Adam Ruins Everything

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

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 14 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.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 14-year-old Written byWickerman June 27, 2020

Ignore the Right Wing Hate Reviews

Challenges some inaccurate societal beliefs and that apparently triggers people with a right wing agenda. They must have gotten a memo to spam the reviews or so... Continue reading
Adult Written byMrclean1776 January 19, 2020

Left Leaning Propaganda Clips

I was upset to learn that my kids were being shown these episodes in school and they walked away thinking all presented information was fact. After watching a c... 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
Teen, 13 years old Written byReviewer9 November 28, 2018
This show features a comedian who “ruins” things by explaining common myths surrounding them. It does contain some inappropriate references and is directed at a... 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
  • Last updated: March 13, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedy

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