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Series: The Price Is Right
aka: The Priceis Right

"Here it comes! From the Bob Barker Studio at CBS in Hollywood! Television's most exciting hour of fantastic prizes! The fabulous 60-minute Price Is Right!"
—Opening spiel used from 1977-2009. The "Bob Barker Studio" bit was added in 1998 on "Show #5,001", and the current opening is an abridged version that notably omits "most exciting", "fantastic", and "fabulous".

Goodson-Todman Game Show originating in 1956 with Bill Cullen as host, asking four contestants to look at a prize and guess its actual retail price; whichever contestant got the closest without overbidding won the prize. This format ran in daytime and nighttime on NBC, later ABC, from 1956-65 (moving to the latter in September 1963). The show was pastiched in a famous episode of The Flintstones.

The more familiar format, with the Catch Phrase "Come on down!", debuted in 1972...but the story of how it got on the air is a bit odd: Goodson planned for a weekly primetime syndicated series and wanted Cullen as host, but those talks fell through at about the end of January. Mark's next choice was Dennis James, who caught his eye upon seeing him fill in on Let's Make a Deal; Goodson and James recorded a pitchfilm on February 16 for the New show, distributed by Viacom, sharing ideas and concepts that had elements of what was to come.

Around mid-May, while the format was being hammered out (one suggestion was to use three Showcases), CBS daytime programming chief Bud Grant expressed interest in a five-a-week daytime version (along with two other new shows, The Joker's Wild and Gambit) and selected Bob Barker to host it...but Barker wanted no part of it and felt the show could be better produced, begging Grant to let him host one of the other games (it's been speculated that Barker simply wanted to expand his abilities by doing a quiz-based game); Grant's response was that, whereas the other two shows had "traffic cop" roles, Barker had "far more talent" (unwittingly insulting eventual hosts Jack Barry and Wink Martindale in the process).

The daytime series can still be seen on CBS, with the concurrent nighttime show airing until 1980 (Barker replaced James in 1977). Other concurrent syndicated series starred Tom Kennedy (1985-86) and Doug Davidson (1994-95). This format added two new elements — contestants are now chosen from the Studio Audience, and the winner of each item up for bids joins the host onstage to play one of dozens of pricing games. The hour-long format for Price was tried for the week of September 8, 1975 and became permanent on November 3. After starting his 35th year with the show, Barker announced his retirement from TV at the end of October 2006; his final show aired June 15, 2007, and Drew Carey succeeded him on October 15.

The show has been made in many other countries, such as the United Kingdom from 1984-2007 (with hosts including Leslie Crowther {who notably called the contestants to "Come on Down" himself, rather than The Announcer} and the legendary Bruce Forsyth) and Australia (which featured versions hosted by Ian Turpie and Larry Emdur, although there were versions prior to these).

The Price Is Right has its own Tropes:

  • Contestants' Row
  • $1 bids (basically, betting that everybody else has bid too high and therefore lost automatically): Often, contestants using this clearly have no idea why this is done; they just like saying it.
    • Inverted with $1-higher bids, where the last bidder in a round bids $1 higher than the highest bid of the other three contestants in an attempt to win the prize. While Barker rarely, if ever, acknowledged these, Carey has taken to consoling the "victim" (or providing hope if the "Perfect Bid" bells go off).
    • Zig-zagged with "I'm an idiot" bids, wherein the contestant bids $1 higher than a bid that is not the highest. In theory, this is a very smart way to bid: if you believe the price falls between two other bids, the safest bid would be exactly one dollar higher than the lower of the two. However, in practice, it's usually done to announce to the audience "I have no idea how this game works!"
      • Subverted with "I'm an even bigger idiot" bids, wherein the contestant bids $1 lower than a previous bid. In theory, one would make this bid if one believed that the bid was the exact price of the prize.
      • According to Bob Barker, this episode, which aired on April 17, 2007, is the first time someone actually succeeded in using this "strategy".
      • Then there's the "I'm the biggest idiot on the face of the Earth" bids of five digits. While bids over $9,999 were originally non-displayable due to the primitive four-digit displays ("Eggcrate" from September 1972 to August 1975, and the remodeled "Sportstype" versions used from then until September 2009), the new LCD monitors installed for Season 38 (which emulate the appearance of the previous ones) can easily display bids higher than said amount. Now, will there ever be a day where a bid over $10,000 will actually make sense? note  Of course, the new displays don't really help if someone bids $2,000,000 like so.
    • And then there's the occasional "I don't quite get the $1 bid concept" person who bids $1 when he/she isn't in the last bidding position, allowing someone else to bid $2 and take the prize if the higher bids are all over.
      • There was at least one occasion where this was taken to its [il]logical conclusion. The first contestant bid $1, and then each successive bidder bid $1 higher. Needless to say, bidder #4 ended up with the highest bid...of $4. Hilarity ensued. It appears that YouTube doesn't have this event, which was from the late 1990s or 2000s while Bob was host.
      • There's actually a second version of the "I don't quite get the $1 bid concept", in which someone will bid considerably less then the others, but still quite a bit higher than $1, at such time that nobody else has already bid $1. If you're going to bid hoping that everyone else has gone too high, you might as well go for the minimum value, otherwise you could overbid yourself.
  • The mere existence of Plinko, which is arguably the show's most popular pricing game note .
  • Showcase Showdown, with the Big Wheel.
  • "Isn't this exciting?": Barker endlessly delaying his reveal of whether the contestant won or lost, much to the contestant's agony. A precursor to padding on modern game shows.

Game Show Tropes in use:

  • Big Win Sirens: The "clang-clang-clang, whoop, Whoop, WHOOP" heard when a large cash prize is won or a contestant wins both Showcases is one of the most recognizable examples.
  • Celebrity Edition: Subverted with the Celebrity Weeks introduced in 2012, where a different celebrity each day gets to help out with the proceedings, everyone's winnings in the pricing games (plus a special spin multiplied by $100) are awarded to a charity they represent, and they present the Showcases. Aside from that, its business as usual.
    • The only "true" celebrity edition (with celebrities actually playing instead of civilians) was the Price episode of Gameshow Marathon, as the opening round of a primetime celebrity tournament spanning across seven game shows. In this case, a variation of the half-hour format (but with the Showcase Showdown still intact) was played, and the winner in the Showcase moved to Finalist's Row...a general rule set much closer to several foreign versions.
    • When Bill Cullen's version did a Channel Hop from NBC to ABC, a celebrity was employed to play for members of the studio audience.
  • Confetti Drop: When someone wins $1,000,000 on the primetime specials, or $100,000 on Pay the Rent. Balloons were also released at the end of the Season 35 premiere (which, coincidentally, ended with a contestant winning both Showcases and setting the then-current winnings record for the daytime version [now the second highest win]).
  • Consolation Prize: The giant checks used in Check Game are given to the players regardless of whether they win or lose (with a nice big "VOID" stamped on losers' checks). Barker joked that they always found voided checks in the trash outside the studio.
    • At least one of these checks, complete with VOID and framed, turned up on eBay in 2007. It went for $50.
    • Drew Carey will sometimes give a contestant that loses in a grocery based-game one of the grocery items as a consolation prize (potato chips, whipped cream, etc.).
    • The "contestants not appearing on stage" prizes (for those who get called down but don't make it out of Contestants' Row), always plugged before the second Showcase Showdown. In Season 41, the plug was ousted and the consolation prize became an unstated $500.
    • Drew Carey has taken to reminding losing contestants that they at least get whatever it was they had bid on, which gets on some fans' nerves due to it being pretty much the only thing he says to losing players. (This, despite the fact that virtually every other game show host will tell bonus-round losing contestants what they had already won in their recap.)
  • Game Show Winnings Cap: $25,000 until 1984; $50,000 until 1988; $75,000 until the 1990s, when it increased to $125,000. Since 2006 on the daytime show and also on the Million-Dollar Spectaculars, no cap.
  • Golden Snitch: The original Bill Cullen version had a very expensive item up for bid at the end of each game.
  • Home Game: Despite the show's complexity, several board games were released along with several DVD and video game adaptations. In a unique subversion of the norm, you can't get the home game as a Consolation Prize, although the 2010 edition did pop up as a small prize in various pricing games during Season 38 and was frequently shown on computers presented as prizes.
    • Other home games have been made by Lowell (1958), Milton Bradley (1964, 1973-75, 1986), GameTek (1990), and Endless Games (1999-2000 and two DVD games).
    • There was also a Tiger handheld version in the late 1990s featuring just 4 pricing games (Any Number, Lucky Seven, 3 Strikes, and Squeeze Play). It's incredibly unwieldy to play, since with the unit you get a huge stack of prize cards, and although there's a space in the unit to store one card (the one you're currently bidding on) there's nothing there to hold it in place.
    • The most recent video game version, The Price Is Right Decades (for Wii, DS, Xbox 360, and PS3), uses the respective system's avatars, contains tons of retro clips (most of which "probably won't be things you've seen before"), and features retired pricing games (including SuperBall!!, Walk of Fame, Penny Ante, Hurdles, and Professor Price). However, It probably would've been better if Ludia hadn't developed it.
  • Home Participation Sweepstakes: Both network versions offered viewers a chance to bid on special Home Viewer Showcases — on a regular basis on Cullen's version, during the Christmas season on Barker's, and most recently on Carey's. The long-since-retired Phone Home Game was a pricing game built around this Trope, and went on a three-month hiatus each season from 1983-88 so it wouldn't conflict with the Home Viewer Showcase.
    • Cullen's home sweepstakes went through three different formats:
      • 1956-60: The first sweepstakes singled out all exact bids on the Showcase, with ties broken through a bid-off on one of the Showcase prizes. In late 1960, an extra bonus was added for the rest of the run where the Showcase winner would be flown to New York to be a contestant on the show. Ties (which this version had plenty of) were broken by the tied players sending a telegram with the price of a particular item from the Showcase, which continued until the tie was broken note . Unfortunately, perfect bid ties got far too plentiful and, shortly after one Showcase with 14 perfect bids, the format was changed...
      • 1960-61: Used 48 fishbowls, each representing a state in the contiguous U.S., and each with a sampling of postcards from that state. Ten states were randomly chosen and one card from each state drawn and placed on a board. The exact bid (or closest without going over) was the winner.
      • 1961-65: The final format had a random sampling of cards in five rotating drums. One card from each drum was drawn and placed on a board, after which the Showcase price was revealed.
    • The CBS version had a few formats as well:
      • 1973/1980-88/1990: A hybrid of the original series, usually with a Christmas-themed skit used to tie together the prizes, always very opulent for the daytime version. Most often, a fully loaded Cadillac was one of the grand prizes. Contestants were directed to send their bids to an address, with the closest bid without going over winning. All perfect bids and/or ties were placed in a random drawing, with that winner getting everything. The showcase was introduced in November, with the winner announced on the last first-run program before Christmas. Johnny Olson – and later, Gene Wood and Rod Roddy – played Santa or some grandfatherly figure, while the models played the daughters (if they weren't playing it straight and simply modeling the prizes).
