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Hot questions and even hotter wings!
"Y'know what, Sean? Sean?...You go to hell."

What's going on, everybody? For TV Tropes, I'm Sean Evans, and you're reading about Hot Ones. It's the show with hot questions and even hotter wings!

Running on YouTube since 2014, Hot Ones is one of your more unique celebrity interview shows. Guests are offered a succession of ten increasingly spicy wings, and they have to answer each question to the best of their ability as their mouths light up. Some cry, some have to take a lap, a few have puked (off-camera, thank goodness), and at least one had an accident. Most take advantage of the lack of censorship. But most make it through, lest they join the likes of Ricky Gervais and DJ Khaled in the Hall of Shame.

Sean Evans has been the resident Dungeon Master since the show's inception, dabbing and suffering along with the guests. The channel hit a million subscribers in 2017, which it celebrated by inviting superfan Brett Baker to grill Sean. Sean also appears in other videos for First We Feast and their parent site, Complex. Peppers, however, are never too far behind him...

In 2020, Sean hosted Hot Ones: The Game Show, which gave players a chance to win up to $25,000 by answering trivia questions and eating wings cooked in steadily hotter sauces.

A Recap page is under construction.


  • Acquired Poison Immunity: Since Sean has to eat these incredibly hot wings every single week, he's grown accustomed to them—which, combined with an already-formidable tolerance to spicy food, means that many episodes feature celebrities practically breathing fire while Sean calmly asks them questions. Some guests, like Key & Peele, have lampshaded this.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: As part of the promotion for Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Puss in Boots himself becomes the first fully animated guest of the show (complete with Antonio Banderas providing his voice for the character).
  • Ascended Fanboy:
    • The legendary Brett Baker, creator of the Hot Ones Power Rankings and the subject of a magnificent serenade by Russell Brand, interviewed Sean to celebrate Hot Ones reaching one million subscribers.
    • Increasingly common among even the regular big-name guests, as folks like Paul Rudd, Maisie Williams, and Kristen Stewart mention being fans at the start of their episodes.
  • Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce: The whole point of the show: celebrities eat increasingly hot wings as they're interviewed, starting with something very mild and ending with a Hot Ones-branded sauce that's on par with the Carolina Reaper, if not worse.
  • Bring My Brown Pants:
    • Bobby Lee had a little...accident. The look on Sean's face as he realizes that is absolute gold.
    • "Stone Cold" Steve Austin talks about how during a match against Yokozuna, he had got slammed down and ended up crapping himself. To him, he's just glad he was wearing black. He gives Yoko the "go home" sign to finish the match so he can shower.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander:
    • Eric Andre was a whole new level of crazy, smashing bottles and pitchers over his head and dropping Breathless Non Sequiturs left and right.
    • Russell Brand as well, because of course.
  • Cluster F-Bomb:
    • Naturally with Gordon Ramsay in the Season 8 premiere. When he returns to the show for the 2021 holiday fundraiser, it turns out they counted how many: 134.
    • *NSYNC attempted to top it with Joey Fatone rapidly saying "Fuck" and was soon joined by the others going as rapidly as possible.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Gordon Ramsay having everything from Pepto Bismol, donuts, and lemon and lime juice to fight off the burn. Tragically, it appears to only marginally improve things for him, as based on his reflexive cursing, it still really hurts. For his return in the Christmas Extravaganza he brought a whole sack of gifts, including a giant jar of peanut butter, a mini fire extinguisher and some premium wings more up to his culinary standards.
  • Crossover:
  • The Dreaded: The infamous Da Bomb: Beyond Insanity hot sauce has earned itself this reputation as the longest-lasting hot sauce on the show. First off is the obvious warning sign: The label is a nuke with a radiation symbol on it. This is the first thing most guests notice upon realizing they just made a huge mistake. Second is the chemistry behind it. At roughly 135,000 SHU, from a chemical analysis, it's hardly the hottest hot sauce on the table and is usually on wing #8. However, what it doesn't specify is that a significant volume of it contains pepper extract, which is awfully bitter, tastes terrible, is extremely painful, and doesn't register on the Scoville scale. By taste alone, its Scoville scale would end up somewhere between two and five million. End result? It nearly always trips the guests up, leading to plenty of coughing, grunting, screaming, and cursing. As Charlize Theron said it, putting it in the middle of the pack is basically just a "dick move." Some of the more hilarious reaction include:
    • Shaquille O'Neal smugly looking down on Kansas (Da Bomb's place of birth), before very quickly apologizing and proceeding to have a complete Freak Out, which included drinking a jug of milk, sucking on ice cubes, and asking for "Ice cube Chapstick."
    • Idris Elba cooly biting into it, then coughing for 15 seconds straight followed by a meek "Holy shit."
    • Gordon Ramsay leaking out of every hole in his body.
    • Terry Crews and Charlize Theron hallucinating.
    • Russell Brand ascending to a new level of consciousness.
    • Bill Burr cursing out Sean, coughing, and caught somewhere between hallucinating and spacing in-and-out of consciousness.
    • Keegan-Michael Key damn near losing his mind.
    • Ken Jeong immediately tells Sean "Fuck you, Sean" before contorting himself in pain.
    • Matthew McConaughey actually handles it well at first, simply grunting from the throat irritation. After a bit of a delayed reaction though, it very visibly kicks his ass as he jumps back and simultaneously laughs and coughs up a storm.
    • Kristen Stewart has a bite, declares that it's fine, remarks that she always thinks that things are worse than they're going to be, and sits back for the next question...and then, while Sean asks it, a thoughtful look comes over her face, and then she frowns, shakes her head, and smirks, and says "Oh, you motherfucker. It is bad." She spends the next several moments visibly distracted by the pain.
    • Kevin James has a similar delayed reaction, taking another bite out of his wing before it hits him. While Unaffected by Spice, he compares the taste to "frozen dog poop with hot sauce on it", and pauses a bit before declaring that he doesn't know who he is at the moment. Notably, Da Bomb was the only sauce to get any significant reaction out of him.
    • Andrew Rea had prior experience with the sauce, and he attempted to prepare by dripping candle wax onto his tongue a la Homer Simpson. It didn't help in any significant way, and he describes it as "sadistic" and that it "just wants to hurt you".
    • Jon Bernthal, having seen a bunch of episodes of the show before coming on himself, kind of prepares himself, yet is still punished upon the first bite. Jon typically doesn't like swearing outside of film and series roles, so he goes out of his way to ask Sean permission to swear up a storm.
    • Millie Bobby Brown flips off Sean after taking a bite.
    • Jennifer Lawrence genuinely sobs in pain from Da Bomb after being thoroughly composed for the rest of the episode.
    • *NSYNC: Justin asks Sean why this is a thing, Chris is livid anyone can even speak, Lance's face is on fire, and Joey is coughing, drooling, and calls himself dumb. Meanwhile, JC timidly comments that he's okay, prompting Chris to tell him to shut up.
    • John Oliver described it as "not the worst thing humanity's ever done, but part of our worst instincts" and brought it up again near the end of the show as an example of the kind of really bad thing he's had to live through on his own show.
  • Eye Scream: Discussed. Near the end, due to the effect of stronger spices making people tear up, Sean has to warn contestants to "Be careful around the eyes" once they start trying to wipe their eyes. Fortunately, everyone listened and no one had to find out the hard way what Da Bomb feels like in their eyes.
    • Steve-O closed his second episode by pouring a bottle of his own hot sauce brand directly into one of his eyes...after chugging most of it straight.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Terry Crews declares that he and Sean are friends forever after making it through the ordeal of all ten wings.
  • Freak Out: Most guests have one as the sauces get spicier.
  • Groin Attack: As Gordon Ramsay discovered the hard way, not washing your hands between eating hot wings and using the restroom tends to result in this. He spends the rest of that last segment hunched over in pain.
  • Hiccup Hijinks:
    • As the wings progressively got hotter, Bob Saget gets stricken with a case of the hiccups. He notes that this always happens to him whenever he eats spicy foods.
    • Both Rhett & Link end up getting the hiccups simultaneously.
    • Trevor Noah gets the hiccups at the very end of his episode, and he remarks that he's a little freaked out since, according to him, he never hiccups.
    • Like Bob Saget, Jimmy Kimmel noted he's prone to hiccups when eating spicy foods, then almost as if on cue, they arrived seconds later.
  • Hidden Depths: More often than not Sean asks very well-researched and very in-depth questions about his guests, which can often take them by surprise, considering the show's format. Often they expect to be asked softball questions, believing the real appeal of the show is to see them in pain when, in fact, the appeal of the show is them being forced to actually give well-thought-out answers while in pain.
  • Improbable Antidote: The usual water and milk are provided to guests, but they are more than welcome to bring their own remedies, and a wide variety have shown up on the show. You have some of the standard ones like bread and alcohol, but then you have weird ones like Gordon Ramsay bringing Pepto Bismol (among other things) and Anthony Mackie shaking off Da Bomb using corn chips. In Aubrey Plaza's case, she uses the milk by snorting it up her nose - and it apparently works.
  • No. Just... No: Let's just say that Jenna Ortega took great offense to the idea of green peas being mixed in guacamole.
    Jenna Ortega: Fuck that. It's like - it's not even controver- that's obviously incorrect.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Besides reacting this way to the different sauces, this is also the usual reaction as Sean shakes up the last bottle before telling them about the last dab.
      Andy Cohen: *as Sean shakes the bottle* What are you doing? Why are you doing that?
    • Steve Austin had an "Oh, Crap!" moment and had to call a break when he realized the hot sauce was driving his heart rate through the roof.
    • In general, seeing the label of Da Bomb will be the point where most contestants know they're screwed.
  • Once per Episode:
    • The opening tag
    • "Now, the first one's Sriracha. Sriracha's no big deal." (At least until it was phased out as the easiest sauce at the start of season 4)
    • Explain that 'Gram (and, usually, "Laptop, please!")
    • Adding an extra dab of the hottest sauce to the final wing, described by Sean as "tradition." Although Sean says they don't have to, most guests buckle and do it.
      • Sean shaking the bottle of said sauce before the last dab.
    • "This camera, this camera, or this camera - let the people know what you've got going on in your life!"
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: Pops up more than once, and on both sides, in the Jeff Goldblum episode due to his being one of the older stars to participate. Goldblum's surprised that Sean doesn't know the theme song from The Greatest American Hero or who Danny Kaye was, while Sean has to clarify to Goldblum what it means when people refer to the latter as a "zaddy" online and explain hip-hop slang to him. The Stinger of the episode boils down to Goldblum explaining to Sean who James Caan is and from there Sonny Corleone.
  • Screaming Warrior: Terry Crews screams at the top of his lungs to psyche himself up and work through the pain as he gets through the last few wings.
  • Share the Male Pain: Sean moans in audible sympathy pain when Gordon Ramsay describes that he made the mistake of touching his crotch to pee without washing the spice off his hands first.
  • Shown Their Work: The show is famous for how much research is done on each guest, with everyone having hours of work put into sorting through their most obscure interviews or mentions online so that Sean can bring up unexpected questions; this aids in the casual and open feel of the show, as guests who famously dislike interviewers that seem unconcerned with them as a person (like Kristen Stewart) become much more honest and willing to speak personally. More than once, a guest has been surprised to hear something brought up.
  • The Stoic: There have been several guests who've made it through without (or at least barely) breaking a sweat. Alton Brown even went so far as to casually critique and rank the sauces, including tossing one bottle in the trash (though he did make sure to coat his tongue in milk before eating the hottest wing).
    • It's worth keeping in mind that some guests take only a single bite of each wing, others eat the whole thing, while some barely nibble. Sean Evans expressed in a separate interview that he has no problem with guests eating the wings however they like, but he finds it lame when guests come on who barely touch the wings and then say things like, "Easy," "Not even hot," etc.
    • This trope is discussed onscreen in the Jeff Goldblum appearance at the end of Season 6 — Goldblum admits upfront that he's going to nibble because he's been instructed by his voice doctor to avoid spicy foods, and asks if that's cheating. Sean notes, "It's not the Olympics; the people seem to respect the people who commit a little bit more to the wings, but you know what, what do you have to prove?" Goldblum then admits he's not stoic or competitive, so he's willing to risk the Wall of Shame instead of pretending he's something he's not. He avoids the Wall.
  • The Stoner: Many have joined Sean at the table. Some are pros, others...less so.
  • Tempting Fate: Many guests have gotten cocky and declared how unimpressed they are with the sauces... only for a particularly harsh burn to catch them off guard moments (or even seconds) later. Joe Budden, Billie Eilish and Shaq are notable examples.
    Shaq: Where you be gettin' all this stuff from?
    Sean: That's from Kansas.
    Shaq: [smirks right into the camera] Kansas don't know how to do no hot wings. [takes a couple of bites, and quickly makes an Oh, Crap! face] ...Oh. I apologize, Kansas. [immediately reaches for the milk]
  • Unaffected by Spice: While episodes where the guests have extreme reactions to the wings make for great viewing, it's just as entertaining when a guest makes it through all 10 wings without hesitation:
    • Guy Fieri not only didn't appear to even break a sweat, when the episode was over, he casually noted as he was about to walk off the set that he didn't touch his water or his milk, which floored Sean when he noticed the differences in his glasses and Guy's.
    • Henry Rollins admits at the beginning of his appearance that he's "not a hot food person at all," and then proceeds to eat all ten wings while only barely wincing. He responds to the last sauce by saying "this is intense" in the most carefree, nonchalant tone you can imagine.
    • Alton Brown, aside from knocking back some of his half and half, barely showed any reaction to the heat in his wings. He ranked the 10 sauces from best to worst, even throwing one bottle in the trash as soon as he took a bite of that wing. He also took a swig of one of the mid-grade sauces and remarked on how he could improve it, and smelled the bottle of the hottestnote  without flinching, even complimenting Sean on the flavor blend.
    • Lorde breezed through all ten wings, staying perfectly composed and giving thoughtful critiques on the flavors of each sauce, even Da Bomb (the worst reaction she has to it being that she doesn't like the taste). At one point, she even apologizes to Sean thinking that her unflinching composure is making the interview boring. This while Sean is gawking at her in awe. In fact, Lorde was such a powerhouse that Dave Grohl cites Lorde as the standard he needs to live up to for his own performance. And he does!
    • Jenna Ortega displayed some visible discomfort when she had a wing with Da Bomb, but was totally unfazed beyond that (and happily commented on the flavors of the sauces - she loved The Last Dab), and not only did she not touch either of the drinks, but she even won a staring contest with Sean after eating the final wing.
    • John Mulaney makes it through with very little difficulty, only expressing mild discomfort with Da Bomb. He attributes this to his past drug use.
    • Ed Currie, in his appearances, doesn't show any outward reaction to the spice he ingests but does describe experiencing a burning sensation in the most deadpan voice possible. It helps that he's the creator of the Carolina Reaper and Pepper X, the main ingredients in the hottest sauces used on the show. To compare and contrast, Sean and Chili Klaus — who are more than familiar with ultra spicy peppers — sample Pepper X and immediately wince and cringe in pain while Ed stands calmly to the side after having consumed a whole pepper himself.
      Ed: Even though I don't look it, I'm feeling just like Klaus is feeling.
      Klaus doubles over and starts panting
  • Undying Loyalty: As Sean himself puts it, they're more loyal to Da Bomb than even their own brand of hot sauces as it's the only one to be featured in every season.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Eddie Huang ends up getting too cocky and tries to eat the hottest wing first. The end result was him excusing himself to the restroom and retching. Cut to ten minutes later, when he admitted to throwing up... among other things.
  • Worthy Opponent: Rachael Ray gets competitive, and actually drinks her sauces straight from teaspoons(!) rather than putting any on wings (and that's only because she's very particular with her wings). She even has the audacity to call Sean out for not putting enough sauce on, to which Sean rises to the challenge. That bites him in the ass on the final wing, where he puts way too much on and can barely get the final question out. In the end, it was all just a friendly competition, and they laugh it off with a big hug.
    Rachael Ray: [still sweating and flustered] You rule. [high-fives him] But I kicked your ass because I ate it all off with a spoon.