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Confetti Drop

"The balloons hail a great night for... all of us."
Jim Perry, Sale Of The Century

Many game shows throw over-the-top celebrations for their big winners. Often the hapless contestant is showered with confetti, balloons, the cash they just won, etc. and a couple of examples leave you wondering if they're going to burn the studio down. Seen on quite a few game shows in The Seventies and The Eighties, but became a staple of the multi-million dollar game shows and large-scale talent search shows of The Aughties.


Game Show Examples:

  • (The New) Treasure Hunt, one of the earliest examples of its use on a game show. Originally just dropped confetti and balloons after a $25,000 win; in later 1970's episodes the contestant was further assaulted with roses by the show's models.
  • This was carried to such an extreme on Jim Lange's version of Name That Tune that the viewer could not see half of what was going on onstage, and some contestants had trouble wading through the balloons to get to the car they had won.
  • The Big Moment - Streamers and confetti were launched any time the $25,000 was won (and also for a $5,000 audience stunt win, in later episodes).
  • Break The Bank 1985 - Any time the bank was broken.
  • The $1,000,000 Chance of a Lifetime - not only did they drop tons of confetti (and balloons in the second season), they shot fireworks off in the studio on a couple of early episodes.
  • Deal or No Deal - Any time the top prize is won; in the US, confetti and money are released. In the UK version, it's just confetti.
  • Double Dare 2000 had somewhat of a subversion - the confetti was launched when the Triple Dare Challenge was accepted.
  • Duel shot off a circle of pyrotechnic sparks surrounding the arena for a jackpot win. This was changed to confetti and streamers in the second season of the US version.
  • Family Feud - Balloons are generally released for tournament wins, a practice that began with the Combs version.
  • The Gong Show - a midget wearing a tuxedo would run around the contestants, throwing confetti from a bucket while balloons fell from the ceiling. Later episodes featured trash and other random items being dropped.
  • The Hollywood Squares: Balloons were dropped when a car was won on the Davidson version; several different ones were used on Bergeron's.
  • Match Game: Balloons were dropped not for a win, but at the end of every New Year's Eve episode as they changed out the sign indicating the year.
  • Make The Grade - Any time the Honors Round was won during the Robb Edward Morris era.
  • The Price Is Right - when someone wins $1,000,000 on the primetime specials, or $100,000 on Pay the Rent. Balloons were also released at the end of the 35th season premiere (which, coincidentally, ended with a contestant winning both Showcases and setting the then-current winnings record for the daytime version.)
  • Press Your Luck - On the final day of the last Home Participation Sweepstakes, the names of all eligible participants that had come up during that contest were entered into a final drawing, the winner of which would receive a cash prize based on one final spin by the champion. After the champion won $36,000 for the home viewer (a $2,000 spin multiplied by 18 spins earned in round 2), balloons and streamers were released in the studio.
  • Remote Control - Bonus Round winners were showered with confetti and streamers while still strapped to the bed or wheel.
  • Sale Of The Century anytime the lot was won or a contestant won (or left with) a sizeable prize in the end game.
  • Trashed - confetti was blown by "The Trasher" through a modified leafblower after a bonus win; later subverted when he started blowing trash through it instead.
  • 21 - whenever a contestant's winnings passed the $1,000,000 mark in the Povich version.
  • Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? has something of a subversion: confetti would fall at the end of the second round, rather than the bonus round, when the crook of the day was arrested.
  • Wheel of Fortune - when someone wins $100,000 or $1,000,000 in the bonus round. Frequently lampshaded by Pat Sajak, even wielding a push broom on occasion in case it happens.
  • Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Greed, and countless others in the "big-money game show craze" that awarded a (multi-) million dollar payout. Averted in 1 vs. 100.
  • Win Ben Stein's Money - money falls from the ceiling when a contestant beats Ben.


