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YMMV: The Joker's Wild

  • Memetic Mutation: "Joker... Joker... [something arcane that's not a Joker]."
    • "Jack, I'll go off the board and take [something]."
    • "As we know, The Jokers Wild is a game of definitions."
  • Nightmare Fuel: If you were a young child in that era, the devious rendering of the Devil's face (supposedly a caricature of Barry) kept you up at night quite a few times...although for the 1990s version, it was very likely replaced by the Joker.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Much hatred for the monotonous Pat Finn. Also, many fans disliked Bill Cullen's run on the show; while he's usually praised as one of the best game show hosts of all time (if not the best), Bill's laid-back hosting style wasn't a good fit for Joker, and old age had slowed him down considerably by this point.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Much hatred for the 1990s maingame and bonus round (first word, first definition...). The categories returned on January 7, 1991, but the measure came far too late to save the show...and the money-based format came back for the last three shows anyway to avoid straddling.
    • Further, the question values were $25/$50/$100 (half of what they'd been just five years earlier). The Jokers couldn't be used to go "off the board", as they hadn't let the contestants know what categories each game had on the reels (they had to be used for the full amount for whatever category was chosen). Spinning three Jokers gave that player $250 and the right to answer $100 questions in one of three categories hidden behind each Joker. Not like before.
  • What an Idiot: One of the special categories added was "Fast Forward _____" (debuted May 16, 1975), which allowed contestants to keep answering questions as long as they kept getting the right answer, each right answer adding the same amount to their score. In one game, the champion had $250 and needed to tie or beat the challenger who had reached $500. The champion spun a Joker and two regular categories then, without thinking, asked for "(Regular Category) for $200". An amazed Barry told him that he just lost the game, when the contestant should've gone off the board with the Joker and taken the Fast Forward to build up $50 or $100 questions and possibly win the game.
    • A category called "Bid-X" worked very similar to Bullseye US; you can pick however many questions you like, and if you answered them all, you won the amount multiplied by however many questions you answered. (So if you spun it for $50, and wanted four questions, you could win $200.) Miss, and your opponent got the chance to finish the remaining questions for all the money. This category was used in one 1986 game where the champ was going for her fifth win and a car. The champ, leading $250-$400, picked Bid-Numbers for $100. All she needed was the minimum bid of two for the win...but she asked for *three*. Not only did this create extra work for her, but if she missed, there was enough money at stake for the challenger to win the game. Sure enough, she got the first two right and missed the third. Her challenger got the third one right, giving him $550 and denying the champ what should have been an easy car win.

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