
  • True Art Is Angsty: Invoked. The ruinee in "Adam Ruins Art" believes this, thinking that Vincent van Gogh cut of his ear as a sign of what a mad, tortured artist he was. Adam disagrees, and the show cuts to van Gogh himself saying that he cut of his ear in a psychotic incident, completely unrelated to his artistic ability.
  • Truth in Television: In "Adam Ruins Weddings", Emily and Murph get married; in real life, Emily Axford and Brian Murphy are married.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: The episode "Adam Ruins... Technology" paints the tech industry like this. Adam claims that the U.S. government invested several billion dollars worth of taxpayer money in loans and grants to companies like Google, Tesla, and Facebook with the intent of helping expand the economy and improve the world. In exchange for such an investment, tech companies took advantage of corporate tax loopholes to pay as little as possible back to the government that helped get them started, and whatever they did pay was to fund lobbyists that would help kill any sort of legislation that would force them to pay higher taxes.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Every episode after the first has the ruinees not questioning Adam's magic powers. Justified, as these are apparently a standard part of hosting a TV show in-universe.
  • Urban Segregation: In Adam Ruins... the Suburbs, its explained that this is the reason why the suburbs are predominantly white. In the early 20th century, neighborhoods were split into "Red" and "Green" zones. "Green" zones, which were predominantly white, laws were set up to allow residents to easily get loans from banks to buy a house or start a business. "Red" zones, where ethnic minorities tended to live, it was very difficult to get a loan. Moving from a "Red" zone place to a "Green" zone was almost impossible since the government encouraged developers, and real estate agents to institute "Whites Only" house buying policies. Even when racial segregation was made illegal, white people, who for generations had benefited from "Green" and "Red" zone policies, had amassed enough capital to easily move from the city to suburbs, leaving ethnic minorities to deal with the consequences of living in a place that for such a long time lacked civic investment.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The boss in "Adam Ruins Work" has a meltdown right before learning his Aesop.
  • Virginity Flag: As Emily explains, there is no reliable way to tell if a woman is a virgin, since a sizable percentage of sexually-active women have intact hymens, and the hymen can be torn from any number of activities, such as horse-riding and doing splits. And it's not uncommon for it to heal. In fact, the concept of physical virginity is false, even though it's used in a number of cultures. It's also entirely possible to have sex without tearing the hymen. The main reason it's torn is from inexperience.
  • Waiting Skeleton: In Adam Ruins Prison, when Adam is discussing the long wait for prison education programs, the camera shows a line of people. The head of that line is a skeleton.
  • Waxing Lyrical: During the "Nutrition" episode, Adam compares Linus Pauling to Michael Jackson.
    Adam: He totally changed the game, we had no idea how crazy he was, and forty years later, we're still humming the tunes.
    Dr. Todd: Wow... that's bad.
    Adam: That's bad. You know it.
  • We Used to Be Friends: In "Emily and Adam Ruin... A Night Out", after Emily and Adam ruin a night out with "Becks", Emily's friend from college, they talk about how they have very little in common and even admit to not knowing why they were friends long ago. Adam then mentions that research shows that it's perfectly normal for people to drift away after being apart for so long, and to eventually stop being friends, and after hearing that, Emily and "Becks" agree to never see each other again.
  • Weight Woe: The episode, "Adam Ruins Weight Loss" revolves around a guy named Sam who's trying to lose weight for his high school reunion, which for some reason, is going to be a pool party, in an attempt to impress his old high school crush. Adam spends the whole episode explaining why his dieting choices won't work, at least not in the long run. When they get to the reunion, it turns out his crush had put on some weight since high school as well. Adam himself even admits that he's not in great shape either, but instead of obsessing over it, he just tries to eat better and try to get some exercise in, resulting in a gradual, but healthy, change.
  • Wham Episode: "Adam Ruins Death." Emily gets hit by a truck and almost dies, Hayley hits her head and dies, and Adam becomes depressed.
  • Wham Line: From "Adam Ruins Death." "It looks like Emily decided for you... I'm sorry."
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Adam's sister gets fed up with him condescending the flaws of the legal system in "Adam Ruins Justice", from the point of view of an outsider in spite of her protests, and forces him to listen as she explains how hard it is for a public defender, like herself, to deal with everything he said first hand.
  • Who Would Want to Watch Us?: In the first episode, when Adam explains the concept of the show, Emily says the premise sounds terrible.
  • With This Ring: Adam's first target during "Adam Ruins Giving" in the show are diamond engagement rings. He does, however, point out that, even knowing the truth, guys have no choice but to buy one, since that's what society expects. This is later contradicted in the episode when Emily agrees to get a sapphire engagement ring instead because it's "cheaper and more ethical."
  • Yet Another Christmas Carol: "Adam Ruins... Doing Good" takes this format. He shows an ailing, elderly Mr. Hulko, owner of the billion-dollar Hulko Corporation, that his stint in Teach for america in his twenties did more harm than good, by not properly teaching his students, and people only join the program to pad their resumes; the recycling program his company started in his thirties severely damaged the environment since one time use recyclables often end up in the trash, and countries like China will no longer accept trash from other countries to sort and recycle, since they need to sort and recycle their own trash; and his company's charity organization is just a scam, since billionaires will stock up money for a good cause, but when they need some extra spending cash they will dip into the charity and use it for their own benefit, and the money billionaires lobby the government to let them keep by cutting the tax rate, could be used to fund the programs that their charities are supposed to help with.
  • You Need a Breath Mint: Adam bashes Listerine, claiming the concept of halitosis was made up by companies to sell mouthwash to people who didn't really need it.
  • You Know Who Said That?: At least twice, Adam has had to point out that a lot of common knowledge was put forward by people famous for other things:
    • In "Adam Ruins Forensic Science," Adam points out that the "no two fingerprints are alike" theory was proposed in 1892 by Sir Francis Galton... Charles Darwin's crank cousin, best-known for theorizing eugenics.
    • In "Adam Ruins Nutrition," Adam admits that nutrition theory was developed by Linus Pauling, who was pretty much a Real Life TV Genius - a chemist, biochemist, peace activist, author, and educator who won the Nobel Peace Prize - twice. Unfortunately, near the end of his life the cheese kind of slid off his cracker, and he became obsessed with alternative medicine - particularly, he advocated megadoses of vitamin C to extend lifespan and cure cancer. Coincidentally, he died of cancer. At age 93...?
  • Your Tomcat Is Pregnant: In "Adam Ruins Animals", Adam anthropomorphizes a feral cat living under Veronica's porch named "Mr. Bitey" to illustrate a point, only for them both to find out that Mr. Bitey is actually female. She still continues to call her Mr. Bitey for the remainder of the episode, but she does take her to the vet to be spayed.


Adam Ruins Hollywood

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