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Series: Big Brother
I don't watch Big Brother to see people cleaning their teeth or having a shower. I watch Big Brother to see George Galloway pretending to be a cat. That is funny.
— Guy on The One Show.

Big Brother is a groundbreaking Reality Show that started in the Netherlands in 1999, and has since spread around the world — there have been versions in the United States, Brazil, Australia, the Middle East (where it was canceled after ten days due to religious protests), Africa (where it caused a constitutional crisis in Malawi), throughout Europe, and (in Asia) India, briefly Thailand, the Philippines and Canada. However, by far the most famous version of the show is the British version, which was so popular that a Celebrity Edition was made. Brazil also had a Celebrity Edition but it wasn't by the same network that held the broadcasting rights to Big Brother and wasn't different enough to avoid being Screwed by the Lawyers. Said edition was known as "Casa dos Artistas" (House of the Artists). The 2007 version of Celebrity Big Brother set the UK record for most complaints about a TV programme, mostly due to the Shilpa Shetty racism row.

The premise is simple: lock several "ordinary" people in house, ply them with alcohol, and watch the results on omnipresent cameras. Viewers can watch the edited highlights in the evening, or watch it live on cable or the Internet. The public then proceed to vote them out every so often.

The US version notably abandoned the public-voting-out after the first season (the public kept voting out the trouble-makers, who the producers saw as "more interesting" and wanted to keep) and went to a more Survivor-like system where the house guests vote each other out (which was later adopted by the Canadian version). However, they must vote out one of two contestants nominated by a third contestant who won the "Head of Household" title that week. Therefore, there is less safety in the large, unconcealed alliances you see on Survivor. The change also meant that the show didn't have to manufacture drama purely by casting the looniest people alive.

A common twist is a "Big Brother goes evil" or "Hell" twist, where Big Brother is psychologically abusive to the houseguests or where they are put in a bad environment.

Homaged by the Doctor Who episode "Bad Wolf", with a dystopian future version where the contestants are disintegrated when they're voted out. This is often assumed to be a parody or a Take That against Reality TV, but Word of God confirms it as a tribute. The show also inspired the Mini Series Dead Set by Charlie Brooker, in which seven contestants and some of the show's backstage staff battle a Zombie Apocalypse. Both feature cameos by host Davina McCall. It also inspired the novel "Dead Famous" by Ben Elton, which turns the concept into a murder mystery.

It's often actually turned into Machinima, see SBB Brothers for just one example.

Check out and help build the character sheet.

Not to be confused with George Orwell's classic work 1984, in which Big Brother represents the totalitarian Party that treats free thought as a crime. Its name is, however, based on the fact that in the book cameras are everywhere, with everyone being watched by "Big Brother", which is about all most people (think they) know about it. For information on that trope, see Big Brother Is Watching. For the trope on the totalitarian figure of "Big Brother" who may or may not exist, see Shadow Dictator.


This TV series has examples of the following tropes:

    open/close all folders 

    All Versions 
  • Ascended Fanboy: It's fairly common for each season to cast a "superfan", or a person who has been watching the show since or almost since its inception. Usually there are only one or two since they tend to be Dangerously Genre Savvy.
  • Audience Participation: Obviously, being a show based upon the public vote.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Inverted. We're watching Big Brother.
  • Brainless Beauty: Many of both genders.
  • Cash Cow Franchise: It made its creator (who was, admittedly, fortunate to begin with) rich enough to launch his own TV station in the Netherlands
  • Fanservice:
    • A lot of people watch it just because they are waiting for someone to take a shower. And the sole purpose of some challenges seems to be to get the contestants to show some skin. Wet T-Shirt contest in Big Brother Czech, anyone?
    • Big Brother Brasil inserts more of this each year, to the point of suggesting oral sex under the couches. And there always will be a girl who "accidentally" exposes a critical area every now and then.
    • Averted in one season of Big Brother Australia; one contestant insisted on wearing a bikini while bathing. So much so that "Jemma in the shower" became somewhat of a IRL Meme.
    • The Dutch version contestants were Genre Savvy enough to see this coming, and spent the first episode having a hot tub orgy. Really.
    • In the ninth UK series, Dale and Stuart were given tasks seemingly for no reason other than to show off their torsos.
  • Grey and Grey Morality: The 24/7 viewing system shows all the things happening in the Big Brother house, so people can deliberately find your characteristic flaws. That means, no one is totally perfect.
  • Literary Allusion Title
  • Ms. Fanservice: Frequent. The Brazilian version at times even has former\current beauty pageants. And many who end up on Playboy.
  • Non-Gameplay Elimination: Happens quite a bit, house guests either break rules (Fight Night in UK Version, N-Word Privileges, Turkey Slapping in Australia, the "Knife incident" & "Hirochima" in America come to mind) and get kicked out, or decide to leave (Sometimes due to family emergencies, injuries like Rima in Australia or Keeley in 2010, or just not wanting to play the game).
  • Once a Season: Certain shows have traditions, this show is no different.
  • Pixellation
  • Reality Show Genre Blindness: It's always surprising for some houseguests whenever they are lied to, especially if they've seen the show before and know that it's a critical aspect to staying in the game.
  • Scenery Porn: Some of the houses for these series have been very elaborate and very well-designed...only to be covered in a huge mess in a couple weeks.
  • Spinoff: Many, many type 9 spinoffs.
    • The UK series has most notably had: Big Brother's Little Brother, a BB news fanzine; Big Brother's Big Mouth, a BB public opinion/talk show; Big Brother Live, live streaming from the house; and Diary Room Uncut, in which notable Diary Room conversations were played in full. With the show's move to Channel 5, a new spinoff known as Big Brother's Bit on the Side exists: it functions similarly to BBLB and Big Mouth six days of the week, and on Sundays it's a quiz show. Also on C4 there was "Big Brother's Big Brain" and "Big Brother On The Coach", both of which were psychology shows. As well as a podcast "Big Brother's Big Ears".
    • The US version has Big Brother After Dark, a 3-hour block of live streaming from the house. Until Season 11 the US version also had House Calls, which was a talk show where viewers could call in questions.
    • The Australian version had: Live Nominations, which broadcast the housemates' nominations live; Uncut/Adults Only, which broadcast material that didn't fit the PG rating; UpLate, which was live streaming from the house late at night; and Friday Night Live, which had the housemates competing in a series of games for prizes (both gameplay bonuses and tangible prizes). In its final season, the Australian version adopted Big Mouth from the UK version.
  • Transsexual: This was featured in the Aussie version of Big Brother, where Miriam (of There's Something About Miriam fame) came on as a gag housemate. Famously featuring the line from hyperawareness-enabled housemate Ryan (Fitzy), "I see them frank-n-beans".
    • Also featured in the UK version with Nadia, who was revealed to be a male-to-female transsexual. She went on to be that year's winner.
    • Luke A in the thirteenth UK series is a female-to-male transsexual. He also went on to win that series.
    • Transgender housemates are no guarantee to win whoever, as Pete Burns from CBBUK 2006 and Sam Brodie from BBUK 2006 proved.
    • The recent (2009-10) Philippine (Pinoy) version with Rica, who was evicted but returned as a housemate due to Kuya's (Big Brother's) request. She was in quite a feud with her father who didn't accept her change, but reconciled with him in the show.
    • The 2011 Argentinian version had Alejandro, a female-to-male transsexual who entered the show expecting to obtain the money to pay for his sex change operation.
    • The 2011 Brazillian version had Ariadna, a male-to-female transsexual hairdresser. Unlike Alejandro, she already made her sex change operation and is actually a pretty damn convincing female.
    • Several housemates have come out after leaving the show as being transgender. Notable examples are Kemal Shahin from BBUK 2006 and Rodrigo Lopes from BBUK 2010.
  • Twin Switch: This has been a common twist in the show. Averted by Big Brother 2007 UK wherein Amanda and Sam played separately; but later on played as one person.
    • Big Brother 5 US had this as one of the twists; and with a bit of Fridge Brilliance from the casting department. Adria and Natalie were the twins that were switching places...and several other contestants (Drew and Diane) had twins outside the house as well.
    • In one of the Australian editions; this worked for three weeks until one of the twins cut himself.

