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Series / World's Most Amazing Videos

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Tonight, on The World's Most Amazing Videos...

These are the incredible true-life stories of people who faced their most desperate hour, and lived to tell about it. Everything you are about to see is real - real people, real danger, real excitement. Get ready to experience the thrill of a lifetime. You are about to witness... The World's Most Amazing Videos.
— Introduction

World's Most Amazing Videos is a program, initially broadcast on NBC and later on Spike TV, that showcases accidents, disasters, and other extraordinary events captured on camera. It is similar in content to shows like Real TV and Maximum Exposure, but employs a more serious tone. Seasons 1-4 are narrated by Stacy Keach, while the fifth season is narrated by Erik Thompson, with Don LaFontaine serving as announcer in the opening, closing, and interstitial segments. The first four seasons feature multiple random clips in each episode, while the fifth has episodes focusing on a particular theme.

The World's Most Amazing Tropes:

  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: A frequent subject of the clips is incidents brought on by intoxication or just general rowdiness.
    • The fifth-season episode "Wasted, Reckless, and Out of Control" is dedicated entirely to this theme. Among the clips featured are a severely intoxicated man in Florida attempting to do tricks with his skateboard and instead hitting the concrete and knocking himself out, drunken college students in South Carolina streaking, and a drunken man in Vancouver performing flips off a parked police van.
    • One of the more egregious cases featured on the show involves several giant loading cranes in Moscow collapsing, which is later revealed to have been the result of the workers drinking vodka on the job.
  • Batter Up!: Season 4 episode 1, a store clerk keeps a bat behind the counter as a precaution and successfully uses it to chase away a crook. Another man chases down a carjacker with one.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Usually subverted but in one case a bride was sent flying after the horse-and-cart she was riding in tipped over. Not only was she completely unhurt but the groom noted that she didn't even have a mark on her dress.
  • Construction Vehicle Rampage: In Season 2 Episode 4, a front end loader is used to smash open the wall of a Danish prison, thus allowing thirteen inmates to escape.
  • Determinator: Season 2 episode 8, a young cheerleader named Andrea suffered a misfortune when her front teeth were knocked out by another girl during a competition. Heroically, and despite the pain, she continued the whole routine without a missing a beat and insisted upon finishing the performance, despite her two coaches being perfectly willing to pull out, because she didn't think it would be fair on the rest of the team.
  • Explosive Stupidity: Another recurring theme in the series is improper, reckless, or otherwise poorly handled usage of explosives.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: Season 1 episode 1, two clerks in a liquor store make use of the stock around them to drive away a robber.
  • Heroic Bystander: A great many examples show people risking their own lives to save complete strangers.
    • Season 1 episode 10, 200 farmers come to help when a little boy falls down a water pipe, digging to the bottom and one of them volunteering to be lowered down to pull him out.
    • In episode 11 an unlikely hero in the shape of a pizza delivery man comes to the aid of an officer pursing a fleeing suspect by swerving in front of him.
  • He's Okay: Racetrack announcers usually if the person is standing up and unharmed. Other times, if the person is on a stretcher, they will just inform the crowd that the person has been removed from the car.
  • Honorable Elephant: The elephant is a considered a revered and beloved animal in Thailand. When one gets stuck in mud, an entire village comes to try and save it.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Season 1 episode 10, one robber points a gun in a clerk's face... only for it to go off at point-blank range. Had the gun been pointing one inch lower he would have killed her.
  • Mama Bear: Season 4, episode 8, a fugitive driving the wrong way down a freeway slams into a woman in her car. Her baby daughter was in the backseat. The enraged mother then got out the car, hit his window and yelled at him. Stacy Keach even notes during the clip that the guy seems more frightened of her than armed police.
  • Man on Fire: For his 29th birthday, New Zealand stuntman Jody Hooker performs a stunt known as the "Human A-Bomb" in which he douses himself in gasoline and sets himself on fire, protected by a flame-retardant gel. Unfortunately, rather than use his usual stunt crew, he has a bunch of partygoers with no experience in pyrotechnics prepare him for the stunt. The result is that too much gasoline is applied, causing the fire to burn more intensely than intended and Hooker nearly getting himself killed by the flames.
  • Nobody Can Die: Usually played straight, though there are a few tragic exceptions such as the Ramstein air show disaster.
  • No One Could Survive That!: As indicated in the intro, the subjects of the clips usually survive their ordeals, even in the most improbable circumstances.
  • Oh, Crap!: A rescuer's face when he asks Chris Ray, just rescued from floodwaters, if there was anyone else with him. Chris replies, "Forty." Forty teenagers, evacuated on a school bus which then submerged, forcing them all to climb the trees for safety, while floodwaters are rapidly rising, and there is only one chopper to airlift them all to safety...
  • The Precarious Ledge: Often in cases of apartment fires, people are unable to make it out of their rooms and have to lean out of windows or in some cases climb out onto the window sills to keep from choking on smoke.
  • Shoplift and Die: As in the case with the clerk with the baseball bat, many store owners wisely keep guns or defensive weapons behind the counter and have had to use them to defend themselves.
  • The Show Must Go On: In season four, during a show in Moscow, the acrobats and dancers carry on performing as the stage catches fire (the ringmaster attempting to stamp out the flames while dancing). Only when members of the audience start fleeing their seats - by which time the stage is almost completely engulfed - do they abandon the performance.
  • Tap on the Head: Many bicycle or skating accidents involve concussions. Very rarely does the person not have to go to hospital afterwards.
  • The Tooth Hurts: Skateboarders, rollerbladers and bikers get a good few teeth knocked out if they land on their face. One unlucky cheerleader got her two front teeth knocked out when another girl accidentally elbowed her in the face.
  • Tuck and Cover: Australian teenager Mandy Radford was knocked unconscious during an air show when an ultra-light plane took off without its pilot into a crowd of spectators. Her grandfather rushed in and lay on top of her to shield her until it stopped.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend:
    • In season 4 a racer gets into a fight with his rival and gets overwhelmed. His wife rushes in, starts pulling people off him and has to be held back after punching one of the men in the face.
    • Gender-flipped with Mayor Peter Sica, who had been taking a heckler's personal insults with relative calm. However, when the man called his wife a whore, he was infuriated.
    Peter Sica: Let me tell you something, you son of a bitch, I'll knock you flat on your damn ass!
    • Also gender-flipped and combined with Papa Wolf with heavyweight boxer Larry Holmes, who refused to fight Trevor Berbick, leading Berbick to try to shame him into a grudge match. Initially, Holmes refused to take the bait — until Berbick decided to insult his wife and children, resulting in Holmes unleashing a can of whup-ass on Berbick and attacking him.
  • You Are in Command Now: During the sinking of The Oceanos, most the crew and captain having abandoned ship, the entertainment staff were left to organise the evacuation of the passengers and radio for help. Eventually they made contact with the nearby captain of a ship.
    Moss: He says to me, you know, "What rank are you?" so I said to him, "I'm not a rank, I'm a guitarist." And he just says, "What are you doing on the bridge?" And I said, "Well, there's nobody else here."