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  • 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 on the British version. (Was only in two episodes of the American version (and only then in the old footage Season 8). (Until it was brought back in a revised version on the CW's new version of the show.)
  • 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.
    • Similarly, in a blind date Hoedown, Ryan's verse was:
    Ryan: I had a blind date, just the other night / The type of girl that really shouldn't be in the light / She wasn't really attractive, she was kind of bland / But she still beat the hell out of using my right hand!
    • 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." (although the censors have the sound off when he said "masturbate" you can read his lips)
    • "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!"
  • A Day in the Limelight: Linda Taylor, the guitarist usually backing Laura Hall, gets one game to herself when she plays incidental music in a game of "Dubbing" with Jack Osbourne that became an instant hit with the audience. And they only waited till the second revival season!
  • "Days of the Week" Song : Wayne's song to Lee the lunch lady was this:
    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)
  • Dead Guy Puppet:
    • 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 gives one to Ryan when he makes a Nazi Captain Hair joke at his expense.
  • A Degree in Useless: When the suggestion "strange things to read in school textbooks" came up in "Scenes from a Hat":
    Wayne: Trigonometry: will never be used in real life.
  • Delayed Reaction: One character in "Superheroes" was named Delayed Reaction Man.
  • 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.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Ryan, during a playing of "Greatest Hits":
    Ryan: I remember a protest song out of the '60s that I had on a record.. in the '60s.
    Colin: Wow! What kind of strange coincidence is that!
    • "... and is Whoopi Goldberg: Whoopi Goldberg!"
    • In a UK Hoedown about nightmares, Colin's first line was:
      Colin: Every night I go to sleep, I go to sleep each night...
    • In the Improbable Mission of going to the grocery store, Wayne tells Ryan and Colin on the tape, "you have a dangerous and perilous mission." Colin fake shocked goes "Dangerous and perilous!"
    • In a "Greatest Hits" about race car drivers:
      Colin: Oh, I love race cars and I love race car drivers; I love songs about race cars and race car driving!
    • A Drew example: "Let's go on to a game called "Film Dub", shall we, it's a game called... "Film Dub", okay?" Right before the game began, Greg teased him about it:
      Greg: What's this game called?
      Drew: "Film Dub".
    • Normally the writers didn't do this mistake much, but one "Weird Newscasters" description of Ryan's character starts with "a 15 year old teenager".
    • The "Millionaire Show" about 1930's gangsters has Ryan say he wants the money in small bills. Colin replies "You'll get it the way you get it and you'll get it that way."
    • In the "Greatest Hits" about "Songs of the Marine Corps":
      Colin: Folk music has been a part of my life, and in fact, a part of my blood. It's been a part of my life, my life's blood!
    • In "Press Conference" When Colin was Yogi Bear admitting he killed Boo Boo Bear. Brad asks "Don't you feel any remorse?", Wayne's not listening and the next question is him saying "Do you feel any remorse whatsoever?".
    • In the Greatest Hits about songs of horror, one of the songs was called "Devil, There's A Devil, Whoa Devil, Whoa, That's A Devil".
    • In the "Greatest Hits" about taxi drivers:
    Colin: Y'know, for as long as I can remember, I've had memories...
    • In "Weird Newscasters":
    Colin: An entire cult of dead killer bees were found dead. They are thought to have committed insecticide.
    Ryan: I'll spend the rest of my days alone, by myself.
    Colin: "Alone, by yourself??"
    • Colin again in one "Hollywood Director" in the second revival season:
    "Do it like you're demonically possessed! [Beat] By demons!"
  • 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 ) 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. And a game of "Let's Make A Date" has Ryan on a desert island. He thinks Colin's head is "Wilson" the volleyball from the movie "Cast Away".
  • 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 an EPIC Did I Just Say That Out Loud? 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  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...
    (cue Squick from Wayne, Corpsing from everyone else)
    Ryan: Good night everyone!
    Wayne: Check, check, yes!
  • Didn't See That Coming: On the 8/20/2013 episode, Ryan was playing the game "Helping Hands" with Colin as his hands. At the end of the scene, he took a drink from a prop tequila bottle. Turns out it was a real tequila bottle, with real tequila in it. He did a Spit Take across the table.
  • Didn't We Use This Joke Already?: Depending on the game, repeated suggestions may be rejected. Even so, there are four Blind Date hoedowns.
    • The joke, "Two thongs don't make a right" comes up a few times in the series. Drew even took points away from Ryan for using it in one game.
    • In the 2013 revival, the first session of "Let's Make a Date" had Colin as "a robot that recharges by kissing people", the exact same role given to Wayne in an old "Party Quirks".
    • The fourth episode with Gary Anthony Williams has Ryan again as the Drill Sergeant Nasty pulling people from the audience. At least this time he made sure to rub some R. Lee Ermey on it.
    • The first new "Secret" game even reused the Lone Ranger scenario, leading to Ryan reusing his old line from way back in the UK version!
    Ryan: "Oldest joke in book!"
    Colin: Yeah, I know...
    • Two Sound Effects games (the version with Ryan making sounds and Colin acting them out) has them both reusing a lot of the same gags. On a UK show, they do the scene with Colin as a cowboy entering a saloon. Later on the US series, they do a scene with "Sheriff Colin" entering a saloon and confronting an outlaw. They reuse the routine about sliding drinks down the bar. Another time, Colin acts out a scene as a newlywed husband on his honeymoon. Later on they do a scene with Colin as a a newlywed husband on his honeymoon- on the Titanic right before the ship strikes the iceberg. They reuse the bits where Colin prepares to get romantic with his wife. Given the difficulty of this game, it's hard to blame the guys for reusing successful material in a similar scene
  • Discriminate and Switch: Before a playing of "African Chant", Drew said that Wayne would be singing it, and the following exchange occurs:
    Wayne: Why I gotta do the African Chant?!
    Drew: Because Colin would just mess it up.
  • Disorganized Outline Speech:
    • During a playing of the Millionaire Show game, Greg Proops accidentally messes up when giving out the multiple choice answers:
      Greg: When you eat pig, it is called A: Pork, B: That farshtunken neighbor of mine, 3:... [Pause.] Sometimes I change from C to 3.
    • Another playing of the same game has Colin listing the choices under A, C, C and D. Ryan does not let this go without comment, including asking Wayne on the phone-a-friend, is the answer A, C, C, or D?
    • In yet another playing, Colin asks:
      A compact disc is also known as: A) AA, B) CD, D)...er...C) BC, D)......ddddddD
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In "Good Cop, Bad Cop", Colin (playing the bad cop) put Wayne in a dishwasher for a very trivial reason.
  • The Ditz: The contestant in "Let's Make a Date" is often (always?) portrayed as a ditz.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In the infamous "Living Scenery" with special guest Richard Simmons, Colin uses Richard as a jetski, which ends up looking a LOT like oral sex. Colin completes the gag by miming the lighting of a cigarette afterwards. To say the audience loses it is an understatement.
    • This trope is invoked too many times to count during the course of this show, particularly during "Living Scenery" (see above) and "Props".
  • Don't Explain the Joke:
    • During a game of Hats:
      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, I'm the dark one!
      (Colin just nods, and Wayne points at his horns)
      Colin: Oh! Devil!
    • In a playing of "Questionable Impressions", Jeff stuttered while he talked, and said, "I'm Jeff Goldblum, of course..." before continuing with his sentence.
    • The Doctor Hoedown had Drew say how he goes to the doctor a lot because the nurse has a nice butt. Then tries to say it some more because the audience didn't laugh much.
    • For the "World's Worst" neighbors:
      Drew: Oh, me? I'm a jackhammer tester.
      Audience: *tepid response*
      Drew: That'd be a bad guy to live next door to, huh? A jackhammer tester! 'Cuz then he'd be playing a jackhammer—he's gonna be with his jackhammer all *beep* day!
    • A game of "Props" in the revival season had Ryan going "they're not testicles!" over and over.
  • 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.
    • A game of "Superheroes" also had Ryan as "Drill Sergeant Boy".
    • A game of "Weird Newscasters" also has Wayne as a drill sergeant who pulls a man out of the audience to yell at him.
    • In a game called Reunion, Greg, Ryan and Colin are drill sergeants at a reunion, and Greg acts most like this trope.
      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: That was pretty much a running gag for Ryan. Example: 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.
    • 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!"
    • In another "Hoedown" about plastic surgery, Ryan sang that he thought of shooting himself because he looked like Drew.
  • Eagleland: The UK version played around with Flavor 2 for several games like "American Musical", "Rap", and, of course, "Hoedown".
