Follow TV Tropes


YMMV / Beavis and Butt-Head

Go To

  • Acceptable Targets: "Wuss music" and geeky types like Stewart (which explains why Stewart wore a shirt from the band "Winger" as a contrast to Beavis's Metallica shirt and Butt-Head's AC/DC shirt).
    • 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."
    Beavis: Sometimes if I have a boner that won't go down, I listen to this kind of music.
    • Like in 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. An episode of the Revival had a military officer bluntly say that they accept drop-outs and delinquents and were too incompetent to notice the titular characters sneaking in a restricted area and piloting a drone.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Interesting in the case of Coach 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 & Crude" as seen in Kick the Dog below.
    • Similar to the Van Driessen theory below, is Buzzcut just using a Jerkass Façade 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.
    • Also, Beavis. There are numerous hints dropped throughout the original series that Beavis, despite being a thick-headed pain in the ass to most everyone he meets, 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.
    • The duo themselves. Are they a pair of morons who do not realize that their antics put others in danger because they are too stupid to realize their actions or are they sociopaths who realize what are they doing is wrong, but don't care? There have been times, mostly during music video segments, where they are smarter than usual.
    • Advertisement:
    • In the revival, there's a one-off sketch called "Cinema Classics with Butt-Head," in which the duo, apparently adults, taller, and dressed in slightly more formal clothing, do a satirical review of "The Human Centipede." If taken at face value/interpreted as being canon, it could mean that Beavis and Butt-Head eventually became successful film/media critics later in their adult lives.
    • Does Mr. 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.
  • 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" was one of the few songs to get the boys to just shut up and rock out.
    • Advertisement:
    • 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...ahhh...ahhh....GRAHHHHH!" and then the two get to sing the signature riff IN context.
    • The video for "Sober" by Tool impressed them so much that, aside from briefly snickering over the name of the band, they had nothing negative to say about the entire thing, repeatedly exclaiming that it was "cool!"
  • Animation Age Ghetto: The entire reason the fire controversy happened
  • Base-Breaking Character: Butt-Head is either just as funny as Beavis or disliked for being abusive towards him.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The White Zombie video in The Movie, triggered by a Peyote-induced Mushroom Samba.
    • Beavis even expresses awe in how it's like a music video.
    • 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.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Really, this show lived on this trope, but "Way Down Mexico Way" was its apotheosis.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Snark Knight Daria Morgendorffer was popular enough to get her own series.
    • 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 popular and funny characters in the entire show.
    • Tom Anderson is generally loved for the fact that he was a proto-Hank Hill.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The entire "Incognito" episode. Beavis and Butt-Head anger a student who carries a gun to school, and everyone treats the whole issue as an Unusually Uninteresting Sight. In light of the many widely-televised school shootings that would ensue in The '90s and Turn of the Millennium, it... got a lot less funny.
  • Growing the Beard: In the 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 Mike Judge being able to apply a lot more years of experience on perfecting the comedy.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The 2005 MTV Video Music Awards, in which Beavis and Butt-Head pop up from time to time, urging viewers to put them back on the air by voting for them in the MTV Viewer's Choice Award (not realizing they're not a voting option).
    • This poster released several years ago (as part of Huh Huh for Hollywood) was more or less realized with "Holy Cornholio", the fourth episode of the revival.
    • 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 (from 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 the opposite.
    • Beavis was twerking long before Miley Cyrus made it cool.
    • Two nerds in "Patsies" debating what would be better: Making Data human or giving Geordi sight. Geordi would gain sight via cybernetics in the TNG movies.
    • Apparently, Beavis and Butthead joined the Me Too movement before it even existed. It could also be Harsher in Hindsight, depending on your overall view of the movement.
  • Hollywood Pudgy: Daria was shorter and slightly chubbier in this series.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: Deliberately invoked in "Nothing Happening", wherein several events (such as a plane crashing into Highland High, Stewart's chemistry set exploding on him, and a felon going into a high-speed chase) happen in rapid succession. All while Beavis and Butt-Head miss out, due to falling asleep out of boredom.
