Series: The Chase

British Game Show hosted by Bradley Walsh. A team of four players, never having met before, have the chance to take home thousands of pounds. There's only one thing standing in their way; the Chaser. The chase is on.

For the first round, each team member (in turn) builds up cash by answering quick fire trivia questions on a one minute clock. For each correct answer, the player earns 1,000. Then they must take it to the table, where they encounter the Chaser for the first time. Starting three steps ahead of the Chaser, they can take a free step toward home for a reduction in the prize money, or take a step towards the Chaser for an improved prize.

Then both Chaser and contestant answer multiple-choice trivia questions. If either gets it right, they move a step down the table. The contestant attempts to get home (in which case that money goes into the prize fund), while the Chaser tries to reach the contestant (in which case that player is removed from the game, along with their money).

In the final round, any team members that have survived their individual chases take part in the Final Chase. On the buzzer, and against a two-minute clock, the team must set as high a mark as they can (gaining an extra step for each member of the team that survived). After they set the mark, the Chaser has the same two minutes to catch the team. If the Chaser gets a question wrong, the team has a chance to move him/her back a space by answering it correctly themselves. If the team is caught, they leave with nothing; otherwise, the surviving team members split the entire prize.

The Chasers are Mark Labbett, Anne Hegerty, Shaun Wallace, and Paul Sinha, all renowned quizzers of a similar calibre to Eggheads.

An American adaption, with Mark Labbett (promoted as "The Beast" as opposed to his real name) as chaser and Brooke Burns hosting has been picked up by GSN. Changes are limited to a 3 man team, a $5,000 a question cashbuilder, occasional six-figure "Super Offers"note , and a Live Studio Audience. It is now in its fourth series.

Not to be confused with SyFy's Cha$e.

This show contains examples of:

  • All or Nothing: Escape the Final Chase, win the cash. Otherwise, it's another victory for the Chaser.
  • Big Eater: Mark, according to Bradley and Brooke's intro gags.
  • Big Entrance: The Chasers get this every time they enter the studio.
  • The Cast Show Off: The Chasers like to show off their trivia knowledge, and Mark even more than the others.
  • Catch Phrase:
    • Bradley: The chase is on.
    • Bradley: I'm sorry [contestant], you have been caught and for you, the chase is over.
    • Shaun: It's just another day at the office.
    • Mark: (with regard to the higher offer) Come up and play.
  • Celebrity Edition: Every so often.
  • Christmas Episode: Since 2012, "The Chase" has held celebrity episodes around Christmas, usually during their "Text Santa" marathon. Unlike other episodes, each of the celebrities faces a different Chaser, with one of the Chasers coming back for the Final Chase. In the 2012 special, the Chasers were dressed up as Panto villainsnote , and in 2013, they were dressed as traditional Christmas charactersnote . In 2014, however, all the Chasers were not in costume, but they were in semi-formal wear.
  • The Comically Serious: Shaun, whose studious Dark Destroyer persona is often played off against the ridiculous things going on at Bradley's end of the set. Taken to new levels in one of the Christmas specials, where he comes out dressed as a Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, glowing nose and all, and maintains his usual persona.
  • Commercial Break Cliffhanger: Done quite often towards the end of a close-run personal chase.
  • Continuing Is Painful: If all of the players are caught out by the Chaser, they return for the final chase to play for 1,000/$5,000 each (the value of one Cashbuilder question). However:
    • Only one person (chosen by the team) is allowed to answer the questions.
    • That player only gets a one-step head start rather than four/three (since it's one step for every person playing the Final Chase).
    • That player is playing for the entire team.
  • Corpsing: Happens every now and then, and the producers always Throw It In for comedic value. Bradley's face is a joy to behold, especially funny as the mirth spreads to even the Chaser!
  • Couch Gag:
    • Bradley's initial introduction of the four Chasers before the initial appearance of the Chaser of the day.
    • Brook's Stig-like introductions of the Beast.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Whenever only one player survives to the final round, the Chaser usually ends up winning with a considerable amount of time left. However, there have been some subversions where either the solo contestant emerged triumphant or the Chaser barely makes it halfway to the target:
    • In January 2013, a solo contestant faced Mark in a 15 point final chase. There were numerous pushbacks, and Mark lost with only one answer to go. The contestant's winnings were 60,000 (a little over $91,000) the largest single win ever!
    • In Series 1 Episode 2 of the US version, where a full-house team (3 contestants in the US) faced Mark in an 18-step final chase. After some dreadful mistakes, Mark lost with two steps to go. The contestant's winnings? $180,000 (about 118,000) - more than Mark has ever lost to a team in the UK version, and the highest cash prize in GSN's history.
    • In the US version, one contestant, with a bank of $125,000, managed 7 total pushbacks, forcing The Beast to outright surrender in the end, making only 10 steps out of 19.
    • The episode airing September 2, 2014 was an embarrassment for the Beast, where the players not only managed to make $175,000 and a record 26 steps in the Final Chase (with one of the players giving nearly all of the answers), but for the first minute of the game, the Beast got so many questions wrong that he never got past 2! Needless to say, it was an unprecedented landslide for the players.
  • Dark Is Evil: Shaun Wallace, the only black Chaser, has "The Dark Destroyer" as one of his nicknames.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The Chasers, to an extent. It's Paul's schtick specifically, however.
  • Difficulty Spike:
    • The higher offer is higher for a reason. Questions are much harder, and many contestants trip up on these questions. And the Chaser is two steps behind you to start off. Contestants rarely survive the higher offer Personal Chase. The U.S. version took this Up to Eleven and added a rare SUPER offer on a few occasions, which is usually double the high offer, but puts the Chaser right behind the player (meaning just one wrong answer will be enough to get him/her caught unless the Chaser gets a question wrong; the player also has to get 7 questions right to bank the money).
    • The Final Chase. The questions not only come much faster, but the scores the contestants need for the team to stand a good chance of winning are often extremely high depending on how good a form the opposing Chaser is on. The questions are harder too, for both 'teams'. There's a reason most of those who make it to this point lose.
      • In addition, the Final Chase becomes much harder for teams with less contestants than with those with more. This is due to two main factors, extra contestants cover for subjects not known by the others and, most importantly, more contestants means a greater head start.
  • Double Unlock: You have to win your Personal Chase just to qualify for the Final Chase. Then, you have to win the Final Chase to get the cash.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: Taking the low offer results in a lower potential prize, and the Chaser will often mock the player for taking it. Though Mark will sometimes chastise a player for not taking the lower offer, especially if it was early in the game (and therefore had no chance of being negative) and the player had a weak cash build up.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Series 1 only had Mark and Shaun as the Chasers. The early episodes were also quite subdued by comparison. A lot of the gags were absent, and the Chaser of the day was revealed in the intro. The arrival of a Chaser to face the first contestant was preceded by a profile of just him.
  • Evil Brit: The Beast plays this role on the American version.
  • Extra Turn:
    • Played straight on the Final Chase when the Chaser gets the question wrong, giving the players a chance to push him back (or, if the Chaser isn't on the board, advance one step).
    • Subverted in the Personal Chase, as taking the extra turn lowers the player's potential prize.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The question writers are fond of this.
  • Home Game:
    • A Board Game adaptation was released in 2012.
    • A brilliant app version was later released.
  • Ice Queen: Anne's persona, hence her other nickname.
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Bradley gets a lot of mileage out of Paul's bright white '70s suit. Paul does as well.
  • In-Series Nickname: The Chasers have several each.
    • The Beast, the Man-Mountain - Mark Labbett
    • The Dark Destroyer, the Legal Eagle - Shaun Wallace
    • The Governess, Frosty-Knickers - Anne Hegerty
    • The Sinnerman, the Smiling Assassin - Paul Sinha
  • Lampshade Hanging: How Paul gets the occasional answer. An example.
  • Large Ham: Mark again. More visually than audibly, he looks visibly pained if he misses an answer he thinks he should have known. He's much more of a ham on the U.S. version, sometimes pounding his desk when he loses.
  • Little Known Facts: Paul occasionally throws these in when he explains an answer, with the others also doing this on occasion. It works as a rare interesting form of padding if the show is running fast.
  • Losing Horns: Inverted. If the horn sounds on the Final Chase, it's a win for the team.
  • Nintendo Hard: The questions can often be brutally difficult compared to other game shows. Amplified by the fact The Chase gives far lower amounts of money than other game shows unless the players go for the even harder high offers.
  • Not So Above It All: The Chasers' typical Stoic Mastermind schtick fails on a couple of occasions. Example.
  • Number of the Beast: Bradley often mentions Mark's exact height when he appears. He's 6'6".
  • Obvious Rule Patch: In the first two series, if the Chaser missed a question of the Final Chase while still at the starting line, they couldn't be pushed back. From series three onwards, the team can instead move ahead by giving a correct answer in this situation.
  • Personnel:
  • Recurring Character: The Chasers are this, given that they appear in about a quarter of the episodes each. (Couch Gags notwithstanding)
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: In Season 3 Episode 9, contestant Steve's low offer was negative two thousand pounds; in the Beast's words this was to "prevent him from stabbing his team in the back". Steve actually accepts the negative offer, and is chased down within five questions, much to the glee of his team.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Happens a lot when the contestants take a guess at a question.
  • Rules Spiel
  • Self-Deprecation: All the Chasers to some extent.
  • Smug Snake: Subverted in one episode, in which a young man named David, fourth on the podium, spent the whole show encouraging the other contestants to take the low offer. Paul Sinha was infuriated by both this and his mocking of the Chaser's banter, but when David was left alone, he gave him the chance to put his money where his mouth was and offered 40k after a mere 3k cash build up. He took it, got it, and came very close to beating Sinha in the final chase, earning himself a standing ovation from a genuinely impressed Chaser.
  • Speed Round: The whole show, essentially.
    • Each contestant starts with the Cashbuilder Round, which lasts for one minute.
    • The Individual Chase round has five-second time limits for each question, the countdown starting when either the contestant or the Chaser answers first.
    • The Final Chase is a two-minute round of rapid fire questions, first for the contestants, and then for the presiding Chaser.
  • The Stoic: Ostensibly, the Chasers are this. Shaun more than the others.
  • Take That: On the US version, Mark chastises a contestant for not knowing what 2^3 + 3^3 is (even though the contestant got it right). Even though Mark is a maths genius, he downsizes the contestant further saying "My second grade students should know that. If they don't, I'll have words with them."
  • That Came Out Wrong: Tom and the Great Big Sausage.
  • Title Drop: See Catch Phrase.
  • Whammy: The Chaser's low offer can be anything below what the player won in the previous round, including negative figures. (This also means that if the player won nothing, this would definitely be one of the options.) This is an unusual iteration of this trope, as the player can refuse it.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Often happens when a player takes the low offer. (Especially if it's a negative amount, which sometimes leads to the other players rooting for the Chaser.)
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Fanny Chmelar. (Also counts as Bilingual Bonus.)
    Bradley: I'd be straight down the court in the morning if that was my name!