  • Dude, Not Funny!: The game of "Props" had Wayne put a tube-like thing on the ground and pretend it was a well, and yelled down "Baby Jessica!". The audience didn't like that joke. Possibly a case of Crosses The Line Twice because of Colin's reaction to the audience's reaction.
  • Ear Worm: Many, many examples.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Before Tony Slattery's actual debut episode, he appeared as an audience member in the first episode after the pilot.
    • Likewise with Jonathan Mangum. Years before appearing in the CW revival, he appears as an audience member in a US season 2 episode. Specifically, the one where they do "Songs of Golf" for Greatest Hits.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: 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.
    • 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 talking on stage, while the theme song would play over their conversations.
    • Game-specific: The first few playings of "Irish Drinking Song" had a slightly slower tempo and were sung in a different key.
      • The first-ever Hoedown, from the UK version, was played in a different key and had no set melody.
    • In the original radio shows from 1988 the performers occasionally made jokes regarding dark subject matter, such as rape, suicide, and terrorist activity. Thankfully they stopped doing that by the time the show went to television.
  • Effortless Amazonian Lift: Jayne Trcka does it to Wayne. He embraces it.
    • Averted in the 2013 revival with Laila 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!
  • El Spanish O: A game of "Film, TV, and Theater Styles" with Wayne as a police officer has the style change to Spanish Soap Opera. Wayne pretends to point a gun at Ryan and says "freeze-o".
  • 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.
    • In a "Greatest Hits", Colin starts talking about Limp Bizkit, and says, "In fact, I remember that nickname... well anyway..."
  • Enforced Plug: A lot of the revival's guest stars are actors from other shows on The CW. Frankly, the network is less stable than most of its rivals, and it needs the boost.
  • 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.
    • Another example:
      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.
    • Aisha follows the tradition by mentioning the reason she watches The Vampire Diaries is to see teenagers take their clothes off.
  • Epic Fail:
    • 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.
      • Whoopi Goldberg made this mistake when she made her appearance.
    • "Wait, that's not Close Encounters..."
    • In another playing of "Film, TV & Theater Styles," the style was Three Stooges, but Ryan got mixed up and did an impression of Chico Marx instead.
      Drew: What Stooge was that?
      Ryan: I know, I know!
      Drew: That was Marx Bros.
      Ryan: I KNOW, I KNOW!
    • Two words: Wrong Name. Drew fails so hard that it twists the fabric of time and space and becomes a Win.
    • A prop in the UK version's Christmas special broke and gradually deteriorated throughout the sketch.
    • In a Scenes From A Hat playing, Wayne got Cain and Abel mixed up. Keegan wasted no time in pointing his fail out.
    • During a game of "Themed Restaurant", Drew and Chip play customers at a restaurant themed to Steven Spielberg films, with Colin and Ryan as the waiters. When Ryan comes up to their table as E.T., Drew mistakenly refers to him as R2-D2. Of course, he eventually realizes his mistake and corrects himself later in the game.
  • Erotic Eating: Seen a couple times during "Helping Hands".
    • "Thank god you've come... Seductive Eating Man!"
    • Also unintentionally during Hats.
      Drew: You know, I can watch you eat that banana aaaaaall night long.
      Ryan: (stops eating)
    • Colin's done the same "whole banana at once" act during one Questions Only set in a supermarket, and in Scenes from a Hat as his idea of a "talent segment you'll never see on Miss America".
  • Even the Guys Want Him: In the Wilson Bethel episode:
    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.
  • Everything Is Big in Texas: In one playing of Hats":
    Greg: (wearing a cowboy hat) Darling, everything's big where I come from.
  • Everything Is Racist:
    • 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.
    • Also, Colin's shout of "Damn rolling blackouts!" after a game prompted Wayne to get out of his chair and start rolling around on the floor...
  • Everything's Worse with Bees: In the "Greatest Hits" about "Songs of the Beekeeper":
    Ryan: What comes to mind when I go... (buzzes)
    Colin: I go like this, "OH NO, I'M ALLERGIC!!!"
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Straightforward game names help them to stick in the fans' minds.
    • In a playing of "Film, TV & Theater Styles":
    Colin: This firing range ain't big enough for the three of us!
    Ryan: What are you sayin'?
    Colin: ...It's not big enough for the three of us!
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Sometimes happens to the hosts when they first read the cards, such as...
    Aisha: [During Weird Newscasters] And Wayne is going through an entire relationship with Aisha, Oh God...
