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YMMV / Maury

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  • Acceptable Hard Luck Targets: People with phobias, in which they're shown reacting hysterically to ordinary things like pickles, balloons, mustard, and cotton balls.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy:
    • In most cases, as amusing as it may be for the studio and TV audiences, the adults involved in DNA tests are genuinely unlikable people who you don't want to envision with any type of responsibility with a child.
    • There was one case where a mom came on to prove that her deceased son was not the father of another woman's child. However, she did it in a way that would have gotten her booed if she was the second person introduced. Then, the mother of the infant came out and got violently booed. When it was revealed the deceased man was not the father, his mom poured on so much verbal abuse, it came dangerously close to a Face/Heel Double-Turn. Maury himself looked increasingly uncomfortable as the bickering went on.
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  • Designated Hero: Very often, the person who is onstage first is usually seen in a sympathetic light by the studio audience no matter if the person is onstage second has probable cause to assume that person is being unfaithful or if the person themselves admits to being unfaithful but does not admit to the full extent of their deeds, like having children by other men/women or cheating more than the times they said they did. As a result, the person who is onstage second is seen as being either cruel, a deadbeat, or paranoid and is usually booed and heckled by the audience, no matter how obnoxious, illogical, or dishonest the person onstage first may seem.
  • Designated Villain: The accused fathers in some cases. While some of them tend to be genuine deadbeat assholes, the mother is occasionally shown to very promiscuous and at times has been a guest on the show multiple times, giving the guy a genuine reason to deny being the father.
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  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Motivational speaker D West was very popular with the fans and was to Maury what Sergeant Julu was to Sally. Brenda Myers Powell was also this to a little lesser extent. Both D and Brenda sought to help the wild teen girls get a reality check back when the show was massively popular in the 2000s.
  • Friendly Fandoms: It's a less rowdy counterpart to The Jerry Springer Show, to the point where both are usually shown back to back. People on both shows have gotten the two confused and sometimes the audience on Maury chants Maury's name like they do on Jerry Springer.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • During one female guest's fourth appearance, she admitted in a prior episode that she cheated on her boyfriend over 200 times after a DNA test determined he was not the father of her baby. As a result, she was ridiculed by the studio audience. A later appearance revealed that she was homeless and she was sleeping with these men in order to have a roof over her head.
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    • Another female guest made a few appearances on the show to find out who the father of her son was. None of the men she brought was the father and she was ridiculed for it. In one of these appearances, she was actually in jail at the time.note  In her next appearance, she revealed that she was working as a prostitute at the time and that's why she was unsure who the father of her son was. This also explained why she was in jail during her previous appearance.
    • In 2007, a 14-year-old girl named Mylela was on the show because she was out of control. Her brother was murdered prior to her appearance on the show and during an interview with producers, Mylela told her mother off, saying, "Who cares if you lose another child? You don't." Not even a year later, Mylela was killed in a drive-by shooting. She was 15.
    • One paternity guest was crushed when she found out a man was not the father of her child and ran backstage in tears, saying that her sister was going to be mad at her. This seemed innocuous enough at first as it simply appeared that she meant that her sister would be ashamed of her because she did not know who her child's father was. In reality, the lady came back in a later episode to reveal to her sister that she slept with her man and he could be the father of her child. The sister's significant other turned out to be not the father, and the woman had appeared since that show to test more men.
  • Jerkass Woobie: In cases where the woman is proven wrong on a DNA test after taunting the potential father of her child, Maury tries to invoke this with wildly varying results:
    • A particular example of this is Simone. She was homeless and slept with numerous men for shelter AND her boyfriend slept with her sister and many other women, but her behavior was often so obnoxious that the audience usually felt more contempt than sympathy for her.
