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The Most Dangerous Jackass Stunts Ranked

For two decades now, the brave boys of "Jackass" have put their limbs, stomachs, and groins on the line to bring us the kind of unadulterated, bust-your-gut-laughing humor that one can usually find at your local college's most raucous frat house. For three seasons on MTV and four feature films, ringleader Johnny Knoxville and his merry band of lovable idiots — which includes Steve-O, "Danger" Ehren McGhehey, Chris Pontius, Dave England, Jason "Wee Man" Acuña, Brandon DiCamillo, Bam Margera, and the late Ryan Dunn — have weaseled their way firmly into our hearts by engaging in pranks, challenges, and stunts of the sort that you couldn't pay us to do in a million years. Of course, we would gladly pay (and, well, have paid) to see some other fools do them.

While the majority of these challenges are simply disgusting, humiliating, or hilariously painful, some of them are extremely dangerous (it's not for nothing that every episode of the series and every single one of the movies begins with a disclaimer to the effect of, "For the love of God, don't try this at home"). These are the stunts we'll be discussing today, so strap on your helmet, buckle in, and come with us while we rank the most dangerous stunts ever to be featured on "Jackass."

Office Chairs, Season 3, Episode 3

Since most of the boys were avid skaters, many of the stunts in the early days of "Jackass" were skate-centric, and none were quite so ridiculously bone-threatening as "Office Chairs." After throwing on cheap suits and glasses, Brandon and Ryan saddle up on the titular pieces of office furniture and are situated atop opposing skate ramps. With their buddies helpfully pushing them to get them up to speed, they are then launched directly at each other — and after a couple of near-misses, the desired skull-rattling collision is achieved. Meanwhile, Bam attempts to ride a huge office desk with a computer monitor perched atop down a particularly wide ramp; this ends predictably, and while Bam survives his inevitable meeting with the ground, the monitor sadly does not.

Ryan and Brandon then, for good measure, take turns riding their chairs down the tallest, steepest, scariest ramps in the skate park, which does not go well for Ryan's face or Brandon's junk. It might seem like an innocuous stunt, but seasoned skaters know that when shredding ramps, safety comes first. For this stunt, safety comes a distant third to hilarity and pain.

Danger Level: Highly Unsafe

BMX Joust, Season 1, Episode 6

The idea behind "BMX Joust" is elegant in its simplicity and/or stupidity. Brandon and Bam suit up in clanky, janky suits of replica medieval armor, and the pair mount a couple of undersized BMX bikes outfitted with trashcan lids for "shields." Brandon kicks off the festivities by giving a faux-flowery speech about the damage he intends to do to Sir Bam's most delicate parts, and then they hoist some 10-foot long lances (which, thankfully, are at least blunt-ended) and face off.

As one might expect, they both have difficulty even getting moving at first, and once they do, they have considerable difficulty staying, er, mounted. But after a few false starts, they manage to get a handle on their trusty steeds, getting up to a rather alarming level of speed before pretty much just crashing into each other. Following another soliloquy by Brandon, the next round goes even more according to plan, as the boys actually score direct hits on each other with the business ends of their respective lances, leaving both of them squirming in pain on the ground. Amazingly, they then gather themselves up for one more round, which goes even more spectacularly (and painfully) than before. There are about a hundred things that could have gone horribly wrong here, but fortunately for Bam and Brandon, the stunt didn't end in a trip to Ye Olde Emergency Room.

Danger Level: Please Don't Ever Do This

California Bobsledding, Season 1, Episode 8

A deceptively simple classic stunt with a slightly elevated level of danger from BMX Joust, "California Bobsledding" retains that stunt's element of going way too fast on a metal contraption that the performers are clearly not meant to ride. Here, though, the BMX bike is swapped out for a rickety shopping cart — piloted by Chris Pontius and friend of "Jackass" Mike Kassack — and several additional elements are added that up the danger quotient considerably. Namely: rain, gravity, and hard, unforgiving, pothole-laden pavement.

