A mid-90s animated cartoon on MTV by Mike Judge, who would go on to make King of the Hill, Office Space, Idiocracy, The Goode Family and Silicon Valley. Its stated purpose was to skewer the then-public stereotype of their viewing audience as lazy, unintelligent teenage slackers who did nothing but watch videos all day and were easily amused by bodily functions and dirty jokes.
The titular characters were a pair of not-too-bright (which in this case is quite possibly an overstatement of their intelligence) heavy metal music fans who virtually did nothing but watch real-life music videos on their TV and make snide Mystery Science Theater 3000-esque comments about things in the videos that annoyed or amused them. These music video commentaries were pretty much inserted for padding into the very short episodes, where the boys would wander around their hometown of Highland, Texas, generally annoying those they met and committing acts of petty vandalism.
The most common targets of the boys' antics were their elderly neighbor Tom Anderson (who was basically an older, more senile prototype of Hank Hill), their geeky school classmate Stewart Stevenson, and most of the faculty of their high school. The character who took the worst abuse was Principal McVicker, who was driven to drink, medication, and in the finale, a seemingly fatal heart attack. The dimwitted duo were, in turn, foiled by the sarcastic Daria Morgendorffer, who occasionally tricked them into publicly embarrassing themselves, and local hot-rodder/gangleader Todd Ianuzzi, whom they admired but who invariably ended up maiming them (similar to how Stewart views them).
It horrified the Moral Guardians from the get-go, and a few of its more controversial aspects had to be dropped — notably Beavis's pyromania, after they reportedly inspired a viewing child to set a fire in his house that killed his sisternote . In one case in real life which apparently was inspired by the show's antics, a boy killed his brother by giving him a ride in a commercial dryer, the way one of the characters did to the other, which made the show rein in some of its more outrageous acts of stupidity. Also spurring objections were the boys' constant use of fireworks to blow things up, along with their tendency to amuse themselves with physical violence and animal cruelty, most notably the infamous pilot episode "Frog Baseball".
A total of 199 episodes were produced, as well as the 1996 feature-length film Beavis and Butt-Head Do America, several computer games, a 28 issue comic book series from Marvel Comics, and tons of associated merchandise. Additionally, supporting character Daria successfully spun off into her own show. A later Mike Judge creation, King of the Hill, would retool Tom Anderson into the lead character of Hank Hill. DVD and VHS releases of the series have left out most of the Music Video segments due to rights issues, losing a lot of the series' best moments.
In late 2011, the show returned to MTV; while the format had been slightly tweaked — the snark segments now covered both music videos and MTV original shows such as Jersey Shore, Teen Mom and True Life, presumably to prevent the sort of rights issues that surround the original series' snark segments — the show remained the same otherwise. The 2011 series, however, only lasted one season before being canceled again. However, Judge tried his best to find another network to pick the show up again, even as Silicon Valley took up most of his time.
Eventually, Judge's persistence (and the end of Silicon Valley) paid off. On July 1, 2020, the boys were again Uncanceled, this time by Comedy Central (who had aired reruns of the show before); the network announced that the series would get two new seasons in which the dull-witted duo would face "a whole new Gen Z world", with plans for additional Spin-Offs and specials. The revival and older episodes will also be a part of ViacomCBS' relaunched streamer Paramount+, with the duo making a few appearances in the Mega Crossover ad campaign alongside various other characters and personalities.
"Tropes are cool, huh-huh":
- Abusive Parents: In "Drones", the boys recount Beavis's mother's attempt to leave him behind at an IKEA so she could go to Vegas with a gang of bikers.
- Accidental Innuendo: Literally all of "Spill".
- Accidental Misnaming: After a (real life) American Senator referred to our heroes as "Beaver and Buffcoat" (see Fan Nickname on the Trivia tab), the show introduced a Running Gag in which Beavis and/or Butt-Head's names were mispronounced by people who didn't know them well. They were referred to as everything from "Beatrice and Butt-Brain" to "Beavis and Nut-Head" to "Travis and Bernard".
- Advanced Tech 2000: In "Inventors", the duo deform a coathanger, calling it the "Butt-Scratcher 2000", and try to sell it.
- And in "Good Credit", the boys shop at a "Turbo Mall 2000". This is also a level in the Genesis game.
- Aerith and Bob: Butt-Head and Beavis, the latter being close to the name of the title character from a Richard Jefferies adventure novel.
- Aerosol Spray Backfire: In "Die Fly, Die!", after attempts to get rid of a fly using a shovel, a hammer and a hedge trimmer fail, the duo use a can of insecticide but because they stay in the room and don't open any windows, they pass out. When they wake, they see the mess their room is in and think they must have had a party in their house.
- The Alcoholic: In "Do America", Muddy is frequently seen chugging off of a bottle of whiskey. He even does this while driving.
- Alliterative Title: Beavis and Butt-head
- All Men Are Perverts: And how!
- Alternate Universe:
- "It's A Miserable Life" showed Beavis as he would have been without Butt-Head's influence. He ended up as a nice guy, even helping Stewart feed the homeless on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately by the end, he seemed to be rather taken with the phrase "bunghole"... Daria is happy in this universe, complete with a boyfriend, which suggests in the prime universe that Butt-Head caused her to lose trust in men and have the snarky personality that Glenn Eichler and Suzie Lewis Lynn would refine on her much-beloved spin-off series.
- Aluminum Christmas Trees:
- One might think Sterculius, the Roman god of feces, was something Judge made up. Not so. There really was a Sterculius, or at least the Romans thought so. He's more often called the god of fertilizer or god of fertilization in English, but "god of feces" is not at all inaccurate.
- Some viewers might consider the yogurt shop in "Yogurt's Cool" not being a 'participating location' to be a bit of an Ass Pull to spur the title characters to vandalize the shop, but it's actually not at all unusual in Real Life for certain states' franchisees of stores like Dairy Queennote or 7-Elevennote to have their own exclusive menus, promotions, etc. separate from the rest of the country.
- Ambiguous Disorder: There are occasionally hints that Beavis might have genuine mental problems in additional to being really stupid. For example, in "Most Wanted", he says that he hears voices and has pyromania (which was toned down when the show came under fire for influencing dangerous activity, but returned when the show was revived in 2011).
- At one point while taking a lie-detector test the one thing that came up as 'True' was his statement that 'I killed a bunch of people one time'.note
- Ambiguously Jewish: A few minor characters including Dr. Leibowitz from "Impotence", Sam Gluckman from "Jump!", Joe Adler from "Sexual Harassment" and "Whiplash", Betsy Weiner from "Lightning Strikes", and Harry Sachz from "Prank Call" have Jewish-sounding surnames, although the latter two surnames were obviously chosen for the show because they are Unfortunate Names.
- Amoral Attorney: Joe Adler from his aforementioned episodes.
- Amusing Injuries: Butt-Head slapping the bejesus out of Beavis, which more or less happens Once an Episode. Occasionally, Beavis will respond by kicking Butt-Head in the nads.
- Anachronism Stew: A generational variation thereof. The show was clearly set in the 90s and Bill Clinton was the President back then, having met Beavis and Butt-head as high school students on two separate occasions. In the revival series, there's a clear picture on the wall of Barack Obama as President in an episode and the boys are still in high school. The two of them also watch Twilight and, going by real world time, there's no way they'd still be in high school by the time they watch that movie if they were high school students in the 90s. While it's conceivable that the two are so stupid that they never graduated from high school in all of this time and stretched out their stint at Highland High well into the 2000s, the fact that Stewart is still of young high school age, in addition to the fact that none of the faculty at Highland have aged at all, still adds up to one wonky timeline, at least in comparison to real world chronology. It seems that in B&B's world, Comic-Book Time and Not Allowed to Grow Up are in full effect.
- Animated Shock Comedy: Probably the closest thing to South Park before South Park itself. The show pioneered a type of crude animated comedy that would later take the cartoon world by storm.
- Anti-Hero: Type I, or
- Anti-Role Model: You did read that disclaimer at the top, right?
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The 1993 compilation album The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience includes Megadeth's "99 Ways to Die", Nirvana's "I Hate Myself and I Want to Die" and... the duo doing a duet with Cher on "I Got You Babe".
- Of course, with the duo, you could actually apply the literal name of this trope to them, since they DID set Mr. Anderson's bushes on fire in "Home Improvement"; Beavis said, "I killed a bunch of people once" in "Liar Liar"; and in "Follow Me", where Beavis copies everything Butt-Head does, the duo end up jaywalking.
- Art Evolution: In earlier episodes, the animation was very limited, with lots of blatant reusing of stock footage and a wonky and often incosistent framerate. The art direction itself also rather crude as well, with a lot of Off-Model character designs. By mid-second season, the animation improved significantly (though there was still a lot of recycled stock footage here and there) and the artwork became more smooth and consistent.
- The quality of season 8's animation is substantially bumped up from the previous season, on par with King of the Hill in its later seasons. Unsurprisingly, Film Roman, which was involved with the production of KotH, animated season 8 (although it still used Rough Draft Studios and Plus One Animation).
- Art Shift: The music video sections for later episodes would sometimes recycle the (crude) animation from the older ones, giving this impression.
- Aroused by Their Voice: Deconstructed and parodied in "1-900-BEAVIS" where the two are understandably aroused by the silky voice of a woman... shown to be that fat and utterly repulsive chain-smoking trailer resident seen in some episodes.
- An Ass-Kicking Christmas: Spoofed when RoboCop saves Christmas on one of the shows they flip through.
- Ass Shove: Happens to Stewart's dad in "Prank Call".
- Asshole Victim: While several of the people who get caught up in the duo's mayhem don't really deserve it, quite a few do, such as Rush Limbaugh expy Gus Baker, who has his grassroots presidential campaign ruined by the duo's antics on his TV show; the Maxi-Mart owner in "Another Friday Night"; Mr. Manners/Mr. Candy, who gets fired (and beaten up) twice for of his abusive behavior (brought on by the duo's behavior); and Coach Buzzcut, whenever Beavis and Butt-Head manage to get back at him.
- Auto Erotica: If the van's a-rockin' don't come a-knockin'.
- Also happens in The Movie with Dallas and Muddy.
- Ax-Crazy: The Crazy Farmer / Janitor. Mainly in "Cow Tipping".
- Bait-and-Switch: In "Tired", Van Driessen and his girlfriend are examining a butterfly on a flower when Beavis comes rolling through in a tire but runs over Van Driessen. A few moments later, Butt-Head runs through and steps on the flower.
- Balls of Steel: In "Buff 'N Stuff", Buzzcut tells Butt-Head to "kick him in the jimmy". The only reaction to Butt-Head doing so (twice) is his face turning red while he goes "YYYESSS!"
- Bathe Her and Bring Her to Me: Butt-Head uses this exact phrase at least once; fortunately, he's only fantasizing.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: In the original series finale, "Beavis and Butt-Head Are Dead", McVicker falsely claims on camera that he would give up the entire amount of change collected in the duo's name just to see them alive again. Guess who shows up on the spot.
- Berserk Button:
- Beavis, upon being called a "butt-knocker".
- Buzzcut will absolutely LOSE it if you strike him, even if you're a complete and total weakling. He doesn't take kindly to someone (besides himself) hurting his students either.
- McVicker has this with Beavis and Butt-Head themselves, the mere mention of the duo makes him edge closer to a nervous breakdown.
- Do NOT touch Billy Bob's scooter. It won't be pretty.
- The normally calm Van Driessen becomes very pissed if he catches someone harming one of his students, and he'll become more pissed off if you destroy his antique eight-track collection.
- "Better if Not Born" Plot: The second half of the final Christmas Episode has a guardian angel actually trying to convince Butt-Head to commit suicide after showing him how much better everyone else was doing: Beavis became a nice and respectful young man, Stewart had confidence, Highland High was a great school, Daria had trust in men and a boyfriend, and McVicker was not only happy with his school, his staff and his students, but also has a full head of hair.
- Big Beautiful Woman: Katiya, Butt-Head's mail order Russian wife from "Bride of Butt-Head" is wider than most of the other women on the show, but she's still considered attractive.
- Big Damn Movie: The film's bio-terrorism plot.
- Big "NO!": Beavis gives one when Butt-Head told him Yanni was his dad.
- They both have this reaction upon learning that they pierced the wrong ears... and what said piercing means.
- Big "YES!":
- Biting-the-Hand Humor: The first revival's episodes involve riffing on other MTV shows, including Jersey Shore, Teen Mom, True Life and 16 and Pregnant. It's rather hilarious when you consider MTV rarely shows music these days.
- Black Comedy Animal Cruelty: Early episodes like "Frog Baseball" and "Washing the Dog" were built around this. This disappeared from the show (and the relevant episodes banned) around the same time as Beavis' pyromania. However, "Washing the Dog" is still commercially available.
- Black Comedy Burst: In "Science Project", Beavis and Butt-Head's initial science project mocks the 1986 Challenger disaster and the death of teacher Christa McAuliffe.
- Bloody Hilarious: "Wood Shop" where Beavis saws off his finger in shop class.
- Also "Nosebleed".
- And "Give Blood".
- Thanks to the revival, you can now add "Holy Cornholio" to the list.
- Boom, Headshot!: In Virtual Stupidity, switch to the foot in the coffeehouse bathroom, click the fasteners on the mirror top to bottom, then the skull on the stall. The two will take positions, and then Butt-Head will graphically let Beavis have it with a shotgun before returning to the title screen.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: From "The Great Cornholio":McVicker: Uhhhh... look! I don't know what your problem is... but I simply cannot have students wandering the hallways during class, interrupting other classes and giving prophesies of a great plague.
- Breather Episode: "A Great Day" shows nothing but good things happening to Beavis and Butt-Head and ends with them loaning money to Todd, who doesn't beat them up, but instead THANKS them! This is pretty much the highpoint of Beavis and Butt-Head's lives, unless the ending to Virtual Stupidity is canon.
- Their lives' high point would be when they sneaked into a nudist colony and stood there looking at naked people all day - a Flash Forward to decrepit old age has them stating that very thing.
- Not if you look at "Spill" from the revival. It's the only time so far that they've ever been hugged by a woman!
- Their lives' high point would be when they sneaked into a nudist colony and stood there looking at naked people all day - a Flash Forward to decrepit old age has them stating that very thing.
- Bring My Brown Pants: In "Citizen Butt-Head", Principal McVicker asks his secretary for a new pair of pants after being informed that the Secret Service have taken Beavis and Butt-Head to the assembly where Bill Clinton will be.
- Broke the Rating Scale: Every once in a while, Beavis and Butt-Head watch a video so awful, it shocks them into silence. They just stare at the TV for a few seconds and then change the channel. This happened to Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby" and Milli Vanilli's "Girl You Know It's True".
- Burger Fool: The boys inexplicably had jobs, if at the local burger joint.
- They're usually the only ones working during their shifts, meaning Burger World is probably so understaffed their boss has no choice but to keep them employed.
- One episode had them working as telemarketers - they would read their scripts literally, saying cryptic things like "My name is your name."
- Butt-Monkey: Stewart, and by extension, his parents. This show is arguably the trope namer as well, since it's among the many insults the boys traded with each other (although Buffy the Vampire Slayer is what gave it its definition).
- Mr. Anderson is a pretty extreme example of this as well, especially in the film. Also, Van Driessen, McVicker and especially the title characters.
- Call-Back: Beavis's infamous "We're never gonna score!" speech from The Movie is actually a reworked version of a similar rant he did in "Teen Talk".
- In "Snitchers", a lawyer seeking to discredit the duo's testimony recalls "Frog Baseball" and how they got failed all the way back to kindergarten in "Held Back".
- In "A Great Day", when the boys are laughing at two dogs humping on Tom Anderson's lawn, Butt-Head says to Beavis, "I think that's our dog, remember?" in reference to the one they adopted in "Bad Dog".
- "Closing Time" has multiple references to "Frog Baseball" - not only do they do their scream into the camera seen in that episode three separate times throughout the episode, the duo watch Peter Gabriel's Kiss That Frog partway through it. When the frog in the video first appears, Beavis asks Butt-Head "I wonder if there's a baseball game on?" Later in the video, Butt-Head comments on the frog compared to the many others he has "seen come and go".
- Canada, Eh?: Stewart's mother sounds like she's from up North.
- Cannot Tell a Joke: Butt-Head.
- Casanova Wannabe: Hilarity Ensues whenever Beavis and Butt-Head try to get laid.Beavis: (about Butt-Head's mail-order wife) Do you think she'll know how to do it?Butt-Head: She better.Beavis: Cool!
- Cash Lure: "Couch Fishing".
- "That was cool", "uh huh huh huh...", "We're there, dude", "DA DADADA DADADA DADA-DAAADAAA!"
- Beavis's used to be "Fire! Fire! Fire!" until the trailer incident. Afterwards he made do with anything that sounded similar. "Fryer! Fryer! Fryer!" or "Water! Water! Water!"
- Pretty much their entire vocabulary is limited to catch phrases. Take a sip for every time Butt-Head says 'Whoa', 'Oh yeah', 'Dumbass', 'Uh, no', 'Come to Butt-Head', 'Uh...OK' or 'This sucks', and you'll be passed out (or more likely in a coma) on the floor in a few minutes.
- Almost all of Beavis's dialogue as Cornholio. "I am (the Great) Cornholio! I need TP for my bunghole!"
- And the ever popular "Are you threatening me?"
- Caught with Your Pants Down: In "Do America", Beavis (in his Cornholio persona) sees Mr. Anderson's camper, pulls out a picture of the woman he was sent to "do" and then goes into the camper. Later, Mr. Anderson is curious to find out why his camper is rocking, and investigates. Hilarity Ensues.
- Centipede's Dilemma: In "Trouble Urinating", the boys become unable to urinate after thinking too hard about how they actually do it.
- Chaotic Stupid: All they care about is food, girls, heavy metal and whatever captures their interest at the moment, most notably, any sort of carnage, to which effect they were too amused by the wreckage of an airplane crash to help the victims. They're too lazy and stupid to care about anything else, like work or their education. Sometimes their actions may cause harm to someone unintentionally. This is very clear in the film, as there is a terrorist threat to D.C. involving a biological weapon, all they understand about it is that they can "score with a chick".
- Cheated Angle: Beavis is almost always drawn with his face in profile or at a 3/4 angle, even when he's looking straight at the camera. Butt-Head, on the other hand, is commonly drawn both straight-on and from the side.
- Chick Magnet: Not in the series itself, but in "Letters to Santa Butt-Head", several women write/vocalize their desire to have Beavis as a Christmas present, which naturally just pisses Butt-Head off.
- Chronically Crashed Car: Tom Anderson's Camper in "Do America".
- Church of Happyology: One appears in "Holy Cornholio", believing that Beavis in his Cornholio persona is their recently deceased leader reincarnated.
- Clip Show: The final episode of the first series.
- Cluster F-Bomb: While not with that specific word, a lot of swearing in rapid succession appears in the duo's review of the song The Late Mistake by the Comateens.Beavis [in time to the music]: Dammit, dammit, son of a bitch. Dammit, dammit, son of a bitch.
Butt-Head: If those were the words, it'd be cool.
Beavis: You know, I was thinking of writing a song called, "Dammit, Son of a Bitch." Kinda goes like that, it's like, "Dammit, dammit, son of a bitch. Dammit, dammit, son of a bitch. Son of a BIIIIITCH, sonofaBITCHsonofaBIIIIIIITCH. Dammit, dammit, dammit."
Butt-Head: That's pretty cool.
- Comedic Sociopathy: This fueled both B&B and the audience watching them.
- Comically Missing the Point: Beavis and Butt-Head, all the time. More so with Beavis.(watching Jersey Shore'')
JWOWW: They just arrested Nicole!
Butt-Head: Uh... For what?
JWOWW: For being drunk and an idiot!
Beavis: Wait, you can get arrested for being an idiot?
Butt-Head: Yeah... You might want to lay low for a while, Beavis.
- Conforming OOC Moment: At the end of an episode called "No Laughing", the students all laugh when the teacher announces that they'll be learning about private parts and masturbation during sex ed week, including Daria, who's notorious for being a solemn Deadpan Snarker who hates that kind of humour.
- Content Warnings: Even some within episodes, like in "Stewart's House" and "Way Down Mexico Way", where it had warnings like, "If you're not a cartoon character, swallowing a rubber full of drugs will kill you," or in the case of the episode where they paint Tom Anderson's house — "Sniffing paint thinner is very dangerous. Just look at what it did to Beavis and Butt-Head." Later episodes had the warning that serves as the page quote (only it went like this):"Beavis and Butt-Head are not role models. They're not even human; they're cartoons. Some of the things they do would cause a person to get hurt, expelled, arrested — possibly deported. To put it another way: Don't Try This at Home."
- The first warning was:"Beavis and Butt-Head are not real. They are stupid cartoon people completely made up by this Texas guy whom we hardly even know. Beavis and Butt-Head are dumb, crude, thoughtless, ugly, sexist, self-destructive fools. But for some reason, these little wiener heads make us laugh."
- The first warning was:
- Continuity Nod: Given the type of show this is, there's not a whole lot of continuity. There are occasional exceptions. The most memorable is Mr. Manners/Candy. When he first shows up, Beavis and Butt-Head annoy him to the point that he attacks them, causing him to get into a fight with Van Driessen. When he shows up again he initially doesn't seem to remember them, until they piss him off again and he mentions that it took him six months to find another job. Unfortunately for him, this time he ends up picking a fight with Coach Buzzcut. It ends much worse for him.
Beavis: I know Daria killed herself, I remember that.Beavis: Oh, really? Wow! That's kinda surprising.
- In "Late Night with Butt-Head", Van Driessen says, "Great idea showing the decay of a rose, Cassandra." In "Animation Sucks", we see that Cassandra has drawn exactly that.
- The two's first meeting with Todd starts with him running over their bikes in the Maxi-Mart parking lot, and then harassing them for it. In a much later episode he does the same thing, and reminds them that he told them not to leave their bikes lying around.
- Their latest meeting with Todd results in them having to testify against him in court. Todd's attorney then attempts to discredit them based on their stupidity, referencing "Frog Baseball" and "Held Back".
- During the ''Ghosts 'n' Stuff'" video in "Drones":
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: What all of "No Laughing" is about. After realizing that just expelling the duo would simply be an Unishment, McVicker instead forces Beavis and Butt-Head to go a whole week without laughing. Buzzcut takes advantage of this by scheduling sex ed that same week.
- Cool Teacher: Van Driessen defies the principal for his students' sake, protects them with Berserk Button ferocity and happily works with them during his off-hours to encourage their interests. Most of the class seems to begrudgingly respect him for it, but his efforts are completely wasted on Beavis and Butt-Head.
- Courtroom Episode: "The Trial", "Snitchers", "Sexual Harassment".
- Cow Tipping: An episode of the same name has Beavis and Butt-Head try to do this. They succeed in the end, but Beavis gets crushed underneath the cow's weight.
- Cozy Catastrophe: This trope comes into play in one of the revival episodes, when the duo mistake an evacuation for the apocalypse. Rather than being horrified at the idea of being the last two people on Earth, Beavis and Butt-Head seize the opportunity to loot the town and do whatever they want.
- Crack Pairing: Discussed In-Universe in "Beavis and Butt-Head Meet God, Part 2" while watching Bananarama's "Venus" video:Butt-Head: "These chicks should marry GWAR."Beavis: "Yeah, yeah, that would be cool!"Butt-Head: "There kids would be like the coolest people ever lived."Beavis: "Yeah, and they would rule Antarctica."Butt-Head: "They would rule the entire world."
- Crapsack World: One of the more subtle jokes of the show is how, as stupid and irresponsible as Beavis and Butt-Head are, the adults around them are even more irresponsible in dealing with them. Highland, Texas itself appears to be a filthy, crime-ridden town and populated mostly by assholes, idiots, and complete pushovers, even if one ignores the presence of the duo.
- Crossover: With Celebrity Deathmatch, somewhat. (Due to the viewers' requests, the two appeared to fight each other.)
- Curse Cut Short: In Do America:Pilot: Get the hell out of the cockpit!
Butt-Head: Huh huh, you said c—
Pilot: [pulls Butt-Head out] NOW!
Beavis: Yeah, heh heh, "F" is cool...F-f-f-f-f-f-f-f—Van Driessen: An F would mean being held back.
- In "U.S. History", when Van Driessen tells them they will get an F if they don't present their reports.
- It should be noted that due to the controversy, Beavis was most likely on the verge of saying "fire", not the other F word.
- Damned by Faint Praise: In "Graduation Day", Van Driessen decides to improve his students' self-esteem by holding a fake graduation ceremony in class, giving everyone a diploma and some words of encouragement. To Butt-Head, all he can get out is a hesitant "You have...many...qualities," and to Beavis, all he can muster is an unenthusiastic "And here's your diploma, Beavis."
- A Date with Rosie Palms: The horrible fate of Mr. Anderson's tool shed. And his trailer.
Van Driessen: "Beavis and Butt-Head! Couldn't you boys get each sister to sign individually?"
- Much of the show's humor revolves around this, including a Funny Moment in The Movie when Tom Anderson quite literally catches Beavis (in Cornholio mode) with his pants down in his camper.
- Also, the Jackyl song "Mental Masturbation" on the 1993 compilation album The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience.
- In "Sign Here", when Van Driessen asks the class to go door-to-door to get signatures for a petition to keep Furriers out of town, Beavis and Butt-Head return with a petition signed by Hugh G. Rection (spelled Hugh G. Rection), Ben Dover (spelled with a backwards e in Dover), Betty Humpter (also backwards e in Humpter), and Rosie Palm and her five sisters.
- The duo apparently even teach Japanese foreign exchange student Hiro how to masturbate in "Foreign Exchange."
- Darker and Edgier: The Movie. While the film still has its comedic beats, the plot is much more serious than any other episode of the series. A criminal confuses Beavis and Butt-Head for the thugs who he'd hired thugs to kill his girlfriend Dallas. Dallas also hides an extremely dangerous biological weapon in Beavis's pants. The ATF learns this and starts to go after the duo. Beavis and Butt-Head are in actual danger during much of the film, although the main joke of the film is that they're completely unaware of all of this.
- Deadpan Snarker: Daria, who elevated this to a trope in its own right.
- Also Butt-Head at times, usually if Beavis is being stupider than usual.(while watching Gin and Juice by Snoop Dogg)
Beavis: Hey, Butt-Head, do you know I'm from Compton?
Butt-Head: Dammit, Beavis, shut up. You're not from Compton.
Beavis: No, wait, Butt-Head, I'm serious. I was kickin' it on the streets. It was hard times. I used to drink Gin and Juice. It was cool.
Butt-Head: Beavis...you're a white wussy from right here.
Beavis: No way, Butt-Head, you don't know, you weren't around then. Yeah, me and Snoop used to go to the Compton swap meet together.
Butt-Head: Beavis, you used to go to the flea market with your mom.
Beavis: See, I wore this shirt cuz these are my colors.
Beavis: Yep, I'm a straight G.
Butt-Head: ...shut up.
Beavis: Yep. Got out of a Compton swap meet with Snoop. Used to kick it with Dre.
Butt-Head: Beavis, shut up. You've never been to Compton. you're never gonna go to Compton, you're gonna be here for the rest of your life, you're stupid, you don't have any money, and you're never gonna score.
Beavis: Um, oh yeah.
- Also Butt-Head at times, usually if Beavis is being stupider than usual.
- Department of Redundancy Department:
- Dirty Coward: Stewart's dad is more than willing to totally sell out his son, such as in "Prank Call".
- Dirty Harriet: She's a Fair Cop posing as a prostitute in "Feel a Cop".
- The Dog Bites Back: For the first few seasons, Butt-Head was incredibly abusive to Beavis, and any injuries that came his way were either accidental or from a third-party. This includes (repeatedly) slapping Beavis during videos. At one point, Beavis finally snapped after a rapid series of such incidents, and took advantage of how Butt-Head was sitting. From then on, there was about a 1-in-3 chance of violent reprisal from Beavis.
- Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud: In "Tornado", Beavis and Butt-Head are sucked into a tornado and thrown back onto the ground unhurt, only to be crushed by falling objects.
- Dope Slap: *whack* Dumbass.
- Double Entendre: Much of the humor came from this.
- Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male: It's heavily implied that Beavis was drugged and raped by a grief counselor in "Drones".
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Buzzcut, although he's nowhere near as abrasive to students who aren't pushing his buttons.
- He still threatens to "physically kill" the entire class if they don't shut up.
- Drives Like Crazy: Butt-Head, when he gets behind the wheel during a driver's ed class. He actually makes the unflappable Buzzcut scream in terror as they hurtle into something.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: One Running Gag has Beavis and Butt-Head constantly refer to long-haired men in music videos as "chicks". Sometimes they go as far as hitting on them.
- Dull Surprise: Most of the voice acting in early episodes was rather plain if not outright apathetic, with the main exceptions being the titular duo. The acting improved greatly by mid-season 2.
- Dumbass Has a Point: Some of their comments on the music videos they watch, as well as on life in general, actually make a lot of sense, in a weird way. For example, their comments on Radiohead's Creep show they have a good grasp of song arrangements, dynamics and the subtleties of light and shade. Or as Butt-Head puts it... 'songs have to have the bit that sucks or else the bits that are cool wouldn't be as cool'.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The series wouldn't evolve to its present format until around season 3. So the first two seasons will most certainly look like you're watching a slightly different show:
- Earlier episodes are a completely different show from the later ones most viewers are familiar with. Rather than focusing on the consequences of the duo's stupidity in Judge's usual mundane style, the antics of the two are told in a wackier, more surreal tone, with Refuge in Audacity being more commonplace. In addition, the animation's even cruder than it already was in the later seasons, Butt-Head's voice is different, and there are stronger indications of Totally Radical (i.e. metal guitar riffs).
- The first time Cornholio appears is in "Generation in Crisis", and there it's just Beavis playing around. In all future appearances, Cornholio is a separate persona that Beavis is completely unaware of.
- The duo are more like stereotypical teenage metalheads in early episodes. Butt-Head originally had a strong Surfer Dude or Totally Radical voice and both would regularly call each other 'dude'. While these traits were still present in later episodes, they were rather downplayed.
- '80s Hair: Some of their classmates have mullets and fluffed-up hair. While this might've been appropriate when the show premiered (in early 1993), it was very jarring by 1997 (the show's final year before its 2011 reboot).
- End-of-Series Awareness: Beavis and Butt-Head are some of the few cartoon characters to say they're dead at the end of their series. Then they got uncancelled over a decade later (2011), and again nine years later (2020).
- Episode Title Card: Once an Episode.
- Everyone Has Standards:
- Beavis and Butt-Head can both be sadistic if they see someone being beaten, but they consider a explicit video of a woman giving birth as repulsive. Though this is obviously logical in nature, this has been one of the few times where the duo is surprised for things they consider "unpleasant".
- They also think the cast of Jersey Shore are dumber than themselves.
- In the music video segements, there were two occasions when they saw a video and immediately switched to something else rather than watch it. See Take That! below for specific details.
- In the Halloween episode, "Bungholio: Lord of the Harvest", even Todd thinks Cornholio is messed up.
- Beavis kicks Butt-Head for mocking him while watching and loving Katy Perry's Firework.
- Buzzcut, like most of the staff except Van Driessen, despises the boys, yet he defends them after Mr. Manners/Candy attack Butt-Head in "Candy Sale".
- Parodied in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade special. Beavis mistakes the spectators for homeless people and angrily questions why no one is giving them food, money, and shelter. But once Butt-Head suggests they're lazy, Beavis immediately starts insulting them.
- In the final ad for Paramount+, even they seem at a loss for words at seeing Samara the ghost girl swaying to the strains of "Sweet Victory".
- Every Episode Ending: A rock music sting. A few of the later episodes instead (or additionally) end with a really sappy clarinet bit.
- Failure Is the Only Option: No matter how hard they try, or even how close they get, Beavis and Butt-Head will never score.
- Fake-Out Fade-Out: Beavis and Butt-Head's reaction to this occurring twice in the Godley & Creme music video Cry is priceless.
- Falling into the Cockpit: Literally happens to Butt-Head in The Movie (the cockpit of an airplane while it was plummeting), leading to this exchange:
- Fantastic Racism: In "Animation Sucks", Van Driessen shows the class an animated film he created about green and purple characters who didn't like each other because they were different colors.
- "Far Side" Island: In "Beavis and Butt-Head's Island", the two get stranded on an island in a fountain at the mall. They remain there for days, complete with tattered clothes.
- Fire-Breathing Diner: Beavis and Butt-Head eat tacos with 'Mexican Death Sauce' (which a taco stand owner put in the duo's order after they fed hot sauce to his dog) in "Way Down Mexico Way".
- 555: According to "Screamers", Stuart's phone number is the typical set of numbers followed by 8989, although in "Stewart Is Missing", the given number is 555-9832.
- Fingore: Both Beavis and Butt-Head have lost a finger on at least two occasions, both incidents involving saws.
- One episode has a scene where Beavis cuts off the end of one of Butt-Head's fingers with a chainsaw while they're killing bugs.
- In "Wood Shop", Beavis saws off his finger in wood shop class, leading to a massive amount of bleeding. When he gets it reattached at the end of the episode, he tries to pick his nose... And his finger snaps off in it.
- The Freakshow: Featured in one episode where the duo are forced to pose as Conjoined Twins.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: In "Be All You Can Be", when Sgt. Dick Leakey is getting the video to show the duo, there's a shot of the demographics each video is for. They include 'Whites', 'Blacks', 'Latinos', 'Other', 'Homosexuals', 'Discipline Problems' and, in Beavis and Butt-Head's case, 'No Future'.
- Freud Was Right: The boys can find sexual innuendo in literally anything.
- Huh huh huh, you said "thing".
- Heh heh heh, and "sexual".
- Frivolous Lawsuit: Joe Adler. Though Beavis and Butt-Head are the ones who hire him. Twice.
- Funny Background Event: In "The Spill", a volunteer expresses her concerns about whether or not she is able to truly help young chicks that have been victimized by oil spills. As she talks, Beavis and Butt-Head are beating the crap out of each other in the background over one of the oil-covered birds, believing that cleaning them will get the two a chance to score with said volunteer. It's doubly funny in that the volunteer's speech about the pitiful condition of the oil-covered birds could just as easily apply to Beavis and Butt-Head. Also when the bird they fight over flies out of their hands, she sees it and think that the boys have cleaned all the oil off and released the bird, becoming ashamed of her defeatist attitude unknowing that the bird just fled out of fear, oil on the wings or not.
- Genius Ditz: Both Beavis and Butt-Head are incredibly stupid most of the time, but when they're commenting on music videos (and reality TV shows in the newer episodes) they can be surprisingly witty and clever with their comments.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In the episode "Dream On", you can hear Beavis mumbling "Fire, fire". This was after Beavis' catchphrase was bowdlerised (to "fryer, fryer") because of "Comedians", aka the episode of actual pyromania it was falsely accused of in Real Life.
- The Ghost: It is implied that the duo live with their mothers, who are said to be prostitutes. They sometimes talk about them and call to them (mostly in the music video segments) but we never see them.
- Gilligan Cut: In "Sexual Harassment", Jim Adler tells Beavis and Butt-Head he has reason to believe they can win their case of sexual harassment against Kimberly (see Wounded Gazelle Gambit below) without having to go to court. GUESS AGAIN!
- Good Ol' Boy: Tom Anderson.
- Grammar Nazi: Agent Fleming insists that Federal Agents never end a sentence with a preposition.
- G-Rated Drug: In "Buy Beer", the boys wind up with 'near beer' instead of the real thing.
- Gratuitous Spanish: Beavis in his Cornholio persona. Oddly enough, in "No Laughing", Beavis seems incapable of learning Spanish properly. This was stated by their Spanish teacher, who said that they knew no Spanish other than what they learned at Taco Bell, and that Beavis couldn't get that right.
- Grave Humor: In "Huh-Huh-Humbug", Beavis is shown his future tombstone which says "Here lies Beavis. He never scored."
- Groin Attack: These two practically brought it to an art form.
- Gross-Out Show: "Sick" deserves special mention thanks to gratuitous shots of snot dripping out of their faces.
- The Guards Must Be Crazy: Bill Clinton's bodyguards in "Citizen Butt-Head". One doesn't realize Beavis and Butt-Head aren't honor student material ("We got a pass, asswipe!") and lets them in with the others due to having a pass ("Shouldn't you be with the other honor students, bunghole."). Apparently their job isn't recognizing personalities but knowing whether or not people have clearance ("They have a pass."). Later they surround them with pissed looks in their faces and ready to pull their guns out due to their "testes 1-2-3" joke, thinking it's a code to assassinate the president ("Whoa! Those dudes look pissed!").
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Todd and Buzzcut are both incredibly violent towards Beavis and Butt-Head.
- Halloween Episode: "Bungholio: Lord of the Harvest".
- Hates Being Touched: Beavis. Don't touch me, asswipe!
- Hearing Voices: In "Most Wanted", the escaped serial killer tells Beavis and Butt-Head that he hears voices telling him to hurt people. This gets Beavis going and he practically reveals that his voices are the cause of his destructive behavior.
- Helicopter Flyswatter: Parodied in the opening scenes of "Do America".
- Helium Speech: In one episode, Beavis and Butt-Head buy balloons and try this on themselves. Upon hearing each other speak in high-pitched voices, the duo come to the conclusion that "WE'RE NEUTEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRED!!!"
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Beavis and Butt-Head each seem to be the other's only real friend. Stewart would hang out with them, but they can't stand him.
- Hippie Teacher: Van Driessen; also a rare case of a male Granola Girl.
- Also Dreama, the astronomy TA in "Let's Clean It Up".
- Homage: The short segment Cinema Classics is clearly a homage to At the Movies right down to the clothes.
- Honor Before Reason: Even though Beavis and Butt-Head's inability to even begin a standardized test could cause the school to lose funding and deprive many teachers of their jobs, he still reports McVicker for cheating when the livid principal tries filling out their answer sheets himself.
- Hormone-Addled Teenager: Or, as Bill Clinton describes the boys in "Citizen Butt-Head", "hormonally challenged".
- Horrible Judge of Character: The titular characters pretty much latch onto all the worst people. Similarly, some people (especially in the movie) can't see the bad in them.
- Human Mail: The pair attempt to mail themselves in one episode.
- Also done in a video they watched: If I Only Had a Brain by MC 900 Foot Jesus.
- The Hyena: Beavis and Butt-Head are constantly laughing. The only time they stop is if they're annoyed or more confused than usual.
- Or when they're seriously threatened ("No Laughing").
- Or when something has made them cry ("Door to Door").
- Hypocritical Heartwarming: Mr. Candy found out the hard way that he doesn't have the right to manhandle Beavis and Butt-head... only Coach Buzzcut has that honor.
- Hypocritical Humor: In the titularnote student film in "Generation in Crisis", Beavis asks if he could say 'nads'. The filmmaker, Ken Alder, tells him, "There's no censorship of any kind, this is an independant documentary film... with a generous grant from the ESCO Corporation." Beavis and Butt-Head then discuss censorship, and Beavis says something that gets censored anyway, complete with a Censor Box over his mouth.
Butt-Head: Whoa, that's the most naked I've ever seen a chick on TV.Beavis: Yeah, except for that damn body spray commercial they show every five seconds.Butt-Head: Those black boxes suck.
- Right before Beavis gets censored, Butt-Head says, "Censorship is cool. I like it when they put those black boxes over people's thingies." However, in "Safe House", they watch Pia Zadora's Rock It Out, which is set in a women's prison and starts with a scene of a woman shown from the back taking off her shirt, we get this exchange.
Butt-Head: How come they put those black things on all the girls' thingies?Beavis: Yeah. That sucks! How come they don't show boobs?Butt-Head: Yeah.
- Similarly, when they watch the censored video for "Pop Song 89" by R.E.M. (the original features three female dancers and lead singer Michael Stipe dancing while topless):
Beavis: Yeah, school sucks.McVicker: You watch your mouth! You lil' pain in the ass...(moments later)McVicker: You little bastards! Watch your language!
- Butt-Head is sometimes guilty of hypocrisy, such as when he makes fun of Beavis for being a virgin and for having a slut as a mom.
- Butt-Head mocking Beavis's intelligence isn't this to the same degree, because Butt-Head is slightly smarter then Beavis.
- Occurs twice in the opening of "Speech Therapy".
- I Banged Your Mom: Butt-Head is fond of this one, either because it's a good way to piss off Beavis or he's actually attracted to the woman. Or knowing Butt-Head, a little of both.
- Idea Bulb: Rather flickering ones that look like night lights though. Before the censors intervened, matches being struck, or a hand attempting to light a lighter were both used. In one case, a nuclear explosion took the place of the bulb.
- Ignorant About Fire: Until the Moral Guardians protested, the boys were often shown to have an affinity for fire and burning things. One scene that had Beavis setting himself on fire with a can of hairspray was edited out of reruns (including the DVD release), but he's still shown with singed hair and darkened skin afterwards.
- I'll Kill You!: In "Close Encounters", Beavis and Butt-Head are sent to a group therapy session. There, the therapist gives Beavis a padded mallet and tells him to pretend a pillow is Butt-Head. A few seconds later, Beavis is smashing the pillow yelling "Agh! Die! I'll kill you! You son of a bitch!" In "Murder Site", Butt-Head wouldn't stop calling Beavis a 'buttknocker', and Beavis threatening to kill him (which gets him arrested).
- When prank call victim Harry Sachz is directed to the Stevensons' house, he initially attacks Stewart. When Stewart's dad walks into the room holding a phone, Harry shouts 'It was you, wasn't it!? I'll kill you!'
- I'll Pretend I Didn't Hear That: Sometimes, Beavis would go on and on about something and Butt-Head's only response would be, 'Beavis, I'm going to pretend I didn't hear any of that.'
- Imagine Spot: Generally, they would fantasize about getting a bunch of chicks. In "The Future of Beavis and Butt-Head", the two imagine some careers, such as running a pornographic video store, working as a wrecking ball operator and destroying the school (with McVicker protesting) and joining the military.
- Immediate Self-Contradiction: "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Huh, Huh" opens with the new school counselor introducing herself to the class, and assuring the students that while her door is always open, no one is required to see her. While she's been talking, Beavis and Butt-Head had been sticking various school supplies in their nose, ears and other parts of their face. When she sees what they've been doing, she demands "You two! My office! Now!"
- I Never Said It Was Poison: The boys went on trial for throwing eggs at Mr. Anderson's house in "The Trial". They were almost set to be pronounced not guilty when the plaintiff's lawyer noted that Butt-Head had called them "rotten eggs" instead of just "eggs". How did they know they were rotten? They could only stammer, and within a minute the jury pronounced them guilty. (Can you blame the jurors?) Ironically enough, this was the result of Butt-Head gaining a short burst of intelligence, apparently by an imaginary version of someone they saw on TV at the beginning of the episode.
- Inherently Funny Words: The way they talk makes everything they say sound hilarious.
- Uh huh huh huh huh, "in her."
- Innocent Innuendo: Inverted. Beavis and Butt-Head give Mr. Van Driessen a list of names for a petition he asked each student to take around the neighborhood. It's all double entendre joke names that go right over the teacher's head.Van Driessen: "Hugh Jerection. Ben Dover. Rosie Palm and her five sisters. Beavis and Butt-Head, couldn't you get the sisters to each sign their names separately?"
- Insane Troll Logic: Pretty much the reasoning behind every Zany Scheme attempted by the duo.
- A rare example where it wasn't them with the reasoning appeared in "Dumb Design" when the boys ran into a group protesting the teaching of evolution in school. The leader of it argued that evolution is often complicated and difficult to understand... which therefore means it's most likely not truenote .
- The Internet Is for Porn: In "Cyber Butt", Beavis and Butt-Head pressure Stewart into going on a porn site on the school computer.
- In "Tech Support", Butt-Head spends most of the episode trying to find a way to watch porn on a tech support company's computer.
- Iron Butt-Monkey: Beavis in particular, but both he and Butt-Head suffer some serious physical abuse over the course of the show.
- Ironic Echo:
Van Driessen: Don't you dare lay a finger on my students! Beavis, did he hit you?
- In "Manners Suck", Mr. Manners tries to teach Beavis and Butt-Head some manners. Beavis gets him mad by accusing him of "touch[ing his] wiener" and strangles him.
Beavis: Yeah sir, he did. Thank you for your concern.
Mr. Manners: Why you little dirtball!
Van Driessen: Wanna touch my students, I'll touch you!
[Van Driessen and Mr. Manners start slapping each other.]
Mr. Manners: I'll get you, you little punks!
Butt-Head: Uhh, no thank you.
Beavis: Yeah. Thank you drive thru.
Gus Baker: Hey, do you use that kind of language at home? [Later, after Beavis mooned the audience] GET THESE LITTLE BASTARDS OUT OF HERE!
- In "Right On":
Butt-Head: Uh, do you use that kind of language at home?
McVicker: What am I going to do with you two? I've tried everything from group counseling to death threats...
- At the beginning of "Breakdown", McVicker is at a complete loss with how to deal with Beavis and Butt-Head:
Psychiatrist: Mr. McVicker, what are we going to do with you? We've tried everything from group counseling to physical isolation...
- Later on, McVicker is a patient at a psychiatric hospital because Beavis and Butt-Head made him have a nervous breakdown:
- Irony: In "Closing Time", the duo fry up some nightcrawlers because they're bored. When the health inspector comes in, they offer them to him, claiming they're the new curly fries. He declines their offer of some burgers, saying they've probably got worms now.Note
- Is That a Threat?: The Great Cornholio. "ARE YOU THREATENING ME!?"
- "Jeopardy!" Thinking Music: In "Closing Time", Beavis and Butt-Head sing this as the health inspector studies the mess they made at Burger World.
- Jerkass: Both Beavis and Butt-Head themselves, as they constantly cause chaos for their own amusement.
- Several characters like Todd, Buzzcut and McVicker are willing to abuse the two out of enjoyment.
- Stewart's father is also this, such as when Harry Sachz breaks into their home, he tries to pin the blame on Stewart to save himself. Thankfully, Mr. Stevenson gets what he deserves.
- Jerkass Has a Point:
Do you know what I consider people like you, people who show such blatant disrespect for the morals and values which this nation was founded upon!? The enemy! That's what I consider you!
- McVicker's frustration with the titular duo is justified as both Beavis and Butt-Head are constantly causing problems around the school.
- The militant Buzzcut on the two's mishandling of the American flag and failure to come up with their written reports per detention in "Our Founding Losers":
- Karma Houdini: Despite their stupid destructive antics at school, work, Mr. Anderson's yard, and everywhere else, Beavis and Butt-Head ACTUALLY get away with it most of the time. And when they do get caught and penalized for it, they won't learn anything. (Huh huh huh huh. "Penal".) Retroactively, it makes many of the times they get beaten up in different episodes seem like Laser-Guided Karma. Of course, the dubious continuity has a lot to do with this as well. (However, given that they will likely never score and will continue to live in a destitute home in Highland, one could argue that they aren't Karma Houdinis in the long run.)
- Moreso in the first three or so seasons. Once the show found its stride in season 4, the two had fewer Karma Houdini moments. And in the instances where they DID get away with their behavior, it was usually either because it had no long term consequences in the first place, or it was with the help of a secondary character like Van Driessen.
- Whenever the thieves Ross and Harlan commit some art of robbery (i.e. the time they robbed the Stevenson house, breaking into Beavis and Butt-Head's house and steal their TV set in the movie, not to mention that they were also meant to be hired by Muddy to kill Dallas, and looting a office in the 2011 revival), they never get caught nor receive any comeuppance.
- Todd apparently takes advantage of and beat up Beavis and Butt-Head and he never receives some sort of comeuppance for it and they would get in trouble with the law in his place... unless you count what happens to Todd in Virtual Stupidity as canon.
- Nowadays, even if you don't count Virtual Stupidity as canon, he did get arrested and placed in prison during the episode known as "Snitchers".
- Buzzcut and the crazy farmer from "Cow Tipping" also qualify.
- Kavorka Man: Yeah, they wish. Although in "Letters to Santa Butt-Head", several (presumably more attractive) women write/vocalize an attraction to Beavis and want him for Christmas (which leads to Butt-Head questioning why there are "so many dumb chicks"). It gets better when a particularly sultry woman voices that she wants both of them for Christmas, leaving the two in shock.
- Kick the Dog: Coach Buzzcut in "Young, Gifted and Crude", where he flat-out ordered his students to beat up a new student for no reason.
- Butt-Head has several of these moments, but deserves special mention in "Copy Machine", where he tells Beavis to copy his butt (after Buzzcut had told him not to). This leads to Beavis getting trapped, which leads him to be severely wounded. Just to make it worse, after Beavis is freed take a wild guess at what Butt-Head suggests he do next...
- Todd gets several of these moments, too.
- The duo's treatment of Stewart definitely counts.
- Large Ham: Beavis and Butt-Head tend to scream at certain points... and they are stars across the internet.
- Lampshade Hanging:Beavis: So, um, are you gonna change the channel, Butt-Head?Butt-Head: Why bother? All we seem to get on this TV are bad videos.
- Laser-Guided Karma: While the duo often get away with their actions, Beavis and Butt-Head do also frequently suffer particularly fitting consequences. Such as getting their asses kicked by every attendee at a feminist conference when they attempt to solicit them, or being scared off by video scenes of a live birth after they barged into a female sexual health class and refused to leave.
- Lighter and Softer: While remembered for being edgy in its time, it was eventually surpassed by shows such as South Park or Family Guy.
- Lightning Bruiser: Billy Bob might seem like a Mighty Glacier, but "Bedpans and Broomsticks" reveals that he can run at the speed of a scooter, which he does to chase after the duo when they steal his scooter. He can also smash through walls to boot.
- Limited Animation: In the first season.
- Limited Wardrobe: Lampshaded when watching AC/DC's Highway to Hell video.Butt-Head: These guys always wear the same thing.
Beavis: We always wear the same thing! I've been wearing this shirt for six months!
Butt-Head: I've been wearing this shirt for seven months.
- Literal Ass-Kicking: "I'm kicking your ass, Beavis. Huh huh huh."
- MacGuffin: The stolen TV, in the movie. Technically, the whole plot is about them trying to find a new one (or get the money to buy a new one) but that becomes irrelevant to the story pretty quickly. Then they find it thirty seconds before the end.
- Made of Iron: Whether it's being maimed by the bouncer at a mud-wrestling club, piercing their own ears with a power drill and getting serious infections, suffering a major nosebleed, getting their faces slashed with dirty razors when they try to shave, getting hit in the crotch with a bowling ball, crashing head-first into the wall of their house, or getting sucked up into a tornado and crash-landing on the ground before being flattened by a phone booth, Beavis and Butt-Head suffered injuries that should have killed them many times over. In one episode, the duo attempt to kill themselves with swords... that squash when they press against their bodies.
- Van Driessen is a similar case: He got mauled by a bear, fell down a cliff (twice) and was once run over by Beavis in a car tire... and he's still alive.
- Apparently, Buzzcut can survive being run into by a steamroller and being in the center of a car crash.
- Van Driessen is a similar case: He got mauled by a bear, fell down a cliff (twice) and was once run over by Beavis in a car tire... and he's still alive.
- Malaproper: The main characters are this all the time.
- Man in a Bikini: "Babes R Us".
- Mathematician's Answer: In "The Great Cornholio", Beavis and Butt-Head stop by Stewart's house to drop off his homework while he's sick with diarrhea. Mrs. Stevenson asks the boys if they've eaten breakfast, and Beavis says "I think I did once."
- Also this exchange from "Customers Suck".Mr. Stevenson: Are your shakes made with real milk and ice cream or do you use that reconstituted shake mix stuff?
Beavis: Yeah, heh heh heh heh heh.
Mr. Stevenson: What do you mean? Yeah, you use the shake mix, or yeah you use the real stuff?
Beavis: Yeah, heh heh heh heh.
- Also this exchange from "Customers Suck".
- Meat-O-Vision: In "Bedpans and Broomsticks", Billy Bob experiences this.
- Media Watchdogs: Resulted in a tone-down of the violence and Beavis's pyromania, but it also became a source of jokes that got the point across just as well, even calling MORE attention to it than it would have by itself.
- Mistaken for Pedophile: When Mr. Manners/Mr. Candy lashes out at the boys for ruining his class presentations, they tell the teacher that he "tried to touch them".
- Mock Cousteau: Heard in the beginning of "Couch Fishing" when they're flipping channels.
- Mooning: They do this on rare occasions.
- Moral Guardians: In-Universe example: Stewart's mother is revealed to be one in the episode where Stewart gets a satellite dish, much to Beavis and Butt-Head's frustration.
- Mouse Trap: When a rat gets into their house, the duo try to deal with it using a large rattrap. Hilarity Ensues when they struggle to just get it set up and end up having it snap repeatedly on their fingers, their hands, their feet, their noses, and their ears! Then when they finally succeed, Beavis forgets about the trap, sees the nacho chip they left in as bait, and decides he could go for some nachos...
- Mr. Seahorse: In "Pregnant Pause", Beavis fears he may be pregnant after he starts suffering from fierce abdominal cramps. It's averted, though; he's too stupid to realize he just needs to take a really big dump.
- MST: They had entire segments that did this with music videos. Probably the most famous example next to Mystery Science Theater 3000 itself.
- Mushroom Samba: Particularly in the movie.
- And even with Sugar and Caffeine. Do the words, "I AM CORNHOLIO!!!" mean anything to you?
- Must Have Caffeine: It's how Beavis turns into The Great Cornholio.
Van Driessen: Has Beavis been having any problems I should know about?Butt-Head: He ate like 27 candy bars, and then drank a six-pack of root beer.Van Driessen: That's odd, I just read about a study that said that sugar isn't supposed to cause hyperactivity.
- (From the episode "The Great Cornholio", as Beavis has turned into him and left the classroom.)
Beavis/Cornholio: I NEED MORE CRAPPUCINO FOR MY BUNGHOLE!
- (From "Buttniks" after tasting Cappuccino for the first time)
- Mythology Gag: A weird one. An episode has a monster truck run over a row of port-a-potties. We're then introduced to Straculious, the "Roman god of feces" who proceeds to drop a load of crap on the stadium. Cut to 2005 where Beavis and Butt-Head are hosting the MTV Music Awards. One clip has Butt-Head dressed up as Poseidon, and Beavis clearly dressed up as a sea horse. Despite this, Butt-Head tells him that he's supposed to be Straculious, the "Roman god of feces and manure".
- Name and Name
- Name's the Same: The revival episode "Drones" briefly features a woman named Cassandra, who is getting married. She even slightly resembles the boys' old classmate.
- National Stereotypes: They don't think very highly of British people, as demonstrated when they watched Pink Floyd's High Hopes:Beavis: You know, I'd really like to go to England. You want to know why, Butt-Head?Butt-Head: Uh, okay.Beavis: Because, I think that, like, since you know how everybody's a wussy over there, you know I could just go around and kick everybody's ass. And then I could probably get some chicks.
- Negative Continuity:
- No matter what they're doing or how they've injured themselves in the actual episode, they'll be their normal selves for the music video segments. The one exception to this is "True Crime". During the Grace Jones video, they're shown with the money they had stolen earlier on in the episode.
- In Mr. Van Driessen's first appearance, he actually gets killed by a monster truck. And then after that, he's still alive and well throughout the rest of the series. Justified in that this was in one of the two Liquid Television shorts that aired before the main series, which are considered Canon Discontinuity.
- Never Learned to Read: Whenever Beavis and Butt-Head try to read, they typically mispronounce it. When they saw a sign that read "HORSE FARM: TRESSPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED", they thought it meant "whores and prostitutes".
- Never My Fault: Whenever they both screw up something, Butt-Head always blames it on Beavis, who, being the stupidest of the two, apologizes.
- Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Averted in the original series finale, "Beavis and Butt-Head Are Dead" (1997), when everybody thought Beavis and Butt-Head were dead (they were not). The only people to express remorse were Van Driessen and Stewart, while others were either glad or just indifferent.
- Nixon Mask: Van Driessen wears one in the Halloween Episode, "Bungholio: Land of the Harvest".
- No Celebrities Were Harmed/Captain Ersatz: Gus Baker, the Rush Limbaugh parody from "Right On".
- The tattooed tough guy poet repeating "And then my friend you die, man" from "Buttniks" is Henry Rollins.
- No Name Given: The Burger World manager is never named.
- Nonstandard Character Design
- Noodle Incident:Beavis: I killed a bunch of people once.
- When they are watching videos, pretty much ANYTHING they talk about doing or happening to them or to people they know, meaning it takes place off-screen and not part of any regular plotlines, and which are generally never referenced again, would fall in this category.
- In "Butt Flambé", Beavis taken to the hospital by Butt-Head due to burns on his butt, the cause is never revealed. (Although it's heavily implied, especially by the doctors laughing at the end, to have been a Farts on Fire attempt.)
- In "Safehouse", we never find out why Todd was on the run from Leroy's gang and the police, or how either of them knew to look for him at Beavis and Butt-Head's house.
- No One Should Survive That: The duo are constantly doing stuff that could ordinarily kill a person (which is why the show has that warning that says that "Some of the things [Beavis and Butt-Head] do would cause a person to get hurt, expelled, arrested — possibly deported"). In one episode, Beavis and Butt-Head are swept up in a tornado, and when they are hurled out onto the ground, 2 phone booths fall on them with no lasting effects...the second one even had somebody in it.
- In "Vaya Con Cornholio", Beavis turns into Cornholio and wanders into an immigration office. They can't understand his nonsensical ramblings and...deport him to Mexico. The episode even ends with him staying as Cornholio for as long as the bus trip there, when he usually would have returned to normal by now after a couple hours.
- Not Quite Dead: In the final episode of the original run, McVicker supposedly died from a heart attack or stroke. Now he's alive and (relatively) well.
- Not So Different: A lot of the people Beavis and Butt-Head come into contact with (whether antagonistic or otherwise) tend to end up laughing the same way at some point.
- Including, in the movie, the entire U.S. Congress.
- When Beavis and Butt-Head are getting beaten up by a group of feminists at the end of "Womyn", one can be heard yelling "Kick 'em in the nads!"
- Also, a lot of them tend to be as ignorant as they are. Leading to Hypocritical Humor.
- Off-Model: The early seasons used copious amounts of off-model shots, making the show border even more on Deranged Animation than it did anyway.
- Oh, Crap!: In "Patients Patients", the dentist and the nurse have this expression when they realize the effect of giving Butt-Head nitrous oxide (better known as laughing gas).
- Once Done, Never Forgotten: When he thinks he saw Beavis crying over a television show (he actually sniffed an onion), Butt-Head rides him about it. For a long time. Until the day he falls over dead in an old folks home.
- One Dialogue, Two Conversations: Not exactly uncommon given their one-track mind. For example, in the Big Damn Movie, Beavis has a conversation on the plane with a little old lady.Lady: Oh, hello, there. Are you two heading for Las Vegas?Beavis: Yeah. Heh heh. We're gonna score! Heh heh.Lady: Oh, well, I hope to score big there, myself. I'm mostly gonna be doing the slots.Beavis: Yeah, yeah! Heh heh. I'm hoping to do some sluts, too. Do they have a lot of sluts in Las Vegas?Lady: Oh, there are so many slots, you won't know where to begin.Beavis: Whoa! Heh heh heh.
- Onion Tears: In "Crying", a post-uncancellation episode, Beavis tears up after biting into an onion; while his reaction is along the lines of what would naturally happen, Butt-Head proceeds to never let him forget this... even 80 years later when they are old and decrepit in a nursing home.
- Only in It for the Money: From "Manners Suck".Mr. Manners: Listen, you little twerp. This is my job. This is how I make money. Don't screw with me.
- Only One Name: The eponymous duo.
- Only Six Faces: Of a different sort. The recurring characters all had unique designs, but the show had a habit of reusing the same model for different characters. One guy shows up as a bank manager, a health inspector and a grade school teacher, in separate episodes, all with different names. Harry Sachz from "Prank Call" is shot dead in two different episodes, and given a different name in the second. The serial killer 'Kyler' from "Most Wanted" later shows up as a mall security guard. In the episode where they were on trial, many of the people in the court resemble Mr. Anderson (since Anderson is the one suing them, it may be intentional).
- Opening Narration: The disclaimer quoted above, added after the show became controversial.
- Orphaned Punchline:Butt-Head: "So the guy's like, excuse me sir, I told you to put the flower in your buttonhole."
- Out-of-Character Moment: In "Hard Sell", where the duo seethe advertisement about highly paid telemarketing job, Butt-Head, a moronic Jerkass, briefly says "Think of all people we could help with that money". They quickly laugh at this idea, so this was probably intentional.
- Overly Long Gag:
- During the music video for "Delivery", Beavis and Butt-Head, tired of videos with college students in the water, turn the television off, and we're left to stare at a black screen for quite some time, with the camera never cutting back to the boys at any point. Either Judge had a powercut or he was asleep on duty.
- Not to mention those hard stares they do.
- Overly Narrow Superlative: While watching Salt-N-Pepa's "Shoop" video:(in the video) SALT: "Ooh, girls, look at him. He is the cutest brother in here."BUTT-HEAD: "He's the only brother in there."
- Padding: The insect court scene from "Lawn and Garden" is reused in "No Laughing" unaltered.
- Papa Wolf:
- Paper-Thin Disguise: In "Incognito", when a classmate threatens them, Beavis and Butt-Head don hats and sunglasses, rename themselves "Crevis and Bunghead", and speak in British accents. Their antagonist's reaction? "Nice try, Beaver and Buttplug."
- Parallel Porn Titles: In "Huh-Huh-Humbug", Beavis watches a porn parody of A Christmas Carol called Ebeneezer Screw, featuring "Bob Scratchit" and "Tiny Johnson".
- Parental Abandonment: The boys' mothers are never seen; Butt-Head constantly insinuates that Beavis's mother is a "slut". Beavis himself seems to confirm this when he tells Butt-Head "My mom's a slut, not a whore. She doesn't charge money." The Movie reveals that their fathers are former heavy-metal roadies turned drifters.
- The Password Is Always "Swordfish": In "True Crime", Beavis and Butt-Head found an ATM card left on the machine. Beavis guessed the password correctly.Michael Jordan: What I don't get is how they figured out my password: BALLS. How'd they know I was a pro?
- Periphery Demographic (In-Universe): Many assume that the two characters only like metal videos, but sometimes other random videos will be enjoyed by them the most. They rocked out to videos by The Bee Gees and Bananarama. Butt-Head also called several New Age videos "The greatest video I've ever seen" just because they had nude models.
- The duo also seem to enjoy Grunge quite a bit, despite the real life rivalry between Grunge fans and metalheads.
- They enjoy rap music as well, though it does depend on who it is; they've enjoyed singers like Snoop Dogg and Coolio, but are horrified by Vanilla Ice.
- Even if a singer/band and their music is not of the styles the duo tends to enjoy, they will like the video if there is anything sexual in it, such as when they really get into a Barry White video, with Butt-Head referring to him as "the horniest dude who ever lived".
- Pixellation: While on Gus Baker's show, Beavis proceeds to moon the audience. When they watch a news report of said episode and its controversy, Beavis questions why his butt is all blurry. He then drops his pants and asks Butt-Head if his butt really looks like that.
Butt-Head: Dammit, the porn's all blurry!
- Lampshaded in the True Life segment of the first uncancelled episode where porn on a person's computer is blurred out.
- Politically Incorrect Hero: Beavis and Butt-Head are extremely misogynistic, homophobic and racist.
- Power Outage Plot: "Blackout!" had the titular duo watching television when the power goes out. They head out to fix the problem (without realizing that the power's gone out) and end up in the middle of a near-riot. Van Driesen tries to get them to help out by directing traffic, but their stupidity only leads to a multiple-car pile-up.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: Since the duo's trademark music video reviews wouldn't really work in the Marvel Comics adaptation, it had them read other Marvel comic books and snark at the panels.
- The Precious, Precious Car: In "Car Wash", the boys get to wash their neighbor's car while the owner goes out for a jog. They decide to take it for a joyride. Guess what happens.
- Precision F-Strike: The show in general doesn't have the characters say anything that would necessitate a Sound-Effect Bleep, but in the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards, Beavis lets loose a Cluster Bleep-Bomb as he kicks a chair when he realises that he and Butt-Head are not in the voting for the Viewer's Choice Awards.
- A similar thing happens in "Generation in Crisis".
- Prepositions Are Not to End Sentences With: In the movie.
- Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Beavis attempts this as they watch Snoop Doggy Dogg's "Gin and Juice" video, and is immediately countered by Butt-Head.Beavis: I'm a G. I'm a straight gee.Butt-Head: Yeah, you're a G for gonad. Huh huh.Beavis: Shut up, Butt-Head. Heh heh. You might get smoked if you keep that up. Heh heh. Watch yo back, homie.
- Punk in the Trunk: Whenever Todd gets involved in the plot, chances are good that Beavis and Butt-Head will end up stuffed in the trunk of his car.
- Pyromaniac: Beavis is. An early catchphrase had him gleefully shouting, "Fire! Fire! Fire!", which got the show in trouble with Moral Guardians when it was blamed for a child burning down his home. Later episodes had to be subtle about it. In "Way Down Mexico Way", he heavily emphasizes the first syllable in "fireworks". At another point, they see a music video which is slow-motion of a man casually jogging down the street while ablaze; while Beavis never used his former catchphrase, he apparently entered a state of nirvana and calmly and quietly threatened grievous bodily harm when Butt-Head said he was going to change the channel.
- Quest for Sex: Several episodes revolve around Beavis and Butt-Head's attempts to score. They are never successful.
- Really Gets Around: Based on comments made by the titular characters, it sounds like Beavis's mom is quite promiscuous.Beavis: "She's not a whore, she's a slut; she doesn't charge for it."
- Reality Ensues: Quite a few times, perhaps unsurprisingly since this show is more realistic than many of its contemporaries.
- In "Dumbasses Anonomous", a bartender refuses to give Beavis and Butthead any beer, stating that they look underage and don't have any ID to prove otherwise.
- In "Green Thumbs", the duo try to buy stuff from the Maxi Mart using poorly made counterfeit money. The shop keeper sees right through their deception and yells at them to get lost.
- In "Liar! Liar!", Butthead tries to beat the lie detector by holding his breath. However, he ends up holding his breath for a really long time and he eventually passes out from oxygen deprivation.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Utterly averted in "Crying" where Butt-head constantly mocks Beavis for crying while watching The Bachelor (the result of finding an onion in his chili dog while watching the show)."Huh huh. You were touched."
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The title characters.
- Reviewer Standard Comparisons: Parodied brilliantly by Beavis while watching Korn's "Blind" video:Beavis (after making himself all dizzy): I think there's a problem with this video in that it's highly derivative of many popular bands within the genre. Although when viewed on its own merits, it does have a decent groove.
Butt-Head: Uhh... Beavis?
Beavis: However, what it has in groove, it lacks in originality.
Butt-Head: What's your problem?!
Beavis: One can't help but be reminded of such bands as Pearl Jam, White Zombie, Suicidal Tendencies and other bands that bear the mantle of so-called Alternative Rock.
Butt-Head: You're talking like a dork, Beavis!
Beavis: One is even reminded of Laurie Anderson when she wore curlers. This video speaks less to the heart and more to the sphincter. In closing, I think Korn would do well to learn more from- (Butt-Head slaps him to bring him back.)
- Revival: Now they make fun of Reality Shows.
- RockPaperScissors: B&B played it in "Substitute", with Butt-Head lying about the rules as an excuse to hit Beavis.
- Sadist: The Duo, Coach Buzzcut, Todd and The Crazy Old Farmer.
- Sadistic Choice: During "Massage", the boys are left with two choices. Either give a massage to a disgusting old man, or get arrested for disrupting the massage guy's business. They (very reluctantly) choose the old man.
- Sadist Teacher: Buzzcut, although he is still very protective of his students, even the ones who cause him the most misery such as Beavis and Butthead because according to him, only Buzzcut administers the ass-kicking to his students.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: This tends to happen a lot with Beavis and Butt-Head when they think anything sucks and/or generally no reason at all.
- In one instance, it was far more than just a matter of something sucking; it revolved around them watching a sexual education film that was meant purely for women... and for a good reason. Despite the fact that Van Driessen had warned them it'd be graphic, they insist on watching the film for "educational purposes". After witnessing the graphic birth on the film which was unseen to the audience, yet shown to Beavis and Butt-Head, they both react with shock and disgust, to the point they decide to forego watching anymore of the film and bolt out of the room. They even refuse Van Driessen's offer to let them complete it after what they saw.
- Second Person Attack: At least twice once in the episode "Nosebleed", and again in the introduction to the 3D Jackass movie. Both times it's Butt-Head punching Beavis.
- Seemingly Profound Fool: About three out of every five episodes.
- Sentimental Music Cue: Sometimes, in the show's later seasons, a somber clarinet-driven musical cue would crop up. Naturally, this was done strictly for laughs. The episode "Bad Dog," for example, plays this music cue when their dog runs away, only to shift to the classic heavy metal guitar closing when Beavis and Butt-Head perk up and decide to get a new dog.
- Sexual Karma: Beavis and Butt-Head are constantly attempting to score with chicks. These attempts always, without exception, end in failure.
- Shared Universe: With its Spin-Off Daria, although it only briefly mentions Highland and never B&B.
- Burger World is a reference to "Big Edna's Burger World" from UHF, with Burger World also being one of the places where Al frequently ate at in the Fat music video.
- The restaurant is also based on the regional "Whataburger" chain (Judge worked at one in high school).
- One of the dream sequences in "Dream On" features Beavis as a corrupt police officer kicking the ass of a "man walking by with a dog".
- The AC/DC and Metallica shirts they always wear (in the original broadcast run, anyway... on home media they are replaced by other names - "Skull" and "Death Rock", respectively).
- The title "Way Down Mexico Way" is a reference to the song "Hey Joe," most famously recorded by Jimi Hendrix.
- The title "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Huh-Huh" is a reference to the novelty song "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaaa" by Napoleon XIV, which is about mental illness and institutionalization like the episode.
- From Virtual Stupidity, tell Beavis to use the eraser, and he will say "Go Eraser! Go Eraser Go!"
- They're BIG fans of GWAR.
- In the first revival episode, "Werewolves of Highland", Idiocracy is visible but obscured on the theater marquee where the duo see The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.
- Sick Episode: "Sick", in which Beavis and Butt-Head try to get prescription drugs in order to get high.
- Signature Laugh: The duo's continuous chortling, which is a Catchphrase in and of itself.
- Similar Squad: Stewart has two friends who are nerdy and polite versions of Beavis and Butt-Head.
- Skewed Priorities: Mr. Stevenson has his cell phone shoved in his ass. When it started ringing (Beavis and Butt-Head calling when they saw the police at Stewart's house), he wanted someone to get it thinking it might be his office.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Pretty hard on the cynical end.
- Slipping a Mickey: Double subverted when the two slip a vial of "Spanish Fly" into what they think is a girl's milk, only to have her boyfriend drink it moments later.
- Smart Jerk and Nice Moron: Downplayed. While they both act like brainless troublemakers, Butt-Head is the more aware and unrepentantly self-centered of the two. With Beavis, it's shown that he acts much nicer without Butt-Head's influence.
- Smoking Is Cool: Todd the badass smokes, and during the music video segments, Beavis would occasionally be seen trying to light a cigarette.
- Snakes Are Sexy: Beavis and Butt-Head certainly think they have sex appeal, considering they speculate that women get really excited looking at snakes in the zoo, especially in the case where a snake gets out. They're proven somewhat correct when, after causing a panic where they make the visitors think a snake escaped, one woman shudders giddily and says: "Ooooh, an escaped snake!"
- Snap Back: The Running Gag of Beavis getting poked in the eye with a pencil, or losing teeth in acts of physical violence are always undone, sometimes by the very next scene.
- This is most obvious in The Movie. Tom Anderson, his wife, and his camper trailer are hit by a wall of water that would easily kill a healthy person. In their next scene, they are both fine. Beavis and Butt-Head themselves wander in the desert until they collapse from dehydration, then get driven over half the country in Muddy's trunk, then jump out of the trunk at freeway speeds. They are perfectly fine in the next scene.
- Social Services Does Not Exist: Beavis and Butt-Head are teenagers, who appear to live on their own, which begs the question on how could no one considered checking on their home life. One even would ask where are their mothers?
- Soda Can Shakeup: In "Canned", Beavis and Butt-head tried to cause this with an unopened can of root beer. It never did explode.
- Sound-Effect Bleep:
- Used in "Scared Straight" when their class takes a field trip to prison and an inmate talks to them.
- Also in "Generation in Crisis" when the filmmaker brings up censorship.
- In their interview with Kurt Loder after the release of the film, Beavis gets mad and cusses out Butt-Head, which gets beeped out.
- Soundtrack Dissonance:
- Spanner in the Works: Beavis and Butt-Head foil a terrorist plot without realizing it in Beavis and Butt-Head Do America.
- Spell My Name with an "S": The official spelling of Butt-Head's name has a dash in it, but it's often ignored.
- Sperm as People: In "Beavis and Butt-head Do America", Beavis has a flashback to himself as a nose-picking sperm.
- Spin-Off: Daria, arguably King of the Hill (given how Tom Anderson could now easily be mistaken as an elderly version of Hank Hill (with Tom Anderson's wife as a ringer for an aged Peggy Hill) and The Goode Family (the father sounds like Van Driessen and his son looks like a mix between Stewart and Bobby Hill).
- Spiritual Successor: Due to the video mocking, the show has been considered one for Mystery Science Theater 3000.
- Subverted and subverted big time with spin-off Daria and Judge's follow-up project King of the Hill, both of which ran screaming away from Beavis and Butt-Head tonewise.
- Also, this may be like The Simpsons.
- Also South Park, since, before Cartman, the duo's voices and laughing were what teenagers loved imitating.
- Spit Take: When watching a particularly bad music video, a running gag would have Beavis spit his soda out on the side of Butt-Head's face.
- Beavis spit while drinking (non-alcoholic) beer.
- Split Personality: Beavis' alter ego is brought to the fore when he has too much sugar and/or caffeine.
- "I am Cornholio, I need TP for my bunghole"!
- Spoof Aesop: "Supersize Me" teaches us that 'Teen obesity kicks ass'.
- Status Quo Is God: No matter what the characters go through, they will always be back to 100% by the next show.
- Sting: Happens several times when watching the Violent Femmes video Nightmares, whenever Butt-Head said "sucks", followed by Beavis screaming.
- Stock Footage: Over the years their music video commentaries would use animation from the earlier seasons. It got kinda weird seeing the two characters go from round and colorful to disfigured and dark within a couple seconds.
- Stunned Silence: For a couple of videos (Vanilla Ice and Milli Vanilli), all they could do is stare in horror for several seconds before wordlessly changing the channel.
- Stupid Evil: The duo hate virtually everything, including air.
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: "There once was a man from Venus, / with a rocket ship for a... wiener."
- Super Bowl Special: During the height of its popularity, MTV would run a special episode against the Super Bowl halftime show.
- Superpowered Alter Ego: Beavis's is The Great Cornholio, who emerges when Beavis has too much caffeine and/or sugar.
- Take That!: To anyone who stands still long enough, but one memorable example was when Beavis and Butt-Head went to a poetry reading, and Beavis ended up drinking some incredibly powerful cappuccino, triggering his Cornholio persona. The beret-wearing poetry snobs, of course, thought his insane ranting was genius. They stayed for hours listening to his "I am Cornholio, I need TP for my bunghole" glossolalia. He started to tire as the caffeine wore off, and the crowd started to leave... so of course the guy Beavis was sitting with dosed him with another almost-lethal cappuccino.
Beavis: "Yeah, but I didn't ask for blood in it. That was beyond the limits of good taste."
- Judge was told by MTV that Kip Winger had forbade the network from making fun of Winger videos, and the channel restricted the show from ever making fun of the band's videos again. In response, punching-bag Stewart wore a Winger shirt. Judge later learned that Winger didn't have a problem with the show.
- With the return of the series, Judge also targets YouTube Videos and other MTV shows like Jersey Shore. Their first vic- I mean, choice since their return: The Situation and Snooki.
- In the first video segment of the revival series (less than 5 minutes into the first episode!), Beavis goes off on an extended rant about fire, in a Take That to the Moral Guardians who censored the "fire" statements in the original show.
- This also arguably applies to the revival episode, "Doomsday", where the duo believe the world has ended. Beavis notes one of the perks is that no one will tell him, "Oh, no, don't burn that!"
- While watching Ministry's Just One Fix video, Beavis says that it would be cool to see someone puke. They do.
- At least twice during the music video portions, B&B encountered something they found so awful, they simply stared in silence for a few seconds and immediately changed the channel. One time, it was Vanilla Ice, the other was Milli Vanilli. Honestly, who could blame them?
- In "No Laughing", Beavis and Butt-Head's Spanish teacher reveals that despite being in his class for almost a whole school year, that the only spanish they know is what they learned at Taco Bell, and that Beavis can't even get that right.
- Inverted in "A Very Special Episode." When Butt-Head fills out the veterinary form, he mistakes the word "symptoms" as "Simpsons" to which he says that they're pretty cool.
- Talkative Loon: Beavis, whenever he becomes Cornholio.
- But then, Beavis isn't playing with a full deck in the first place, so the sugar/caffeine just makes him even more insane than he already is.
- Tempting Fate: Every time someone asks Beavis and Butt-Head not to touch any belongings or cause any harm, you know how this will end up for them. Special mention goes to the doctor from "Wood Shop", who warns Beavis not to play with his reattached finger for the next couple of months... only for Beavis to ignore his warning by picking his nose with it, making it fall off again.Doctor: Luckily, we were able to reattach your finger. You almost lost it forever. Now remember, you're not to use that finger under any circumstances whatsoever for the next 10 to 12 weeks. You are very lucky.
- This Loser Is You: Pretty much the ultimate example. Beavis and Butt-Head are stereotype of metalheads, which is a majority of their fans.
- Those Two Guys: Ross and Harlan, the thieves who claim themselves as movers in "Stewart Moves Away" and steal the boys' TV in the movie.
- Arguably, Beavis and Butt-Head could be considered this In-Universe.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: The end of "Holy Cornholio", in which Butt-Monkey Stewart goes off to have sex with dozens of beautiful female cultists — the same ones who were trying to mate with the duo through much of the episode.
- Toad Licking: Beavis once tried to lick the back of a toad to get high.
- Toilet Humor: Lots of it, both literally and figuratively.
- Too Dumb to Live:
- Beavis in the case of an It's a Wonderful Life pastiche, in which Beavis evidently turns out to be reasonably normal without Butt-Head's presence. (He finds Butt-Head's description of the real-world Beavis hilarious though.)Beavis: What's a bunghole?
Butt-Head: You're a bunghole, bunghole!
- There's even one episode where they forget how to pee. It's called "Trouble Urinating".
- In a wood shop class, Beavis cut his finger off with a table saw. It wasn't by accident when he and Butt-Head decided to slice up random things from around the classroom with the saw, it was because he just felt like touching the saw. And when it reattached, he picks his nose with it and it falls off again.
- In "Pipe of Doom", Butt-head gets stuck after crawling inside a construction pipe. After taking the entire episode to get him unstuck (eventually having to resort to a rescue crew), Beavis goes and gets himself stuck in the same pipe.
- In one of the revival episodes, Beavis tries to photocopy his butt, only to break the screen and get stuck. After eventually being freed, Butt-Head suggests he photocopy his butt so they can see the damage done. Beavis immediately does and it gets stuck again.
- If they weren't Made of Iron, they would be dead.
- Beavis in the case of an It's a Wonderful Life pastiche, in which Beavis evidently turns out to be reasonably normal without Butt-Head's presence. (He finds Butt-Head's description of the real-world Beavis hilarious though.)
- Took a Level in Dumbass: Inverted; in the later episodes, they seem to have become much smarter in their mockery of Jersey Shore.
- Trash of the Titans: In some episodes, their house is littered with trash and crushed soda cans, and in others, it's relatively clean.
- Treadmill Trauma: One episode had the two visit a gym. At one point, they try the treadmill...by turning it up to its maximum setting before jumping onto it. Beavis goes first and gets thrown right into the wall, taking off some of the paint. Cut to later and the wall now has several patches of paint missing from where the two apparently impacted it.
- Two Decades Behind:
- For being teenagers in the '90s, Beavis and Butt-Head make an unusual amount of references to old television, such as The Brady Bunch and Gilligan's Island. One music video segment even has them discussing My Three Sons, which ended in 1972 and isn't well remembered. On the other hand, the two do watch a lot of TV in general, so it's not beyond the realm of possibility for them to have seen reruns of old shows. Indeed, one episode had them watching a (fake) episode of Gilligan's Island. Another episode began with them watching Leave It to Beaver, which inspired the rest of the episode with Beavis, Butt-Head and other various characters as stand in for the cast of that show. It's evident that reruns of old TV shows is part of their daily television diet.
- The boys' love of heavy metal was already a few years out of date in the early '90s, with Grunge becoming the teen rock genre of choice.
- Played for Laughs with Stewart's Winger t-shirt. Given his sheltered upbringing, he probably thinks liking Hair Metal is rebellious.
- Two-Teacher School: Van Driessen and Buzzcut are shown teaching a wide range of subjects and the duo are rarely seen in any other teachers' classes, especially after the first couple seasons when Mrs. Dickie and Mr. Herrera were phased out. A new unnamed female science teacher (voiced by Laraine Newman) was introduced for the revival season and became another exception.
- Ultimate Job Security: Virtually every workplace related episode had the duo doing things that would under most circumstances get almost any employee fired, yet this inexplicably never happened. Then again, it's just as inexplicable they were even hired in the first place. They're usually the only employees even shown at the place, which suggests a staffing shortage that may be keeping them employed.
- Uncancelled: Briefly returned to MTV after a 14-year hiatus (2011). Are set to return again, this time to Comedy Central (2021).
- Unfortunate Names: A lot of Highland residents have these, much to the amusement of Beavis and Butt-Head.
Butt-Head: Uh, Taylor, Bob... no... uh... M-Matthews, Al...Beavis: No. Come on, Butt-head.Butt-Head: Uh... Sac... Sachz. Harry... (starts laughing) "Hairy sack."Beavis (also laughing): Yeah. Hairy sack.Butt-Head (still laughing): This is gonna be cool.
- Here's a little gem from "Prank Call", where they were looking through the phone book for someone to call:
- Mrs. Dickie (the science teacher), Dick Gaylord (career counselor), whose names trigger hysterical laughter from Beavis and Butt-head.
- Daniel Butkis, a student who gets teased about his name in "No Laughing". Later in the episode, we learn that Buzzcutt's entire roster, sans the duo, for that particular class seems to be made up of these.
- Harry Buddisker, a health inspector whose name is mispronounced as "Harry Buttwhisker".
- Betsy Wiener, a member of the "Decency in Media" group who blames music videos as the cause of the titular duo being struck by lightning, when they were actually watching a PBS documentary and trying to re-create Benjamin Franklin's kite experiment.note
- Sgt. Dick 'The Rooster' Leakey, who attempts to recruit the duo to join the Army, only for them to enlist as 'Major Woody' and 'Private Parts' before stealing the bullets and a live grenade.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonists: The titular duo have the combined IQ of a brick and cause all sorts of mischief.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
- Of a sort. Butt-head's name goes without comment for the entire series, at least by those who know the duo personally. Those that don't either mishear it, or think it's an alias. Lampshaded in "Holding" where a cop thinks the names "Beavis and Butt-Head" sound like porn names.
- In "Incognito", Beavis and Butt-Head anger a student who carries a gun to school, and everyone treats the whole issue as normal, especially Daria.
- Vengeful Vending Machine: "Beavis and Butt-Head Vs. the Vending Machine" features the pair trying buying a bag of pork rinds from a vending machine, only for it to get stuck. The rest of the episode revolves around them trying to get it out.
- Verbal Tic: Schoolteacher Mr. Van Driessen puts "mmkay" at the end of a lot of his sentences.
- And then there's the titular duo's endless guttural laughter.
- Heheh eheheheh you said 'tit'.
- Forget that, he said titular.
- McVicker with his trademark "uhhhhhhhhhhhh".
- To a lesser extent, Butt-Head's tendency to start most sentences with "Uhhh," and tag "like" and "or something" to the end of clauses.
- Beavis also had "Hey, how's it goin'?" and "Yeah, me too".
- And then there's the titular duo's endless guttural laughter.
- Very Special Episode: "A Very Special Episode" where the duo are tasked with nursing a baby bird back to health. Given the nature of this show however...
- Vitriolic Best Buds;"Shut up, buttknocker!" *whack*
- Vocal Evolution: Quite noticably. Compare Beavis and Butt-Head's voices in "Frog Baseball" to any of the post-Season 2 episodes. Also, McVicker sounded completely different in his first appearance. Stewart also had a higher pitched voice until about Season 5, though this is on account of his voice actor, Adam Welsh, hitting puberty — he had just turned 13 when Stewart first appeared. Beavis's voice is also noticeably deeper in the revival, no doubt due to Judge trying to recreate the character's nasal, gravelly voice after having aged fifteen years.
- Buzzcut's voice is quieter and less belligerent in his first appearance than it would become.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot
- What Happened to the Mouse?: We never do find out what happened to Mr. Van Driessen in The Movie after he's arrested.
- He must have resolved the situation somehow, as he appears in later episodes.
- At one point in Virtual Stupidity, it is mentioned that McVicker had been missing for a few days, but this is never explained at the end of the game.
- What Were They Selling Again?: The duo believe that the Plain White T's "1 2 3 4" music video is an example of this. They conclude that it's a commercial for erectile dysfunction.Butt-Head: This is like one of those commercials where you don't know what it's for.
- Where the Hell Is Springfield?: While many sites label the town of Highland as being in Texas, Mike Judge himself says that he ambiguously tried to place it in a fictional area around the eastern New Mexico/western Texas region, to try and make it seem that the boys could be living anywhere.
- Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Butt-Head once mentioned that he has a cousin named "Richard-Head".
- With Friends Like These...: The title characters of Beavis and Butt-Head. The latter often hits, insults, neglects and is downright abusive towards the former. Whenever Beavis is getting beaten up or is in a life-threatening predicament, Butt-Head never cares about what's going on with him in the slightest, making it very ambiguous as to why those two are friends in the first place aside from having some shared interests in music, food, and women. One episode even shows that if Butt-Head wasn't in his life, Beavis would have been a still dimwitted, but much friendlier person.
- The Woobie: In-Universe, Butt-Head actually approaches this when he buys a Russian mail-order bride, who is repulsed by him, abuses him and has loud sex with Todd in his car outside their window. Beavis obliviously keeps asking why Butt-Head's wife is doing it with Todd, until he angrily cries "Dammit, Beavis, she's not really my wife!" He is cheered up quickly when Beavis concludes that since she's doing it with Todd, and she's Butt-Head's wife, that he and Todd are related.
- Would Hurt a Child: Buzzcut (although he is very protective of his students) and Muddy Grimes (who spends half of The Movie trying to hunt down and kill the boys).
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Played for laughs in "Sexual Harassment". The boys whine that a girl is "harassing them" by being too hot and try to sue her, only for their own stupidity and the law to nip the whole thing in the bud.
- Wounded Gazelle War Cry: Again, played for laughs, but in "Whiplash". Butt-Head tries to get run over by a bus in order to sue the bus driver for a ton of money. Of course, it fails, and in fact, it ends up getting both him AND Beavis injured.
- Writing Around Trademarks: The 1993 album The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience has them on the cover with Beavis wearing a "DEATH ROCK" shirt and Butt-Head wearing an "MTV" shirt, instead of their usual AC/DC and Metallica shirts. Neither band appears on the album. Butt-Head wears a "SKULL" shirt in a picture in the liner notes.
- The "Skull" and "Death Rock" logos are used whenever Beavis and Butt-Head appear in merchandise outside of the cartoon, because using AC/DC and Metallica would generate legal issues.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: A few characters attempt to treat Beavis and Butt-Head as misunderstood, troubled teenagers, hoping to draw out their hidden good sides. Problem is, Beavis and Butt-Head really ARE just as stupid, selfish and incompetent as they appear, there are no hidden depths for anyone to find.
- Yandere: Beavis and Butt-Head are both this to Todd, regardless of how much of a violent Jerkass he is to them.
- Yet Another Christmas Carol: "Huh Huh Humbug" has Beavis in place of Scrooge. Anderson, Van Driessen and Buzzcut are the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, respectively. The McVicker family stand in for the Cratchits, and Butt-Head is Jacob Marley. In this, McVicker is forced by Beavis to work at Burger World.
- You Get What You Pay For: Van Driessen hired our heroes to clean his house as a way of teaching them the value of hard work. He only gave them a dollar each for their work, but in the end, Van Driessen got what he deserved when he sees that Beavis and Butt-Head destroyed his irreplaceable 8-track collection.
- "Uh huh huh huh. That was cool."