Basically, anything below Hard Rock tends to "suck", but they do make exceptions. Radiohead's "Fake Plastic Trees" was praised by Beavis, as he likes to "mellow out to this song". He admitted he actually kind of likes Bon Jovi (to Butt-Head's annoyance). And later, the revival had him speak fondly about Katy Perry.
Beavis: Sometimes if I have a boner that won't go down, I listen to this kind of music.
Like its sister show, King of the Hill, people in the military are rarely depicted in a positive light. Buzzcut is a violent, abusive sociopath. Tom Anderson is a loser. A revival episode had a military officer bluntly say that they accept dropouts and delinquents and were too incompetent to notice the titular characters sneaking in a restricted area and piloting a drone.
Police officers in this show tend to either be very incompetent or very trigger happy with no in-between.
Alternative Character Interpretation: Interesting in the case of Buzzcut. Although he is one of the main antagonists of the show, one could also argue that he is kind of a Hero Antagonist, because Beavis and Butt-Head are often extremely unpleasant in any situation. Although this is challenged a bit by his aggressive behavior, tendency to threaten anyone with bodily harm, and him turning a bunch of students onto a new student in "Young, Gifted and Crude" as seen in Kick the Dog below.
Similar to the Van Driessen theory below, is Buzzcut just using a jerkass facade to instill order in his students? Out of all the people who have expressed hatred for the duo in "It's a Miserable Life", he is noticeably absent, he defended the duo from Mr. Candy, and is a proud patriot.
Buzzcut's hatred for the duo. Does he hate them because of all the trouble they cause? Or does he hate them because they don't fear him despite his efforts to intimidate them into obeying him? This is supported by Beavis & Butt-head Are Dead, where his flashback montage showed moments of him antagonizing them rather than the other way around.
Also, Beavis. There are numerous hints dropped throughout the original series that Beavis, despite being outrageously perverted and a borderline sociopath, actually has a heart in there somewhere, but Butt-Head is too much of an abusive bad influence for him to even remotely realize that potential. He even makes an effort to be polite to people, despite his lack of social skills ("Hey how's it goin'?"), such as actually saying thanks and sorry to people on occasion.
Does Van Driessen actually care about the boys, or does he only pretend to tolerate them out of a sense of self righteousness? There have been some moments that imply the latter, such as declaring he'll "kill those little jerks" for destroying his 8-Track collection in "Cleaning House" and being one of the people to ask God to kill them in "It's a Miserable Life". Other moments like in "Beavis and Butt-Head Are Dead" show he at least still cares enough to actually grieve for them when all the other teachers waste no time in throwing a party.
Why the Burger World manager tolerates the boys despite all the damage they cause is up to interpretation. One way of looking at him is that Beavis and Butt-head completely ruined Burger World's reputation and the reason he doesn't fire them is because he's utterly desperate and can't find any other help. On the other hand, he could be seen as genuinely sympathizing with the boys despite being frustrated with them all the time since in the Christmas episode, he at least takes the time to try to instill in Beavis the values of hard work and dedication. And of course, a third and equally valid interpretation of the manager is that he's not the most competent or intelligent person himself and the fact he's rarely seen working the front or the grill alongside the duo (unless of course they screw things up to the point he has no choice but to go out there and calm down angry customers) lends some credibility to this.
Are Beavis and Butt-Head really as sexist as we are led to believe? Perhaps they are simply just too stupid to realise how offensive they come across? Theres also their complete lack of social skills...
One has to wonder why Daria went out of her way to hang out with Beavis and Butt-head even though most other women hated their guts. One way of viewing her is that she looked down upon them, wanted to get some cheap amusement from their idiocy, and knew she was safe from any harassment since they weren't attracted to her. However, another way of interpreting her is that considering how she wouldn't be shown having any close friends like Jane or much of a semi-active social life until her own spinoff show, one could see Daria as being an outcast herself who was genuinely lonely and considered Beavis and Butt-head the closest thing she had to real friends before she moved to Lawndale.
Awesome Music: The last montage of the final (at the time) episode clip show had a compliation of the two wreaking havoc set to "In the Hall of the Mountain King" with Beavis and Butt-Head's vocal air-guitar riff dubbed over it.
They've played plenty of great music videos, but The Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated" is one of the few songs to get the boys to just shut up and rock out.
The video for Black Sabbath "Iron Man" begins playing, Butt-Head can only manage "Whoa! Hey Beavis!" while Beavis freaks, saying "Check, check it out! It's...it's...it's...ahhh...ahhh....GRAHHHHH!" and then the two get to sing the signature riff IN context.
Another episode began with them in school and with random school supplies and trash being thrown around the classroom by the students. While Beavis repeatedly hits Butt-Head with a ruler, Butt-Head is seen hitting Beavis with a book. Then the class begins and they go about like nothing ever happened.
"Common Knowledge": People often "remember" that they watched only heavy metal music videos and entirely riffed on them hating all of them, others "remember" that they loved only the heavy metal videos and hated everything else. In actuality not only was the genres of music videos watched pretty varied, so was their reviews, and they did enjoy some videos that weren't metal, or even heavy music at all (such as Radiohead's "Fake Plastic Trees" or The Bee Gees).
Crack Ship: Ignoring the fact that these two pairings have little to no romantic/sexual chemistry, aside from Daria being one of the extremely few girls who willingly talk to the duo, quite a few people in the fandom support Butt-Head/Daria. Same for Beavis/Daria.
The biggest Ensemble Dark Horse of the show is Beavis's alter-ego, The Great Cornholio. He only appeared in a few episodes and The Movie, but he is one of the most notable characters in the entire show.
Tom Anderson is generally loved for the fact that he was a proto-Hank Hill.
Growing the Beard: In early episodes, the duo didn't go through the range of jokes as later seasons, and most of the time they were just playing pranks or causing all around mischief. When the show started to get popular (and when MTV got scared that kids may be imitating the duo's destructive behavior), their personalities changed into the way most people recognize them now by. Of course, this made everything a hell of a lot funnier.
Which is funny, because their earlier music video reviews were very little except jabs or praise for the band/artist. Their later reviews had a more intellectual insight, implying that the characters are savants.
Most agree that the revival is even better than where it left off, mostly thanks to Judge being able to apply a lot more years of experience on perfecting the comedy.
This poster◊ released several years ago (as part of Huh Huh for Hollywood) was more or less realized with "Holy Cornholio", the fourth revival episode.
The scene where the duo fry a mouse in Burger World is this in light of the scandal at KFC with a piece that resembled a fried rat.
While watching the video for "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" by Slash's Snakepit, Beavis and Butt-Head see Eric Dover (of Jellyfish) and immediately ponder "what happened to Axl," thinking it's a Guns N' Roses video. As it would turn out, the situation with the real Guns N' Roses would become quite theopposite.
Apparently, Beavis and Butt-Head joined the Me Too movement before it even existed.
In "No Laughing", Buzzcut, who's teaching sex ed that week at Beavis and Butt-Head's school, gets in Beavis and Butt-Head's faces and screams the names of various reproductive parts and topics related to sex. In the second episode of Judge's next show, Peggy is hired to teach sex ed and struggles to so much as mumble those words in private, let alone scream them.
Beavis and Butt-Head as "werewolves" in "Werewolves of Highland" note The result of being bitten by a bum with numerous STDs whom they mistook as a werewolf.
"Beaverly Buttbillies" features the two believing they struck oil in the show's take on the "(dumb) character mistakes sewer discharges for oil" plot. And they get covered in the stuff.
"I Dream of Beavis" shows Beavis becoming convinced that a dead, decaying rat in a bottle is a genie. And then he brings it to school...
"Sick" has Beavis and Butt-Head spend most of the episode with snot dripping from their noses (including a lovely close-up of Butt-Head eating cheese doodles with snot not too far from his mouth) and multiple scenes of Beavis blowing snot out of his nose.
"Burger World", pretty much in its entirety. While dumpster diving, Butt-Head finds a chicken sandwich with mold dripping from it and eats it. Then Beavis fries up a dead mouse and flies and gives them to Mr. Anderson. "Closing Time" also involved the duo frying up worms and selling them as curly fries.
No Yay: Despite the opportunity being handed to them on a silver platter, some fans refuse to support the pairing of the duo. This is likely due to the fact that Butt-Head physically abuses Beavis a lot of time and their ugly appearances.
Played straight with the SNES and Genesis games, which were mediocre (and veryNintendo Hard) platformers. (The Genesis one also has shades of Adventure Game and is actually somewhat decent, if not good, but the SNES one is just a straight mediocre platformer).
Seasonal Rot: Season 5 devotes more time and emphasis on the music video segments, resulting in weaker main segments that don't really go anywhere. Many episodes stop before anything interesting happens. Season 6 follows a similar format, but features more structured and creative stories.
"Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: The show was, back in the day, controversial. It was also one of the biggest boogeymen among Moral Guardians. Nowadays, compared to many adult animated shows thereafter like South Park and Family Guy, the show seems tame by comparison, and even corny at times.
Shipping: Generally Beavis/Butt-Head (obviously), Beavis/Daria, Butt-Head/Daria and Mr Van Driessen/Coach Buzzcut.
Squick: Many instances within, such as the classic pre-series segment about a monster truck arena getting flooded with crap. Or Beavis' grievous dog bite wound and seeing individuals poke the exposed bone.
Word of warning, "Nose Bleed" is not for the squeamish. Neither are "Wood Shop" or "Tainted Meat".
Happens in-verse when Beavis and Butt-Head convince a female instructor and Van Driessen to let them watch an educational film about female reproduction, only to be utterly Squicked out when it comes to the part about giving birth.
In "Choke", Butt-Head regurgitates a chicken nugget he choked on, only for Beavis to pick up and eat it.
Strawman Has a Point: Just about every teacher or administrator besides Van Driessen is made to look like an overbearing bully (Buzzcut) or a risible incompetent (McVicker) when coming down on the two for their antics. But anyone who has ever tried to keep a classroom full of children on task will probably applaud every time they get thrown out of whatever classroom they're in, as things like sticking pencils up your nose, giggling uncontrollably at little things, and then throwing the pencils up into the ceilings are undeniably disruptive to the educational environment. To be fair, Buzzcut is bit of a bully in general and not just to the duo, and McVicker only ever really directs his frustration towards the duo in particular.
Suspiciously Similar Song: Judge has admitted that his theme song is the riff from the AC/DC song "Gone Shootin'" played backwards.
The duo meeting their fathers for the first time in Do America. The fact that they wake up the following morning after bonding at the campfire only to see that they left while they were still asleep makes it more heartbreaking. Granted, neither the duo nor their fathers knew who they were, but anyone who has suffered from Parental Abandonment could relate.
In "Crying", Beavis teared up due to an onion on his chili dog. Butt-Head would not stop giving him a hard time for crying. It then shows them 80 years in the future, at a nursing home. Butt-Head is still giving him a hard time for crying, and then he falls over dead. Beavis seems unaffected by his death, maybe even delighted.
"The Miracle That Is Beavis" is rather sad, when one looks at it. Despite being rather misguided about it (due to Comically Missing the Point about the Tony Robbins expy's advice), there was something awesome about seeing Beavis stand up for himself and refuse to take crap from anyone-including Butt-Head. Cue Butt-Head reinstating Status Quo Is God by smacking the beejezus out of Beavis, as usual.
In the revival episode "Drones", during the deadmau5 music video segment, Beavis reveals, in fairly graphic detail, how he was drugged, raped and thrown under a bridge by a school grief counselor. It's a massively dark and disturbing scene in an otherwise funny episode. Even worse is that even Butt-Headis visibly uncomfortable during the scene.
"Butt Flambé" somehow manages to be this combined with funny. The episode begins with Beavis being taken to the hospital with third-degree burns on his butt, with Butt-Head laughing at him. But Beavis's reactions were played completely straight- he looks completely miserable and terrified during the whole episode and is practically crying, even begging the nurses "please" because he's hurting so much. Genuinely sad shots of Beavis being examined and desperately screaming "NO!" are interwoven with scenes of Butt-Head donning a doctor's disguise to sneak into operating rooms to watch the operations. Fortunately, Beavis is fine by the end of the episode, bandaged up and watching TV.
When Beavis and Butt-Head are commenting on Pantera's "This Love", Butt-Head theorizes that the lead singer is angry because of a domineering father. The commentary starts off pretty funny, with both of them imitating "Pantera's father" ("Dammit Panerta! You treat your stepmother with respect!") That is, until Beavis gets a little TOO in-character and specific with it, visibly freaking out and shaking/screaming as he does so. Even Butt-Head is slightly unnerved by this, and tells Beavis to calm down.
While "Stewart Is Missing" is played for Comedic Sociopathy, there's something very upsetting about Mrs. Stevenson weeping her head off thinking her son might be dead only to find out the duo locked him in a closet and never let him out.
In "Scared Straight", towards the end when the students are going back on the bus, pay attention to the African-American student. He's got tears running down his face and you can even hear him crying. What do you think he saw in there??
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: From what little we've seen of her, Cassandra appeared to be a character with potential. Like Daria, she was one of the very few girls willing to talk to Beavis and Butt-Head. In contrast to Daria, she was actually nicer and more willing to give the two friendly advice. She was also subtly hinted to have hidden lesbian tendencies and may have had a crush on Van Driessen, in addition to some implied daddy issues. However, her speaking roles and appearances are extremely few and far between. As a result, Cassandra's character remained very much unexplored aside from the small kernels revealed to us in her brief appearances that never get further development.
The show's depiction of slacker culture and metalhead teenagers plants it firmly in the mid-90's. While the reboot tried hard to modernize the duo, even retconning a few of their initial traits for this purposenote In the 1993-97 series, video games are depicted as a "nerd" hobby Stewart is into. While, in the reboot, both Beavis and Butt-Head are fans of games like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty, it still couldn't escape the show's blatant "grunge era" roots. Though, to be fair, the reboot was very clearly made for people who were fans the series in its heyday, rather than potential newcomers.
The reboot itself fell into this. With the duo mocking pop culture hits of the early 2010's like Twilight and Jersey Shore.
Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Principal Mc Vicker. The viewers are supposed to feel sorry for him because of all the stress Beavis & Butt-head's antics cause him. However, his sympathy goes out the window when it's been implied that he's perfectly aware Buzzcut abuses his students and turns a blind eye, uses underhanded tactics in order to get rid of the duo, and has shown to be just as childish as they are like in Wet Behind The Rears.
Unpopular Popular Character: Beavis and Butt-Head are characterized in the show as being the two most hated people in their town for their Chaotic Stupid behavior and any real teenagers who were as destructive and lethally stupid as they were would be just as unpopular... which is exactly what makes them so entertaining to watch! Series director Yvette Kaplan has said that part of their appeal is that, while troublemakers, Beavis and Butt-Head aren't malicious, just idiots, and admits that she finds most of their antics more cute than offensive.
We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: While the inevitable switch from the duo riffing on music videos to riffing on reality shows was by no means hated, most would agree that two losers take the piss out of famous musicians was more fun than watching two losers take the piss out of even bigger losers.
What an Idiot!: The duo, pretty much all of the time. Of course this was intentional.
A notable example is in "Vidiots", when the two go to a video dating service, Beavis gives a fake name to the lady working there (Heraldo, which she interprets as Mexican), and she mistakes Beavis's sexual answers to her questions as romantic while Butt-head is doing his video, and tries calling Beavis, only for Butt-head to hang up on her. Shortly afterward Beavis answers the door for a woman asking to turn on 'the pleasure machine' (Butt-head, as he mentioned twice in his video); Beavis thinks she is talking about the TV and slams the door on her.
Of all the characters on the show, only the Burger World manager comes close to matching the incompetence of the duo. Despite the fact that Beavis and Butt-Head have repeatedly screwed up on the job, got him injured, and generally destroyed the reputation of Burger World, the manager has continued to employ them. This is especially egregious considering the fact that he's an employer in a real world job with every right to fire them but chooses not to, as opposed to McVicker who, as a public school official, has no choice but to put up with Beavis and Butt-Head until they either graduate or choose to drop out of high school. It really says something about the Burger World Manager when unlike McVicker, he's not required by law to put up with the duo but still keeps them employed and repeatedly brings disaster upon both himself and his business.
What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Lost in the tragedy of a child burning down a house, or part of a house, is the question Why is a child watching Beavis and Butt-Head?!? It's animation, right? Must be OK for the children, then. The child in question watched the show because his babysitter let him watch it, but who cares? Moral Guardians in America certainly didn't.
You may remember a speech similar to that from "Teen Talk".
Not to mention, the music video segment of "Drones", in which he describes his experience of getting molested by a school counselor... Poor Beavis...
Stewart. Genuinely thinking Beavis and Butt-Head are his friends, he keeps trusting and forgiving them and worrying about their safety no matter how many times they screw him over. Not to mention his overprotective parents trying to pin the blame on him to save his own skin more than once.