      • 2011-: The current home viewer contest entreats viewers to call the number on the TV screen when prompted and guess the price of an item from among three prices. Right or wrong, the caller is entered for a chance to win a big prize. (And receive special third-party offers, the real reason for the call-in.) There have also been tie-in sweepstakes on the show's website, which often involve entering to win certain items (often "special" items related to a Showcase).
      • 2011: The Home Viewer Showcase was briefly revived with a slightly different format; using two prizes per day during a week of shows (one from the Showcase, one IUFB) instead of a single presentation, and entering through the show's website. The week after, they also trailed a "Prize of the Week" contest where users bid on an item from Monday's Showcase.
  • Let's Just See What WOULD Have Happened: Several pricing games have an option to quit and keep accumulated prizes...but Bob was the kind of guy who just had to know what could have been.
  • Losing Horns: Type A. The Trope Maker and Trope Codifier; see "Leitmotif", below.
    • The Davidson run had an alternate version consisting of a "groan" on an electric guitar...and glass breaking. The cut that didn't make it to air also featured the first bar of the theme played Shopping Spree-style and had even more horns...possibly the most evil example of this Trope ever produced.
  • Mystery Box: Used in Half Off, and formerly used in Fortune Hunter.
  • Personnel:
    • The Announcer: Don Pardo announced on NBC, and Johnny Gilbert on ABC. The main announcers on the current version have been Johnny Olson (1972-85), Rod Roddy (1986-2003), Burton Richardson (1994 primetime), Rich Fields (2004-10), and George Gray (2011-). All of the main announcers participated in Showcase skits over time. After Johnny's and Rod's deaths, and Rich's firing, the show held on-air auditions among several different substitutes to determine the successor.
    • Game Show Host: Bill Cullen on the 1956-65 versions, with occasional substitutes (as was the case back in the day when TV shows aired live). Bob Barker helmed the show for an amazing 35 years before Drew Carey took over in 2007. Dennis James hosted a nighttime version from 1972-77 (replaced by Barker from 1977-80), Tom Kennedy hosted a revival for the 1985-86 season, and Doug Davidson hosted a short-lived one in the 1994-95 season.
    • Lovely Assistant:
      • The models on Cullen's version were June Ferguson, Toni Wallace, Gail Sheldon, and Beverly Bentley.
      • Barker's Beauties (Carey doesn't have a nickname for them, although the occasional reference to "Carey's Cuties" will show up).
      • Special mention must be made of the "Classic" Barker's Beauties trio of Janice Pennington, Dian Parkinson, and Holly Hallstrom (which became a quartet when Kathleen Bradley joined in 1990), as well as the "new" classic group of Lanisha Cole, Amber Lancaster, Gwendolyn Osbourne, Manuela Αrbelaez, and Rachel Reynolds-Dellucci.
    • Studio Audience: Where contestants "come on down" from.
  • Retired Game Show Element: Numerous pricing games have been retired over time; see that page for specifics.
  • Show The Folks At Home: The prices of the items used in Clock Game (as well as Double Bullseye which was basically the same game only played with two contestants and for a car.)
  • Think Music: Played during several games that require the contestant to handle props.
  • Undesirable Prize:
    • Those damned popcorn carts. note 
    • Showcases: For years, the "Nothing But Furniture" showcase often fit this trope for many contestants, especially if they were stuck with it as Showcase #2. Usually, these were (as the name implies) room-centric Showcases with another four-digit prize often thrown in after the furniture plugs had been read. Often, the other big-ticket item was something perceived to be equally as undesirable, such as a jukebox, piano, entertainment center, etc., although it could also be a boat, trailer, or motorcycle(s). The musical cue nicknamed "Splendido!" was often associated with furniture Showcases.
      • Sometimes averted when the final prize in "Nothing But Furniture" Showcases was a desirable trip or a car (especially a sports or luxury car).
      • On October 7, 2010's late show, the top winner passed his showcase to the runner-up...only to be stuck with a Sex and the City showcase. However, it did end with a luxury car (but he overbid by just over $10,000).
  • Zonk: The piggy bank in "Any Number". Yes, the $3.72 (or whatever) actually counts toward a contestant's total winnings should s/he be unfortunate enough to win it (although strangely, it doesn't appear on the "$35,000+" Showcase winnings graphic used since the late 1990s).
    Bob Barker: ...down there in the Piggy Bank.
    • Carey joked a few times that if the person won the money from the Piggy Bank, they could go out later and get a burger.

This show provides examples of:

  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game: Big Money Week, and how. One game each day was played with its prize cranked Up to Eleven; starting with Pay the Rent (which, well, was left unchanged. But something else happened), Punch a Bunch ($250,000 top prize), 3 Strikes (for a Ferrari. With 6 digits in its price), Grand Game (all prizes multiplied by 10, top prize $100,000), and Plinko (with a $100,000 center slot).
    • Pay the Rent always offers $100,000 as the top prize.
    • The Million Dollar Spectaculars, of course, with several ways to win a million bucks (most likely getting a double-Showcase winning bid.)
  • Adaptation Distillation: Many international versions of the show (particularly in Europe, most notably Bruce Forsyth's 1990s revival) used a half-hour format with elements from the flopped 1994 syndicated version (particularly the Showcase's "pick a range at random, guess the total price within that range to win"), although they still used One Bid and the wheel though, unlike the original half-hour format.
  • Affectionate Parody: The "Flaky Flick" Showcases, most notably The Eggs-O-Cist (February 16, 1976), a parody of The Exorcist and a thinly-veiled Take That to NBC.
  • And Ninety Nine Cents: Grocery item prices are always in dollars and cents, so seeing a price end in 99 cents is not uncommon. Prize prices are always rounded to the nearest dollar, and quite a few of them will end in 99 dollars. Notable in Clock Game, where occasional Genre Savvy contestants go straight to $x99 to try for a quick win. This worked in one contestant's favor during one of the Million Dollar Spectaculars, when they were offering a $1,000,000 bonus if she could guess both prices within 10 seconds. She got the first one on the first try and the next one in 7 seconds, always going with something ending in 99 dollars, and won the million.
    • Subverted by the retired Telephone Game, whose second half involved finding the price of a (four-digit) car by choosing from three options. Two of the options were actually the prices of three-digit small prizes, with cents rounded to the nearest tenth of a dollar.
  • April Fools' Day: Several times, the show has held April Fools' Day showcases with gag prizes (which then often led into a Showcase with a major prize, such as a luxury or sports car); including one offering such prizes as a Stato-Intellicator and a trip to Boguslovania (the actual prize was a Corvette).
    • The most notable April Fools' Showcase in the Barker era (aside from 1975, in which every prize got destroyed, and 1999, which consisted entirely of toy cars... then three real Chevrolet Metros) was a "Bicentennial Salute" (a semi-regular Showcase theme that year) to Dr. John Barrett Clapinger, featuring such prizes as his books "The Clapinger Report" and "I'm OK and I Don't Give a Flying Fig Who You Are", a boring trip to Flushing, New York, an case of Athlete's Foot, and an autographed leg cast. But then, the showcase gets interrupted by a feud between two women claiming to be his wife, following by an appearance by Clapinger himself (played by Roger Dobkowitz), who was thought to have disappeared, and then fled again after getting the women caught in the turntable. The real prize ended up being a Cadillac Eldorado.
    • Drew took the festivities even further beginning in Season 37 by filling the show with gags throughout. For 2009, the April Fool's Day episode (from the Bill Cullen Studio) had everyone wearing Groucho Marx glasses, Drew becoming the host of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Mimi Bobeck as a model, various inappropriate displays for prizes (such as a living room set displayed in a forest) and other miscellaneous inconsistencies, the Wheel playing different sounds each time instead of beeps (including the Cliff Hangers music, which even slowed down with the wheel), the Match Game think cue used on Cover Up, the second Showcase performed facing backwards, and the theme from Match Game being played over the credits.
    • For 2010, Mimi became the show's new executive producer. Among other things, she had the pages write "Pat" on everyone's nametags so Drew wouldn't have to remember everyone's name (one contestant at the wheel even played along, bringing out shouts for "Pat, Pat, Pat, Pat, and Pat"), demoted the models to stagehands and replaced them with an odd collection of men, became One Away's "almighty sound effects lady" (complete with a steering wheel on her desk), and had Rich Fields replaced by a monkey. Additionally, Plinko's items were all "as seen on TV" items, Pick-A-Pair's groceries were all holiday-related items, and both Showcases were exactly the same ... until the contestants were let off the hook and a Mini Cooper was added to the second one.
    • For 2011, the show celebrated its "10,000th"...something, which Drew wouldn't specify but said that those who have been watching the show over the years will know the moment when it comes. However, it was also a bad day for almost everyone: a TV gets smashed, the turntable starts smoking, prizes malfunction, boom mics get into the shots, Drew gives way too detailed instructions on how to visit their website, the Contestant's Row displays go out, George Gray somehow ends up in the "prize bag" for Balance Game (and gets pelted in the shoulder by a tennis ball throwing machine), the screen at the back of the audience malfunctions, the Basket crashes into the floor, Rachel plows a car into Door #3, a light falls from the ceiling and makes nearly everything go out, a prize display catches on fire, and the lights above the Turntable crash down.. Oh, and that 10,000th thing? Nothing.
    • For 2013, the models staged a Hostile Show Takeover as hosts, making Drew and George be the models instead. It was relatively less crazy than Drew's past April Fool's Day episodes. Though watching George Gray scamper around trying (and failing) to change into different outfits for different weather prizes (a snowmobile, surfing gear, etc.) on the fly during the Showcase round was entertaining.
    • For 2014, they pulled the old switcheroo: Drew Carey fulfilled his 5-year old prophecy and hosted The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (and replaced his robot sidekick Geoff Peterson with George Gray), while Craig Ferguson and his announcer Shadoe Stevens hosted Price, with Geoff Peterson and Secretariat becoming models.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Manuela was originally supposed to be a substitute for Brandi Sherwood, who had a baby. In February 2010, however, Brandi sued the show over being fired because she was pregnant and won over $8,000,000 in it looks like Manuela is here to stay. (Mike Richards attempted to point out that two other models on the show became pregnant and weren't fired, but those pregnancies were under completely different circumstances; further, Shane Stirling wound up quitting in Season 36 for unrelated reasons.)
    • The announcer role is a bit of an ascended extra. Johnny merely read the copy during the early days, but starting in mid-1974, he began participating in Showcase skits and appearing on-camera regularly, and this continued for many years when Rod took over. The on-camera appearances stopped at the beginning of Season 31, but restarted with Rich not long after Drew took over as host. When George took over, the Ascended Extra nature was turned Up to Eleven; he functions more like a co-host than any of the previous announcers, with a lot more off-copy banter with Drew and the contestants. Drew has taken to introducing him on-camera in every episode, and George sometimes participates in the pricing games, modeling the items and holding a price tag, usually during "Most Expensive".
