Absentee Actor: The fourth and seventh episodes (the latter episode unreleased as of this writing) of the 2013 series' second season didn't feature Ryan Stilesnote He was sick with the flu at the time of their taping. This was the first time Ryan has not been in an episode since the sixth UK season. Just let that sink in.
Of course, this now means that Colin Mochrie is the only cast member left who has been in every single US episode.
Accentuate the Negative: After a commercial break, Drew said: "I'm Drew Carey, reminding you to call your cable operator and complain. Nothing specific, just in general."
The "Greatest Hits" about retirement began with Ryan's character in a very negative mood:
Ryan: "Oh, why should we sell these, Colin?" Colin: "Hey!" Ryan: "When I hit 65, they're going to kick me out, and you'll be sitting here talking to a computer."
Ac CENT Upon The Wrong Syl LA Ble: For some reason in the "Improbable Mission" of washing a car, Ryan says "Isn't that one of those lime-os" instead of lim-o's for limousines.
Accidental Innuendo: Invoked. "Motown Group" had the unfortunate habit of every song beginning with "Do the ____". This would become an innuendo when the three performers playing the game would be grossed out by the name of the song, since it could have a double meaning to intercourse. (ex: "Do the Sewer Worker")
Adaptation Expansion: Every now and then, certain sessions of earlier games get popular enough to be turned into games in their own right. Film Noir in particular started as a Scene to Music with appropriately noir-ish music and Jim Sweeney and Steve Steen's epic performance. Hollywood Director is essentially a meta variant of Film TV Theater Styles, and the lesser-played late entries Doo-Wop and Boogie-Woogie Sisters came from Wayne and Chip's "They Shot My Paw" and Wayne and Brad's "Roulette of Love" from two different Greatest Hits.
Added Alliterative Appeal: In a "Showstopping Number" set in the Senate, Wayne said: "The Itty-Bitty-Panty Party Partakes of the Partisan Committee", which he then had to sing.
Aerith and Bob: Wayne's idea of space-themed stripper names: Galileo, Copernicus and... Tim.
Affectionate Nickname: Ryan and Colin sometimes call each other "Col" and "Ry", especially in "Greatest Hits".
The Alcoholic: Parodied, most often during "Greatest Hits", when Colin will say something odd and Ryan will ask if Colin is drinking again.
Example, from Songs of the Circus:
Colin: You know, we have more hits than you can shake a stick at. But, you know, don't shake a stick, because that would, uh, damage the CD, and you couldn't listen to it all that well. Because once you've shaken a stick at something, you can rarely get it to the way it was before. Ryan: ...You're drinking again, aren't you? Colin: Yeah, a little bit.
A Ryan example occurred in "Songs of the Chiropractor":
Ryan: ...And not just songs from here in America, but songs all, from all over the world. Almost missed a word there! Colin: (cheerfully) That's because you're drunk!
Wayne can get this role either deliberately (as "an old drunk who used to do the sports" in Weird Newscasters) or by accident (he was supposed to be mimicking a carousel horse in Living Scenery, but Colin assumed he was being a drunkard). Unfortunately he winds up sounding like Bill Cosby...
Many jokes about what exactly was in Drew's mug were made about this.
In one game of "Let's Make a Date": Colin plays a drunk and Greg Proops guessed he's his uncle Ted.
A playing of "Award Show" featured Ryan and Colin winning the award for obnoxious drunks.
Chances are, if Ryan's making up the name, the first name will be either Phil or Gary (Greg makes fun of this once during a UK credits reading), the last name either Phillips or Johnson, or, if he's playing Alphabet, "Xavier Hollander." (Rarer, but still present, was the female equivalent, Xaviera: Xaviera Hollander was the nom de plume of the author of Emmanuelle - the book which lead to the hugely successful 1970s Porn with Plot movies).
One of the funniest Home Shopping Channel games had Colin take advantage of this proclivity of Ryan's:
Ryan: It's four o'clock and it's... Colin: ...time to shop! Ryan: I'm Gary! Colin: And I'm Gary too!
All-Cheering All the Time: Parodied in a game of "Scenes from a Hat" on the American version: "Moments When Cheerleading is Inappropriate".
Greg Proops: Grandpa's dead! Gimme a D! Gimme an E! Gimme — Come on! Where's your enthusiasm? Ryan Stiles: Vasectomy! Vasectomy! Clip clip clip! Wayne Brady: Okay! Somebody's goin' to the 'lectric chair! Gonna fry! Gonna fry! Somebody's goin' to the 'lectric chair! Gonna — Come on! (makes buzzing sounds) Say what?! Come on! Come on!
In a "Hollywood Director" parodying The Hunchback of Notre Dame, one of the styles was cheerleaders and the performers cheered their lines.
All Gays Are Promiscuous: Played straight in a "Party Quirks" where Ryan played all the characters in a gay western. Every single character flirted with the host in some fashion.
Ryan: I think you've figured out by now that Colin and I like to take in a lot of theater. And there's nothing we like more than show tunes! Colin: (hesitating a bit) Nothing! Ryan: Nothing! That's... (takes notice of Colin's hesitation) Sorry? Colin: Nope! Ryan: No, you look like you've got something urgent to say... Colin: No, we love show tunes. (pointed tones) I'm married.
All Men Are Perverts: When an attractive and/or famous woman appears on the show, Ryan and Colin usually flirt with her and if they're playing Living Scenery, they'll spend the whole game finding suggestive poses to put her in. Wayne also sweet talks some of the female audience members during the Song Styles game.
Audience members brought on stage to participate/be the victim in a sketch are overwhelmingly attractive young women. Also, male performers who aren't even participating in the current game (usually Colin and/or Ryan) will often come forward and shake their hands.
Some of Drew's "The points don't matter" jokes also fall under this category; he compared the points to the part of the Victoria's Secret catalog where they sell the pants as well as foreplay for men.
Almost Kiss: Occurs a few times. One of the funniest ones was an outtake where Drew and Colin's lips almost met, but they stopped in the nick of time.
Alter Kocker: Kathy Greenwood does this perfectly whenever she plays old hags and crones.
Similarly, in a playing of "Weird Newscasters", Ryan had the quirk of "The Rise and Fall of a 1940s Boxer". Instead of imitating the sport of boxing, Ryan acted like a boxer dog.invoked
Likewise, in one British episode's "Film, TV & Theater Styles" game, "Japanese Noh Theatre" came up. One of the performers began energetically spoutingmock Japanese in the style of a samurai film; the other simply looked at him and said "No!" repeatedly.invoked
Also occasionally invoked in "Living Scenery" when the performers who are pretending to be certain things are interpreted differently by Ryan and Colin. An example in the "Living Scenery" with Whoopi Goldberg: Ryan and Colin were at a carnival and suddenly, Wayne hopped around on one foot, humming a carnival-esque tune. He was supposed to represent a carousel, but Colin remarked: "Hey look, it's Crazy Ted!"
Ambiguous Gender: During an "Award Show" about the best bitter divorce, Ryan brought a random man from the audience on-stage and said he brought his lawyer with him. Colin remarked that it won't do any good, because he's been sleeping with the lawyer. After Ryan allowed the man to return to his seat, Ryan mumbled to Colin under applause, "You're gonna be the woman?" Apparently, Ryan had started the scene with the intention that he was going to play the woman, but Colin turned the tables on him very quickly.
In the "Greatest Hits" about songs of marriage, one of the songs was "I'm the Groom" in the style of The Beach Boys. The first (and only) line of the song was Wayne's confused, "I'm gonna get married, I'm gonna find myself a guy..." Apparently, Wayne forgot that he was supposed to be a guy singing about marrying a girl, which immediately cracked him up when he realized it.
Brad: The band's had a little too much to drink!
One of the most famous "Party Quirks" was when this affected Colin's character: He played someone who was unsure of someone's gender and did tests to find out for sure. This involved a lot of poking, prodding, and patting.
Colin: "Then suddenly, he died." (Ryan (playing the doctor) mock-collapses) Colin: "Um, no, I meant..." *gets buzzed anyway*
After a "Party Quirks":
Greg: Was he (Colin) an anthropologist? Drew: No, he's (Ryan's) just a rat in a maze. Greg: No no, Colin. Colin: Aren't we all just "rats in a maze"? Greg: Man, that's deep.
In a "Film, TV & Theater Styles", Drew buzzed at a moment where both Kathy Greenwood and Ryan were in awkward poses. Drew told one of the two to just hold that position for a second (Kathy was holding her breasts, so you think he was talking to Kathy), and Ryan wanted clarification who Drew meant. Drew replied: "Both of ya."
Parodied here when Drew's pencil somehow flies out of his hands towards the players - it just hits the floor harmlessly, but Ryan fakes an Eye Scream while Wayne collapses "dead."
During a game of "What's in the Bag?" from the US revival, Ryan takes a spray can out of an audience member's bag and sprays it in Colin's direction in an attempt to make a bad breath joke...and that's how Ryan managed to mace himself.
Narrowly averted in one "World's Worst" session for "talent acts" - Jeff Davis folding all his fingers together, which looks like the sort of thing grade-school kids do to gross out their parents. So, yknow, he's clearly past the age for that.
Anachronism Stew: Frequently seen in "Film, TV & Theater Styles" and "Whose Line", as many of the scenes take place in the past, yet feature modern technology or references anyway.
Angrish: Frequently in games where Ryan plays a usurper who puts the moves on Colin's wife, Colin comes home and spouts angrish when he sees the two of them together. One time, it's played with: During his angrish rants, he interrupts himself to tell his wife, "Here, I got you something", then continues his angrish.
Evolving Credits: The big move to the US was indicated by swapping out the red background from the animated OP with a Hollywood skyline.
The OP evolved even before then. The first UK season featured John Sessions (the show's regular) prominently; the second season (in which he didn't appear nearly as often) removed the clips of him and had silhouettes performing the various games. Then it changes to the animated opening.
Anti-Humor: Occasionally occurs due to the improv format; one of the players will be going for a joke, while the other one won't take it in that direction. For example, in a playing of "Greatest Hits" about songs of Las Vegas, it looked like Ryan was going to do a joke about Drew Carey (he often does), but it never occurred:
Ryan: The money, the celebrities. Why, our own Drew Carey, is a frequent visitor here, to Las Vegas! (Drew smugly smiles, expecting a jab) Colin: That's right! Ryan: And I think one of my favorite... (pauses and looks at Colin) Colin: I was just agreeing, and looking perky!
Another example is in an "Irish Drinking Song", the theme being "Your first car". Greg sings a line about dating a girl named Macer; He was probably setting up an AMC Pacer joke with another singer hoping he'd rhyme Macer with Pacer. It never happened.
Also done deliberately during "Scenes from a Hat":
(Suggestion: What penguins are really thinking) Ryan: Geez, it's cold! (Suggestion: Things to say that will always start a fight) Ryan: Guys wanna fight?
Common in "Infomercial", when they find an item they have no idea what to do with: "Hey, what's that got to do with (topic)?" "Nothing!" *plonk*
In-universe, Colin claimed this was the case in a "Hollywood Director" when he changed the style to "insult comics".
Colin: Oh, you had the "insult" part down; the "comic" was gone!
Drew: You kids watching at home, remember, the less homework you do, and the closer you sit to the TV, the more points you get. (wide smile)
Drew: Trust me, kids: Your homework can wait. Don't need to be doin' homework when Whose Line is on. Skip it!
Drew: Welcome back to Whose Line is it Anyway?, the homework alternative!
One "Scenes From a Hat" suggestion was "Bad parental motivational speeches":
Ryan: A teacher?! A teacher?! Honey, prostitutes make twice that money!
Drew would also be an anti-role model to parents:
Drew: Thanks for watching, tonight, by the way. Because let's face it, you could be reading to your kids, but... (audience laughs) so, thanks for joining us for some laughs.
A helpful tip from Drew:
Drew: By the way, if you're planning a trip to Disney World this year, Disney World or Disneyland or California Adventure, you can say anything you want to the people working there, and they have to be nice to you.
Anything That Moves: In between games in one episode, Wayne randomly remarks: "Sometime tonight during the show, I'm humpin' someone in the audience. (audience cheers) That's all I know. That's all I know."
Are You Sure You Want to Do That?: Not said outright, but the meaning of the trope was definitely there. During a game of Greatest Hits, Drew asks the audience for a European city you would go to to have a good time, and gets back Paris and Amsterdam and has to make a decision.
Drew: "Paris...Amsterdam...umm...let's do uhh...P...Am...Amsterdam..." (Ryan, Colin, and Wayne all give Drew bemused, questioning looks) Ryan: "Ooookaay!" Drew: "...Let's do Paris."
Artistic License - Biology: Though it can be forgiven coming from a guest, Wilson Bethel taking Ryan's (actually Colin's) blood pressure by pumping the bladder and only holding the gauge is one thingnote The correct procedure involves a stethoscope as well, placed over a choice vein, and the one operating must pump the bladder to cut off blood flow, then releasing slowly, noting the gauge number when the pulse can be heard again in the stethoscope, then the second number when the pulse cannot be heard anymore,, but the numbers 140/260 are very unhealthy indeed.
Artistic License - Geography: One of the first occurrences of African Chant saw Wayne get up and walk off in mock-protest. After sharing a few laughs, Drew responded with...
Drew: Uh, Africa is a big country just by Madagascar... (Greg laughs loudly) Greg Proops: It's also a big CONTINENT if you're a geographer!
Josie's Greco-Roman Flub also counts. (To elaborate, it's a session of Questions Only meant to take place in Rome.)
Josie: Are you going to the Parthenon tonight? (Stephen fumbles and gets buzzed out) Stephen: (to Clive) Could you tell her the Parthenon's in Athens? (leaves, Ryan steps in) Josie: Is the Parthenon in Athens? Ryan: Would you like to buy a map?
She probably meant Pantheon, which is in Rome.
During a "Scenes From a Hat" about state mottos, Colin gave a suggestion about Miami. Drew immediately corrected him: "Miami's a city." Colin's response: "Florida: Not to be confused with Miami."
Artistic License - History: Done for laughs during a playing of "Greatest Hits" about "Songs of Rome": Ryan remarks that Rome's been around for about 100 years.
A really ridiculous one in the 2013 revival, a game of "What's in the Bag" that involves Wayne being examined by army doctors for physical fitness (no doubt inspired by Captain America: The First Avenger) - when suddenly the guys mention that they're already in the field. Take your time to figure that one out.
Artistic License - Physics: At the end of a barber shop-themed Narrate, Ryan traps Colin in one of the chairs, straps him in, and spins him to launch him out of the shop. Colin spins in the opposite direction, but catches himself a few seconds later and corrects himself.
If you watch Ryan's reaction to this, it is simply amazing.
Artistic License - Religion: In a playing of "Weird Newscasters," Brad plays a Fire-and-brimstone Southern evangelist saying that the passage of slaying the dragon is found in Leviticus 13. Said section is really about healing diseases.
Rabbis do not perform circumcisions, nor do they use a tool called a mohel to remove the foreskin ("mohel" is actually the name for a person who performs them). Of course, this mistake leads to Drew's hilarious impression of Jerry Lewis as a rabbi, so it's all good.
Artistic License - Statistics: Occasionally happens in "Number of Words"; for instance, in a scene from the U.S. version, Ryan Stiles, playing Rocky Balboa's coach Mick, said "Smack the meat, Rock! Smack it!" and "Hit the meat, Rock! Hit it!", even though his character was only allowed to say five words, not six. After the game, Drew Carey called attention to this, and Ryan replied, "With the exchange, it all works out."
Ascended Meme: In the second season of the revival, they reused a past Scenes from a Hat suggestion, "things you shouldn't do when stopped by the police". Before the recycled gags come up Wayne immediately goes up and says "I'm Wayne Brady,bitch!"
Asian Hooker Stereotype: Karen Maruyama plays a version of this during the "dating game" in one episode of the British version. "What would you do on our first date?"
Ask a Stupid Question...: A girl who worked at Hoagie Oagie was brought up to be sung to by Wayne. Drew asked her what her duties were at Hoagie Oagie:
Drew: Do you work behind the counter, in front of the counter? Katie: Behind the counter. Drew: Behind the counter, oh. Ryan: "In front of the counter". That would be a customer, Drew.
Ass Shove: Colin's last line of an "Irish Drinking Song" about getting mugged was "He put my stone back in my end!"
Chip: Now that is a good friend.
As the Good Book Says: In the "Remote Control" about chickens, Jeff (as a televangelist) tells the congregation to turn to "Chickemiah 2:3".
Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: The game of Sound Effects where Colin is Bosley and Ryan is one of Charlie's Angels according to Drew. THREE times Ryan calls Colin "Charlie", to be told every time "I'm Bosley!". And the "Song Styles" song about a dishwasher that turns into being about a clothes washer, but at least they realized the mistake before the song was over.
Audible Gleam: In a game of "Living Scenery", Wayne pretends to be Colin's reflection in the mirror. For extra effect, he says "bling" and uses his hand to represent light bouncing off of "Colin's reflection's" bald head.
Audience Participation: Half of the show's appeal comes from this. From merely taking suggestions, they've moved on to retool certain games (or make new ones) to involve audience members on stage, and then went one step further by doing it unannounced several times.
There are also the cases where the audience was Genre Savvy enough to cheer or whoop along in the style of whatever the actors where doing. One time Ryan called them out for it, for spoilering the answer of this "Newsflash".
Brad does a pretty good impression of Fred Schneider from The B-52s in "Greatest Hits".
Chip Esten is well known for his Snagglepuss impression.
Also Jeff Davis, who in his 9 appearances has imitated Christopher Walken at least 3 times.
Award Show: Besides the game named "Award Show", which is all about giving out fictitious awards, there have been a few other instances, such as Colin proclaiming he's a great director because he won a "Dougie" (a Canadian beaver), or saying that a song in "Greatest Hits" won "15 Tonys and a Jeff."
Awesomeness by Analysis: Ever wonder why Ryan never hosts the "Party Quirks" party? Apparently, he is able to guess anyone's quirk in thirty seconds, which is why so few of the ones taped with him ever make it to air.
Greg also was fairly good at guessing what the party quirks are, but more of his got onto the show because they often gave him extremely hard to guess ones.
Colin has been employing some of this during "Newsflash" and "Press Conference".
Baby Talk: One of the "Hats" suggestions of world's worst dating service video featured Ryan in a baby bonnet, who said, "Baby hungwy!"
An audience member was brought in to play a game where Colin has to animate "dead bodies" in a story. She not only did a fantastic job, she never broke character even when Colin accidently put her hand over Ryan's crotch.
In one "Let's Make a Date", Wayne is playing a teenage girl who decides to bring her friends onstage with her. Wayne grabs a random woman who immediately plays along and jumps into character with him, even going so far as to play along with Colin when he acts out his actions on Wayne and her.
Bad Bad Acting: Done when the cast has to imitate Baywatch during a scene. Or high school plays, for that matter.
Bad Date: The subject of a few games, like a Hollywood Director where Ryan and Kathy Greenwood were a 1950s couple making out: Ryan and Kathy started the scene pretending to have braces and their braces getting stuck while kissing.
Ryan: This is the worst date I've ever been on! Kathy: Oh stop it, Billy, I'm having an awful good time! Ryan: You might be, but I'll never date you again! You're not good enough for captain of the football team!
Bad Impressionists: Colin, during a Questionable Impressions game: (in his regular voice) "Do you have a table for a Craig T. Nelson?"
Also, Wayne Brady during Multiple Personalities, in the style of John Wayne: "Howdy, pilgrim. It appears that someone's... got a flat. (Ryan and Greg just stare at him, smiling) Got a flat!" It was so bad that Drew made mention of it after the game: "A thousand points to John Wayne Brady! Man of a thousand faces!"
Wayne Brady again when trying to imitate Woody Allen in Film, TV & Theater Styles. When the next style was "horror", Ryan remarked, "Oh my God, that was a horrible impression."
During a "Film, TV & Theater Styles", the next style was The Gong Show. Colin pretended to be Jaye P. Morgan, and when asked his opinion:
Colin: (faking a hoarse voice) I thought it... SUCKED. (beat) That's the best Jaye P. I do.
Ryan's impression of Jerry Lewis once prompted Brad (as Yogi Bear) to ask "Are you Carol Channing?". Ryan promptly switched voices and replied "Would you like me to be Carol Channing?".
In one Scenes From A Hat, Greg tricked Colin into having to a Scooby-Doo impression. After the laughing at the excruciatingly bad impression died down, Colin clarified that "Scooby's not one of mine".
In the 2013 revival, one game of "What's in the Bag" has Wayne as an alien lifeform... and he can't figure out what it should sound like, leading to something that sounds like either Woody Allen or Matthew Broderick.
Bald of Awesome: Colin's known as one of the best players on the show, if he's not teased for it.
By the 2013 version, Wayne had shaved his head. And the guest star on the first episode was Gary Anthony Williams, who is also bald. Of course, this was lampshaded.
Bank Robbery: One "Hollywood Director" featured this as its scene.
Ryan: You know, I was alive in the '60s, although I was a very young boy, but I used to listen to my parents listening to rhythm and blues, '60s rhythm and blues. My favorite. (Beat) Colin: I have nothing to add. Ryan: Okay.
Beats also occur in "Film Dub", and are largely unavoidable due to not knowing the film footage beforehand. An example, from a scene set in a lab:
Ryan: I wouldn't worry about it; they seem to be moving rather slowly. Greg: Mmmmmmmmm. (Beat; audience laughs) Ryan: You know, many years ago, when I worked in this lab...
Drew: Things you don't expect to find when you wake up in the morning. Wayne: (Pretending to wake up and looking over) Colin?! Colin: (Runs onto the stage and shouts at a retreating Wayne) Teach me to sing like you! Ryan: (Joining Colin onstage) What's his problem? Colin: I don't know.
Before the "Duet" where Wayne and Brad sang to Lassie the dog, Wayne remarked that Lassie looks so pretty. Drew agreed, then gave Wayne a smart aleck look. Wayne seemed annoyed that Drew took his comment in a sexual direction.
Drew: Whatever dude, I'm not judgin' you.
Jokes like this were actually more prevalent in the UK version, and not just from the UK players (Ryan's impression of a World's Worst "nature documentary", for example). One session of Hey You Down There even ended with Drew commenting "sheep jokes... that's why we're so popular in Scotland" (even though the actual joke was about running over a sheep instead).
A specific UK-version example: the game was the World's Worst Person to Defend You In Court.
Colin: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, it's not like the sheep was under-age!
"We're watching animal porn! Mary Had a Little Lamb will be right back..."
The Sex Hoedown on the UK version has a verse from Ryan regarding this.
In a playing of "Hats":
Ryan: (as The Wicked Witch of the West) I want to make love to you... you and your little dog!!
In a "World's Worst" about "worst things to say or do after making love":
Unintentional example from a scene where Ryan was playing Tarzan:
Ryan: Before you come, Tarzan only have animals. (audience starts laughing) Animals think Tarzan forget about them now! (starts to laugh) I mean as friends!
BFG: The "Director" segment of the episode of Robin Williams guest-starring. Wayne yanks out a giant... thing with mechanical noises each time he's called in to exterminate some rats. Even during Riverdance.
Justified in a session of Film TV Theater Styles — the style called out was Anime. Says it all, really.
Sound Effects sometimes involves Ryan calling out Colin and whoever's making sounds for him on having a pithy gunshot sound, then proceeding to one-up him with a supposedly bigger gun. It doesn't always pan out, of course.
Ryan: I just heard that Vegas just went broke / Apparently it's because of just one single bloke / They never thought that they'd ever see this day / but that's what happens when Drew Carey eats buffet!
In a "Foreign Film Dub":
Ryan: (translating for Drew) I love you, but I've had too many meatballs!
Bigger Is Better in Bed: A running joke with Ryan. Also the source of gags when Greg was "Viagra Man" in a Superheroes game.
Greg: Thank goodness the crisis has been averted. (poses) Now I've got a date with the Grand Canyon!
In a playing of "Scenes From a Hat", the suggestion was "How the naked Fridays policy worked out at your office", which was nothing but jokes about impossibly long dicks.
During a "Weird Newcasters", Greg insinuated that Colin's character (a streaker who bets he can get in every shot) had a small penis when he said: "And I wouldn't say that's an Italian sausage, more like a Vienna sausage."
In another "Weird Newscasters", Colin played a nudist. Ryan, playing a mobster, asked if Colin would use his erect (and apparently really long) penis as his weather pointer. Colin happily obliged.
Implied in one of the "Irish Drinking Song"s about Drew Carey:
Wayne: (singing) He has short hair and glasses... Drew: (singing) And... other things that aren't so short...
In a "Hoedown" ostensibly about drunk mothers, Ryan ignored the subject matter and, inspired by Colin's line "Oh by the way, Chip has a little penis", sang instead about penis length:
Ryan: Oh boy, this Hoedown is takin' mighty long / I am so siiick of this bloody song / Wayne sits there and he gets to rest, / His penis is large, that's why he's behind the desk!
Ryan: Oh, you can measure me, but you won't be throwing me back.
One Hoedown sees Colin Lampshade Hanging that everyone makes fun of him for being bald, but he says it's okay because he's the most well-hung. Ryan follows it up by claiming his penis is currently tucked into his sock.
Big "NO!": Said by Ryan in "Weird Newscasters" when he realized that the glass slipper fit on Drew's foot.
Bilingual Bonus: In one playing of "Foreign Film Dub", Jeff Davis spoke a bit of actual Spanish.
Wayne also does this regularly, it appears he knows at least a moderate amount of the language.
Similarly, Colin and his French. Which is spectacularly inverted during this session of Hollywood Director. "Just to give it that sort of... I don't know what." That phrase some of you may be thinking of is je ne sais quois, which means just that.
Both of the above are justified; French and English are the official languages in Canada, and Wayne grew up in Florida, where there is a big Hispanic community.
In one UK show with Stephen Fry he spoke an entire Questions Only scene set in Rome entirely in Latin.
In the revival series, Ryan is a French chef for one "Helping Hands", and we've come to expect Ryan's not-really-French by now - so imagine the surprise when special guest Padme Lakshmi actually speaks French.
In the "Hollywood Director" take on The Hunchback of Notre Dame above, Colin's mention of "Spanish gameshow" leads to Wayne going "Santuario! Santuario!" Which is of course Spanish for "sanctuary".
Bi the Way: Hints of this are usually peppered in Denny Siegel's performances, such as this line from Let's Make a Date:
Denny: Bachelor #1, when I wanna please a man... or a woman... or anything...
Wayne: Am I going to be the first one to die, like I always am?
Blatant Lies: In a "Let's Make a Date" where Wayne played a power-crazed state trooper:
Chip: What's the biggest lie you've ever told? Wayne: That you'll be out by six o'clock tomorrow mornin'.
Blessed with Suck: Quite a few of the "Superheroes" abilities could probably qualify as this, really. For example, Greg is briefly christened "Useless Man" by Clive before "Superheroes", though he's quickly given another superhero name which gives him more to work with.
Blunt "Yes": In the Infomercial about face lifts, Ryan put a metal object on Colin's face which came close to poking his eyes. After the game, Drew asked Colin if he was nervous when Ryan did that to him. Colin replied while smiling, "Yes."
After the "Dubbing" with Joanie Laurer where Ryan kissed Joanie:
Drew: Hey Ryan, were you spankin' yourself while you were kissing her? Ryan: Yes. (audience laughs) ...Doesn't everybody?
Colin: Throughout my life I used to laugh like this: hee hee hee! / Not so since I had some major surgery / It really went horrible, it realized all my fears / Because of that surgery, I now pee out my ears.
After a playing of Questions Only where one of Wayne's characters is an elderly man who removes his dentures before trying to kiss the other player, Drew says, "Thousand points to everybody but Wayne. Thanks for this: (mimics Wayne's "toothless mouth" expression that he used in the game) Thanks for that visual. I have enough trouble falling asleep at night."
Similarly, after a playing of "Living Scenery" where Ryan and Colin used Wayne and Kathy as towels, Drew remarked: "That drying-him-off thing was like, uh, just... I'm going to have trouble sleeping tonight."
During the "Let's Make a Date" where Ryan played the head of Colin's ex-wife sprouting from Colin's neck, Ryan pleaded, "Come home, baby! Nobody treats you like I do." and licked Colin's ear seductively. Drew buzzed multiple times while shouting "Whoa!", and when the audience applause died down, Drew remarked: "That picture's so nasty, they won't even post that on the Internet!"
The revival series came pretty close with this game of News Flash, but after that:
Ryan: I don't get the turtles - it must be like Ed Asner with Betty White or something... Greg: Try to sleep now in the audience!
Brand X: In this "Helping Hands", there's a box of Twinkies with the T painted over. Another one involved what Colin described out loud as "a tin of furniture polish with the brand name erased!"
Before a playing of "Superheroes", Drew got a suggestion from the audience that the world was out of Cheetos, but chose the suggestion of no more shaving cream instead, as he was worried about the brand name. True to form, Greg brought up Cheetos during the skit anyway.
Interestingly, another round of Superheroes had Brad get the name "Captain Morgan", a pretty blatant reference to the liquor.
An interesting variation: When Drew announced that Ryan and Colin would be doing a scene with Joanie Laurer, he remarked that you might know her better as her WWF name, Chyna. However, he instructed everybody not to call her "Chyna" again because he was concerned about WWF suing them. I guess there was a deal that he could say "Chyna" once for some brand recognition, but never again.
Ryan: I tell ya, Col', the excitement never stops. Colin: That's right, and the music never ends! And we've combined the two: The music that never ends, and the something that never stops, to... Music That Never Ends or Stops! And it's all about Vegas!
Drew: I'm Drew Carey. My turn-ons are big, crackling fires, romantic walks on the beach, and strippers.
Tends to show up in the "Quick Change" game, usually combined with Rule of Three, as in this example with Brad and Colin plotting to escape from a POW camp.
Brad: What food did you find for our escape plan?
Colin: I got some buns and some butter.
Colin: A can of soup.
Colin: ...Parts of a dog I found outside!
Breaking the Fourth Wall: During a playing of "Let's Make a Date", Ryan's quirk was the overly long "a witch who entices the beast to her magic sleeping stool and then must find his true love to break the spell and turn him into a prince". When Ryan was asked his first question and the quirk appeared on the screen, Ryan said:
Ryan: I'm just leaving a little time, so everyone can read the novel that is my suggestion.
In a playing of "Sound Effects" where Ryan and Colin were two soldiers escaping from a German P.O.W. camp, the audience members were a little too excited about providing sound effects, appropriate to the situation or not. After a few seconds of this, Colin said:
Colin: Let me just turn off the radio, and let's hope that only the sound effects that happen once we prompt them, will happen!
An unusual example occurred in the "Greatest Hits" about the president, where an audience member's reaction was worked into the scene. Ryan quizzed Colin: "If this person were alive today, I'd vote for him. Who do you think I'm talking about?" After an incorrect guess, Ryan clued him in: Jim Morrison. After saying Jim used to be with a little band called The Doors, a lone woman in the audience emitted a brief "Whoooooooo!!!" Ryan and Colin were mock puzzled as to what the noise was, until Ryan improvised that the "whoo" was actually an alarm sound effect: "Sorry, time's up; our free offer's ended!"
The "Helping Hands" game with Florence Henderson, where they dig up a photo of David Cassidy instead, and Florence complains that it's from "the wrong show!"
Ryan-as-Jan: "What 'show'? What do you mean 'show' mom? You think we just live our lives for a half hour every week?"
Breath Weapon: In the "Weird Newscasters" where Ryan was a mercenary wanting to replace everyone on the show, all Ryan had to do was breathe on Wayne after biting into an onion to kill him.
Brick Joke: In one episode, Drew used a tape player and a pre-taped message of himself giving points to the performers. While Drew was away from the desk during a break, Wayne grabbed the tape player and recorded himself saying "My ass." over and over. A "Helping Hands" was played, and afterwards Drew prepared to award points from his tape player... only to hear "My ass, my ass..."
In a game of "Irish Drinking Song" with the subject of getting mugged, Ryan finished the first verse, after a beat, with "A stone I passed!" It cracked the performers up enough to require two rounds of "Oh, hi-dee-di-dee-di-dee-di-dee-di-dee-di-dee-di" to get back on track. Then, in the final verse, Colin finishes with "He put my stone back in my end!" to much laughter and applause. See it here.
During a game of Newsflash, the scene shown was of a bodybuilding competition, and during the game, Ryan was making jokes about the female bodybuilders looking like men. After the game Drew said "I gotta say Ryan, some day, when you least expect it, a big body building chicks gonna leap out in front of you and kick your ass." to which Ryan respond in a scratchy voice "You made fun of me! You made fun of me!" 15 episodes later, Drew introduces special guest Jane Tricker, a female bodybuilder. Ryan immediately leaps out of his seat and goes to hide backstage.
In a playing of "Greatest Hits", Colin said, "The great thing about this CD is we have music from everywhere!", and proceeded to flail his arms wildly, presumably indicating that he's pointing to different parts of the world. Ryan asked: "Have you been working out?" Colin replied, "No, I'm a drummer!" and began to imitate Bill, who was previously sung to in "Duet" and who mimed drumming motions while Brad and Wayne sang to him. Then Ryan began to imitate audience member Debbie's minimal stretching from "Dubbing", which wasn't from the same episode but came from the same taping.
Then, in a "Hoedown" about doctors:
Ryan: I went to see my doctor, in his big white cape / He told me that I really need to get in shape / Boy, I really hate him, his words I despise / But I think that today, I'd better start to exercise!
In one episode, Brad and Wayne sung to Angela, a sign language interpreter. After the game, she taught the cast how to say "I'm sorry" in sign language. Later in the same episode, after Drew made a flub where he called Wayne and Brad "Wad", Wayne said, "You better say..." and made the sign language for "I'm sorry".
British Teeth: Played straight in a few "Scenes From a Hat" suggestions on the U.S. version, and with some Props on the same versions.
Broken Record: Occasionally, if audience members continue to shout suggestions even after Drew says he has one, he'll repeat the last suggestion over and over until they shut up.
Drew: Pro bowler. Pro bowler. Pro bowler. Jeez, what, am I talking to myself? Pro bowler.
Another "Greatest Hits" example:
Drew: Golf. Golf. GOLF! (shouts into microphone) GOLF!!!
Unrelated to the Drew examples, but in the "Greatest Hits" about beekeepers, one of the songs ended up going longer than Wayne anticipated, so he ended up singing that bees put pollen in their legs a few times before the song concluded. Colin lampshaded this after the song:
Colin: You know, some people think that song's repetitive, but I did learn that bees put pollen in their legs.
Buffy Speak: Unavoidable with the nature of the show. Colin of course is usually responsible.
Busby Berkeley Number: One "Song Styles" piece is Wayne and Chip doing a Busby Berkeley style number about kitchen sponges with Colin and Ryan doing back-up dancing. And once on "Weird Newscasters", Ryan had the quirk of delivering the weather in the style of a Busby Berkeley musical number, so he ends up doing a big dance about "sunny days ahead".
But I Digress: During a playing of "Greatest Hits", Colin mentions that the next artist is Jerry Van Dyke. Ryan interrupts and says, "I knew him when he was Jerry Van Lesbian, years and years ago. (audience laughs) But I digress."
Butt Monkey: Colin, who was the source of many bald jokes, although he was likely the most skilled performer (he almost never cracks up while in character). Lampshaded by Colin himself when he offered to be everyone's "Lightning Rod of Hate."
The UK version turned Josie Lawrence into this. Paul Merton and Tony Slattery, we're looking at you.
Happens literally to Wayne after his big secretnote He has a ticklish butt.came out...
The US version featured several jokes about Drew Carey's weight. Those jokes were usually done by Ryan, but other members of the cast got in on it from time to time - even Drew himself every now and then.
Drew also gets mocked for "sitting behind a desk and doing nothing."
Wayne: "Drew doesn't do a DAMN thing."
During the opening introductions, Ryan is always introduced last, and every performer has a joke told about them. As the jokes get played more and more at the actors' expense, Ryan thus gets the worst of it.
Call Back: Much of the humor overall comes from this, with the performers using lines or jokes from earlier in entirely different contexts. Examples:
Showstopping Number always, ALWAYS featured a call back to a previous incident during Ryan's song. Some examples:
Ryan: In case you forget, my name is Ryan! (regarding an audience member forgetting Ryan's name during "Sound Effects") Ryan: I crack up when I hear "tapioca"! (regarding Colin making Ryan laugh during "Greatest Hits" by answering a riddle with the nonsensical "tapioca") Ryan: I can't think straight since you grabbed my penis! (regarding a "Party Quirks" where Colin checks the sex of everybody else) Ryan: At least I can pronounce the name "Howard"! (regarding Wayne misspelling audience member Howard's name as "Horward" during "Song Styles") Ryan: Come on and fluff my Garfield! (regarding a catchphrase Colin created during "If You Know What I Mean") Ryan: We didn't get the suggestion, we almost didn't get the hint, because Drew almost choked on an altoid mint! (self-explanatory; see the Mood Whiplash entry on this page for the full story) Ryan: You probably don't understand. You're cerebral! (regarding Colin saying his comedy is cerebral after few got his joke in "Weird Newscasters")
Hoedown also frequently featured call backs to jokes from earlier in the episode. One such Hoedown, about magicians, addressed both Wayne being ticklish in "Party Quirks" and Colin accidentally pouring hot coffee on his hands in "Helping Hands".
In a "Greatest Hits" about beekeepers, Colin mentioned that eating flan is a great way to get rid of excess celluloid. This is a reference to an earlier playing of "Infomercial", where Ryan kept mixing up the words "celluloid" and "cellulite".
One suggestion in "Scenes From a Hat" was rejected names for bras, which returned the name "Milk Duds". Later, in a playing of "Party Quirks", Wayne (playing a tribal chief and his native interpreter) said to Kathy Greenwood: "In our country, we do not wear Milk Duds. You should let yours free."
In a "Party Quirks" where Wayne played King Kong, he accidentally lifted audience member Melissa's skirt, exposing her underwear. Later, in a "Hoedown" about cop shows, Ryan brought up the incident again:
Ryan: Sure you can watch them if you really want a scare, / Thursdays at eight you can see Melissa's underwear!
It was mentioned many times during that episode. Also, because this was early in the series they didn't have many varieties of scenes lined up yet, or established popular ones at least. What they did was to have them do not one, not two, but three Hoedowns. Ryan, though being good at Hoedowns, was obviously annoyed with this. He sang last in all three Hoedowns. No matter the subject, he went right back to the Melissa. On the last one, he ended his part by singing, and I paraphrase, "...screw it. Once more I have to mention Melissa's underwear!" Cue "Me-liss-a's. Un-der. WEEEAAARRR!"
The outtakes (seen on "The Best of Whose Line is it Anyway?" special) featured two other attempts by Ryan, and in each one he mentions Melissa's underwear, making it into a Running Gag.
Many "Scenes From A Hat" jokes go as far as using gags from mere moments before. For instance, Ryan says "I'm Spartacus!" as Carol Channing for "Movie Lines Performed by Carol Channing," and "Things You Don't Expect to Hear When You Put Your Ear to a Seashell".
In the episode which guest starred David Hasselhoff, Drew laughed at David's nasty habit of using more than one word at a time during Three-Headed Broadway Star. Ryan pointed out: "Remember your first time?", in reference to one of the first THBSs when he said, "And take me on a..."
In one episode, during a playing of "Award Show", Ryan and Colin mimed Mooning the audience; Wayne was about to join in, but hesitated because he told Brad that he had a G-string on. Drew caught wind of this and found it amusing; Wayne defended his undergarment and even gave the audience a peek at it. The next game was "Party Quirks" and Wayne's quirk was the South American version of The Jerry Springer Show. However, Wayne neglected to work in the "South American" portion of the quirk, just doing a generic Jerry Springer parody. When Drew called him out on it after the game, Wayne was embarrassed that he left it out. Then Ryan quipped, "Someone's thong is too tight!"
Much in the same vein as the "Showstopping Number" examples above, Colin's final line in one of the "Irish Drinking Song"s was "You can get poo from food!", a callback to an earlier joke in "Scenes From a Hat": "How does food become poo? I'll. Tell. Youuuu!"
This can go across decades some times - in the 2013 revival, Wayne and Jeff's tune "Oily Cheeks" for "Greatest Hits" was awfully reminiscent of their legendary number "Harley of Seville" back in the old show.
Colin shoved Wayne at least once in an old game of "Props" (Wayne wasTim on a crutch), but in 2013, Wayne tried to kick Colin over in "Props" but failed (because Colin put too much weight on his peg-leg to be toppled easily).
Also happened twice in the episode with Melanie Brown, a.k.a. Scary Spice. Ryan tried to resurrect the 'icehole' gag, and Wayne got to redo his singing strippogram routine, complete with the same music used.
An episode using leftover footage from the Robbbie Amell episode not only had the same callbacks from there, but re-introduced Ryan's "alimentary canal flossing" gag from an old "Home Shopping" game.
Calling Your Bathroom Breaks: In "Questionable Impressions", Wayne (as Scooby-Doo) said: "Ruh-roh, I have to use the bathroom." Also counts as an Epic Fail, since he was supposed to say a question. When buzzed: "Ruh-roh, I have to use the bathroom??"
In a UK "Scene to Rap" set at a zoo:
Colin: We can't have naked people running 'round like this, 'Scuse me, please, I gotta take a piss.
Celebrity guest stars would occasionally fill in the fourth spot on the US show.
Given how multiple episodes were filmed in one sitting, it's possible to see audience members familiar from one game in an entirely different episode. For example, Melissa (she of the infamous underwear) can be prominently seen prior to the game of Duet sung to Derek the Diesel Guy.
Camera Abuse: The cameras in this show get mugged, kissed, run circles around, and one has even been knocked over by a flying hat. Ryan Stiles regularly does this trope.
Inverted once where Ryan had a bullfight against the camera, and the camera won.
During one playing of "Hats", Colin came out holding a pumpkin and said, "This is my friend, Gord. (audience barely laughs) No, he's a great pumpkin. (almost silence) ...Aw, screw it." (audience laughs)
Also, during "Weird Newscasters", Colin's punny anchor name was "Noah Sheshavingmybaby". He said it really fast so the audience likely didn't realize that it was play on "Know her? She's having my baby". Drew called attention to the lack of audience response after the game, to hilarious results.
Drew: Hey Colin, what was your name at the top of that? Colin: Noah Sheshavingmybaby. Ryan: "Know her? She's having my-" Drew: Oh, know her, she's having- Colin: NOAH, NOAH, Sheshavingmybaby. Drew: Oh. I didn't get it at first. Colin: You weren't alone. (audience laughs) Drew: I hated to ask, but we were all wonderin'. Colin: You know, my stuff...a lot of it's cerebral. Drew: Yeah, the kind of cerebral you pour milk on. (tepid audience reaction) Oh, better than "Noah Sheshavingmybaby"!
In a game of 'Dating Service Video' Greg puts on a vaugely alien mask and says "I'm a Klingon by trade..." *almost no one laughs* "But when I'm not funny, I sit here with this *bleep*ing thing on my head! *much more laughter*
Camp Straight: If you weren't already aware that Greg Proops is married (to a woman), you would jump to the conclusion, based on some of his antics, that he's as gay as a day in May.
The Cast Showoff: Wayne was given a showcase game to display his musical talents (usually "Song Styles" or "Greatest Hits") in virtually every episode of the US version. This practice is actually Older Than They Think; Mike McShane got the same treatment during his run on the UK version (though his game was "Bartender"). Chip was also a regular in "Bartender" in the UK—it became "his" game when they moved to the US, until they dropped it—but he usually sang along with Wayne as well, especially in "Greatest Hits".
Casual Danger Dialog: Newsflash sometimes turns out like this, unless Colin goes for the "panicky-mortal-danger" approach.
In a "Whose Line" set in a gladiator arena, one of Colin's pre-written lines was "Give it a squeeze and check it's working!"
Ryan: ...I don't think you're aware of the fact that you could die out there today. This is no laughing matter. Colin: (meekly) Give it a squeeze, and check- Ryan: No.
Clive, on the U.K. version: (after listing off the performers that were on the show) "Richard Vranch on the piano, and me, Clive Anderson, saying good night. Good night." Additionally, reading the credits "in a style of my own choosing". It was such an iconic catchphrase that during a "Press Conference" where Colin had Clive's love child, one of the dead give-away hints was one of the performers asking if the child had been birthed in a style of his own choosing, to which Colin said, "It was done in the form of a Hoedown."
Colin was fond of this, turning one-shot punchlines into Running Gags.
"Where (...) the points don't matter; that's right, the points are like X."
Drew, on the U.S. version: "Welcome to Whose Line is it Anyway, the show where everything's made up and the points don't matter." Additionally, for a brief time, Drew remarked that a game would make a great party game to try if "there's no chicks or booze."
Another catch-phrase of Drew's: "And I'm your host, Drew Carey; come on down, let's have some fun!"
Eventually, the Info Dump that began the show was phased out, since viewers were fully aware of the show's format. This led to a quasi-catch phrase from Drew after his opening joke: "I got tons of jokes like that, but you don't wanna hear me..."/"But you don't want to listen to me yappin' all night..." and then would jump right into the first game.
In "Infomercial": "Hey! It's (insert #) o'clock and it's time to shop shop shop!"
Censor Box: In the U.S. version, a small censor box covered the performer's mouths if they said a stronger curse word, in addition to the auditory beep. This was presumably so you couldn't read their lips. Strangely, the censor box wasn't used in every instance, though.
There was also a censor box used in the "Party Quirks" when Colin checked everyone's crotch to see what sex they were. The censor box covered Colin's hand when it was touching their privates.
Also a censor box over Ryan's hand when he gave the finger to Drew after the "Party Quirks" where Ryan broke the neon light on Drew's desk.
A rare and very deliberate invoking occurred during a performance of Hollywood Director when Brad asked Ryan and Wayne "You guys wanna see my fingers turn blurry?" and proceeded to give them both the finger, which really was blurred out, rather than boxed. The censors got some occasional flack on Whose Line, but at least they were perceptive.
Christmas Episode: Both versions had one of these. The UK version had a 45-minute-long special with six contestants (Greg, Josie, Paul, Sandi, Tony, and Mike) complete with special promos. The US version was pretty much a normal episode, although it did have Brad and Wayne singing to Santa Claus and a reindeer.
This was lampshaded by Drew, when he flat out had to announce that it was a special Christmas episode (since the studio looked like it always does).
Cliché Storm: Invoked in a "Superheroes" where Colin played "Captain Cliche" and ONLY spoke in clichés. His first words? "Better late than never!"
The whole audience groaned when Brad called Colin Stephen Hawking in one "Party Quirks" (in actuality, Colin was playing a seal). (Note: Even some censors found it so insulting, they bleeped out "Stephen Hawking".)
Ryan: Y'know, Colin, an interesting fact is pizza was discovered- or made first, not discovered, 'cause then it would be under a rock or something- made first here in America, and not in Italy, as most people think. Colin: ...I knew that.
Confession Cam: Parodied during the one playing of "Survivor Show," where each contestant told the camera who they were voting off; the highlight was when Ryan voted for himself so he could leave the show.
The confession cam was also parodied during a "Film, TV & Theater Styles" where Wayne acted like a member of The Real World.
Confessional: Parodied in "World's Worst", the subject being "priest or rabbi":
Ryan: I understand; you've slept with three women. (whispering to somebody in the confessional booth) He slept with three women.
A game of Weird Newscasters had Colin getting this role:
Brad: "...and that's the evening news." (closes imaginary shutter)
The Confidant: A playing of "Let's Make a Date" featured Ryan acting out "Drew Carey: The Musical", which included making fun of his big glasses, big ass, and saying that he dated blow-up dolls. After the game, Drew awarded 1000 points to everyone except for Ryan, only for Ryan to reply:
Ryan: I thought I was rather kind... seeing as how I got a lot of stuff on ya. Drew: Yeah, so like I said, 1000 points to my good buddy, Ryan Stiles! (audience cheers)
Conjoined Twins: One "Let's Make a Date" featured Colin and Ryan as siamese twins, joined at the butt. Colin's quirk was that he wanted to be separate from Colin in his showbiz career, whereas Ryan was a stunt motorcyclist. As expected, the physical comedy resulting from this was gold.
Content Warnings: A few episodes of the U.S. version featured the tagline "Too Hot" branded next to the "Whose Line" logo, signaling that the upcoming episode would be slightly more racy and suggestive than usual. One such episode which featured the "Too Hot" logo was when Colin repeatedly touched everyone's crotch (including his own) in "Party Quirks".
Ryan: "A French accent?" Collin: (to Wayne) "Put on this plaid shirt..." Ryan: (Walks up to Drew's desk) "I am going to have to take your cards." (Drew looks completely lost) "ACTION!" (long pause as Drew is unable to function until Ryan returns the cards) Drew: ('reading' from cards) "Thank you, Ryan." (Ryan cracks up)
Cool Shades: The Hats game sometimes has these for variety. One time Brad and Wayne have to improv a Blues Brothers song, and get some shades to wear.
Corpsing: Generally the players try to keep a straight face during the skits, but sometimes they can't help but laugh. Some examples:
Ryan struggling to keep a straight face in a playing of "Improbable Mission" with Ryan and Colin doing the laundry. Colin repeatedly used a "cat" as a tool to aid this task, which Ryan found amusing.
During a playing of "Greatest Hits", Ryan quizzed Colin about what type of bird squawks the name of the next band. Colin, puzzled by the question, guessed an arctic tern. Ryan, equally puzzled, asked what kind of sound an arctic tern makes. After thinking for a second, Colin squawked: "Backstreet Boys!" Ryan lost it (as did the rest of the cast) note for the record, Ryan was actually talking about an owl.
Similarly, in another "Greatest Hits", Ryan asked Colin what he thought of when he hears "Ricky Ricardo and great cigars". Colin replied, "Tapioca". Ryan asked why, and Colin replied: "Well wasn't that his famous song? (singing) "Tapioca"! "Tapioca!"" Ryan tried desperately to stave off laughter and continue with the bit, but after two tries to finish his sentence, he broke down laughing for a good 30 seconds.
Yet another Greatest Hits, about lunch ladies, featured another classic Ryan moment. Colin began to speak, but coughed. Ryan failed to maintain his composure while Colin said: "Here's a tip for all you announcers at home: Swallow before you speak." After this, Ryan got it together until Colin announced the title of the next song, "Don't Want Your Milk". Watch Ryan in this moment; he's desperately trying to refrain from smiling/laughing while Colin speaks.
The game "Questionable Impressions" practically invites this trope, since the performers do such over-the-top (and occasionally, bad) impressions with the intent to crack up the opposing player. In one instance, Brad did an exaggerated, stutter-filled impression of Jimmy Stewart; Ryan knew he couldn't get through the scene without laughing and just let Brad have the "win".
In a playing of "Sound Effects" where Colin was Ryan's heavily pregnant wife, Colin mimed pushing the baby back inside himself to climb down a ladder comfortably. At this, Ryan cracked up (as did pretty much everyone in the studio save for Colin), and Ryan continued to laugh even while asking if Colin was all right after the climb.
The game of "Let's Make a Date", with Colin as someone "having secret affairs with Ryan and Wayne's shoes" and Ryan as "a comedian strapped to a bomb that counts down when the audience isn't laughing". Which leads to Colin pulling off one of Ryan's shoes when Ryan can't even move, much less avoid giggling.
During a playing of "If You Know What I Mean" about working out, Brad cracked up at his own double entendre, "Nothing like a 200 pound (snatch)note a weightlifting term, if you know what I mean!"
A playing of "Irish Drinking Song" went off the rails right from the start, when Drew mumbled a line, and Ryan mocked his mumble. Wayne, the next in order, was too busy laughing to come up with the next line, as was Drew. To make them laugh even harder, Colin shouted "MEOW!" as his line, which was a Running Gag from the same episode. It is perhaps the only time Laura Hall was laughing so hard that she faltered then stopped playing.
Another Irish Drinking Song about pregnancy almost went off the rails, when Colin managed another Running Gag. Wayne ended the song trying to stifle his laughter, and Greg and Ryan had to stop.
Colin is the master of causing this during Irish Drinking Song because of his dogged determination to finish the final chorus with enthusiasm.
Colin cracked up at his own blunder in a playing of "Changed Letter" where he started the game by flat out forgetting to not say the letter "B". See Epic Fail below for details.
Speaking of "Changed Letter", one playing had the contestants unable to say the letter "P"; they had to replace it with "G". Ryan began to crack up when Colin asked him if he'd like some "gog" to drink. This was exacerbated when Wayne added: "Soda gog and gickles??"
The cracking up started even earlier in the scene; when Ryan and Wayne entered the scene, Ryan asked, "Gerhaps we could join you?", but was instantly corrected by Brad, as he was supposed to say "gerhags". Ryan smiled wide as he corrected himself.
Kathy Greenwood has been known to break character and smile/laugh in certain scenes. An example is in a playing of "Helping Hands" where she played an impatient customer being checked out by a rude clerk. At one point, Colin's hands roamed a little too close to her chestal area, and she genuinely laughed at first, but then got back into character by being offended and accusing: "Hey what are you grabbing at?!"
In a "Showstopping Number" about accountants, Wayne (playing the boss) smirked at his own line: "Now normally, I'd fire someone for their impudence, but..."
In the "Greatest Hits" about songs of sci-fi, the second song ("Obi Wan Kenobi in the Flying Brown Robey", in the style of jitterbug) featured a moment when Colin tried to pick up Wayne for a dance move, but it ended up looking more like the two were humping. This caused Wayne to burst out laughing.
In this round of Three-Headed Broadway Star, Drew accidentally forgot the "one word at a time" rule, and almost completely fell apart laughing for the rest of the song. It got to the point where he could barely call out the cue to cut to a commercial break, prompting Ryan to do so instead.
This round of Dead Bodies, featuring Drew as the regular in the chair. Drew, playing a dead actor playing a lifeguard who just saved someone (and was doing a victory dance), can't stop laughing. And that is why Drew was rarely used in Dead Bodies.
Couch Gag: at the beginning of both series. Clive started out introducing the players and their showbiz origins, then got bored with that and switched to more original, thematic introductions, with a theme and usually a sting for the fourth one.
Clive: The greatest thing from America since sliced hamburgers, Mike McShane; and the most interesting Canadian after the maple leaf, Colin Mochrie; and the biggest thing in show business since Barnum and Bailey's tent pole, Ryan Stiles; and finally the most interesting thing to come out of Gunnersbury since the North Circular Road, Tony Slattery.
Drew introduced each episode's contestants by using slogans, figures of speech, or other popular phrases while replacing the last words of the phrase with the contestant's name.
Drew: If at first you don't succeed, try Greg Proops! If you can't stand the heat, get out of the Wayne Brady! If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say Colin Mochrie! And if you think you have problems, Ryan Stiles!
Ryan's habit of making a funny expression into the camera during the intro can be traced back to the last UK season. In the US version, all four of them will be making an odd face for their introduction.
Occasionally, Ryan will be facing backwards during the introductions.
Drew: The only difference between our cast and the cast of Friends is that the cast of Friends is richer, better looking, and more popular. Other than that, no difference at all.
Drew: And you know what, this is like a big hit show, just like Baywatch. You know the difference between this show and Baywatch? On this show, you get to say, "Hey, look at those set of wits."
Cowboy Bebop at His Computer: At the start of an episode, Drew pulled out a newspaper with the headline: "Colin Mochrie, pictured here, is the zany host of the clear, clever, and witty British game show, "Whose Line is it Anyway?" Colin gave a courtesy wave to applause, despite that he's not actually the host of the show. Drew then threatened, "Don't you ever pull that stuff on me again!"
Although not featured on the show, a British newspaper inaccurately (in order to rant at Cultural Translation and They Changed It, Now It Sucks) claimed that the US version of WLIIA would be an actual serious competitive panel game with real points, and Drew and Ryan would be regular team captains.
Occasionally the actors themselves get their pop culture references mixed up, which is understandable given the quick thinking of improv. Drew will sometimes correct them immediately or once the game is finished.
During a game of Press Conference, Brad made a Marvel joke meant to help Colin figure out he was Batman.
In one game of Greatest Hits, Ryan seemed to think Kid Rockwas a band (corrected on the spot by a clearly amused Drew).
Defied by Wayne in another Greatest Hits game where he was asked to perform an Ethel Merman-esque number called "Blofeld On My Mind", and did a pretty decent job despite having no idea who Blofeld was.
Critical Research Failure: Invoked during one "Greatest Hits" when Ryan said that one of his favorite bands was Kid Rock. Drew (and most of the audience) began laughing, and Ryan naively asked, "Am I saying something wrong here??" Drew threw him a bone: "It's just one guy."
Ryan: Of course it is! Y'know, one of my favorite bands is Kid Rock! He's just one man, but he's large!
Averted by Wayne during the "Greatest Hits" of international spies, who apparently wasn't well-versed in James Bond and lampshaded this: "Well I'm just chillin' / Blofeld, I'm assumin' he's a villain!" Yes, Wayne, Blofeld is a Bond villain.
In "Songs of the Motorcycle", Ryan was convinced Colin didn't know anything about them:
Ryan: For instance, this CD pack is loaded with songs of the motorcycle. Colin: Vrum-vrum-vrum-rum-rum-rum-rum-rum! That would be- Ryan: Apparently, Colin's never ridden one.
In a "Whose Line" parodying Beauty and the Beast, Drew didn't seem to realize that the heroine's name is Belle, not Beauty. Colin ran with this and said his name was Beauty Smith.
In the revival series, "Scenes from a Hat" brings up the suggestion "disturbing people to sit next to you in an airplane". Ryan chooses to act as the pilot. Of course most laymen would argue that these airplanes tend to have two pilots, so it's not really that unsafe, but after 9/11, the pilot cabin is often sealed from the rest of the plane for safety reasons.
Even Ryan can tell something is off when the icing bag is filled with custard instead, in one "Helping Hands".
Sadly Ryan scores another fail in a recent "Secret", when he forgets that Snow White really was the only one keeping house during the dwarves' working hours.
Crosscast Role: Due to the cast being all males most of the time, whenever a scene has a woman in it, Colin usually plays the woman. In fact, Colin often calls it before Drew even reads the cards.
Drew: Ryan is Noah, and Colin is- Colin: His wife? Drew: Mrs. Noah, yeah. Colin knows his role in every scene.
One scene had Colin playing a submarine captain.
Colin: Man or woman? Drew: It doesn't say. If I had to guess... woman.
When Drew was reading the description for a playing of "Number of Words" where Charlie's Angels was the theme, Colin mimed wiping sweat off his forehead when Drew announced he was playing Bosley and not one of the Angels.
Unfortunately for Colin, he wasn't so lucky in a "Sound Effects" with the theme of James Bond; he played a Bond girl.
Colin frequently plays a woman in a scene, but Wayne has done so many times as well, such as when he played the girlfriend of a guy getting a tattoo, or a mouthy college girl who's showering and getting ready for a date.
Kathy Greenwood: (off-stage) I was just about to call you. My frilly underwear's gone missing again! Ryan: I ain't wearin' it! Kathy Greenwood: Yeeeeeaaaaaaah right, you ain't wearin' it.
Curse Cut Short: During the "Changed Letter" when "F" replaced "B", Brad tried to goad Wayne into saying the word "buck". Before Wayne could finish his sentence, Colin interrupted simply with, "Yeah." The word was then avoided entirely by calling the male deer a STAG.
Wayne: I didn't say it.
Drew: Yeah, you didn't say...
Drew: (disappointed that he didn't say it) Right.
Done when the cast parodies Shaft: "He's one bad mutha-" "Shut yo mouth!"
In one "Showstopping Number", Wayne censored himself on his verse: "Without a hole, where would you be? / No place for EHHHHH!!! and no place for the pee!"
Inverted in episode 5x02 of the UK series. Greg mimes opening a space shuttle hatch to let a panicked, angry Ryan back inside. As soon as the hatch opens, Ryan says "—tard!"
Cut a Slice, Take the Rest: Done often in "Helping Hands", with Ryan (actually Colin) pouring out a glass for the other guy and then drinking straight from the bottle. He never finishes it, but it still counts.