Unfortunately, this is the sole entry for which the internet mysteriously refuses to yield any clips. Take a look at the still above, though, and you can probably infer the level of pain, both of the impact and friction variety, that Chris and Mike endure. To the gentle strains of The Mamas & the Papas' classic "California Dreamin'," the guys just keep repeating their run until they find pretty much every possible way to fall out of or otherwise get ejected from the cart, including a full-speed header right over the top of the thing. Sure, it's not a terribly complex stunt, but you couldn't get us to attempt to navigate that muddy hill in that old cart even once — not for a thousand dollars, a month's supply of bandages, and the best hoagie we've ever eaten.

Danger Level: These Guys Are Officially Out of Their Minds

Electric Avenue, Jackass 3D

While every single stunt on this list is insanely dangerous, only a few involved the voluntary endurance of pure physical pain as much as "Electric Avenue." If you don't believe us, ask Bam Margera, who was so visibly pissed off before and after the stunt that it's a wonder he was convinced to take part at all. The sadistic nature of the bit is a stretch even for "Jackass": While Johnny Knoxville and Wee Man (dressed as prison guards) look on, the rest of the guys (dressed as inmates) attempt to navigate a hallway decked out with tires on the floor, assorted obstacles and barriers protruding from the walls, and crackling cattle prods and stun guns dangling from the ceiling.

For some reason, the guys are just a little bit reluctant to get started — but once they do, it's a mad, flailing, face-planting, crazily desperate free-for-all to the end of the hallway. Of course, nobody emerges unscathed, with roughly half the crew ending up collapsed at the end of the hall, flopping like fish. The bit ends with Bam pressing an ice pack to the back of his neck and venting to the cameraman: "Stun guns are the number one most thing that I hate now. Bulls are second, snakes are third. That sucked. Terribly."

Danger Level: Are You Seriously Kidding Me?

Rent-A-Car Crash-Up Derby, Jackass: The Movie

Viewers had to wonder just what was in store when Johnny Knoxville opened this infamous segment from "Jackass: The Movie" with, "Hello, I'm Johnny Knoxville, and I'm about to rent a car." They should have guessed. After checking out a pristine white Ford from a local rental desk, Knoxville promptly paints some huge numbers all over it with black spray paint. He then takes the vehicle to a rather sketchy-looking garage for a few, er modifications: roll bars, tons of extra padding, and heavy-duty battery cables, to name a few. He then throws a couple of blow-up dolls in the back and drives it to its second-to-last-ever destination: A crash-up derby, in which he proceeds to participate with gleeful abandon.

In fact, Knoxville may have been having just a bit too swell of a time. He ends up with another vehicle perched atop his own car, which looks like the Hulk just used it for field goal kicking practice and is leaking something that looks suspiciously like gasoline. Oh, it's also on fire, and its windshield has been smashed in by the tire of the other car, which comes to rest perhaps a couple of feet from Knoxville's face. ("Missed you by that much!" someone can be heard chuckling off-camera.) Somehow, the thing still drives, so Knoxville returns it to the rental desk with the blow-up dolls still in the back. "I hit a dog," he deadpans when asked what happened before suggesting that the rental company should cover some of the damages. Amazingly, the proprietor declines to do so.

Danger Level: This Sounds Like a Good Way to End Up in Traction

High Dive 2, Season 2, Episode 8

On its surface, "High Dive 2" doesn't seem like it should register above involving yourself in a crash-up derby with a rented Ford and no experience; it's just a bunch of jackasses jumping off a high dive in wacky ways. What must be remembered here is that 20 feet or so is actually a pretty long way for a human being to fall, that the edges of swimming pools are really hard, and that the regulations around using diving boards are there for a reason. Also, as you might imagine, it's not like the guys were just making funny faces and flapping their arms while jumping. Why, that would be boring.