  • Asian Airhead: During Season 33, one of the show's models was internet celebrity Natasha Yi, who often acted like this Trope.
  • Audience Participation: Contestants were chosen from the audience since the beginning, but the 1972 return made this part of the show as aired. Much like today, the audience yelled out bid suggestions, "Higher!" and "Freeze!" during the original series (with Bill sometimes commenting that Price was a modern-day version of the Roman circuses).
  • Berserk Button: When writing about or discussing Price, remember that the "Showcase Showdown" has three contestants competing against each other by spinning a giant wheel while the "Showcase" has two contestants bidding on...well...Showcases. Mixing these up often enrages certain fans, and Drew Carey himself brought this up on March 8, 2012 right before the beginning of the Showcase.
    Drew Carey: This is the Showcase round, not the Showcase Showdown as everybody calls it; that's when you spin the wheel. This is the Showcase round.
  • Big Red Button: Used in several pricing games, including in Range Game to stop the rangefinder, and the reveal mechanism on 10 Chances and Flip Flop. The one used in Split Decision was later adapted for Ten Chances after the original numbered buttons broke.
  • Blatant Lies: Bob had a habit of declaring "historic moments" despite the slightly unusual circumstance having happened countless times before (most notably, every time that the four bidders in Contestant's Row each ended up bidding $1 over the other). In 1997, GSN did a promo which showed a supposed "historic moment" in late 1982 occurring on April 15, 1975 (the promo shows their tapedates)...although it also happened even earlier on November 17 and 29, 1972 as well as an early-1976 James episode.
    "Be careful what you say...Game Show Network is watching."
  • Book Ends: Any Number was the first and last pricing game played with Bob Barker as host. It was also the first aired pricing game played with Drew Carey as host (his first taped game was Lucky $even).
  • Breakout Emcee: As mentioned above, James was originally the only emcee chosen to host the revival in 1972 after Goodson saw him fill in for Monty Hall on Let's Make a Deal. CBS head Bud Grant was interested in picking up a daytime version, but only if Bob Barker (who didn't want the job because, according to Grant, he "didn't like those in charge") was host. Guess who became more famous for their role hosting this show?
  • Brick Joke: A contestant who wore a shirt proclaiming himself to be "The Price Is Right's first male model" (which, according to the Golden Road timeline, isn't quite technically true) ended up being a model in a Showcase later in the show.
  • But Not Too Black: Gwendolyn Osbourne and retired model Phire Dawson are the only black models to play this Trope straight. Everyone else averts it. Gwenny makes up for her paleness by being a Twofer Token Minority and coming from Bath, England. (Yes, British immigrants do count as "minorities" in the U.S.)
  • Butt Monkey: Squeeze Play during the Barker years (until around 2004), Rich Fields during Season 37 (and maybe Summer 2010), That's Too Much! during the Carey years.
  • The Cameo: Several Goodson-Todman hosts made walk-ons to promote the debuts of their new shows, including Bert Convy (the 1980s Tattletales revival), Bob Eubanks (Card Sharks) and Ray Combs (Family Feud). Eubanks was even called down as a "contestant". Sometimes, they would also come on for other reasons, such as Charles Nelson Reilly congratulating Bob on the show's 3rd Anniversary.
    • Although phased out in the 1990s, walk-ons started occurring again in the Carey era. While most are inoccuous enough (e.g., Country Music singers promoting country-themed prizes/Showcases on the episode before the Academy of Country Music Awards, which are also on CBS), some have been derided by the fanbase. One notorious walk-on involved Jack Wagner popping up repeatedly to complain about the noise; he spent a great deal of time Chewing the Scenery, even pretending to "flash" the contestants before deciding that he liked the noise — which he demonstrated by beating on a drum set in a Showcase.
  • Canada, Eh?: Some members of the audience will wear shirts or other clothing to proclaim either that they are from Canada or that their nation loves Price.
  • Catch Phrase: "Come on down!", "A NEW CAR!", and "All this can be yours, if the price is right."
    • Don Pardo and Johnny Gilbert: "Price authority: (name of manufacturer/distributor).
    • "Dennis James saying don't miss the show next week, 'cause if you do then we'll miss you."
    • "This is Bob Barker, reminding you to help control the pet population: have your pets spayed or neutered!" Carried on by Drew as a homage.
    • Of Range Game: "Once it's stopped, we can't start it again for 37 hours." note  Drew tried to carry on this phrase, but said "days" by mistake and has not attempted the phrase since.
    • If Contestants spinning the wheel closely miss a needed number, Bob would often say 'You ate one too many (or one too few) Wheaties this morning'.
    • Drew Carey's advice to the final contestant called down: "This is your one chance to bid, don't blow it!"
  • Characterization Marches On:
    • In the early days, Bob was a lot more upbeat and jovial. Around the time his wife died, he became much more of a Deadpan Snarker although he still got a few laughs in. He grew increasingly curmudgeonly and testy in the 1990s and 2000s.
    • Similarly, Drew began his tenure as an upbeat sort who was learning the ropes (even if he was "winging it" by refusing to study the pricing games or attend rehearsals), so the fanbase gave him a pass for Season 36. Carey began creeping about in Season 37, as exemplified by his immature need to smash groceries, but he became jovial again in Season 39 (presumably due to losing so much weight over the taping break). He seems to show more enthusiasm when contestants are winning a lot.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Mostly subverted. There are only five known occasions of cheaters during the Bob Barker era.
    • October 6, 1986: A contestant playing Shell Game lifted one of the shells to place her first chip. Although the ball was not there, she realized her mistake and placed the chip by the same shell she had just looked under. One Aside Glance from Barker later, she moved it to another shell upon his request, then won two more chips. Bob then made a Funny Moment with the "exciting" reveal.
    • October 7, 1988: A contestant playing Three Strikes almost pulled out the third Strike but shoved it back in, then later drew the Strike anyway.
    • February 28, 1992 (unproven): A contestant playing Three Strikes for a Porsche had two chips left (the number and the third Strike) and allegedly very nearly pulled the Strike out of the bag...but suddenly dunked it back in and pulled out the number. Despite it never being proven that she cheated, Three Strikes + wasn't played for the rest of Season 20 and the Strike discs became white with red X's for a brief time.
    • December 1, 1992: A contestant playing Pathfinder briefly touched a digit with his foot and moved it back, causing the digit (which was the correct choice at that point of the game) to light up. (To be fair, this could just be the result of the technician having an itchy trigger finger.)
    • April 4, 2005: A contestant playing Flip Flop hit the price reveal button without actually changing the price. Barker, after declaring that "I'm going home" and calling the contestant a "troublemaker", gave him the prize anyway.
    • And a variant: In 2008, a lady played Plinko and won $30,000, but it was discovered that the producers had "rigged" the game with fishing line so the chip would land in the $10,000 space every time — however, this rigging was done entirely for a promo, and they forgot to "un-rig" it once they were done. They later stopped tape and had her play with the normal board, where she won only $3,000...but to be fair, they awarded her the $30,000 she had "won" before that.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The four numerical displays in Contestant's Row are separated into red, blue, yellow, and green.
  • Cool Old Guy: In his later years, Barker had this air to him — even as he passed 70 and 80, thousands and thousands of younger viewers (college age or so) dreamed of meeting him.
    • Johnny Olson was pretty spry at 75, too.
  • Crossover: Bob, Rod, and some of the models appeared on Family Feud (which at the time preceded Price on CBS and even taped in the same studio), competing against the cast of The Young And The Restless and beating them senseless. The first Feud episode that week even copied the Price intro, and had Bob and his team "come on down" out of the studio audience while Feud announcer Gene Wood called their names. Said Y&R team was led by Doug Davidson, who later helmed a version of Price which got beaten senseless.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Holly Hallstrom. It didn't help that the guys behind the scenes often tried to invoke it by messing with the prizes (e.g., setting the seat on a bicycle too high).
  • Didn't Think This Through: The short-lived "Professor Price"; since it was quiz-based, Bob had to tell the folks in the audience that they could not yell out answers to help the contestant. Since TPIR relies heavily on Audience Participation, this went over as well as you'd expect and the game died a quick death.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Several examples:
    • Numerous contestants who, due to their excitement over winning or just getting on stage, will grab Barker, bearhug him, etc. Barker will invariably joke afterward that he had been injured, although he almost always comes away unhurt. This most often is attributed to female Samoan contestants, with many of these examples appearing on online video sharing services. Carey didn't carry on this joke after taking over as host.
    • When a contestant spins the Big Wheel with great strength (causing it to spin very fast and thus take longer than usual to stop), Barker — in addition to making jokes about the show possibly having to pre-empt other programs, usually The Young and the Restless — would sometimes remark that the contestant's vigorous spin will cause the wheel to come off its moorings.
    • Several game props have been damaged through the years. These have happened by contestants trying to complete an objective but breaking the prop, or the host trying to dislodge a stuck prop.
  • Do Well, but Not Perfect: Cover Up. Rather than trying to get the price right on the first try, it might be beneficial to leave the first number (or one of the first two numbers) incorrect in hopes of guaranteeing yourself another try and eliminating some of the wrong choices if you get any of the other digits.
    • In One Away, getting just one number right is almost invariably better than getting two, three, or four. It's virtually a given that the first number is the one that's right and changing the other four will result in a win.
      • That's the catch in regards to these games. Apart from the first number, no contestant, the audience or even the host knows what numbers will follow. It's a crap shoot no matter which way it's sliced.
  • Downer Ending:
    • Double Overbids in the Showcase, especially after a Perfect Show. An "El Skunko" is worse, being a Fan Nickname for any episode in which all six games are lost followed by a Double Overbid.
      • Drew tends to treat very close overbids as such, going as far as to ignore the contestant who did not overbid.
    • At least two contestants have overbid by $1 on their Showcases. One of these also led to a Double Overbid.
    • In one of the first $1,000,000 Spectaculars, a player just barely missed the $1,000,000 win on his bonus spin of the Big Wheel. It looked as if he could've blown on the Big Wheel and it would've clicked into place.
    • On Dennis James' third-to-last show (taped March 1, 1977), a contestant playing Grocery Game lost by one penny. This also happened at least once during the Barker era, with one audience member yelling for Bob to give the contestant the prize anyway, and happened again during the 2011 Thanksgiving show.
    • January 20, 2010: One contestant bid $58,500 on a Showcase including a Porsche. Drew was hesitant to read the actual retail price out loud. The contestant overbid by $176.
  • Dull Surprise: Drew tends to undersell the accomplishment of the Showcase winner in order to get to the outro spiel. Particularly in one case, where a contestant got the Showcase price right on the nose for the first time in years and he seemed very unexcited about it. However, that time was somewhat justified as Drew suspected the contestant of cheating.
  • Dumb Blonde: On the January 5, 2010 playing of Switch?, model Amber Lancaster insisted on revealing the price of the item she was modeling despite the fact that the contestant asked to switch the prices and Drew repeatedly said "Switch!" That meant that she was supposed to pick up her price card and put it on the other prize. She almost blatantly refused. To be fair, this was just an isolated incident.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The catch phrase. When Price moved to ABC, a celebrity was employed to play for people in the audience. When the celebrity called an audience member's name (as per drawn cards), they were told to "come on down" to a waiting area adjacent to the stage.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • In 1956, Price nearly didn't make it on the air, period. The pilot for NBC was fraught with pending disaster. First the tote machines malfunctioned, then as Bill Cullen's turntable started to revolve he nearly got strangled by his microphone cord. NBC wanted to buy out the show's contract and cancel it right then, but creator Bob Stewart pleaded for a leap of faith — 13 weeks, and if the show didn't click then NBC could cancel it. Stewart was granted his wish, but NBC slotted Price opposite CBS' Arthur Godfrey, then a ratings juggernaut. By February 22, 1957 (the end of the 13 weeks), Price was beating Godfrey and earned NBC's respect. Word is that if NBC had canceled the show, Goodson-Todman would have tried to sell it to CBS, which dropped all big-ticket giveaway shows two years later in light of the quiz show scandals.
    • The 1972 return. First, the audience didn't show much excitement until the contestants began to come on down, although the contestants were told by Johnny Olson to 'stand up please'. Upon Bob's entrance, the music accidentally sped up — after which the very first item up for bids was a fur coat. The first two pricing games revealed themselves as Bob and the contestant approached them, and had a brown podium nearby for the contestant to stand behind. Any Number had an actual piggy bank prop brought out, which remained until partway through Week 2. The Showcase podiums had no "description" plaque until after the commercial, and the prices were revealed by a push-button flap.
    • The Big Wheel looked much different when it premiered in 1975; the so-called "Rainbow Wheel" (used for an "anniversary week" of hour-long shows from September 8-12) was much smaller and entirely visible on-screen. When the modern wheel premiered a few months later, the beeping sound was different and there originally weren't green sections until December 1978, when the Bonus Spin for getting $1.00 was introduced.
    • Indeed, the show's first few years were far more staid and formal. Most of the contestants were housewives; the set was mainly brown and earth tones; and there was an overall more formal feel. Over time, it hit a sort of Reverse Cerebus Syndrome: the contestant pool widened significantly; the showcases went from generic prize bundles to clever skits; more pricing games were added, many of which required more interaction from the contestant; and the audience became more involved by shouting out advice to the contestants. By the end of the decade, the show's overall tone had pretty much solidified into what it is now.
    • Also true of individual pricing games:
      • Pass The Buck originally had eight numbers (with $2,000 and a third "Lose Everything") instead of six. Three pairs of grocery items were used instead of two, and the contestant was not given a free pick.
      • Penny Ante originally used 100 real pennies, with one taken away for every cent that the contestant was off in guessing. This was replaced by having three giant fake pennies, with one taken away for every wrong guess.
      • Cliff Hangers used four prizes early in its life.
      • Punch-a-Bunch originally involved punching out a number, and all the other slips had "dollars", "hundred", or "thousand" (so punching a 5 and a "hundred" slip would get $500). This was changed to just using actual amounts.
      • In Gas Money, the contestant originally picked one of the five prices first, instead of just picking the four wrong ones.
    • At the start of taping for Season 37, the Big Wheel was refurbished for HD and gained a tasteful new color scheme with green borders, violet walls and dark purple spaces. Its design appeared to go with the previous season's set (the one with the violet turntable walls and the diamond patterns), which got switched out for the new "squares" design teased by the recent Million Dollar Spectaculars. When Drew first saw it, he did not like it. In the first episode it was used, he shrugged it off by claiming that it was "accidentally painted purple", and even called it "the big ugly wheel" after someone won $1,000.
      • After five shows with the Purple Wheel, it was replaced by a Stunt Double from the Las Vegas Price Is Right Live! casino show (which was essentially a smaller, "bootleg" version of the old wheel) for the sixth taping while the wheel was re-painted again. The resulting design returned to the black spaces, along with new orange walls and carpeting with the same patterns as the new doors. All of the resulting episodes were moved later into the season, making Drew's "accidentally painted purple" remark an unintentional lampshade hanging.
  • Epic Fail: Oh, so much.
    • Most often, the term is applied by fans during a particularly bad show – usually, one with a mix of poor gameplay by the contestants and poor interaction between the host and contestants. The term is most aptly applied when all six pricing games are lost (not just a smaller prize won, but all six lost outright), followed by a double overbid in the Showcase round.
      • October 28, 2010: Maybe the closest known example of this. Rat Race had a really close 3rd place finish; otherwise the show would have been a complete washout.
      • November 10, 2010: Besides the IUFBs, not even a triple-digit prize was won. Only two double-digit prizes were won in Bonus Game. A total of only $7,314 was won in the entire hour.
    • It is common for a "first four" contestant to not even make it out of Contestant's Row. However, there was one known instance on March 26, 1992, in which three contestants were stuck for the entire show- every winner came from the first (red) player slot.
    • In the Showcase Showdown, any time that a contestant hits .05 on their first spin and 1.00 on their second.
    • Any time in "3 Strikes" that a contestant strikes out without getting a single number right. Even worse if the contestant draws all three strikes without even drawing a single number (the first such instance happening on November 14, 1983).
    • The month of February 2006 had an instance of three consecutive double overbids.
    • Plinko is the show's most popular game. Its draw is that the pricing strategy (the small prizes) is secondary to luck (the board itself), and that the pricing portion was usually a mere formality. But...
      • March 26, 1996: A contestant wins all five chips and promptly drops all five in the $0 slots.
      • February 15, 2010: But even that is nothing compared to this playing. (Yep, that's right — one chip, $0, and the audience booed Plinko. The subsequent applause and cheering? Added in post-production.)
      Contestant: [royally pissed] Oh, come on!
    • March 6, 2007: A contestant playing Grocery Game picked four of Capzasin HP. Well over $21, his total for the first pick added up to $56.36.
    • September 21, 2009 (Season 38 Premiere): On one hand, it introduced a new set. On the other hand:
      • The prize copy for Push Over was incorrect, resulting in the prize being given to the contestant on a technicality. The show was otherwise "skunked".
      • A contestant bid $10,000 on a Showcase including two trips and a Toyota Prius, and is off by just over $28,000.
      • The gameplay and copy error would be considered part of a bad show any day, but again, this was a season premiere episode.
    • January 5, 2010: This playing of Pick-A-Number had the prize package include ten massages "at a spa of [the contestant's] choice" — something that can't reasonably be priced, in a game where the price matters. Making this an even bigger fail was that the three number choices were for the last digit. A contestant was forced to price to the exact dollar a prize package which included an element whose inherent nature means it doesn't have a set value. (And yes, this was the same day Amber screwed up Switch? and Drew smashed the yogurt in Hi-Lo.)
    • January 11-15, 2010: Of the 30 games played that week, a staggering 27 were lost due to a combination of dumb contestants ($41 on a $15 tote bag in Cliff Hangers?!) and way too many games set up to be lost (Lucky $even's price ending with 9, where most contestants would go with 5). Additionally, no cars were won, not even in the Showcase.
    • May 21 and 24-26, 2010 (excludes the weekend): A streak of 16 consecutive game losses, which includes two consecutive "skunked" shows, with one "El Skunko" on May 24.
    • October 15, 2012: A contestant plays Any Number and his first three guesses... fill in the piggy bank.
    • Among retired games, one oft-cited example of epic failure happened in a game called The Phone Home Game, where the object was for a studio contestant to work with a pre-selected home viewer to match three prices with their respective grocery items to win up to $15,000, which was split between the two players. The home viewer was advised not to give the name of a grocery item or else a turn would be lost. Several times, the home contestant did this once but then, after having the rules clarified, would play the game correctly. However, one particular home viewer – likely very confused over the rules, despite Bob Barker's clarifying it the best he could – gave the names of grocery items all three times ... and the poor in-studio contestant left with nothing.
    • December 20, 2012: Hatea plays Cover Up and his first guess... has no numbers right.
    • In general, Season 41 and Pass The Buck. Until June 14, only two grocery products had been correctly priced, on February 4 and May 30. The playing on February 25 also resulted in a wipeout.
  • Episode Code Number: For the 1972 version, the daytime series originally used a "D" designation corresponding to the week number and day of that week — for example, #6543D was the Wednesday show of the 654th week (aired June 10, 1987). Once the show reached week #1000 in May 1996, they switched the "D" to a "K" and went from #9995D to #0011K, skipping a week. Some fans may refer to "K" episodes with their "D" variation in parentheses — e.g., Barker's last show was #4035K (or #14025D).
    • The first week taped in 1972 used a second number according to the taping order. For example, #0011D was also called #0101-1.
    • The 1972-80 nighttime show used a three-digit number followed by "N", for nighttime. 39 episodes were cranked out each season from 1972-1977, and from 1977-1980, that number was reduced to 35 each. The Davidson version used four digits and the "N", which apparently used the same system (#0015N being the 15th episode).
    • The 1986 nighttime specials used three digits followed by "P". Nighttime specials from 2002 (the "Salutes" series) onward used the same method, but with "SP".
  • Escort Mission: Cliff Hangers, in a unique way.
  • Exact Words: The contestant on June 1, 2011 who took Drew's advice to "throw down the price tags" a little too literally. She threw the tags haphazardly on the floor in front of the prizes instead of hanging them on their hooks. As a result, the game operator couldn't tell what was where, so she was told that she only had one right instead of two. The confusion resulted in her winning all four prizes.
    • During "That's Too Much", if the contestant says "stop" or the like instead of the titular phrase, Drew will usually wait in silence until the contestant remembers what exactly they have to say to end the game.
  • Expy: Goodson-Todman's Say When!! (1961-64) had two contestants selecting prizes from a pool and trying to not go over a target value. Similarly done on 1975's Give-N-Take. And more recently with NBC's primetime game It's Worth What?, where contestants determine which in a group of antique items (in a series of seven separate games) is most expensive.
    • The primary contest on the 1960s Supermarket Sweep had the three housewives (whose husbands did the "Sweep") guessing the prices of grocery items, with the closest guess scoring the added sweep time. (No "without going over" rule patch.)
    • The original format of Gas Money was oddly similar to Deal or No Deal (pick the price you think is the value of the car, reveal the ones you think aren't). After it ended up being quite confusing (mainly due to Drew not exactly explaining the rules too well), the format was changed so that picking the right price would instead, catch you in a trap (i.e. the goal was, now, to just avoid picking the correct price of the car).
