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YMMV: Press Your Luck

  • Adaptation Displacement: Press Your Luck was a revival of the 1977 ABC game Second Chance, also by Bill Carruthers. It doesn't help that only two episodes of Second Chance still exist on video, and a third on audiotape.
  • Critical Research Failure: The June 14, 1985, episode had a question regarding Looney Tunes and who said "Sufferin' Succotash!" Although all three contestants answered with Sylvester (who is commonly associated with it), Tomarken revealed that the answer was in fact Daffy Duck (who also uses the phrase, but very infrequently). This mistake prompted Mel Blanc (who voiced both) to call the show and explain the mistake. In his Sylvester voice. Here's the episode. After the call, Peter stated that the three contestants would be invited back.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: The prize cue music, made even more awesome when a contestant wins enough to have it played in full. In one particularly memorable instance during Christmas 1984, it played to nearly two full loops (starting 29 seconds in).
  • Dude, Not Funny!: A contestant named Scott Haven was on for two episodes from February 27-28, 1985. He would often say "No little red men" as his description of the Whammies, unaware that "little red men" was a racial slur for native Americans. Peter could even be heard telling Scott that he had just insulted the entire Indian population. As a result, the audience would often boo whenever Scott spun, and actually applauded when he got a Whammy!
  • Iconic Character, Forgotten Title: People tended to remember it as "the show with the Whammy" rather than by its proper title, so much so that the GSN revival was called Whammy! The All-New Press Your Luck.
  • Just Here for the Whammies
  • Moment Of Awesome / Game Breaker: Michael Larson.
  • Padding: In one episode, the contestants acquired only five spins overall: three from the questions and two from landing on "+ One Spin" squares. As a result, Peter spent the rest of the round explaining the special squares on the board. To prevent this from happening again, the rules were changed so, if contestants were struggling in a Question Round, A) Peter would be directed to use an easier stack of questions or B) the segment would simply be reshot with said easier stack.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Oy.
    • The Wii version drew massive input from the fans (as requested by a Ludia representative) and could easily draw reference from a fan website dedicated to the show's myriad board layouts...and Ludia still managed to screw the game up. Here's a fan review.
      1. Having the Big Board cycle between three static layouts one with two Whammys, one with seven Whammys, and one with no Whammys (these are 4-5-0 in Round 2)...but as these trailers show, it could've been a lot worse.
      2. Ending the game immediately if you Whammy-Out while playing against the computer.
      3. Having AI opponents that lacked the "I", rarely getting more than two spins per round and pose very little challenge. Upon their turn, they usually pass their spins immediately. (The PC version subverts this; as you progress the contestants get smarter, with one in particular that appears every few games who gets the right answer every time they buzz in.)
      4. Failing to support the Mii avatars. The in-game "Ludians" not only look dumb but have apparently never seen the show before (much like this game's developers), mashing the buzzer several times to ring in on a question or stop the board.
      5. Using no prizes except generic trips worth $3,000 in Round 1 and $4,000 in Round 2, which considerably breaks Move One Space and Pick-A-Corner by removing half their purpose. For example, the classic Round 1 choice of "$100/$200/$300 + One Spin vs. [nice prize of unknown value]" is now "$100/$200/$300 + One Spin vs. Generic Trip Arbitrarily Worth $3,000".
      6. Having Big Bucks always redirect to said generic trip in Round 1 instead of the big-money square ($1,000/$1,250/$1,500). This playthrough shows the absurdity of this at 4:21 and 4:49, as the player hits Advance Two Spaces in Square 10 (which wasn't there in the actual show) which leads to Big Bucks...
      Host: Big Bucks! You win-You won a trip! A value of...$3,000!
    • Adding insult to injury was the Updated Re-release for the PS3 containing the actual theme, a looping board sound, and actual prizes, not to mention a more faithful board layout.
    • The DS version, though it also contained the looping board sound, managed to be even worse. There's only a few Whammy animations (none of which you can skip), the Big Board doesn't even have its usual space structure, and your reward for clearing all the "episodes" is a credit roll you can already access from the Options menu!
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • Slides occasionally went dark, dim, or otherwise glitched out. On August 23, 1985 a slide actually blew up, meaning that they had to stop taping and finish up that episode the next day.
    • From September 19 to December 20, 1983, the contestant buzzers were supported by spring coils that would break if slammed too hard...which happened on occasion, resulting in some editing. On December 21 of that same year, they changed the sticks that supported the buzzers. That didn't work either, so the buzzers were completely redesigned on the February 14, 1984 episode to their more recognizable appearance.
    Peter (to Troy Garrison in the January 4, 1984, episode during Round 2, after Troy broke his buzzer, and putting it back together): DON'T BREAK ANYTHING!
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The main theme was kind of similar to the stock music used on the 1983 pilot.
    • The 2009 game used the pilot theme as, according to Ludia, Fremantle didn't have the master copy of the series' theme and forbade them from using the various full-length clean copies circulating on the internet. To add further insult, the board sound used is the original one and plays for one second. Oddly, the PS3 version uses the series theme and a looping board sound.
    • The 2007 DVD game uses a rather bizarre rendition of the actual theme music.
    • And in the other direction, the music for Mole Patrol in Super Scope 6 resembles the board sound of PYL.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: By early August 1985, the Big Board had settled into a respectable configuration for both rounds. During the final season, however, the Round 2 layout had various slides needlessly moved around while nearly the entire board was in flux, with values going up and down so often that the ultimate victim ended up being Pick-A-Corner the day the slides went neon was when the once-"fixed" directional square began breaking, as the values in the other three corners never remained static for very long and consistently conflicted with each other (including three layouts where players chose between identical values); instead of correcting the problem, Pick-A-Corner was simply replaced on July 25, 1986, by a $1,000 + One Spin slide. note 
  • What an Idiot:
    • May 16, 1985: Linda, behind by over $7,000, thought a trip to Tokyo would give her the win rather than an additional spin. Her opponent Patrick, who won because the trip was just $2,900, looked and acted a whole lot like he was being played by Dan Aykroyd in a Status Quo Game Show.
    • June 2, 1986: One guy took $500 + One Spin in hope of winning the game himself, rather than take $2,500 and end the game in a non-zero tie. Didn't work.
    • 2009: The Ludia game's AI opponents who don't know what 64 equals. (It's 24.)

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