"The stunts you are about to see were all designed and supervised by trained professionals. They are extremely dangerous and should not be attempted by anyone, anywhere, anytime."—Joe Rogan at the beginning of each episode.
Stunt Game Show / Reality Show hybrid that featured contestants attempting to outperform each other in various stunts to win $50,000 cash. Each show usually featured at least one stunt involving heights, one involving coming face-to-face with or consuming something revolting, and one involving a Hollywood action movie-type feat. Failure to complete a stunt, being too scared to attempt it, or placing too low resulted in elimination.
The show usually pitted six individual contestants (three men and three women) against each other, but occasionally featured couples or teams competing. Also, special tournaments were held in which players could win much more than just $50,000.
A 2011 Revival currently airs on NBC, still on Monday nights, still with Joe Rogan hosting..
Not to be confused with Fear Factory, an industrial metal band.
- All or Nothing: Losers left with nothing, unless they had won a designated "prize stunt" earlier.
- Bonus Round: The Las Vegas episodes also played with the fear of gambling, since the winner would have to wager at least half their winnings on a hand of Blackjack. But, after the first hand, they could keep going.
- Home Game: Believe it or not, there was one.
- Catch Phrase: "Evidently fear is not a factor for you."
- Celebrity Edition: All too often.
- Covered in Gunge: Some of the gross stunts.
- Creepy Cockroach: Madagascar hissing cockroaches are a common target of an Eat That stunt.
- Distracted by the Sexy: One time, while Joe Rogan was explaining a stunt's rules, he got tongue-tied, as one of the female contestants began changing into her swimsuit.
- Don't Try This At Home: But that goes without saying, now doesn't it?
- Subverted in Season 6, where each episode featured a literal Home Participation Sweepstakes segment sponsored by Capital One, involving Rogan and his crew bringing a stunt for a lucky family to play, being able to win up to $10,000.
- Driving Into a Truck: One of the stunt challenges required the participants to drive a car up the ramp of a moving truck as the last part of the challenge. Inside the truck was a ramp that would flip the car and send it flying out the side of the truck for a spectacular movie-style ending.
- Eat That: The Trope Codifier.
- Electric Torture: Done several times, most notably with electrically charged exercise bicyles... and a Tesla coil.
- Eliminated From the Race
- Expy: A show from Down Under called Who Dares Wins, imported to the United States by the Game Show Network at the height of Fear Factors popularity. Message boards quickly dubbed it Who Cares Who Wins?.
- Fan Service: Pretty much every single female contestant from Season 2 onward.
- Not just women. Later in its run, save for specialty episodes like Family Editions, everyone seemed to have to be at minimum 'good-looking'.
- Foreign Queasine: Many of the "gross stunt" food items.
- Gas Chamber: One of the stunts was having to endure a sealed room that filled with CS gas longer than anyone else.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Oh, did they. It took the chugging of donkey semen and urine for NBC to refuse to air an episode.
- Gross-Out Show: One episode in particular featured all "gross stunts".
- Gross Up Close-Up: Liberally. You always got a good portion of close-up shots of whatever the contestant would be eating or "wearing".
- I'm Not Here to Make Friends
- Jerkass: Joe.
- Money, Dear Boy: On the DVD Commentary for News Radio Joe Rogan refers to the show as "Joe gets paid."
- Really, really paid. Through some shrewd contract negotiations, NBC agreed to cut him partial ownership of the show when he signed on to host. He essentially never has to work again should he choose not to.
- Non Gameplay Elimination: If you were too afraid to complete a stunt.
- Primal Fear: Exploited thoroughly.
- Refuge in Audacity
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent
- Stuff Blowing Up: Especially in the car stunts.
- Traumatic Haircut: One episode gratuitously featured a challenge involving contestants having one of these randomly chosen for each of them, ranging from a complete head shave to "the patch". Previews for future episodes include another woman being shaven bald.
- Viva Las Vegas: Several special episodes were filmed in Las Vegas, featuring stunts at various locales in the city, and the winner got to wager their winnings at a Blackjack table.
- Vomit Discretion Shot: The "Fear Factor Chuck Bucket", whose use almost always resulted in elim.... err, forfeiture of the "gross stunt prize".