Bam kicks off the fun by riding a skateboard off the diving board at full speed, and he's just the warm-up act. Steve-O takes a turn with a pogo stick, and Ehren follows him on a scooter. Not to be outdone, Bam literally hangs off the end of the board ("Whoa, this is scary," he exclaims), swinging around for a second while his pals look on with something decidedly other than merriment; Ryan Dunn in particular looks positively terrified. After Bam manages to clear the edge of the pool and therefore avoid breaking his neck and/or back, Steve-O takes another turn ... in full Uncle Sam regalia, on stilts. All the ways this could have ended terribly are making our palms sweat just thinking about them.

Danger Level: This Sounds Like an Even Better Way to End Up in Traction

Human Barbecue, Season 1, Episode 2 (Banned)

For reasons we simply can't fathom, the stunt known as "Human Barbecue" was omitted when MTV began to release seasons of "Jackass" on home video. It's not like Knoxville actually lit himself on fire — that would be insane. No, instead, he has friend of "Jackass" Pat Roach build a human-sized barbecue pit using cinderblocks and charcoal ("I've never really done anything like this, but I think it'll turn out okay," Roach deadpans). Then, Roach and a few buddies blow up a kiddie pool and fill it with marinade. After dumping in several packages of steaks, Knoxville strips down and climbs in, making sure to ... er, commune with the steaks in ways we won't describe here.

After the steaks are transferred to a wheelbarrow, Knoxville dons what he hopes is a "flame-retardant jumpsuit." His buddies then proceed to hang the steaks all over him like ornaments on the world's most disgusting Christmas tree, after which Knoxville — moving a bit slowly due to all the weight, a smidgen of reluctance, and the fact that he is on crutches — lays gingerly down on a grate over the merrily crackling fire pit. There he stays, flipping over once with some help from his "friends," until the steaks are thoroughly cooked, and he himself is presumably a nice medium-rare. Incredibly, he avoids roasting himself alive, and the bit ends exactly how you would expect: with everybody chowing down on the steaks.

Danger Level: Unless You Are a Fireman, Do Not Ever Voluntarily Expose Yourself to Fire

Up in Flames, Season 1, Episode 3

Did we just say that lighting oneself on fire would be insane? Well, here we are in Crazytown. This very brief segment, which opened just the third-ever episode of "Jackass," was apparently shot the same day as "Human Barbecue," and there are a couple of tell-tale signs. First, it sure seems to involve the same fire-retardant gear that Knoxville was wearing in that segment, although its anti-fire properties appear to have been defeated with, we don't know, some kind of pro-fire substance. Second, Knoxville is still on crutches here, although he does manage to not only stay on his feet but also do a little tribal dance. After he's been set on fire by a dude with a flamethrower.

The stunt is simplicity itself, and also idiocy itself. Knoxville is standing next to a swimming pool when doused with fire, but it's not needed — when he's had enough of burning, he drops to his hands and knees, and a couple of other dudes rush in with fire extinguishers to put him out. Unbelievably, although this stunt is on its face far and away more dangerous than the barbecue trick, this segment was not banned from home video.

Danger Level: We Repeat, Unless You Are a Fireman, Do Not Ever Voluntarily Expose Yourself to Fire

The Fish Hook, Jackass Number Two

Steve-O has endured a lot over the years in the name of "Jackass," from having his butt cheeks stapled together to being the victim in the infamous "Porta-Potty Slingshot" stunt. But perhaps no segment ever put him in more grave danger than "The Fish Hook," which serves to nicely illustrate the difference between horror and terror. Allow us to explain. The segment opens with Chris Pontius and Steve-O aboard a small boat. As the camera looks unflinchingly on, Pontius ever-so-carefully pierces Steve-O's cheek from the inside with a good-sized fish hook after Steve-O simply can't bring himself to do it (the horror). Then, Pontius casts his friend (who, of course, is bleeding from the cheek) into the water, where he is accompanied by several large, circling sharks (the terror). Steve-O somehow abides this situation for several minutes, only deciding he's had enough after he is forced to literally kick a shark in the face.