    UK 
  • A House Divided: Possibly the most famous instance was in Big Brother 2002 when the house was divided into two, the Rich Side and the Poor Side, with live tasks determining who would live on which side for a week.
    • It was also seen in Big Brother 2006 during the Prison task, when the Prison wardens lived in the main house whilst the prisoners moved next door into a prison cell. Unbeknownst to the wardens, the prisoners were given instructions on how to find the secret hideaway.
    • In the Celebrity version of the 2007 series, Jade Goody, her mother and her boyfriend entered the main house, and all bar Shilpa Shetty, Jermaine Jackson and Ken Russell moved into the servants quarters, as part of a Masters and Servants task which involved the servants waiting hand and foot on the Goody clan and the remaining celebrities in the main house, much to Donny Tourrete's dismay.
    • This made somewhat of a comeback in Big Brother 2008, when there was a "Heaven" and a "Hell" side of the house.
    • There are usually two main "warring" factions. One made up of the "underdogs", the other made up of "populars". Notable examples are Team Richard vs The Plastics (series 7), B Block vs The Whisper Club (series 9), and The Insiders vs The Outsiders (series 13, ironically, The Outsiders were much more popular with the public).
    • In Big Brother 2004, the house featured Marco's Harem (Marco, Michelle, Nadia and Emma) vs the Jungle Cats (Victor, Jason, Ahmed and honorary member Stuart). The two factions, for the most part, hated each other and had a massive difference of ideals - the Harem were camp, loud, and always up for a party, while the Cats were serious about the game, moody, but more mature than the harem. The conflict between these two came to a magnificent climax on the legendary Fight Night, on which Jason threatened to knock Marco's block off, Nadia slapped Jason, and Emma and Victor threw platters at each other, resulting in Emma being thrown out of the house.
  • Alpha Bitch: One who fits the trope closest was Grace in series 7. She was relentlessly bitchy and snobby, and called housemates who were outside her clique "freaks". She had a Villainous Breakdown after hearing the audience loudly chanting "Get Grace Out!". It later became expected for an unpopular housemate to have their name chanted in such a way, but at the time it was a shock to all the housemates that one of them could be so disliked by the public, not least Grace herself who sobbed that she had never been unpopular in her life.
  • Back for the Finale: The evicted housemates usually return for the finale night, as with most versions.
  • Camp Gay : Marco, Kemal, Shahbaz, Dennis, Tom and Scott. You could also make a case for Craig from the 2005 series.
  • Catch Phrase: "Big Brother house, this is Davina. You are live on channel 4. Please do not swear!" or "You have 30 seconds to say your goodbyes. I'm coming to get you!"
    • Also "Dear 25 in tha Big Brutha howse, an Dearvid is summoned to the diary room." Not so much a Catch Phrase as a Catch Accent. Marcus Bentley's (natural) County Durham accent is such an iconic element of the series that he's been known to exaggerate it for effect.
  • The Chessmaster: Makosi in series 6. She manipulated and controlled the whole house, turned situations to her advantage in a magnificent away, and sent most of her main rivals AND her main allies to the door. She was a favourite to win at one point, but she took her tactics too far by pretending to be pregnant. Public opinion quickly turned against her, and, two-faced backstabber though she was the harsh reception she got from the crowd made for uncomfortable viewing.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder:
    • Noirin and Bea from series 10. By the time each were evicted, they had succeeded in alienating the vast majority of their housemates. They just had no concept of loyalty ... to ANYONE! And no, this shared trait didn't help them bond. They hated each other just as much as everyone else, coming close to a full-on bitchfight once.
    • Makosi in series 6. She backstabbed from week one all the way to the final!
  • Double Standard: Emily Parr and the whole N-Word Privileges. Nobody raises a fuss when Charley uses the N-Word, but when Emily uses it? KICK HER OUT OF THE HOUSE!
    • Had it not been for the celebrity edition scandal a mere four months earlier, she most likely would have gotten off with a warning. But since the producers were so afraid of another blowup, they decided to remove her immediately. Ironically, the only controversy was over Emily's unfair expulsion!
  • Dumb Blonde: There's usually one. Helen Adams (series 2) and Jade Goody (series 3) became iconic (but not in a good way, at least in Goody's case). Sophie Reade (series 10) who went on to win that series. Subverted with blonde twins Amanda and Sam Marchant in series 8. They at first appeared to be blonde bimbo girls, as they were giggly, excitable and loved wearing pink, but turned out to be quite intelligent. For example Amanda once added up the entire shopping budget on her own, when usually several housemates contribute to that task, and the other housemates commented that Amanda did a better job of it than anyone else had before. Keep in mind that Amanda was the ditzier of the two!
  • Granola Girl: Zig-zagged with Wolfy from series 14. She will meditate and speak to the birds in the backyard, and also believes that animals only approach you if they have something to say to you, but at the same time she has no problem with smoking.
  • Humiliation Conga:
    • John James in series 11 in the last few weeks, as the producers and many viewers had got sick of his Jerkass Spoiled Brat behaviour. They made him wear ridiculous costumes for tasks and bought back evicted housemates he argued with. In the last few days leading up to his eviction they bought back Rachael. He bragged to the others about laying into her, but when he learned that she had hooked up with Nathan on the outside he literally started crying for his mummy.
    • Most of the series for series 13 Luke S. He had curry powder put in his protein shake by Benedict, who told him that as a parting shot just before he left the house. After accusing Deana of being a golddigger, she countered that his relationship with Ashleigh was fake for the cameras. In a task he was fooled into thinking a phony talent agent was really interested in signing him, which saw him doing a photoshoot for a cheesy calender and saying that Ashleigh annoyed him and when he left the house he would rather be a player than in a relationship. Later he overheard Ashleigh complaining that he smelt of onions and implying that she fancied Conor more. Worst of all, he and Conor were in the White Room task and were told that if one of them pressed a button they would win £50,000 but would have to leave the house immediately and the other would get a free pass to the final. Conor had said a few days before that getting to the final was the most important thing to him, but he pressed the button a split second before Luke S, leaving him crying and kicking the furniture in anger. It didn't end there either. Conor said in his interview that despite being allies in the house he never liked Luke S much, and in the last week in the house Deana couldn't resist making jokes about Luke S not pressing the button. Then when it came to the final Luke S was out first and 'Push The Button' by the Sugababes was played as he exited the house.
  • Iconic Logo
  • Irish Names: Series 11 had an Irish housemate named 'Caoimhe'. An utterly unremarkable female name in Ireland, it is brain breakingly difficult to spell and pronounce in Britain. Cue mass bafflement. Similarly there was Orlaith in series 6, Aisleyne in the series 7, and Noirin in series 10.
  • Irony: To avoid controversy due to the racist bullying in the previus Celebrity Edition, Emily Parr was ejected from Big Brother UK for using the N-word in a conversation with Charley. However, it sparked a controversy instead about how people viewed it as Unfair, since Charley was not even punished for saying it, and Emily had not offended any other houseguests.
  • Jaw Drop: This was the reaction of arrogant BB7 UK contestant Sezer after it was announced he was the latest evictee. His jaw almost dropped again when he was told that he had got an at the time record breaking 91.6% of the public vote to be evicted.
  • Jerk Ass: Due to the vote to evict, they usually bit the dust as soon as they were on the block. Now the voting system has changed to "vote to save", controversial characters (such as The Shannon Twins) manage to survive longer (even make the final). But, in the end, good usually wins. Of course, that depends on who you view as "good", as the majority have "jerkass" moments now and again.
  • Neon Sign Hideout: When Aisleyne was "evicted" to the secret House Next Door in Big Brother UK Series 7, the housemates could hear noises from where the House Next Door was located and sussed that there was a secret place.
    • In fact, the "sent next door" twist had been done so many times that in the 12th UK series, nominees Anton and Jay were secretly moved to the Big Brother Crypt, as they were "dead to the housemates". Despite the others being told that they had been evicted from the house they managed to suss that they were in fact living in a secret room.
  • No Damage Run: There were houseguests who managed to make it to the finale without being nominated or receiving very few nominations. Amanda & Sam in Big Brother 2007 UK received no nomination votes, while Josie in Big Brother 2010 never faced the public vote until the end.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Rachel Rice in the UK series apparently faked an illness to get off from work and get on the show.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Bonnie Holt. Brian in series 8 infamously claiming he had never heard of Shakespeare.
  • Odd Friendship: Aisleyne and Imogen from series 7. Imogen's closest friend, Grace, HATED Aisleyne, and the feeling was mutual. Somehow, after Grace's eviction, Aisleyne and Imogen became close friends, and they still are to this day.
    • Adam and Luke A from series 13, and one of the more genuinely heartwarming friendships from the show,
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Team Richard from series 7, B Block from series 9, the Soldiers/Outsiders from series 13.
  • Reality Show Genre Blindness: Specific examples include:
    • Every year, at least one of the new houseguests is punished for discussing nominations. This happens every year.
    • People who don't realize they'll be away from their families for awhile.
  • Snark Knight: Deana Uppal in series 13 made many hilarious cutting remarks.
  • Springtime for Hitler: When racing pundit John McCririck went into the house for Ultimate Big Brother, the UK edition's Series Fauxnale, he openly announced that he had gotten all of his friends and family to place large bets on him being the first to be evicted, and intended to behave in such a disgusting and offensive manner that he would definitely be the first person voted out. The trope was ultimately averted; despite an internet campaign to keep him in until at least the second eviction, McCririck was indeed the first person voted out (he wasn't the first person to leave, since Josie Gibson walked out the day before his eviction, but as McCririck himself pointed out, that wouldn't affect any bets on him being the first to be evicted by the public).
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: In the UK series at least, some newcomer housemates that enter late in a series tend to be suspiciously similar to big characters that have already been evicted.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Luke in BB9 UK had one after his romantic interest Rebecca was evicted. His bitching went into total overdrive and he became noticeably more aggressive. He was evicted the following week, his final words being "watch your back in here, Lisa".
    • Bea in BB10 UK had several!
    • Caroline from BB13 UK. After hearing "Get Caroline out!" during a Live Eviction, she went up for eviction the next week and became adamant she would leave. She decided to have the last laugh by sabotaging the house shopping list by only buying chocolate, sweets, pancakes, doughnuts and all sorts.

    Australia 
  • Action Girl: Season 8 had fitness freak Alice, who spent so much time on the treadmill a fight broke out when the other housemates tried to trade it to Big Brother for toilet paper, and who during the fake snap eviction in the final week jogged up and down the holding room (the 'plane') after she was evicted so she wouldn't cry.
  • Adorkable: Bradley (Season 9).
  • Catch Phrase:
    • The first season had a rule that the audience were not to cheer during evictions, so that the housemates didn't know there was a live eviction audience. This led to host Gretel Killeen repeatedly reminding the audience “quiet as a mouse while we cross to the House”.
    • Whenever the host crossed to the house: 'Hello house!'
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Nobbi from Season 8 was so unhappy at housemate Terri's re-entry to the house that the live broadcast was interrupted by, according to Big Mouth host Tony Squires, “about thirty seconds of continual bleeping”.
    • Bianca, also from Season 8, once went on a rant about something quite minor where nearly everything she said had to be bleeped out. As everyone pointed out, it was surprisingly out of character for her, but no less hilarious.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: In one of the final weeks of Season 9, the weekly task was to ignore all unwelcome guests which included several former housemates from previous seasons, a ninja and narrator Mike Goldman.
  • Repeating Ad: The last five series of Big Brother Australia (2004-08) were sponsored by KFC, to the extent that Friday Night Live had the KFC Twister Instant Replay, and in-store promotions were available with Big Brother-branded items. The Season 9 revival is also sponsored by them.
  • Unusual Euphemism: The infamous "turkey-slapping"note . You can thank the Australian media for that.
  • Voted Off The Island: This version mixes the US format and the normal voting system. Housemates narrow the voting-off list down to the least popular group of housemates, then they get voted off out of that group. The only exception was the first three evictions of season 8, where the voting public narrowed it down to three housemates that the housemates then had to vote to evict.

    Brasil 
  • Breakout Character: A few managed to mantain their fame after the show. Juliana (season 3) and Grazi (5) became actresses on BBB's broadcaster, Sabrina (3) became part of a popular comedy troupe, and Iris (7) a TV host (given all are gorgeous, all became Playboy covers as well). Season 5 winner Jean became a politician well-regarded for his gay rights activism.
  • Camp Gay: Dicesar and Serginho in Season 10; Daniel and Lucival in Season 11. The Camp Gay seems to be a mandatory member in every season from 10 onwards (probably since Jean managed to avoid elimination in the first week by playing the "just because I'm gay" card). Season 13 features a two-for-one minority who's both gay and black.
  • Catch Phrase: Quite a few. In fact, at one point the most noteworthy Season 9 catchphrases were mashed all into a song. Also, not really a phrase, but one season of the same version had a fairly popular Mondegreenified rendition of "We Are the World" called "Iarnuou", sung by one of the contestants.
    • From Season 11 is Igor's Verbal Tic of "Tá ligado?" (translating to something akin to "Get it?").
  • Chapstick Lesbian: Diana, Season 11.
  • Completely Missing the Point: The show refers to the participants "brothers" and "sisters", sometimes prefaced with the adjective "Big" (Gratuitous English at its best), ignoring completely that the titular Big Brother was supposed to be the viewer. Or the director.
  • In-Series Nickname: The Brazilian version has its name officially shortened as "BBB", and the contestants were occasionally nicknamed as "brothers" and "sisters". During the first season of this version, a contestant named the elimination process "Paredão" (literally "big wall" in Brazilian Portuguese, meaning the place where people are taken to be shot by a firing squad), which eventually became the official name.
  • No Indoor Voice: Anamara.
  • Repeating Ad: Within the show, nonetheless. In the more recent editions, every competition for leadership or immunity is themed with a certain brand. Say the characters need to grab the highest amount of Brand X objects. The whole scenario will be covered with ads of the brand, the host will repeat the brand name every time it refers to the object, there will be massive close-ups on the objects in case, and when counting the amount of objects grabbed, the characters must say the brand name for each object they grabbed. Taking batteries for example, if they got 15 batteries, they will say the brand and the specific type of battery 15 times.

    US 
  • Ac CENT Upon The Wrong Syl LA Ble: Hayden (Season 12) tends to do this.
  • Action Girl: Janelle Pierzina, Daniele Donato, Britney Haynes, and Rachel Reilly all won plenty of competitions in their respective seasons.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Jessie's appearance in Big Brother 12. Yeah, the guy's a Creator's Pet and all, but that was actually pretty funny. Britney opened Pandora's Box and was told that she would be given tips from a former Big Brother player. Except they never mentioned what kind of tips she'd be given, so Jessie gave her tips on weight-lifting while the rest of the house got a luau.
  • A House Divided:
    • A quite literal example occurs in Big Brother 6. After Kaysar's friend Michael was evicted, he forms a counter alliance made up of everyone in the house who's not already in the Friendship alliance: Janelle, Howie, Rachel, James and Sarah. Following Eric/Cappy's eviction, the HoH flips week to week between the Friendship and Kaysar's alliance (dubbed the Sovereign Six), and no one except for James ever even attempts to make a deal with a member from the other side following Kaysar's second eviction. You could taste the vitriol the two opposing alliances had for each other.
    • Big Brother 13 had the veteran players go up against the newbies. While the veterans were in power for a few weeks, had newbie allies and were in control of the first three evictions, Daniele double-crossed the veterans and started her own alliance with Kalia, Lawon, and later Porsche and Shelly who turned on the veterans as well. They took control of the house for the next three weeks and even though they lost Lawon and then their leader, Daniele, they took control of the house again after evicting the veteran alliance's leader, Jeff, and after a member of the alliance became the Head of Household. If it wasn't for one of the most blatant forces of rigging in the series' history, they easily could have won the game.
  • Adorkable: Ian Terry (Season 14).
  • Affably Evil: Dr Will so much.
  • The Apprentice: All of the newbies of Season 14, in which they had coaches mentoring them throughout the game.
    • Danielle, Jodi and Kara: To Dan
    • Jo Jo, Shane and Willie: To Britney
    • Frank, Ian and Jenn: To Boogie
    • Ashely, Joe and Will: To Janelle
  • Alpha Bitch: Janelle Pierzina.
  • Arch-Enemy: Danielle to Rachel and Brendon in Season 13, moreso Brendon because Danielle was the one who put him out. Twice.
  • Ascended Meme: Jessie "Mr. Pectacular" Godderz. Where do we begin...
    • He was originally a houseguest during Season 10, who then came back (by unpopular demand) for Season 11, who then was a suggested possibly-returning houseguest for Season 13.
    • As well, he's made the most amount of (consecutive) in-house seasonal appearances of any Big Brother houseguest; not only on the US edition, but over every international edition of the show. He's basically a horror movie villain; you can't kill him.
    • Weeks after being evicted during Season 10, he was brought for a few hours back to pester the remaining houseguests... in a gorilla costume.
    • He has also appeared as part of the Pandora's Box twist during Seasons 12 and 13 in which Britney Haynes and Rachel Reilly respectively were locked in a room with him, while the the other houseguests received some sort of luxury prize.
    • In Season 14, not only did he return through Pandora's Box for the third season in a row but this time he was unleashed on the house, replacing all of the house's food with healthier alternatives.
  • Audience Participation:
    • The American version minimized it after season one. Partly because in Season one, people organized huge efforts to slant the game in their favour. Normally it is "Who may/will re-enter the house?", "What will the have-nots eat?". but when they affect gameplay, such as the Coup'de'Tat? People botted the site.
    • Season 8 and 10 featured one called "America's Player". In Season 8, it was all season long where the audience would vote for what America's Player would do. Originally, they didn't really know what to do, and at first tried to sabotage Eric by making him vote against the house, even saving the Fan Favourite player. However later on, they begun to tell Eric to vote and act in ways that would help him get further in the game, or provide a bit of entertainment for the viewers. In Season 10, Dan was chosen as America's Player and this only lasted a week. Season 12 had the Saboteur twist where people would send in suggestions for pranks to pull. The original Saboteur (Annie) was evicted week 1 and the replacement saboteur (Ragan) did his job and nobody figured him out.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The strategy of winning competitions so people can't touch you. What happens when you become ineligible to compete or fall a bit short? Everyone takes aim at that target at your back, and...
  • Ax-Crazy: Contestants have, in rare cases, been ejected for violent behavior, including one who held a knife to a housemate's throat, and another who threatened to have people killed for nominating them.
  • Badass Gay: Andy of Big Brother 15, who is notably the first openly gay winner in the series.
  • Bash Brothers:
    • Dan and Memphis - The Renegades (Big Brother 10)
    • Dr. Will and Boogie - Chilltown (Big Brother 2 and 7)
    • Boogie and Frank - Chilltown 2.0(Big Brother 14)
  • Berserk Button: Chima's the Head Of Household, and she puts Russell up for nomination because she wants him evicted. You'd better not use that mysterious power to mess with her nominations...
  • Betty and Veronica: Briefly in Big Brother 14(U.S) Ian indirectly causes this with Shane (Archie), Danielle (Betty) and Jo Jo (Veronica). In this case Danielle wins because Jo Jo was voted out that week.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Will "Mega", the very first evictee.
    • Keith from Season 13.
    • Jodi from Season 14. Evicted on Day 1.
  • Boring, but Practical: Rob Cesternino, considered one of the most Dangerously Genre Savvy players to ever play Survivor, has been asked about this game during his podcast. His response was that "Floating" is actually a very practical strategy. If you stay outside of the dominant alliances, or are seen as the "Low man on the totem pole", you can get quite far, since if the players decide to target you, they're essentially wasting a week, and a lot more can happen in a week than in three days of survivor. This was pretty much what allowed Sharon, Kevin, Alison, and Sheila to get as far as they did, and was part of why Will, Jun, and Jordan won.
  • Brains and Brawn: Dan and Memphis (Renegades) from Season 10, Dr. Will and Boogie (Chilltown) from Season 2 and 7.
    • The Renegades:
      • Brains: Dan
      • Brawn: Memphis
    • Chilltown:
      • Brains: Dr. Will
      • Brawn: Boogie
  • Call Back: Episodes will frequently feature flashbacks not only to past episodes but even past seasons.
  • Camp Gay: The US version has (in order): Marcellas (3 & 7), Will (5), Beau (6), Joe & Dustin (8), Neil & Joshuah (9), Steven (10), Kevin (11), Ragan (12), Lawon (13), Wil (14), and Andy (15).
  • Catch Phrase: "But First" from the American version. Particularly because Julie Chen has a tendency to say "But first" all of the times...sometimes making the exact same movements as she did before, a common meme is to call her the "Chenbot" and make a compilation of her saying "But First" — it's amazing how she does this so perfectly! (The contestants and Chen are actually aware of this, and have called her the "Chenbot". Heck, official videos from CBS had "Chenbot" in the keywords!)
    • "I'd do that for a dollar!" Invoked in Season 8 as one of Eric's tasks as America's Player.
    • Rachel Reilly tries her best to invoke these every chance she gets:
      • "Nobody gets between me and my man!"
      • Or her "Tequila!"
      • "Floaters grab a life vest!"
      • "I am Vegas, Brendan."
      • "AWK-WAAAARRRRD!"
      • "SHOCKER!"
  • Chekhov's Hobby: In Season 8, several of the contestants passed time in the house by playing beer pong. Later on, one of the food competitions was a giant game of beer pong.
  • The Chessmaster: Kaysar Ridha from Big Brother 6 and 7 tried very hard to be this, but never even reached the jury. He should have taken lessons from Will Kirby, who is still generally regarded as the most evil and manipulative house guest ever, in any of the Big Brother series around the world. Not only did the man manipulate his way into winning Season 2, he engineered a win for his friend and business partner, Mike "Boogie" Malin, in the All Stars season.
  • Sarcastic Confession:
    • The best part of "Evil Doctor Will" being The Chessmaster is that at the beginning of Season 2, Will literally told everyone else in the house that he was going to lie, cheat, and steal in order to win, and that none of them, not even his friend Mike, should trust him as far as they could comfortably spit the Chrysler Building, and that he would betray any so-called "alliance" the moment he saw profit in it. They all thought he was being funny... except that's precisely what he did in order to walk away with the prize.
      • He came back for All-Stars wearing a shirt that said, "I'm probably lying," told everyone he hated them all, and nearly won again.
    • Other examples include Danielle from Season 3, Maggie from Season 6, Dan from Season 10, and The Brigade from Season 12.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder:
    • Easier to pull off than in Survivor, due to its structure.
    • James Rhine may be the king of this trope when it comes to Big Brother. The man couldn't go two weeks without trying to backstab his alliance.
  • Crazy Enough to Work:
    • Some of the plans pulled off in past seasons. Nakomis's six-fingered plan from Season 5, for example, which later turned into an often used strategy itself, called "Backdooring."
    • A particularly crazy example from Season 14 (US) was Dan's funeral. As HoH, Frank nominated him alongside Danielle, and after Jenn won the veto, Dan hosted his "Big Brother Funeral". He had kind words for everyone...except his closest ally Danielle, who he berated. This left everyone in shock, which created a distraction for Dan to make a deal with Frank and Jenn to save himself and evict Britney instead.
  • Creepy Doll: Clowny, Aaryn's clown doll from when she was a child. Amanda had way too much fun with him in the Diary Room.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Kevin from Season 11. Had it not been for Jordan suddenly winning the final Head of Household competition, Kevin would have won that season. He basically spent the entire season hiding behind bigger targets in his alliance like Jessie and Ronnie, manipulating others' perceptions into thinking he was worthless, so they would target Lydia (who had not won a single non-food competition) over him. When Jeff finally set his sights on Kevin and he failed to win veto, Kevin walked right up to Jeff, suggested that Russell was a bigger threat because he was more likely to flip. He then persuaded Jeff to backdoor Russell, and he even used the veto on Kevin, no doubt. This forced Jeff's alliance into having a roughly 50/50 shot in the next head of household challenge.
  • Cult: The Friendship/Nerd Herd from Season 6.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Britney of S12/14 is the undisputed queen of this trope as far as the show goes.
    • Andy & Amanda from Season 15 have had some pretty funny moments as well.
  • Determinator:
    • In Season 6, the houseguests were in an endurance competition called the pressure cooker that was not physically challenging; but they all lasted at least six hours. This wasn't how long the competition lasted — that was how long it took before the first person was eliminated. By the time the competition finished? It was the early morning. Even if it wasn't physically taxing, that's some epic willpower.
    • Evel Dick and Zach had cold water poured on them for about eight hours before dropping out of an endurance competition.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In Season 13, Rachel doesn't like a comment that Cassi says about Porsche in an off-hand comment. Rachel then campaigns to get Cassi evicted from the house.
  • Double Standard:
    • A common one from the American series: "It's alright for me to nominate you because I see you as a threat, but you nominate me for the same reasons?! How dare you!
    • After Lisa won in Season 3, people are angry that Danielle lost because the jury can see her DR confessions, thus cost her the game. Yet......People never cared when Nicole lost to Will in Season 2......when it is clear that the jury can watch both of their DR confessions. The DR confessions isn't the reason why Nicole lost the game though.
    • Very commonly, people gloat in the diary room to the Confession Cam about how good their game is and how good they are when things are going their way and they're making smart moves by evicting certain players. However, if another player makes a smart move and it doesn't benefit them, they get all pissy about it and oftentimes insult the player in question. Especially if they are doing something to make themselves huge targets in the game like Rachel, Kaysar, James, Jeff....
    • In Season 13, most of the veterans thanks to their influence complain about people who float along or hide in the numbers so that they are not perceived as a threat and targeted by whoever is in power. One could wonder if they'd consider Jun, Alison, Sharon, Dr. Will, and Kevin terrible gameplayers because getting people to not perceive you as a threat is what keeps you in the game. (Jeff also doesn't seem to have a problem with Jordan, who won one head of household by herself in both seasons and has relied on Jeff and the rest of her alliance to carry her.)
    • Someone gets far by lying, backstabbing, and coasting through and not winning competitions? FLOATER! Terrible player! Dr. Will gets far and even wins once by doing just that? Best player ever. Why is Dr. Will allowed to get away with it?
    • Anyone who claims that if you don't win competitions you are a floater and a terrible gameplayer. This applies to everyone, except for Jordan from Season 11, who up until the final Head of Household competition had more or less let Jeff do all the work for her. And in Season 13, she somehow managed to do even less, only winning a luxury competition by herself.
    • Likewise, the racial slurs in season 15. Several other seasons have had racist or sexist bullying (Including Ivette referring to middle eastern Houeguest Kaysar as a" Sand Nigger" or Jeff & Chima harassing Russell's lebanese heritage by calling him a "Muslim extremist".) but outside Chima's tirade at the first eviction, Chen never acknowledged this. Why did she suddenly start talking about it when it happened this season, despite any previous controversies? Because Aaryn said an offensive comment about asians.
      • On a more meta example, nobody raised a fuss when Candice called Spencer a "Redneck" or talked about getting his "White ass" out of the house. However, when Amanda called Candice "Shaniqua"? Everyone called for her to be kicked out.
    • Evel Dick bullied his way through the game and took pride in his harassment of other houseguests. His bullying subsequently shot his popularity up to the fan favourite. Jeff likewise bullied Kalia into not nominating Jordan in season 13, and is still a fan favourite. In Season 15, Amanda bullies other houseguests to get them to play her way, and is subsequently seen as the most vile and worst player ever to play Big Brother. What do Jeff and Evel Dick have that Amanda doesn't? Mr. Fanservice. AS lampshaded by a blog:
      "...you just know that if Amanda were a pretty face or had a nicer personality, everyone on the boards would worship the ground she walked on."
  • Dr. Jerk: "Evil Dr. Will," an American fan favorite, who may also be considered a Magnificent Bastard and Mr. Fanservice.
  • Drunk with Power: For future contestants, beware of becoming this. The 24-7 filming system doesn't help either.
  • Dumb Blonde: Jordan Lloyd, and Ashley Iocco.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Season 5 included identical twins swapping places for five weeks and half-siblings who didn't know each other existed until after the show started. And in Season Eight, there was the estranged father and daughter that grew close and went on to become the Final 2.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first season of the U.S. version was much more similar to the UK, which had 10 contestants and allowed for audience nominations. They changed formats with season 2, upped the contestants number to 12 (and sometimes 14, though season 14 had 16, the largest amount of Houseguests to date), and introduced in-house nominations/evictions and Head of Household and picked the winner, as opposed to the audience really doing anything more than picking what losing Houseguests will eat.
  • Entitled Bastard:
    • Rachel Reilly would regularly insult people and play the game very personally, then wondered why nearly everyone hated her and couldn't stand her.
    • Jeff in one of the same seasons also would regularly insult the newbies and walked in claiming he deserved to win...and was dumbfounded when they went after him.
  • Epic Fail:
    • In Season 14, Joe lasts a total of two minutes in an endurance competition. The first thing he says? That his kids will still be laughing at him when he gets back home.
    • The spelling Veto in Season 11, with Jeff trying to spell "technotronics" (which isn't even a word, mind you) and ending up with "tectronics". What pushes it into Epic Fail territory is that, had he have simply ditched the R, he would've had "tectonics", which is a word and would've beaten Russell's seven-letter "shotgun" handily.
    • A more hilarious example: In Season 8's luxury challenge, everyone had to put on bunches of clothing and then strip them off one by one, eventually unscrambling the letters to spell a word. Dick, Eric, and Zach didn't quite catch on that it was clothing-themed words and had spelled "Goat" instead of "Toga".
  • Executive Meddling: Season 13. Enough said.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Daniele Donato had hair that reflected her persona during each season she competed in; in Season 8, she had blonde hair and was seen as the young ingenue of the house, but when she returned for Season 13, it was dyed dark brown, which was more in line with her ruthless, take-no-prisoners approach that year.
  • Fatal Flaw: Jeff in season 13's biggest downfall was that he didn't win the veto competition that he could have saved himself, and got Rachel out instead. In this competition, houseguests had to find two yellow clown shoes in a ball pit, and Jeff accidentally threw his out of the pit.
  • Five-Man Band:

    • The Brigade (S12):

      • The Hero /The Leader: Hayden
      • The Lancer: Enzo
      • The Smart Guy: Matt
      • The Big Guy: Lane
      • The Chick: Britney

    • The Quack Pack (S14):

      • The Leader: Dan
      • The Lancer: Britney
      • The Smart Guy: Ian
      • The Big Guy: Shane
      • The Chick: Danielle
  • Flanderization: Competitions were important in the early seasons of the U.S. season; but the social game was what won you the game over somebody else. When there's no real target in the house, who do you target? The person who you know can win competitions. People used to throw competitions all the time and nobody cared or batted an eyelash. Nowadays with how many people complain about "Floaters" or people who try to play the social game moreso than the competition game, you'd wonder if this was derived from The Amazing Race instead of Survivor.
  • Follow the Leader: Glass House in the U.S. uses a similar format to the original Big Brother season. CBS did not take kindly to this.
  • Four Philosophy Ensemble: Most of the alliances over the course of the show - The Brigade from Season 12, The Four Horsemen from Season 14, The Quack Pack/Team Touche (minus Ian) from Season 14 (US), The Mrs. Robinson Alliance from Season 8 (US), and The Regulators from Season 13 (US):
    • The Brigade
      • The Cynic - Enzo
      • The Optimist - Hayden
      • The Realist - Matt
      • The Apathetic - Lane
      • The Conflicted - Britney
    • The Four Horsemen
      • The Cynic: Scott
      • The Optimist: Drew
      • The Realist: Jase
      • The Apathetic: Michael
    • Team Touche
      • The Cynic: Britney
      • The Optimist: Shane
      • The Realist: Dan
      • The Apathetic: Danielle
    • Mrs. Robinson Alliance
      • The Cynic: Nick
      • The Optimist: Kail
      • The Realist: Mike
      • The Apathetic: Zach
    • The Regulators
      • The Cynic: Keith
      • The Optimist: Lawon
      • The Realist: Dominic
      • The Apathetic: Cassi
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Most of the alliances over the course of the show - The Brigade from Season 12, The Four Horsemen from Season 14, The Quack Pack/Team Touche (minus Ian) from Season 14 (US), The Mrs. Robinson Alliance from Season 8 (US), and The Regulators from Season 13 (US):
    • The Brigade
      • Sanguine: Enzo
      • Choleric: Hayden
      • Melancholic: Matt
      • Phlegmatic: Lane
    • The Four Horsemen
      • Sanguine: Jase
      • Choleric: Scott
      • Melancholic: Drew
      • Phlegmatic: Michael
    • The Quack Pack/Team Touche (- Ian)
      • Sanguine: Dan
      • Choleric: Britney
      • Melancholic: Shane
      • Phlegmatic: Danielle
    • Mrs. Robinson Alliance
      • Sanguine: Nick
      • Choleric: Kail
      • Melancholic: Mike
      • Phlegmatic: Zach
    • The Regulators
      • Sanguine: Lawon
      • Choleric: Keith
      • Melancholic: Cassi
      • Phlegmatic: Dominic
  • Freudian Trio: The Three Stooges from Season 4, Dan, Danielle and Shane from Season 14, The Three Amigos from Season 14:
    • The Three Stooges
      • Jee (Superego)
      • Robert (Ego)
      • Justin (Id)
    • Dan, Danielle and Shane
      • Dan (Id)
      • Danielle (Ego)
      • Shane (Superego)
    • The Three Amigos
      • Shane (Superego)
      • Danielle (Ego)
      • Frank (Id)
  • Fun with Subtitles:
    • In Season 6, there was a part where Ivette was in the diary room and the subtitle said, "She's gay".
    • Also from Season 6, when Howie received lightsabers in his HoH basket, the others commented in the Diary Room about how he was carrying them everywhere. When Howie was talking in the Diary Room, it said "Jedi In Training" under his name.
    • And another time in Season 12, Britney is in the diary room with Brendon handcuffed to him via a veto. Brendon is talking about having to take a chum bath, and you can see Britney mouthing, "Help me". They even subtitled it.
  • Gay Cowboy: Steven Daigle, a self proclaimed "gay rodeo star," who afterwards went into gay pornography.
  • Girl Posse: Aaryn, Kaitlin, and GinaMarie in Season 15.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The main twists in Season 6 (secret pairs, hidden room, Kaysar voted back into the house) are blown up immediately. But this season is regarded as one of the most successful season. Why? Because it develops into a war that Survivor gods yearns to make this scenario happen for years, the anti-Pagoning system certainly helps either.
  • Guide Dang It: In Season 9, there was a Head of Household challenge where Julie Chen asked "True or false: There were more than two existing relationships in the house". There actually were only two existing relationships (Jacob and Sharon and Jen and Ryan) but anyone who said "False" was counted wrong...because the guinea pigs apparently were the third existing couple! This screwed Sharon over majorly, and may count as Executive Meddling (apparently, Chen paused before giving the answer because she was being given it herself).
  • Hello, Nurse!: Maggie Ausburn and Danielle Murphree.
  • High Definition: Averted; as of the fifteenth season in 2013, it now holds the inglorious honor of being the last American network television show in primetime still airing in old fashioned standard definition.
  • Humiliation Conga: Sometimes, competitions are based on this trope, often "How many punishments are you willing to take in order to win?" Especially bad for Kail in Season 8. In week 5, she was nominated by the HoH Daniele, and competed in one of these competitions for the Veto. She accepted every punishment in full magnitude (This included wearing a bunny suit for 120 hours, having gunk dropped on her every hour for 24 hours, eating only slop for the next 30 days, and giving up the right to compete in the next 5 HoH competitions), except for the last one, thus losing the Veto to Jen. Jen used the Veto on herself, and Daniele put into motion a plan to backdoor Eric, but Kail was still evicted 4-3 after a blindside by Dustin, Jessica, and Jameka.
  • Hypocrite: Rachel in Season 13 has put people up on the block and had them evicted for stuff she does to other people. For a specific example, in week two she campaigned to get Cassi out because she didn't like what Cassi said about Porche in a single off-hand remark. Then in the veto competition Jeff got mad at Rachel for a snide remark she made towards his girlfriend Jordan. This prompted her to question "Why is he so mad over a single comment?" Not to mention, Rachel spent half the week wangsting about how Brendon was evicted, then she says "Oh suck it up" to Kalia, who cried because she lost a challenge that more or less sealed her fate.
  • Iconic Outfit:
    • Shane's pink tank top from Season 14.
    • Judd's grizzly bear shirt in Season 15.
  • It's Personal: A lot of players play personally. Among them, Rachel, Lydia, Amber. A good number of jury votes were personal.
  • Jaw Drop: Danielle in Season 14 had a comically huge one after Dan had manipulated her into vetoing him off the block, placing her showmance partner Shane up in his place, then evicting Shane after swearing that he wouldn't do it.
  • Jerk Ass: Most of the contestants, and most of the US winners. Not only that, but douchebags are often prized by the BB fandom (Chill Town and Evel Dick come to mind.) The only people that won and weren't jerks about it were Jun from Season 4, Drew from Season 5, Dan from season 10, Jordan from Season 11, and Ian from season 14.
  • Karmic Eviction: Jeff in Season 13 won HoH, put up Kalia and Porche, then won the Veto and removed Porche in favor of his primary target Danielle, who was evicted. However, it was a double eviction night - Kalia won HoH, put up Jeff and Rachel, and Porsche won the Veto and kept the nominations the same, resulting in a tied vote which Kalia broke, voting out Jeff. To drive the point home, Porsche was heard saying "It's what Danielle wanted".
    • James in Big Brother 9. He is constantly targeted, but then one by one, his alliance goes. Finally, he fails to win veto to remove himself and is then evicted over Sharon, nominated again.
    • Marcellas in Season 3 who had the opportunity to get himself guaranteed safety to the final four. But he doesn't use the veto on the one time he could use it on himself and is promptly evicted, in what's seen as the original "stupidest move in the game."
  • Karma Houdini: Surprisingly, Jeff. Throughout both his seasons, he's displayed homophobia, calling Russell a "Faggot", even implying that he thinks gay people are pedophiles while insulting Harry Potter amongst constantly bad-mouthing his fellow players (even his own alliance members!) Homophobia normally gets you instantly hated by the fans (Unless you get over it like Kent did to Bunky) and yet, thanks to this behaviour being pretty much completely ignored on the highlights, people still claim he's one of the most likable people on the show, and he's even considered a "Spokesman" For CBS, getting his own show with Jordan.
  • Lighter and Softer: Of a sort. American BB can almost be considered classy and sedate compared to both its fellow reality game shows and to international versions of BB. Physical fights, common (and even encouraged) as they are on other reality shows, are often grounds for expulsion from the house and treated as scandalous by the hosts. British viewers would be shocked at this fact, having grown up with a BB that held the exact opposite reputation for its entire run. As mentioned on the main page, at least some of this can be attributed to the fact that American BB, from the second season onward, used a Survivor-esque system that had the housemates voting to evict one another rather than the viewers, meaning that they could cast "normal" people rather than obvious goofballs and still generate drama.
    • One could also make the case that American viewers of BB are Lighter and Softer than their British counterparts. The reason why the first season was so widely derided as a bore (leading CBS to change the voting in future seasons) was because American audiences voted out the nastier housemates first, while British audiences allowed their jerkasses to become Karma Houdinis because they were more entertaining to watch.
  • Live But Delayed: To keep excited contestants' swearing out of the mix on live eviction shows. One live episode in Season 11 had to be taped because Chima threatened to go ballistic if Russell wasn't evicted. She would be expelled from the game a few days later, but only because she damaged studio equipment by throwing a microphone into the pool.
  • Loophole Abuse: Combined with Fridge Brilliance. In season five, Marvin and Nakomis set up a plan where they would nominate two people they have no intention of evicting. For the veto, they pick players who would either use the veto anyways or are in on the plan and would use it. Then at the veto meeting, whoever won the veto used it and then the Head of Household put up the real target. They referred to it as the "six-finger plan", but would later be referred to as "backdooring", and it influenced how the game was played. Later seasons made it a little harder to do, as players were picked through the veto by a random draw, although there is still a "player's choice" option that can be drawn.
  • Manipulative Editing: A lot of the stuff that happens in the house doesn't make it to the highlights show. Even then you don't see everything unless you watch all of the live feeds. This sometimes portrays a different character.
    • It can be shocking to watch the feeds and find that someone who's edited to be mouthy on the show is actually quite silent on the feeds. (Daniele, Ragan.) Or how someone who appears to be quite innocent is quite a cusser (Jeff).
  • Metagame: The first few weeks are spent making allies, and the ideal place to put yourself within an alliance is in the middle. Don't act annoying during the first few weeks - you can be evicted for simply being annoying if nobody else is a target. Throw Head of Household because the first few Head of Households will be forced to announce their targets to the house and possibly invoke a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Within an alliance, you force somebody else to win Head of Household and take the fall for you. Unless you or a close ally is nominated, don't win veto (and don't use it.) When the time comes, start knocking out the people who can win competitions.
  • Moral Myopia: James during Season 7 has too many examples to list, but the gist of the story is that he wanted Janelle to make the nominations that HE wanted when she was HoH in week four, and when she didn't comply, he got all pissy at her for the entirety of the game. This happened in spite of James' multiple betrayals to the Sovereigns.
  • Morality Pet: Evel Dick again, with Danielle. As you probably figured out from the above, he was not an easy guy to be around. What kept him from seeming like a total jackass is that he really did care about his daughter and wanted to get closer to her. (Though their "long-time estrangement" turned out to be fake, since it came out that they previously had applied to be on The Amazing Race as a team.)
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Jessica from Season 8 describing her team in the first food challenge:
    Jessica: "My team had all the big guys... and Eric."
  • No Damage Run: The American version has Danielle, Jun, Alison, Drew, Boogie, Daniele, Adam, Dan, and Lane, who all made it to the final two without ever having an eviction vote cast against them. Alison probably fits closest to this trope, since she was never even on the block for eviction.
  • Noodle Incident: Sometimes, houseguests talk about incidents and events that happened in the house but were not shown on the show. Sometimes; there is actually controversy around what happens on the live feeds that's not shown on the main show. Among these include comments and behaviour of Evel Dick that were not shown on the highlights, N-Word Privileges, Adam's comments towards Autistic people calling them "Retards", and Jeff's homophobic comments towards Harry Potter (Especially worse since the movie had just been released around the time).
    • Averted when Chima was ejected from the house, though — before her outbursts, we had seen her make a racist tirade that was censored and...that's just about it, outside of verbally abusing Russell. However; the houseguests mention that Chima has broken rules from day one, but we hadn't seen any of this. Cue a flashback montage of Chima doing stuff like refusing to come to the diary room when called, covering cameras with blankets, and saying that she was going to say a bunch of terrible stuff on live television.
    • "Fibergate". Wherein Porsche put Fiber inside Muscle Milk. This wasn't aired on the live shows at all, yet people were talking about it on fan sites.
    • Jeff talking about his "Blow-up" with Shelly on live TV. This wasn't shown due to the Double Elimination show needing to be mostly filmed live, but houseguests had been talking about it during the main show.
    • The huge controversey surrounding N-Word Privileges in Big Brother 15. While you would never be able to tell by watching the show, anyone who watches the live feeds can assure you these are some of the most foul-mouth, bigoted houseguests ever. There have been huge petitions to expel some of the worst offenders from the house, and it even cost 2 houseguests their jobs, and may be costing a third one soon.
    • The main show has been getting better about showing these incidents, although it only shows Aaryn & her group of friends.
  • No Indoor Voice: Sharon in Season 9 sounded like she shouted all the time
    • Also, Hayden and Rachel from Season 12.
    • JOE FROM SEASON 14 MOST DEFINITELY HAS NO INDOOR VOICE. DAN IS ALMOST AS BAD.
      • Hilariously lampshaded by his family - Sarah introduces herself as Joe's wife and says, "I'm Sarah and-no wait, I'M SARAH AND I AM JOE'S WIFE!" and then his four children tell him to stop shouting.
    • Gina Marie from Season 15 one of the worst examples yet. She's essentially a female Joe who doesn't confine her loud voice to the Diary Room.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Sharon in Season 9 said that she had a bad back and this was why she couldn't win an endurance challenge. Later in the season, she said that her biggest lie in the game was that she had a bad back.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: Season 4 switched to a Jury-of-7 vote with the jury sequestered after Season 3, wherein Lisa won by a 9-1 vote to Danielle. Mostcontestants changed their votes because of rude or insulting comments Danielle said about them in the dairy room. To be fair, Danielle knew the rules going in the game; but some felt this was a bit unfair.
    • The Six-Fingered plan in Season 5. It was a really really clever use of the rules to put someone on the block (and subsequently evict them) without even giving them a chance to defend themselves. However, after Season 6, the rules were changed so the players would draw names out of a hat or a wheeland could only pick if they drew the "Houseguests' choice" token. This helped keep the shows from becoming too predictable since it was actually very easy to do.
    • Season 15 replaced the "Veto bag" that people picked tokens from with a box, reportedly after houseguests tried to manipulate who would be picked. (Allegedly, somebody had palmed a token so they could replace it with somebody else, and Boogie had dropped the bag, noticed a token slid out, and then picked another one.)
  • Odd Friendship: Kent Blackwelder and Bunky Miller, from Season 2, became friends on the show despite their differences. More than a decade later and they are still close friends.
  • Out of Focus: With editors picking their favourites and keeping them perpetually in focus, this sad fate is bound to happen to a couple houseguests.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: In the first week of the 15th season alone, about half the cast have made at least one racial slur directed toward other contestants in the house. The worst offenders were GinaMarie and Aaryn, who frequently commented on Asian contestant Helen's eyes and talking about her making rice and the two African-American contestants Candice and Howard behind their backs saying the sheets smell black.
  • Properly Paranoid: Willie in the first week of Season 14 tried to turn the entire house against the Coaches because he thought they would be entering the game. One week after his eviction...the coaches entered.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Sovereign Six from Big Brother 6 and Big Brother: All Stars
  • Reality Show Genre Blindness:
    • Common strategic blunders such as letting a deadly floater slip through.
    • Brendon telling Daniele that he and Rachel would win if they made it to the finals while trying to convince Daniele to not target them for eviction.
    • In the American version, people tend to make ballsy gameplay moves and are surprised that this winds up putting a target on their backs. Or if their alliance is targeted, are surprised that they get targeted, too. Really, this is why you want to be the middle man, since #2 is always the main target if #1 gets veto'd off the block.
      • Not to mention; winning competitions that aren't Luxury or Food competitions makes people perceive you as a threat and often gets you directly attacked or "backdoored". The show has a track record of people who don't really win that many competitions getting far in the game. (Ragan, Zach, Jameka, Sharon, Sheila, Kevin, Lane, "Chicken" George, Amy, Renny) Sometimes even winning. (Drew, Dan, Will, Lisa, Jordan, Maggie) And many times; they outlast "Power players" who win a bunch of competitions or try to be The Chessmaster but wind up being "Backdoored". (Jase, Kaysar, BB 6 Eric, BB 8 Eric, Jessica, Brian, Mike "The Don", BB 9 James, BB 10 April, BB 10 Michelle, Jessie, Brendon, Rachel, Jeff)
    • Volunteering to be nominated. On top of the counter-intuitive notion of immediately putting yourself at the mercy of your houseguests who can flip at the drop of a hat instead of getting guaranteed safety, especially in the early parts, this has proven to very rarely work.
      • And even though it worked for Evel Dick; he would have been the first member of the Jury had it not been for the tiebreaker being Eric, America's Player.
    • (Can be applied to every country) Indulge the temptation to overbash people. It could seriously damage your likability
    • Create alliances as quickly as possible. Extremely risky and needed a level of trust (like the Brigade)
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • Big Brother 14 (The Surgeons): Dan (Blue Oni) and Danielle (Red Oni)
    • Big Brother 10 (The Renegades): Dan (Blue Oni) and Memphis (Red Oni)
    • Big Brother 14: Boogie (Blue Oni) and Frank (Red Oni)
    • Big Brother 11/13: Jeff (Red Oni) and Jordan (Blue Oni)
    • Big Brother 12/13: Brendon (Blue Oni) and Rachel (Red Oni)
    • Big Brother 14: Shane (Blue Oni) and Danielle (Red Oni)
    • Big Brother 14 (Alpha Omega Bye): Britney (Blue Oni) and Danielle (Red Oni)
    • Big Brother 2/7 (Chilltown) Dr. Will (Blue Oni) and Boogie (Red Oni)
    • Big Brother 12 (Raisin Bran): Lane (Blue Oni) and Britney (Red Oni)
    • Big Brother 13: Brendon (Blue Oni) and Jeff (Red Oni)
    • Big Brother 13: Dominic (Red Oni) and Danielle (Blue Oni)
    • Big Brother 14: Rachel (Red Oni) and Jordan (Blue Oni)
  • Reset Button: Season 14 of the US version pulled this trope (literally) on the house on Day 27. After an online vote, the then-'coaches' were offered the chance to enter the competition as players; they accepted, which thusly 'reset' the game. Because of that, the prior four evictions were disavowed, and the first three to be evicted afterward would not be entering the Jury house upon elimination (which they already would have normally by that point).
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Several veto competitions have featured some kind of mascot or creature named "Otev".
  • The Snark Knight: Daniele Donato could be seen as this, especially during Season 13.
  • Six Student Clique: The Silent Six from Season 14, Sovereign Six from Season 6, and the Veterans Alliance from Season 13:
    • The Silent 6
      • The Head: Dan
      • The Muscle: Shane
      • The Quirk: Boogie
      • The Pretty One: Danielle
      • The Smart One: Britney
      • The Wild One: Frank
    • Sovereign Six
      • The Head: Kaysar
      • The Muscle: James
      • The Quirk: Howie
      • The Pretty One: Janelle
      • The Smart One: Sarah
      • The Wild One: Rachel
    • The Veterans Alliance
      • The Head: Dick
      • The Muscle: Jeff
      • The Quirk: Brendon
      • The Pretty One: Jordan
      • The Smart One: Daniele
      • The Wild One: Rachel
  • Stealth Pun: In Season 5, one luxury competition had houseguests run through a web of bungee cords to retrieve lettered balls and spell out a word. The word they had to spell: Internet.
  • Stopped Numbering Sequels: The US version stopped numbering its seasons after 10.
  • Straight Gay: Ivette (6), Dustin (8), Neil & Joshuah (9), and Steven (10).
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky: Dr. Will, Kaysar Ridha(occasionally filled this role), James Rhine(who doesn't have black hair, but fits the tall and snarky parts perfectly), Evel Dick, and Russell Kairouz.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Will Kirby in US Season 2, Maggie Ausburn in US Season 6, Mike "Boogie" Malin in US Season 7 (All Stars) and "Evil" Dick Donato in US Season 8, Adam Jasinski in US Season 9 (he used his prize money to start a drug ring).
  • The 3 Amigos: The Three Amigos from BB14 (US).
  • Token Minority: Most seasons seem to be contractually obligated to have at least one black person, and at least one gay man, who almost always has to be Camp Gay. (Curiously, there have to date only been four bisexuals (two of each gender), two lesbians (both Latinas), and no transgender people.)
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Shane, Danielle, and Dan and Shane, Danielle, Frank in Season 14:
  • Villainous Breakdown: Brendan and Rachel in Season 13, mainly Rachel, whose had to have a psychiatrist called in to calm her down!
    • Chima's lead to her being the third houseguest to be forcefully ejected from the Big Brother house in the American series. During which, she threw her microphone into the hot tub.
  • Voted Off The Island
  • Worthy Opponent: Jessie actually admitted this in season eleven. Jeff won a game changing power called Coup de tat and used it to put Jessie and Natalie on the block. Kevin had the insight to cast the deciding vote to evict Jessie as a bigger threat. Jessie even said in his interview that it was a very good move on Jeff's part and that he would vote for him if he made it to the end.
    • Brendon to Daniele. In the same season after Jeff was evicted, Rachel and Jordan said that they saw Kalia as the most deserving winner...before the show was promptly fixed
    • Boogie said this about Ian, saying that he really did learn from the best.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: Live feeds are cut off when contestants sing, except as part of a challenge, or mention trademarks.
    • If a contestant has a tattoo of something trademarked, it must be covered in a bandage or blurred out. (James in Big Brother 9.)
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Lawon in Season 13 thought he had figured out the twist and assumed it to be a mock eviction; and asked to be voted out because he assumed he'd re-enter the house with "Special powers", which he assumed to mean Coup de Tat, Diamond Power of Veto, or something else.
  • You Keep Using That Word:
    • Backdooring was used in Season 5 wherein through a play of Loophole Abuse (see Loophole Abuse) and Fridge Brilliance a player was put up on the block without even having a chance to defend himself. Nowadays, the term is essentially used for "evicting the Replacement Nominee" or "Putting up someone who most people did not expect to see nominated.". Nowadays; you can't really do true backdooring because a rule patch helped make it so that it wouldn't happen five or six times in a row every single year.
    • A Floater is a player who does not commit to any alliance except maybe one ally and only votes with the majority and goes to whichever alliance has power at the moment so they don't get targeted. They intentionally don't try to win Head of Household challenges because the Head of Household is forced to reveal their alliance(s) to the house. A Floaters' goal is to just keep the target off their back by making it so the house wastes a week trying to evict them. The way "Floater" is used by Brendon, Rachel, and their fans is to describe "Whoever is not aligned with us." One would almost wonder if they would describe successful players like Dr. Will, Jun, and Alison as "Floaters", since that was essentially their entire strategy.
    • To be fair, part of Daniele's reason to flip was because she dislike "floating" (as she thought that it means doing nothing until it was needed). And Kalia called Adam a grade A "floater" (for not saving her or Porsche at the Final 5).
  • Younger and Hipper: The days that a big fat slob like Chicken George Boswell could come within sniffing distance of being a contestant are way, way, way over. Season 14 only had two people who were over 40.
    • The oldest contestant on Season 15 (U.S.) is only 37.

    Canada 
  • Adorkable: Alec definitely had shades of this, and despite his best efforts to hide it, Peter did as well.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Talla, who never showed any real interest towards a male houseguest, yet went out of her way to kiss Topaz. At one point, she even tried to take Topaz's bikini top off, and ended up chasing her around the yard! She WAS drunk when this occurred, but whether that detriments the case or not is up to you.
  • Appropriated Appellation: Most of the players starting calling Rachelle and Sabrina the Gremlins after they became the last of the First Five alliance. Rachelle and Sabrina took it in stride.
  • Awful Showmance Life: Alec and Topaz did start out genuinely liking each other, but over the course of their time in the house their relationship eventually soured to the point that, while they remained together, it was solely because it would be bad for each of their games if they were to break up.
  • Camp Gay:
    • Gary and to a lesser extent, Aneal.
    • Scott in season 2 - it comes with being a Drag Queen.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Topaz would often fall asleep when she wasn't supposed to, not pay attention to details, and just be very flighty in general. This ended up coming back to bite her in the ass when she cost her friend Gary winning the game by accidentally voting for Jillian to win instead of him.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Jillian was accused of being this in regards to Emmett by Danielle.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: AJ definitely had shades of this, particularly when he referred to himself in third-person...
    • Also Talla. Actually lampshaded by Gary, who was frustrated by the fact her quirky attitude made her impossible to read gameplay-wise.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Expect one whenever Talla isn't doing well in a competition.
  • Competitive Balance: Cited by most viewers (and Peter and Gary) as the reason for he Head of Household in season 2, week 5, being Canada. The First Five alliance was in clear control of the house, and everyone else in the house was either too scared or two incompetent to make any kind of move against them. It was clear that the group was going to eliminate everyone else in the house and make it to the final five if nothing in the situation changed, which makes for pretty boring television. Banking on the (correct) idea that Canada was predicting the same boring game, the producers gave viewers a chance to to vote on who would be put up for eviction. Canada picked Andrew and Sabrina, two of the biggest players in the alliance and also generally the least liked for the season.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Apparently one of the house guests tampered with a camera. The entire house is punished by being woken up every hour overnight to do wacky things, such as- build a human pyramid, make a trail of objects around the house, and have a non-stop dance party.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Peter. There is no doubt.
    • Same for Andrew.
  • Face Your Fears: A [1]-inspired Veto Challenge from season 2 began with a ten-foot jump off of a ledge, which most of the competitors were nervous about. It also had a hipline element, which also freaked out several players. Most of them managed to get over them fast enough to stay in the competition, but Paul had serious trouble.
  • Femme Fatale: It seemed like Liza tried to be a version of this. Emphasis on the "tried".
  • Five-Man Band: The "First Five" an alliance made from the first five people to enter the house in season 2.
  • Freak Out: Gary had an epic one when he was put up for the first time as a have-not. Seriously, if anyone can find a link, POST IT.
  • Genki Girl: An episode rarely went by without Talla screaming to the heavens in euphoria at least once.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Peter and Alec, aka (dramatically crosses arms in an X formation) The Shield!
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Tom said this in his eviction speech.
  • It's All About Me:
    • Suzette definitely had this problem, as numerous houseguests pointed out. Emmett even called her out on it when he decided to leave her up on the block.
    Suzette: I was like pissed off! I was thinking "why is he saying this, this is so rude". Nobody knows what I've been going through, because I've been on the block three times.
    • Tom had shades of this as well.
  • It's Personal: During season 2. Andrew gave a few game-related reasons for nominating Paul, but the main point of contention was Paul spreading (false) rumours about Andrew being racist and sexist, which could heavily impact his life outside of the game.
  • Jerkass: Zig-zagged with Tom, who frequently said and did things that caused his fellow houseguests to feel as though he was arrogant or a bully. At the same time though, he was fiercely loyal to Emmett and Liza, and whenever he was called out on his behavior, he always made sure to apologize and seemed to genuinely feel bad.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Ika was given a Sadistic Choice shortly before her eviction thanks to winning a smaller competition: either give everyday a letter from home and shred a $5000 cheque, or shred the letters and keep the cheque. Unbeknownst to her, the entire house saw her as she reasoned (out loud) that everyone in the house was out to get her and she might as well take the money. Though she said some pretty nasty things concerning the other houseguests, Sara at least agreed that most of it was right and that she was just angry.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Jillian's outfit during the Build a Demon POV competition. Every male houseguest present, including Gary, admitted to enjoying the view.
  • No Indoor Voice: Peter when he's in the DR, in an attempt to emulate Dan from the US version.
    • Alec actually called him out on it while they were in the Diary Room together.
  • No Social Skills: Talla, at least slightly. She has no problem blurting out personal questions, and then demanding answers for them. Also she was prone to going off on tangents that people rarely followed and definitely had the occasional pointless temper tantrum.
  • Official Couple: Emmett and Jillian, who frequently flirted and made out, became this shortly after Tom was evicted. Gary, who was sitting on the couch across from them during the conversation, lampshaded it.
  • Off the Rails: Jon's Head of Household week in season 2, since it saw both Adel and Allison use their secret powers during the same week (Adel could replace any person in the veto competition, and Allison had a spare veto). The looks of exasperation and terror on Jon's face are ridiculous.
  • Person as Verb: After Big Brother pulled the same trick on Ika that they did on Topaz last season (forcing her to make a difficult decision while, unknown to her, the rest of the houseguests could see and hear everything she did), Adele came outside and told Ika that she had been Topaz'd. Right before all the other houseguests started screaming at her for insulting them.
  • Platonic Life Partners: Gary and Topaz were acknowledged as this within the house though considering how she fucked him over during the finale, the status of their friendship outside the house is likely a little tense.
  • Promoted Fanboy: During the second season, ensemble darkhorses Peter Brown and Gary Levi joined Arisa in the Big Brother Canada Side Show to discuss the game.
  • Sadistic Choice: Shortly before her eviction, Ika got one thanks to winning a smaller competition: either give everyday a letter from home and shred a $5000 cheque, or shred the letters and keep the cheque. She took the cheque.
  • Sexier Alter Ego: Alec's Ricardo, who's a waiter/stripper with a talent for foot massages.
  • Talking Animal: Marsha the Moose and her evil twin, Marge.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: AJ eventually became this.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Emmett loves milk. This later led to a challenge where he drank so much milk he threw up.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Alec may be the worst example of this across any version of the show.
  • With Friends Like These...: Andrew has this view when it comes to AJ

    Other Versions 
  • Catch Phrase: The second season of the French edition gave us immortal lines which are still quoted ten years later, even by people who never watched the show. Among the best:
    • A mispronunciation of "thyme" followed by the candidate's explanation that he'd never seen the word written down before.
    • A conversation on whether the word "ingenue" exists and an argument on whether it's the same as "a genius".
    • And the classic "Je t'emmerde avec un grand A!", which literally means "Well, fuck you with a capital P!" No, that wasn't a joke. The candidate spelt the word "emmerde" with a capital a and the sound-bite was used over and over in commercials for the show.
  • I Shall Taunt You: In Bulgaria Big Brother - a contestant goaded another player by insulting his heritage and resulted in a small riot.


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