Awesome Music: Some of Edd Kalehoff's most recognizeable work can be found here. Taken Up to Eleven on the FOX version with countless remixes of the Theme Tune and in-game music (and not just the ones that were kept after this version ended).
It was revealed years after the show was over that Summers suffered from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). That's right, the host of one of the gungiest shows on TV was a massive neat freak; a documentary on the show and him showed him doing things such as lining up all the fringe on a throw rug. Fortunately, he got over it and has gone on to be a successful TV show host, producer, and author. He's one of the more prolific producers at Food Network and its affiliates.
This also made him a major Bad Ass among fans, as he still showed up for work and you'd never know. Guy's got balls.
In fact, The Nostalgia Critic, when covering the show, even gave him a made up medal he called the "Dude, You Got Balls" Award.
On the "Funny Aneurysm" Moment side, the first obstacle on the first taped obstacle course fell victim to this. The obstacle was called "Nightmare" where a contestant had to find a flag in a giant feather pillow. On the first two takes, the flag wasn't even in there, leaving the contestant to dig around the feathers for two whole minutes. The flag was finally found on the third take but not only did the clock freeze, a cameraman also fell and blocked their path. This required a fourth take which went into the episode as aired. Seems "Nightmare" was also an appropriate description for what the staff and the contestants went through that day.
Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The American version ran from 1986-1993 with a brief revival in 2000. The Brazilian version, Passa ou Repassa, ran from 1987-2000 along with a revival that has been airing since 2013.
Growing the Beard: The show started to look and feel much more polished with the FOX Family version. Updates to the Theme Tune, a noticeable increase in the amount of messy challenges, an increase in the budget for that version only (exotic trip for Obstacle 6, cash from $2,000-$5,000 for #7, and a Car for #8), and some visual elements carried over into subsequent versions of the show.
Marc Summers hosted this show, despite having obsessive-compulsive disorder (which, at the time, was undiagnosed). Now everyone between 18-32 who grew up watching the show knows. Specifically, he had a Monk-level obsession with neatness at home. He's been public about his battle with the illness in the hope of helping others, but it makes one wonder how he could've made it through hosting the show (and the similarly sloppy What Would You Do?) without having a massive on-air meltdown.
A Family Double Dare question asked why Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep and Michael Jackson can't be features on postage stamps (they have to be deceased). No one would have guessed Michael Jackson would have been the first to go out of the three celebrities listed in the question and so soon.
Hilarious in Hindsight: One of the angles for early commercials for the original Double Dare focused on the fact that the game was for kids rather than adults, and tended to show a man in a jacket and tie making a fool of himself trying to go through such obstacles as "The Sundae Slide" or "Icy Trike" to emphasize this. Then Family Double Dare came along... although the adults still looked quite ridiculous going through the obstacles, it was now part of the show's appeal.
Iron Woobie: Knowing Marc went through all he did with OCD is amazing. And that's not counting that in 2012 he broke his face in a car accident. Although repeatedly being asked about those two topics in interviews or on Twitter has turned into sort of a Berserk Button, as he insists that neither is nearly as significant or sensational as people have made it out to be.
Replacement Scrappy: Jason Harris and Tiffany Phelps, the host/announcer tandem on 2000. Jason was nothing at all like the cool Mr. Summers, and Tiffany was overbearingly shrill.
The Scrappy: Ask any fan what they liked least about Double Dare 2000 and they will most likely answer with the Triple Dare Challenge. During the second round a family could turn any physical challenge into a Triple Dare Challenge worth $300 and a prize. The producers ensured that a PC happened in each episode by including at least one question that the contestants almost certainly couldn't answer. However, even without the Triple Dare Challenge, the challenges were so complicated that they could take several minutes to describe (longer if, as often happened, host Jason Harris stumbled through the description). When all was said and done, adding the Triple Dare Challenge ate up most of the second round, leaving time for only four questions at most. It didn't help that the Triple Dare Challenge was way overhyped with confetti cannons, people dressed in huge boxes and marching bands. To make matters worse, the Triple Dare Challenge was only revealed if the family opted to go for it, ruining the buildup to get there.
"Blue Plate Special", "Garbage Truck", "Squelch'M Waffles" - pretty much any obstacle where the team member had to find the flag hidden in gunge. At least one team lost nearly 50 seconds on such an obstacle and ended up with only two prizes; Marc gave them the third prize out of pity.
Any time a fourth tunnel was added to "Sushi" or "Dallas". An already long obstacle now became the difference between getting all eight prizes and not doing so.
Cranked right on up to Platform Hell whenever the producers deliberately made finding the flag more difficult:
In Super Sloppy Double Dare, upwards of twenty balloons were used for "Inside Out" instead of three or four. Then, for Family Double Dare, the number of balloons decreased slightly but different-colored flags were hidden inside several of them with only the orange one counting. One family exchanged a blue flag and completed the next obstacle before their mistake was noticed and they had to go back and find the correct flag. Another family almost exchanged a yellow flag but to their credit, they recovered quickly and eventually won.
On one episode of the Family version, it took the whole family, Marc, and a few crew members to find the flag hidden in "The Garbage Truck". They eventually did, and just before the announcer rattled off where the show was taped, too!
Many obstacle course runs in the early years were derailed by the original version of "The Sundae Slide", which required contestants to climb up a 45 degree incline covered with grease and slime before going down the eponymous slide. If they did not make a point of only putting their feet on the padding under the rails on either side of the incline (which had no grease on it), they could waste 15 or 20 seconds just trying to get to the top of the slide. In the Super Sloppy era, even trying to climb up the padding was far from foolproof if the contestant's shoes were already covered in gunge from previous obstacles. Though arguably one of the most popular obstacles with young audiences, it proved the difference between getting all eight flags and getting only seven (or fewer) so frequently that one could be forgiven for suspecting that it was deliberately engineered to prevent the obstacle course from being won too often.note Summers often made jokes about the program's limited budget in the early years, and this included the prizes. It got to a point where in the final season, the incline was replaced by a regular ladder; the incline returned for 2000.
Even worse than "The Sundae Slide" in the first season or two was a variant entitled the "Fireman's Flag-Pull", where once you climbed up the chocolate covered ramp you then had to pull in a clothesline to retrieve the flag before sliding down a fireman's pole to pass it off. At least one contestant forgot to pull in the flag and had to repeat the obstacle. Made particularly egregious on a Halloween episode where there were Trick-or-Treat bags on the clothesline with the flag hidden in one of them (naturally, the last one). It was used on 17 episodes, and on the last four, it was changed to have the flag hung on the pole. It only made things worse, as there were people who would slide down the pole and forgot to get the flag. The course was only won twice with "Fireman's Flag-Pull". That should tell you how bad it was.
2000 brought us an updated version of "Hunt and Peck" called "Double Click", replacing a giant typewriter with a computer. Here, the contestant stomps on all the keys until the flag shows up on the screen complete with "You've got flag!" message. This didn't always work right due to the contacts on the keys being electronic rather than mechanical as in "Hunt and Peck".
They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The Family and 2000 versions, with many unnecessary rule changes. The most obvious was in 2000: The "Triple Dare Challenge".
What an Idiot: On two separate episodes, both from 1989, neither team could guess the answer to "How many arms did Babe Ruth have?" and "How many ankles did Michael J. Fox have?". Hilariously, the question "How many arms does the drummer from Mötley Crüe have?" was answered incorrectly with "One", the one-armed Rick Allen being a member of Def Leppard.