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YMMV / Celebrity Deathmatch

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  • Acceptable Targets:
    • In Bigfoot v. The Loch Ness Monster, everyone cheers for Nessie when falling debris from his post-match rampage kills Don King, who was notorious for his handling of Mike Tyson's late career, and had been accused of setting up intentionally lopsided—and potentially fixed—boxing matches.
      Mike Tyson: I'm fwee! I'm fwee! The King is dead! Long live the monster!
    • Although she never fought on the show, Tara Reid and her breasts were mentioned a lot by Nick and Johnny in the revival.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • James Gandolfini's dream sequence during his match with Robert De Niro. Also Crosses the Line Twice.
    • Anytime the Masked Man appeared to interrupt a fight.
    • Dennis Franz making a cameo as the Ally McBeal Dancing Baby during the Lucy Lawless vs Calista Flockhart fight. It comes straight out of nowhere and adds nothing to the fight (Lucy gets distracted for a second, but Calista doesn't do anything to take advantage of the distraction). Even when Franz comes back later in a fight of his own, the only vague reference to it is that Mills Lane hates him "for some reason".
    • In the The Undertaker vs Captain Doodynote  fight, Captain Doody suddenly turns into Bob Saget. Apart from frightening Nick and Johnny telling him it’s only an allusion, this served no point in the fight.
    • in the middle of the Steve-O vs Andy Milonakis fight, Milonakis is revealed to have the powers of the imagination, as shown when he uses a lightswitch to make Steve-O and Johnny disappear and reappear. This does nothing to help him in the fight and he won by eating Steve-O who decided to dress up as a Twinkee
  • Crosses the Line Twice: See Big-Lipped Alligator Moment above.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Stacy Cornbred, especially after her death, and even more so after the fan reactions to Debbie and Tally's Jerkass behavior. It was most likely the reason behind her coming back from the dead in a Season 3 Halloween episode (and the video game).
  • Epileptic Trees: It was strongly implied that The Masked Man was Michael Jackson, as his pale skin, high-pitched voice, eccentric dance moves, and habit of seductively leering at little boys (often distracting him long enough to allow the other guy to get a hit in, causing him to flee screaming) were all dead giveaways. Despite this, nobody could ever quite figure out who he was.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: This is going to happen with a show where celebrities are killed, but is especially acute if said celebrity meets an unnaturally early end in Real Life, or even if the circumstances of said death are a bit too close to what happened in the show. Some examples:
    • In the Penn & Teller vs. Siegfried and Roy fight, a tiger is used as a weapon at one point. Since Roy's real-life mishap with the tiger that brought their show to an end, parodies in which their tiger goes berserk just don't seem quite as funny, even if everyone knew it would one day be a reality. (That includes the one on the Simpsons episode where Springfield legalizes gambling and Mr. Burns opens his own casino.)
    • During their fight, Medusa tail-whips Steve Irwin in the chest and sends him out of the ring. Once he recovers, he reaches inside the wound, holds his heart out, and then puts it back in its place, saying "What a stinger!" Yeah, not so funny now that Irwin's death was caused by a stingray inflicting a fatal chest wound (and, not, as other shows have predicted, by being eaten by a crocodile).
    • The Game getting shot by 50 Cent became less funny when it was revealed that The Game's brother actually had been shot shortly before the fight. The Game's father even criticized MTV for airing that episode.
    • The Artist Formerly Known as Prince dying against The Prince Formerly Known as Charles with the help of Queen Elizabeth II is this now that Prince ended up dying on the same day as the Queen's 90th birthday.
      • Speaking of that match, Prince Charles attacks his mother, saying that it's his turn to be King, and the Queen retaliates and says "Over my dead body!" Elizabeth II passed away in September 2022 with Charles becoming King.
    • Brandy unintentionally killing Courtney Love was a bit painful to watch after the real-life Brandy accidentally killed someone in a car accident.
    • The appearance of Adam West had a running gag of him being dead and brought back with the Time Machine despite his insistence he's not dead. This joke isn't funny anymore since Adam passed away from leukemia.
    • In the Billy Crystal vs. Robin Williams vs. Whoopi Goldberg fight, Whoopi bisects Robin while having him in a choke hold. This is a lot harder to watch after his suicide via hanging in 2014.
    • The very disrespectful rematch between Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, which was less a fight and more a way to give a Take That, Scrappy! towards Bryant after allegations of rape. In addition to being exonerated of those accusations, he and his daughter died tragically in a helicopter crash in 2020.
