Big Win Sirens
A series of sirens, bells and/or whistles heard on some game shows
whenever a contestant has won big (at the Bonus Round
, generally). These are sometimes accompanied by a Confetti Drop
, although they have mysteriously been averted by the current big-money shows such as Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
and its clones
Possibly a Sub-Trope
of Most Wonderful Sound
. Contrast with Losing Horns
, which you often hear if you don't
- The CBS daytime version of The Price Is Right, not surprisingly, has one of the most recognizable examples: the "clang clang clang / whoop, Whoop, WHOOOOOOP" that is played whenever a contestant wins a large cash prize or both Showcases (or the Showcase, in the Davidson version). Recycled in a sped-up form for car wins on the 1980s versions of Card Sharks.
- The Big Spin, which was originally a Mark Goodson production (later headed by his son), also re-used this specimen for big wins.
- The original Price Is Right with Bill Cullen had a loud clanging bell that sounded, indicating that the winner of a bidding game prize had also either won a bonus prize or participated in a separate contest to win bonus prizes.
- $100,000 wins on Tom Kennedy's version of Name That Tune were accompanied by every single type of siren imaginable.
- The $1,000,000 Chance of a Lifetime: In its first season, million dollar wins were accompanied by sirens, klaxons, and horns honking, not to mention the on-set hysterics. And fireworks shot out of the set. The pilot had a marching band.
- The New Treasure Hunt: Shrill sirens were played if the grand prize check was won on both Edwards versions. Also inverted, as the same sirens were toned down and used as Losing Horns if the contestant passed up the check.
- Bonus wins on Remote Control were heralded with alternating burglar alarm sirens. Inverted if the player lost the Bonus Round, as one of the sirens was used as the buzzer when time expired. Also inverted whenever a player went Off The Air; you'd hear odd air-raid style sirens.
- There are at least two stock versions:
- A series of very shrill sirens accompanied by an alarm bell, referred to sometimes as the "NBC sirens" given their origin. Heard on the following:
- Scrabble - for a $20,000, $40,000, Bonus Sprint, or Tournament win
- Dream House - for a house win, naturally.
- Sale of the Century - when a major prize or the lot is won. A special "win music" cue was also played, and would be reprised during the closing fees and credits of that show.
- Singled Out - when a match is made
- Cram - when the Bonus Round is won
- Beat the Geeks - inverted, when the Geeks beat a contestant in the Bonus Round
- A generic set of sirens accompanied by a clanging bell. Heard on the following:
- The $1,000,000 Chance of a Lifetime, for second-season $1,000,000 wins
- Double Dare (1986), specifically a few failed "adult" and celebrity pilots hosted by Bruce Jenner, for when someone passed the obstacle course
- Supermarket Sweep, for Bonus/Super Sweep wins and for the Manager's Special being revealed during the Big Sweep
- Fun House, whenever a team found the Power Prize in the Fun House
- College Mad House, whenever a team found all 13 tags in the Mad House
- Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? - When a gumshoe completes the map round in 45 seconds (or 60 seconds if they are using the Asian map), The big police sirens will sound. And the then the newspaper headline will appear with the caption (Gumshoe's name) Captures Carmen! During the 4th season (1992) and beyond that. The newspaper headline illustration would have Carmen behind bars.
- Inverted in Cash Cab, where a bunch of loud noises and the cab's ceiling lighting up disco-style marks the beginning of a round. One passenger interpreted the commotion as this, asking if she just won something.