    • A woman named Kenyetta came on the show because her boyfriend Michael cheated on her with her cousin Emma and may have gotten them both pregnant. Emma was saying that Michael was definitely not the father of Kenyetta's baby and showed no remorse for sleeping with her cousin's boyfriend despite the fact that Kenyetta took Emma in. However, it's hard to feel sorry for Kenyetta because Michael was not the father of either of the babies. To make matters worse, Kenyetta returned again and said she only cheated on Michael one time and displayed extremely obnoxious behavior towards the second possible father. After that man was proven to be not the father, Kenyetta went into histrionics. Even worse than that, Kenyetta returned 2 more times for a total of 4 men tested for her daughter, and both times, she openly bashed the potential fathers, and both times, the DNA tests were negative. However, Kenyetta gets pushed back into Jerkass Woobie territory after she reveals that she slept with these men because she was very insecure about her weight and wanted to be loved.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "You ARE/are NOT the father!"
    • "And the lie detector test determined THAT'S A LIE/you were telling THE TRUTH!"note 
    • Maury is the source of "CHICKEN TETRAZINNI!", a favorite clip on The Soup and the winner of the show's best moment of the year.
    • One of the out of control teen girls, Victoria, had her segment go viral and get millions of of viewers, spawning several memes.
    • "That's a man, Maury!" has become a joke among Drag Queens when a queen is trying to look convincing as a woman but is too physically masculine to pull it off.
  • Narm: The phobia episodes. This is due to some of the guests having irrational fears over some of the most unlikely things.
  • The Scrappy: The studio audience, due to their nearsightedness and people viewing them as being incredibly biased towards either gender, depending on the circumstances.note  Many guests especially hate the audience. Some have even resorted to staying hidden backstage so they wouldn't have to deal with them.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Whenever the guy isn't the father, or has a decent argument (got cheated on, kid's of a different race, etc.).
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: The audience is expected to feel sorry for the female guests when they break down after a paternity test reveals that the male guest isn't the father of their child or children. However, it's impossible to ignore the fact that many of these women have been having unprotected sex with several different men during the time frame of their pregnancies.
  • Values Dissonance: Maury has stopped the "Man or Woman?" episodes as views on transgender people changed in the late 2000s and early 2010s.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: The point of "Man or Woman?" episodes. 10-15 people come onstage as women, while the audience tries to guess if they are really female or male. It's quite easy when you've seen several shows before and realize the patterns. Most of the ones that look the most like women (usually, also with large breasts) and are dressed in the most revealing outfits are actually men, and the ones who move and behave awkwardly, have a large build and more makeup, are actually the women, in an effort to hit viewers with a Shocking Swerve. With these facts, you will be right in your guesses most of the time.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Women who keep getting pregnant despite taking multiple DNA tests.
    • Men who continually put themselves in bad situations by having unprotected sex with multiple women even when they either don't want to be a father, already have several children, or willingly sleep with women they know are promiscuous.
    • Pretty much any guy that falls for the sexy decoy. Even if he doesn't suspect she's plant, is the green room really the best time or place to cheat?
  • Why Would Anyone Take Him Back?:
    • The times where the same couple come back time after time, and each time leave the show having ended it because of the cheats, lies, or whatever. This especially apply to the abusive partner episodes, particularly when there are children involved.
    • Sholonda and her husband, full stop. Sholonda cheated on her husband with at least 17 men in one night, resulting in her getting pregnant with another man's baby, lied during her first appearance and said she cheated only one time and lied during her second appearance and said she cheated with six men, only to finally reveal the truth to her husband after all of the six men were proven to not be the father, and even then, she said that it was 14 men and not 17 like the DNA tests proved. Even after all of this, her husband still stayed with her, only to be cheated on yet again and was informed that their second child might not be his. Luckily, he was the father.
    • This was averted with Telia, however, who cheated on her husband with at least 11 men, including his cousin and a 17-year-old boy. Her husband left her after her first appearance.
  • The Woobie:
    • Whenever a man breaks down in tears when he finds out he isn't the biological father of his beloved child. The woman as well, because if she did cheat on her boyfriend/husband, she will have to live with the guilt for the rest of her life.
    • For some, the children of the guests. Most of the guests are not people you want to imagine raising children.
    • The guests in the phobia episodes. While it can be narm-y, having a phobia is serious. It can keep you from functioning well and enjoying most common things.
    • Adult children who take a DNA test. You can see the pain they're going through due to all the drama and uncertainty.


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