  • 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.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: "Questions with Wigs" in the revival series once had Colin get a pointy hat-thing with a dozen dangling eyeballs.
  • Face Palm: One of the rare times Colin breaks character. In the "Slept With an Ugly Woman" Irish Drinking Song, Colin gets the last line (as usual) and spits out "It looked like someone had beat her." As soon as he realizes what he just said, he facepalms. He finishes the song with his hand still on his face.
    • Ryan sort-of Face Palms in the background in the game "Doo Wop" after Colin claims Janet died doing Tae Bo bending so far back, she literally had her head up her butt.
    • Also in this playing of Scenes from a Hat, Greg forces Colin to do a Scooby-Doo impression. He fails. Next shot of Colin, he double-facepalms.
  • 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.
  • Fanboy: Ryan absolutely loved when Florence Henderson was a guest star. After he lived his dreams by kissing her in "Dubbing":
    Ryan: (proudly) That just leaves Mrs. Cunningham now.
    Wayne: Eew.
    Ryan: "Eew" for you; that was my favorite moment in Whose Line, ever.
  • 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.
    • Gary Anthony Williams' idea for "World's Worst" Presidential Candidate involves unbuttoning his shirt.
  • 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.
    • For the ladies and maybe some fanboys, David Hasselhoff in a full leather outfit straight out of Knight Rider.
    • Wayne's outfits tend toward this, looking as snug as they do. His rather large butt also gets plenty of attention.
    • Ryan tends to either mime taking his clothes off, or acting like a stripper or porn star.
    • In a playing of "Hollywood Director" where Ryan is a hunky pool boy hitting on Kathy Greenwood as an equestrian, Colin, at one point, directs everyone to pretend as if they are in a Baywatch rerun; Kathy then adjusts her bra, pushing her breasts upward and outward, and later starts doing jumping jacks. Not only does Drew give her 5,000 points for that one, but later during that same taping (though not the exact same episode), Drew declares her the winner, adding, "I think it was all that jumping up and down that did it."
      • Kathy later confessed in an interview that she believes this is why she kept getting called back to appear on the show, adding, "I was breastfeeding at the time, so my boobs were huge!"
  • Feghoot: Colin Mochrie is prone to this during "Weird Newscasters".
    Colin: Our top story today: Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer dead at 53....I know it is sad; over Barcelona today, the famed reindeer was hit by a flock of seagulls and a 747 [airliner]. Eyewitnesses report that the reindeer in Spain was hit mainly by the plane.
  • Finish Dialogue in Unison: In one "Whose Line", the scene was Samson and Delilah. Ryan, playing against type, played Delilah, which pleased Colin, since he often plays the woman in a scene. But then...
    Drew: Samson, played by Colin... not so fast... is furious with Delilah-
    Colin/Drew: ...For cutting off his hair.
  • 555: From the episode with Whoopi Goldberg:
    • Colin: "How am I doing? Phone 555-"
  • Five-Man Band: (out of the regular line-up):
  • 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.
  • Flowery Elizabethan English: Happens whenever the scene is supposed to be based on Shakespeare.
  • 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 this Two-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 host was pretty bad and the cast choice was just stupid** , 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
    • 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.
  • Full Name Ultimatum: Aisha calls out "Jeff Bryan Davis" the second time he does one of his disturbing finger-twisting tricks in a game of World's Worst.
  • 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 a Song Styles with Wayne doing a disco song to a girl. Wayne sang, Kathy Greenwood,ryan and Colin backup danced - all wearing big afro wigs for silliness. Ryan after the game put the red afro he was wearing on Drew. Ryan said Drew looked like Sideshow Bob with that afro on. Drew said he looks like a drunk girl on "Cops".
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: There was the "Scene To Rap" about getting hit by a tsunami that was long before the Christmas 2005 disaster made people realize how serious those can be.
    • Season 3 Episode 21 was taken out of the syndicated rerun line-up because the "Weird Newscasters" game had Ryan being a Siegfried and Roy act where the animals attack him. Not funny after that really did happen to Roy.
  • 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.
    • Just watch Wayne whenever he's in the background, period. An extreme example can be found during the infamous "burnoose/the cat!" edition of "Improbable Mission": at one point you can see Wayne actually leap out of his chair for a second because he's laughing so hard.
    • 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.
