Episode 36: Killer Tissue Box

Air Date: August 5, 2005

A simple tissue box stored on the backboard of a car can move with sufficient force to kill a person during a crash.


Sharp objects or objects with masses over 3 lb. (1.2 kg), like a bowling ball, can be deadly if they fly forward during a crash. Lighter objects like tissue boxes may cause injury but cannot kill.

A tissue box can stay intact during a crash.


This was revealed when they crashed the real car and Adam pointed out that the box was intact.

It is possible to split an arrow perfectly down the middle with a second arrow like in the film The Adventures of Robin Hood.

partly busted

While it is certainly possible to rear-end an arrow with another, only a fiberglass arrow can be split down the middle (known as telescoping in archery circles). With a wooden arrow, even under the most ideal conditions, the best one can do is a partial split along the grain of the wood, and even that is improbable. They clearly showed that the film’s circumstances can be recreated using a hollow shaft, such as bamboo.

(This myth was revisited in episode 51 and it was re-busted.)


  1. Ali says:

    I think that the killer tissue box myth was not tested extensively enough. In the testing they used a tissue box made out of cardboard but there are fancier & much heavier ones that are made out of wood & decorated with metal.

    • mike says:

      DUH! As they noted, heavier objects can be dangerous. So we could debunk the bowling ball by using a Nerf one…

  2. CHAD says:

    I am an archer and I have Robin Hooded an arrow and I still have the proof. I used a compound bow at 30yds 70# draw weight.

    • Cole Wingard says:

      I am a archer and I have Robin Hooded an arrow.

  3. Cor'e says:

    I split an arrow myself, at a Summer camp archery range i crossed my shot with another kid’s shot, the result was a mid-air split, it split about 3/4 of the whole shaft. These were cheapo wood arrows with pointed silver cap tips (1970’s era) and cheapo fiber-glass bows.

    Ironically, i was bragging how good of an archer i was just prior to the shot, it made quite a change of of everyone’s expression of doubt – even i was surprised! =)

  4. Michael Weatherford says:

    I think an arrow can be split if your wood grain that runs parrell. Back then they used cane or bamboo, hollow inside and parrell wood grain.Unlike round woodlaved cut sticks with unequal parrell grain that can’t be split from the nut at the string end, to the head at the head or tip.Unlike straight wildcherry limbs or hollow cane. To make the nut on a cane arrow simply cut both sides at an angel to make a v an 1/4in back knot. split the tip about halfinch to 3/4in from the knot of the head to add razor tip.then wrap the back with rat intestons to add feathers and stop the bow string from splitting it by the force. Also the same for the razortip. Or use sewing thread with a fingernail polish coating.Just some backwoods boys wisdom from experience.They all call me Doorightt.Just try it and you should see results. and i am an inventer!!!

  5. Stephen Lueckenhoff says:

    Yeasterday 10/9/2007 I shot a Robin Hood shoting a carbon arrow into another carbon arrow at 20 yards with a compound bow at 65 lbs. The arrows are still intact,the total length of the two arrows is 54 1/2 inches with the second arrow 7 inches into the first arrow.

  6. R.J. says:

    Ali, that is why there is the disclaimer that sharp objects or objects over 3 lbs. can be deadly. Also, the tissue container that would most common in the average persons car would be a cardboard one.

  7. jowolf359 says:

    Wood grain arrows can be split like in the movie, it would take a one in a million shot to completely split on arrow with another end to end due to not hitting the trailing end dead on. The wood is chosen due to the straightness of the grain when you make them yourself, that would make it easy to split an arrow with another one.

  8. matt3007 says:

    hey i am an archer for the Wrarringa archers and i have shot an arrow into the rear of another enough to split it down the middle 3 times. twice with a carbon arrow and once with a wooden one.

  9. matt3007 says:

    the bow i used was an compound bow set at 80pounds and was in a competition with my father in an 3 arrow shoot out and i also did it at my old house in Sydney twice. i think that this myth is proved.

  10. matt3007 says:

    and i still have a picture of the day when i did it and the club has one and i still have one.

  11. Byron says:

    My 13 yr old shot a carbon arrow into another carbon arrow 15 inches, 3 days after receiving his first bow for christmas. 60lb draw at 15 yds. I think this myth is confirmed possible!

  12. Beck says:

    I’m an archer who has done this myself, now I probably couldn’t recreate it, however I know it happens. At the range that I shoot at there is a wall half full of arrows that have been split down the middle.

  13. S says:

    Remember, Robin Hood didnt have a compund bow. Just cheap arrows…

  14. Mike Red says:

    Some are bragging that they are able to split an arrow.

    Why don’t you pay the MB team a visit and show them how its done.

  15. john tester says:

    I stuck a carbon fiber arrow 6 inches deep into another one it did not split it I couldnt believe it I kept it for proof

  16. Jake says:


    i found this video, i think it was from funniest home videos, but it shows a guy not splitting the arrow but sticking one arrow in the back of another.

  17. Austin says:

    i think this show is the best becuase my friend thinkss it is possilbe to cut your toe off with steel toe boots and on episode 46 it was busted

  18. Danny Carlton says:

    Modern, wooden arrows are made with a router. There were no routers in Robin Hood’s days. Arrows were made from green saplings or branches that were already straight. That means the grain would have been straight down the middle of the arrow. The myth wasn’t busted, because they never tested an authentic 14th century arrow, with an expert marksman.

    • jeff says:

      In 1510 and presumably for some time before, long bows over six feet with draw weight of 110#’s used an arrow of .47 to .5 inch shaft diameter. Did they use such a “hefty” arrow in the tests? Would not diameter have a bearing in splitting results?

      • jeff says:

        Source: See “Archery in Midieval England” pp9-11, Richard Wadge.

  19. Mick says:

    Archey practice was compulsory on Sundays for all males in medieval England and arrows had to be made in huge quantities to accomodate this. By using “riven” wood (split along the grain), large amounts could made from any seasoned straight grained wood without the need to find a million perfect saplings. Riven wood was also much more likely to survive the huge stresses of being fired from a longbow drawing between 90 and 120 pounds and then hitting French armour.

  20. Harrison says:

    ihave to do this for a project at my school.

  21. Vitomir says:

    Hello from Croatia.I’m archer and since I wached episod splitting an arrow I also tried but I just crashed nock of the arrow.

  22. MJ says:

    I managed to stick an arrow into another one. I am shooting a Hoyt Cybertech at 70# and this was done at 30 yards.

  23. Brian Buchanan says:

    What has not been taken into consideration is the fact that during the time Robin Hood was supposed to have lived, arrows were self nocked, meaning the nock was cut into the arrow shaft and sinew was tied around the shaft. This was done to not only secure the fletching (feathers) but to prevent the nock from expanding down the shaft. Also, archers during that time used sharpened steel broadheads for hunting as well as combat, along with longbows that had an average draw weight of 75# or more.

  24. Tom Wegener says:

    I have been watching your show for many years now, and the fact that while your people might be able to fire a rifle or pistol, they know next to nothing about archery. Just like your screw up with saying that Carlos Hathcock did not shoot through a scope because YOU couldn’t do it on a few tries. Splitting an arrow is NOT easy, and your three idiots not being able to do it on command, or going to a stupid ren fair to find archers shows how little you people really know about anything concerning shooting. Try finding a real archer. Run up and see someone like Glen StCharles, a man who knew Howard Hill. And yes Howard DID to the shot in the original movie. Read Craig Ekin’s biography on Howard Hill.
    My advice to your three morons is to NOT let they do anything with the shooting sports because they have no idea what is possible and or probable.

  25. Colin says:

    I have to agree with Tom. I have seen this done in person. While I have never done it it has been done. Also I think that the mythbusters succeeded in proving this myth to be true when they had a professional trick archer perform the trick. Sometimes I feel the Mythbuster team is overly confident in themselves and fail to perform sufficient background research. This leads to them testing and incorrectly deciding something is true or not because they could not replicate it.

  26. Neil says:

    “Most ideal”? Sorry for the pedantry, it’s either ideal or not.

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