In a 2018 interview with Vulture, Knoxville expressed that it was one of the few bits he had had reservations about — not necessarily because of the danger, but because he wasn't sure it was funny enough. "I thought that the only way that footage was usable is if it ended with Steve-O getting bit by a shark," he said. "But why would we do that? I didn't think it was funny. I don't want him missing a leg. But we still shot it and Steve-O kicked the shark in the nose ... Now that's funny."

Danger Level: This is an Animal That is Designed to Kill You, Are You Insane?

Alligator Tightrope, Jackass: The Movie

Speaking of Steve-O, he happens to be the only professionally trained jackass — well, sort of. In the late '90s, he attended Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, which is why he is so proficient at things like riding unicycles, and walking on stilts ... and tightropes. As such, he seems to find himself in precariously dangerous situations slightly more often than the other jackasses, and no stunt is more illustrative of this than "Alligator Tightrope," which is exactly what it sounds like. Well, actually, it's worse than it sounds.

This is because, for some reason, Steve-O loses his concentration just a few seconds into his journey across a tightrope over a pond filled with thrashing, hungry alligators and ends up clinging to it for dear life from underneath. Not content with this danger quotient, Chris Pontius rushes in to stuff a Cornish game hen into his shorts, which certainly gets the alligators' attention but fails to have exactly the desired effect (just a few nips in the hen's general direction). Finally, Steve-O's grip weakens, and he falls into the pond. He then gamely stands there, butt pointed at the alligators, and waits for one of the beasts to creep up and snatch its snack from his waistband before literally sprinting out of the pond. Any fan of "Jackass" has seen Steve-O's ass a hundred times, but this was almost the very last time. For that matter, he's just lucky Pontius didn't hang the hen around his neck.

Danger Level: We Repeat, This is an Animal — Oh, Forget It

Johnny Knoxville, Bullfighter, Jackass Forever

Knoxville and the rest of the jackasses have faced off against bulls various times throughout the history of the franchise, and for 2022's "Jackass Forever," a now-grey-haired Knoxville decided to give ol' Toro one last shot at him. As it turns out, it was not only bullkind's last chance to get even with Knoxville — it was almost certainly the last stunt he will ever perform. This latest bull encounter is so shockingly violent (and, well, so visually spectacular) that the climactic moment is featured in the movie's trailer. Speaking to Variety, director Jeff Tremaine said it also left Knoxville out cold and "snoring for three or four minutes" (which is not a good sign), and with a litany of injuries that very much could have rendered someone non-accustomed to such punishment dead as a doornail.

As Knoxville himself was miraculously able to explain to Variety, the stunt left him with "a broken wrist, broken rib, concussion, and brain hemorrhage." When asked if this was his first brain hemorrhage, he replied, "The first one I remember." His rehab took months, during which his family (he's married, with three children) convinced him that he probably shouldn't be tussling with bulls anymore. It was almost certainly the most dangerous stunt Knoxville has ever pulled in his illustrious, ridiculous career — except one.

Danger Level: You're So Lucky You're Not Dead

Self Defense

The stunt known as "Self Defense" began as a pitch to the underground zine Big Brother, of which Jeff Tremaine was the editor-in-chief, and it was essentially the seed from which the whole "Jackass" enterprise grew. Featured in the very first episode, it involved Knoxville testing out a variety of self-defense products on himself, with an escalating degree of danger. First, a crew member pepper sprays Knoxville in the face; then, the guy is made to take a stun gun to his insane boss; then, he straight-up tases Knoxville, who isn't too psyched about any of this despite it being his idea.

The final part of the segment was filmed but not aired, and it's not available on any media. Knoxville dons a cheap, mail-order bulletproof vest and just freaking shoots himself in the chest, because even the dude who had just pepper-sprayed, stun gunned, and tased him had to draw the line somewhere. That Knoxville lived to tell the tale is nothing short of stupefying — but then, he's made living to tell the tale into a profession while carving out one of the wildest, weirdest careers in all of entertainment.

Danger Level: We Got Nothing