    • An audio example. In one taping, a woman from the audience is clearly heard over everyone else, exclaiming "Aaauuueeeewwwwww!!" during "Newsflash" (people eating bugs) and "Helping Hands" where Drew played an Italian deli owner.
    • During the "Party Quirks" game where Ryan and Greg gawk into the camera (a window into the girls' locker room), Colin and Wayne temporarily drop their quirks and mime playing a card game, which can be briefly seen in the background behind Ryan and Greg.
    • one reboot episode features Ryan as a penguin during "Let's Make A Date"... eventually getting a whole line of audience members to join him in his march.
    • In the revival series, there's been more cases of the guys in the back leaning to the side as far as possible to get a look at whatever Colin's doing to Ryan in "Helping Hands".
  • 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!"
    • A few "Let's Make a Date" contestants were played in this fashion, such as Chip pretending to be an Eastern European:
    Chip: Bachelor #2, in my country, we say "ghostrramn ekerlgl nabnil."
  • 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).
    • Fan Disservice version in the frisky old people version of "The Millionaire Show", Ryan's lifeline in the audience was Wayne, playing his caretaker. Wayne put his shoes in his shirt to make it look like he had copiously sagging breasts.
    Ryan: She's from Montana.
    Colin: Oh y-yeah...
    Ryan; Great Falls, Montana!
  • Gag Penis: From imaginary ones to actual ones thanks to some of the Props. Ryan loves making jokes about these.
    Colin: Hello, I'm Quite Hung.
    • Robin Williams.
    • Ryan's verse from the 100th episode:
      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.
  • Gainaxing: Mimed with hands by the male cast whenever Baywatch or Xena: Warrior Princess had to be parodied.
  • 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.
  • Genre Savvy: In a playing of "Questions Only", Wayne and Kathy Greenwood stop at Frankenstein's Castle on their honeymoon, though both of them are cautious about entering:
    Wayne: You wanna go in?
    Kathy: Shouldn't you go first?
    Wayne: Why the brotha gotta go first? Don't you watch horror movies? Uh-uh!
  • George Jetson Job Security: During a "Scenes From a Hat" when the performers made fun of him, Drew remarked with a smile, "I have the power to hire and fire."
    • After the "Weird Newscasters" where Ryan played someone descending the evolutionary scale (and insinuating that Drew was lower than a primate), Drew is seen on the phone. Ryan remarks in mock nervousness, "All right, I'll just leave now..."
  • 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: Enough to fill its own page.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: One example of "Inappropriate Things To Say At A Wedding":
    Nyima: Are you gonna kiss the bride, or can I?
    (Beat)
    Wayne: (mimes holding a camcorder) Go ahead...
  • 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!
    • "Africa is a big country, right next to India."
  • 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!!!"
  • Good News, Bad News: A scene in "Scenes From a Hat" had Greg going for the jugular:
    Greg: Merry Christmas! I got you a present! (Wayne pretends to open it) It's Geppetto on DVD!
    • Subverted by Greg after Drew had an annoyed look on his face: "The bad news was it was Christmas."
    • Also this example: "The good news is, they're going to name a disease after you."
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: In a "Foreign Film Dub" with Swedish as the language, Drew slips in English words amidst his fake Swedish (plus an acronym consisting entirely of names):
    Drew: Farda farda Ikea, farda farda... unbelievable prices!
    • 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!"
    • In the "Greatest Hits" about songs of the international spy:
    Wayne: (singing) How does an old guy like me get such young chicks? I don't know. Aguna hatta poona hey!
  • 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.
    • From the revival, Jeff's idea of America's Funniest Home Videos. There's also been an increase in Colin (sometimes Ryan) going for 'Lil' Wayne' in "Living Scenery".
  • 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.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: In a "Film Dub", one of the characters has his upper body peering out of a tank. Ryan takes this in an unexpected direction: "That's my friend. He only has an upper body."
  • Halloween Episode: The US version had one of these.
  • Hammerspace: Implied in a Scenes From A Hat suggestion "things you want to see as a prize in a box of cereal" inspires Colin to pretend to look into a small box and say, "Pamela Anderson!"
    • Also, in the "Party Quirks" game when Ryan pretends to be smuggling animals past airport security in his clothes, he ends up pretending there's a elephant trumpeting while in his clothes.
    • Also implied in the Shoplifting Hoedown, when Wayne claims he tried to put a rhino and and a cheetah in his pants at the zoo.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Oh so very much.
  • 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.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Colin, during a "Greatest Hits of Women":
    Ryan: "I don't know about you, but I love 'em."
    Colin: "I love 'em... more! ...I'm not insecure about my sexual identity! I LOVE WOMEN!" (shifty eyes) "Sleep." (taps Ryan's head) "You will forget I ever said that. Awake."
    • Ryan in one Weird Newscasters is "desperately trying to quell rumors that he's gay."
    • In a "Greatest Hits" about songs of the doctor:
      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?
    Ryan: (to Colin, murmuring) Shut up...
    • After Colin kissed Ryan in "Scenes From a Hat", Colin remarked, "I have got to get home to my wife."
  • 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.
    • Happens in the revival series at the end of the second game of "Party Quirks", after Jeff finds himself reduced to Kathy level after being unable to guess Ryan's act. In his defense, he joined late in the old series, and really hasn't had much guessing experience.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: You can't have Colin Mochrie without Ryan Stiles!
    • 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.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • 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.
  • Hollywood Silencer: One session of Sound Effects got this memorable example.
    Colin: I am going to cock my gun.
    (Beat)
    Colin: Oh, it's got a silencer.
  • Hong Kong Dub: Parodied in this Hollywood Director, among other skits.
    • 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)
    • Averted (briefly) in a "Sound Effects" with Ryan as Tarzan and Colin as Jane:
    Colin: Oh look, those coconuts look nice!
    Ryan: You want Tarzan to go get one for youuu??
    Colin: All right. (does double take; Ryan looks equally surprised) You know what? Those Berlitz tapes are really helping you!
    Ryan: They were. Night school course pay off for Tarzan.
  • 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.
  • Hurricane of Euphemisms: The "If You Know What I Mean" game.
  • 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?
    • A "Scenes From a Hat" game suggestion is "Charities That Won't Earn Money". Ryan says "Give Drew Carey a third show?". This from the guy who's regularly on "Whose Line" and "The Drew Carey Show" at the time.
    • 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.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: only for the end-of-season Clip Shows in the UK run.
  • If I Had a Nickel: A running gag.
    Drew: Boy, if I had a nickel for every time someone said that to me...
    Ryan: You'd have a dime.
    • Mixed with Double Entendre after the "Infomercial" where Colin stuck a lighter in Ryan's mouth:
    Drew: Well, he was putting it right in your mouth and he was about to crank it, and I was like "Whoa!""
    Ryan: If I had a nickel for every time that's happened!
    • Before a "Two Line Vocabulary" set in a jungle:
    Drew: Jeff, the only lines you're allowed to say are "I resent that!" and "Oh my God, that's enormous." Man, if I had a nickel...!
    Ryan: Here we go.
    • This is also said by Colin in "Weird Newscasters" - after Wayne gets sucked into a black hole in the camera he says "If I had a nickel for every time I saw that happen", pretending that it made sense.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: One skit had Ryan (Jim Bowie) accidentally shoot Colin (Davey Crockett) because he thought his gun was empty.
  • I'll Kill You!: Jeff's idea of Christopher Walken.
    "I swear I'll come to your house and murder your family..."
  • I'm a Humanitarian: One "Scenes From a Hat" suggestion was unlikely lounge songs, and Chip sang: "Cannibalism... cannibalism..."
  • 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 Bogart probably never 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, that's why it's so funny:
    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??
  • Impossible Thief: The end of the first Ryan-less episode of the revival series had Greg and Colin as two chatting cops not noticing that Wayne and Jeff have robbed them clean - Greg goes "where's my gun?" and Colin one-ups him with a cry of "My penis!"
  • 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.
    In a unaired hoedown from the season 1 DVD, Drew does a Hoedown: "I remember the day I lost my virginity, I took my woman and we drove to the city, Let me tell ya brother, she felt like no other, boy was I embarrassed when I found out it was my mother."
  • Incredibly Long Note: The last note in the "Greatest Hits" song "It Sucks Up Pennies" (from the traveling salesman playing) was held for a long time, prompting this after the song:
    Colin: You know, they held that note for 15 minutes, beating The Beatles' "Hmmm" at the end of "A Day in the Life" by... some time. (Beat) Sleep. (puts himself to sleep)
  • 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 
    Drew: Man, somebody's gotta make these things shorter.
    Ryan: (to off-screen stagehand) Can I get a scotch??
    • The first Ryan-less ep of the revival has Jeff and Greg as airline pilots for "Hollywood Director", whereupon Jeff gets the silliness going by mentioning that he's been sipping a margarita. Then the crisis part comes up, and what does he do?
    Jeff: I'm putting her on autopilot. I need a bigger margarita.
  • 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)
  • Inherently Funny Words: Why the non-punny names in Newscasters get laughs from the audience.
    • Invoked here.
    • The second revival season has Ryan cooking up the unique doorbel sound "schling-dong". Which when crossed with his long-awaited Carol Channing impression turns into "schpling-blong"!
  • 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!
  • Instant Seduction: "Fudda-dudda-dudda baby..."
  • Instant Soprano: After the "Newsflash" with skateboarding bloopers, Drew said it was actually people who will never have children. He gave points to everyone in that video, and Wayne squeaked out in a soprano voice: "Thanks, Drew!"
  • Institutional Apparel: In the "World's Worst" about psychiatrists, Ryan pretended to be wearing a strait jacket.
  • Instrumental Theme Tune: For both the U.K. and U.S. versions.
  • Insult Backfire: This epic moment from Scenes from a Hat:
    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)
    • 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.
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures:
    • Karen Maruyama usually comes up with a Chinese name in her acts.
    • The revival series has special guest Byambajav Ulambayar champion sumo wrestler. Gary Anthony Williams naturally assumed he knows some Japanese (which is probably a prerequisite for his sport anyways), but Byamba is actually Mongolian.
  • 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."
  • Ironic Echo: In a later episode of the U.S. version, Drew mentioned after a game that Wayne just ate a whole bucket full of candy (this is in reference to a Party Quirks where Wayne played a member of a fraternity who performed various stunts, including eating a bucket full of candy). The audience remained silent, as it wasn't really a joke, and Greg broke the silence by saying "Screech!" Later on in the episode, during "Hats", Greg wore some insect wings and said: "Well I'm out of the caterpillar stage..." The audience barely reacted and Drew got back at Greg by saying: "SCREECH!"
    Greg: You put the *bleep* wings on.
  • Irony: In the "salute to American TV" episode:
    Drew: Tonight, Whose Line salutes great American television. Kinda ironic, isn't it?
    • At the beginning of World's Worst:
      Wayne: You're going to be giving examples of the world's worst television program
      Drew: The world's worst television program...really?
    • From the British version, in which the "Worst television program" also turned up.
      Tony: Look, it's that show where Clive patronizes people from all over the world!
      Clive Anderson: Don't bring Clive James into this.
  • 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."
    • One suggestion in Scenes from the Hat is simply "I Didn't Know The Mike Was On."
    • "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-color jokes, discussing embarrassing personal problems, or flirting, before "realizing" the camera is rolling.
  • Is This Thing Still On?: One "Scenes From A Hat" suggestion was "I forgot the mike was on", leading to Ryan pretending to be Drew cutting away to commercial, then insinuating someone is giving him oral sex beneath the desk. Then since this was the episode where Drew kept complaining that it was extremely cold in the studio that day, Colin gets dragged out by Ryan, and Ryan says "Jesus Christ, it's cold in here".
  • 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."
  • I Taste Delicious: Greg Proops in "Superheroes" as Chocolate Bunny Man.
  • It Is Pronounced Tro PAY: To be expected when you've got British and American players working together, but some rare cases include Clive pronouncing 'urinals' in a way that only Clive pronounces 'urinals'; and Ryan and Colin pronouncing 'route' in two different fashions (Wayne worked both of them into his song after that.)
    • 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".
    • In "The Millionaire Show": "You ain't heard the qestion!"
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: After Phil LaMarr and Debra Wilson appeared in the last UK season, we've had more MAD Tv alumnus like Nicole Parker on Trust Us with Your Life, and now Keegan Michael Key on the 2013 revival.
    • Did you know Aisha Tyler and Gary Anthony Williams were both in The Boondocks?
    • Jack Osbourne appeared here after being in Trust Us with Your Life once. Sadly they didn't get Kelly at the same time.
    • Happens again when Aisha brings in Sheryl Underwood from her other show The Talk (of special note, another co-host from that show is Jack and Kelly's mom Sharon Osbourne!)
    • One time they get Wendi McLendon-Covey, whom Ryan actually knows in Real Life, making this trope literal!

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