    • In the "Deathbowl '98" pilot episode that features RuPaul vs. Pamela Anderson, RuPaul asks, "Are there any time-outs in case one of us has to use the ladies' room?", and Pamela responds, "Don't you mean the men's room?!" Nearly 20 years later, when transgender rights entered the mainstream discussion, and bathroom laws are becoming widespread in North Carolina, Mississippi, and other states, the fights over which genders should use which bathrooms are turning into clashes and wars, with one side (the LGBT community and LGBT rights groups) claiming that not allowing trans people to use bathrooms based on gender identity is discrimination and a violation of privacy, and the other side (the religious right groups and Moral Guardians) claiming that allowing trans people into bathrooms based on gender identity violates religious freedom and would empower crossdressing rapists. The "bathroom wars" are still escalating as of 2022. Not to mention that “trans women are women” has become a mantra within the LGBT community and saying otherwise is considered highly offensive by 2022 standards.
    • In "Assamania I", Nick does a bunch of Jackass stunts as he fears that Jackass's higher ratings will get their show canceled. The episode was the penultimate episode of the original series's final season.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Ho Yay: Nick Diamond and his extensive knowledge regarding "back massagers"note  during the Sex in the City deathmatch. Apparently Nick just has a really, really bad back.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Genghis Khan in his match against Mahatma Gandhi, while it was not hard to feel bad for the guy while Gandhi brutally humiliated and tortured him to death, one not only has to remember Khan was a horrible and bloodthirsty invader in his own time, but the only reason the fight went the way it did was because Genghis and Gandhi's personalities were swapped on the way through the time machine, so everything that happened to him he would have happily inflicted onto poor Gandhi if he had come through with his own mind intact.
    • Tommy Lee could also count in the latter two of his three appearances, especially his final fight against Pamela Anderson. He spent the entire fight egging his ex on so she would kick his ass only to prove the point that he has changed for the better and despite getting beat up he wouldn't hit her again. Pamela counters that although she can see Tommy Lee has changed, so had she, and she kills him to prove she's moved on with her life.
  • Moe: Stacy has her moments. Look at that smile!
  • More Popular Spin-Off: This show originated from Cartoon Sushi.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: A pitifully short roster, career mode, create-a-celebrity, weak controls, etc. will mean you will do everything possible in the game within two hours.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Debbie Matenopoulos and Tally Wong for Stacy Cornbred.
  • Seasonal Rot: Though some feel that the show jumped the shark when Stacy Cornbred was killed off, the later episodes of the original run were still considered far superior to the revival that aired on MTV2's Sick-a-Mation lineupnote , which was so bad it's considered Fanon Discontinuity. The reason? Eric Fogel wasn't executive producer.
  • Special Effect Failure: When Tally Wong frowns, her lips are merely turned upside down. It's rather obvious.
  • Squick:
  • Unintentional Period Piece:
    • The show's original run is this to the late '90s and early '00s. From promoting tennis star Anna Kournikova and actress Elizabeth Hurley as the internet's top two pinups, to billing the long-separated Bruce Willis/Demi Moore and Tom Cruise/Nicole Kidman as two of Hollywood's biggest power couples (back before anybody knew who Ashton Kutcher and Katie Holmes were), to featuring a fight between Bill Clinton and Kenneth Starr to finally settle the Lewinsky scandal, it is impossible for Celebrity Deathmatch to escape the turn-of-the-New-Millennium time period in which it aired. The show's pop culture reference-based humor grew dated fairly quickly, and many of the celebrities featured are now far past their fame. To children of the '00s and beyond who don't have a decent understanding of the minutiae of the era's pop culture, most of the jokes will fly over their head.
    • The relaunch that aired on MTV2 likewise dates itself to the mid-'00s. The first episode alone is built entirely around parodies of the long-canceled and largely forgotten reality shows The Simple Life and Viva La Bam, while other fights are about such Turn of the Millennium ephemera as The Osbournes, Pimp My Ride, Ali G, crunk rap, Britney Spears' and Dave Chappelle's public meltdowns, and the Major League Baseball steroid scandal. One fight did reflect how the aforementioned Bruce Willis and Demi Moore had broken up... with the fight being between Willis and Ashton Kutcher, Demi's new lover (a relationship that ended in 2013), who was by then famous for hosting Punk'd.
  • Woolseyism: Due to the extensive use of puns and American idioms, most foreign translations have to adapt some jokes:
    • When Mankind fought against Ernest Hemingway, the latter says when the former was being strangled by the ring rope that he is going to get out "The easy way or the Heming-way", a pun from the idiom My way or the highway. Since there's no way to translate the joke literally, the Latin American Spanish subs translated the joke as A la manera dificil o la mia (The hard way or my way, in this case, Hemingway's).