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In a nutshell, two (later three) guys decide to put various things into a microwave oven and post their findings on YouTube. Test subjects range from the mundane (like grapes and a bar of soap) to the truly bizarre (like a Pikachu doll, a toilet bowl, and rubber duckies) and even the dangerously stupid (like two iPods, fireworks, smoke bombs, and an airbag - twice).

The show ended its normal run after ten seasons and three hundred experiments in 2011. From that point on, they did one-off episodes either at their usual location on stage in front of a live audience, but those stopped in 2015, although creator and cameraman Jonathan Paula has stated in comments several times a comeback can be possible. You watch the show here.


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This show provides examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming:
    • In Season 8, they called their microwave oven (Sarah) different names, much to the chagrin of cameraman Jon. Luckily, Jory managed to get it right by her last experiment.
    • Microwaves often hate when you misspell their names or forget their brand. Such as the very particular "Marissa with ONE r".
    • During the spraypaint experiment, Jory names the second microwave "Lexi" on camera, but neither Jon nor Riley liked that name. So, Jon changed it to Jasmine, after whom Jory considers the hottest Disney princess, only for Jory to call her Lexi anyway.
    Jory: [after melting from the inside out and still going] "Dude, Lexi's a freak!"
    Jon: "Uh, her name's Jasmine."
  • Alliterative Name: An interesting example: one of the people who donated to the show (see the "Calculator" episode) was one Steve Severance.
  • Art Evolution:
    • The show began partially as a parody of unenthusiastic YouTubers filmed in the guys' college dormitory. Their base of operations soon changed from the dorm to a tented-off portion of a patio for Season 2, which had more and more safety features and other additions added in between seasons. Later seasons took the microwave to the top of a backyard deck, then to the middle of the backyard itself, back to the deck (which had a couple of safety features thrown onto it) and finally culminating in the use of a very, very wide open field in the final episodes. The remote guiding arm was rarely used after the season 2 debut (although a variation of it did make an appearance as recently as episode 301). Also, the show switched to HD at the end of Season 7.
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    • Also, the definition of a "broken microwave" changed after the first two seasons, where Unnamed and Diane sustained minor damage and were determined to be pretty much done (subverted with Diane however, since although she still worked in damage form after experiment #43, she was blown to pieces by the dynamite). After using Sandra (who was kinda broken to begin with) for most of Season 3, the guys began pushing their microwaves really far.
  • Back for the Dead: Rapunzel and Shelley were unretired in order to be sacrified for some of Season 10's more dangerous experiments - gasoline and propane respectively.
  • Back from the Dead: Saint Margret II did it three times!
  • Big Damn Heroes: Jon actually said if Jory ever died in the series, JORY WOULD ALLOW IT TO BROADCAST ON YOUTUBE. And it is said on one of Jon's videos.
  • *Bleep*-dammit!: Subverted. The only words Jon censors are "shit" and "fuck", but neither syllable of "Goddammit" and "asshole" get bleeped.
  • Book-Ends: A light bulb was one of the items microwaved along with the propane tank in the final episode (#300).
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: After a ton of YouTube requests to microwave another microwave, they finally did it in experiment 62 when they used Sandra to microwave Diane which ended up killing Sandra. That has not stopped the requests, however.
  • Break the Cutie: About as literal as you can get with the microwaves. Many microwaves weren't just broken but blown to pieces. In fact, so far only Unnamed and the special edition microwaves have ended their run still usable for microwaving food. Subverted with Saint Margaret II, she survived things multiple times that would have killed off other microwaves.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "That's why we hide behind this tinfoil shield. It's to protect our nuts. Because nobody likes roasted nuts." Has been used on and off as of season 8. One time when Jory used it, Jon told him it was So Last Season (his Exact Words).
    • Also "Release the Kraken!" which debuted in Season 8 and has been a staple ever since, along with variations of the phrase.
  • Catchphrase Interruptus: A Running Gag of the earlier seasons had Riley interrupting Jory during his catchphrase.
  • Censored for Comedy: Jon admits that he does this because the bleeps are funnier than the swear words, while "shit" and "fuck" are bleeped out, sexual comments remain uncensored (with one episode being Jackie actually microwaving a dildo and later being fingered by Jory to orgasm) as do other things that would normally merit an R-rating, such as gory descriptions of death.
  • Christmas Episode: Disco Ball (episode 121), Christmas Tree (episode 258), and the very first post-run special.
  • Cluster F-Bomb:
    • An outtake from "Gasoline" shows Jory doing this after he cracks up on a take.
    • The "GameCube" episode has Jon doing this upon breathing in the fumes from said console.
  • Companion Cube:
    • The naming and anthropomorphizing of microwaves evolved from a running gag into this when microwaves began to have funeral montages after they broke. The first true companion cube microwave, however, was Jackie, she lasted 19 experiments (during a time when microwaves were dying left and right) and some commenters expressed actual sadness when Jackie died after microwaving a slot machine. A few people were relieved that she wasn't an actual person due to the nature of the comments.
    • Fans were always happy to see Margaret II resurrect.
    • A few fans were actually upset when Zelda died and had to be reminded that it's just a microwave.
    • Subverted with single microwave experiments with the exception of Summer (the airbag microwave), since there's not enough time to get attached to them.
  • Composite Character: While riffing on Inspector Gadget's stupidity, the gang invents the character "Go Go Gump"
  • Corpsing: Jory, Jon and Riley have done this on occasion, most often during the introduction segments. Bloopers featuring these have been compiled alongside the videos. The "Laser Disc" episode plays this straight with Jory cracking up after delivering the Samuel L. Jackson "Motherfucker!" line from Pulp Fiction.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • Jonathan Paula (normally the camera guy) has hosted Episodes #120, #150, #182, #228, #247, and #283.
      • He played the sidekick role in Episodes #157, #195, #254, and #290.
    • Riley McIlwain (normally the sidekick) has hosted Episodes #195, #268, and #290.
  • Deadly Gas: Well, not really, but whenever they heat something plastic in their microwave oven, they experience noxious fumes.
    Jory: The masks! They do nothing!
    • Averted on "Ammonia Inhalers", but only because they tested it out on themselves before nuking.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jon, occasionally.
  • Determinator: Saint Margret II. Despite losing her plate, half her window, and some of her side paneling she managed to revive herself from the inevitable microwave death after attempting to heat a Nintendo Wii. This feat was promptly repeated after the electric fan experiment, and after taking a violent medicine bottle explosion without even slowing down revives herself one last time after heating a bunch of metal stuff. She ended up being a very rare surviving microwave, having lived through the end of the season before being retired.
  • Detect This!
  • Don't Try This at Home: Starting with Season 7, this warning has been displayed at the beginning of each episode. The guys have come very close to killing themselves a few times.
    • The most obvious example is Episode #167, the first "Airbag". Seriously, JORY WOULD'VE BEEN DEAD IF HE DIDN'T BOLT AFTER TURNING THE MICROWAVE ON.
    • By name, with the tagline "Do it in a dorm." The show's first season was filmed in a dorm at Emerson College.
    • Parodied with "try it at your parent's house," since the show was filmed at Jon's parents' house from Seasons 2 through 8.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After one of the most brutal careers of any microwave, St Margaret II's third death prompted Jon to scrap his original idea of carrying her into the next season and retire her instead.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In the first season, the tinfoil shield was just a flimsy piece of cardboard situated in the laboratory, rather than the door being covered in foil, the microwave was turned on with a remote guiding arm rather than simply turning it on by hand and bolting out the door, and the laboratory was an Emerson College dorm rather than part of Jon's house. The arm continued to be used in season two but would soon be phased out.
    • Jory also intentionally spoke in a more deadpan voice. He began to emote more in Season 2 but the dull monotone wasn't entirely phased out until the fourth season.
    • No "victims tray" for the microwaved items either.
    • The first microwave ever used went without a name. Diane was not named until halfway through Season 2.
    • Jory did not verbally give a verdict for the second experiment (tin foil); Jon's graphic ruled it a bad idea.
    • The original title of the show was Is It a Good Idea to Microwave?.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Riley originally was just the guy who donated the laptop before he appeared on the show proper.
  • Eye Scream: The eyes of the Furbies they microwaved (Episode #46) were burnt out. Sleep well, children. No, seriously, now that the Furbies are dead...
    • Also the eye balls that had the porcupine quills jammed in the pupil.
  • Fanservice: Riley dressed as a certain character from a famous series of ads in Episode #268.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The final experiment of Season 4 was a broken Macbook. The donator? Someone by the name of "Riley McIlwain"...
    • Jory was acting particularly snippy during the "Etch-a-Sketch" video, due to wanting to play with the toy instead of actually doing the video. Upon sarcastically stating he has to "do ''everything" on the show, Jory asks if he's gonna have to hold the camera next.
    • The planned finale for Season 6 was a can of Silly String... which wound up being a complete dud. Jory then tells Riley to grab "Plan B", which we see is something resting on a metal lid...
  • For Science!: Naturally.
  • For Want of a Nail: One that was pointed out In-Universe: Jory managing to dodge the (first) airbag's explosion by less than half a second.note 
  • Grand Finale: Episode #300, which had the biggest explosion in the whole show to close the series.
  • Groin Attack:
  • Halloween Episode: Jack-O-Lantern (episode 103), iPal Monster (episode 174), Dry Ice Bomb (episode 243), and Eyeballs, from after the series main run.
  • Hollywood New England: All three boys are from the Boston area, but they have been known (especially Jon) to deliberately play up their accents, and Bahstunian types, for effect.
  • I Am Not Shazam: For whatever reason, towards the end of the "Inspector Gadget" experiment, Jon takes to calling the character "Go Go Gadget".invoked
  • I Call It "Vera":
    • All but one microwave from Season 2 onward has had a name. Diane herself wasn't named until midway through her tenure, and Jon has stated that if he were to ever give the season one microwave a name it would be Betsy.
    • Subverted when Jory kept referring to "Sarah" as different names until the Grill Brush experiment, her LAST one.
    • Even before the tradition, early on (seasons 2 and 3) it was mostly still referred to as "the microwave".
  • Idiot Ball: Jory touching things which have just gotten out of the microwave and complaining it's hot.
  • Its Pronounced Tropay: Jory's pronounciation of "laboratory".
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Discussed in "Ammonia Inhalers".
  • Jedi Mind Trick: Parodied many times. From Episode #284...
    Riley: You will not try this at home.
    Jon: Riley, are you trying to use Jedi Mind Tricks on our YouTube audience?
  • Kansas City Shuffle: A short-form variant: right before going into the lab in the "iPhone" episode, Jory shows off the donated iPhone, before noting the battery was dead. He then promptly asks to borrow Rory's iPhone, handing him the dead one, and attempts to rush into the actual microwaving until Rory stops him.
  • Large Ham: Jory and Riley, especially in the later seasons.
  • Mad Libs Catchphrase: "Here at Jory Caron Laboratories, [something about safety]."
  • Microwave Misuse: A whole YouTube channel devoted to answering the question "Is It A Good Idea To Microwave This". And more often than not, it isn't.
  • Mind Screw: The "DeLorean" experiment featured a one-time occurrence for the show: the experiment managed to create an undead microwavenote .
  • Near-Death Experience: Episodes #167 (the first "Airbag") and #256 (the second "Lava Lamp") had the boys genuinely fearing for their lives.
  • "No. Just... No" Reaction: Usually, at the end of an episode, Jory says "So, you may be wondering, is it a good idea to microwave [insert item here]?" and then answers the question. For the "Zune" experiment, however:
  • No Kill Like Overkill: For experiment #300, the guys microwaved a small propane tank and some fireworks on top of a tower of microwaves decorated with electronics and doused in gasoline. Then once the (rather spectacular) pyrotechnics had reached their height, they began shooting at the microwave.
  • Oh, Crap!: Their shock that one of their microwaves outright exploded as a result of sticking an airbag inside it (Episode #167). Most of it got blown clean across the garage, but the door got the most distance... and was later sold on eBay. They also let this loose when they saw that the tinfoil shield actually did its job.
    Riley: The tinfoil shield, it actually worked!!
    • Made even more epic with the fact that, had he not been fast enough, Jory would've almost certainly been severely injured, if not outright killed by the flying debris.
    • They redid the experiment in Season 10 (Episode #274), but done outside like Episode #44 ("Dynamite"). The results were the same as before. That microwave survived in much better condition, however.
  • Older Than They Look: Many people assume these guys to be in high school. Only Riley was in high school for any of his run on the show.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: When an electric fan is being microwaved.
    Riley: She (referring to St. Margaret II the microwave) does actually still work, right?
    Jory: (thinking Riley was referring to the fan) No, she kinda worked, then she kinda didn't, then I ripped the cord out and now she really doesn't.
    Jon: I think Riley was talking about St. Margeret the microwave.
    Jory: Ohhhhhhh! Yeah.
  • Only Sane Man: The guys take turns with this role.
  • Orphaned Punchline: Variation: references to Inspector Gadget getting into an accident and receiving surgery only make sense when taking into account The Stinger, which shows the original intro to the video, where we learn that the toy they microwaved was made for the movienote .
    Riley: You know what, this is a Matthew Broderick collectible...
  • Overly Long Gag: THREE! POINT! OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooo...
  • Overly Preprepared Gag: They originally planned on microwaving peanut butter back in season 3, but decided to hold off on it until season 6 just to make a joke concerning its expiration date.note 
  • Pilot: "Jonny's Leftover Emporium", where among the many items are four microwaves. The first experiment was "Light Bulb".
  • Percussive Maintenance: Jory and Jon try this with Sandra after Diane breaks her. This is done with Sandra in most season 3 episodes that feature her, actually. She was already malfunctioning when the guys acquired her.
  • Perfectly Cromulent Word: Jon used the word "opticizing" in the computer mouse experiment (#106) when the LED started to glow.
  • Please Subscribe to Our Channel: In later episodes, each member of the cast asks you to subscribe not to the channel you're watching, but to their personal YouTube channels instead.
  • Potty Failure: Episode #256, the reprise of "Lava Lamp".
    Jory: I don't have to go to the bathroom anymore!
  • Previously On…: This type of segment is done at the beginning of episode #63 "Shaving Cream".
  • Pyromaniac: Well, Micro-Maniacs, really. Played straighter when after a Justin Bieber doll killed Emily, they set it on fire.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Not that this show isn't real life results of microwaving, but a few moments (which ended up being among their favourites) featured either one of the guys in danger or a potentially dangerous situation, most notably the dynamite, the Hannah Montana pen, the airbag, the second lava lamp and the digital pet. Those are the moments where the actual risks hit home.
    • Also any time the microwave dies, showing that microwaves can only handle so many experiments before they break down. The first time that happened, they were unprepared - they had no backup microwaves and Jory asked "What are we gonna do now?"
    • Microwave ovens rely on having water molecules absorb the radition to heat things up. If there's no water in an object, even experiments that don't catch on fire can prove fatal to a microwave since they're practically cooking themselves - something the boys found out the hard way with Candy during the Lego experiment and later on ended up offing Emily after cooking the Justin Bieber doll.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Riley was running late during the second day of filming for Season 6, so Jon and Jory just did two experiments without him.invoked
  • Really Dead Montage: On the occasion that an experiment ends up destroying the microwave, that episode will sometimes end with one of these.
  • Replacement Goldfish: As a result of Margaret's two-episode life, her successor was half-heartedly christened Margaret II.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: Melissa's side panel has a button for "PRESH VEGETABLE" instead of "FRESH VEGETABLE".
  • Scare 'Em Straight: The intros to later seasons in the beginning "Don't try this at home, you should end up seriously injured, or worse YOU COULD BE DEAD!". They likely took this tone in response to a young fan starting his own microwave show. This led to an unrelated incident where he set his home on fire which killed his mother.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    Jory: We're what you call "stupid".
    • Also counts as a Shout-Out to MythBusters
    • Jon and Jory also make fun of themselves during the show itself.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Penelope doesn't have anything remarkable about her except that she survived the lava lamp experiment that nearly killed the guys, that type of experiment usually kills or completely obliterates other microwaves.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: During Episode #77 ("Fireworks"), the American national anthem is used over a slo-mo replay of the fireworks going off...which culminates in something like "the scream from Alien".
  • Spoof Aesop: Since you really shouldn't do this at home, answering the Title Drop ends up as one of these.
    Jory: Bottle rocket was not a good idea. Firecrackers are a damn good idea!
  • Space Whale Aesop: Overlaps with Spoof Aesop in this case, but some comparisons are made between microwaved items and smoking.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: As a general rule, never try heating bottled containers of alcohol or flammable chemicals in your microwave oven at home.
  • Take That!:
    • The entire "ET Atari Game" experiment. They declared it to be a good idea to microwave based solely on the fact that it's the ET Atari game.
    Jory: (trying to determine which Atari game out of a bunch to microwave) But, I mean, it's really simple. 'Cause some of these are really good, like Asteroids, and Pac-Man, and ET's gonna die.
    • Due to Jory being too distracted with the Etch-a-Sketch they were going to microwave, Riley (at points) takes over hosting duties during the experiment proper, even ripping it out of Jory's hands to throw it into the microwave. Jory, in response, sets the microwave timer for 6:66 out of hatred.
      • Putting 6:66 as the time purely for hatred-based reasons popped up again in the "iPhone"note  and the "Crocs"note  experiments.
    • A decent portion of the "Inspector Gadget" episode is spent riffing on how stupid the titular character is, with Jon in particular saying he's "dumber than Forrest Gump after he got hit by [a] truck".
    • The "400w Sodium Bulb" video was made specifically because of "thousands of messages from viewers telling [Jon his] show is too long, that [he's] not funny, and that [they] should just 'skip right to the microwaving'". When the episode was uploaded, people complained that it sucked.
  • Take a Third Option: Was microwaving a slot machine a good or bad idea? Neither: it was a push.
  • Taking You with Me: For Episode #62, they tried microwaving the remains of their old microwave Diane inside her replacement Sandra. The microwave lights flashed on and off, strange noises were heard, and the new microwave then stopped working in a heartbeat.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • "Any chance this'll blow the door off?" "Naah." Said shortly before a group of ping-pong balls EXPLODE and do, indeed, blow the door off.
    • Also in the second lava lamp episode when they were making fun of 1000 Ways To Die because their first experiment was just a small explosion, the lava lamp does indeed blow the door open and shoot projectile glass everywhere.
  • Thanksgiving Episode: Talking Greeting Card (episode 111), and License Plates (episode 181).
  • Walking Techbane: Six of Jon's ten episodes as the host or sidekick have resulted in a microwave dying - two of which were as Riley's sidekick, who in turn has only hosted one other episode without a death.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye:
    • Nearly half of the microwaves featured in the series failed to survive longer than three experiments - for the first 133 episodes of the series every microwave up until then managed to survive at least fifteen experiments with the exception of Vanessa, who broke on her second.
    • Particularly noteworthy are the season 7 crew - of the eight microwaves used throughout, Penny and Melissa were the only two to make it to retirement, let alone live through more than four experiments. Summer, the first of the bunch, was the victim of the infamous airbag experiment and as a result was only ever active for seconds before being wasted.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "Microwave": They finally answered the request to microwave a microwave, Diane came back as the microwave to be microwaved, and it's the first instance of a microwave dying mid-season.
    • "Spray Paint": Whoopi's failure to remain on while the crew attempt to microwave a can of spray paint gets her declared dead and forces them to use two microwaves in one experiment. The newly-introduced Jasmine becomes the shortest-lived microwave at the time, wrecked after one experiment and partially melted in the ensuing blaze.
    • "Airbag": Within seconds of Jory hitting start, he makes it back behind the door just before the titular object explodes, completely demolishing Summer on her first experiment and scattering shrapnel throughout the lab and into the door. The trio are horrified that they nearly killed Jory and dumbstruck at the sheer amount of destruction the airbag caused.
    • "Wii": The experiment seemingly kills Margaret II, but Jory and Riley are in the middle of surveying the results when she does what no microwave has done before and suddenly powers back on.
  • Wham Line:
    • From the original version of the "Bubble Gum" experiment (using Helga):
    Jory: (discovering that the bubble gum didn't microwave) It didn't even pop that bubble. It's not even warm!
    Jon: Is the microwave still working?
    Jory: (silence; the camera turns to see the look on his face) ...shhhh!
    • From Episode #104: "For any of you who thought 'oh, it takes many experiments to kill a microwave', you're wrong..." Vanessa's death after two experiments was by far the shortest tenure to that point, shocking even Jory; before her, every microwave lasted at least fifteen episodes.
    • From the "Nintendo Wii" experimentnote  (when it seems like Margaret II died):
    Riley: She had a long run, too! I mean, like a LONG run!
    Margaret II: (beeps)
    Jory: Today we're doing...
    Jon: ...the Flip camera,
    Esmeralda: (strange sound)
    Jon: donated by Grace Van Derenter.
    Jory: ...wait, what the fuck just happened?
    Jon: Why, wh...
    Jory: The microwave just shut off. You didn't hear the click?
  • Whole Plot Reference: The entire "Momento DVD" experiment was done Back to Front because of this.
  • Why Won't You Die?:
    • Saint Margaret II managed to resurrect three times after microwaving the Wii, electric fan, and gold and copper...after which she was retired. If you were to put an airbag in her, she'd be thinking "Why are you trying to kill me? IT WON'T WORK!!!", and the airbag would simply catch fire and just blow her door open.
    • The entire cast and crew. Not that they've necessarily been injured, but the stuff they do is so beyond safe it approaches from the other direction. They have almost gotten killed on at least one occasion.
    "Isn't ink petroleum based?....yeah, we should put that out."
    "No, this is good, this is good."
    • Cindy became "undead" while microwaving a model DeLorean (only her turntable still worked).
  • Yandere: Diane was dynamited but still found a way to wreak havoc, by killing Sandra along with a lot of other microwaves.

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