  • Fanservice: The models, particularly when they break out the swimsuits. There's a reason the show offers an average of at least one pool/spa or boat per episode...and a reason why those prizes get the most cheers from the audience.
    • Dian Parkinson, aka the Fetish Fuel Station Attendant. Posing for Playboy, wearing hundreds of swimsuits, wearing cheerleader outfits, dressed as a "June Bride" (June 20, 1980)…
    • Also during the late 1980s and early 1990s, before Barker's affair with Parkinson blew up in the press, the models were often asked to pose in a way where only bare shoulders showed while modeling such prizes as hot tubs, boats and saunas (and sometimes, cars), and Barker would imply to the audience that said model was completely naked.
    • On the Cullen show, the models wore nautical outfits with extremely short skirts whenever a boat was wheeled out as an IUFB. With some of the moving around they did in them, it's a wonder there was no Panty Shot.
    • Around 2012, the show has started to use male models and yes, the guys have appeared shirtless at some point. They don't appear as frequently as the female models. Funnily enough, the male model mostly appears in a shirt and tie for a more professional look rather than dressing up for eye candy — although a case could be made that a neat shirt and tie is eye candy to some women.
  • Flawless Victory: In some pricing games, it's a Crowning Moment of Awesome to win on the first try, win without making a mistake, or win for the maximum amount possible. In the $1,000,000 Spectacular episodes, winning the million dollar bonus requires a victory of this sort. In the daytime episodes, there's usually no bonus prize, but Bob or Drew will point out the rarity of such a performance, and proclaim the player an all-time great of that pricing game. For example, see Walter's perfect Dice Game.
    • Also, a perfect bid from Contestant's Row.
  • Foregone Conclusion:
    • Averted/defied by Shell Game. If a contestant wins all four small prizes, there is still an additional bonus for correctly guessing which shell conceals the ball.
    • Contestants in the Showcase who win with a difference of less than $250 (or $100 in earlier seasons) on their own showcase are always revealed second, including a very rare occurrence on March 24, 1975. This suggests a precedent that if a contestant who misses by $100/$250 is revealed first, their opponent will either tie or be even closer.
  • Framing Device: A good number of Showcases over the years had these, varying from a frog prince story to a soap opera parody.
  • Freudian Slip: One contestant who wanted to pick Tidy Cats kitty litter in Grocery Game referred to it as "Titty Cats".
  • Fur and Loathing: When Bob Barker joined PETA, furs were no longer offered as prizes. This would be understandable, but he's so embarrassed about those old episodes he doesn't even want them aired on GSN or put on DVD. (Which, unfortunately, rules out the very first episode from 1972.)
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Drew suffered a separated shoulder, and for quite some time he either had his (right) arm in a sling and strapped to his side, or he'd hold it there himself.
  • George Jetson Job Security: Once Barker became Executive Producer in 1988, lots of people were often fired from the show for rather hazy reasons. The most frequent excuse for the models was claiming the girl was getting too fat, although nobody seemed to notice it but Bob.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Bob said "hell" and "damn" at least once each during his tenure, and remarked many times on-air that he had been asked by audience members to say that line from Happy Gilmore ("The price is wrong, bitch!").
    • The June 30, 1960 nighttime show with contestant Kenneth Jones saying he was glad he wasn't on the previous week's show (which had honeymooners playing) because "I didn't get a damn—er, darn one right!"
  • Giant Novelty Check: Appears on "Check Game", where the contestant is shown a prize and must write a check to themselves such that the value of the check plus the value of the prize is between $7,000 and $8,000; the contestant gets the check win or lose, but a losing contestant gets his or her check stamped with a large "VOID".
  • Guest Host:
    • The 1950s version had several people fill in for Cullen; this was standard operating procedure at the time, since the shows taped live and often had others fill in to give the regular host a break. (Interestingly, this newspaper article from October 1976 mentions that Cullen hosted Price before Barker, George Fenneman, and James. Yes, in that order.)
    • Dennis James guest-hosted four daytime episodes (December 24-27, 1974) because Bob was ill on the tapedate (December 5).
    • The models took turns hosting and announcing during the April 1, 2013 episode, and made Drew and George be the models.
    • April 1, 2014 saw a Drew switch shows with Craig Ferguson and his crew of The Late Late Show.
    • Lots of guest announcers:
      • After Johnny Olson died, the guest announcer rotation consisted of Rod, veteran announcers Gene Wood and Bob Hilton, and rookie announcer Rich Jeffries. Oddly, a then-retired Gene returned to do some post-production work on reruns in Summer 1998.
      • Rod had to undergo cancer treatments three times between 2001 and 2003. Burton Richardson (formerly of the 1994 version) filled in for him most of the time, although Paul Boland (formerly of the 1998 Match Game) did one week in 2002.
      • In Season 32, Rod only announced on days that he felt healthy enough, with his good friend Randy West taking the mic in between (plus Burton for one week).
      • After Rod died, a rotation of guest announcersnote  occurred. Another rotation note  occurred between Rich Fields' firing and George Gray's joining.
    • Rich missed an episode in December 2006 due to laryngitis, so Burton returned one last time to fill him.
    • The large rotations of guest models.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: In between seasons, Drew lost—and kept off—nearly 100 lbs.
  • Helium Speech: Rich Fields once inhaled helium before reading the prize copy as part of a Drewcase skit. He then did it again when he signed off.
  • Honest John's Dealership: Drew will often portray the model for "Pocket Change" as this.
  • Iconic Outfit: For most of his career, Rod wore custom-made Thai silk suits.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: Several pricing games have wipes themed to the game's motif (e.g., a hexagonal wipe for Spelling Bee, an octagonal one for Danger Price, one with dice for Dice Game, a giant 3D Plinko board to introduce ... what else, etc.).
  • In-Series Nickname:
    • Frequently, Bill Cullen referred to the contestants as "the bargain hunters."
    • "El Cheapo", coined by Barker, is the lowest number pair (usually less than 10, but not always) in Money Game.
    • The Cliff Hangers mountain climber has had several names.
      • Doug Davidson dubbed him "Hans", after one of his The Young & The Restless co-stars.
      • Drew Carey usually calls him "Yodely Guy" or "Yodel Guy", but called him "Hans" at least once.
      • Those at The Price Is Right LIVE! typically call him "Johann".
      • Dennis James once called him "Fritz", in a "too soon" moment for Janice Pennington (her mountain-climber husband, Fritz Stammberger, had gone missing before the beginning of the 1976-77 season). Even worse, Dennis shouted "There goes Fritz!" as the contestant lost...which sent Janice running backstage in tears and not coming out for the rest of that taping.
  • Instant-Win Condition:
    • Pretty much the point of Bonus Game.
    • In Bullseye, finding the bonus bullseye behind a product with which a contestant hits anywhere on the board is an instant win.
    • In Master Key, one of the five keys wins all the prizes.
    • In Pocket ’hange, choosing the $2.00 envelope is virtually a guaranteed win. The only way to lose is to give nine or ten incorrect guesses and pick three other low amounts of change, as the sale price of the car will never exceed $2.75.
    • In Spelling Bee, the two cards (out of thirty) that say "CAR" are this. To a lesser extent, bidding perfectly on any one of the three small items instantly wins all three items and all three extra cards even if the contestant missed previous items, though this in no way guarantees actually winning the car.
  • The Klutz: Several.
    • Janice Pennington once infamously modeled an overstuffed Amana refrigerator in early 1976, and occasionally wrecked cars into the Big Door frames.
    • Holly Hallstrom was quite disaster-prone and, on at least one occasion, held a price card upside-down. Most famous are her three bouts with kitchen appliance packages, including a "rogue cantaloupe".
    • Lanisha Cole seems to be a modern-day Holly — in Season 38 alone, she crashed a little scooter into Door #3 (Fall 2009) and had to deal with a refrigerator whose doors kept opening in a very similar manner to Holly in a 1980s Safe Crackers playing (April 22, 2010).
  • Large Ham Announcer: This show is likely the Trope Codifier on the game show front, mainly thanks to Johnny Olson and Rod Roddy.
  • Last of His Kind: Daytime network games used to be as ubiquitous as Soap Operas, especially in the mid-1970s. From the end of Caesar's Challenge in January 1994 until the return of Let's Make a Deal in October 2009, Price was the only daytime network game on the air.
    • That said, Let's Make a Deal has done little to nothing for the whole Last of His Kind aspect, as it and Price are still the only daytime network games on the air.
  • Leitmotif: The losing horns, heard when someone loses a pricing game or there's a Double Overbid in the Showcase. If you've seen the show, you probably just heard it in your head by its mere mention.
  • Loads And Loads Of Games: Altogether, a staggering 107 have been used on the show since 1972 (the newest being Do The Math). Some pricing games appear so rarely that fans often wonder if they're still on the show.
  • Long Runner: The CBS version is in Season 42, giving it the longest contiguous run by far for any American game show. It's also one of the longest-running game shows in the world.
    • The nine years the original series ran was no small feat in itself, considering how critics considered it the end of civilization as we know it.
  • Loophole Abuse: Averted with Secret "X". Although you can win up to two extra X's, you can't place them all on the left or right side of the board — the three-in-a-row must involve the middle column.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Skill is often not enough for these games. ½ Off comes down to a random choice between two boxes if you get everything else right, Three Strikes can easily be Unwinnable if the Strike chips are pulled too quickly, Secret "X" still has a 1-in-3 chance of being lost even if both small prizes are priced correctly, and in Plinko and Punch-A-Bunch you're just as likely to get a Zonk as hit the big money. The only game that can usually be won without luck is Clock Game.
    • Pocket ’hange is also a huge luck-based game in two flavors. The first part, you have to guess a number on the board that goes with the specific place value of the car. Every wrong guess raises the price of the car (score needed) by 25 cents, so it's possible to get nothing but bad guesses and make the winning target for the car be over $2.00. The second part of the luck is every time you do get a number right, you pick an envelope off the board, which can contain values of $.00, $.05, $.10, $.25, $.50, $.75, or $2.00. The contestant then has to hope all their envelopes will match or surpass the target price. Unlucky contestants can get a string of low values and come up short.
  • Lucky Charms Title: Pocket ’hange has had a cents sign in its title since the beginning. Lucky Seven and Most Expensive added a dollar sign to their titles over the years — Lucky $even by May 30, 1986 and Most Expen$ive on February 12, 2010 (although the first taped playing with the new title didn't air until February 18).
    • Also, Spelling Bee, with "Spelling" actually followed by a drawing of a bee. Doubles as a Visual Pun.
  • The Man Is Sticking It to the Man: The show's official website once attempted to replace the popular fan forum, but it was nowhere near as popular or well-moderated. Among those who support the fan site are Roger Dobkowitz and Rich DiPirro, both of whom were fired under dubious circumstances (Dobkowitz because Fremantle Media wanted to take the show in a new direction, DiPirro because he refused to be a Yes-Man for Mike Richards and went so far as to tell the Executive Producer that he was ruining everything).
  • Milestone Celebration: Every x,000th episode features tons of big prizes and special decorations.
    • The show celebrated its 25th, 30th, and 35th Anniversaries with a primetime special. The first (#0001S) used the half-hour format, with the other half filled with clips; the second (#0001LV) was taped in Las Vegas, using the regular format; the third (#023SP) also celebrated Barker's 50 years in television, with a similar format as the 25th-Anniversary Special and a cameo by Adam Sandler.
  • Minigame Game: The show's format in two words.
  • Missing the Good Stuff: The debut of Cover Up (also the Season 22 premiere) was interrupted by a CBS News special report. Only a few East Coast markets where Price aired an hour earlier actually got to see it.
    • Atlanta viewers never saw the debut episode of either the original series or the CBS reboot. In 1956, when Price first premiered at 10:30 AM EST, the NBC station in Atlanta aired a movie from 9:30-11:00 AM. When New Price premiered, the CBS affiliate (as well as several others around the country) was running the Jerry Lewis MDA telethon.
  • Motor Mouth: One of the biggest criticisms of Carey's hosting style.
  • Mythology Gag: In April 1976, Bill Cullen and then-current Price model Janice Pennington appeared as panelists on Match Game '76. At the start of the first show of the week, Gene Rayburn points to Bill and says "This is the face you see on The Price Is Right?"
    Bill: Not if you've watched lately!
  • Negated Moment of Awesome:
    • November 11, 2010: a Veteran's Day special leading off with the new extremely-high-stakes game Pay The Rent, which offers $100,000 as its top prize. The contestant playing it left with $10,000, but he actually managed to put the items in the correct order and could've had $100,000; the staff hopes most contestants aren't that lucky/smart and gutsy.
      • It happened again on March 27, 2013. Drew even made reference to the first time.
    • December 27, 2012: 5 pricing game wins out of 5, and a 6th on the way with a contestant setting the Safe Crackers combination to the correct price of $680...but then he is convinced by the audience to change the combination to $860, consequently losing the game. To add insult to injury, a Double Overbid in the Showcase.
  • Nintendo Hard: Seasons 37 onward have been accused of this, as the staff apparently seems to prefer upgrading set pieces and having celebrity guests. Roger Dobkowitz, who generally knew how and when to avoid this trope (and when to play it straight), was fired by Fremantle after Season 36 to "take the show in a new direction".
    • Bullseye '72, the only pricing game that never had a winner. The premise was to guess a car's price to the dollar within seven tries, with Bob saying "Higher" or "Lower" after each bid. Attempts to make the game easier (adding a $500 bidding range for two playings, then ditching the range in favor of the price being rounded to the nearest $10) didn't help. Neither did playing for a boat, which it only did once (and on #0013D(R), at that!).
    • In Dice Game, whenever the price doesn't contain a 3 or 4 in the last three digits. Even harder if all three digits are 1 and/or 6. Both cases can only be avoided by rolling a 1, a 6, or the correct number.
    • Fortune Hunter was retired because of its low win rate.
    • Golden Road, which befitting the name usually has the highest-value prize in the show (usually an exotic sports or luxury car worth well north of $60,000 or even $100,000) is this by design.
    • Hi-Lo requires the contestant to be perfect in choosing the three highest priced items out of six. You can expect even a knowledgeable contestant will slip up by picking an item slightly less expensive than one they didn't choose.
    • Lucky $even is this most of the time. You need to guess each digit and lose $1 for each number you're off by (guess 2, and if it's 6, you lose $4). You can only lose up to $6 through four digits. If the price of the car is something like $19,655, you'll probably win. If it's something like $22,891, have fun being on TV.
    • Pathfinder is a difficult game to win at due to having to work with 4 different numbers surrounding you; you have to pick one of the numbers and if it's wrong, then you have to guess the price of a small item in order to keep playing and there's only 3 items in the game. The game gets slightly easier if the player stands in a corner or at the edge of the game board since there's less numbers to work with at that spot.
    • Pay the Rent is basically designed to be this, mainly because there's only one correct solution and contestants usually try to put the lowest-priced item in the mailbox (which would require more than one correct solution).
      • Averted during Season 41, when the number of solutions began to increase. While it began around 2-4 correct solutions, for three playings in a row it was clear they wanted to get a winner. On March 27, April 8, and April 25 the most expensive item cost more than the total of the second and third most expensive items. As a result, the first two playings had eight solutions, while the third had ten. The latter also ended up being the first $100,000 win. The very next playing, on June 4, went right back to having just one solution.
    • Plinko has never been won and isn't statistically likely to be, either. Most people consider it a win if the contestant hits the big-money slot once, but Word Of God says the full $50,000 must be won.
      • Plinko is also simultaneously an aversion as, statistically, someone with at least two Plinko chips is likely to walk away with something.
    • Punch a Bunch, which has not been won since its top prize was increased to $25,000 in Season 37. When the top prize was $10,000, two slips with that amount were on the board as opposed to one $25,000 slip in play under the current format.
    • Stack the Deck is also noted for being difficult to win; many contestants who got all three number picks still lost.
    • Take Two isn't hard by design, but it can become more difficult the closer the target price is to the middle.
    • Temptation was notorious for going without a win for five years, mainly because it's much safer for contestants to bail out with the four prizes than risk all of them to get the car when even one wrong digit in the price of the car leaves them with nothing.
    • Ten Chances is notoriously hard by design due to the contestant only having ten tries to correctly guess the prices of two small prizes and a car. The first small prize has priced with two digits and the contestant has three numbers to choose from. The next prize has three digits in its price and the contestant has four numbers to work with. The price of the car is always five digits and the contestant has to use all five digits. If the contestant keeps screwing up on the smaller prizes, they can potentially lose their shot at winning the car.note 
    • The Australian version uses a very different Showcase format. First, the two contestants played the Showcase Playoff, essentially Double Bullseye on the price of the entire Showcase (with a range, of course). The winner had to then order each item in the Showcase by their price, lowest to highest (with the largest prize, usually a car, automatically placed on the bottom). Even better, the producers just knew how tricky it was: during its 2003-05 revival, the show offered a "Mega Showcase" that included a condominium on the Sunshine Coast as its top prize, taking its total value in excess of AU$600,000! A 2005 Mega Showcase win valued at AU$664,667 was the largest win on any version of Price in the world ever until Adam Rose's Million-Dollar Spectacular win.
  • No Indoor Voice: Paul Boland, who previously announced the 1998-99 Match Game, filled in for just five shows in 2002; he didn't do any more because the staff wanted him to tone it down and he refused. Rich Fields in his later years tended towards this as well.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: Several pricing games – those involving the pricing of groceries or small items – have this clause if the contestant is wrong with all questions or fails to meet any conditions on his/her given choices (usually three), and the contestant had to earn all picks. A few examples:
    • Bullseye: If the contestant is outside of the $2-$12 range on all three items, meaning they are unable to win even by finding the hidden bullseye.
    • 5 Price Tags: If the contestant is wrong on all four true-false pricing questions. At least one correct answer was needed to be able to pick from one of the price tags they thought was the correct price.
    • Master Key: If the contestant is wrong on all either-or pricing questions, meaning no pick of which one of the five keys. At least one correct answer was needed to try to pick the right key and (attempt to) win at least something.
    • One Away: Arguably, if the contestant gets every number wrong on the first guess.
    • Rat Race: If the contestant is wrong on all three pricing questions, meaning no selection of the rats and no running of the colorful rodents. At least one was needed to run the race.
    • Secret X: If the contestant is wrong on both pricing questions, failing to earn additional X's. Although the contestant is given a free X, two are required for a chance to win the game.
    • Shell Game: If the contestant is wrong on all four higher-lower pricing questions; they had to have at least one correct to place a chip beside the shell they thought concealed the ball.
    • This also applies to some retired games:
      • Joker: If the contestant is wrong on all four pricing questions, meaning they cannot discard any cards to remove the Joker.
      • SuperBall!!: If the contestant is wrong on all three pricing questions and the SuperBall bonus, thus not being able to win prizes or money.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: Several.
    • In the Cullen era, if all four players went over, nobody won the prize. Once in a while, Bill would silently look at the price, tell the contestants they were all over, have the bids erased, and allow them to make one bid with all required to be lower than the lowest original frozen bid. In the earliest episodes, those who overbid could not bid on the next item.
    • When the show returned in 1972, if both contestants bid more than their Showcase price, they were told this and allowed to make new bids until at least one of them was not over. Seemingly out of the blue, beginning on the sixth taped episode (#0022D) the show started to allow for the possibility that neither Showcase would be awarded. We know of this rule as the Double Overbid.
    • When Race Game debuted in 1974, it used magnets to connect the pricetags to the stands...which didn't always work (at least one playing had the tags keep falling off). The more familiar holes and hooks were introduced sometime between March 1975 and March '76.
    • A contestant on November 3, 1975 spun 60’ in the Showcase Showdown, then tried to spin the Big Wheel only a few pegs in an attempt to hit the 40’. By the end of the month, a rule was added where the wheel has to make at least one full revolution in order to count.
      • Sometimes Bob/Drew helps the contestant spin if s/he is physically unable to spin it a full rotation, usually if the contestant's handicapped or very old - although several have admirably tried to do it themselves, and a few succeeded.
    • Clock Game has tried four-digit prizes several times. After finding out that four digits ate up too much time against the clock, they tried offering a $1,000 range, but it didn't help. They tried four-digit prizes again in late 2008, but after a six-month span in which nobody won any of said prizes (barring a single technical win), the rules were changed again, so that a contestant bid on two three-digit prizes as before, and if they got both, they would win a four-digit prize as a bonus. (Many times, the second three-digit prize could be considered part of the four-digit prize, such as a Blu-ray player for a large TV; the contestant only bid on the Blu-ray player.)
    • Early on, Dice Game's car prices had 0's and numbers higher than 6. Because these often made the game too hard, the game was quickly altered to include only prices with 1-6. So if you roll a 1 and hear a buzzer, you know the digit has to be higher.
    • It's "Hole in One.....or Two!"
    • The price-reveal button of Flip Flop was eventually moved to the side of the board, where it's not nearly as easy for the contestant to hit (accidentally or otherwise).
    • On at least two occasions, the rules of Switcheroo were relaxed to accomodate a physically challenged contestant. A wheelchair-bound contestant was given 45 seconds instead of the usual 30, since he could not place the blocks himself and had to issue verbal instructions. When a 99-year-old man played, Barker made a big show out of saying the timer was "broken", and let him play an untimed game.
  • Opening Narration: The 1977-2009 version is quoted at the top of this page. Also:
    • NBC Daytime: (later modified) "Today, these four bargain hunters match their shopping skills as (sponsor's products) present...The Price Is Right, the exciting game of bidding, buying, and bargaining."
    • NBC Primetime: "Tonight, these four people meet to compete for the prizes of a lifetime on...The Price Is Right."
    • ABC Daytime: "Today, (celebrity name) bids for prizes with these contestants on The Price Is Right."
    • ABC Primetime: "Backstage are some of the most exciting prizes on television. On our panel tonight is (superlatives; celebrity name). Stand by for The Price Is Right!"
    • Seasons 1-3 (CBS): "A fortune in fabulous prizes may go to one of these people todaynote  if they know when the price is right!"
    • Syndicated (1985-86): "Here it is! All-new! And this audience is sparkling with excitement because a fortune in fabulous prizes can be theirs if they know when the price is right!"
    • Syndicated (1994-95): "Get set, America! It's time to come on down!" (montage of clips from both this and the daytime Price is shown) "From Studio 33 in Hollywood, home of America's favorite games and the world's most fabulous prizes, it's The New Price Is Right!"
    • Seasons 38-: "Here it comes! From the Bob Barker Studio at CBS in Hollywood, it's The Price Is Right!"
  • Out of Order: Not always the most obvious, usually manifesting itself in minute set changes that seem to disappear and reappear, sometimes within the week. This also can result in the host making reference to a past event as if it were upcoming, or vice versa (e.g., saying that a contestant is the first to play a new pricing game when, due to another episode being moved, they are actually the second). And in 2003 and 2010's announcer searches, it led to the substitute announcer post frequently changing mid-week.
  • Overly Long Gag: April 1, 2011. Drew turns the website ticket plug into an one with extremely-detailed instructions. It carries over into an interstitial break two minutes later, where he finally finishes; the whole time, the crew is putting away the Big Wheel and rolling in Balance Game behind him.
  • Panty Shot: The models during some 1980s Showcases, which had them in cheerleader outfits.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Bob would sometimes kick or hit set pieces if they got stuck, the most frequent victim being Squeeze Play.
    • Squeeze Play usually got hits to the price reveal flap or button, but at least once (February 27, 1980) it took hits to the numbers themselves.
    • Before it went digital, Drew even had to do this to Temptation.
  • Pie in the Face: One Drewcase skit involved everyone getting pied, including Rich. Drew was pied during his signoff, and the Showcase winner was pied shortly afterward.
  • Potty Failure: Happened to a Plinko contestant in 2007, and was later recounted by Drew during an interview.
  • Pretty in Mink: Fur coats were often prizes until Bob Barker joined PETA. The last known appearance of one is in September 1981.
  • Product Placement: Even moreso than other game shows. Not just with big prizes, but contestants often have to figure out the prices of several small prizes and groceries to get more chances to win the big one. And of course, every single one is described in detail for the contestant and viewers. Utterly justified, as knowing which brand something is can help contestants guess the price, which of course is the object of the game.
    • This is actually far less common now. The smaller products used in the pricing games are brand-name products, but these days about half of them are just given a generic description. And, on occasion, the show has stooped to using store-brand products (Target, Walgreens, etc.).
      • Rich Fields said that the prizes that get full descriptions were provided directly by the sponsor. Prizes with generic descriptions were purchased locally for use on the show (although, prior to Rich becoming the permanent announcer, all products at least had their brand names announced on-camera). Still, in some cases (usually with designer products), even if they're unsponsored the brands are named anyway in the descriptions.
    • The 2012 Australian revival on Seven Network constantly plugged the department store chain Big W (think Wal Mart) — just about every prize was "provided" by Big W and every prop had their logo otherwise plastered on it, while games traditionally played for cash across the Pacific (Plinko, Wonderwall aka Punch-A-Bunch) were played for Big W "shopping sprees"
      • This, alongside the fact that it basically screamed No Budget in comparison to previous Aussie versions of Price (which had the audacity to give a condo away as a prize with their Nintendo Hard Showcase format. The aforementioned Big W shopping sprees were worth $3,000, and all other pricing game prizes were less than $2,000 in value) and even its lead-out Deal or No Deal, resulted in a quick and painless death. The only thing that saved it from being a total write-off was the fact that popular host Larry Emdur was still there ... except for the fact that he got paired with a young bloke named Brodie Young as his Totally Radical Large Ham Announcer. Think what Price would be like if Bob Barker hosted, but had Pauly D as an announcer. It just didn't work.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • A couple of years into Drew Carey's run, many of the games went missing without explanation or being confirmed as retired. All but Credit Card have trickled back into the rotation.
    • Bargain Game finally returned from its bus trip (with the name change and a redesigned set) on April 10, 2012, almost three and a half years after its last playing. Check Game came back on June 20, 2013 after four years with an updated prop (retrofitted with a new sign and LCD screen to replace the eggcrates) but much less actual checkwriting.
    • Card Game made its return on May 14, 2014 after a two-year hiatus, with a snazzy new LCD screen and the game is now played near Contestant's Row.
    • Time is Money, meanwhile, made its triumphant return after a staggering ten years, with its rules and set design completely overhauled.
    • Double Prices on the Israeli version, quite literally.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: Some of the music cues have been actual songs. Most notably, the Cliff Hangers music is an actual yodeling song ("On the Franches Mountains") by a Swiss group called the Jura Orchestra, and the theme from The Pink Panther was formerly used in Safe Crackers.
    • In the early 1980s, the original version of the Star Trek The Motion Picture and a disco version of Close Encounters of the Third Kind would be featured in the "Time Capsule" Showcases.
    • The 1956-61 theme "Sixth Finger Tune", which was used in a show called "Six Fingers For A Five-Fingered Glove".
    • The "Dr John Berret Clappinger" showcase mentioned above (see April Fools' Day) featured an instrumental version of the song "The Lees of Virginia" from the Broadway Show and Movie 1776.
  • Rearrange the Song: Every now and then, with the main theme getting quite a few remixes for prize plugs. note 
    • The prize cue that was used for Temptation's third prize, grocery plugs in the Barker years, and the "Come On Down" music are both part of a cue known as "Walking".
    • A now-retired new-car cue was rearranged to become the Theme Tune for Family Feud. The last bar of this theme soon returned as an introductory sting for the first playing of Plinko, then in 1980 as the opening sting for Grand Game. Then Trivia Trap (1983-84) used the same snippet as a fanfare. And then Feud retired that theme in 1994, but brought it back in the mid-2000s.
    • The show's main theme used a different orchestration for the Davidson version.
    • This cue was used from 1972-76 when contestants after the first four came on down. The same tune is also used as a Showcase cue, albeit with a synth arrangement.
    • On the episode commemorating Bob Barker's 90th birthday, nonetheless, the classic prize cue "The Big Banana" was revived in a remixed form.
  • Recycled Soundtrack:
    • The Bob Cobert theme used from 1961-65 (titled either "A Gift For Giving" or "Window Shopping", depending on who you ask) would be used on two NBC games afterward — Snap Judgment (1967) and You're Putting Me On (1969). The Best Of TV Quiz And Game Show Themes CD is missing the first quarter of the theme.
    • The theme to The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour became a prize cue not long after that show ended, most notably as the intro cue for SuperBall!! It's now used as a new-car cue.
    • A remix of the Celebrity Charades theme was used as the Switcheroo "think cue" on Tom Kennedy's nighttime version.
    • It's believed that at least one Showcase used the Jack Narz Concentration theme.
    • Some prize cues from the original series were also used on an obscure Goodson-Todman game for ABC in 1961, Number Please. One prize cue was used on To Tell the Truth for their ticket plug after both shows had their themes and music rescored by Bob Cobert.
    • The British version used the Doug Davidson version's remix of the main theme.
    • The Family Feud theme, as mentioned above, has really gotten around.
    • An April Fool's Day episode used the Match Game think music in Cover Up as a gag. Incidentally, a pilot for the 1990's version with Bert Convy actually re-used the Cover Up think music for the Head-to-Head Match, taking it full circle.
    • The former music package of WCBS-2 in New York (CBS's flagship station), titled Grandeur and used from 2000-2001 (and also composed by Edd Kalehoff), has been reused in recent years, like during the "Boguslovania" Showcase on April Fools' 2008.
  • Repeat After Me: Occurred during a playing of ½ Off on a 2008 MDS.
    Drew: Say "Alakazam!"; lift up the lid. Ready? One, two, three...
    Contestant: Alakazam lift up the lid!
  • Retraux: During Barker's run, Price maintained an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" attitude in regards to its production: the only significant change to its set was the "rainbow" color scheme introduced in 1975 (earth-tone sets were slowly falling out of favor), with all other changes being progressive tweaks and refurbishments, such as the updated doors, and the infamous Hollywood Mural turntable walls (which were probably just as tacky as the aforementioned Purple Wheel. Unsurprisingly, both changes were forced on the show by Syd Vinnedge). Even into the 1990's, pricing games still used manual props or legacy electronics (such as eggcrate, sportstype, and vane displays; some European versions used CRT monitors instead), and they never used computerized graphics until 1996 (when the credits, and later the "light box" from the intro, were finally switched to CGI versions).
    • Price finally began to modernize its production upon the arrival of Drew Carey; an entirely new set was built (which still maintained a similar layout to the original, however), and began to use LCD displays within new and refurbished games (such as Any Number, Plinko, Bonus Game, and Grand Game), along with the current Contestant's Row and Showcase podia. However, these moves have afflicted Price with a Schizo Tech vibe, given that these modern, computerized props are still being used alongside those which use the aforementioned trilons and eggcrates.
  • Running Gag: Does ANYBODY know how to play Check Game?
    • "We can't start [Range Game] again for 37 hours." (For Barker's last few seasons, cue Laugh Track here.)
    • The giant $25,000 bill prop used in the Punch-a-Bunch reveal has silly photos of Drew on it.
    • Whenever Grocery Game is played, Drew usually claims the model operating the cash register had been discovered working as an actual grocery cashier. In recent episodes, the items have all had some type of theme.
    • Whenever Switch? is played, if the contestant chooses to switch the prices, Drew and the models jokingly act like carrying the pricetags across each other's paths is a challenging feat of navigation. Taken that one step further in the 2013 April Fools' Day episode, where inexperienced models Drew Carey and George Gray fell over each other.
    • Near the end of Season 41, Drew began developing a hatred for the "wrong" numbers on the bottom row in Cover Up, since he felt they were useless because they had no real bearing on how the game is played. The producers decided to then replace the numbers with different pictures of Drew without telling him, catching him off-guard...and then decided to do that kind of thing for every playing, including random symbols such as elements from the periodic table and the Greek alphabet (the latter spelling out "PRICE"), and bars of notes from the theme music.
    • Drew has sometimes joked that the "closest without going over" aspect is a new rule.
    • During the all-Plinko special (September 27, 2013), Drew constantly joked that he "[hoped] you're not a fan of (insert mundane quick game here)". Some fans were...not amused, especially given the execution of said special.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: On two occasions, the beeper on the Big Wheel malfunctioned. Rather than stop down to repair it, the audience made the beeping sounds as the wheel spun.
  • Scandalgate: The scandals involving Barker, Dian Parkinson, and other models fired after Dian became known as "Modelgate".
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: The reason Holly was booted out of the show...but thanks to contractual tricks, she didn't make that much money anyways.
  • She Who Must Not Be Seen: The "Almighty Sound Effects Lady" whenever a contestant plays the One Away game. Said lady is never seen or heard. Technically, the show can drop the gimmick of the contestant trying to appease the sound effects lady and nothing would change, but the gimmick is used just for dramatic effect. And then the lady, Hope, left the show in 2013.
  • Shoulders-Up Nudity: For about five or six years in the late 1980s through circa late 1992, one of Barker's recurring gags implied that a Barker's Beauty was stark naked inside a sauna, hot tub or — sometimes, a car or boat. The model was, of course, wearing a strapless bikini top or, in the very least, a Modesty Towel, but was posing in a way that only the bare shoulders could be seen above the edge of the hot tub, sauna window, top of the car door edge, etc., and Barker played it up to titillate the audience. Eventually, there were a few complaints, but the gag's fate came after his affair with Barker's Beauty Dian Parkinson blew up in the press and, after leaving the show, filed a sexual harassment claim against him.
    • Modesty Towel: Like most game shows with merchandise prizes since the late 1960s (Wheel of Fortune being a notable exception), Price often had its models (or during the Barker-era, Barker's Beauties) posing in modesty towels while modeling such prizes as saunas, hot tubs and so forth.
  • Shout-Out: Tons, including a Match Game Showcase.
    • Bob's "37 hours" joke in Range Game was changed to "48 hours" on primetime specials. If you don't know why that's here, you probably don't watch CBS on Saturdays at 10:00 PM.
    • Many Showcases saluted famous and current movies, such as Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don't Come Back!) (taped May 7, 1980).
    • On a couple of 1986 Showcases regarding Martians, a knockoff version of the iconic Doctor Who theme was used during the prize descriptions.
    • April Fool's Day 2009, where the Match Game think music was played instead of the normal music, and the Match Game main theme played over the end credits.
    • In an April 2010 episode, as Money Game was being played for a van, Drew kept making references to the original Hollywood Squares panel as he uncovered the cards.
    • In July 2011, Drew did radio commercials for an appearance of his hometown orchestra appearing at New York's Met. He wrapped it up by saying "And at $35 dollars apiece...the price is right."
    • Drew referred to a small prize shaped like a British phone booth as being shaped like a TARDIS in a Spring 2011 episode.
  • The Show Must Go On: On a show from February 1988, a huge storm in Los Angeles meant that nearly 2/3 of the audience was empty. They carried on with everyone seated in the middle section, and did their best not to film the other two sections of the audience.
    • On a January 2014 episode, a contestant injured her ankle during the Showcase Showdown and spent the rest of the episode in a chair. Drew assured viewers that she would be taken to the hospital as soon as taping was over.
  • Shown Their Work: After years of incorrect episode counts (to be fair, a lot of reschedulings and Out of Order airings occurred over time), the count was finally corrected both for Fingers' final episode (where it was mentioned that she was present for 6,618 episodes) and the 7,500th milestone episode.
  • Signing Off Catch Phrase: For years at the end of every episode, Bob Barker encouraged viewers to have their pets spayed or neutered. Drew Carey's still going with that.
  • Skeleton Key: Master Key's eponymous key, which unlocks all three prizes. The host typically has the contestant unlock the first prize, then the car; nowadays, while the contestant celebrates, Drew frequently unlocks the middle prize.
  • Space Clothes: Worn by the models as they opened the "Time Capsule" Showcases.
  • Spin-Off: There have been two major spin-offs of the current CBS version; first there was Doug Davidson's infamous syndicated flop The New Price is Right, which had a somewhat more modern and glitzy set (complete with a video wall), used a half-hour format with just three contestants per episode (who also went straight to their pricing game), the Showcase Showdown being a One Bid-style game which involved guessing the price of a product from an old commercial (although some episodes used the Big Wheel due to not having enough old clips), and a single-player Showcase which was essentially played like Range Game (the player chose the required range at random).
    • Then, there were the $1,000,000 Spectaculars; patterned off the primetime Military specials that Bob Barker organized following the September 11th attacks with influence from the recent fascination with primetime big money game shows, these episodes frequently gave away larger prizes, and added a chance to win $1,000,000 by getting a dollar on a bonus spin.
    • The Cullen version also had a spin-off in a way in the form of Say When!!, an Art James-hosted show produced by Goodson-Todman which essentially played like a multiplayer version of the modern Grocery Game. Of course, it's better known for a blooper where a commercial for Peter Pan peanut butter goes horribly wrong.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • The first prize offered in Clock Game was a clock.
    • The IUFB right before the debut of Range Game was a range.
    • In one episode, Rod announced the next IUFB was a man's chest. Bob interrupted, asking if he should take his shirt off so the contestants could get a better look at what they were bidding on.
    • The contestant who ran to the bathroom when she was called came on down afterwards and proceeded to bid...on a waterbed.
  • Take That: Bob was fond of doing this to the 1994-95 New Price Is Right. As it was airing in syndication, Bob mentioned several times on-air that confused fans had written in wondering if something had happened to the "old" series (see the Adaptation Displacement entry on the YMMV tab). In one such instance, Rod joined in reassuring viewers that "the real Price Is Right" was still very much alive and well on the air.
    • Right before the ticket plug in an early 1995 episode, Bob told the viewers "The Price Is Right will be on forever and ever and ever...regardless of what happens to that nighttime version!" Could count as a parting shot; by the time the episode aired the Davidson version had already gone off the air.
      • On another note, in an interview Barker gave shortly before his final episode, he was quoted calling the original models "disgusting".
  • Tempting Fate: On April 1, 2011, at the end of the second Showcase Showdown, Drew comments that nothing went wrong for once...after which a light fixture fell and the studio went dark. After an awkward pause, a test pattern popped up.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: The show's theme song has made appearances as a prize cue once in a while, most recently in a piano-based arrangement for certain prizes.
    • Notes from it also showed up as part of the aforementioned Cover Up running gag
  • Timed Mission: Bonkers, Clock Game, Race Game, Split Decision, Switcheroo, and Time Is Money have time limits for making attempts to win, often overlapping with Trial-and-Error Gameplay. Ten Chances originally had a 10-second timer for each guess, but this hasn't been enforced since around the mid-1980s. Range Game could be considered here, since it only goes in one direction and stops once the rangefinder hits the top of the scale.
    • On Cullen's show, if it appeared that a contestant was stalling, a five-second time limit was imposed. The five-second time was always imposed on one-bid games. Some bonus games used specified timeframes for the contestant to complete.
  • Title Drop: "All this can be yours, if the price is right."
    • "THAT'S TOO MUCH!!!"
  • The Show Must Go On: Even if the contestant doesn't get to pick a single rat in Rat Race, the race is carried out anyway.
  • The Un-Reveal: The April Fools' Day 2011 episode kept hyping up a "10,000th thing", which was...nothing.
  • Totally Radical: The Halloween 2011 show had the entire set, crew, music, and contestants decked out in 1970s outfits, including the slang. Even some of the prizes were made to emulate the 1970s look, and cues from the largely-discarded 1972, '74, and '76 music packages were used for the first time in quite a while. Fans quickly realized said cues were a cheap cop-out by Mike Richards — a Twitter question some weeks earlier asked if classic cues would be returning, to which he said yes. They were only used on this episode.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: As awesome as the theme song and the set are, you KNOW they both just scream 1970s (this is also averted in the sense that the show, and the set and the beloved theme song as well, has lasted way beyond the 1970s.)
  • Vanity License Plate:
    • "PRICE IS RIGHT" plates were used on cars offered and another kind is given to car winners.
    • During the Rod Roddy years, a frequent Showcase theme (e.g., "I LUV NY" might mean a trip to New York; "OUT BACK" might mean a trip to Australia).
  • Vocal Evolution:
    • To a slight extent, Johnny Olson had this in his later years. Although he didn't lose much enthusiasm, his voice became a little more slurred with old age; to be fair, the man never missed a taping (even when he was sick and throwing up in a nearby pail), and stayed with the show until shortly before he died at age 75.
    • In comparison, Rod Roddy became much less enthusiastic by the early 1990s, and his voice started cracking a great deal. However, this decline was likely due to cancer, as some of his energy returned in the early 2000s after his many cancer treatments.
    • On his earliest episodes (when he was auditioning for the spot after Rod's death), Rich Fields sounded like this — a decent enough mid-range voice with proper enthusiasm. Once he became the official announcer, his delivery jumped all over the place: sometimes he'd sound like the early episodes; sometimes he'd be low and mellow, as he was on Flamingo Fortune; sometimes, he'd be high and screechy and have No Indoor Voice, which ultimately became his default setting when Drew took over. However, when he did post-production work for a few Summer 2010 reruns, he reverted to the lower, mellower voice. He also used this lower delivery when he filled in on Wheel of Fortune in late 2010-early 2011, and kept it for Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza.
  • Voice Of Dramatic: All four announcers on the current version, to various extents.
  • Wardrobe Malfunction: One of the most famous televised instances of the trope occurred during a 1977 episode when Bob called for contestant Yolanda Bowsley to come on down. Yolanda happened to be wearing a tube top, which immediately slipped and exposed her breasts. Bob would memorably recount the event in an interview thusly:
    Barker: She came on down and they came on out.
    • Debra Wilson later performed a Parody of the incident on Mad TV.
  • Wild Samoan: Bob was infamously wary of any Samoan contestant, given their tendency to be jubilant if they won big. The most cited source of this comes from a 1980 episode where Pauline won $10,000 playing the Grand Game, and in her excitement proceeded to chase Barker – who, given his reaction, already sort of knew what he was in for – all over the stage.
  • Written-In Infirmity: Drew had to make several accommodations for a stretch of Season 37 episodes due to foot surgery. Most notably, he spent several episodes walking with a cane, and had the models carry him out on a prize at the top of the show. They also handled some of the pricing game props that he normally would.
    • And in Season 40, he spent several episodes in a sling after receiving shoulder surgery.
    • Bob Barker did this at least once in the late 1980s, hobbing around stage with a crutch. He blamed it on being hugged by (who else) a Samoan contestant.
    • Because the show's production staff didn't want to deal with the issue, often cited as a reason why Bill Cullen wasn't asked to host over the 1972 revival.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: Eazy az 1 2 3.
  • Younger and Hipper: Since Drew took over, the show seems to be moving more and more toward this. Many elements that had barely changed for most of Bob's tenure — the set, the props, the variety of prizes — have been modernized greatly in one way or another.

"This is Bob Barker, reminding you to help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered. Goodbye, everybody!"

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alternative title(s): The Price Is Right
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