Non-Game Show Examples:

Film

Live-Action TV
  • America's Funniest Home Videos drops confetti on the $100,000 winner each season (balloons in the Saget era).
  • American Idol unleashes a snowstorm of confetti at the end of the finale.
  • Many, many New Year's Eve celebrations, both on television and in Real Life.
  • 2013's New Year's confetti was notable: In the months following Dick Clark's death, the city asked its citizens to write their memories of him and his New Year's specials. These little reminiscences went on display until they were combined with a healthy helping of Manly Tears and used as confetti to ring in 2013... The man got to celebrate one last time.
  • Frequent, and sometimes parodied on The Colbert Report.
  • Parodied on Whose Line Is It Anyway?: Balloons dropped from the top of the set when Colin won the show's millionth point.
  • Done on Dexter in "Born Free" (season 1 finale). Dexter has a rather long Imagine Spot when he sees himself appreciated by people who are fans of his work as a Serial Killer who takes out the trash, hunting down criminals. People scream their supporting words and they even have banners with "I'm your #1 fan" and similar stuff. The celebrity worship and party-like feeling is complete with the Confetti Drop.
  • Faking It: Confetti drops as Amy and Karma kiss to prove they're not fake lesbians. Their rival Lauren is understandably perturbed at this; Principal Penelope simply replies, "It dropped early, I'm so sorry."

Professional Wrestling
  • Wrestling does does it with pyro after a big match win such as the Royal Rumble, an Undertaker Streak win or Wrestlemania main event.
  • Triple H played the tropesstraight when he won his second WWF title during the McMahon-Helmsley Era with black and green confetti.

Sports
  • Every Super Bowl launches confetti at the final gun; usually red, white and blue rather than the winning team's colors ('cuz it's easier to manage one set rather than two...and more importantly, not get those two mixed up.)
  • This has extended to the end of nearly every single major college or professional championship game in any sport, if the winning team is at home or a neutral site.
  • A hilarious early confetti drop happened in the 1999 WNBA finals Game 2 (of 3). The Houston Comets won the first game and led the New York Liberty by 2 at home with 2.4 seconds left. The Liberty inbounded to Teresa Weatherspoon in the back court, and the confetti started to fall as Weatherspoon launched a desperation shot at half-court—and made it, thus ruining the confetti drop.

Theatre
  • A few Cirque du Soleil shows have confetti drops over the stage and audience as part of the finale: Varekai, Zumanity, and The Beatles LOVE. LOVE also opens with a confetti drop, which makes sense when one realizes that the story begins with "Get Back", which The Beatles performed in their final public concert.
  • At least when it played Las Vegas, Spamalot's curtain call singalong to "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" ended with a confetti drop over the crowd.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory does this twice over. The first time, it's played for Black Comedy — the purple glitter that's showered over the balconies and upper stalls is the fallout from Violet Beauregarde (who wears a sparkly tracksuit) exploding after her transformation into a giant blueberry. The second time, it's purely festive as confetti cannons are shot off over the stage and front rows to celebrate Charlie Bucket's triumph.

Video Games
  • WarioWare DIY allows a user-made microgame to include a confetti drop as a predefined Stage Effect.
  • The the Ace Attorney games, the courtroom audience appear to drop confetti after the player wins a case.
    • Done by Maya Fey in Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 during Phoenix Wright's winpose.
    • Hidden in the back of the manual for the second DS game is a brief comic strip that lampshades the confetti drop. It turns out that it's not the entire audience throwing confetti; it's just Detective Gumshoe, celebrating Phoenix's success in the only way he can afford - laboriously cut up bits of paper.
  • Parodied in Portal 2. For several test chambers GLaDOS has been threatening- er, I mean, playfully teasing that she has a big surprise for your birthday. The player, expecting the worst is treated to....a rather anti-climatic bit of confetti falling.
  • If you "use" confetti in Kingdom of Loathing, your character throws it in the air for him/herself, and then picks it back up (no need to litter!). Multi-using eleven confetti handfuls earns you the "I Love A Parade" trophy.
  • Completing a mission in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity results in the screen being filled with falling confetti.

Celebrity EditionGame Show TropesConsolation Prize
Comet of DoomSpectacleConspicuous CG
Slumdog MillionaireImageSource/Live-Action FilmsSmokey and the Bandit

alternative title(s): Balloon Drop
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