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Game Show Tropes
"Describe for your partner these Tropes Associated With Game Shows. You need six to get into the Winner's Circle. Ready? ...Stand by. Ready? GO!"
  • All or Nothing
    • One wrong move and you walk away with bupkis.
  • Audience Game
    • We don't have enough time left for a new game; would you like to win a crockpot?
  • Audience Participation
    • Come On Down! You're the next contestant on The Trope Is Hung!
  • Big Win Sirens
    • Clang-clang-clang (whoop, WHOOP, WHOOOOOOP!!!).
  • Bonus Round
    • You've won the game, now here's your chance to make some more money!
  • Bonus Space
    • Stop at Get $5,000 Regardless Of Outcome!
  • Carried by the Host
    • There really isn't much of a game here, so let's get a really solid host who can make drying paint entertaining.
  • Celebrity Edition
    • Hey, it's that guy! And he's playing for charity! (Producers who value their handiwork should not use this full-time on a game usually played by civilians. It's been tried several times, and on every occasion the show in question was canned within a year.)
  • Confetti Drop
    • Let's dump a bunch of stuff on the winner!
  • Consolation Prize
    • Well, you just had bad luck today, but you're not leaving empty-handed you'll receive a supply of Rice-A-Roni, the San Francisco Treat! (ding-ding!)
  • Covered in Gunge
    • If you can find the flag in this giant snot-filled nose, you win a car! (Not limited to game shows, but was a staple of children's game shows and their spinoffs in the late 1980s-mid 1990s.)
  • Deadly Game
    • This one's a real killer.
  • Double The Dollars
    • It's time for Round 2, where all the prizes and penalties are doubled...
  • Eject The Loser
    • ...and so is the danger!!! That breakaway wall behind you / trap door underneath you isn't there just for decoration...
  • Epic Fail
    • Wow you didn't even get one answer right in the bonus round. (Not explicitly a game show trope, but occasionally appears and sometimes combined with What an Idiot, where a contestant gives an obviously bad answer, if they're able to even answer e.g., "Man, that was such an easy puzzle; I can't believe you missed it that badly!")
  • Extra Turn
    • Stop at $5,000 + One Spin! (Not explicitly a game show trope, but still very common on them.)
  • Game Show Appearance
    • When game shows collide with fiction. Usually makes no difference in the characters and keeps the Status Quo intact, but occasionally will set up a plot thread or change a character for the better (or worse).
  • Game Show Winnings Cap
    • You can only win so much, or stay for so long. Be wary of shows that could very well make you a one-and-done champion with -$250.
  • Golden Snitch
    • What, you think you have an advantage just because you won the first nine rounds out of ten? (Shows up outside of game shows as well.)
  • Home Game
    • All the fun of the game (hopefully), without the fear of cameras or a large audience. Or the pleasure of actually boosting your bank account.
  • Home Participation Sweepstakes
    • Call, send in postcards, or go to our website for your chance to win!
  • Immoral Reality Show
    • Forcing contestants to do humiliating and possibly harmful things may be morally dubious, but it makes for sky-high audience ratings!
  • Let's Just See What WOULD Have Happened
    • This has absolutely no bearing on the outcome of the game, but we're gonna do it anyway because we have to fill a half-hour. Or an hour, sometimes. Or two hours.
  • Lifelines
    • Don't know the answer? Call someone who does!
  • Losing Horns
    • BZZZZZZZZZZ! Ba-bum-da-bummmm...AWWWWWWWWWWWW.
  • Mystery Box
    • Could be something good, could be a Klunk, could be $25,000 in cash... (Most commonly recognized from its use in Deal or No Deal, although it certainly wasn't the first game to use the idea.)
  • Non-Standard Game Over
    • "It's clear you're struggling today, there's too much of a difference between the scores that it's now impossible for you to catch up ... so why don't we end things right now and award the game to our champion." (Not specifically a game show trope, but happens on occasion due to unusual circumstances regarding poor performances that the game ends before its natural conclusion, most notably in the Pyramid franchise.)
  • Personnel:
    • The Announcer
      • Introduces the host (and sometimes contestants), describes everything you could win, and describes everything you've won. Typically the first to be heard and the last to speak.
    • Game Show Host
      • Asks questions, hands out money, and (if you're lucky) makes fun of bad contestants.
    • Lovely Assistant
      • Shows off the toasters, cars, and swimsuits. Or maybe just stands around as something to make sitting through the horrible format/emcee/contestants worthwhile.
    • Studio Audience
      • Smile! Laugh! Applaud!
  • Product Placement
    • You've landed on the Hot Pockets JACKPOT space, brought to you by Hot Pockets!
  • Progressive Jackpot
    • You lost today, but if you win tomorrow it'll be worth even more!
  • Promotional Consideration
    • HeadOn, apply directly to the forehead!
  • Retired Game Show Element
    • Professor Price is gonna help you all he can, and that's good because he has all the answers.
  • Rules Spiel
    • Here's how we play the game...
  • Show The Folks At Home
    • Let's reveal who today's Secret Square is...
  • Sound Proof Booth
    • Your partner is offstage, where they can't see or hear your answers.
  • Speed Round
    • This will decide the game. Put 60 seconds on the clock, please. (ding) Time starts...now.
  • Thing-O-Meter
    • How much did the audience like your handiwork? Most notably seen on Queen For A Day (Applause Meter), although a few other games used similar ideas.
  • Think Music
    • While you ponder on an answer to the question we just asked, here's your musical timer. (Most notably used on Jeopardy!, although it's hardly unique.)
  • Undesirable Prize
    • What the hell is that thing, anyway? Did they really think someone would want this?
  • Unexpectedly Obscure Answer
    • What the hell is Liederkranz?!
  • Whammy
    • I cannot tell a lie you lose!
  • What an Idiot
    • "Who is the Father of Our Country?" followed by contestant drawing a blank, and then being dumbfounded when the correct answer is given. (Certainly not limited to game shows, but plenty of these moments have led to game shows' all-time funniest or greatest moments. Goes on the YMMV tab for the specific shows.)
  • Who Wants To Be Who Wants To Be A Millionaire
    • How many different ways can you say "Is that your final answer?"
  • Zonk
    • And let's show you what's behind Curtain #3, it's a live raccoon!

"This is Tropey McGregious speaking for Game Show Tropes a TV Tropes Production! This program was edited for broadcast."
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