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Series / MythBusters

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Left to right: Grant, Jamie, Kari, Adam and Tory.
They're what you call "experts".
"Remember, children, MythBusters has hired a licensed pyrotechnician to help us blow stuff up. You should never try anything like this unless you have your own television show."
Adam Savage, "Lightning Strikes / Tongue Piercings"

Gonzo pop culture meets off-beat science as Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman — two special effects guys with over thirty years of experience between them — take on urban legends, ancient myths and tall tales of all kinds to debunk (or confirm!) them. The show ran from 2003 to 2016.

Adam and Jamie originally gained minor celebrity when their robot Blendo was a competitor on Robot Wars then later BattleBots (and was so badass that it was forced to withdraw from the Robot Wars competition in exchange for co-championship because it was knocking chunks out of the competitors and sending them over the safety walls protecting the audience), and Grant was also a known competitor with his famed middleweight robot Deadblow.

With the help of their crack team of smart-ass builders (artist/sculptor Kari Byron, model builder/carpenter Tory Belleci, robotics engineer Grant Imahara, and formerly welder/metal worker Scottie Chapman and temporary replacement/metal worker Jessi Combs) from Seasons 2-9, as well as crack crash-test dummy Buster, Adam and Jamie meticulously take apart popular myths ranging from the legend of Archimedes' solar "Death Ray" to "free energy" to the most common Hollywood exaggerations such as exploding cars and the knockback from a bullet.

They render each myth down to its component elements, then apply a goofball scientific rigor to reproducing those elements. Jamie owns and continues to run the special effects studio M-5 Industries, where he has all the equipment you would possibly need to build any sort of contraption they need to. And whenever they come across something that is beyond their expertise, they call in favors from colleges and other specialists. Their reputation has gotten to the point that they can get to just about any place because they provide excellent PR (to the point that sitting US President Barack Obama appeared on a 2010 episode) — a contrast to the first episode when Jamie found trouble trying to obtain a military grade JATO rocket; they ended up commissioning a custom one (or the third episode, where Sears wouldn't let them film in the store when they were trying to track down a specific model of lawn chair).

When a legend fails to pan out, as it often does, they usually escalate matters to the point where the legend's expected results do occur. This process is affectionately called "replicate the myth, then duplicate the results" — usually at a point so far beyond the normal parameters that it isn't even remotely plausible that it happened by accident (or at the very least, so incredibly dangerous that anyone capable of sound judgment wouldn't attempt it in the first place). Usually these escalations involve entertaining explosions (such as a popular one in a March 2005 episode which vaporized a cement truck, or, even better, an April 2009 episode where they annihilated a car with a rocket-sled).

Not every myth is busted, though — they are happy (although frequently surprised) when they prove that a story, however wild, is at the very least plausible. In "Big Rig Myths", they managed to confirm all three myths, and in their first episode devoted to viral videos, the myths that made it to air went four-for-four in confirmation. And so far, nearly every myth has some kernel of truth, even if that truth doesn't directly relate to whether the myth is plausible.

The show has a geek-chic atmosphere that is almost irresistible. Part of the attraction is the Odd Couple pairing of Class Clown Adam and stolid Jamie, with their frequent jibes and competitions, and the kind of "intellectual The Three Stooges" vibe that the build team emits. Also, it's the humor and wacky sense of fun with which they all go about their mission. They once built not one, not two, but three different machines designed to drop buttered toast on the floor. For Christmas 2006 they built a Rube Goldberg Device to celebrate the holiday. The fact that Scottie, Kari and Jessi are three of the most attractive, genuinely intelligent women on TV doesn't hurt with the male (or gay) viewership, either. Grant and Tory also have their fans. (This series is a shining example of Geeky Is Sexy.) Grant had a growing fanbase in the Steampunk community, having even appeared in an webisode of The Adventures of The League of S.T.E.A.M. and building a robotic ringbearer for the steampunk wedding of two of their members.

They don't have official education in scientific experimentation, but are just skilled in engineering, model making, construction and special effects (prior to the show starting, Jamie's M5 Industries was a sought-after model-making company, and Adam, Grant and Tory worked for ILM). Because of that they carry across an image of being One of Us; their reactions are much like regular people. Here are some examples of the dialogue.

The show received seven Emmy nominations (2009-2015, no wins), and was easily one of the most popular programs on the Discovery Channel. In 2010, the show aired redux versions of certain older episodes as "Buster's Cuts", featuring on-screen pop-ups containing behind-the-scenes notes, bits of humor and trivia, and points about the myth being tested that didn't make it on the episode. Additionally, content from older episodes was recut to be used in the more kid-friendly Head Rush aired on Discovery Kids Channel.

In 2014 Kari, Grant and Tory were released from the show due to growing production costsnote , and after another season of hosting the show alone Adam and Jaime announced the end of MythBusters, with the series finale airing on March 5, 2016. During the course of the show Adam and Jamie went on the road for a series of Behind the Myths tours (a/k/a MythBusters Live), but, with the end of the show, they have ended the tours also, with them amicably going their separate ways.

Soon after, sister network Science announced plans to revive the show with a new cast, beginning with MythBusters: The Search — a reality competition to determine the new cast, followed by the proper revival series later in the year. The first season of the revival premiered on November 15th, 2017. In the meantime, Netflix commissioned Beyond International Group, the company behind MythBusters, to rope Kari, Tory and Grant into a Spiritual Successor of the show called White Rabbit Project, which also focuses on legends and theories, but instead of busting them, the show seeks to validate and rank them. White Rabbit Project premiered with 10 episodes on December 9th, 2016, on Netflix. Additionally, Adam, along with several other close friends, started a Web Video and podcast series called Tested, along with working with Michael Stevens of V Sauce on a series called Brain Candy. Originally they roped in Jamie for the show Tested as well, but he then bowed out as he wished to retire from the public eye and work in privacy.

Then, in April 2018, The Science Channel announced that Adam will be returning to MythBusters to a certain extent, as host of a Spinoff Babies series called MythBusters Jr. So far, one season of this show has aired. Adam again returned to the Science Channel in June 2019 with a new show, Savage Builds.

On August 27, 2019, at the age of 39, Jessi was killed in a crash of a rocket-powered car while trying to break the women's land speed record for four-wheeled vehicles. She was posthumously awarded the honor by the Guinness Book of Records; it still stands to this day.

On July 13, 2020, at the age of 49, Grant died as the result of a ruptured aneurysm in his brain. In his honor, Discovery Channel aired an all-day MythBusters marathon on July 17.

The Franchise went into indefinite hiatus in 2021 following the debut of Motor MythBusters, which saw former Build Team member Tory Belleci joined by engineer Bisi Ezerioha and mechanic Faye Hadley in testing myths and urban legends about automobiles.

See also Tropes Examined By The Myth Busters.

For tropes related to the 2017 relaunch, go to MythBusters 2017.

Troping in three! Two! One!:

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    Tropes A-F 
  • Abnormal Ammo: The staggering amount of strange stuff they've modified air cannons or rifles to fire, among others (see the trope page for specific examples). They've even tried cheese, and it actually worked.
    Adam: Is this awesome or what? We tripped all three of the ShockWatch stickers, which tells us something we often learn here at MythBusters: Everyday objects can in fact be lethal if Jamie builds a gun to shoot them.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: There are a few moments where the MythBusters test a myth and admit they are stretching the boundaries of how it could have happened—the reason being that some myths are purely about whether it could be done at all, not whether it could be accomplished in the exact manner claimed in the myth. For example, in trying to build a crossbow out of paper while in prison, they assumed it would be possible for an inmate to shave a plastic spoon by scraping it against the cell wall for use as the tip of the arrow. Therefore, they agreed that they could use a table-mounted sander to do the same thing in the interest of saving time.
  • Acoustic License: In one episode they take on the infamous freefall conversation scene from Point Break (1991) by having another skydiver try to tell Grant a "pull my finger" joke during freefall. The joke was completely inaudible, proving the movie played the trope very, very straight.
  • Action Insurance Gag: They often joke about this right before wrecking/blowing something up. One "coming up next" blurb featured a car hanging from a crane, and Kari with the quick-release cable saying "Find out why we can't get car insurance!" On a more serious note, the show does carry some pretty hefty insurance for when a test goes wrong, and they've had to pay out a few times.
    • Interestingly, in one episode where they were testing whether someone could survive falling through numerous cloth awnings, Adam was told he couldn't do it due to insurance issues, but they allowed Tory to do the stunt. Tory joked he wasn't sure whether to feel better or worse about the decision of the insurance company.
  • The Alcatraz: The Alcatraz, in an episode where the one-and-only successful (in terms of getting off the island) escape could've succeeded in the sense of getting to dry land.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Jamie often expresses annoyance (or at least indifference) at Adam's antics and jokes, so it's a significant event when Adam actually gets Jamie to struggle to keep his facade.
    • For example: when testing a myth about a woman who left her groceries unbound in the back of her pickup and was then killed when she hit the brakes at highway speed and her groceries flew from the back of her bed and hit her in the back of the head, Adam quips "Food for thought!" Cut to Jamie trying very hard not to grin.
    • During the description of the "cannonball vs. splinters" myth in the first Pirate Special, Adam's oddball "pirate" accent actually gave Jamie a fit of the giggles.
      Redbeard the Savage: 'E's speechless!
    • Adam lampshades this when they test the "slipping on banana peels" myth.
      Adam: He's got the giggles. That never happens!
    • Adam has said in interviews that in the editing room, pretty much anything that makes Jamie laugh is going to be aired.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Mr. Savage, the floor is yours...
    Adam: So, can you clearly communicate what clever canine conundrum you're currently concocting?
    Jamie: What?
    Adam: *amused with himself* What's the myth?
  • Alcohol Is Gasoline: The team tested this in "Moonshiner Myths". They concluded that it is possible for a short while, however, only with extremely high concentrations of ethanol (192 proof); likewise, burning ethanol isn't as efficient or good for the engine as regular fuel. A more detailed summary of the results can be found here.
  • All for Nothing:
    • The (1st) attempt to retest the JATO Rocket Car myth ended with the entire car exploding once the rocket engine is activated. The MythBusters seemed on the verge of tears during the wrap-up. Jamie even flatly said "The rocket car sucked" during the episode close-out. Especially so since they'd already mentioned that they hired a experienced company to build the rocket and that said custom rocket cost the show $10,000. One hopes they got a refund for what must have been a rather large error on behalf of the professional rocket builders.
    • The test of the gigantic ball of LEGO bricks ended abruptly when the ball shattered about a third of the way down its track; the time it took to put the ball together in the first place made a retest impossible. That said, part of the myth was about how nimble the ball would be and thus the result showed it to be fairly fragile.
    • Despite promising small-scale builds of Newton's Cradles in increasing sizes of ball bearings, the full sized build with five wrecking balls was spectacularly anticlimactic; it only gave three halfhearted clunks and stopped.
  • Alliterative Name: Barry the Ballistic Bust, used for the lethal lava lamp legend.
    • There's also "Adam's Anatomically Accurate Avian Appendage" (a mock hand made from chicken wings), which was used for a myth involving an explosive consequence of holding a revolver the wrong way.
  • The All-Solving Hammer: Grant often makes the suggestion that he could build a robot for a myth. Usually, this is a viable option (and the route they actually take), but occasionally he makes the suggestion when it's patently ridiculous.
    • Grant has a trigger swivel rig that he has modified at least five times; he initially built it to swing a sword, going through bang a hammer and even kick a soccer ball.
  • All There in the Manual / Deleted Scene: Some steps in testing a myth may be cut out due to time constraints, but are shown or referred to in the aftershow footage posted on Discovery's website, as well as explanations for some of their decisions.
  • Amusing Injuries: Happens often with Adam and Tory. Adam because he tends to express his pain more readily and obviously, and Tory because he usually manages to bounce back relatively easily. What's more, both tend to bring it on themselves.
    • Averted when experimenting on biting into microwaved jawbreakers. Although they had some blast shields up, MythTern Christine was caught in the "explosion" and her face got burned (Adam, too, except on his arm). It was treated as a very serious event and a cautionary tale that proved the myth to be true.
    • Really, any serious injury averts this. It wasn't funny when Tory gashed his knee on a fall gone wrong, for example—he needed stitches because of that. Really, the only reason the infamous bike accident falls under this trope is that Tory (amazingly) wasn't seriously hurt.
    • Adam says it best:
      Adam: This is the show. It's, like, 4 minutes of science, and then 10 minutes of me hurting myself.
  • Anachronism Stew:
  • Analogy Backfire: As demonstrated in this show, "like taking candy from a baby" does not actually mean "easy"—test subjects struggled mightily with that very task.
  • Ancient Grome:
    • When they test the arrow machine gun, which was allegedly invented by Dionysius the Elder, a Greek, Adam wears some very Roman armor. They fire at a target that is dressed as a Greek hoplite, but they call it a Roman centurion.
    • Adam wears the same armor while directing the ("Greek") mirror bearers during a Solar Death Ray revisit.
  • And Some Other Stuff: The MythBusters will often censor the ingredients for dangerous chemicals or leave out crucial steps for certain processes they don't want viewers to try at home. Lampshaded during the Hindenburg experiment (see Pixellation below).
  • And Starring: Jessi Combs was billed this way in the intro sequence during Kari's maternity leave (Kari remained in the credits even though she and Jessi did not appear in any episodes together).
  • And That's Terrible:
    • During the "Killer CD" segment:
      Adam: *surveying CD-ROM shrapnel embedded in ballistics gel blocks* Look — it's embedded two inches into his flesh! That's bad!
    • Also, during their first attempt at the "Appliance in the Bathtub" myth (the circuit turned out to be improperly grounded):
      Adam: *seeing that the GFCI switch on a hairdryer has not tripped in the tub* What kind of ground-fault interruption is this! It's pumping water! I would say that's bad!
  • Animal Reaction Shot: An unintentional version, but during the "Antacid Jail Break" myth as the guys are about to test the myth in the small scale Jamie's dog Zero starts coming down the stairs, but apparently sensing what's coming stops dead in her tracks. Cue the glass in the test tank shattering outward.
  • Annoying Background Event: In one episode, Adam and Jamie are testing whether a person wearing a latex mask of another person would pass scrutiny. While Jamie is explaining their testing procedure to a camera, Adam (dressed as Jamie) is in the background doing a bizarre dance. Jamie glares at Adam when he finishes the piece to camera. Adam hastily stops dancing and innocently puts his hands in his pockets.
  • Apologetic Attacker: In the Duct Tape Island special, Jamie caught a fish using his duct tape and wood created spear. He apologized to it for killing it, but it was for a good purpose.
  • Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: Seemingly deliberately invoked by Adam: "I think so, Jamie, but it's gonna be hard to find four oak doors and 30 feet of greased chain!"
  • Artifact Title: In its later seasons, as the show began to run out of myths, urban legends, and sayings to test, it became increasingly focused on testing movie special effects and visual tropes. Adam, starting with season ten have outright referred to a lot of what they test as tropes instead of myths.
  • Artistic License – History:
    • The show says that the Hwacha is an ancient Korean weapon when it was introduced towards the end of the Medieval period.
    • While testing moon myths, Adam makes a big deal over having a figure of Neil Armstrong and having a replica spacesuit modeled on Armstrong's and saying that it's because the figure and the suit both have red commander markings. Neil Armstrong never wore a suit with red markings, which were an embellishment added to commanders' suits from Apollo 13 onward to help better distinguish the two astronauts on the moon when viewed through a TV screen.
  • Artistic License – Linguistics: When analyzing the "Exploding Pants" myth, after they did confirm that a specific set of circumstances did in fact cause a pair of pants to catch on fire, Grant was still reluctant to call it Confirmed, saying that it wasn't technically an "explosion," since there was no compression, merely a "spontaneous ignition." Kari and Tory made the observation that, to the average person without the scientific knowledge to know the difference, if their pants spontaneously burst into flames, they would say the pants exploded.
    Tory: "My pants blew up!" That's what I'd say!
  • Artistic License – Physics:
    • To test a myth about jailbreaks, Jamie hires a horse as an example of one horsepower. Apparently he doesn't realize that James Watt defined the unit as a horse's continuous output capacity, whereas the horse's maximum momentary output — which is what's called for in this scenario — is an order of magnitude greater.
    • The "Unarmed and Unharmed" myth about shooting a gun out of a person's hand. To test the myth for real, Adam and Jamie built a gun with two barrels as according to Isaac Newton's third law, the bullet fired would exert just as much energy on a persons hand as if said gun had been hit by a bullet. The only problem is that they completely ignored Newton's second law; while the energy generated would be the same, the amount of said energy that is actually transfered to the hand is affected by the medium it travels through. And since gas compresses and spreads energy much more evenly than a physical object, the energy recieved by the hand would be much lower by the fired bullet than if the gun had been hit by a bullet.
      • It wasn't the first time they had run into this problem either. During the famous "Chicken Gun" myth, they first claimed the myth was busted as being the same mass and traveling the same speed, the frozen and thawed chickens would exert the exact same amount of energy when they hit the windshield. It was only later that the myth was overturned and they actually fired the chickens against a series glass panes and found out that the frozen chicken did in fact have much greater penetration. The reason, of course, being that the fresh chickens waste a lot of their energy compressing when they hit something, and the myth was specifically about if frozen or thawed chickens fired at the same velocities would exhibit different penetrative characteristics. In short, mass and velocity being roughly identical means the kinetic energy is roughly identical, but the hardness of the projectile greatly affects how that energy will be transferred to a target.
      • While testing the lethality of rocks thrown by a lawnmower blade, they conclude that a golf ball-sized rock moving at 400 fps has more kinetic energy than a .357 magnum bullet moving at 1400 fps. Yeah, nope. What really happened with their test was the the bullet cleanly penetrated through their measuring pendulum, so that only a small fraction of the bullet's energy was able to push it back. Meanwhile, the rock, with its slower speed, greater mass and lower density, stopped at the pendulum and therefore hit with all of its kinetic energy. A pendulum capable of absorbing the .357's full impact would have been knocked much farther back.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Kari and Tory both had minor roles on the show before being hired as part of the build team. After pestering her way into an off-camera job, Kari can be briefly seen in the background in the first episode, when the MythBusters are in the desert testing the JATO Rocket Car myth. Kari's next appearance was having her butt scanned to make a model for the second episode, in which the MythBusters examine whether a loss of pressure can cause one to get stuck to an airplane toilet seat. Tory also appeared in the background a few times, and they and Scottie Chapman were all credited as the "Build Team" throughout the first season, even though they were not featured on camera.
  • Ascended Meme: A parody/homage of the show used a myth that if you interleave the pages of a pair of phone books, the raw friction would make them inseparable short of destroying the books or manually "unweaving" the pages, with the parody presenters coming to the conclusion that you could not do so. The MythBusters themselves decided to test this, ramping it up from a tug-of-war and two tire-burning rental cars to finally chaining them between two tanks. Myth busted, despite it ultimately requiring 8,000+ pounds of force - more than could be generated than if both rental cars had been simultaneously suspended from the phone books in mid-air - to pull them apart.
    • Has ascended so much that it is a major part of their live tour. Adam suspends himself from a ceiling hook, with only the friction of the phone book pages (which are interleaved earlier in the show by audience volunteers) connecting his harness to the hook.
  • Asian and Nerdy: Grant plays this up for his own (and the audience's) amusement. The guy builds robots on any excuse and used pi as his "prisoner number" in the jailhouse rope episode. As if that wasn't bad enough, when they were testing a lie detector machine, it was revealed he had thought about building a female robot. In another episode, he was reduced to a stammering idiot when he met a high-tech bomb disposal robot. This vibe is intensified when you realize his college degree is in electrical engineering.
    • When testing three different rigs to throw a soccer ball, the team concludes that their initial rig, a pressure cannon, is consistently the most stable; Grant reaches the same conclusion but he includes that he calculated the standard deviations of the data "just for fun". Predictably, Kari calls him out in his definition of "fun".
  • As You Know: Many myths are introduced via a segment in which the hosts purport to "tell" each other about a myth with which both are already familiar. They vary on how staged this bit is.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: While building the wrecking-ball-sized Newton balls, Adam and Jamie spend an undisclosed amount of time distracted by smacking a large piece of scrap metal with mallets, making a variety of different tones like a giant xylophone.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Rube Goldberg (or Heath Robinson for our friends in more Commonwealth-influenced lands) would be so damn proud.
    • One in particular was opening a safe by cutting a small hole, filling it with water and dropping an explosive charge in it. Water doesn't compress so the power is distributed to the weak points of the safe, the door. The principle behind it is sound and works, but it took over 30 minutes to cut the hole and the stuff inside was charred from the cutting lance. Never mind the fact that the safe leaked like a sieve, despite attempts to seal it from the outside.
    • The water stun gun.
    • A sailboat can, in fact, be propelled forward by blowing a giant fan into the sail...but simply pointing the fan backwards works so much better.
    • You can tenderize meat with explosives, or with a giant air cannon firing kevlar-wrapped meat into a steel target. You know, in case you don't have a tenderizing hammer close at hand?
    • In the ninja specials, they tested being able to catch an arrow in midair (possible but unlikely) and catching a sword swing (only if you have hand protection). In both cases, it's noted that you'd be better served by dodging than trying to stop whatever's coming at you.
    • Tailgating in a big rig's slipstream does in fact enhance your gas mileage. It's also likely to get you killed.
    • Next time you're being attacked with a flamethrower and all you have is a super-powered fire extinguisher, remember that you can defend yourself with it.
    • If you've got properly sealed metal containers, plenty of wire, a big boat of an automobile, and a certain celebrity chef, you can cook a full Thanksgiving dinner with your car.
    • It is possible to build a balloon out of lead foil and make it float with helium... but aluminum foil is both stronger and easier to get in large quantities.
  • Ax-Crazy: Jamie actually played this role in a short, silent film setting up a movie myth about awnings.
  • Back for the Finale: After leaving the show at the end of the 2014 season, Tory, Kari, and Grant return in the last episode to reminisce about their past experiences with Adam and Jaime.
  • Badass Bookworm: Jamie.
  • Badass Driver:
    • Both Jamie and Adam are coming close, if they haven't hit this trope already. They've had enough specialized driving instruction for various myths that when they tested whether driving in high heels was inherently more dangerous (due to lack of control), they needed a fairly extreme driving course to give themselves a challenge.
      • Adam has told a story about driving with his wife in fairly icy conditions, and his skill level was so high that he was intentionally letting the car slip and slide a little, easily regaining control, for little reason other than personal amusement - until his wife couldn't restrain herself and started yelling at him to stop before he gave her a heart attack. She knew intellectually that he was fully in control, but it was still so terrifying that she had to make him stop.
    • Kari has picked up some mad driving skills through the years, pulling some remarkable Tokyo-drifting in a go-kart; Grant himself has had to drive mere inches from an 18-wheeler at highway speeds; Tory has stopped a car using another car via piercing grappling hook.
    • Don't forget the mad skillz at radio-controlled driving (of multiple full-sized vehicles) displayed especially by Grant, but also to a lesser degree by Adam and Jamie.
  • Badass Longcoat: In the Dumpster Diving episode, Adam wore a long black coat reminiscent of something out of The Matrix.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Sometimes they don't try very hard to make the scripted myth-introduction scenes seem realistic, especially the build team.
    • One notable aversion was when they wanted to test the Hypnosis Recall myth by plotting a tense altercation with some delivery boys. Adam and Jamie were in on the act and while the viewer could tell they were acting you could also see how Tory, Grant and Kari would fall for it.
    • Especially invoked by Adam, who used to be a professional actor.
    • Averted and lampshaded by the "latex masks" episode, when Adam and Jamie hired a professional acting coach to help them perfect how to imitate each other.
      Adam: You're suggesting we get acting lessons.
      Jamie: Isn't it about time?
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • In "More Myths Reopened", one of the myths began like this:
    [Stock footage of a hammerhead shark.]
    Robert Lee: Now, the next myth ripe for revisiting is one I don't quite remember. Can a hammerhead really explode?
    [Shot transitions to footage of the Hammer vs. Hammer testing.]
    Robert Lee: Oh. That type of hammer head. Got it. Sorry.
    • In the conclusion of the "Mission Impossible Mask" segment, the man next to Grant wore the Adam Savage mask and Adam's clothes but spoke in Jamie's voice, with the man next to Kari being the reverse case... Cue the unmasking scene which shows Adam and Jamie wearing the masks with their likeness.
  • Bamboo Technology: Part and parcel of some myths, and occasionally merges with Steampunk. They've had to test myths of plans for American Civil War era rockets and even a steam powered machine gun.
    • Invoked literally on the MacGyver special where they built a lightweight plane out of bamboo, garbage bags, duct tape and a cement mixer motor. While it did roll on the ground just fine, it plummeted straight down as it rolled off a cliff to attempt liftoff.
    • The Hwacha!!!, a missile battery for large firework-powered bamboo ballistae.
    • Then there was the "Ming Dynasty Astronaut" myth, in which a Chinese philosopher supposedly blasted into space on a throne strapped with 47 rockets made out of bamboo.
    • Exaggerated in an episode where they have to survive on a desert island using nothing but duct tape and bamboo. They not only manage to do essentials like gather food and water, but they also build hammocks, chairs, a table, a chess set, and in the end, they build a canoe and escape the island.
  • BBC Quarry: Whenever the crew requires a lot of explosions they rent a nearby rock quarry and a bombing expert for a day, with some locations reappearing a lot. Same with crash tests for cars.
  • Beam-O-War: Done with a flamethrower vs. a heavy duty fire extinguisher. Actual myth: Busted. Results: Awesome.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Played with.
    • The premise of the show is to deconstruct this. They find out what really is possible and what is not.
    • Sometimes the trope is played straight when a particularly dubious myth is confirmed. Perfect example: any myth involving duct tape, but ESPECIALLY the duct tape airplane myth.
    • Inverted with some myths where every single part of the myth is so completely busted it leaves not even a grain of truth left. For example: the myth of the giant rolling LEGO ball. They could only get 1 million LEGO pieces after taking all the pieces from both Legoland California and the largest private collection; this is nowhere close to the five million predicted by the myth. They also only needed the 1 million pieces to make the giant ball anyway. Finally, the ball broke apart half way down the track.
  • Big, Bulky Bomb: A cement truck with the mixer packed with high explosives.
  • Big "WHAT?!": In "Tipsy vs. Tired", this was Kari's reaction after being told that she strayed out of her lane during the highway/"monotony" portion of the tipsy test over 100 times. She was a bit too exhausted to respond when she more than doubled this number during the later tired test that confirmed the myth.
  • Bill... Bill... Junk... Bill...: In "Mini Myth Mayhem," Adam and Jamie try (successfully) to mail a coconut to themselves. Jamie sorts through the day's mail in this fashion, replacing "junk" with "coconut" as it thumps onto the table.
  • Blindfolded Trip: On the first trip to the "secret location" to shoot a fish with a minigun, Adam is not allowed to know where it is, so Jamie drives him there blindfolded.
    Adam: Where are we?
    Jamie: We're right here.
  • Blow Gun: As part of the ninja special.
  • Body Horror:
    • Tory's Meatman: a fake skeleton with pork sewed onto it to serve as muscle and skin, with its abdomen filled with various organs and fake blood. It was used to test the myth that if a deep sea diver in an old-timey suit lost his air supply (and a safety valve failed to work), the resulting pressure difference would crush the diver's body into the helmet of the suit. The myth was confirmed; even the helmet began to buckle under the pressure, with bits of Meatman beginning to leak out. Poor, poor Meatman.
      Tory: His stomach is inside his helmet!
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Turns out, in a myth testing how to light a room with directed light and mirrors, that all Jamie has to do is step into the beam with a crisp white shirt. It lights the room nearly four times as brightly as any of their other methods.
    • When trying to get past a high-tech motion detector which uses sound waves to detect movement, Kari discovered that by far the most effective method was to simply hold up an ordinary bedsheet between herself and the sensor. The second-most effective method was to move through the room at a painfully slow speed; literally boring, but practical.
    • The sword-swinging robot. It's just a swinging pneumatic arm with a clamp to hold a sword. The sheer number of myths the MythBusters have re-purposed it for is absolutely incredible.
  • Bowdlerize: Because of the broad appeal of the program, the MythBusters try to avoid questionable language or content where they feasibly can. For example, in the "Facts about Flatulence" episode, they managed to cover the topic without ever once using the word fart, substituting the scientific term "flatus" in the common term's stead. This is far from the only example; the backgrounds of several myths have been modified to avoid what are hot-button topics in the United States.
    • Averted in one of the pilot episodes, when Adam was trying to find a family-friendly term for something Jamie referred to quite bluntly as "a big ass."
  • Brand X:
    • Used to avoid having to pay out licensing fees and to preserve the impartiality of the show. Also used to reference movies or characters that they are blatantly testing myths about, but is iffy if they can use the character names directly, like Nocturnal-Echolocating-Flying-Mammal-Man. Ruthlessly Lampshaded constantly.
      Adam: I don't know about you, but I think MythBusters Cola sounds delicious.
      Grant: I do not always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer MythBusters.
    • Also done to keep people from trying to replicate their more dangerous myths (Don't mix Blur with Blur).
    • Averted when they tested soda fountains made by dropping Mentos chew candies into just-opened bottles of Diet Coke. During the taping of the experiment itself, Adam and Jamie stuck to the terms "cola and mint candies" until their testing determined that the extreme reactions demonstrated by the Eepybirds could only be achieved by the specific combination of Mentos and Diet Coke, making further use of the generic names pointless. This was also a rare example of a myth that was perfectly safe for people (or kids) to try at home... though they did suggest you do it outside your home, so there was little risk of the manufacturers suing them for encouraging unsafe use of their products.
  • Brass Balls: After Jamie crosses a duct-tape bridge despite his severe acrophobia:
    Adam: Ladies and gentlemen, they are made of brass, Mr. Jamie Hyneman.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • During "Cannonball Chemistry", Tory, Grant, and Kari address the audience directly at the beginning of the episode, and again when they reach the "where did that cannonball just go?" point in the original filming.
    • The pilot who takes Adam on the U-2 flight is keenly aware of the fact that he's on TV:
      Pilot: *while cruising at 70,000 feet* What do you think about landing after this commercial break?
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: When trying to find out if C-4 on fire can be detonated without a cap.
    Jamie: We smashed it, we burned it, we smashed it and burned it.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Can you mail a coconut without putting it in any packaging? Yes, you can.
    • Early in the Waterslide Wipeout episode during small-scale testing, Adam declares that he doesn't believe that using the handheld weed-sprayer to lubricate the entire length of the full-scale slide will be necessary, and says he'll pay Jamie $100 if that's the case. It was. After the myth is declared busted, Jamie chimes in about the $100 Adam owes him. Adam begrudgingly pays him in the credits.
    • An easily-missed one: the fuel-injected car used for the "Great Gas Conspiracy" myth testing came with a vanity license plate: "ENVY DIS". The plate is seen again in the Beat The Speed Camera myths, when Jamie does the old spy-car license plate switcheroo with the "NO DOUDT" plate they'd been using all episode. Jamie is seen doing something with the back license plate early on in the episode to set this up.
  • Brief Accent Imitation:
    • Adam, a lot. For the second Pirate episode, he does it so much it actually starts to annoy Jamie (which he does almost every episode, somehow).
    • Speaking of, Jamie is very often a victim of this; most people on the set have mockingly imitated his voice and mannerisms at one time or another.
    • In the 2011 season premiere Adam and Jamie disguise themselves as each other and attempt to fool people. The masks are good enough to work from a distance but each fails to imitate the other's voice correctly.
    • Torynote  will occasionally affect a faux Italian accent.
    • For the most part, if a myth comes from an action movie, Adam will certainly describe a part of it at some point in a thick British accent.
  • Bring My Brown Pants:
    • After the massive fireball from the creamer cannon, we get this:
      Tory: We've still got like 500 pounds of this stuff, should we try again?
      Grant: Maybe after I get some new underwear.
    • After Adam ignited hydrogen in a box causing it to explode violently:
      Adam: WHOA! *in quiet, timid-ish voice* Okay... is everybody okay?
      Rob Lee: Eh... fresh underwear for Mr. Savage, please.
    • Adam noted the latest Underwater Car test (where they tested in a pond to see if it was any harder to escape if the car "turned turtle") as being "a 10 on the Brown Pants factor."
    • Subverted on occasion - the cast will wear adult diapers if pants-soiling is a supposed side-effect of the myth being tested.
    • Heck, they even have a whole myth devoted to finding the Brown Note in the first episode of season 3.
    • Adam when he was attempting to use an excavator to climb into the back of a truck.
      Jamie: Do you need to go to the bathroom or anything?
      Adam: Oh, I've already gone to the bathroom.
    • Before his "cold feet" subjugation scenario, Tory requested man-diapers before boarding a stunt plane.
  • British English: This crops up from time to time in the narration and scripted dialogue. Not surprising, when you consider that Beyond Productions is an Australian company and narrator Robert Lee was born in England.
    • Examples: referring to a previous season as a "series" (several times), calling a coupe a "coupé", and referencing "Meccano" — the UK equivalent of Erector Sets.
  • Broken Aesop: Played straight and subverted. In the Viral Videos episode, they warned that the viewers shouldn't believe every video they see online... yet all four of the videos tested were Confirmed. However, they did make their own example involving Rubik's cubes, in order to show how someone could easily fake an online video.
    • They would later bust other videos, such as the giant lego ball video.
  • Broke the Rating Scale: Most myths (from season 2 onward) adhere to the Busted/Plausible/Confirmed scale. There are, however, some deviations. Type 2s are not uncommon ("Plausible, but ludicrous" or variants being the most common), and there has been a Type 4. During the Supersized Special, the MythBusters performed a test that failed in a way that did not yield useful data—namely, Supersize Rocket Car (the car blew up as it was supposed to launch). Because the test yielded nothing useful, the MythBusters simply called it "Appropriately Supersized".
    • At the end of the CSI fireball myth, the ramped-up version was rated "Gratuitous!"
    • A test to see if driving at a high rate of speed is sufficient to keep the rain out of a convertible with the top down was rated "Plausible, but Not Recommended", because of it being so blatantly unsafe.
    • Testing the myth of bullets being fired up killing someone received all three ratings: 'busted' because if a bullet were fired straight up, it would tumble as it fell, slowing it down to nonlethal speeds; 'plausible' because it's difficult to actually fire a bullet straight up, and even a slight deviation allows the bullet to maintain a ballistic trajectory and the lethal speed involved; and 'confirmed' because they located documentation of someone actually being killed by a bullet that had been fired into the air.
    • The Dirty vs. Clean Car myth pulled off arguably the most complex rating ever on the show: "Myth busted, concept plausible". This was because the myth as stated - that a dirty car is more fuel-efficient than a clean car because the dirt creates an effect similar to the dimples on a golf ball - did not work at all when subjected to a standard test (the dirt actually reduced the car's fuel efficiency), but when they devised another method of re-creating the effect the myth describes (by applying an even layer of clay to the car and then carving out dimples using a homemade circular wire cutting toolnote ), that actually did improve fuel efficiency by 11% over the clean car.
    • In the "Killer Washing Machine" myth, not one aspect of the story was deemed to be in any way plausible. First, 50 pounds of clothes cannot fit into a residential washing machine, next the drum is not powerful enough to spin a man around. In fact, they could easily stop the spin cycle with their hands and feet, no to mention that most washing machines will not operate with the lid up. Finally, dog urine and baking soda in no way causes any kind of explosion. The myth was declared to be Decimated.
  • Bucket Helmet: Used in the myth about walking in circles blind in a forest. This really is how people train to navigate dangerous, low-visual range situations such as blizzards.
  • Bullet Time: They use high speed cameras that can record up to about 2000 frames per second. Used for a lot of experiments just so they can see what actually happened. Adam's favorite was mentioned as being a hot water heater rocketing out of a makeshift house. Sometimes they just do it for fun, like a sobering myth where Adam got slapped in the face by Jamie pretty hard. Adam: "That's the funniest thing I've ever seen!" The bullet time footage of a rocket sled vaporizing a car is likely the most popular footage ever, and likely paved the way for the show Time Warp, which revolves around nothing but Bullet Time. Then Adam's drunken treadmill running (and falling...and getting back on, only to fall even more violently) became a clip that he started showing off while doing lectures well before the show aired, because it just looked so funny. The final episode featured them using a camera that shot at upwards of 50,000 frames per second to film an RV being exploded.
  • Bulletproof Fashion Plate:
    • Jamie, though Adam tries to trash his white shirt. You do not try to take his hat (although he did for one of the "" bits, unknown if Jamie let him).
    • Averted when they tested the "poop hits the fan" saying — Jamie was just as splattered as Adam after the final test. (And Adam was the only one wearing a protective jumpsuit. Jamie was in his normal attire.)
    • Literally busted when Jamie let Adam skeet-shoot his beret. Adam hit the beret in flight, and the holes in the hat were proof of it.
    Adam: For those of you who thought Jamie's attire was bulletproof...myth busted.
  • But Now I Must Go: Jessi's farewell letter.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Poor Buster. Adam and Tory get their own bruises, usually their own fault.
      Adam: This is the show. It's, like, 4 minutes of science, and then 10 minutes of me hurting myself.
    • Occasionally, a myth offers an opportunity for Jamie to deal with his personal issues with heights. Really, all the team members get this at some point or another; the show loves exploiting Adam and Grant's motion sickness and Kari's aversion to meat, among other things.
  • Buzzing the Deck: Their attempts to shatter glass with a sonic boom culminated with Adam going up with one of the Blue Angels and, after being taken on a wild thrill ride, making a series of supersonic passes over a shed they'd set up in the desert with a glass window, each one lower than the last. After a number of passes at a reasonable altitude, Adam was dropped off and the pilot went back up to make another series at a dangerously low level. They did finally get the glass to break, but the plane was practically flying on the deck at that point.
  • Call-Back:
    • On the Arrow Machine Gun test, after repeated failures, Adam repeats some "clean" words used during "No Pain No Gain":
      Adam: Fudge! Babies! ...Baby hippos!
    • Invoked; in the Popcorn episode, Tory copied Adam's famous line:
      Tory: Am I missing an eyebrow?
    • On a number of occasions, they refer to techniques, knowledge, or rigs acquired in earlier episodes. A great example would be the sword-swinging robot, which was refurbished and repurposed several times.
    • One time, Kari was asked by Tory and Grant to name what a set of items had in common: creamer, cheese, leather, chicken, duct tape, and a steel pipe. The answer was "cannon"; the three food items had all been launched from cannons in previous myths, the tape and pipe had been used to construct them, and they were building a leather one at the time. Shortly afterward, we saw clips involving several of these previous cannons (as well as a few others).
    • In the setup for "Bamboo Torture", Jamie's alleged prior efforts at torturing a tied-up Adam invoked something Adam previously had claimed to have had nightmares about in "Breaking Glass":
      Jamie: You had enough yet? 'Cause I can keep singing all day long.
  • Camera Abuse: They're not trying to destroy (expensive) high-speed cameras, it just happens.
    • Dramatic shots being essential to the show, but expensive to lose, in later seasons the cameras start getting armored.
    • Defied in at least one test; when testing the remote controls of the first Impala for the 2013 retest of the JATO rocket car myth, Grant steers it to avoid hitting a camera. At least that's the excuse he gives for swerving all over the lot.
    • And subverted during their non-dairy creamer cannon—they assumed they lost the camera closest to the cannon—only to discover it was still in working order. The next footage it shot was them cleaning off its lens.
    • In the A-Team special, Jamie and Adam built a rig to fire 2-by-2 lumber at "bad guys". During testing, Adam managed to hit one of the little cameras placed down-range to capture images of the sticks being fired.
    • During the "Human Slingshot Myth" an early test sees a camera rig taken out when the sling boomerangs backwards with the cannonball load still in place. The camera survives and we are treated to the recording it made while tumbling.
  • Canada, Eh?: When a myth involves Canada somehow, the jokes usually fall into this.
  • Canis Latinicus: Adam refers to the outcome of the third attempt at JATO Rocket Car as "a case of mythus testus".
  • Captain Obvious: A source for a lot of their humour. Some examples:
    • Tory: Lemon juice stings when it gets in your eye!
    • Tory after getting burned holding a lava lamp: It gets hot!
    • Tory standing in a bull ring wearing a bright red jumpsuit: This is starting to feel like a bad idea.
    • Adam and Jamie after deliberately crashing a car into a wall: Jamie: Yep, it's a car crash, I think. Adam: I'd say what happened here was that this car, here, hit this wall, there.
  • Captivity Harmonica: Tory humorously uses his voice, with his hands cupped in front of his face, to emulate this during the Prison Break myth.
  • Carcass Sleeping Bag: This has been tested by the Mythbusters, who mimicked the Star Wars example specifically and were surprised by how effective it was.
  • Cardboard Pal: In one Blueprint Room piece-to-camera, Adam discusses the next step in the testing of the myth (which involved whether Christmas trees could auto-ignite from the heat of the lights) with a full-size cardboard cutout of Jamie (with Jamie dubbing his lines in). It's out of nowhere, unexplained, and a little off-putting, especially when the real Jamie reappears in the very last shot of the sequence.
  • Carpet of Virility: In all but one of his Shirtless Scenes, Jamie displays his. (The exception was the Goldfinger painted-with-latex myth, for which Jamie had to shave everything below the neck.) Tory has one as well.
  • Catchphrase: Several, most of which are recycled in the opening credits:
    • "Well, there's your problem!" (Usually in response to a fully intended destruction of a vehicle, or when looking for parts or pieces for a build, and finding a car with no engine. Also applied to many other situations, such as when a fingerprint lock proved embarrassingly easy to fool.)
    • "If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing." Also referred to as the "MythBusters Mantra".
    • "When in doubt, C4."
    • "Jamie wants Big Boom."
    • "PHYSICS!"
    • "When in doubt, lubricate!"
      • "Laaaaaaaard."
    • "Failure is always an option on MythBusters."
    • "This is why we can never have anything nice." (Grant, usually right before something is destroyed.)
    • "Will our insurance cover this?" (Usually right before they destroy an item that was hard to get, or are about to attempt something that is questionable.)
    • "For Science!!" i.e.
      *sniffs the air* "Aah, it's a beautiful day for science."
      Adam: I ate a radio for science!
    • "X went away." Often used by Jamie as a euphemism for "X was completely destroyed by an explosion."
    • Kari thinks all these catchphrases are AMAZING!
    • Adam thinks, "That's beautiful!!" Although he sometimes reckons, "that's horrifying!!" Or the similar "that's a horror show!!"
    • "Replicate the myth, then duplicate the results."
    • Though not a catchphrase, Adam's nervous laughter is by far the greatest echo of the entire series.
    • Even the narrator has a catch phrase. "Ain't that the truth!" is often said after one of the hosts described what had just happened.
    • He also says, "That's the theory," a lot.
    • The narrator will also often say "Ah, Houston...we have a problem" whenever an explosive fails to go off, when a vehicle (often a rocket) fails to get going, or for other obvious failures during testing.
    • In later episodes, Jamie has taken to saying "Buh-bye!" just before he triggers an explosive or incendiary device.
    • "[Often overly long name of impending test] in three, two, one…"
    • You'll also hear "There's only one way to find out." a lot, right before one of the aforementioned impending tests.
    • "Let's get outta here" is common at the end of episodes.
    • In the Breaking Bad special, Vince Gilligan repeatedly says "In my mind's eye..." while trying to Hand Wave explanations for why the MythBusters' tests aren't working as originally depicted.
  • "Cavemen vs. Astronauts" Debate: The fansite was host to a nasty argument over whether a plane could take off if it were on a conveyor belt that was running in the opposite direction. MythBusters result: Yes it can!
  • Censor Steam: Subverted in this video. A last second move of Kari's head blocks the actual decapitation of the dead lamb, but then they replay it from another angle, uncensored, in slow motion.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Probably an unintentional example in the "Fire vs. Ice" episode. In the beginning, Adam is using a fire extinguisher to put out Jamie's homemade flamethrower, which appears as a cloud of dark blue gas to the thermal camera and covers the heat from the fire. This is the same method that the Build Team uses to obscure warm bodies from a heat-seeking camera in their myth later in the same episode.
    • The MacGyver special has one during Adam and Jamie's "MacGyver Challenge": after they escape being tied up at the beginning of the challenge, Jamie takes the rope with him, and they use it as the tail for the kite they build as a signal at the end.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: The first season had accredited folklorist Heather Joseph-Witham give some background information and sociology regarding the current myth they were testing. She was phased out because she wasn't adding anything that couldn't have been explained by either the narrator or the hosts, her footage anyway was shot much like an interview and she didn't interact with Adam and Jamie, and the shift of the show from testing urban legends to testing tropes, scenes from film and TV, Internet videos, idioms, etc. would have made her useless.
  • Clip Show: On occasion, but always with at least some new content.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Largely averted, although Adam tended to get bleeped roughly once an episode in the first few seasons when a lot more of the work on the myths was being shown on-screen. Also, there are the rare times when something goes seriously awry with a test or a build, such as Adam's profanity-laced call to the insurance company after being told he couldn't be a stunt double in a Hollywood myths episode, and Grant's reactions to his (repeatedly) failed "dental floss jail door cutter" machine.
    • Adam Lampshaded this himself after getting slapped by Jamie in the "Alcohol Myths" episode (for sobering-up techniques):
      Adam: Holy bleeping bleepity bleep!
    • In one episode the (normally taciturn) Jamie spends a lot of time and effort welding two large pipes together, only to realize that he's made an amateur welding mistake, closing off an opening that makes the whole thing useless. His reaction, especially when he has to explain what happened to Adam, is dutifully recorded in full and then just as dutifully censored.
    • "No Pain, No Gain" included using this trope as part of the testing — specifically, whether or not cursing increased your ability to tolerate pain (it did).
    • Multiple bleeps are required when Jamie and Adam plan out their poop-polishing experiment, mostly because they're discussing which words they can or can't use to describe the raw materials on the air. ("Is *bleep* okay?" "No.")
    • When testing "bungee jumping for apples," both Adam and Jamie swear liberally when they have to do their first bungee jump, and afterwards.
  • Cold Open: The last few seasons of the show begin each episode with a short vignette demonstrating one of the main myths being addressed. Weirdly, these scenes often portray Adam and Jamie as Heterosexual Life-Partners who cohabitate, despite them being very firm on the record that they aren't friends.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Whenever someone (usually Adam or Tory) has to get injured in the name of an experiment, the other team members will generally express glee about it, especially if they get to inflict the pain.
    Scottie: Let's egg him on until he hurts himself. That's always fun.note 
  • The Comically Serious: Jamie.
  • Companion Cube: In "Holiday Special", Kari gets attached to a zombie dog replica.
  • Compensating for Something: Invoked by Grant as he brings out the hydraulic piston he just built... that's over 5 feet tall.
  • Cone of Shame: Played for Laughs during one build. After cutting down a large metal funnel, the leftover piece (which looked just like one of these cones) was plopped on Scottie's head.
  • Contrived Coincidence
    • Enforced by real life in one episode, due to the uncertainty of when pressure vessels will fail. While waiting for a fire extinguisher to over-pressurize and explode, the build team starts playing charades. As Grant starts acting out a clue, Tory says, "Two words... sounds like...?" At that moment, the extinguisher erupts in a massive explosion.
    • Another example involving Grant occurs in the myth where they test how bad a hangover someone would have with a strict regiment of beer vs. a mix of beer and liquor. Kari assures Grant the vomit test (conducted with a machine that will induce sea sickness) will end after he throws which point he promptly throws up before the test even starts.
    • A lot of the myths that are found "Plausible" would require one (or two) of these in order to happen.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: A necessary part of the "Beating the Lie Detector" myth, stressing over telling a lie was mandatory and thus Adam put forth an ultimatum, beat the machine or instead of taking a plane back to San Francisco they had to take a 3,000 mile bus ride. (There was also a bonus to beating the machine; a person who managed to do so would receive $1,000.) Grant managed to confuse the machine and was appropriately joyful, while they had to censor Kari's response.
  • Cool Bike: Jamie's custom bike, brought in for the Tablecloth Yank test.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: A lot of construction myths turn out to be this. The claim made for the substance is true on a micro level, but is too flawed to use in the large-scale way the myth states. Examples:
    • Using ping-pong balls to raise a sunken ship (true, but you need thousands of them just to raise a relatively small fiberglass boat.)note ;
    • Using balloons to lift a person (a couple thousand just for a five-year old kid);
    • Building ships from "pykrete", a mixture of ice and wood chips (the substance performed surprisingly well, but a small boat quickly started shedding). (This is one of the tests that led to a lot of debate, since the original concept was for making large aircraft carriers for use in the North Atlantic, and they would have been solid blocks of Pykrete with refrigeration units to prevent melting, not the thin shell boat that the MythBusters made. Still, the fact that it lasted only about fifteen minutes in the waters off Alaska probably says something about the viability of the material....)
    • Using explosives to make diamonds. When the build team played host to New Mexico Tech to show how they could make diamonds, an enormous amount of explosives, a gigantic explosion, and baths of acid were used to create... a tiny amount of dirty industrial-grade diamond grit, worth about a quarter. Not a quarter of a million dollars, but 25 cents.
    • An excellent example of this trope in action is the lead balloon. The MythBusters proved that it is possible to make a balloon out of lead foil and make it fly...but there are far, far better materials to make a balloon with. If it must be a metal foil balloon, aluminum foil is safer, lighter, stronger, easier to work with, and easier to get a hold of.
  • Cool, but Stupid: Many a "carry a myth to its logical conclusion". Examples include a car with a golf ball surface and a boat made out of duct tape.
    • Adam has summarized this trope in something he's said on a handful of occasions: "I've just had a 'what the hell are we doing' moment..." That is, the fact they are called upon by Discovery Channel to do something completely outlandish and absurd, something that anyone with a value for their time would never venture into, not only for our entertainment, but a paycheck at the end of the week (and, at least part of the time, For Science!).
  • Cool Car: There've been a lot of cool vehicles, but special mention goes to "The Beast", a mobile defense bunker made out of a dump truck. When they added a wedge-shaped "cow-catcher" grill during "Traffic Ram," it plowed through a traffic jam's worth of cars like they were water.
  • Cool Shades: Jamie's Julbo Drus sunglasses.
  • Couldn't Find a Lighter: While testing the 'Exploding Toilet' myth, Adam lights a cigarette with a blowtorch while Jamie is building a rig to allow Buster to drop a cigarette.
  • Cow Tools: M-5 certainly qualifies, with one wall that spans almost the length of the main building (at least 75 feet) with shelves and cubbies to hold all sorts of things. Apparently Jamie doesn't like to throw anything away and the random trinkets do come in handy. Even lampshaded with lots of them having some strange labels, like the one labeled "RAW MEAT." Lampshaded in one episode, where Adam did some mathnote  to determine that Buster would have to have more mass in order to accurately portray the myth:
    Jamie: So you're saying that Buster needs to be made out of depleted uranium.
    Adam: *beat* Do we have some of that here? Is it under "D" or "U"?
  • Crash Course Landing: On a simulation, both Adam and Jamie failed to land planes on their own, but succeeded with help over the radio. They did not know that at the time there was no record of this in real life.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Every so often, they try something that they know can't possibly work, and yet does. Perhaps most famously, Kari managed to fool a motion detector by holding a simple bedsheet up in front of her. Or using an emergency escape slide as a parachute. Or skipping a car across a 120-foot lake using nothing but raw speed.
    • The entire Duct Tape Island episode. The set-up — Adam and Jamie are stranded on a deserted island with nothing but a palette full of duct tape, and have to find food and water, make shelter, make clothing, and escape using only the island's natural resources and their miles of tape. The verdict — success all around.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • Jamie again, he keeps lard on hand for any situation.
      Jamie: You gotta collect those skills to be ready for anything.
      • Lampshaded in Duct Tape Canyon; Jamie packed suitcases full of duct tape and bubble wrap for a drive to a VIP reception.
    • Grant can build a robot for anything.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Became a problem in the "Swimming in Syrup" myth. They brought in an Olympic Gold Medalist Swimmer hoping that he would be able to provide consistent swim times. While his swim times were very consistent in water, once he got into the syrup, his technique was completely wrecked thanks to the fact that he spends hours every day training in normal water and was thus more sensitive to the difference. They had to throw out his times in favor of Adam's, who was a more casual swimmer and wasn't nearly as affected by the differences in viscosity.
  • Crossover:
    • A semi-example with CSI. Jamie and Adam make an appearance in one episode of CSI when Nick Stokes is determining whether or not a stun gun can ignite a guy covered in pepper spray. Then, on an episode of MythBusters, Jamie and Adam themselves do the exact same experiment to determine whether or not a stun gun can ignite a guy covered in pepper spray, inserting clips from the CSI episode.
    • Of all the possible works of fiction to show in, they also made an appearance in The Salvation War. They busted the myth that rich men can't enter the kingdom of Heaven... yeah, it's a long story.
    • Jamie and Adam were in the 2006 Darwin Awards, where they played two guys running an army-surplus store from which a Darwin Awards winner buys a rocket — leading to the JATO rocket myth.
    • The second episode of Fall 2010 was a cross over with Discovery series Storm Chasers. They didn't so much test tornado myths as put the chaser's souped up armored tornado chase vehicles to the torture test (with a jet engine) and design/build/test a prototype portable single-person tornado shelter that would protect a person caught away from the car from 180 mph winds.
    • The host of Ask a Ninja visited MythBusters during a ninja special.
    • Grant has a speaking role in the Series Finale of Eureka.
    • Alton Brown of Good Eats once did a MythBusters parody on his show as he ran an episode dedicated to picking apart cooking myths. He has now appeared on the show proper on the "Food Fables" episode by preparing a Thanksgiving dinner and cooking it using only a car's engine. And he fits in with them just as awesomely as fans of both shows would expect.
    Alton Brown: *while lying underneath a car and poking at the engine* ""Come out to the coast, we'll have some fun..."
    • Another same-channel crossover in the vein of the Storm Chasers meet up, the cast of Deadliest Catch appeared in an episode that featured myths such as whether crab pots can be blown up, if taking short naps during 30-hour shifts improves a person's ability to perform their duties, and if it's possible to get pulled overboard and to the bottom of the ocean by getting caught in the rope of a crab pot. All three were confirmed, though the crab pot did weather the first explosion surprisingly well.
    • The framing sequence for the June 19, 2013 duct tape special was an obvious plug for Nik Wallenda's tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon on June 23. Wallenda even had a couple cameos in the show.
    • A crossover episode with Breaking Bad looked at two early scenes: using mercury fulminate as an improvised grenade triggered by being thrown, and hydrofluoric acid destroying a corpse ... and the bathtub, and the floor under the bathtub. Both were busted.
    • The guys from Sons of Guns were convinced that they really could ignite a propane tank with a single shot, even though the Build Team had already busted it. They were so convinced that they invited Kari and Tory to watch them try. They failed.
    • There was a pseudo-crossover with Moonshiners for an episode dealing with moonshine myths. Scheduling prevented any of the Moonshiners cast from flying to San Francisco, note  but the episode included several clips from the show.
  • Cutting the Knot: In a test to see whether men or women were better at packing cars, one of the items that needed to be packed was an inflatable beach ball. Adam makes special note of one participant, who was the first (and possibly only) one out of the total 20 participants who actually thought of deflating the beach ball before packing it. In defense of the other 19, they may have believed that the point of the test was to account for something the size of the inflated ball.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Any time Jamie and Adam do some type of build-off, Jamie, who is more experienced in engineering of the two, tends to kick Adam's ass quite easily. There are several exceptions, however, including "Needle In a Haystack" and "Paper Crossbow".
  • Curse Cut Short: During the Laser Blaster myth from "Star Wars: The Myth Strikes Back", Jamie gets hit in the groin by a foam ping-pong ball being used as a shot from said gun. Before he says "It got me in the cock", the camera quickly snaps to Adam before Jamie can utter the last word in that sentence.
  • Dangerous Phlebotinum Interaction:
    • Parodied with a line by Adam that provides the page quote, where the actual names of the ingredients for an experiment are blurred out to keep from giving the audience ideas.
      Adam: This ingredient is made of blur. Hah.... And this has blur in it too. Blur is very dangerous. You don't want to mix blur with blur.
    • When examining the Hindenburg disaster, they tested the flammable properties of both the hydrogen gas and the zeppelin's metallic paint, and decided that a combination of the two was probably responsible.
    • When they were testing a Breaking Bad method of Disposing of a Body, they accelerated sulfuric acid with some "special sauce" to make something monstrously corrosive.
  • Day Hurts Dark-Adjusted Eyes: Testing to see if smugglers can drive on a dark road at night without using any light and relying only on their eyes acclimated to the darkness, they discovered it was barely possible, but if any light passed by them, such as a car with its headlights on, they would immediately crash.
  • Deadly Rotary Fan: The ceiling fan decapitation myth.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jamie. Adam tries, but usually can't keep a straight enough face to fully invoke the trope. The Narrator also indulges, and quite skillfully.
  • Deserted Island: Subverted in the "Duct Tape Island" episode. We never see anyone else but the two MythBusters (and, briefly, some of the camera crew), but Adam and Jamie noted that the beach they landed on had quite a few footprints, and the overhead drawings included maps that looked suspiciously like the island of Oahu (the most populous island in the Hawaiian chain). Their access to sushi and fried chicken is also something of a giveaway and in the "Aftershow" online episode they admitted they'd actually slept in a hotel but all the builds they did were real enough. In the episode itself, Adam managed to catch a wild chicken with a duct tape trap, then gave a quick No Animals Were Harmed disclaimer to assure fans that the wild chicken was released, and the chicken he and Jamie eat later on was store-bought.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: While testing methods of stopping a runaway car, the Build Team decide to come up with their own devices. Tory's is a hood-mounted hook used to drag the other vehicle to a halt.
    Kari: Your idea of a safe stop is to shank me?
    Tory: More like harpooning.
  • Ditzy Genius: Adam is the very definition of this trope, building and using complex machinery and making equally complex scientific observations, all while retaining the mindset of a ten year old on caffeine.
  • Dive Under the Explosion: They tested the "Dive to Survive" trope. It was ruled plausible but dependent on what type of explosive is being used. It worked well against a Hollywood-style gasoline fireball, but the ANFO broke every single blast disk.
  • Dodge the Bullet: They tested in one episode if it would be possible for a normal person to dodge a bullet, and surprisingly, the answer was yes!... kind of. The test was done by using a muzzle flash to trigger a light-sensitive point-blank paintball gun after a timed delay lining up to the flight time of a real bullet. Jamie (hardly the peak of human speed) was able to twist his body clear of a bullet's path given 0.49 seconds between the muzzle flash and the bullet's impact under lab conditions and 0.62 seconds in the field (with a "bullet" that seemed to be modeled around 800 m/s muzzle velocity). It turns out that seeing the flash is pretty important for knowing when to dodge, and that was a lot harder hundreds of yards distant outside than in a lab with controlled lighting. The main quibble was that it was only ever possible at a very long distance (500 yards for the 0.62 second test) and with Jamie knowing it was coming (which he normally he probably wouldn't without superhuman senses) - at close or medium range the bullet just strikes too quickly for Jamie to do anything.note 
  • Don't Try This at Home: Before every episode is a little video with Jamie and Adam stating this. The build team often makes a second video announcement midway through the show. It's also usually stated throughout the show.
    • Oddly, these little videos are entirely absent from the UK edition (with its British voiceover) shown on Sky. Make of that what you will. The most dangerous builds are still given a warning or two in passing during construction.
    • During the YouTube Special:
      Adam: If I find out that any of you tried this at home, I'll personally come to your house and kick your butt.
    • Inverted, rarely. There have been a handful of myths the show has explicitly stated were okay for the viewers to try.
    • One of the 2014 episodes was "Do Try This At Home?", featuring myths that could theoretically be tried by anyone without needing the specialized equipment or elaborate builds the team uses. However, the question mark in the title was intentional, as the MythBusters ruled that about half of the experiments were still too dangerous for them to recommend that the audience actually do themselves.
    • On another note, there was a also a book based on the show that had sections that detailed how you can try the myth at home but in a different manner such as the Quicksand Sucks myth, you can replicate it at home with cornstarch and water. The tagline of the book was "Don't try this at home. (Unless we tell you to)"
    • During "Big Rig Myths", the Build Team tested the effects of drafting on fuel economy. Depending on the distance from the front vehicle, they found an almost 40% increase in efficiency. However, all involved parties stressed that drafting is highly dangerous, could get you killed, and even in the controlled conditions they were all clearly nervous about doing it.
    • Adam Savage's twitter handle is literally "donttrythis".
    • A few times, in order to really prevent people from trying this stuff at home, they just plain don't show the really dangerous stuff. For instance, in the Flamethrower vs Fire Extinguisher myth, we aren't shown how Jamie built his homemade flame thrower except for a few shots of his silhouette behind a curtain as he pounds a hammer on a table—and is later seen using two hammers in the same hand backwards, as well as just beating the table with a pipe. It was mentioned that they did this because not only was making and using the flamethrower highly dangerous, but also highly illegal, and that among the conditions of them getting permission from numerous state, local and Federal agencies to even attempt it was that they couldn't film any part of the building process that could even hint at how to assemble the device. The only actual parts shown were the drilling of a block for the manifold and the selection of the fuel tanks.
    • Occasionally averted when a myth is tested that doesn't involve dangerous stuff, like the Diet Coke / Mentos myth (though any replication should be done outside) or the interleaved phonebooks myth.
    • The build team later revealed an unaired experiment that pushed this trope to the EXTREME where they tested a tale that you could build a very potent explosive using a number of items you could easily find around the average American household; it turned out to be true, and the virulence of the explosive force and the fact that it requires materials that ANYBODY could obtain with little difficulty horrified the entire crew enough that they opted to destroy the footage and form a pact to never speak about it.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • To test a myth of a tornado sending a sheet of glass fast enough to decapitate someone, the Build Team made Neckman, a guy with a biiig neck. Now, take a look at him; if you don't see it, squint. Now, what does it look like?
    • Lampshaded in preparation of a Sith myth, specifically the lightsaber fight from Revenge of the Sith. Adam is building a safe replica lightsaber, which is basically a long rubber tube. As he's sliding it into the metallic sheathe that will allow it to register hits, he remarks that this reminds him of something.
  • Domestic Appliance Disaster: Explored extensively, whenever they looked into a myth of an appliance gone berserk because of mishandling or another (such as how possible (and lethal) the Electrified Bathtub could be (result: more modern appliances would probably shut down the moment they hit the water and not create a shock, but older appliances were still pretty dangerous) and whether or not an overloaded washing machine that had its user standing on it when it went off could injure said user (the result: washing machines do not have the kind of horsepower necessary to perform said spinning, let alone cause injuries).
  • Double Entendre: Jamie, Adam, and the Build Team made a few from time to time, but the narrator absolutely loves making them.
    Kari: (attempting to describe Viagra which was used for one myth) I'm trying to dance around how to say this, because families might have their kids watching. Um, "Santa's little helper"? "Daddy's little helper"? Maybe "Momma's little helper"?
    • Regarding the speed governor of a modern elevator:
      Jamie: So what you're saying is if you take the balls off, it don't work no more.
    • Discussing a crossbow made out of newspaper:
      Adam: Just thinking this one through from a mechanical standpoint...I'd be totally pleased with 2 inches of penetration.
      Jamie: Generally, I prefer a little bit more...
    • Narrator (about a giraffe): She's just not taking Adam's banana... which isn't surprising.
    • Tory is unable to resist one while sanding a long Brazilian ipe dowel into a spear to test the Shotgun Spear myth:
      Tory: This is the hardest wood I've ever worked with. *winks to the camera*
  • Dramatic Gun Cock: On a few occasions, Adam has asked post-production (on-camera) if they could add this sound effect to the breech-loading air cannon he's working with. They always oblige.
  • Dramatic Irony: The "Cannonball Chemistry" episode begins with a statement that it was during that episode that the infamous cannonball accident happened. Later, they're at the Alameda County bomb range, where the incident occurred, for testing of the cannons. The Narrator carefully describes all the safety measures they're taking to make sure things don't go wrong... while everyone watching knows these measures won't be enough.
  • Driving into a Truck: MythBusters did it once, to see if it was really doable or just Hollywood magic. (It is really doable.)
  • Duct Tape for Everything: Five entire episodes have been devoted to duct tape, in which duct tape has been used to build a cannon, build a boat, build a rope bridge, lift a car, hold a car's frame together, and cover the entirety of an airplane. The third, and probably most extreme, episode has Adam and Jamie surviving on an island, in the style of Survivor, Man vs. Wild, or Survivorman, with (almost) nothing but duct tape to help them. They manage to: build shoes and hats to protect their bodies; build spears and nets to fish and catch wild chickens, respectively; build water sacs to get fresh water from a spring; build shelter made of tarps and hammocks; make a fire bow to build a fire; make a chess set and surfboard to entertain themselves; and, finally, build a canoe and provision storage to escape the island.
    The fourth episode follows in the same vein, with the pair being stranded in the desert and trying to make do. It culminates with them each building a raft and going down some rapids- though they chose to portage the Inevitable Waterfall. The fifth duct tape special, shown exclusively on the Science Channel, sees them testing duct tape as a seat belt replacement, and finally building a full-sized trebuchet using only lumber and duct tape.
    • A Discovery Channel commercial claims that they've used 15 miles of duct tape over the course of the show.
  • invokedDude, Not Funny!: When a (now former) producer forced Kari, Scottie, and Tory to hook up an electric fence battery to an Ark of The Covenant replica, and trick Adam into touching it, his reaction is this. Mostly because it was potentially lethal, and there was nothing funny about how excruciating it was (there's a reason that producer was fired). Though, Kari's hilariously insensitive remark, "Do you feel God?", was kind of funny.
  • Dunking the Bomb: This got tested in episode 81 "Grenades and Guts" by putting a grenade into a bucket of water. The bucket was annihilated in the explosion, but Adam and Jamie differed on the verdict of whether or not it would save one's life. (Adam said "no" because it still gave one of the stand-ins a lethal injury; Jamie disagreed, pointing out that the injuries to the stand-ins weren't as serious as the control, plus unlike Jumping on a Grenade, it didn't require a Heroic Sacrifice.)
  • Ear Trumpet: Parodied by Adam during a build — he was assembling a huge funnel, and when he finished it he held it up to one ear.
    What's that you say, sonny? I can't hear you!
  • Early-Bird Cameo: While the Build Team didn't debut until season 2, Kari actually made her first appearance in the first episode, containing a shot where she can briefly be seen working on a computer in the background. As fate would have it, filming happened on her first day as an intern for Jamie in the studio.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • The first seasons, when it was mostly just Jamie and Adam, with some secondary urban legend experts. Also, their rating system wasn't fully developed, so various terms (most commonly "true") were used instead of "confirmed", and "plausible" didn't even exist as a rating.
    • In the first episode they examine a myth (the JATO Rocket Car) and then examine another myth (Pop Rocks), a template followed for much of the first season. In later episodes the myths are intercut with each other throughout the episode.
    • The process of obtaining the necessary equipment to test a myth was often given a fair amount of screen time, and Adam or Jamie would be the ones on the phone. Today this is no longer the case, as even if the producers weren't taking care of equipment procurement now, the show's fame and reputation allow them to easily obtain almost anything except certain levels of military equipment or extremely dangerous/toxic substances. And even then, the people in charge of that equipment/substances are often fans of the show and are willing to help out as best they are allowed to - such as Adam getting a ride in a U-2, courtesy of the U.S. Military, or the Build Team being allowed to bring roaches to a nuclear research lab to bombard them with lethal radiation.
    • A few early episodes of the show play up conflicts and disagreements between Adam and Jamie, even featuring segments where one host express their frustrations with and criticisms of the other. These were added at the behest of the producers who thought the show needed drama, and were eventually put to a stop by Adam and Jamie, who didn't want to partake in such unprofessional behavior and show it on TV.
    • Another jarring incident from the show's early days that demonstrates similar unprofessionalism, as well as a lack of safety considerations, is when the other members of the team played a potentially very dangerous prank on Adam by shocking him with a battery left over from a prior episode. Adam was not happy about this incident, which can be clearly seen in the footage. It was yet another order from the producers in order to create "drama" on the show, which Adam and Jamie balked at, and from then on the show's production operated with a strict "no pranks" rulenote .
  • Eat That: The "Cold Feet" myth went to great efforts to unnerve the Build Team, and required Kari, a pescetarian, to choose from a smorgasbord of bizarre and spoiled animal parts and live insects, ostensibly to test whether fear makes one's feet cold.
    Kari: Why is it that I am a grown woman and boys are still trying to make me eat bugs?
  • Eek, a Mouse!!:
    • When testing the "snowplow blows over car" myth, they get an old snowplow. Grant and Kari jump and yelp when they discover it has a rodent in residence.
      Grant: I feel kind of bad now. This was its home.
    • While testing whether stress can affect gas consumption while driving, Tori put two uncaged mice in his car.
      Grant: [upon realizing he lost track of the mice] Oh, Crap!! Where did you go? WHERE DID YOU GO?
  • Elephants Are Scared of Mice: In one episode, Adam and Jamie test the myth of whether elephants are naturally fearful of mice by visiting an elephant reserve in Africa and placing a mouse in an elephant's path. They do this twice, and in both cases the elephant doesn't stampede away, but it stops in its tracks at the presence of the mouse and actively avoids it, thus earning the myth a "plausible".
  • Epic Fail:
    • This is usually the basis for most myths. Sometimes it actually happens while testing myths, with the Supersized Rocket Car Revisit being one of the best examples of such.
    • A less spectacular (but generally weirder) case of this involves the MythBusters and microwaves. In season one, Jamie decided to try building a "super-microwave" using four magnetrons pointed at a metal box. A glass of water was measured before and after being exposed to the microwave for several minutes. The super-microwave was very loud while in operation... but was not only ineffective at heating the water, the temperature of the water had dropped a couple of degrees.
      Adam: You've made a refrigerator!
    • A callback of sorts happened about three years later on the Holiday Special. One of the myths tested was whether a ship's radar could roast a turkey. The internal temperature of the turkey before being put on the radar: 50 degrees Fahrenheit. After an hour of "cooking" on the radar...45 degrees Fahrenheit. Did we mention that the external temperature was higher than that of the turkey?
      Grant: Only on MythBusters.
    • Quoted by Adam on the Do Try This At Home special. The myth was that a large amount of metronomes placed on a platform will eventually sync up, but when Adam and Jamie ramped it up to 216 metronomes on a air hockey table, all they got in the end was a syncopated symphony and a set of metronome dominoes. Looking at the aftermath, Adam sums it up nicely.
      Adam: This is the biggest fail we have ever achieved!
  • Euphemism (Myth)Buster:
    Narrator: And in the pouch will be... let's call it 'genetic legacy'.
    Jamie: Genetic legacy? It's sperm. Every kid in grade school knows that. Helps make babies, you know?
  • Everybody Knew Already: While describing the James Bond boat jump myth, Adam says that they are at a secret location, while standing in front of a sign that clearly states "Lake Yosemite". Immediately after Adam's briefing, The Narrator hangs the lampshade by calling it the "not-so-secret location".
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Subverted. They've tested several myths regarding this trope, and busted the majority of them. (It turns out it is possible for a car to explode on impact under the right circumstances, but gas tanks are positioned specifically to avoid those circumstances in the first place.)
  • Everyone Has Standards: When it comes to animal experiments, they do draw the line if it involves anything above insects. Insects are fair game just as long as they were bred for science. Pig cadavers are a common practice since they’re used as analogues in place of humans, but (in early episodes) the pigs had to have died of natural causes in order to be allowed. (The myths tested with those pigs involved the rotting process of a body, so whole carcasses, unmodified, were required for the best results. Later episodes got pigs from a slaughterhouse, albeit one that was—according to the hosts—relatively humane.) Ballistic gel models are also used and made to mimic the human form. And they flat-out refused to put a dog in a microwave.
  • Everything Explodes Ending: Almost every episode in the later seasons.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: During the Western Myths episode, after Grant, Tory and Kari fire a lockpick through a dummy head, the narrator states that "if there ever was an experiment that was exactly what it said on the tin, this is it."
    • The 'Knock Your Socks Off' revisit saw Kari explaining that she felt the lambskin leather would be the material most like skin because it is skin.
  • Exact Words: For the series finale, they advertised their biggest explosion ever on the show. It was bigger than the show's previous record-holder by a single pound. They didn't say how much bigger!
    • Also, more controversially, used to declare some myths as Busted, Plausible, or Confirmed. The Headscratchers page features several examples.
  • Expansion Pack Past: Jamie; the man has lived an interesting life. May be more of a Multiple-Choice Past depending on how much Adam is making a joke of it at any given time.
    Jamie: Did I ever tell you that I worked as a concrete inspector for several months up in Seattle?
    Adam: Was this before or after you were the big animal veterinarian for the circus?
    Jamie: No, I never did that. You must be mistaken.
    • While Adam and Jamie are interlacing the pages of a phone book (to allegedly make them inseparable):
      Adam: Does this remind you of when you used to count money for the mob?
      Jamie: I was a hitman, I wasn't a money counter.
  • Experimental Archeology: The basis of many myths. Escape from Alcatraz in a rubber life raft? Check! Lawnchair balloonist? Check! Build and sail a boat out of ice and newspaper? Check! Ming Dynasty astronaut going up in a rocket chair? Um... check, but only for a certain value of "going up". (Poor Buster...)
    • Some accounts of the Ming astronaut say that he was never seen again. Now we know why.
  • Experiment Show: MythBusters is considered the first.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change:
    • Sort of. When the series started, Adam had a goatee and short buzz cut, and sometimes had his head completely shaved (especially after the Exploding Cellphone myth which singed off his eyebrow and a chunk of his hair). As he's gotten older, he's generally gone for medium-length hair and almost a full beard.
    • You can also easily tell how much post-production work and myth-testing time goes into the series just by looking at Kari: she'll sometimes have a different haircut or hair color during the expository segments (the ones where they establish the myth and brainstorm methods to tackle it), and sometimes even during the actual testing. Sometimes there are episodes in which Kari actually has THREE different hair colors (one in the expo sequences and two during testing) while tackling the same myth. Any person who cares for his/her hair knows the time that must be spent between dying sessions to not damage it, so this is an easy way to identify a myth that took a LONG time to test.
    • During the "Cannonball Chemistry" segment, Tory bounces back and forth between clean-shaven and full beard. But that is the segment interrupted by a ricocheting cannonball touring a residential neighborhood....
  • Extra-Long Episode: The "Jaws Special" (the first time Jamie and Adam hosted "Shark Week") was two hours long. Subsequent repeats on Discovery have either been split into two one-hour segments or edited down to a single hour.
  • Eyebrows Burned Off: Infamously in an early episode when Adam stood too close to a box full of gas fumes that exploded. He even had a date that night!
  • Failure Montage: While testing the claim that dental floss can cut through prison bars, Grant initially tried to build a floss-bot out of things a prisoner could plausibly get his hands on (primarily a cassette-tape player). Cue one Failure Montage, complete with bleeped-out swearing and frustrated throwing of robot parts.
  • Failsafe Failure:
    • Played straight, usually equipment built by the MythBusters themselves. The radio-controlled real cars are supposed to apply brakes when they get out of radio range, for instance. Also, in the "Elevator of Death" test:
      Adam: Anticlimactically enough, I believe I've disabled the entire mechanism by removing this simple pin.
    • Also subverted, as more than one "Busted" verdict has come about due to the presence of failsafes on equipment such as washing machines and elevators, and the sometimes absurd measures needed to defeat them in order to replicate the myth's results.
    • In testing the hot water heater myth, they proved that if both safety devices are removed or plugged, the heater can become a rocket and will potentially demolish anything in its flight path... which is why there are two safety devices in the first place. It's worth mentioning that the failure of both was considered entirely plausible (especially since Adam posited that some homeowners would cap the safety valve because they didn't realize what it was really for—bonus points if the valve was already leaking water, because that usually means the thermostat has already failed); as a result, and since the researchers had found actual occurrences of that exact type of failure, the myth was Confirmed.
    • In "Exploding Bumper," they heated a car bumper to see if they could make the hydraulic damper explode from the pressure. Instead it vented out through a tiny hole. Without missing a beat Adam said "I'll bet that's supposed to be there." Though they couldn't get an explosion to occur, it was still rendered plausible as a firefighter did receive leg injuries fighting a car fire and recalled that the bumper exploded making it a case that the failsafe indeed failed in that instance.
    • In the Bus Jump test, Grant put so many failsafes on the remote controlled bus that he claimed that if it went out of control, he'd eat his multi-tool case. The receiver battery died and the bus crashed into an all too familiar fence before stopping. No word on whether or not Grant actually ate his tool case...although he did say that he'd eat it "fried, with a little bit of powdered sugar."
    • Happened during the making of the "Cannonball Chemistry" episode, with near-disastrous consequences. And there were plenty of failsafes in place in this case, as there are any time the MythBusters deal with weaponry, but an unforeseen combination of circumstances thwarted them.
    • Occasionally myths (especially ones that have been around longer) are tested under the assumption that a failsafe isn't being properly maintained. For example, when seeing if deep-sea pressure could really push a diver's entire body into his helmet, the team was thinking it would be busted when they learned of pressure check valves in old deep-sea diving suits, but the expert they were consulting told them that the valves often weren't cleaned or repaired regularly and so they might want to test the myth based on that.
    • A similar example came from the myth of a propane tank turning into a rocket in a garage fire. The first test ended with the failsafe valve triggering and safely venting the propane. For subsequent tests, the build team had to craft a unique tool to disable the failsafe, and they considered that equivalent to an old tank with a rusted safety valve.
  • Faux Horrific: Some gags when they're examining sites and/or supplies to test myths commonly involve references to horror movies or Horror Tropes. For example during the testing of a piano dropping through the roof of a house into a basement, The Build Team was looking through a house already slated for demolition and Kari closes the bathroom's medicine cabinet to reveal Tory holding an axe behind her, cue her releasing an over-the-top scream.
  • Finale Season: Season 15 was written, repeatedly referred to and advertised as such.
  • Finger in a Barrel: They tested this trope, and it's busted. The victim will lose his finger if not his hand, the gun still works if not a bit damaged, and the shooter is always uninjured. They also made a parody of this trope.
  • Firing in the Air a Lot: The test of whether bullets fired in the air could be lethal. They couldn't replicate a lethal shot and "kill" Buster, but did find trajectories that wouldn't slow the bullet down too much to be deadly and find records of people who'd died from bullets fired into the air, so had to declare the myth simultaneously Busted, Plausible and Confirmed.
  • 555: At one point during the first Pirate Special, there was a fake infomercial for a cannon that Adam and Jamie made and one of these numbers was scrolled along the bottom of the screen.
  • Five-Man Band: Considering it is a pseudo-reality show you know it was mostly intentional.
    • The Leader — Jamie. He owns M-5 and was responsible for the initial concept of the show, alongside Peter Rees. He often develops the plan for how a myth will be tackled and keeps everybody on-track in their respective roles within the build, although a lot of his leadership is cut out because he can come off as very gruff when telling people what to do.
    • The Lancer — Adam. He was chosen by Jamie as co-host because he considers himself too dull. Also The Face as he is the most gregarious and outgoing of the team, and gives the most public presentations. While Jamie is the most iconic person on the show, Adam is the one most responsible for presenting the show to the audience.
    • The Big Guy — Tory. Reasonably athletic, he is the one who usually tests the more physically challenging myths. Also has the most jokes at his expense, often involving slapstick.
    • The Smart Guy — First Scottie, then Grant. They make the robots. Grant is not necessarily smarter than anyone else, but is the only member of the team with a degree related to what they do (electrical engineering), giving him a larger base of knowledge to tackle certain builds.
    • The Smurfette Principle — Kari. The only (permanent) girl of the group. Known mostly for her artistry skills, but she's more than willing to get her hands dirty when the situation calls for it. Usually more reasonable than the others but is just as fond of explosives as everyone else on the show.
  • Flanderization: Explosions (and to a lesser extent high-speed camera shots) were always a part of the show, but as seasons progressed they eventually became the core the rest of the show was built around. This would be repeatedly lampshaded by the hosts in later seasons, but most notably by Jamie at the beginning of the Explosion Special.
    Adam: How would you like us to be remembered?
    Jamie: How about for the promotion of critical thought?
    Adam: And how do you think we will be remembered?
    Jamie: For blowing crap up.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Grant cracks up when he hears that one of the trained alligators is literally named Fluffy. The other two are Skipper and Bob.
  • Fold-Spindle Mutilation: This trope was the gruesome result of testing whether a diver in an old-time pressure suit would be crushed up into the suit's helmet if the air-pumps and the check valve failed.
  • For Science!: The reason behind the whole show - up until you reach the point in the episode where they decide 'to hell with it' and blow something up.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The team will also sometimes test things that they know in advance will be confirmed or busted (especially if it promises to be spectacular) because the true purpose of the show is to investigate and explain the science behind the results.
    • Subverted when the team tests a myth that they know has a foregone conclusion, only to achieve surprising and sometimes eye-opening results.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the intro of the Phone Book Friction myth, the bluescreen first showed Adam and Jamie alone tugging on the phone books, then two groups of people, then two cars, then two tanks. These are the methods they attempted to pull the phone books apart. Guess which one worked.
    • In the opener for the 'Catching a Sword' myth in the Ninja Special, Tory and Grant mime out the motions to demonstrate what they're talking about. The (blunted) sword Tory is using eventually slips through Grant's hands and hits him on the head and shoulder. The experimental rig wound up having this problem too.
    • In Rear Axle, Jamie comments how he's worried about the steel cable they're using to test the myth snapping and potentially 'cutting someone in half.' They'd later test, and bust, that exact myth several seasons later in Killer Cable Snap.
    • In 'Shooting Fish in a Barrel' Adam mentions 'taking candy from a baby' as part of the introduction skit. They'd later go on to test that idiom on Mini Myth Mayhem several seasons later.
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: Averted; so long as a testing rig doesn't get destroyed during the course of a myth the MythBusters will usually put it in storage so that it can be used again for revisits or (usually with some modifications) similar myths. Look at how many times they re-purposed the sword-swinging robot.
    • Adam lamented this in the earlier seasons when Jamie decided to cut up the chicken cannon, since they'd never have time to rebuild it.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: A couple episodes are just padding, like the Clip Show highlighting Buster's long (and painful) career and him being rebuilt a la The Six Million Dollar Man. Other times they substitute one of the myths they do in an episode and do something different like having a contest between two teams on building a hovercraft using leaf blowers, and once Jamie and Adam decided to just do a holiday special Rube Goldberg Device. The behind-the-scenes episodes hold a special place: for example, the Shop-Til-You-Drop special showed where the MythBusters obtain a good portion of all their trinkets and doo-dads, as well as small peeks into the homes of the hosts; there isn't much difference between Jamie's home and one of the part warehouses.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Adam is phlegmatic and sanguine, Tory is sanguine and choleric, Jamie is choleric and melancholic, Grant is melancholic and phlegmatic, and Kari is leukine.
  • Freak Out: The Narrator has a brief one in the Trombone Revisit episode after hearing Jamie tell J.D. how he used to play the tuba while doing business on the toilet.
  • Freudian Trio: The build team — Kari is the Id, Tory is the Ego, and Grant is the Superego.
  • Funny Background Event: Oftentimes, if someone is expositing to the camera, someone else will slip into the background and mess around.
    • In one episode, Kari, Grant and Tory are testing a food myth. Grant is shown with a mouthful of meat, chewing in slow motion. Kari (a vegetarian) is seen watching. Her expression is priceless.
    • In another episode, Adam (disguised as Jamie) is dancing in quite over the top fashion in background, while the actual Jamie is talking.
    • From the Multitasking myth: while Kari explains the testing procedure, Tory can be seen picking up the windup toy baby which is supposed to be kept from wandering off, and ensures it can't wander off ... by shutting it up in a cabinet.
    • During the Titanic myth, there's an interlude where Jamie and James Cameron are on the floor of the shop discussing the myth's historical context. Behind them is a steel barrel that has a raging fire in it, which neither of them pay any mind to... until Adam comes in, puts it out with a fire extinguisher, and wordlessly exits.
    • During the episode where the Build Team tests various remedies for dealing with mouth burn after eating spicy food, Grant and Tory take several shots of tequila after eating a jalapeno paste, followed by Kari explaining the aftermath with a drunk Grant in the background playing air guitar with a broomstick while wearing a sombrero.
  • Fun Personified: Adam is as close to a Real Life example as you'll ever get.
  • Fun T-Shirt: Adam has plenty of them, often with quotes from the show.
    • "<Mythbuster>Am I missing an eyebrow?</Mythbuster>" has featured for years.
    • Adam's a Target shopper, as one of his more frequently-appearing shirts "I do my own stunts" is a fixture at that store.
  • Fun with Subtitles:
    • In one episode they were working a pulley system to ensure two semi-trucks would collide at a specific point. Jamie wanted to double the amount of breakaway rope while Adam felt that the two ropes they were using would be good enough. (They eventually compromised, going with three ropes.) When the system fell apart because of the ropes breaking off too early, Jamie was a good enough sport not to boast about it. He explained to the camera (in a very fault-neutral manner) what happened and how they were going to fix it, the subtitles filled in what he was "really" saying.
    • In another episode, Adam starts a bizarre "explanation" of a build in a fake French accent. The subtitler struggles with it for a while before finally giving up in confusion.
    • In the "Bullet vs. RPG" episode, Grant asks if he can be the one to fire the RPG. John replies "We'll see". The subtitle below says "NO!"

    Tropes G-L 
  • Gatling Good: When something involves shooting a gun, chances are good that they repeat the very same test with a minigun just for the heck of it.
  • Gas-Cylinder Rocket: It didn't launch upwards, but did slam its way straight through a concrete-block wall at floor level.
  • Gender-Blender Name:
    • Jamie and Tory (both male). Former cast members Scottie, Jessi, and Jess the Mythtern (all female). Also Robin Banks (male), the narrator on the European version of the show.
    • It's worth remembering that Tory is short for the very male (and very Italian) name Salvatore.
    • "Jamie" is a variant form of "Jimmy", being a nickname for anyone called James. (Next time you watch the Jimmy Hoffa episode, listen closely when Jamie does the piece-to-camera.)
    • At least in England, Jamie is exclusively a male name, and Jess is usually female.
  • Generic Cop Badges: Invoked. When the Busters set out to test a story about a police badge stopping a bullet, they got test badges from the company that makes the real thing but genericised and personalized with the show's name.
  • Genki Girl: Kari, and it shows.
  • Genki Guy: Adam, even more than Kari fits the girl version.
  • Genre Blindness: None of the cast, but in the "Jaws" episode, one of Adam's contacts from the special effects world was able to get him three of the yellow plastic barrels that were were actually used in the film, with the admonishment that they weren't to be damaged. This was remarked upon by Tory.
    Adam: The only things we can't do are burn 'em, blow 'em up, or lose 'em.
    Tory: Has he watched the show?
    • This gets repeated a lot when fancy stuff is used in myths, like original production swords and guns. The worst might have been an antique brass diving helmet that was "borrowed" on the reassurance that nothing would happen to it for a pressure test, and it was all but destroyed. It's still in the shop, as Grant would note in a later episode that "it was not in returnable condition", so apparently the owner didn't want it back.
  • Genre Savvy:
    • Adam has repeatedly mentioned that if nothing goes wrong in the small-scale tests, or the setup for the final test, there will be some kind of catastrophic failure at the end. He's rarely wrong. Also proven correct in the "Rocket Car Revisited" segment of the Supersized Myths Special, where almost every preparation step went on flawlessly only to have the entire car explode the instant the rocket was ignited as it hit the launching ramp.
    Adam: I think somebody owes me ten thousand bucks.
    • Every once in a while, the MythBusters will predict how the show will be edited. This was especially apparent in the "Behind the Scenes" special. Usually they're right, because they're predicting a cut back to something they said earlier, which is now very foolish.
      Adam: They're gonna cut back to me saying, "In six hours Jamie's still gonna be messing with this while we're all just kicking back." *cut* "About six hours from now, Jamie's still gonna be trying to find his needles while we're all kicking back sipping mimosas in the shade."
    • While some contributors of items to the show exhibit Genre Blindness, some know that they're not likely to see the item intact ever again—in fact, some look forward to seeing it destroyed. One of the earliest examples of this was Cadillac Ben, who donated Earl the Caddy to the MythBusters at the beginning of season 2, with the intent of seeing it destroyed. It eventually was, but it took several episodes before it was finally put out of its misery—with Ben as a live witness.
  • Geo Effects: Tests the "high ground" advantage that Obi Wan Kenobi supposedly has over Anakin Skywalker in a lightsaber fight. It's busted: out of 50 rounds between Jamie and Adam after proper swordsmen's training, the combatant on higher ground won only 26, just barely over half.
  • Girls vs. Boys Plot: The team tested several claims about one gender being "better" at something than another. They also alluded to this during "No Pain, No Gain", when they looked at which gender has better pain tolerance.
  • Glass Cannon: An almost literal version when the Build team tested whether an ice cannon could be a viable weapon. It isn't as good as a regular cannon and blows out if too much gunpowder is packed in or if it is use too much.
  • Glasses Pull: Tory does one of these (complete with a corny Quip to Black) after setting up a myth from an episode of CSI: Miami. There's even a very subtle YEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH! during the scene change.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Happens sometimes, when the results of a test (typically an explosive test) were greater than anticipated. The sawdust/creamer cannon may be the most definitive example. The Esparto explosion was another example; the blast in the quarry was larger than expected, causing havoc in the nearby town, leading the MythBusters to become personæ non gratæ there.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Despite being "what you call 'experts'", there are still occasionally major accidents and people either get hurt or come dangerously close to doing so.
    • One of the most infamous was "Cannonball Chemistry", where a misfire at the test range sent a cannonball over a hill and bouncing around a suburban neighborhood, including through a house, across a six-lane street, and into a (parked) car. It's a miracle nobody got hurt. The episode covering the experiment skipped the footage of the incident itself and the aftermath (in accordance with the wishes of the victims of that accident) instead cutting off right after the misfire happened and returning to the discussion table at M7, where the Build Team quickly outlined what happened afterward, the steps they took to help the community, and the steps they took to avoid that type of disaster in the future. When this was brought up in the reunion special after the series' end, news footage from the town showing some of the damage the cannonball did was shown.
  • Gonna Need More X: Sometimes they have to add more explosive components or other mundane things like rope, or distance, or weight, etc.
    • Inverted in the "water on a grease fire" myth; at one point Adam and Jamie attempted to scale down the fireball by reducing the amounts of water and oil, as well as the size of the pan. The fireball still ended up being too large to properly measure, prompting Adam to remark:
      Adam: I think we're gonna need a smaller scale!
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: "Touch of Orange", the name Adam comes up with for his future cover band when they're testing flu myths and using a snot-like substance that glows orange under a dark lamp.
  • Grand Finale: For the final episode, the team decided to send off the show in style rather than just do another episode of experimenting. As such, the segments are less about finding things out (though as it happens they're still very educational) and more about summarizing everything the MythBusters have been about for nearly 15 years in explosive fashion.
  • Groin Attack:
    • Tory gets clocked by a playful goat during the "Fainting Goat" segment of the "Viral Hour" episode. He also got hit by a rock attached to a kite's tail during the Ben Franklin myth. Appropriately, this happened immediately after he called it the "death kite" and the "kite of punishment". During the Superhero Special, he hit himself down there with a ballistics gel fist.
      Tory: If I Had a Nickel... for every time I got hit in the nuts on this show, I could retire.
    • "Star Wars: The Myth Strikes Back" was full of these, especially the "Dodge a Bolt" section. In addition to Jamie's above, that poor stormtrooper armor seemed to have a target on its crotch while it was empty. One of them got hit close enough for discomfort during the myth, itself. Both 'Busters got one in the lightsaber portion of the episode.
  • Guns Firing Underwater: Tested and Busted. Even if a gun does fire, the water will slow a bullet down to nonlethal speed in short order. Larger rounds like .50 BMG wound up being shredded when fired into water.
  • Had the Silly Thing in Reverse:
    • Inverted and thankfully averted, as Jamie reminds Adam that since his excavator is facing backwards on the dump truck, he doesn't have to set it to reverse.
    • A form of this was actually tested as a means of stopping a car in both automatic and manual. Both were busted for different reasons as the automatic's engine immediately stalled due to the transmission engaging on the reverse gear and causing the input shaft and transmission half of the torque converter to spin backward while modern automatics would have a computerized lock-out to stop this from happening.note  The manual didn't work because the output was still running forward and the dog clutch of the reverse gear lacks synchromesh, making it impossible for it to engage. For one last idea, they tested if putting an automatic in park could stop a car which also didn't work.note 
  • Hair-Trigger Explosive:
    • Subverted when testing out the myth that a defibrillator could cause a nitroglycerin patch to explode. It was soundly busted.
    • Another one is if C4 can blow up if put into a microwave. It can, but only if it has a blasting cap in it. Another subversion is that burning C4 doesn't make it go off. Also, dropping an anvil, stomping it, and shooting it with any bullet they tried didn't make it blow. For the final try, they ignited thermite right on top of C4. That didn't work.
    • The scene in Breaking Bad where mercury of fulminate was thrown to the ground was busted, as it didn't explode. Then the actors (who were guest-starring) tried to Handwave by saying Walt had a bit of fulminate of silver with the mercury.
    • The claim that a binary explosive used in special effects work can be set off in a car wreck was busted. It's far too stable to be set off that way ... and that's assuming anyone's dumb enough to transport the stuff already mixed.
  • Hard-to-Light Fire: Many times; not just in the "Lighting a Fire" myth, but most attempts to cause fireballs or explosions in line with a myth end up failing due to the reality of the materials or poor stoichiometry.
  • Hard-Work Montage: Except for when the editors are having fun, the work is usually shown, in either a series of jump cuts (most often used with Grant building a robot) or an extended time lapse for something that takes longer than people think it should, or just the size (like putting together the paper used for the 8 folds myth).
    • In later seasons, they add flavor by having a (digitally added) member of the Build Team standing a distance away explaining some aspect of the build itself. In at least one case, Tory turns toward the montage and tells himself to hurry up. Himself doesn't take Tory's "encouragement" very well.
  • Hat Damage: During the myth about shooting a thrown airborne grenade, Jamie allows Adam to shoot his hat after they practice skeet shooting.
    • Also a natural result of testing the "blow the cowboy hat off someone's head with a bullet" Wild West trope. (As it happens, the only thing with enough force and spread - a shotgun - will remove both the hat and large chunks of your head.)
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": During the toilet experiment in The Simpsons special, Adam points out anytime anyone — including him — says "number two".
  • Helium Speech:
    • Adam does this any time helium is used on the show. Also inverted when Adam inhaled sulphur hexafluoride to speak with a demon-like heavy voice.
    • Jamie gets in on the act during the Helium Raft episode as well, which is pretty hilarious since you don't expect it.
    • Kari's kind of funny when she's been breathing in helium, also — which is likewise seen in the Helium Raft episode as they struggle to deflate it again.
  • Hidden Purpose Test: When Jamie and Adam tested the Mission: Impossible Latex Perfection mask, they tried it out on several observers who thought they were helping with a different myth. Later in the episode, they did a different such test with Grant and Kari. They do this a few times, such as in the "Is Yawning Contagious" myth, bringing in a large group of people for an unrelated purpose and yawning for one sample but not the other. After all, if you tell people you're testing if yawning is contagious, then yawn in front of them, their awareness of what the test is for will skew the results.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In a "spy car" test, a smokebomb released behind Jamie's convertible was sucked back into the car by the airflow and forced him to pull over.
  • Homemade Flamethrower: In one episode, Jamie made a homemade flamethrower from old scuba tanks, plumbing parts, and other materials he had in the workshop. The montage of him building it, unlike other projects, was hidden from view of the audience and informs the viewers that he had to notify numerous government agencies about what he was doing, and undergo a lengthy, time-consuming process, and finally, Jamie tells the audience that if they want to jury rig their own flamethrower at home, they shouldn't.
  • Hong Kong Dub: Invoked by Adam during one of the pre-commercial break teasers in the "Ninjas 2" episode, to hilarious effect (especially as the final part of the "dub" occurs with Adam having already been "shot dead" by three arrows and not moving his mouth at all).
  • Honorary Uncle: Considering Adam's description of the team as "like family", it is fitting that Jamie has been occasionally referred to as "Uncle Jamie" — twice by Adam, of all people ("Ancient Death Ray", 2004 — during the "What is Bulletproof?" segment, and again during "Tablecloth Chaos" in 2010) and also by Robert Lee, the narrator ("Viral Hour", 2008, during the Sawdust cannon section.).
  • Hot Blooded Sideburns: Adam rocks some serious mutton chops in the final season.
  • Hulk Speak: Say it with me: "Jamie want big boom".
  • Humiliation Conga: Usually happens whenever a myth just implodes on the guys.
    Adam [Dangling upside-down, caught in a mesh net from the giant "helium raft"]: This wins as the strangest position I've ever been in...on this show.
    Kari: Don't you love how he qualifies it with "on this show"?
  • Hurricane of Puns:
    • During an episode that eventually required dropping a pig carcass from a helicopter: "The Pork Chopper". There were many more.
    • Another from a sub-variant of exploding lava lamps. What have they bean doing while waiting for a giant can of beans to explode? Well they've bean making bean jokes of course.
  • Hyperventilation Bag: Kari breathes into one right before being dropped in an airline crash rig. Adam being Adam, he tries to pop it.
  • I Call Her "Vera": When they test myths involving cannons, they frequently use a cannon called "Old Moses", so named because it "speaks in a mighty voice and lays down the law."
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: Scene transitions are almost always tailored to the myth being tested.
  • Idiot Ball: Even they admitted it.
    • They test fired a cannon designed to shoot out a 10 pound grappling hook... without taking into account the hook's mass in determining how firmly the cannon needed to be anchored down. Which law of physics is it again...
    Kari: Oh, Newton's Laws! We forgot the Newton's Laws!
    Narrator: Oh, you mean the one that says that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction?
    Tory: You know, we did a lot of experiments on this show, things have gone wrong, but that's the first time that I've ever felt that much danger.
    • Jamie called this on himself in "Killer Tissue Box", when his crash cart design didn't survive the initial setup test:
      I didn't do the engineering, and I didn't do the math, because I thought I understood what was going on and I thought I made a good rig. But I was wrong. I should have done it.
    • Jamie holds it again during the initial smokescreen test of Spy Car Myths. Driving a convertible as the spy car, Jamie didn't account for the low air pressure zone created by the open cabin. Some of the smoke from his smokescreen (intended to blind Adam, riding in a chase car) got sucked into the spy car's cabin and blinded Jamie as well. They later redid the test after moving the smoke bombs further away from the car, and thus confirmed the myth.
    • Narrowly averted with a sword swinging robot, only because they realized after it was built that the horizontal swing arc was at head level...they were just really careful around it. Didn't stop Tory cracking his head on it anyway (while standing up).
      Grant: [while unsheathing the blade] Decapitation hazard, everybody!
    • Trying to test if a frozen or unfrozen chicken causes more damage to a aeroplane windshield, which they tested on windshields not rated for bird strikes! They managed to bust the myth (and a lot of windshields) anyway.note 
    • Tory and bicycles.
      I thought I could make it. They said I made it.
      Kari: That was clearly sarcasm.
  • I'll Be in My Bunk: After busting the viral video of a man shattering an SUV window by tapping his fingers, Tory attempts to replicate the video by putting a “personal massager” under his glove. After it fails, Kari grabs it and walks off saying she’s “going to go put it in storage” for him.
  • I'll Kill You!: Quoted after the Build Team's "Don't Drive Angry" myth. The latter part of the myth involved Kari driving both Grant and Tory up the wall, involving the most irritating and uncomfortable car to drive in, anti-relaxation 'pastimes' (a fish foot-bath for Grant, a pummeling "man-massage" for Tory), and the consumption of caffeine drinks with added laxatives to really push them over the edge. Once the test was over and confirmed, Kari came clean and told them that the laxatives were vitamins. Cue her infuriated co-workers trying to strangle her.
    Grant: Are you kidding me?! I'm gonna kill you!!
    • If the pre-episode bump is any indication, she may not have known the laxatives were vitamins at the time; if that's true, Grant and Tory should have been going after the producers instead.
  • Immortality Begins at Twenty: Adam's Expansion Pack Past jokes about Jamie often humorously factor this in, such as when they are setting up the Arrow Machine Gun myth:
    Adam: In fact, this design was built by Dionysus the Elder over 2,300 years ago, back when you were just a little tyke!
    Jamie: I remember it like it was only yesterday...
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Proven with the Laser Blaster myth from "Star Wars: The Myth Strikes Back". The shots from the blasters are calculated between 130-135 mph (209-217 km/h), and even when testing from both ready and holstered positions, the shots were much too fast for Adam and Jamie to dodge.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Parodied. Jamie's standard outfit on the show is khaki pants, a white dress shirt (that almost never gets dirty) over a black t-shirt, red sneakers and his trademark black beret. In one episode it was so windy Jamie almost lost the beret and Adam realized that hadn't ever happened before.
    • Adam once said that Jamie's outfit (and generally appearance, really) is so iconic that he gets recognized by fans much more often when he and Jamie are together than when Adam is by himself.
      Adam: I might be that guy from that show, but Jamie is without a doubt that guy from that show.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: There are various experts they bring in who are certainly skilled with their guns, but they have proven that some skills like hitting a coin out of the air isn't a "first shot" kind of thing. And then on the "Davy Crockett split bullet" myth, Tory makes the shot on their last attempt before letting the expert get a crack at it.
  • Improvised Lockpick: In one episode, Jamie and Adam are trapped in a room and need to use the filament of a light bulb to pick the lock and escape. It takes a while, but it works within their time limit.
  • Incendiary Exponent: All. The. Time. In one episode Adam states, "the only thing that separates us from a couple of teenage pyromaniacs is ballistic glass." In another, he tells the audience that "the difference between you and us is that we call the fire department first."
  • Incorrect Animal Noise: Averted, at least with Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes. They thought they'd find an incorrect noise when testing Stock Sound Effects as many of the other sounds they tested didn't sound like the real thing, but the most commonly used sound effect for a "rattlesnake" and the footage they managed to collect of a rattlesnake themselves matched up very well, and they rated the sound Confirmed.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: About evenly divided between the two leads, though as a general rule Adam's tend to be more blatantly funny and Jamie's more intentionally groan-inducing. For instance, after successfully making a lead balloon, Jamie suggested that next time they should take a crack at a lead zeppelin. And he proposed calling an airborne dummy "Ariel" ("aerial"). These are also staples of Robert Lee's episode narrations. The Build Team are also very prone to this, especially Kari. Generally there'll be Chirping Crickets or a tumbleweed accompanying their puns.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Invoked preemtively by Jerry, the blind man who was helping them test the drunken navigator portion of the "Blind Driving" myth.
    Adam: Are you willing to drive through our course being led by a drunken Jamie?
    Jerry: Sure, as long as I can take a shot of that bottle when we're done.
  • Informed Attribute: The intro for the first few episodes boasted that if what the guys needed wasn't found at M5 Industries, it could be found within Adam's "junk collection". Said junk collection was never even shown, let alone used (or at least not mentioned if it was) and that part was dropped from the intro quickly.
  • Interactive Narrator: Averted for the most part, but occasionally the presenters will invoke it during the taping of the episode.
    • During the "Car Cling" myth, Adam takes a moment to nitpick a comment the viewer just heard the narrator make, then ends on a point where the narrator promptly picks up again.
    • In one episode, Jamie introduces a guest expert, then asks the narrator to tell the audience their guest's qualifications. Robert Lee obliges.
  • Irony:
    • While building model Hindenburgs, which they intend to set ablaze later, one of them catches fire while Jamie is doing some repairs to the welds; Adam points out it is a textbook case of irony.
      Adam: These things are always catching on fire!
    • Situational irony bites Adam in the Rocketmen episode when he's melting gummi bears on a burner in a glass dish. He describes all the dangers involved in working with a superheated syrup, only for the dish to suddenly shatter from the heat.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: Adam drove back to M-5 with a small airplane fuselage in the back of his truck. He said on the road he got the strangest looks until they saw who was driving the truck. He has a similar story with a load of pig carcasses in the back of his truck. One episode was dedicated to showing where Adam and Jamie get all of their random parts.
    Adam: I'm sitting in a bunker looking out at a Chinese dressed crash test dummy sitting on 70 pounds of gunpowder... sorry, I just had one of those "mythbuster" moments.
    • Or this gem:
      Adam: With all the safety precautions we are taking, check this, check that, you have to stand back and say: Damn! I'm lightin' salamis, man! I'm making a rocket out of meat!
    • In one of the first specials, Adam indicates that some of the crew's outlandish behavior and tendency to unnecessarily decorate experiments invokes this trope to lure people who just happen to catch a glimpse of the middle of an episode while flipping through TV channels, especially when the situation is "grown men wearing adult diapers outside their clothes while surrounded by stereo equipment in the middle of nowhere". Admit it: if you're channel surfing and you see that, you're going to stick around for at least a little bit to see if it does, in fact, make sense in context.
  • Jumped at the Call: A literal invocation, as an eager stuntman promptly performed a diving stunt in a shot where he was simply supposed to agree to do it.
  • Jumping the Sharkinvoked: Both lampshaded and parodied in the Science Channel Duct Tape Special. They bring out a giant, inflatable slide with a shark motif. A graphic appears: "Number of times this show has jumped the shark: 1̶0̶ 11". They promptly fire up their duct tape trebuchet and fire-bomb the thing.
  • Keet: Adam, full stop.
  • The Klutz: If Adam isn't hurting himself, odds are Tory is. And if it's not Tory, it's Grant. Kari usually manages to stay safe, although she was entirely sidelined for a number of segments during one season with an unexplained leg injury.
  • Lampshade Hanging: When Adam and Jamie end the episode while in a remote location (like a bomb range or quarry), they often walk off into the distance while making a last joke. In the "Bullet Busters" episode, they finally reference it:
    Jamie: Why do we always park on the other side of the hill?
    Adam: I don't know, it's stupid.
  • Large Ham: Everyone except Jamie. Adam will frequently get into the character of myths. Tory and Grant are known to do it too, to the chagrin of Kari, but she's been known to indulge a time or two herself.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In a myth involving hammers, Tory hit a wooden board in the exact same spot twice, missing the nail. Grant then asked him why he didn't put the nail there. The very next try, the hammer flew out of Tory's grip and skipped across the ground, passing the front of Grant's steel-toed boot and hitting him in the side of the foot. Hilarity ensued.
  • Last-Second Showoff: Played with in the Powder Trail test. To see if a protagonist could really run ahead of the burning gunpowder and break the trail, Jamie lounged in a folding chair until the line of powder had burned a while, then started running...and then Adam charged in from the side and shoved Jamie away from the powder.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: During the "Cold Feet" episode.
    Narrator: If you actually flung feces into a fan, would everyone in the vicinity end up covered in sh—shrapnel?
  • Latex Perfection: Tested in one episode. In some of the footage not featured in the episode (but shown when they went on The Colbert Report), the masks were shown to be good enough to ''fool Jamie's dog''.
  • Legacy Character: The original Buster has since been retired, but his name lives on through subsequent dummies, and even for some of the Simulaids (See The Other Darrin below).
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again:
    • The diaper incident from "Brown Note".
    • In a serious example, the team once handled a myth involving a common household substance that could be made into a terrific explosive. The result of their experiment was so explosive that they deemed the knowledge too dangerous to be given to the public, destroyed all footage, and pretended the test never took place.
  • Licking the Blade: In the Videogames special, Adam licks fruit juice off his katana after playing a real-life round of Fruit Ninja.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Unless it's for a test, Jamie is almost never seen in anything other than his standard outfit of leather work boots, khaki pants, a white button-down shirt over a black undershirt, and his beret. The "latex masks" test used deliberate differences in his wardrobe as part of the testing. The only consistent variant is that he's often worn a long-sleeved black shirt instead of the black/white shirt combo.
    • Grant's wardrobe also qualifies; he's always wearing a black t-shirt and blue jeans, occasionally adding a black button-down or a black leather jacket.
  • Literal Metaphor: In the spirit of this trope, they like testing idioms to see if there's any literal truth in them. Turns out, nothing can literally knock your socks off (while leaving you alive to tell the tale), but you can literally polish a turd, as well as teach an old dog new tricks. Also, while shooting fish in a barrel is very easy, taking candy from a baby is not.
  • Little Known Facts: The source of many myths.

    Tropes M-R 
  • MacGyvering: Many, if not most of the contraptions devised; not to mention the episode dedicated to MacGyver, who is frequently called "The Patron Saint of MythBusters."
    • Appropriately enough, the MacGyver episode saw Adam and Jamie improvise an unexpected solution: Grant and Tory put the two at an "enemy camp" and challenged them to signal a helicopter. The idea was for the two to cobble together a potato gun from the parts lying around, but instead they tore down the tent and made a kite.
    • During the Pirate Special to test whether Tory could hold onto a knife as it ripped through a sail on the way down to the deck, they built a rig with a 200 pound counterweight that would make the sail shoot straight upward while Tory held the knife in the sail. For his safety, he wore a chain mail shirt, goggles, and a football helmet.
    • The show's final MacGyver myth of smothering explosives in concrete to safely detonate them produced problems which, appropriately, they had to fashion an improvised solution for within a limited time frame. The explosive charges floated up with the concrete instead of being smothered, and they couldn't easily get into the drum to reset them before the cement dried, forcing Adam cut a hole in the back wall of the driver’s cab and climb in to re-secure it. Then they discovered that the truck was leaking which they had to also improvise a solution for. Finally they detonate the explosive and it appears to have worked... only to discover only some of the explosive went off incorrectly due to the weight of the cement dislodging the primer cord, which caused a very dangerous reset.
  • Macross Missile Massacre / Rain of Arrows: The Hwacha!!!: a rig that fired 200 rocket-powered explosive tipped arrows almost simultaneously. The Hwacha worked almost perfectly (only one arrow failed to launch), but the build team actually underestimated its range, and most of the arrows overshot their foam "army" targets.
    • A later myth, the Chinese Fire Dragon, took this a step further, by creating rockets that launched Hwacha-style rocket arrows. And they built ten of them.
  • Mad Bomber: All five of them. Just because they do it safely and legally doesn't make the trope any less applicable.
  • Mad Scientist: Just about everybody on the show.
    Adam: I wouldn't say Jamie's an evil genius... I'm not sure he's evil, and I'm not sure he's a genius, but, uh... *laughs*
    • During "Helium Football":
      Adam: I love...consistent...DATA! HAHAHAHA!
    • During "Deep Sea Dive"
      Tory: I present to you... my creation! Meat Man! AHAHAHA! note 
    • Although Grant seems to do the laugh best (and most frequently), as highlighted by the completion of Robo-Cat for "Beat the Guard Dog":
      Grant: He's alive! ALIVE! HAHAHAHAHAHA!
  • Made of Explodium: Subverted in nearly every episode, as just about every myth involving an explosion usually results in the items said to be explosive stubbornly refusing to detonate. Even a car fuel tank shot with incendiary rounds or left to burn for over 10 minutes. Played straight on quite a few occasions as well, like the Thermite/Ice myth, which exploded on the first try. Hilariously done straight with the Hindenburg scale tests. Adam wanted to see how fast the material would burn with and without hydrogen by setting fire to the material stretched over a box filled with the gas. Upon adding the fire to it, the fabric exploded off the box like a gunshot. Adam was noticeably shaken. The model was even set ablaze while they were merely building it, prompting the amused Adam to observe "These things are always catching on fire!"
    • From "Exploding Port-a-Potty"
      Scottie: Maybe it's a myth that methane is flammable.
      Adam: It's not a myth, we're just idiots.
  • Made of Iron:
    • When Jamie responds to a pain test with an almost sarcastic "ow", the narrator says Jamie is so tough, he occasionally rusts.
    • In a retrospective on Tory's bike crash, they pointed out that you can clearly see Tory faceplanting on the asphalt (his hands were tied up holding onto the bike). The fact he shrugged it off and seemed perfectly fine afterwards was an impressive feat on its own.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Peter Rees, veteran maker of science documentaries. Creator, producer, writer, and director of MythBusters, and the guy who personally cast Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman on the show. Never seen onscreen except in certain specials like MythBusters Revealed. (Rees left the show in 2006.)
  • Manchild: Everyone, but especially Adam and especially if explosives, high-speed collisions, or both are involved in a myth.
  • Man Hug:
    • Averted by Adam, because he's that manly.
      Adam: If I were a different kind of person I'd hug you right now. *pauses, then punches Jamie in the shoulder*
    • Played straight in the Storm Chasers special; after the Storm Chasers' vehicles are put through winds equivalent to a category 5 twister, each one hugs a Mythbuster, thanking them for not destroying the cars, before they turn and hug each other.
  • Manipulative Editing: Invoked. In one episode, Adam and Jamie are shown solving Rubik's Cubes one with his feet and the other blindfolded, and then showed what they actually did, which was reversing the footage of them slowly scrambling the Rubik's Cubes. They even pointed out how they had crew members walk backwards through the shot and rigged a wall clock to tick in reverse, so that when they reversed the film, they would appear to walk through normally (for added realism).
  • Mascot: Buster, the constantly abused and rebuilt crash test dummy.
  • Mauve Shirt: John Hunt, aka "John the Researcher", who appeared in three episodes in 2006, and again in the Viral Hour episode in 2008. Not seen much on-camera anymore, but he's still a researcher for the show.
  • McNinja: There are of course several ninja-related tropes tested over the course of the show.
  • Meaningful Look: During small-scale testing for the Exploding Pants myth, Frank Doyle gives one of these to the camera (while covering his ears) just before the Build Team performs an impact test on a sample of the pants material covered in weed killer, making it clear he knows damn well what the outcome will be before it happens.
  • Medium Awareness: In myths that involve swearing (for the alleviation of pain, say) or subjects that are considered delicate to Moral Guardians, like flatulence or feces, Adam will hear and point out when one of his co-hosts uses a word that gets bleeped, and suggest a word they are allowed to use instead. In one example where profanity was actually the variable being tested for, Adam actually devises a "swear helmet" that obscures the test subject's lips, as the editing required to blur lips is much more time-consuming and expensive than just a standard bleep.
  • Metaphorically True: Sometimes, their determination of whether a myth is Confirmed or Busted really comes down to interpreting the exact wording of it. For example, their analysis of the Soft Water myth was specifically about whether "landing on water from a high enough distance is just as bad as landing on concrete." From a purely scientific standpoint, this was conclusively Busted, as the impact readings from the concrete landings were significantly higher than those of the water landings from all three heights. However, all but one of the six readings were Confirmed to be far above the threshold that the human body is capable of tolerating and surviving. Meaning what, while landing from water at a high altitude isn't "just as impactful" as landing on concrete, it is still metaphorically "just as bad" since you'll end up "just as dead" from it.
  • Microwave the Dog: The myth about drying a dog in the microwave is one of the only classic urban myths Adam and crew refuse to put to the test, and the episode where this myth was brought up resulted in their first assertation of their No Animals Were Harmed policy.
  • Million to One Chance: A few myths they said were reasonably plausible in theory, but to do it by accident or even on purpose requires the right alignment of stars. Those myths involve the sniper scope shot with modern scopes and one with a belt buckle with a testimonial from a local police officer. One of the best examples is the exploding bumper, where nothing they did could get the result of a bumper being launched explosively from a burning car, yet were able to prove it IS possible given JUST the right circumstances by finding a person who actually had her leg broken by this happening.
    • Doubly so in a number of myths (see Failsafe Failure above) where there are multiple failsafes in place to prevent exactly what the myth is about; requiring the MythBusters to deliberately disable them to replicate the myth (where the myth is that this happened by accident).
    • Also applies in cases where the myth is known to be possible but the Mythbusters are unable to replicate due to the number of factors that have to be exactly right, as well as a good deal of luck (such as surviving a fall from high-altitude without a parachute, as some pilots and at least one flight attendant are known to have done).
  • Mondegreen Gag: During the myth of being talked into landing and the first attempt of Adam and Jamie attempting to land by themselves while the GPWS was shouting what they thought was "Don't Think" until they realize it was "Don't Sink" which refers to altitude loss after take-off or with a high N1 (throttle) setting. This meant that they had the nose pointed downward with the throttle forward.
  • Money Mauling: For the "Penny Drop" myth, Adam and Jamie build rigs to shoot pennies at targets, including a modified rifle that can fire a penny at supersonic speeds. In a subversion of this trope, even pennies fired from the rifle fail to do more than superficial damage.
  • More Dakka: Frequently employed.
    • At the end of their live show, they bring out an anti-aircraft paintball gun to demonstrate what kind of armor Adam would wear if he were to play paintball (A full suit of plate mail).
      Adam: [pointing to a .30-06 Springfield round] This kills you... [points to the .50 BMG round] This kills you and everyone else in the room.
  • More Expendable Than You: Sort of.
    • Adam once was disallowed by the producers from trying a dangerous myth because of insurance, while Tory apparently they had no problem with. But Tory may be getting more respect these days, as the insurance company denied him permission to be pushed off the back of a truck by a running treadmill machine. They wound up going with sand-filled overalls (named Tory's "sand-in" by Kari) instead.
    • In 2014, the insurance company refused to let the Build Team test a myth by playing tennis on the wings of an airplane in flight. They built a set of wings, mounted them on a truck trailer, and drove down a runway instead.
  • Motor Mouth: Adam has a tendency towards this, particularly when he's describing what a rig is supposed to do.
  • Mouthful of Pi: In the "Prison Escape" myth, Grant's "prisoner number" is "3.14". Kari's is "5150" (the California code for an involuntary psychiatric hold, the LA police code for a false alarm, the title of a Black Sabbath song, as well as the title of a Van Halen song and album. Most recently, it was the title of a hit song by Dierks Bentley that came out in 2012). Tory's is "000".
  • Ms. Fanservice: Kari Byron, though to their credit they don't overdo that angle. Of course, that hasn't stopped them from mentioning (and showing pictures from) her FHM photoshoot. The trope is parodied when the narrator mentions that one of the cast will have to get fitted for a bra. Cut to Tory's hairy chest, with a bra on it. And let us not forget her first appearance on the show was getting her butt computer scanned. She also attempted to use a happiness punch to make goats faint; it only affected Tory, sadly.
    • The team also tested a myth regarding whether women's breast size correlates to tips (in this case, a barista). Let's just say the large breasted version of Kari was shown a bit more. Even Tori and Grant were shocked at how she looked. By the way, Kari's large breasted version did get more significantly more tips.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Occasionally when Adam makes up tidbits regarding Jamie's prior jobs/personal history, Jamie himself will chime in with an alternate scenario.
    Adam: Does this remind you of when you used to count money for the mob?
    Jamie: I was a hitman. I wasn't a money counter.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • During a presentation, Adam expressed great interest in testing more "mundane" myths, like comparing consumer products to see which ones perform better or whether they perform up to the standards their manufacturers claim. However, it will never happen because the executives are afraid of losing their sponsors or getting sued. The closest they get is when a myth item won't work, and they compare that to a consumer product (such as keys, cellphone, or shoe to break a window underwater; none worked, but the store-bought breakers worked every time.)
      Narrator: How about that. A product that does exactly what it says on the box.
    • In the break-in special, the Build Team attempts to bypass a motion sensor, but their first attempt (a "chicken suit" made from shag carpeting) fails. The next thing they try is their bottom of the barrel, "never gonna work" idea: holding up a bedsheet. It works.
  • The Münchausen: Jamie.
  • My Car Hates Me: Substitute R/C car, rocket, rig, Death Ray etc...then again, considering the number of these things that explode, crash or otherwise are broken, it'd hardly be surprising.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: "9 strong MythBusters and Adam."
  • Nausea Fuel: invoked This shows up occasionally for the cast depending on the myth(s) being tested:
    • Adam is very prone to seasickness, and just about every episode that's had him on a boat has shown him throwing up. He even puked in the rig during the "killer whirlpool" episode.
    • Grant has also gotten sick in a few episodes, thanks to the motion sickness test chair.
    • The Earwax Candle had the entire Build Team gagging, and Grant has confirmed it as his most disgusting myth to date.
    • Kari is a pescetarian (as per That Other Wiki) and is visibly miserable whenever they do a myth that involves copious amounts of meat. Usually because they mutilate it with swords or explosives.
  • Neat Freak: Jamie.
    • A sign Jamie put up in M5 says it all, "Clean Up Or Die".
    • During one build, Adam broke Jamie's lathe. Watching the next clip, of Jamie talking to the camera, it's hard to tell if he's more upset about the damage to an expensive machine, or the fact that Adam didn't sweep up the sawdust.
  • Neologism: Adam sometimes makes up words when he finds there's no word to describe the ridiculous awesomeness of the moment.
  • Nerd Glasses: Adam.
  • Never Bareheaded: Jamie has this reputation, though he doesn't quite fit the strict definition. That said, though, beret on is his default appearance, to the point that when he accepted a honorary PhD fans and students alike wondered if he'd wear his beret or an academic cap to the ceremony. His beret.
  • Never Found the Body: The end of Buster the Crash Test Dummy was to be put on a rocket sled and fired at a brick wall at more than the speed of sound. They never found his remains, and the high speed camera's footage suggested he completely disintegrated upon impact.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Subverted; the team expected crocodiles to be a lot more dangerous than they actually were. In "Crocodile Escape," a myth where they tried to test whether you could escape a crocodile chasing you by running in a zigzag, no crocodiles chased them, and they concluded that zigzagging isn't really worth the effort because you really escape from crocodiles by staying out of the water. Being ambush predators whose hunting tactic is to suddenly lunge at a victim at the edge of the water, they don't chase people (or even animals) for large distances on land. If the initial lunge fails, they'll just reset and wait for the next prey to come along.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Common, usually before the device is even completed. But they just soldier on whenever it happens. One time, Adam needed to chop a bunch of stuff out of a car so the guys could add a safety rig. He got carried away with the saw and chopped out the power line to the fuel pump...which then had to be replaced, because they needed the car to run. Oops.
  • Nightmare Fuel: invoked According to Adam, in the Underwater Car Escape episode, watching Adam up close as he struggled in a vain attempt to escape a sinking car filling with water was a horrifying enough image to Jamie that he couldn't sleep that night.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: In 2010 Grant created a humanoid robot skeleton named "Geoff Peterson" to serve as a Non-Human Sidekick for Craig Ferguson on CBS' The Late Late Show.
  • Noisy Duck: Zigzagged when they try are trying to test the Duck quaking echo myth, only for the ducks to refuse to quack with Jamie even saying "Quack damn you." They finally get them to quack when they bring the ducks back together and they did so loudly, since ducks apparently won't quack without anyone to talk to.
  • "No. Just… No" Reaction: When they first tried to test the Rocket Car myth, the U.S. Air Force sent them two letters denying them assistance. Justified, in that nobody knew who they were back then, Federal Law prohibits the sale of that sort of ordnance to civilians, and they were asking for something that's barely one warhead short of a missile, less than two years after 9/11.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The "Warning—Science Content" label usually precedes the MythBusters discussing the historical, and not scientific, context of a myth.
  • No Swastikas: The Hindenburg replica just had white circles on its tail.
  • Noodle Implements: They've had some very odd ingredient lists when testing myths, though ultimately this trope is subverted because the use for each material is shown. Lampshaded once, when Kari was asked by Tory and Grant to name what a set of items had in common: creamer, cheese, leather, chicken, duct tape, and a steel pipe. Her first two (incorrect) answers were "Saturday night at Adam Savage's house" and "Saturday night at Jamie Hyneman's house".Correct Answer 
  • Noodle Incident: During "Cheese Cannon", Kari states that they haven't used cheese as ammunition before. She then clarifies that she hasn't, and that she doesn't know whether either of the others has. Grant hasn't. But Tory has. And he doesn't care to talk about it.
  • Odd Couple: Jamie and Adam respect each other, work well together and have excellent chemistry, but they have both said that they aren't particularly good friends. You can kind of sense it with a few projects they've done. Coworkers, collaborators, maybe even comrades, but not friends.
    • Adam elaborated on this in an interview with Indoor Boys:
      Our partnership is based on a deep mutual respect. [...] And we trust each other more than almost anybody else. But a partnership isn't a friendship. It's based on very different rules. And it's a very different kind of relationship than an emotional relationship. Emotions do play a part in it, but a very different part.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Done in the 2012 Halloween special. At one point, a camera revolves around Adam Savage a couple times as he wonders where Jamie is. As the camera dollies around, Jamie is nowhere to be seen. Then, the camera pans in the opposite direction, revealing Jamie right next to (and slightly behind) Adam.
  • Oh, Crap!: The MythBusters have scared themselves from time to time.
    • It happens whenever there is a malfunction in the rig they've set up for some large scale project. But the two biggest ones happened during the Demolition Derby special. A semi-truck went off its tow cable and was about 30 feet from going into Alameda Bay; if the grass bank hadn't been there to slow it down it likely would have. When they tested the Instant Convertible trope by running a car underneath a semi-trailer it worked too well — the car easily cruised underneath the trailer but the brake system intended to stop the car after the collision failed. The car then hit the dirt embankment behind the trailer at near full speed, and launched over it like a missile. Tory and Kari went from cheering about the successful test to shocked and wide-eyed speculation about the potentially disastrous ramifications. Thankfully, there was nothing on the other side of the embankment, which was likely one of the design concerns when E-Tech built the test track.
    Tory: What's on the other side of that berm?
    Kari: Uh oh.
    • Non-dairy creamer cannon, and the gigantic fireball resulting from it. Grant went so far as to request clean underwear.
    • Jamie's reaction to his difficulties in crossing the duct tape bridge. Made even worse by his fear of heights. Poor Jamie.
    • At the end of The Green Hornet Special, they blow up a front-loader. In one shot, one of the explosives experts is standing behind and to the right of the bunker when the explosion occurs; it starts raining parts, and he takes two steps to the left.
    • A minor one at first blush, but really serious when you think about it. The build team tackled gunfighter myths, so they head out to the parking lot and start firing guns loaded with blanks (to test the "drop a quarter from the back of one hand and empty a revolver before the coin hits the ground trick). It doesn't take long for someone to start yelling at them, asking if they have permission to be firing guns in a commercial parking lot shared with several other businesses. That particular test comes to a very quick halt. Discharging a firearm within city limits, without a really good reason, is a rather serious offense. Even if they're loaded with blanks, which can still be dangerous at close range, and the sound of gunfire is rather distinctive and going to draw some concern.
  • Oh, Wait!: While testing a miniature steam cannon, it fires a tennis ball and wedges it behind a pipe on the ceiling, leading to this quote:
    Adam: It's wedged in there like, I don't know if I could build something that could wedge it in there that hard... oh, apparently I did.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten:
    • The show sometimes digs up old clips of Adam's previous acting work when he was a child.
    • Tory's little mishap where he faceplanted while riding the bicycle also counts.
  • One I Prepared Earlier: During the "Jaws Special", Adam was talking to the camera about the method he was using to build a fake shark, and pulled out a mockup "he'd prepared earlier".
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When the rest of the team (sans Jamie and Grant at that point) give Adam a powerful shock as a practical joke, the normally genial Adam's look of genuine shock and anger followed by his stomping out of the room clued them in that they messed up bad. In a later interview, Adam revealed that it wasn't the Build Team's idea—the producer made them do it, and it terrified and pissed him off to such an extent that the entire crew was mad for him, and when instructed to follow Adam, told the producer where he could shove that idea. In a show where they shamelessly recorded decapitation of dead animals, devices that can kill people, Kari undergoing Chinese Water Torture (she volunteered, but it reportedly bothered her for at least a few days until the bruises on her wrists faded), and Adam vomiting multiple times due to seasickness, even they decided it would be crossing the line to bother him after what went down. That producer is no longer with the show. Make of that what you will.
    • Speaking of Kari's water torture, when she reaches the point where she says she doesn't want to do it anymore (at which point she's starting to cry), Tory (who is usually only a couple of ticks below Adam on the "silliness" scale), immediately says they're to get her out, delivered in a rapid and deadly serious tone of voice which clearly conveys his concern for Kari. She's immediately released from the rig, and decides against further testing.
  • Opt Out: Tory asked if he could do this with the FMRI lie detector after he learned the "punishment" for failure (see Cool and Unusual Punishment above). Unfortunately for Tory, the answer was no.
    Tory: Can I elect not to do this? This isn't funny anymore!
  • Out-of-Character Moment:
    • Fans will most likely already label Jamie as calm, cool and collected, harboring a staunch and unwavering personality in stark contrast to the rest of the group. But long-time viewers who watch very closely will notice during experiments that concern the element of surprise (e.g. waiting for explosions), Jamie is pretty jumpy when the shock happens, which is more obvious next to Adam, who's pretty composed when the surprise occurs. This was actually an issue in the Unarmed and Unharmed myth, where Jamie dropped the gun on two counts.
    • Also, for a test regarding alkali metals in a water-filled bathtub:
      Grant: Okay, but instead of a bathtub, we should do a toilet! You know, like how you used to throw cherry bombs down the toilet in high school.
      Tory: Yeah, well, I wouldn't know anything about that; I was too busy studying chemistry.
      Kari: ...What is this? Opposite land?
  • Out Of Control Popcorn: The scene from Real Genius was tested where a house is destroyed by having a massive amount of popcorn cooked inside of it. Sadly, real life popcorn will fail to pop if it is under pressure during cooking, so it's not actually possible.
  • Painful Body Waxing: When they were retesting whether socks could be knocked off with enough force, and in order to see if leg hair had an effect, Tory had one of his legs waxed so the Busters could compare them. According to Tory, the hot wax wasn't too bad, but yanking the hair out was.
  • Persona Non Grata: During the "Knock Your Socks Off" myth, they set off an explosion for the final phase of the experiment, and everyone, including their explosive experts on location, underestimated just how big the shockwave would be. In nearby Esparto, California, it ended up knocking people off sofas, setting off car alarms, breaking windows and knocking down ceiling tiles, and the news reported that the MythBusters had leveled the town.
    Grant: And that's why we can never go to Esparto again.
  • Pirates: Two entire episodes devoted to pirate myths.
  • Pixellation:
    • Often done to obscure labels on chemical bottles.
      Adam: This ingredient is made of blur. And this has some blur in it too. Blur is very dangerous; you should never mix blur with blur.
    • Also done to preventing lip-reading of cusswords prior to the last two seasons. This is apparently expensive enough that when doing a test that involved a lot of cursing (to see if it helped one handle pain), Adam built an in-universe version of it — a mouth-guard helmet with Symbol Swearing on it.
    • Done again in the Breaking Bad special. They busted the show's "dissolving a body in hydrofluoric acid" trick, but it turns out the more-powerful sulfuric acid mixed with...something else...will do the trick (but still won't dissolve a bathtub.) The chemical added to the sulfuric acid was referred to as "special sauce" and the label pixelated. As Jamie put it, the MythBusters are "not in the business of telling you how to dispose of a dead body."
  • Politician Guest-Star: Barack Obama invited Adam and Jamie to the White House Library to request they retest "Archimedes Death Ray" AGAIN using child labor - I mean hundreds of middle school science students aiming individual mirrors. The report back to the president was obviously filmed right after the opening segment. Amusingly, the president was upstaged by the next episode, which featured guest star Seth Rogen.
  • Power Trio: The Build Team. Might have been literally invoked during the Gorn Cannon myth if not for Kari's maternity leave. (Jessi ended up playing Janice Rand in her place.)
  • The Power of Rock:
    • They've proven that "hardcore, to the bone death metal" makes plants grow better than silence, kind or mean words, or classical music.
    • Rocker Jaime Vendera broke a glass with the power of his voice alone.
  • Precision F-Strike: When Adam and Jamie tested the Ming Dynasty Astronaut myth, Adam said about the burning Buster "His ass is on fire!", which was not bleeped out.
  • Pretty in Mink: When testing out James Bond myths, Kari put on an evening gown with a fur wrap, just to get that classic Bond Girl look.
  • Production Foreshadowing: During one of the "Seconds from Disaster" tests, Tory pretends to check the terms of his contract. Little did we know that right around the time the episode aired, contract terms for the Build Team were getting checked for realz...
  • Product Placement: Happening in the later seasons, thankfully during commercials and not in the show itself. It's still blatant because they aren't actors playing characters, they are themselves, so Tory trying to prove the superiority of his diesel VW just reeks of Money, Dear Boy. Averted in the show itself, depending on the myth involved, as no company wants their product to be the one shown to be a) defective, b) dangerous, c) both (a) and (b), or d) used in an embarrassing myth. Most notably soda, which is even stranger when you get to the Mentos/Diet Coke myth they still couldn't mention the brand on air, but everybody knows what it was anyway.
    • Actually, the narrator uses "Diet Coke and Mentos" throughout that entire episode. It's only during the actual testing that they used the term "diet cola and mint candies", indicating that by the time they got around to recording the narration for the episode they'd managed to get the necessary clearances to use the brand names. Adam and Jamie used the real names in a later episode.
    • They aren't shy about revealing the brand names of some of the equipment, or tools they use in busting some of their myths. Consistent examples include the ShockWatch shock indicator stickers and the OSECO burst discs.
    • In the episode devoted to Big Rig myths, there's a loving shot of a Freightliner truck's logo and even have one of their employees talking about how many hours went into designing its streamlining. The test was filmed at the Freightliner test track, as was skipping a car across water.
    • Two entire episodes were basically extended promos for the show Storm Chasers and the film The Green Hornet, respectively.
    • Spoofed in one episode: After accidentally causing minor damage to a supplier's property, the camera focuses on store's name and the announcer apologetically offers the business some free advertising. The minor property damage? It was done to the very sign they focused on at the end (thankfully repaired by that point).
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: The Build Team. They were promoted to full MythBuster status initially, then demoted back down to being the Build Team (though they remained in the opening titles).
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Regarding a bullet-dumping robot:
    Adam: This! Is! SPARKY!
  • Pungeon Master: Just about everyone, but especially the narrator, Kari, and Jamie.
  • Pushed at the Monster: In the first Zombies special, Tory, Kari and Grant tried this, though since zombies aren't real they hired dozens of extras to dress up and act like zombies. When trying test ways to distract a zombie horde, Kari pushed Tory into a wheel chair, duct-taped him into it, and pushed him onto the horde. As Tory was "eaten" by the "zombies", Kari went around the large group that surrounded Tory, zig-zagged around a few stragglers attracted to the commotion, and made it to the finish line.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Scottie, Jessi and the Mythterns all left without much fanfare.
    • Also happened to the entire Build Team (Grant, Kari, and Tory) in the last episode of the 2014 season.
    • The Bus Came Back: Scottie briefly returned back not just once but twice; first while aiding Jamie and Adam as a 'special guest' fabricator on the (1st) JATO rocket car rebuild for the 2007 "Supersized Myths" episode and again the following year, as a '4th" Build team member for the 2008 "Young Scientists" Special.
  • Pyramid Power: Does fruit stored in a pyramid rot more slowly? Can pyramids sharpen razor blades? The MythBusters test them to find out! Answer: no. After this one, Adam opined that he wasn't a fan of such "oogie-boogie myths", and declared that there would be no more such nonsense on the show (it's perfectly fine with the nonsense it's got). In the end-of-series reunion special, everyone bemoaned testing these myths.
  • Raised Hand of Survival: At the end of the Halloween special, Jamie and Adam walk away from the "grave" where they just buried a simulaid (in a spandex body suit to protect it) ... and a hand clad in the same spandex pushes up out of the dirt.
  • Rated M for Manly: Guns, explosions, robots, redheads and manly mustaches galore!
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Possibly behind some of the fan complaints when the MythBusters bust a commonly-believed myth. In addition, some myths that are "busted" on the show are actually true. (In general, either they revisit the myth at some point and demonstrate it's true, or it's something that they know happened but can't replicate no matter how hard they try.)
    • They also did a test comparing various Stock Sound Effects with the real-life thing they're supposed to be representing. Most of them didn't sound the same, but the rattlesnake actually did! They recorded a rattlesnake themselves and it sounded almost exactly like the rattlesnake sound they were testing.
    • One of the more outlandish cases they've tested was in Dirty vs. Clean Car, where the myth was that a car covered in crud would achieve a "golf ball"-like effect to reduce drag and thus make the car more fuel-efficient. Predictably, the simple weight of the crud adds drag to the car, which surprised no one. But that's not the shocking part: the twist comes when they did their routine up to eleven and made a heavy clay cover with golf ball dimples carved into it (with the carved clay placed inside the car for consistent weight)... and it worked, improving fuel efficiency by 11% when compared to the previous test where the clay covering was unaltered, and laughing in the face of decades of effort and belief that a streamline car chassis gives better mileage.
  • Reality Show: Especially with first season of the revival series.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: Generally averted; the Mythbusters frequently have firearms experts on hand to ensure their gunplay myths are carried out safely. During the "Curve a Bullet" tests Kari even wore a bulletproof vest, since she was pregnant at the time. However, testing gunslinger myths (for the "Exploding Lighter" episode) saw the Build Team head out to their parking lot and start shooting some Old West revolvers loaded with blanks; it didn't take long for someone else in the complex to start berating them (rightfully) for firing off guns in a parking lot. Discharging a firearm within city limits is something of a no-no. Even with only blanks (which can still be dangerous at close range), even with permission from the police, the noise is going to be very concerning for anyone nearby. But most often, the Mythbusters utilize a wide range of indoor and outdoor firing ranges where they can shoot off their assorted ordnance legally and safely.
  • Recycled In SPACE: Testing whether or not cars explode when they fall off a cliff is Every Car Is a Pinto in a slightly different context.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: Sharp-eared gamers may recognize one of the musical snips they sometimes use between shots during Seasons 2 through 11 as coming from the soundtrack of MechWarrior 2. Specifically, it's the beat at the beginning of Ambushed and two places it can be heard are during the Skunk Cleaning segment in S2 and after the Hypermiling myth in S11.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Adam is the Red Oni to Jamie's Blue Oni (Adam excitable and energetic, Jamie stoic and level-headed); Kari is the Red Oni to Grant's Blue Oni (Kari being a bit more indulgent, Grant being more cool and logical), with Tory being more of a Purple Oni.
  • Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: Any time the MythBusters are about to set off a particularly big explosion, the first of these, the cement truck from Cement Mix-Up, is always going to be brought up, by the narrator if no one else. Same goes for any time the "big booms" of the series are brought up.
  • Retcon: They are willing to re-examine older myths when the fans complain about something they supposedly got wrong when they originally tested them, if it can be proven they didn't adhere to the spirit of the myth, didn't use proper/enough equipment, or simply didn't go far enough (laughable, granted, but possible). So far about 60 percent of the retested myths have remained busted, while the others have been either outright confirmed (proving the MythBusters got it wrong originally) or some footnote about a "plausible" verdict that comes from stretching the boundaries of the myth. Some notable examples:
    • The myth of the barrel of a rifle splitting like a banana peel if you stuck your finger in it; it was busted even with welding an iron spike into the barrel, but a revisit showed a sniper rifle fired with an alignment laser still in the barrel was enough for the split.)
    • The myth involving the plausibility of a Scope Snipe was retested using a Vietnam-vintage scope, since the most well-publicized occurrence of the feat was Carlos Hathcock's shot, which the sniper admitted was a fluke.
    • For an example for a retested myth that remained busted, the myth of Archimedes' solar "Death Ray" was retested after massive backlash with the MythBusters actually telling the complainers to put their money where their mouth was and come on the show to prove it was possible. They couldn't. And at the end, a team composed of the MythBusters, MIT, and one viewer set up an array of bronze mirrors (only things available at that time period) and attempted to set fire to an accurately made Roman ship that was actually in the water. Even after hours of coordinated efforts nothing happened other than some smoke. In the end, they set fire to the ship by tossing a jar of burning fuel at it. This myth even got another re-test, with none other than Barack Obama himself requesting it. It's still busted, though Jamie did comment that all of the mirrors on shore were blinding him (he was on the boat in a fire-resistant suit). He cited that as the "kernel of truth" from whence the myth came.
    • Firing frozen chickens from a chicken cannon: they ran no less than four different tests on this one, over the course of two episodes. Two were inconclusive due to faulty testing materials (the first test involved firing chickens at airplane windshields they later found were not rated for birdstrike; the third involved firing chickens at foam cubes that turned out to not be uniform), and a third, initially used as a "definitive" test, turned out to be a red herring (the second test involved firing chickens at a solid concrete wall and measuring the time it took for the impact to be absorbed). The final, definitive test involved shooting the chickens at a stack of twelve glass sheets and seeing how many broke. The two thawed chickens they fired broke two of the twelve sheets in the stack; the two frozen chickens punched a clean hole straight through their stacks. One of these "clean-throughs" can be seen in the background of the blueprint room in later episodes.
  • Retool: Occurred in 2015/Season 10. The Build Team was let go, the show's set of graphics effects was overhauled, and more of a focus is placed on the process of building the rigs and equipment used to test the myths.
  • Revival: Just days after the finale aired, The Science Channel announces that they plan to reboot the show. Given the date, many thought it was an April Fools' Day Prank. However, given that there have been no retractions and how prolific the news was, and that Discovery has started to officially leak out information about the revival as it's being filmed as of September 2016, it's safe to assume Mythbusters currently holds the record for the fastest show to be revived by a network.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter:
    • Jamie's little marching helmet robots from "Breakstep Bridge".
      Jamie: They were kinda cute, weren't they?
      Adam: They were very cute! Cute For Science!!
    • Robot "Baby Buster" used in the multitasking myth on Battle of the Sexes, Round 2.
  • Riding into the Sunset: Many episodes end with Adam and Jamie walking into the sunset, sometimes leaving behind a label that shows the verdict of the last myth they tested. Originally this was a coincidence, as it often took so long to get certain tests to work without the wrong parts blowing up that they would often film until they ran out of light. Later, they did it on purpose just because it was a good way to close out a show. The trope was lampshaded and averted in "Blown out of the Water", when getting a mine to blow up a boat was only finally filmed after the sun had already set, and the duo just stood around awkwardly.
  • Robosexual: Grant, as much as they can milk it in a PG-rated show.
    Flavor text for Grant in one episode:: Dreams of electric sheep
  • Rock Beats Laser: The testing for some myths show that sometimes simpler solutions can beat or outperform their more advanced rivals. Case in point, the tests to see what could defeat a state-of-the-art motion sensor. Every convoluted plot the Build Team tried failed utterly. They then found (to their surprise) that a bedsheet held in front of the movement source could fool the motion sensor.note  An infra-red detector was also defeated, not by wearing heavy clothing, carbon-dioxide fire extinguishers or covering one's body in mud, but by placing a piece of glass in front of the detector, blocking the infra-red rays.
  • Room 101:
    • Referenced by the narrator in a segment examining self-hypnosis, when Adam and the build team were testing Internet self-hypnosis tapes, Adam using one to get over his fear of bees. The control involved Adam sticking his arm in a box filled with bees.
    • Long time fans may also remember a similar event as a finale to the Daddy Long Legs myth to help Adam with his (supposed) arachnophobia.
  • Rube Goldberg Device: Building these is what they do on the rare occasions they don't blow stuff up. For one holiday episode, they built one of these rigs just to make Buster crash face-first onto the floor.
  • Rule of Cool: Does the experiment really call for several hundred pounds of explosives packed in a cement truck? Not really, but damn if it isn't awesome.
    Adam: (after being told that attaching rockets to a swing set was spectacular) Well, hopefully, that's our job; to attach rockets to everything.
    • In the Hurricane Windows episode, before exploding a tree:
      Grant: In the name of science, and all things cool, we're gonna do it anyway.
  • Rule of Drama: Discussed in the "Titanic Survival" episode, with the duo seeing if Jack could've survived the ending. While they concluded that it was Plausible, James Cameron himself pointed out that regardless of what the verdict was, the point of the story is that Jack dies, and that even if the prop designers left room for the possibility of him surviving, the story being told is ultimately what matters most.
  • Rule of Funny: Why Adam — and Kari, Tory and Grant (to a lesser extent) — are there in the first place; if the show didn't have to be entertaining, it'd just be a bunch of Jamies. This is precisely why Adam is on the show to begin with; Jamie has stated in a number of interviews that he brought Adam in because he sincerely believed he couldn't lead the show on his own due to him not being funny enough. To his credit, he may very well have been right (not that the Beret'ed One can't pass a good laugh on his own, it's just that his interactions with Adam are where the comedy gold is - a straight man is only funny when there's a funny man too).
  • Running Gag:

    Tropes S-Y 
  • Safe Driving Aesop: They've tested several scenarios said to cause dangerous driving, including:
    • Driving while tipsy. note 
    • Driving while sleep-deprived.
    • Driving in high-heeled shoes.
    • Driving while using a cell phone (both normal usage and hands-free).
    • Driving too closely behind a big-rig truck in order to reduce drag on your car and increase fuel-efficiency.
    • Driving while angry.
    • Driving while needing to use the toilet.
    • Swapping drivers while the car is still moving.
    • Driving into a moose.
  • Science Foils: Both this series and shows based on it seem to follow this mold, except that the two guys are the main focus of the show. They tend to have largely overlapping but distinct areas of expertise, with personalities that make them a bit of an Odd Couple (and which may be exaggerated to give the show a semblance of drama).
  • Science Show: Mythbusters wasn't designed for the expressed purpose of being one — as the hosts and producers can attest, it was pitched simply as "a show about seeing if myths are true or not" — but the show inadvertently became one as the consideration of various relevant factors, from physics to chemistry to psychology and so-on, became integral to the whole testing process, which is itself a solid introduction to The Scientific Method.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: The cover photo on the Season 5 DVD features Adam doing this with his homemade paper crossbow.
  • Self-Deprecation: When they confirm the myth that women have a higher pain threshold than men, Adam lets the "weaker" sex have it.
    Adam: In your face men! ...oh.
  • Serial Escalation: Often done while testing a myth, due to the show's method of first replicating the myth (which rarely works the way it claims), and then attempting to scale things up enough to get the result that the myth describes.
  • Sexiness Score: They once tested the idea of "Beer Goggles" by having cast members rate peoples' attractiveness On a Scale from One to Ten while sober, buzzed, and drunk.
  • Shirtless Scene: The entire male cast has gotten a handful of these over the show's run (Jamie in the tree cannon episode, for example).
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the revisit for the painting with explosives, Jamie created a large, 3,500 pound steel sphere to try to spread the paint more effectively. J.D. Nelson referred to it as the Death Star while the narrator added That's No Moon
    • The Cold Open for the Grand Finale episode references Pulp Fiction, specifically the glowing MacGuffin briefcase in the film (in this case, one of the storage boxes at M-5).note 
    • The Stinger for the final final episode, the MythBusters cast reunion, is a recreation of the shawarma-eating scene which was the stinger in The Avengers.
  • Shrouded in Myth: Jamie, at least according to Adam.
    Adam: It's been said that this crater is not unlike the one left by Jamie when he first came to Earth.
  • Siege Engines:
    • The Build Team recreated a Hwacha!!! or multiple arrow launcher.
    • Adam and Jamie made a trebuchet out of an old boom lift. It didn't work so well...
    • In the final season, the boys made a trebuchet out of duct tape (and lumber). Thanks to properly considered engineering, it worked a lot better.
  • Sigil Spam: Though it is probably more for legal reasons than anything else, MythBusters does this with just about every material they use that isn't gonna get blown up/crushed/shot in the next five minutes (by replacing that thing's logo/name with references to MythBusters). They even lampshade it every now and then:
    Adam: I only drink MythBusters brand cola!
  • Signature Headgear: Jamie's distinctive beret really makes him stand out in a crowd. As Adam mentioned in a behind-the-scenes special, "When we go out together, Jamie and I, I get recognized about twice as much as when I'm alone, because I might be that guy from that show, but he is without a doubt that guy from that show." Adam's fedora and cowboy hat also qualify, although they don't get nearly the attention that Jamie's beret does.
  • Similar to the Show: Product Placement has involved the Build Team "busting myths" for one of the show's sponsors at the start of a commercial break.
  • A Simple Plan: Several myths have proven far more difficult to test than they originally thought.
    • Despite the Plan: The MythBusters usually manage to pull it together and get a valid or workable result.
    • One example notable for its sheer improbability: the Build Team's attempts to test vodka as a cure for poison oak. In theory, it's a simple test: expose a person to poison oak, then use a commercial balm on one part of the affected area, vodka on another section, and leave a third area clear as a control. First they used Tory as a guinea pig. No rash. Then they tried Adam. Again, no rash. So they tried it on Grant. Yet again, no rash. As a result, they drafted three members of their production crew. Only one of the three (researcher John Hunt) actually got a rash. Five of six human guinea pigs did not respond to being exposed to poison oak (90% of the population being vulnerable). On top of that, Tory and Grant were previously known to be allergic, and yet failed to get a rash.note 
  • Simple, yet Awesome: During Water Stun Gun, they tested a significant number of water guns to see which one would be the best fit for adapting to build their stun gun, including an especially cheap-looking model that came two to a pack and wouldn't look out of place at a discount store. It was so basic that Jamie even commented on it. It wound up being the only one that worked for their purposes.
  • Sixth Ranger:
    • Jessi. She filled in for Kari, but was more Gearhead over Wrench Wench.
    • There's also their stable of frequently-contacted experts: former FBI agent Frank Doyle, Bomb Squad Sgt. J. D. Nelson, rocketry expert Erik Gates (may he Rest in Peace), Firearms expert Lt. Alan Normandy, and audio engineer Dr. Roger Schwenke. Series announcer Robert Lee is more of a Spirit Advisor: he explains all the myths and narrates the action and can only be heard by the audience (except when it would be funny for him to be an Interactive Narrator instead, usually with Adam). He also offers "advice" to the MythBusters, but because his narration recorded after the fact they tend to ignore it, often to their own peril.
  • Slap Yourself Awake: Proved true; slapping yourself sobers you up a bit.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Originally averted — in the first season there were only three regular cast members, namely Adam, Jamie and Heather Joseph-Witham. Then in the second and early third season there was actually an equal gender split, with Adam, Jamie, Kari, Scottie, Tory and Christine all appearing on a regular basis. Played straight since Scottie and Christine left however, with Kari (and, during her pregnancy, Jessi) being the only regular female cast member.
  • Solar-Powered Magnifying Glass: Three different times—2004, 2006, and 2010 at the request of President Barack Obama—the show tested the "Archimedes Death Ray". The legend holds that Archimedes once helped the Greeks fend off a Roman fleet by using mirrors to focus light from the sun, and thus setting fire to Roman ships. All three times the myth was busted, as the show determined that there is just no way for people holding mirrors to focus light well enough to set fire to a wooden ship.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: Used for both covering swearing and hiding the name of ingredients to dangerous substances.
    Kari: I add a half-ounce of *donkey noise* to a half-ounce of *rooster crow* slowly.
    Narrator: And when you add donkey to rooster, you get a violent reaction!
    • Lampshaded by Adam in "Hindenburg Disaster" on making thermite:
      Adam: This ingredient is made of blur. Ha! And this has blur in it too. Blur is very dangerous. You don't wanna mix blur with blur.
  • Space Whale Aesop:
    Adam: Remember, everyday objects can be made lethal if Jamie builds a cannon and shoots them at you.
  • Special Guest: Primarily athletes brought in for myths requiring their abilities, though other celebrities sometimes appear.
  • Spent Shells Shower: Any time automatic weapons are fired or semi-auto weapons are fired rapidly in Bullet Time, viewers will see spent brass flying/falling away, with the best example being the M134 minigun used in Shooting Fish In a Barrel and Cutting Down a Tree.
  • Spin-Off:
    • Head Rush, which ran on the Science Channel during daytime hours. It consisted of recut MythBusters episodes with the commercial breaks replaced with school-grade science quizzes and try-at-home experiments and was hosted by Kari, who was clearly there for Parent Service. Obviously aimed at a younger audience, it had more censorship, not just of language but also of the "how to make explosives" portions of the show, as well as, for some reason, the Product Placement.
    • Adam and Jamie also hosted Unchained Reaction, which showed teams making various Rube Goldberg Devices.
  • Square-Cube Law: Discussed previously in several other myths where they had to scale down miniatures based on size and mass, and explained during the Titanic myth by Adam (and earlier by Jamie for Lead Balloon).
  • Squick: In-universe:
    • Several myth tests involving animal parts have grossed out the cast, especially Kari.
    • The show's got a bad tendency to repeatedly show the cast getting hurt; in one test, Tory struck his shin on a window ledge hard enough to require several stitches, and the impact and his bloodstained jeans were shown over and over again.
    • One very funny example was in an episode where Grant and Tory took a long, fleshy object out of its container and began to examine it.
      Tory: Man, that is a long tendon.
      Kari: That's not a tendon.
      Grant: What is it?
      Kari: Penis.
      Tory: *drops it onto the table*
    • Few myths have been quite as revolting to watch as the human earwax candle, in part because of the nauseated reactions of the cast and crew (especially Grant, who nearly threw up). Grant has mentioned in a promo that he'll never forget the horrible smell of the earwax burning.
    • The "can you get the smell of death out of a car" episode where they left a pig carcass in a sports car long enough for it to thoroughly decompose. Everyone that worked on that was wearing protective clothing and respirators and they were still reeling from the smell (and the ammonia), and even people in buildings around the area were visibly disgusted by the stench.
    • Dissolving a pig carcass in supercharged sulfuric acid to test Walt White's preferred way to dispose of dead bodies. Jamie called the resulting black slop the most disgusting thing he's ever seen.
    • Despite using a synthetically created substance that mimics fecal matter (and in a teal color one would hope never to see in real feces), the "when poo hits the fan, everything gets covered" tests it was still rather unsettling to think what would happen if that was crap hitting the fan (especially since Adam describes one of the softer samples as being the same as "when [his] dog eats soft food"). Jamie also got into the art of creating neat little poo patties which...look like stereotypical poo piles.
    • During a promo, Tory mentioned that the refrigerator truck that was storing the ingredients for "Meat Man" had been turned off overnight, and that he had to build it using spoiled meat.
  • Start My Own:
    • Adam and Jamie try to start their own YouTube fad during the Diet Coke and Mentos myth. They fail, as none of their attempts are feasible and/or safe to do with stuff lying around the home.
    • Adam attempts to use a smoke bomb of Jamie's design to get revenge on Kari and Tory for their Baghdad Batteries stunt. He fails miserably, and winds up being chased off with a fire extinguisher.
  • Stealth Pun: In the final episode, when Adam prepares to drive a giant wedge through their entire collection of old props, "The Final Countdown" starts up. Since this was the last stunt they ever filmed for the show, it literally was the final countdown.
  • Stereotype Flip: Played with when tackling stories inspired by events occurring along the Mexican border with the United States; they typically would transplant the circumstances of the myth to the Canadian border in order to remain culturally sensitive. Most obvious with the "Border Slingshot" and "Driving in the Dark" myths.
  • Stock Footage: Very common in the early episodes, presumably to save money and pad out the length. It's become such a defining feature of the show that even though they can afford more expensive footage, they still use at least one piece of stock footage during the setup for each myth.
    • They usually rely on custom-made animation to demonstrate myths that came from television shows and movies, which they'll replay a few times during the episode. But either due to the budget or their reputation, they are increasingly being allowed to use the actual television and film clips in the show.
  • The Stoic: Jamie, with Stoic Spectacles for good measure. The most glaring example of such was during the Battle of the Sexes myth, where all five MythBusters had to be photographed while portraying different emotions. Jamie was thrown out as a subject because all his photos had the same neutral expression.
    Rob Lee: Coming next on MythBusters: Jamie's human emotion firmware requires an upgrade.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Some have joked that their methodology comes down to, "Let's try it again with 2 tons of TNT." Also, see Rule of Cool.
    Jamie: That's what we do here on MythBusters! We blow BLEEP up!
    Tory: It's MythBusters. We haven't had an explosion yet. So...
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Jessi Combs is a thin blonde, has some tattoos, is proficient in welding and vehicle mechanics, and even copied Scottie's shipping-container-into-ramp trick that she did for the 2nd attempt at the JATO Rocket Car myth.
  • Swivel-Chair Antics: Occurred a few times. The most famous, which was sampled in the intro in some episodes, involved Jamie using a pair of malamutes to pull him around the building. Not shown in the intro was the part where the chair snagged on a door frame and Jamie kept going.
  • Symbol Swearing: Invoked in the episode which tested whether or not swearing helps you tolerate pain. Since the show blurs lips to prevent lipreading, this would have caused the episode's video editing budget to go way, way up. To help prevent this, Adam build a "swear shield" covered in Symbol Swearing to cover up their mouths. "[Blur is expensive;] bleeps are cheap!"
  • Tap on the Head: Averted when they tested whether hitting somebody in the head with an empty beer bottle was more dangerous than a full one. The least you would get would be a nasty concussion and lacerations from the broken glass. However, in the case of the full beer bottle, if it doesn't cave in your skull, you could still suffer catastrophic brain damage. Their initial testing showed that even hitting someone who was wearing a football helmet over the head with a beer bottle was too dangerous for them to do for real.
  • Tastes Like Chicken: Busted. Tory and Grant had a blind taste test, and each were able to successfully determine what was and wasn't chicken.
  • Tattoo as Character Type: Both Scottie and Jessi are experienced mechanics and welders, traditionally a male dominated field, and carry a good number of tattoos to show for it. Scottie's tattoos were also referenced in an experiment about iron-heavy tattoo ink exploding in an MRI.
  • Taught by Experience: "Failure is always an option."
    • More specifically, it's clear that every Mythbuster has become a crack shot after working on the show. Gun myths in early seasons tend to involve clamping the gun down and calibrating it exactly with a laser to make sure it's on target. In later seasons, they just shoot the guns themselves.
    • At one point, they skip calculating terminal velocity, simply stating they remember it from all the other times they've dropped Buster off something 10 stories high.
  • Taught by Television: The MythBusters have spoken of being told by fans that things they've learned through watching the show have come in handy. One of the more commonly cited examples of this is people managing to escape from cars after accidents where they ended up in the water.
  • Team Power Walk: Most episodes usually end this way, with Adam and Jamie and/or Kari, Grant, and Tory walking away from the smoldering aftermath of their main event myth.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: One might imagine that they are Heterosexual Life-Partners, but both Adam and Jamie have said that they don't like each other and don't spend any time together outside of work. On occasion, especially in the early episodes, this comes through onscreen. In the 10/19/2011 episode (Exuberent Excavators) Adam came flat out and said "We work together well but we don't like each other." In a clip filmed in 2016, he mentioned that he and Jamie "drive each other batty" and that they wouldn't be collaborating on any more projects.
    • Subverted in that the resentment and suppressed emotion typical of this trope are absent. Adam and Jamie have always been frank about not getting along outside of work, but have also made it clear that they respect one another immensely as coworkers and professional collaborators. Their not being friends is exactly that, nothing more or less, and there's no indication that they actively dislike each other or hold anything against the other. They're just not compatible socially.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • One example of this happens while preparing to retest "Knock Your Socks Off". They need to see whether socks come off a smooth leg easier than a hairy leg, and to that end Tory is having one of his legs waxed.
      Kari: (applying the wax) How's that feel?
      Tory: (moments before having the hairs yanked out of his leg without benefit of anesthesia) It actually feels kinda good. What's so bad about waxing?
    • Happens twice in a row when testing if a gun dropped into hot frying oil will go off. First they drop the gun into 390 degree oil, but it doesn't go off within 15 seconds as they expect. After two minutes of waiting:
      Adam: Are you sure there's a bullet in there?
      Jamie: Yes, there's- *bang*
    • Then they put the gun into cold oil and start heating it. When it reaches 340 degrees:
      Adam: Okay, we'd better start paying atten- *bang*
  • Testing Range Mishap: Given the nature of the show, this is a common occurrence. One such incident with the Build Team resulted in a cannonball being launched beyond the bomb range and hitting a house miles away, which got the whole crew banned from the bomb range for a year.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Their motto: "If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing."
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Tory's reaction whenever he gets volunteered for a potentially painful or dangerous test.
  • Three Plus Two: Inverted. It started with Adam and Jamie, and then added the Power Trio build team.
  • Tim Taylor Technology: Let's about the time Jamie built a "Microwave of Death" by combining the magnetrons from six different microwaves? Or the time they made a car fly using high pressure water...Jamie turned it up and up until he reached the limit of what the pumping substation could supply. Grant's superhuman sword-swinging machine, or his punching robot.
  • Title Drop: "Who are the MythBusters?"
    • There are also title drops for individual myths. No Pain, No Gain has "But you know what they say? No pain, no gain.". And that's just one out of many.
  • Token Religious Teammate: Tory, despite his rather goofy, airheaded nature, is actually the only Christian out of all five of the main crew.
  • Tough Beetles: While testing the Trope that Cockroaches Will Rule the Earth, the team subjected 3 bugs to high levels of radiation to see how well they tolerated it. The 3 bugs were fruit flies, cockroaches, and flour beetles. While the fruit flies died off quickly, and cockroaches only survived the low and medium radiation doses, a few flour beetles did survive the high dosage.
  • Tough Room: Most of the time when Adam's being silly in the presence of Jamie (especially in the blueprint room), Jamie will express either indifference or annoyance at Adam's antics, sometimes punctuated by a very loud cricket. Most of the time.
  • Trapped in a Sinking Car: Episode Underwater Car and Inverted Underwater Car successfully test that cabin doors cannot be opened from the inside once a car has plunged into water. One has to wait for the pressure differential between the inside and outside to stabilize, which can take until the cabin is filled to the brim.
  • Trash the Set: Although it occasionally suffers collateral damage, M5 Industries has never been deliberately destroyed- it is, after all, Jamie's place of business. But the Mythbusters do their best to honor the trope in the series finale, lining up 14 years worth of props from various tests and having Adam drive truck right through them.
  • Tropes of the Living Dead: October 2013 saw the MythBusters tackle several Zombie Apocalypse related myths.
    • Brain Food: What their zombies are after. They even get some red jello brains at the end of the episode. (In an educational "short" partway through the episode, Tory notes that this is actually a misconception about most zombies; most zombies actually hunger for any kind of human flesh.)
    • Everything's Deader with Zombies: The whole point of the episode.
    • Incongruously-Dressed Zombie: In the zombie special, while they're testing whether humans can outrun a zombie horde, the camera lingers briefly on a zombie extra in a wedding dress. There's also one wearing military camo - in fact, it's the one who catches Tory pretending to be one of them.
    • Our Zombies Are Different: The MythBusters had to lay down ground rules as to just what kind of zombies the extras were supposed to play: slow speed, no intelligence.
    • Pretend We're Dead: Tory tries this. It even works. For a little while.
    • Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: Jamie and Adam both try this to determine which zombie defense weapon type is better: ax or shotgun.
    • Room Full of Zombies: All of the myths use this.
    • Zombie Gait: An enforced slow shuffle is required of all the volunteer zombies.
  • True Companions: The MythBusters are this. Adam has even acknowledged it during a Q&A session.
  • Truth in Television: The underlying point of the show.
  • Turbine Blender: In one of the earlier seasons, they confirmed that an aircraft propeller could shred a metal airplane fuselage like so much paper.
    • When they decided to test whether a lawn mower could produce lethal debris when striking rocks, Jamie decided to take a lawn mower up to eleven. 4 X 50 horsepower electric car motors + a 90-volt, 1500 Amp battery + a 50 pound, 3 foot x 8 inch steel bar = mower blade dancing across the range at 50+ MPH, looking for ankles to eat.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Usually the show intercuts between two (or more) myths, one worked on by Adam and Jamie, the other worked on by The Build Team with some minor crossovers here and there. Occasionally they'll team up and tackle one epic myth together.
  • Unaffected by Spice: The team tested if chilis and other spicy concoctions would be effective shark repellent (based on a myth that indigenous seafarers would string them around their boats to prevent attacks). It ended up busted because of this; chilis evolved their spiciness to counter land-based grazers, not sea-based predators, and thus the capsaicin within the chilis was completely ineffective against the sharks.
  • Undercrank: Used at times to indicate something happening over a long period of time, or the silver-on-blue doodles introducing each myth.
  • Uncanny Valley: Pops up with a vengeance during the Latex Perfection myth, where both Adam and Jamie attempt to disguise themselves as each other using rubber masks. Up close, people can see right through the charade due to how deep they fall into this trope invoked.
  • Urban Legends: Testing them is kinda the point of the show.
    • Not so much in later seasons, as a lot of the classic ULs aren't really testable. (How do you test something like "The Hook" or "Blue Star Acid"?)
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: Even though the MythBusters themselves busted the myth that goldfish have a memory that lasts only 3 seconds, they do seem to believe their viewers have very short memory spans. Over the course of an episode, the viewer is constantly reminded of what myth the team is testing and how they are testing it. (Which is partly the producers and directors' fault, but also partly justified in that it lets viewers who tuned in late know what's going on.)
    • Then there are the repetitions of "ballistics gel is similar to human flesh". Although it's just about reasonable to mention it every episode that uses ballistics gel, to inform any new viewers, the sometimes multiple repetitions in a single episode can sometimes get tedious.
    • Lampshaded by Adam in "Killer Cable Snap" at the beginning of a segment: "The myth we've been testing, in case you haven't been paying attention..."
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Adam becomes seasick multiple times, and such shots (with the actual vomiting only occasionally blurred out) are naturally shown to remind the viewers whenever Adam is about to go out on the water.
    • Whenever Grant goes for a spin in the motion-sickness test chair, this is guaranteed to occur at least once.
  • Warts and All: The show has no problem showing when the MythBusters screw up or do something ridiculous. However, it gets taken even further in the "Behind the Scenes" special; the announcer even used the trope name to describe it.
  • Washy Watchy: A dishwasher and not a clothes washer, but a similar scenario happens when Adam, Jamie, and Alton Brown try to cook a lasagna using the pots and pans cycle. Adam and Alton agree that the noise is worth the visuals.
  • Water Torture: The team tested the Chinese water torture in one episode, restraining and racking Kari while leaving Adam unrestrained as a control subject. After an hour or so, poor Kari was so rattled the team called a halt early; they declared it plausible and too dangerous to go for full confirmation. Interestingly, Adam actually found the experience of feeling cold water and quiet time surprisingly pleasant, leading him to hypothesize that the stress of the "torture" comes more from the restraint than the water itself.
  • Weirdness Coupon: Nobody bats an eye at whatever weird things these guys do, because they're the MythBusters and they do weird things.
    Jamie: Did you get any looks driving a truck full of pig corpses around?
    Adam: A few people did slow down and stare; then they looked in the cabin, and went "Oh. It's just MythBusters."
  • Wham Episode: The aforementioned announcement of Kari, Grant and Tory's departure.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?:
  • Where's the Kaboom?: There's a very good chance of this coming up during a myth if explosives are used at some point. It's pointed out that this can be one of the worst things that can happen because it's unknown whether or not the kaboom will happen any second, making it unsafe to approach the area to determine what's going wrong.
    • Subverted in a couple times, when it turned out that the amount of explosives the myth called for resulted in a boom so miniscule it wasn't even noticeable. ("Sorry, Houston; we didn't have a problem.") In one of these cases, it was played distressingly straight later that same episode. ("Ah, Houston, me again. This time we really do have a problem.")
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
    • Adam goes on the ocean to test myths an awful lot for someone subject to violent seasickness.
    • Adam "volunteered" to get himself bitten by Daddy Long-legs spiders despite his supposed arachnophobia (though the very fact that he allowed this to happen so readily makes him having actual arachnophobia highly unlikely). Interestingly, the next time Adam was confronted with spiders (tarantulas this time!) he said he'd gotten over his "phobia" of them since the Daddy Long-legs myth.
    • In the Self-Hypnosis myth, Adam was forced to put his hand in a box of bees twice to see if self-hypnosis could cure him from his fear of bees. It didn't, but a later myth involving bees actually helped him a bit, thanks in part to the beekeeping outfit he was wearing for that one and some time spent testing with a single bee; he was less nervous around the bees the second time. Perhaps something similar happened with his earlier arachnophobia.
    • In another episode, Kari forces Grant to sit blindfolded with his feet in a bucket with live fish, because of his intense fear of them (they were testing driving performance under stress).
      • Grant's phobia was also on display when they were testing whether splashing around attracts sharks. Tory and Grant were the guinea pigs and each had to either float calmly or splash around. When it was Grant's turn to splash around, he was visibly fearful and screaming for his life, especially when "IT JUST TOUCHED ME!"
    • Acrophobe Jamie spent most of the Hammer Drop myth on top of a crane, or jumping off a building in "Dumpster Dive", or walking across a wobbly bridge made of duct tape.
    • Invoked with Kari, a pescetarian who finds the very sight of meat repulsive (except when she was pregnant, when she reportedly couldn't get enough of her mother's beef stew). Naturally, whenever testing a myth involves sheep heads/animal guts/pig stomachs/slabs of meat, Kari has to be present.
    • To test the myth about "Cold Feet", the Build Team were deliberately exposed to their greatest fears. Tory was put in a stunt plane, Grant had tarantulas dumped all over his face, and Kari was forced to eat live insects.
    • Grant actually explains this in the Top 25 Mythbuster Moments Special. The producers intentionally do it, since their reactions make for good TV.
      Grant: [on the producers] They find your weakness. And they keep exploiting it! They push it! Like a li'l button!
  • Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Grant has used this exact line a few times, and the narrator has sometimes referred to the the MythBusters' insurance premiums being high because of all the destruction they cause in the course of testing myths.
  • Wildlife Commentary Spoof:
    • Adam ribbing on Jamie by narrating sightings of "the wild Hyneman" is a Running Gag. Lampshaded by Jamie once: "Is he doing the David Attenborough thing again?"
    • Grant also did it once (with Tory as the target) when testing the myth of the "sand necktie".
    • While guiding a big ballistics gel block through a swimming pool:
      Adam: Now, the box jellyfish is one of the most lethal foes you'll encounter in your average swimming pool. They prefer temperatures between 79 and 82 degrees, and they give a nasty sting. If you see one, just swim in the other direction, and remember: he's just as afraid of you.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: Spoofed in the Superhero Hour, when Adam announced that they were testing a myth related to... Nocturnal-Echolocating-Flying-Mammal-Man.
    Jamie: ...Batman.
    Adam: Yeah. Shhhhh!
    • See Brand X above for straight examples.
  • Wolverine Claws: Made by Kari for the myth of a kid being carried away by balloons, as well as the Duct Tape Plane.
  • Wrench Wench: Kari and Scottie, in a real-world incarnation. While Kari was on maternity leave, Jessi Combs worked with Grant and Tory. From her bio, it looks like she qualifies for this trope as well.
  • Wunza Plot: Adam and Jamie. One's an energetic funny guy, one's a stoic techy guy; they Bust Myths.
  • X Meets Y:invoked
    • Adam himself describes the show as "Jackass meets Mr. Wizard".
    • During the "black powder line to the powder keg" explosion myth, Adam described "I like to live my life part as a cartoon character, part as an action hero, and this explosion satisfied both aspects of my personality."
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: "Ye Oldie Times"
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: In an early episode Adam was working on the Chicken Cannon that involved welding a 4 ft. tall pipe standing vertically on what will become the tank for holding the air pressure. Adam paused for a moment to adjust his glasses and a piece came off and fell into the pipe. Adam just stared bemused into the narrow tube, then at the camera, then back to the tube.
    • Twice in the first Battle of the Sexes episode; For context: They're testing whether men or women are better at packing a car, and one of the items to be packed is a doll in a booster seat representing a child.
      Jamie:(seeing the doll buried under a mountain of luggage) You've gotta be kidding!
      Kari:(seeing the doll still outside the car) Really? You forgot the baby?!
    • When Kari tried to fool a motion detector with a bedsheet, this was their reaction when it worked perfectly.


Video Example(s):


Mythbusters Air Duct Climb

Can Jamie successfully sneak through the air duct without making a sound?

How well does it match the trope?

4.93 (27 votes)

Example of:

Main / AirVentPassageway

Media sources: