Oddities is a show produced by the Discovery Channel about the owners, clientele and merchandise of Obscura: Antiques and Oddities in Manhattan. Owners Mike Zohn and Evan Michelson with buyer Ryan Matthew have turned their interest in old scientific instruments, taxidermy, circuses and sideshows, Victoriana, skeletons and innumerable other strange and peculiar things into a thriving, if unusual business. Episodes often center around the pursuit of an item a collector may want and often includes visits from the colorful, interesting, unusual, possibly insane people that wander into the store.
This show exhibits the following tropes:
- Bad Date: Ryan meets the beautiful bone artist Monique and plans a romantic evening. Dinner, a meeting with another bone artist and his flesh eating beetles, what could possibly go wrong? On their second date, they mummify frogs.
- Continuity Nod: In an early episode, the shop buys a whale's earbone from a customer who thought it was a baby skull. In a later episode, Mike and Evan visit their attorney - who is using the whale earbone as a paperweight.
- Collector of the Strange: Conjoined twin pigs in a jar anyone? How about an articulated skeleton? Or would you be interested in this bottle of ground testicles?
- Eccentric Townsfolk: Of Manhattan. There is the former mortician/fashion model, the man who paints using his own blood as the medium and the contortionist to name just a few.
- Kitsch Collection: Depending on your definition of Kitsch.
- Museum of the Strange and Unusual: Again, reliant on the definition of Strange and Unusual.
- My Name Is Not Shazam: Tourists seeking the Real Life shop should be reminded its name is "Obscura", not "Oddities".
- Science Show: Owners Evan and Mike know a lot about old medical techniques, embalming, taxidermy and related topics and are willing to share that information.
- Watershed: Two versions of a holiday promo for this show were shot for December 2012, with the cast singing alternate lyrics to "Deck The Halls". The pre-Watershed version ends with the display of a formalin-preserved trachea; the post-Watershed version ends with the display of a mummified penis.