Adam Ruins Everything

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Adam Ruins Everything TV Poster Image
Fun, geeky myth-busting show challenges beliefs with facts.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Adam debunks culture, behavior influenced by advertising and myths, and supports facts with research.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Conover can be (comically) abrasive.

Violence

Gags include yelling, screaming, fake bloody wounds.

Sex

Innuendo; an episode dedicated to sex; references to STDs.

Language

"Crap," "hell," "ass"; bleeped curses.

Consumerism

De Beers diamonds, Toms shoes, Listerine, and so on; all offered in context. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Gags include cigarettes, alcohol.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Adam Ruins Everything is a comedy series that combines humor with investigative journalism to challenge people's beliefs about what we take for granted. It offers lots of facts based on expert research on things from advertising strategies to charitable giving organizations to icons such as (gulp!) Santa Claus. Gags include yelling and fake blood, and some episodes contain strong innuendo and references to STDs. There's some bleeped cursing, but words such as "crap," "hell,"  and ”ass" are common. There's a lot to be learned from this quirky exploration, and it could be a good jumping-off point for conversations with teens about why we believe what we do.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Uncle of a 10 year old Written byPowers C. November 23, 2016

Need to clarify the age recommendation

The average suggested age on the site now is 13. I don't necessarily think that's inaccurate but it's important to have context. This show is a... Continue reading
Adult Written bykoryb May 24, 2016

Best show on TV right now

Totally original. Just watched an episode made for kids actually about summer break, Disney, and video games. This show is basically an instructional series on... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byMissconcerned February 27, 2016

Adam Ruins Everything

This show is good though try not to let the little ones see it in case they accidentally see an episode like the sex episode (even if it's not that bad of... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old January 29, 2017

I could totally binge this entire show.

The show is entertaining, fact-stuffed, and all around a blast to watch. The replay value is great, and there really isn't any game-changing details in it.... Continue reading

What's the story?

ADAM RUINS EVERYTHING is a comedy series that combines humor with investigation to challenge our beliefs about what we take for granted in our everyday lives. With the help of cited research and appearances from experts, Adam Conover reveals the marketing ploys used to encourage people to believe they're purchasing and using products that are necessary, when in fact they may not be. He also highlights the problems behind social decisions and behaviors that, though well-intentioned, do more harm than good. From giving the actual reason why people desire diamond engagement rings to explaining why food drives can create more problems than good when trying to end hunger, Conover unravels urban myths and busts through bubbles of illusion to reveal true facts people really don’t want to hear.

Is it any good?

The well-informed, somewhat geeky series uses gags and witty banter to point out some of the painful truths behind the myths that guide common cultural habits. Much of the focus is on information that the average person may not know, including marketing-campaign strategies and early advertising that have normalized product-based choices and actions we make today. It also offers simplified explanations of political and historical phenomena that should (in theory) be common knowledge but that many people have not taken the time to learn, understand, or teach.

No doubt that some people will dispute the claims being made here. However, the show's commitment to highlighting the research behind them, including posting the source citations for each fact as it's revealed, makes it clear that they're not mere opinions. As a result, it’s hard not to get cynical after learning troubling or ugly truths about things we may have spent a lifetime believing in and being inspired by. Nonetheless, it might also motivate viewers to be more proactive about educating themselves about what they do and why they do it and to get them to think more about the consequences of their actions. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it’s like to learn troubling facts about things we may like or believe in. Do you feel easily swayed by advertising or opinion? Why, or why not? 

  • Are shows such as this one designed to educate, or are they meant to use facts as a way of entertaining people? Is there ever a time when having too much information about something is a bad thing?

TV details

  • Premiere date: September 25, 2015
  • Cast: Adam Conover
  • Network: truTV
  • Genre: Comedy
  • TV rating: TV-14
  • Available on: Streaming

For kids who love comedy

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate