Dark Secret: The premise of "Secret". Of course, being a comedy show, the secrets are always silly and ridiculous, like one of the characters wanting to make sperm bank ATMs.
A Date with Rosie Palms: One "Hoedown" about marriage ended with Ryan singing he's glad he's married, because it sure beats sitting around and pulling on his own penis.
In a deleted scene on the DVDs, Ryan lampshaded the fact that it's hard to do a "Hoedown" about puberty without mentioning masturbation.
"I like to pull my penis, I do it all the time..."
In a "World's Worst" about the worst person to share a lifeboat with, Drew said, "OK, lemme show you one more way I like to masturbate."
"I've been cheating on you WITH MY OTHER HAND!"
In the "affair hoedown," both Wayne and Drew mention masturbating
Wayne: "This affair has got me, its hold on me is mighty. No, it isn't with a woman, my affair is with Righty. Drew: "What I've discovered is an affair to remember, I'm thinking about Ms. June while I'm looking at Ms. November.
Alluded to in a post-commercial joke by Drew, when he said that they're doing massages over the internet now... except you have to use your own hands.
In one "Let's Make a Date", Greg's quirk was that he was Dr. Ruth. He told Wayne, "Always grab the penis!... With loooove!"
Wayne: On Monday: Meatloaf! On Tuesday: Steak! On Wednesday: Pork! On Thursday: Chicken! And Friday, it's the best day of all! 'Cause you get to have a little spaghetti, and two big meatballs- (laughs)
An occasional gag, most commonly with Ryan Stiles and/or Scenes From A Hat.
Drew: "Things not to do at a funeral..."
There is a whole round involving this.
Deadpan Snarker: Clive Anderson, host of the British version. Colin also tends to be one due to how he never breaks character, thus rarely even smiles at his jokes or others' when he performs, though like everyone else on the show, he's also a Large Ham on other occasions.
Deal with the Devil: During a "Weird Newscasters" where Ryan ventured into Hell, he went up to Drew Carey and said, "THIS is how you got two shows..."
Death Glare: Colin Mochrie, of all people, gives one to Ryan when he makes a Nazi Captain Hair joke at his expense.
Delayed Reaction: One character in "Superheroes" was named Delayed Reaction Man.
Deleted Scene: All of seasons 7 and 8 of the U.S. version are merely cobbled together from old footage not used in previous episodes. As the tapings can take 2-3 hours, it's easy to get a half hour of footage multiple times from them. That said, there are also deleted scenes and games on the season 1 DVD sets, which didn't appear in any proper episodes.
Parodied in-show with the game "Scenes Cut From a Movie".
Demoted to Extra: variation, semi-regular players from the UK version like Ron West and Jimmy Mulville would later be credited under staff.
Some fans would argue this occurred to Greg Proops on the US version, as he mostly only did straight-man roles like the bachelorette in Let's Make a Date, or the host for Party Quirks.
Description Porn: As the U.S. version went on, the "Let's Make a Date" and "Party Quirks" descriptions got longer and more elaborate. This was occasionally lampshaded, such as when Ryan looked at his watch partway through Drew reading Jeff the right answer, or when Greg actually looked at Wayne's quirk on the card (note Wayne's suggestion is a "smooth rap star blindfolded and handcuffed to the bed by his new girlfriend[,] gradually realizing the evening is going wrong", and Colin's is the equally long "deranged window dresser whose only friends are mannequins Ryan & Wayne who he has fun undressing & dressing after hours") after the game and said:
Greg: OH MY GOD! There's two paragraphs of text on this! Drew: They're all awfully detailed. Greg: This is the Bhagavad Gita, there's 50,000 chapters! (laughs) I didn't realize we were reading the whole Kabbalah.
It also got funny when the descriptions were read back to Drew, verbatim:
Drew: "Wayne, you are a Haitian man who's been unfaithful and is now the victim of a voodoo attack..." Wayne: (Angry Black Man on) "Why I gotta be the Haitian man who's been unfaithful and is now the victim of a voodoo attack?"
Deserted Island: In a "Weird Newscasters", Ryan played a man stranded on a deserted island.
Deus ex Machina: Most segments of Improbable Mission utilize this trope pretty heavily throughout. For instance, at the end of the infamous "Improbable Mission" with the cat, the burnoose that Ryan and Colin are supposed to be washing is accidentally set on fire and destroyed. There's a brief pause, and Colin says, "It's OK, I have an extra burnoose." and mimes pulling one out of his pocket.
Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: pay close attention, Josie Lawrence, Tony Slattery, Wayne Brady and even Colin Mochrie tend to have these moments.
Animal Porn. Colin has a DIJSTOL fail during a Greatest Hits skit, saying that they'll get back to the "animal porn" in just a moment, then makes it even worse by naming the porn.note "Mary Had A Little Lamb", if you must know. The sketch goes Off the Rails for a long moment as everyone except him falls apart laughing.
Ryan: He's so happy! "We're watching animal porn!"
From the new "Dating profiles" game in the 2013 revival:
Keegan-Michael Key: (lewd and dark face) "So, how big are your hips?" (Beat) Keegan-Michael Key: (breaking character) "Oh jeez that was- wha- I creep myself out..." (excuses himself)
From the same game, in the same episode:
Colin:(imitating a ventriloquist dummy) I think you're very attractive! And if you don't mind another guy with another guy... (realizes what he's about to say) up his ass...
Wayne:[wearing a hat with a rooster on it] My loving's so good it'll make your chicken run! [Collective Groan from the audience] Wayne: See, it's a movie!
There's a Weird Newscasters where Colin is a bad stand-up comic:
Colin: Well, it seems that all the fish are dying. Could this be an act of Cod? (laughs) We've been having bad weather lately; it's raining... cats and dogs! I stepped in a poodle! (laughs and slaps knees) It's like puddle, but spelled differently! I've got 28 more minutes! Brad: Ha, ha. Sure is quiet in the newsroom, isn't it?
The Closed Captioning for the initial order of American episodes ruined all of the punchlines.
This sometimes occurred in "Props":
Wayne: (with a red two-pronged thing held over his head) Hahahaha, the dark one! ** In a playing of "Questionable Impressions", Jeff stuttered while he talked, and said, "I'm Jeff Goldblum, of course..." before continuing with his sentence.
Donut Mess with a Cop: Colin and Ryan mime eating donuts during the "Sound Effects" where they play cops. The audience members who provided their sound effects didn't make the appropriate chewing noises at first, which Colin and Ryan naturally called attention to.
One session of Hollywood Director even has Greg entering while yelling "DON'T MOVE! I have a sugar donut!"
Double Entendre: This was pretty much the entire point of the game "Hats"/"Dating Service Video", as well as "If You Know What I Mean". Example: A "Scenes From a Hat" suggestion was "Things that your waitress says to you that can be misconstrued as sexual".
Wayne: So who's got the big meat? Colin: The breasts are on special.
Any "Scenes from a Hat" suggestion that follows the syntax "Things you can say about _____ but not about your girlfriend." Here's a classic:
Colin: [for "Things you can say to your dog, but not your girlfriend"] Come!
Double Standard: Both played straight and for laughs at the same time; during an "Infomercial" about face lifts, Ryan made a couple bald and "big head" jokes about Colin, to which the audience laughed. Colin then proceeded to make a joke about the size of Ryan's nose, to which the audience reacted more with sympathy. After the game, Colin lampshaded this:
Colin: You notice all the melon jokes, the bald jokes, I make one nose joke, it's "OHHHH!"
In the episode with "Cosby and Hitler" rejected as a "Title Sequence" song, during "Scenes From a Hat", there were jokes made about inflatable breasts and Native Americans; Drew lampshaded how much of a double standard it was to be able to make fun of certain targets but not others.
Drew: I love that; let's make fun of the Native Americans, who gives a (shit) about them?
Drill Sergeant Nasty: Ryan, in the US version, twice on Weird Newscasters. Particularly memorable when he grabs three audience members to do pull-ups on the green-screen - the top of which got wrinkled and torn. The running gag for the show promptly became Ryan messing up the green screen.
Greg Proops: ONLY TWO THINGS COME FROM OKLAHOMA! STEERS AND OTHER STEERS THAT LIKE THEM!!! Brad Sherwood: I JUST WANT TO STAND HERE AND STARE AT MY PRIVATES!!!
Driven to Suicide: Ryan's character of Prince Charming in a "Weird Newscasters" skit hangs himself when he realizes that the glass slipper fits on Drew's foot. It even almost fit on an audience member's foot!
That was pretty much a running gag for Ryan.
Also happens in another "Weird Newscasters" where Wayne's character finds his girlfriend in the audience with another man. Distraught over her infidelity, he "jumps" to his death. Colin then makes the crack "This just in: Cheating girlfriends live longer than their boyfriends."
In one Hoedown, Ryan sings something along the lines of "It's hard to think of something with a little twist/ If we do another Hoedown, I'll slit my (fucking) wrists!"
Early-Bird Cameo: Before Tony Slattery's actual debut episode, he appeared as an audience member in the first episode after the pilot.
Early-Installment Weirdness: When it comes to the U.S. version's first season: Wayne absent in some episodes? Check. One-shot performers like Ian Gomez, Kathy Kinney, Patrick Bristow (in an unaired pilot which later aired as part of season 8), and Stephen Colbert? Check. Ryan still wearing short sleeve shirts and Greg still wearing vests? Check. No Linda Taylor or other back-up musicians? Check and mate.
In the first few episodes, Drew would introduce the show by saying, "Welcome to Whose Line Is It Anyway?, the show where everything's made up and the points don't matter." He'd pause, and then the audience would laugh. And he wouldn't say "That's right, the points are just like...", either.
Also, the first few episodes had a more hard-rock-inspired theme song.
As well as many of the first season episodes had no credit-reading skit; the credits would just roll over the performers standing and conversing on stage, while the theme song would play over their conversations.
On the U.K. side, the first season didn't feature Ryan Stiles, and Colin Mochrie didn't debut until season 3. "Authors" was a heavily-played game in the first few seasons, but was barely featured at all after season 3.
Edited for Syndication: The U.K. version is edited for time when broadcast in America, due to more commercials on most U.S. stations.
Averted in the 2013 revival with Layla Ali - she may well have been capable too, but nobody expected Wayne to goad Colin, COLIN of all people, into giving her the Bridal Carry - and pulling it off!.
Embarrassing Middle Name: "Scenes From a Hat": "Little-known facts about our host, Drew Carey": Ryan said: "What kind of a middle name is Allison?"
Which turned out to be an unintended Mythology Gag to the UK version:
Clive: (taking suggestions for "Singing Bartender") "...all right, Tony, you're angry about your middle name..."
Tony: "I am, actually. It's Declan."
Embarrassing Nickname: Colin got nicknamed "Mr. Moo" and "Colin Moochrie" after an "Improbable Mission" where he was milked.
Drew: He said he was sick of the bald jokes. Fine, Colin Moochrie, no more bald jokes.
And speaking of bald jokes, Colin was given the identity "Captain Hair" in "Superheroes" to save a world in crisis: NO MORE ROGAINE!
Ryan (after the game): Of course, you know what that is in German, right? Herr Hair!
In one episode, Drew accidentally announced that the next game would be the game they just played. Greg gave him an unflattering nickname:
Greg: Excuse me, Captain Alzheimer's? Go to the third card, Drew. Go to the third card.
Enforced Method Acting: Unavoidable, due to the improv nature of the show. Many of the reactions from the performers are unexpected. Just one of many examples: Colin seemed genuinely surprised when Ryan kissed him in the "Narrate" about The Maltese Burger.
You can usually spot one guy who isn't Colin get caught unawares during Colin's "crap" declarations in Hollywood Director.
Perhaps one of the best instances was when Chip jumped onto Ryan's back and Colin actually was yelling and wasn't just acting, since Ryan has a bad back.
Entendre Failure: Used in nearly every playing of "If You Know What I Mean", to subvert the formula in the rest of the game: One of the performers will deliver a double entendre followed by the trademark "If you know what I mean", and another performer will reply with, "No, I don't know what you mean."
Also worth noting: whenever this happens to Colin, he usually pantomimes taking a shot (no matter where the action is located; he once did this in a scene set inside a locker room).
Ephebophile: Drew pretends to be one on a couple occasions:
Drew: Hey, did you know that teenagers, if they're hugged every day, they have better confidence and will do better in school? So parents, if you see me hugging your teenage daughter, I'm only trying to help.
Drew: During the commercial break, did you hug your daughter? Because I did.
In another instance, Drew said, "I didn't touch your daughter. Quit calling me."
Yet another instance:
Drew: I hope you're enjoying this show with your whole family. Because I think your daughter is hot.
One of the first playings of Three Headed Broadway Singer has Drew momentarily forgetting the one-word-at-a-time rule ("And take me on a...!"), and it went downhill from there, to the extent that it gets brought up in a later ep.
In that later episode, David Hasselhoff turned this particular fail Up to Eleven by using multiple words at once several times without realizing his mistake.
Wayne: "It's not that I was uncomfortable singing to another guy but... his eyes are so dreamy..."
Every Episode Ending: The players reading the credits in the style of the host's choosing. The first season of the U.S. version doesn't feature this, though, nor does the TV-themed episode later in the run; instead, the cast sings happy birthday to Sid Caesar.
After announcing that the next game would be "African Chant" done by Wayne, Wayne stands up and says "Why I gotta do the African chant?"
Another game's set up was that Ryan would be a gas station attendant, another player would be a customer, and Wayne would be a thief come to rob the place, prompting him to ask, "Why I gotta be the thief?"
Drew: Y'know, maybe you should count your blessings; if this was NBC, you wouldn't even be on this show. (audience and Wayne laugh) Am I lyin'? If I'm lyin', call the co- OK, go ahead.
Also, during the Tapioca playing of "Greatest Hits," Ryan asks Colin what sound a Blackbird makes, and Wayne walks into the shot and gives them a Death Glare.
Exact Words: In a playing of "Let's Make a Date" where Ryan was a horse whisperer, Ryan involved Drew in the sketch, pretending that Drew was a horse and miming feeding him. After the game, this exchange occurred:
Drew: That's right: Ryan used to have two shows, before he called me a fat horse on national TV. Ryan: I don't think I used the words "fat horse."
Executive Meddling: During a playing of "Title Sequence", Drew asked for the names of two unlikely roommates; he took the suggestions Bill Cosby and Adolf Hitler. Almost instantly, a director came up to Drew and informed him that he had to use something else in place of Hitler. Drew reluctantly settled for "Bill Cosby and the Insurance Salesman". Amusingly, the remainder of the episode consisted of the cast mocking the director's decision by working in jabs about Hitler. In particular, Ryan's hoedown about directors (where he said the director of Whose Line "should sprout a moustache and move to Germany!") received a standing ovation.
Expansion Pack Past: Ryan's and Colin's pasts, as described in "Greatest Hits", are quite elaborate and often contradict each other (particularly their ages). Of course, this could be justified if they just happen to be playing new characters each time.
Exposition: In the "Hollywood Director" where Ryan played a hunky pool boy:
Ryan: (to Kathy Greenwood) Y'know, I was fired three weeks ago, but I still come and clean your pool.
Famous Last Words: During the "Weird Newscasters" where Ryan is about to die, Ryan sings a mock Hoedown and the last words of his character are: "...Before I do another, I'd rather be dead." Immediately after, he mimes having a heart attack.
Fan Disservice: the Newsflash games that involved a '50s "gentleman's club", and a little-known but official "fat women" beauty contest in Thailand.
Depending on who you ask, special guest Jayne Trcka was fan disservice, due to those bulging muscles.
Fanservice: To whoever seats the hot chicks behind Drew's shoulders just to keep the show interesting when the camera cuts away from the players: we're onto you.
Drew also often picks attractive women from the audience to be sung to by Wayne. If the woman is particularly hot, Ryan gets out of his seat to shake the woman's hand, even if he's not playing the game.
One episode features Hugh Hefner along with two Playboy Playmates as guests.
The Joanie Laurer (aka Chyna) episode certainly counts as fanservice as well, with Chyna wearing a knock off Wonder Woman outfit in her games. Another episode featured Neena and Veena the snake tamers/bellydancers, whose gyrating hips certainly were hypnotizing.
Certain playings of "Newsflash", such as one where Colin is in front of footage of bikini babes on the beach ("This is one of those stories where you're just getting in the way, Colin."), or, for the ladies (or gay guys), a stripping cop who strips down to his underwear.
Flipping the Bird: In the outtakes on the DVD, the performers (and Drew) repeatedly do this to the staff, but mostly to Keith Richmond.
Ryan gave Drew the finger (a response to Drew's How Many Fingers? remark) after the infamous "Party Quirks" where Ryan accidentally broke the neon light on Drew's desk with his head.
Force Feeding: Occurs quite often in "Helping Hands". Usually it's Colin who will insert some disgusting food combination into Ryan's mouth, but occasionally the other player will do so as well, such as the episode with Florence Henderson: She stuffed a LOT of meat loaf into Ryan's mouth.
Ryan: I had some [meat loaf] in my hair there! It was all the way down my throat!
Forceful Kiss: Joanie Laurer gave a really long kiss to both Colin and Ryan in "Dubbing". Colin's kiss was so long that Ryan looked at his watch during it.
Foregone Conclusion: Ryan ends a line with "scary" or "hairy" during Hoedown? He's going to rhyme it with "Drew Carey".
Foreign Cuss Word: On the US Whose Line, the players (well, more like Ryan) can get away with using the two-fingered "up yours" gesture without the censors blurring it. Like in thisTwo-Line Vocabulary.
Greg also managed to slip the Weird Newscaster name "Wink Wankley" past the US radar.
Foreign Remake: No, not the US version: there was also a recent Russian remake, titled "Ни бе ни ме нехило" (Ni be ni me nekhilo) note The title is composed of several extremely complex puns and as such is impossible to translate. The host was pretty bad and the cast choice was just stupid** Quartet I is an excellent comedy troupe, but scripted plays is what they are known for, they don't do improv, and they did a twofer mistake in remaking a show unknown to Russian viewers and aggravating those who know about it by not even giving credit. Oh and to add insult to injury they immediately started relying on guest stars. The aforementioned ensured that the show died painfully despite heavy hype, after lasting only four episodes.
Early 2000's there was a Dutch version as well. This one actually did pretty well, became it's channel's big name show, and put some (somewhat) obscure Dutch comedians into the spotlight who then went on to have extensive TV careers to this day. And it was called The Llama's. Why? Why indeed.
Four More Measures: Colin does this almost every time they play Hoedown in order to give himself more time to think.
Fourth Wall Greeting: Parodied during "Scenes From a Hat": One of the suggestions was tapes that don't fly off the shelves at Blockbuster. Wayne comes on stage, mimes that he's taking a shower (or rubbing lotion on; it's rather vague), and says, "Oh hi there. I'm Drew Carey."
Fridge Logic/Artistic License Logic - Always invoked and played for laughs, such as Colin somehow reporting from beyond the grave that rabid hamsters killed everyone in the US.invoked
There's also a "Party Quirks" where Ryan played a hillbilly and stated that in his spare time, he sleeps with his brother mother. Played for laughs, of course, but thinking about it: How does that work, exactly?
In a playing of "Sound Effects" with the theme of Star Wars, Colin mentioned that they're out of ammo. Ryan replied, "How can you be out of ammo in a laser guided ship?!"
From Bad to Worse: The premise of many "Sound Effects" scenes, where one calamity after another befalls the players.
Frothy Mugs of Water: Averted in some Helping Hands sketches, where Ryan is exposed to real alcohol; Bartender is a completely straight example.
The Fun in Funeral: The whole point of the game "Funeral". Also some suggestions in "Scenes From a Hat" and "Props" (with the latter featuring a recurring joke, "Today, we bury (insert big-breasted woman's name here)." when a breast-shaped prop is used).
Funny Afro: One "Questions With Wigs" featured Ryan entering the scene wearing a giant yellow afro, asking "What's happenin'?" in a surfer voice.
Another episode had Drew putting on a purple afro after a game. Ryan said Drew looked like Sideshow Bob with that afro on.
Funny Background Event: It's often just as amusing to watch the performers who aren't participating in the games, as they often are seen dying of laughter while watching the games. An example is the "Showstopping Number" where Colin's last two lines are gibberish; Greg can be seen laughing hard in his chair.
Wayne also leaped out of his chair to gawk at Ryan kissing Florence Henderson.
This can also apply to audience members as well; in the infamous Richard Simmons episode, check out one audience member laughing and clapping so hard that he can't stay seated.
And in the "Let's Make a Date" where Drew gave Greg the hint of "Who's the real famous looooove rooster from the '70s" and Greg responds to this in confusion, one audience member behind Drew is laughing so hard that his eyes are shut.
In the 2nd episode of the reboot, while they're playing Song Styles, Colin is in the background doing a dance that looks like a mashup of a gospel-type dance and jazz hands.
The preview for the Maggie Q episode has Ryan, Colin and Nyima Funk roped in to dance along behind Wayne for Song Styles - Colin suddenly goes into a Bob Fosse-inspired routine, then realises that Ryan and Nymia are doing something totally different, and hurriedly switches styles.
Funny Foreigner: In a playing of "Hollywood Director", Colin broke from his usual characterization by acting like an immigrated citizen. His first line in the scene was this:
Colin: J'know, when I first come to this country with nothing but a hammer and a powerful laxative, I thought, "I wouldn't have to deal with this crup!"
Gag Boobs: In "Props", whenever a prop is remotely similar to breasts, guess what it'll be used for?
Ryan: (breast-like props are on the floor, standing upright) Today, we bury (Pamela Sue Anderson / Madonna).
Gag Penis: From imaginary ones to actual ones thanks to some of the Props. Ryan loves making jokes about these.
Colin says he's hung the best, that I just can't see I've known him for a long time, and it cannot be He says he's got a big penis, but that's not a lock 'Cause I have to tell you right now: mine's tucked in my sock
One Scenes from a Hat was "How the naked Fridays policy worked out at your office":
Wayne: Limbo, anyone? (*buzz!*) Greg:(following something along the ground, looks up) Colin?! Colin:(waves) Hi. (*buzz!*) Ryan:(pressing imaginary button) My boss will see you now. Colin: Well, take your finger off my dick. (Ryan grabs the imaginary penis and wraps it over Colin's shoulder)
A playing of "Party Quirks" had Ryan as an activities leader of a nudist camp. He used his extra long imaginary penis for everything, from ringing the doorbell to using it as a sundial to using it as a jump rope to using it for the target in horseshoe throwing.
Genre Popularizer: While there have been sketch comedy shows on TV before Whose Line, none quite followed this show's format, so it stood out. Drew even lampshaded this in one episode:
Drew: Welcome back to "Whose Line is it Anyway", the show that the Emmys just don't have a category for.
Get Out: In a playing of "Action Replay" where Wayne and Kathy Greenwood played a couple having an argument:
Wayne: Y'know, five years of marriage to you... it's too much. Kathy: Then GET OUTTA HERE!!!
Getting Crap Past the Radar: Pretty much the whole point of If You Know What I Mean. Ironically, the crap that doesn't get past the radar has drawn some of the biggest laughs. (The fact that Whose Line was on ABC Family, a channel founded and co-owned by Pat Robertson, makes all this innuendo even funnier.)
Though that one refers to Brad saying "two-hundred pound snatch", which actually made it to air the first time and was bleeped out on all subsequent airings. The reason it made it to air is because a "snatch" is a legitimate name for a weightlifting exercise, which Brad helpfully mimes right after he says it.
From Scenes from a Hat, the recurring "Things you can say about X but not your girlfriend" suggestion, and some one-time ideas like "Things that sound dirty, but aren't", which the players went to town with.
One that has surprisingly never been censored initially has "Things you can say to your dog but not your girlfriend" and Colin stands forward, positions himself as though talking to a dog and says "Come!"
And he doesn't just SAY it, he makes the "C'mere" gesture with his hand.
"Nice genis." "You weren't out shooting any... male deer?"
During a playing of Film, TV & Theater Styles, the next style was "horror". Ryan looked at Kathy and said, "You mean you two aren't married? You whore.", playing up the fact that "whore" and "horror" sound so much alike if you don't enunciate. Amazingly, "whore" was left uncensored.
Perhaps because of this, a later playing of "Greatest Hits" had Drew heavily enunciate "Songs of Horror", to which Ryan and Colin exaggerated to the point of absurdity.
Colin: Are you saying that every song on this compilation has to do with hor-ror??
On at least one occasion, Drew was able to flip off Ryan, using his blazer as a cover.
Greg during a 'Scenes From a Hat' round for 'Anecdotes dogs would tell if they appeared on talk shows': "Yeah, I'm Drew Carey's dog. And, uh, you know, right around eleven o'clock he breaks out the peanut butter and I know what's comin'!" This one actually made it to air, surprisingly enough (assuming you get what it's referring to.)
This example, from a "Hollywood Director" where Ryan played a gas station attendant:
Ryan: Would you like me to fill 'er up? Kathy Greenwood: (impatiently) I've said yes to that question fifteen times! Ryan: How 'bout the car?
Global Ignorance: Colin and Ryan are less than thrilled to do a "Greatest Hits" about "Songs of Norway", because they apparently don't know much about the subject (Colin remarks: "We're screwed."). They lampshade this during the banter:
Ryan: Norway: A country far, far away! A country where many songs have been written about it! And the subjects, oh! They flow like water from the Norweigan... the area where the water flows! Colin: We've come up with 15,000 songs all about Norway. I bet you can't even come up with THREE. But we've come up with 15,000!
In another "Greatest Hits", the subject was Rome. There was this tidbit:
Ryan: We've assembled forty songs on thirty CDs, all about the city of Rome, "the city of love". Is it? Colin: It could be. Ryan: It is now!
Going Postal: During the one playing of "Survival Show", Wayne's character threatens to go postal on Ryan and Colin by miming taking out a shotgun after they refuse to sing along with him. Appropriately enough, the scene took place in a post office.
One "Let's Make a Date" had Colin as a disgruntled postal worker, which slowly descended into madness as he took out a 'gun' and held Wayne hostage.
"Doesn't matter, rain, sleet or snow, as long as YOU get what YOU WANT!!1"
In the "Changed Letter" where Gs replaced Ps, Colin randomly said, "Asseyez-vous" (roughly meaning "Sit here"), despite not being a French character or speaking any other French in the scene.
In the "Foreign Film Dub" with Sid Caesar, he's speaking fake Russian and slips in, "That's some borscht!"
Groin Attack: One "Weird Newscasters" had Ryan as someone who was hit in the crotch with a football.
During one "Let's Make A Date," Wayne's quirk involves him being handcuffed to Colin. In all the running around Colin has to do for his persona (a 40's gangster in a failed bank robbery), Wayne accidentally slams his crotch into a stool. This, and the face he makes, sets the audience off.
And there's a Newsflash where the footage was of skateboarders wiping out and landing on railings crotch-first.
One "Scenes From a Hat" suggestion was "refreshingly honest statements that could earn you a black eye." Brad told Ryan, "I want you to punch me hard in the eye.", to which Ryan instead mimed punching him in the crotch.
Gross Up Closeup: Attempted a few times in the old US show, but the 2013 revival makes sure to get a real good look at Ryan horking down pasta thanks to Colin in "Helping Hands".
Hair-Trigger Temper: Done in a few "Helping Hands". This example, where Ryan played an Italian deli owner, was done primarily so Colin could vigorously shake the soda in his hands:
Drew: Would you like some wine- Ryan: HEY! What's the matter with you? I gotta shake my fist in anger at you! Be quiet, I shake-a my fist in anger at you! Drew: No, have some chianti! Ryan: You be quiet, I tell ya, you be quiet! (shouts gibberish) Drew: Papa, why you gotta argue?? (Ryan opens the soda, and predictably it spurts all over Colin's hands)
A U.K. "Let's Make a Date" featured Ryan suffering some serious road rage. He began the scene only slightly peeved and quickly escalated to shouting at the top of his lungs for the stalled traffic to get moving.
In a "Helping Hands" where Ryan and Kathy Greenwood played newlyweds on their honeymoon, the two began the scene lovey-dubby, but then Kathy made a remark and Ryan frustratingly replied with, "Oh, it's startin' already, is it?!", only to be calmed back down by Kathy's next line.
Hands-On Approach: Performed by Ryan on Kathy Griffin during "Hollywood Director" when he played a "hunky golf pro".
Hand Signals: After the first song in the "Greatest Hits" about Paris, Ryan made a kissing motion with his hands:
Ryan: That means "I like it!" Colin: Also, I think it's a dirty word to a fish. (Ryan chuckles)
Hand Wave: Generally, the solutions to the problems in "Superheroes" are either glossed over entirely or given some sort of quick fix.
Done literally in a session of Sound Effects, with Colin and Ryan as Jedi pilots. Thanks to one lightsaber sound coming up too soon, Ryan mimes his own leg getting chopped off by accident. Guess how Colin rectifies it.
Hangover Sensitivity: The premise of the short-lived game "Really Bad Hangover". Probably due to being extremely similar to "Sound Effects", it was only played once.
Ryan: You know, I guess 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 showtunes. Colin: Nothin'! (begins to make a hand gesture but stops) Ryan: That's... sorry? Colin: No... yeah yeah, we love... Ryan: No no, you look like you've got something urgent to say! Colin: No, no we love showtunes. I'm married.
After a commercial break, Drew said, "And listen, for the thousands of you that have written in, no, Colin and Ryan are not a couple." Wayne is puzzled: "...Really??" Drew added: "A couple of what, that's what I'd like to know!" During "Greatest Hits":
Colin: As long as there's been doctors, there's been people singing about them.
Ryan: By the way, we're not a couple. (audience laughs)
Colin: (to Ryan, murmuring) ...When did that happen?
Headphones Equal Isolation: Done deliberately in "Action Replay" so that the second pair of performers (usually Ryan and Colin) don't know what the first performers did for a scene and have to make up their own. An amusing Running Gag is how Colin or Ryan often wince and say "Ow!" when they bring the headphones close to their ears, due to how loud the music coming out of them is.
Hearing Voices: One "World's Worst" about psychiatrists featured this:
Colin: (looks up) I was just gonna tell him. (pause) I know, I know!
A "Scenes From a Hat" featured the voices in Colin's head getting into an argument about who the little voice in his head was.
Here We Go Again: Occasionally happens if Drew accidentally says that the next game is the same game they just got done playing. The performers often pretend to start the entire scene again. One time, Colin and Ryan just pointed and laughed.
Heroic BSOD: A very, very, very minor version occurred in the "Hoedown" about body odor. Ryan, typically a pro at this game, was stumped and told the audience to go take a break while he thinks of what to sing. He then sat down while thinking and told Drew, "I'm phased out. I can't (bleep)ing think." Drew offered to sing his verses for him, and Ryan told him to stand behind him and sing, so he could mouth Drew's words.
Ryan appeared without Colin in earlier British episodes, and while a competent enough player alone, there was no hint of the hilarity they would achieve together.
Colin has only ever appeared in one episode without Ryan, which also happened to be his first appearance on the show.
On the female side, there's Laura Hall and Linda Taylor. Laura was used on every episode of Drew Carey's run, so naturally she and Linda got paired together very often. They also shared a square during a Whose Line-themed week of Hollywood Squares, and they're even doing an Ask Me Anything together on Reddit in September.
Hilarious Outtakes: Since the program tapes in four-hour blocks, they can edit some of the more flavorful ones out, but they will keep many of them (and even have special "Too Hot for Whose Line" episodes with some).
Surprisingly, one U.K. Hoedown about giving birth left in Greg's aborted first try, despite that his second try was much more successful.
Greg: You know, failing is one of the major parts of television.
Hint Dropping: Games of "Greatest Hits" usually feature Ryan trying to prompt Colin into guessing what the next music style will be. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it... doesn't, leading to instances like the one in which Ryan asked Colin what he likes to put on his chips:
Colin: Why, a little bit of paper. Ryan: Say the paper is a little bland, what would you put on it to spice it up? Colin: Salt. Ryan: ...sa. Salsa!
Hint dropping is also very common in "Moving People", since the people from the audience often neglect to move the characters' heads. This was particularly prominent in a playing where the style was The Lone Ranger and audience member Joe never moved Ryan's head until the very end. Of course, Ryan (whose head faced towards the ground) poked fun at this the whole time:
Ryan: (as Tonto) You know I will not look at anything besides this spot on ground! Ryan: Me hope it's not too far from spot on ground. Ryan: Look! Me block spot on ground with hand! Ryan: Me try to move head with own hand but won't help! Ryan: Some day, I hope to see world... Ryan: (hands moved) I imagine it's so beautiful over there!
For obvious reasons, heavily used in "Sound Effects" whenever the audience members provided sound effects.
Meta-example in the 2013 series - from the sneak preview based on 90210, The CW was apparently trying to pitch their other shows with it. What they got was one Take That after another.
In "Showstopping Number", Wayne would frequently make long, complicated sentences that would be difficult to set to music (ex: "I travel everywhere putting holes in things and choosing people to be my minions to go along with me and put holes in things!"), the logic being that Drew wouldn't buzz him to sing what he just said if he did that. This backfired on him once when his sentence of "itty bitty panty party partakes of the participations of the partisan committee" was buzzed. True to form, though, Wayne sung it brilliantly anyway.
Home Game: During a "Scenes From a Hat", Greg pretended to be a door-to-door salesman selling the home version of Whose Line is it Anyway?. No such game actually exists, however.
One game of Party Quirks starts with Chip as the host claiming to have this home game, "it came with an inflatable Drew doll!"
Probably because they thought no one would ever pay for something they could pretty much make at home for next-to-nothing. There are plenty of people who still have "Whose Line" parties today.
Hollywood California: The taping site for the last UK season and the American run. The cast takes full advantage by mentioning the LAPD, the traffic in the area, and the woefully bad Los Angeles Dodgers.
Unavoidable in "Film Dub", due to the players not seeing the footage beforehand. A few playings of "Film Dub" even featured Eastern films, such as one in the U.K. version where the scene was a barber shop... despite being set in a karate dojo.
Hostile Show Takeover: One of Ryan's more memorable "Weird Newscasters" quirks was that he was a mercenary on a mission to replace everyone on the show.
This trope was referenced in an "Infomercial" about going sober. Colin put a wind-up lighter in Ryan's mouth and Drew interrupted the sketch to warn them that it was a lighter and could set Ryan's mouth on fire. After Colin removed the lighter, Ryan guilt-tripped Colin: " Someone wants their own show."
How Many Fingers?: Said after the "Party Quirks" where Ryan broke the neon light on Drew's desk with his head. Ryan answered "four", and Drew said it was close enough. Then, Ryan asked the same question while giving Drew the finger.
Hulk Speak: One "Scenes from a Hat" suggestion was "If Tarzan had appeared in other shows". Two of Ryan's suggestions involved speaking in this manner:
Ryan: Me want boy go. (audience barely responds) It's a Survivor thing! Me want boy... (walks off stage with a look of disbelief)
Humans Are Bastards: During "Scenes From a Hat", one of the suggestions was "Things that make the audience boo". Ryan's example was miming pushing an old lady into oncoming traffic. While some boos were heard, there were also a lot of laughs and applause. Ryan seemed genuinely surprised at the mixed reaction.
Hypocritical Humor: During a playing of "Questionable Impressions", Wayne did impressions of Walter Brennan, Floyd the Barber, and Ed Wynn. Colin (as Peter Lorre) said, "Can't you do anyone from the last ten years?!" Like Peter Lorre (whose last film appearance was in 1964) is any more obscure than Walter Brennan, who actually acted longer than Lorre?
In the "Greatest Hits" about Rome, after Ryan gets confused by Colin's analogy about TV stars who later became recording artists:
Colin: You watched way too much television as a child. Ryan: Told ya. Colin: I know, Gilligan.
Impersonation Paradox: Ryan's John Wayne, which got more and more exaggerated the more he did it. Also Colin's Humphrey Bogart, where he added constant mouth twitches that I don't think Bogart did.
Anybody who imitated Jimmy Stewart exaggerated his Verbal Tic to the point where he stammered for a really long time before finishing the sentence normally. Jimmy Stewart may have had a slight stutter in the movies, but he was never this bad. Of course, this exaggeration is played for laughs:
Ryan: Now-now-now-now-now-now-now-now-now-now, wh-wh-wh-wh-wh-wh-wh-wh-wh-wh, why don't we build some sort of fire??
Incest Is Relative: In the Hoedown about family reunions, Colin claimed that he enjoyed them, as they gave him an opportunity to pick up chicks.
I Need a Freaking Drink: Noted actor Peter Cook appeared on an early episode of the UK version. Apparently, someone had taken him out for a drink to "loosen up," before the show began. He is quite clearly drunk throughout the episode. This didn't improve things.
It happens in a game of "Bartender", where Wayne's quirk is being in love with Chip. Cue him entering the bar and locking the door, looking over his shoulder at Chip in a suggestive manner.
Chip: I think I need the drink.
After the "Let's Make a Date" with Ryan's really long quirk: note "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."
Drew: Man, somebody's gotta make these things shorter. Ryan: (to off-screen stagehand) Can I get a scotch??
Ineffectual Death Threats: Drew has remarked more than once to Wayne and Ryan before "Weird Newscasters" that if they come near his desk to include him in a skit, he'll kill them. That didn't stop either from doing so anyway, though, such as in an episode when Ryan was a weatherman who used bodies as weather maps, and pointed to Drew's crotch, indicating to boaters that there was a "small craft warning".
Info Dump: More common in the earlier seasons of the show when the games had to be explained to the audience in greater detail because they were new back then. One particular instance of a long-winded explanation was at the start of "Number of Words", where Drew not only had to explain that each performer could only use a certain number of words, but had to explain the scene, and assign the number of words for each performer. After all that, he said, "Did you get all that? Because I'm not repeating it!"
Lampshaded in a later episode before the "Greatest Hits" about songs of Norway. Drew got the topic that the cast had to make songs about, and went into laborious detail about the concept of the game.
Drew: You guys are gonna make up names of songs, based on the suggest- the CD, songs of Norway, and then Wayne and Jeff- you're gonna pick a style of music, and Wayne and Jeff have to make up a song about it- Ryan: We've all played the game before, Drew.
In the Greatest Hits about "Songs of the Plumber", Colin apparently thought this about Ryan:
Ryan: You know, if you've got drains and pipes, you've probably had a plumber over at one time or not in your life (Colin looks confused at this line and begins to mock him by derisively mouthing his words), and we've assembled over six of the greatest songs, that's right, six songs on three CDs, I CAN SEE YOU OUT OF THE CORNER OF MY EYE! Colin: I'm sorry, you just explain things too long! Ryan: ...Six songs, three CDs. Colin: Was that so hard?! Ryan: (upset) GO AHEAD!
The opposite occurred in the "Greatest Hits" about cowboys:
Colin: From the early days of the old west... well, pretty much only then, we had cowboys. But they were such mythic figures that from countless eons afterwards, we've had music celebrating them doing what they did best: Being boys around cows. And other things! Ryan: They're songs about cowboys. (gives an annoyed look to Colin)
Innocent Innuendo: During a playing of "Hats", Wayne is wearing a taxi hat and tells the customer, "That'll be $12.50." The audience reacts like expected, and Wayne says, "For the TAXI CAB RIDE! You guys are horrible!"
While reading the description for a "Two Line Vocabulary", the audience giggled at Drew saying that the characters were seamen. Ryan replied, "Come on."
Insane Proprietor: Drew has more than once given points in the style of a proprietor who's overstocked on points and has to unload them.
Drew: Thousand points for everybody! Usually a thousand, but for you, 999! (Ryan looks surprised) 999! I'm giving the points away, only 999! I'm craaaazy!
Drew: (reading) "The secret double lives of Whose Line cast members." (Brad steps up) Brad: "I'm Colin Mochrie!" (starts poledancing and stripping) (Colin steps up as a spectator) Colin: "I'm Brad Sherwood!" (Brad slinks off the stage in shame and defeat as the audience explodes)
Insult Misfire: A variant, during a Greatest Hits about presidents, as Colin thought Ryan was talking about himself:
Colin: You know, a few years back, there was a new wave of music. And I was first to get my metaphorical surfboard and go on that new wave. Ryan: Ooh! That's a big word for a Canadian. Colin: Yeah. If you want, I can talk slower.
Intercourse with You: About half of the songs take this direction. It shold be noted that "Song Styles" and "Duets" didn't become like this until after it switched to picking audience members in UK season 10.
The Internet Is for Porn: During the "Greatest Hits" about "Songs of Hockey", Colin remarked: "And on this CD compilation, we have more hits than a porn website!"
Alluded to in a post-commercial joke by Drew: "I may not be the most downloaded, but I've downloaded the most."
Island Help Message: In a "Weird Newscasters", Ryan played a man stranded on a desert island, and mimed doing this when a plane came overhead. Amusingly, he first wrote "Hep" but then added an "L" in there.
One game of Props in the UK version involved a V-shaped prop, prompting Ryan to suggest spelling out "Very Much Help Is Needed" instead.
Is This Thing On?: During a game of "Hats", Greg had a bunny mask on and said, "I'm not into protection." The audience barely reacted, and Drew suggested he do it again because they probably didn't hear him. Greg then delivered a hilarious retort: "Oh could no one hear me? Maybe it's because of this (bleep)ing mask I'm wearing."
"Newsflash" frequently opens with the people who aren't going to be standing in front of the screen (so, usually the ones who aren't Colin) swapping off-colour jokes, discussing embarrassing personal problems, or flirting, before "realising" the camera is rolling.
It Doesn't Mean Anything: During a "Hollywood Director" where Ryan and Greg were rival bikers having a drag race, the theme switched to loving the feel of carpet on their skin. Wayne (who was playing Greg's boyfriend) crawled on top of Greg, who was lying down, and Greg wrapped one of his legs around Wayne before being buzzed out. After the game, Drew remarked how homoerotic Greg straddling Wayne was.
Wayne: It was for the scene, dude. Ryan: Hey Drew, what happens on the show stays on the show. Greg: Gee whiz, Drew, don't you remember my audition?
In another instance, after the Party Quirks where Ryan's nipples were hooked to Greg's hands, Wayne remarked, "Just four guys doin' improv, dude." Ryan: "That's all it is."
In a playing of "Greatest Hits", Colin mentions that Little Richard used to pronounce his name "Little Rishahrd".
In a "Hoedown", Ryan pronounced "creature" as "cre-cheer" in order to rhyme with the previous line's word ("fear") properly.
From a US Scenes from a Hat, where the scene was "Rejected themes for restaurants":
Josie: Hello, and welcome to Dead Cats, 109 recipes that you can do with your pussy! Drew: I don't know if they told you, but... in America, we can only get away with that if we pronounce it "pus-SAY".
During a Newsflash, Greg pronounced Colin's name as "Colen Moechrie".
In the famous "Whose Line" set at The Alamo, Colin said he'd rather be wrestling a "bar". Ryan: "A "bar"?" Colin: "A bear."
In the "Helping Hands" where Ryan played a Frenchman, he told Drew, "I am going to make you a crepe, or, in your language, "creep"."
In one "Greatest Hits", Colin said the next style was "boogie woogie".
Colin: You pronounce it "boojee woojee", don't you? Ryan: Yes. Colin: But it's "boogie woogie".