  • Ho Yay: Huh huh huh huh, Todd's cool. (floating hearts)
    • At the end of "Beware of the Butt", the duo is hung from the marquee butt-naked, leading Butt-Head to make comments on Beavis's rear end.
      Beavis: Why are you so interested in my butt?
      Butt-Head: Uhhh... have you heard the new GWAR album?
    • In "Sporting Goods", the two try on athletic supporters in the same dressing room.
    • In "Baby Makes Uh, Three", Beavis and Butt-Head are partners to take care of a flour sack for their health class. Buzzcut justifies this by telling them that with the increase of homosexual couples adopting children, it makes the project more realistic. Surprisingly, the duo makes no comment.
    • This exchange from the tie-in book "This Book Sucks":
      Beavis: Hey, Butt-Head. Do you think you'll ever, like, get married?
      Butt-Head: Uh, are you proposing, dude?
      Beavis: No.
      Butt-Head: That's OK, I'd only marry somebody dumb anyway. Huh huh.
      • An advert for the third volume of The Mike Judge Collection parodies this, in the style of Brokeback Mountain.
      • Let's face it: it's their only hope of getting any.
    • In the movie, Beavis and Butt-Head mistakenly believe that Dallas is paying them to have sex with her husband, Muddy. While Butt-Head flatly rejects the offer, Beavis responds with "I don't know, Butt-Head; that's a lot of money. Maybe if we just close our eyes and pretend that it's a chick..."
    • In the episode "Going Down," Beavis and Butt-Head were excited by the possibility of having a three-way with a woman. Which involved Butt-Head mounting Beavis from behind.
    • In one episode, the two are seen sleeping on the couch. Butt-Head accidentally leans over on Beavis's shoulder, then quickly sits up when he realized what he's done.
    • In the episode "Babes R Us," Beavis and Butt-Head put on bikinis and mud-wrestle. No, really.
    • "Here Comes the Bride's Butt" ends with Beavis and Butt-Head walking towards the sunset together, which serves as a direct parallel to Mr. Anderson and his wife doing the same, while they talk about their long and happy marriage.
  • Idiot Plot: Pretty much every episode has the two main characters doing something incredibly stupid or causing mischief. It's played for laughs though.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Some fans of the show only watched Beavis and Butt-Head for the music video segments. Other fans hated the music video segments and only watched for the actual cartoons.
    • In-verse, a Running Gag in the revival's Jersey Shore segments has Beavis and Butt-Head getting annoyed when they don't involve sex or fighting.
  • Magic Franchise Word: Many of the boys' insults for each other, like "dillweed", "fart-knocker", or "assmunch".
  • Memetic Mutation: Diarrhea cha-cha-cha! Diarrhea cha-cha-cha!
    • Quit trying to change the subject! Attention, everyone! Beavis was crying.
      • Damn it, I was NOT crying! I'm serious.
    • Uhh...Hey baby, Come to Butt-Head. Uh huh huh huh huh.
    • Boioioioioioing!
    • Heh Heh, You Said "X" is really a Memetic Mutation unto itself.
    • "Here lies X. He never scored."
    • "This sucks more than anything that has ever sucked before."
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: Despite the titular characters being stereotypes of metal fans, many metalheads loved the show.
  • Misaimed Fandom: The show garnered a cult following of the very slack-jawed teen morons and stoners that the show intended to make fun of.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • The Crazy Old Farmer/Janitor crosses it when he attempted to murder Beavis in "Cow Tipping".
    • Buzzcut crossed it in "Young, Gifted, and Crude" by allowing his class to beat up a new student.
      • Van Driessen believes Buzzcut crossed it in "Beavis & Butt-Head are Dead" when he was not only glad they were (not really) dead, but hoping their deaths were slow and painful, and unlike McVicker, you can't really justify his hatred for the duo. They rarely mess with him, and the flashbacks shown during Buzzcut's segment of the Clip Show were of him being a dick to them.
    • Beavis and Butt-Head themselves arguably cross this in "Breakdown", where they drive McVicker into a severe mental breakdown with their laughter, and later do the same to Van Driessen. Their Lack of Empathy pretty much seals it.
    • Principal McVicker crossed it in "School Test" when he decides to manipulate Beavis and Butt-Head's test so that they could pass. Underhanded, but understandable. However, he really crosses it when he fired Mr. Van Driessen for calling him out on it and threatening to report it.
    • Mr. Stevenson crosses it in "Prank Call", when he tries to have Harry Sachz beat up Stewart to save his own skin. Thankfully, he gets what's coming to him big time.
  • Nausea Fuel:
    • Beavis and Butt-Head as "werewolves" in "Werewolves of Highland" note 
    • "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. The episode Closing Time also involved the duo frying up worms and selling them as curly fries.
  • Nightmare Fuel: "Breakdown" is truly a disturbing episode where Beavis and Butt-Head's inane laughter over the intercom finally drives McVicker to suffer a terrible mental breakdown and things only worsen when they visit him at the mental hospital. Then the episode ends with ominous music as their indifferent laughter begins to drive Van Driessen insane...
    • The two pilot episodes of the series are truly disturbing and unrealistic too, considering how off they looked. Still, they're considered Negative Continuity.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Notably averted with Beavis and Butt-Head In Virtual Stupidity, a really excellent point-and-click adventure.
    • Played straight with the SNES and Genesis games, which were mediocre (and very Nintendo Hard) platformers.
  • The Scrappy: Todd is generally disliked by fans because he's a massive Jerkass to the duo. Even though they practically worship the ground he walks on, he returns the favor by beating them up for only minor offenses, coming to their house just to steal their party or chicks they're trying to score with, and only hangs out with them when he needs something from them. However, unlike most Jerk Asses on the show, Todd is always a Karma Houdini.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: It 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.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: Mike Judge has admitted that his theme song is the riff from the AC/DC song "Gone Shootin'" played backwards.
  • Squick: Many instances within this series, 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 "Woodshop" 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.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Just about every teacher or administrator besides Mr. Van Driessen is made to look like an overbearing bully (Buzzcut) or a risible incompetent (Principal McVickers) 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.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • The duo meeting their fathers for the first time in Do America. The fact that they woke 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 stand-in'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.
    • A MASSIVE tear jerker occurs in the episode "Drones," during the deadmau5 music video segment, when 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-Head is visibly uncomfortable during the scene.
    • The episode "Butt Flambe" 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 music "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 the episode "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.
  • 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.
  • Ugly Cute: Beavis, to some fans. His exuberant and somewhat naive personality make him endearing to a lot of fans, especially when compared to Butt-Head.
  • Uncanny Valley: The faces look weird and realistic. This may have been intentional, though.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Beavis and Butt-Head are widely hated in-universe for several different reasons. Even the (very) few characters who don't outright hate them such as Daria, Van Driessen, and their Burger World manager have limits to how much of the duo's behavior they can tolerate. Among fans, however, it goes without saying that they are very popular because of how entertaining they are.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: The switch to watching reality shows over music videos in the revival could be seen as this, but then again, let's face it, MTV changed a lot between 1997 and 2011.
  • 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.
    • Even some of the other characters can be incredibly stupid at times, particularly Van Driessen. One noteworthy example is when he has the duo clean his house and tells them not to touch his irreplaceable 8-track collection.
    • 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.
  • The Woobie: Beavis during his "We're never gonna score" speech in The Movie - even though it's Played for Laughs.
    • You may remember a speech similar to that from "Teen Talk".
      • Not to mention, the music video segment of the episode "Drones," in which he describes his experience of getting molested by a school counselor... Poor Beavis...
    • Stewart. He genuinely thinks 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 mom and his dad trying to pin the blame on him to save his own skin more than once.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: