These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
While the original Price lasted for nine seasons, an extremely long run for a game show, the current version has aired for over 40 years. There are at least two generations of viewers who might have never heard of the Cullen era.
As noted on-air by Bob Barker, a case of this had actually occurred during the 1994-95 season, with the syndicated The New Price Is Right, hosted by Doug Davidson, confusing viewers into thinking the daytime version ("the oldPrice Is Right") had been canceled or that something similar had happened, much to Barker's chagrin. This promo mentions a "new host", apparently leading people to think the daytime show moved to syndication as a half-hour show with a new set and host.
Base Breaker: Barker's Bargain Bar, depending on who you ask, may be one of the best or one of the weakest games in the rotation. The same can be said about a couple other pricing games.
When the game returned in April 2012 as Bargain Game after not being played for almost three-and-a-half years (and thought to be retired), the general reaction for the game's return was rejoicing. The new set for the game, on the other hand...
Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Some of the Drewcases, including the fried chicken skit and one where the models (and Drew) are pied in the face for no reason at all.
Complacent Gaming Syndrome: The $1-higher bid mentioned on the main page will almost always be the last bid in a round for each item up for bids in Contestants' Row.
Dude, Not Funny! / "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The first time nighttime host Dennis James played Cliff Hangers (1976), he referred to the mountain climber as "Fritz" (possibly not knowing what had happened to Janice Pennington's then-spouse). When the contestant lost, James yelled "There goes Fritz!", which sent Pennington running backstage; the poor girl was in tears, and remained in her dressing room for the rest of that taping.
Possibly related is the very first time Cliff Hangers was played — right when Bob says the name of the game, Janice can be seen walking behind it.
Ear Worm: The "come on down" music, the main theme, the yodeling music played in Cliff Hangers, etc.
Ensemble Dark Horse: 3 Strikes, Give or Keep, The Phone Home Game, Plinko, Cliff Hangers, and It's in the Bag, among others, remain fan favorites.
"Showcase Showdown" is when they spin the Big Wheel (or, on some of the Davidson version, "The Price Was Right"). The last part of the show, where contestants bid on the big prize packages, is simply referred to as the "Showcase" (or, in recaps, "Showcase Round"). Never get these confused, or Price fans will hate you forever and a day.
...But unfortunately for those fans, this confusion appears to be a very common thing. Reference books, news broadcasts, and even former contestants call the Showcase Round "Showcase Showdown". Drew even made the mistake on March 11, 2011, but quickly corrected himself. At this point, just about the only people that don't make this mistake are hardcore Price fans.
Drew later clarified the difference between the Showcase and Showcase Showdown on March 8, 2012.
One contestant in January 2012 wore a shirt saying that she wanted to make it to the "Showcase Showdown". Appropriately, she lost at the actual Showcase Showdown.
Game Breaker: A number of the games had different quirks where strategy was a key part in winning a game, as opposed to mere guessing games or where pricing/consumer knowledge was required. note Except for Clock Game, where binary search was always the way to win, the unwritten rules for many of these games were not always in place, only going in somewhere in 1979 or 1980, when Roger Dobkowitz was in charge of setting up most of the games. Examples:
Bargain Game: The item with the lowest-displayed price is the correct item 75 percent of the time.
Cliff Hangers: All three small prizes are in progressive order, and 99 percent of the time, the game can be won with blind guesses of either $20-$30-$40 or $25-$35-$45. Despite this, few contestants are Genre Savvy enough to try this trick, leading to some rather boneheaded guesses such as $2 on a $15 tote bag, or $2,000 on a toy guitar. One person was savvy enough to try it, and was only $1 away from a perfect game.
Clock Game: Binary search – going 100s first, then 10s, then 1s – will guarantee a full win 100 percent of the time. The only other strategy: Take your time, and make sure you hear Carey say "higher" or lower.
Eazy as 1-2-3: Statistically, the winning combination is 2-1-3, with 3-1-2 next. Ergo, the least-expensive prize (by which the contestant would place the "1" block) is most often on the center platform.
Freeze Frame: Seemingly a difficult game (with 1:8 odds), the game becomes much easier once obviously high and low prices are eliminated (e.g, if one of the number pairs is "11" or "22," those are never the first two digits in the price). Another trick is to pay attention to the starting position of the rotating wheel. Once the fifth number pair appears in the viewfinder, unless it is an obviously low price, that one statistically has the correct answer.
Gas Money: Statiscally, the correct answer is the least-expensive price (among five possibilities), followed by the second-least expensive choice. Eliminating the three most expensive items sequentially from the most expensive down will often make the game a 1-in-2 choice on the final pick.
Golden Road: On the first item, the higher of the two digits is correct 90-plus percent of the time. On the four-digit item, eliminate all digits that would cause a repeat in the revealed price (e.g., if a price shows $2_79 and the choices are $875, the correct answer would be either 5 or 8). On the five-digit item, digits rarely repeat (e.g., if the contestant is shown $74,_59 and uses the card $2879, he'd be safe to pick either 2 or 8).
Hit Me: In this grocery game married to blackjack, there was always one item among the six that was multipliable by 10 (for a 10 or face card) and one that was its exact price (for the ace) to obtain an easy blackjack. There was also at least one pair of cards whose sum was either 10 or 11 (to get blackjack the hard way). Despite this, not that many contestants seemed to know the rules to this simple card game and either won by getting a better hand than the house, or lost by either busting or getting beat.
It's In The Bag: The first two bags always are the lowest and most expensive items in the group of six, with the matching items always being obvious; as thus, a wise contestant can walk off with no less than $2,000.
Let 'Em Roll: Combinations are apt to be "higher-higher" and "lower-lower" rather than a mix.
Magic #: Picking a number around $2,250 will guarantee a win 95 percent of the time.
Master Key: Although all five keys are ostensibly placed randomly, the keys that unlock either the car or all three locks (the Master Key) are most often found in the middle three spots (slots 2-4).
Money Game: Three of the number pairs are clearly possibilities for the first two digits in the price of the car and should be picked first. After that, Dobkowitz-era tricks still hold true today and are frequently correct: "front and back" (the correct two numbers are placed horizontally side by side on the board, with the first number pair in the left or central position and the second pair to its right); "top and bottom" (the correct two numbers are on vertically contiguous); and "El Cheapo" (the remaining lowest number on the board).
Now....Or Then: Since about the late 1990s, the game always has four "Now"s and two "Then"s. Always pick "now" as the answer for items labeled "NEW!" note Standards and Practices strictly prohibits "back-pricing" items labeled as "NEW!" that didn't exist on the given date. Depending on the game's progress, if the game comes down to the final item, the number of "nows" and "thens" uncovered, based on the "4 nows and 2 thens" rule, the last guess should be easy and guarantee a win.
Rat Race: The last prize is almost always $200-300 in price, meaning a blind guess of $200 – contestants are given a $100 leeway, high or low, on bids – will net at least one pick of a rat. For the two other items, $4 (for the grocery item, where the spread is $1) and $40 (for the small prize valued at less than $100, and $10 is allowed) are also safe bets. Playing the game this way should guarantee no fewer than two rats.
Safe Crackers: The last digit in the combination which serves as the price of the smaller prize is always 0.
Squeeze Play: Although the incorrect digit is ostensibly placed at random, a statistical analysis showed that it most often is the third digit that must be removed (from a five-digit string that, once the wrong number among three possibilities is removed, forms a four-digit price).
Stack the Deck: Use the "free picks" earned to fill in the last three positions of the car's price, starting with the third position; these are usually the most difficult to fill in, particularly given that the prices of these cars rarely end in 0 (unlike games like 10 Chances or Temptation). This should make the first number pretty easy to guess, particularly for those who know which cars' prices start with 1 and which AR Ps begin with 2, leaving the final number to usually be a choice between no more than two numbers.
10 Chances: The right answers always end in 0 (unless that isn't one of the choices, in which case the last number is 5). You would only know this from watching frequently, as it is never pointed out on-air. At the very worst, following the zero rule will guarantee at least two chances at the car. Anyone who does not get a chance at the car has either broken the rule or repeated a guess.
That's Too Much!: The correct answer is neither the first- nor 10th-given price. note For a short time during the 2008-2009 season, the right answer was almost always the second or ninth price, which skewed a Robert Dobkowitz-era rule that the correct answer almost always fell between slots 3 and 8 (and then, more often than not, was usually the fifth or sixth prices), eventually making contestants and fans complain … and then a couple of smart contestants foiled the prevailing "either second or ninth" setup.
2 for the Price of 1: Picking the second number as the freebie will set up a winnable strategy for the other two digits. If the second number is lower, go upper for the remaining two digits, otherwise, split the difference for the remaining two, picking the greater digit (e.g., 8 if the choices are 3 and 8) for the first digit and choosing the number in the opposite position for the third digit.
Genre Savvy: See Game Breaker. Regular viewers can pick up hidden tricks and quirks in the rules to give them the best chance possible to win.
Most infamously, Samoans would appear semi-frequently in Bob's early years.
In the second half of Season 37, it looked like Australians would appear on Drew's run as frequently as Samoans did on Bob's.
Growing the Beard: The show became a much less staid affair around the time that it expanded to an hour. Not only were there twice as many games, but the Showcases began using many more skits with then-announcer Johnny Olson (quite bizarre skits, too, coming from the quirky mind of then-producer Jay Wolpert), and new gameplay elements such as the Big Wheel were added as well.
Some fans argue that this has been happening to the show again since Carey took over. Unfortunately, this only lasted a single season for other reasons (see Seasonal Rot below), although a Showcase segment in April 2009 (when Bob Barker "returned" to the show to hawk a book amid controversy with Betty White) helped Carey considerably.
Carey himself in his third year of tenure; he noticeably slowed down his Motor Mouth tendencies and found his own niche in terms of participating with the contestants in pricing games, including his own catchphrases (such as "Give it to [him/her]!" when revealing the result of a game).
Hilarious in Hindsight: A few years before Barker's cameo in the Adam Sandler movie Happy Gilmore, an unrelated Adam Sandler joined the production staff of The New Price Is Right. After that ended, coincidentally around the same time Gilmore hit theaters, Sandler moved to the daytime show.
Nine years before it became the show's catchphrase, "Come on down" was used on the original show when it moved to ABC. As the celebrity guest player drew a card for a studio audience member, that person was entreated to "come on down" to a waiting area onstage.
On a prior April Fools' Day episode, Drew Carey was introduced as "The star of the Late Late Show". Come April Fools' Day 2014, he and Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson traded places.
Internet Backdraft: Go to any TV-related forum and mention Barker or Carey, then run for the hills and watch the fur fly. Some forums have a hard time with topics on this show in general because of fears it may quickly degenerate into a "Barker/Carey Sucks/Rocks"-fest.
It Was His Sled: The full name of one of the games is "Hole in One... Or Two".
Misblamed: Some people blame the show for its abundance of short lineups in recent years. note (example: 1 Right Price, Rat Race, Most Expen$ive, Grocery Game, Dice Game, Take Two) However, it's CBS that's to blame because of them demanding more commercial time for the show.
Professor Price, played a mere two times in November 1977. To its credit, it was won both times.
Shower Game, played ten times in 1978, was ousted primarily because it was boring and anticlimactic. This said, one viewer complained that the game's premise (enter the shower stall you think has the car's right price and pull the chain) was reminiscent of the Jewish Holocaust.
The version of Cliff Hangers from Bruce's in the UK. When a contestant loses, the mountain climber is heard screaming for five seconds just after he falls.
Older Than They Think: The Barker/Carey Price borrowed many elements from Lets Make A Deal, such as picking contestants directly out of the audience as well as the audience yelling suggestions to the contestant during any given game.
Periphery Demographic: College students love Price, mostly because it airs during typical lunch hours. It got to the point at Penn State where a person wrote in to the campus newspaper complaining about Price being the only thing shown in the dining halls, after which hundreds of letters were sent the next day in support of the show.
The producers noticed a surge in popularity after Barker appeared in Happy Gilmore as himself in a Pro/AM golf tournament, getting paired up with (and later beating the everloving crap out of) Sandler's titular character.
Replacement Scrappy: Drew gets a lot of the flames for his hosting style, although historically this mainly applies to the announcer searches.
After Johnny Olson's death in 1985, the show rotated announcing duties among Rod Roddy, Gene Wood, Bob Hilton, and Rich Jefferies, with Rod ultimately getting the nod after first choice Hilton had to turn it down due to other commitments (none of which made it past the pilot stage). Not one fan liked Jefferies' flat, nasal voice. While Gene was generally considered a great announcer (having announced countless game shows, primarily for Goodson-Todman, between 1966 and 1996), many thought he was too mellow for Price.
With Rod's declining health in the early 2000s, he often asked other announcers to fill in for him, most often Burton Richardson or close friend Randy West. Paul Boland (previously of the 1998-99 Match Game) subbed for one week in 2002, but got the boot because he had No Indoor Voice and refused demands to tone it down.
After Rod died in late 2003, the show tried out another string of guest announcers: Don Bishop, Rich Fields, Burton Richardson, Roger Rose, Daniel Rosen, Art Sanders, Jim Thornton, and the aforementioned Randy West. Opinions vary wildly on those other than Randy, and Barker apparently wanted to hire Art immediately, but:
There's absolutely no love for Daniel Rosen. On his first episodes, he had the enthusiasm of a sloth on NyQuil and didn't interact with Bob. While he got slightly better, his attempts at "enthusiasm" sounded painfully fake, and he sometimes came across as if he were trying to imitate Rod (even going so far as to sign off as "Daaaaaaaaaaaniel Rosen", similarly to how Rod would drag out his first name when signing off). Even his audience warm-ups must have been terrible, as the usually raucous audience sounds unnervingly quiet. Rosen was further hated after infecting popular fan forum Golden-Road.net with multiple sockpuppet accounts who proceeded to banter about how good his announcing was despite both the site's legit members and the show's own staff having no kind words for him. (To his credit, Rosen got a lot better during the live stage shows at Harrah's.)
Burton Richardson (who also did the Davidson version) is quite divisive: most think he's anywhere from good to excellent, but some think that he goes way overboard on emphasizing his words (sometimes dubbed the "puke" style of announcing).
Don Bishop was decent, but lost major points with the fans for never interacting with Bob. Bob tried pretty hard to get Don to interact with him, but even lines such as "Don, I need a winner. Can you get me a winner this time?" only got the standard-script response of "[Name], come on down."
Jim Thornton was almost kicked off after his first day, probably because his voice cracked a lot. Clearly his announcing skills have improved, as Wheel of Fortune chose him as its permanent announcer in Spring 2011.
Then Rich Fields started to become a victim of this — many simply disliked that he got picked over Randy West, in part because of Randy's major connections to the fanbase, and in part because some just didn't like Rich's style (particularly in later episodes, where he developed a nasty case of No Indoor Voice). Fremantle Media was reportedly not that fond of Rich in the first place, and would've kicked him out when Barker left had he and Roger Dobkowitz not stepped in. Rich ended up being fired after Season 38 due to matters that were a mess of his own making and unrelated to Price, although the powers that be wanted an announcer with experience in improv comedy.
And it continued with the post-Rich substitutes in Season 39. Jeff Davis, David H. Lawrence XVII, and George Gray were all considered pretty close in quality, although George's first episode was rough and some felt that he was given the nod because he's good friends with EP Mike Richards. Very few were in favor of Brad Sherwood or Steve White for their phony enthusiasm (and in White's case, giving Drew inane titles like "hip-hop sensation"), while JD Roberto was seen as So Okay, It's Average. There's also some division over the further Ascended Extra nature of the announcer role that's being called for, partly because none of the candidates had any prior experience as game show announcers.
The Scrappy: Pricing games aren't immune to Scrappydom, either.
Add 'em Up, used from September 1986 to October 1988, may go down in history as one of the most hated. The contestant was shown a total (such as 21) that was reached by adding the four numbers in the price of the car note (no five-digit cars were ever used). The contestant chose a free number, then had to figure out the other three with one mistake allowed; on the second mistake, the game ended. In addition to requiring more math than usual for Price, contestants tended to lose because there was more than one way to get to the total (i.e., 5+1 or 4+2). Possibly the only good thing to come from the game was the car price display, which was shared by Pathfinder when it debuted in 1987 note (the "Add 'em Up" logo used to be on top, but was removed around this point) and remains a separate prop even today (as shown on a 2008 MDS).
Pick-A-Number was instantly hated by most fans the day it debuted (the supposed "4,000th Episode", which itself didn't have much to celebrate the occasion other than this game's debut).
Any game that can still be lost if the pricing portion is played perfectly. Drew didn't like this, so Roger altered ½ Off to award $500 for getting any pair of items (later changed to $1,000 for winning all three pairs) and retired Joker (which had been scheduled to return in February 2008) to avoid another confrontation.
Professor Price stood no chance of succeeding once the audience found out they weren't allowed to help out the contestant...like in nearly every other pricing game.
Starting in Season 37, some car pricing games have declined to this. For instance, Gas Money and Stack The Deck were met with love from fans on their debuts, but now they are among hated games for their difficulty. Meanwhile, That's Too Much! went through a phase of having the correct stopping price placed in the 2nd or 9th slots, appropriately earning it the nickname "That's Two Ninth!" for the Fake Difficulty.
Season 18 (1989-90). Bob being bored (one playing of One Away on Memorial Day 1990 had him handle a wipeout really poorly and dragged the "historic moment" on too long), and the offstage controversy with Dian around this point that eventually ended in them breaking up. The only good things that happened were the debuts of Make Your Move (Put on a Bus within a few months, then returned in October 1990 with two three-digit prizes for two playings; they changed it back because the overlapping numbers were too confusing) and 2 for the Price of 1.
Season 37 (2008-09), for a variety of reasons:
Roger Dobkowitz planned to make up for the lack of new games in Season 36 (itself done so Drew could learn the games that were already in the rotation) by introducing a new game on every day of the season premiere week, a feat not done since the show returned in 1972 and debuted five games in two shows. Thanks to budget issues and Roger's ousting, only one new game debuted (Gas Money, on the season premiere).
Several games were put on lengthy hiatus, including Triple Play, four-prize games, Credit Card (the only five-prizer), and Dice Game. Credit Card still hasn't come back.
Drew openly expressed his hatred of 3 Strikes on its first playing of the season, which caused the game to have a different set of rules each time it was played before being put on hiatus as well.
Make Your Mark was retired after Drew screwed up and the staff feared to correct him.
Mike Richards became co-head honcho with Syd Vinnedge, who had become Executive Producer at the beginning of Season 36 and was reported to be reading the newspaper during tapings.
Showcases became painfully unfunny "Drewcases" — Drew became obsessed with FRIED CHICKEN!, a pie fight broke out for absolutely no reason, a hockey fight broke out for no good reason, and the models realized they could talk. Rich got the absolute worst of it — he became a Jerk Ass (he had fried chicken all along!), a Butt Monkey (once suspended over a dunk tank), a Professional Butt-Kisser (reading his copy in weird ways), dyslexic ("A new swim bear!"), and the Most Annoying Sound ("Hey, [contestant]! Do you like x?"; a lady on February 16, 2009 actually said no!).
Drew's "something is amiss" mannerisms in the wake of Terry Kneiss' perfect bid. While the bid didn't directly cause a plethora of outlandish prizes and not-provided-by-the-manufacturer "designer items" to be added, it certainly made them more plentiful.
Jack Wagner and Ed Begley Jr. made infamous appearances; Wagner "flashed" Drew and kept re-appearing to chew the scenery (to the point that one contestant seemed distracted from their game and lost, which may have been the point), while Begley botched two car reveals.
The "trip skins" (giant artwork-filled displays that were usually cobbled together from several sources and needed little to no maintenance) were replaced by green-screen displays in the same shape. Contestant responses to seeing a big green wall with a destination name plastered on the corner were generally less than enthusiastic, Door #3 (which is green) couldn't be shown opening due to said green screen, and a particularly awkward playing of Switch? for two trips had them shown on a single display with a divider down the middle. Over the next three months, a few minor alterations were made until they were simply ousted in favor of the current plasma screens (although they returned briefly during the Showcase on May 19 and October 8, 2009 to show a giant treehouse sitting outside Television City).
Many of the classic music cues, some retained since 1972, were ousted in favor of "modern" tracks generally considered vastly inferior. As a result, later seasons decided to combine the old and new into remixed versions of the original prize cues.
...But to be fair, the season saw the debut of Gas Money (Roger's last game concept), the ousting of director Bart Eskander in favor of Rich DiPirro, the reinstitution of both the Big Wheel split-screen arrow shot and the Giant Price Tag/Door #3 car reveal shot (both originally used by former Price director Marc Breslow). Also, Drew didadmit his Showcases didn't work.
So Okay, It's Average: Some pricing games fall into this category. Pity the player who's called onstage to play Double Prices (literally the entire game is "Is it $x or $y?").
1 Right Price has this problem too, being essentially an inversion of Double Prices. One price is shown, you guess whether the one right price is Prize 1 or Prize 2. Guess right, you win both prizes.
Justified in that games like this are typically included because they're short, which helps keep the show within its time limit after playing something a lot more time-consuming (Plinko, Golden Road, etc.).
Special Effect Failure: The show has always used (and continues to use) "physical" props — displays, lights, cards, tabs, buttons, flaps, labels, etc. — along with electronic displays and old computers (most notably Magic #; yep, that's a computer). Needless to say, given that most of them have been used since the earliest days of the show's run, something is prone to slip up. Beginning in 2008, though, many new props and game redesigns have used flat-panel screens and modern PCs.
According to Golden-Road.net's FAQ, Magic # can't be played first because its computer requires time to boot up (which would have one wonder why they don't boot it before taping begins). They also refuse to update this game, despite how dated this "high-tech" game has looked in comparison to props and games with modern PCs and LCD displays retrofitted into them, and the touchscreen-based Double Cross.
The show was very slow to adopt computer graphics so, since everything was being controlled manually, the whole design was quite error-prone. The border full of flashing lights shown in the intro is the most obvious example — from its 1975 debut until it was replaced in 1998 with a CGI border, it was often misaligned.
Still not completely averted, even with CGI. Since early 2010, some three-digit bids in Contestant's Row will align to the left. This appears to be caused by those controlling the displays mistakenly putting in a four-digit bid.
In the original series, which aired live on the East Coast, the tote readouts would occasionally malfunction; as a result, the models would write the contestants' bids on a sketch pad behind them with frozen bids circled.
In a playing of It's In The Bag from September 22, 2006, Bob accidentally pushed the button while setting up the $8,000 bag for the contestant's decision, revealing the prize in said bag. The contestant placed the wrong product above the bag, but because of Bob's mistake, the contestant was awarded $4,000 for correctly identifying the first three products.
Not even the Big Wheel is safe from malfunction shenanigans. On April 29, 2011, the 7 on the 75-cent space snapped in half; Drew put the broken piece back in place, which managed to stick for the next spin.
Danger Price in one instance had two prices revealed at the same time when the model pressed only one button to reveal one price. Both of the prices revealed were "correct" (as in not being the titular price to avoid) and Drew had to allow the contestant to keep the freebie, making the game easier for him.
November 11, 2013: The first digit display for Dice Game wasn't working, so they stuck a number card from Cover Up on it. Drew points it out, noting that "there's the right way, the easy way, then there's the Marine Corps way."
Subverted when it's the third contestant who thinks he's so smart to bid $1, and then the fourth player bids $2 to the roars and cheers of the audience.
At least Carey and Richards think the fandom is this trope, and have basically refused to listen to them...although the staff still lurks on Golden-Road.net; take that for what you will.
...And then both Richards and Sandler began mentioning the site on the former's "Randumb Show" podcast, going so far as to want site creators Marc Green and John Sly to appear on the show to discuss Price.
Bullseye '72 is probably the only universally accepted example of this, being lost every one of the five times it was played; it was later jury-rigged to become the two-contestant Double Bullseye that forced a win, but that just didn't work either so they canned it. Some more subjective examples are That's Too Much!, Fortune Hunter, Step Up, and Mystery Price note (which performed the best out of this group, having been won on 11 of its 17 playings).
Inverted by pricing games that are apparently hated for being too easy, such as Pick-A-Number, but played straight when its set up in ways considered unfair by fans (i.e. having to guess the second-last number in a price)
Many people hate 10 Chances, which can take forever to play, especially with an inept contestant who is a slow writer and who still, after claiming to have watched the show for years, can't figure out the unwritten rule of the game's prices always ending in zero (unless zero isn't a choice, in which case it always ends in 5).
Pay the Rent, which offers a $100,000 grand prize for successfully finding a combination of six grocery items that will satisfy the conditions of the game (a single item, then a pair of items that cost more then the previous, than another pair of items that cost more than the last, and then the most expensive item). Unlike all other games, the "hidden rule" for one-solution playings (see below) is that contestants will not win by placing the groceries in order from least to most expensive. Despite this, a contestant placed the items correctly within two months of its debut, but didn't realize this until he walked with $10,000.
Originally (Seasons 39-40), Pay the Rent had just one solution. As Season 41 progressed, the game became progressively easier to win in what was clearly a "$100,000Mission", and when it finally was won the game had gotten to having around 13 solutions. Unsurprisingly, they went right back to having one solution on its next playing.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Some fans find the removal of some pricing games as a bad idea. They also see Drew Carey to be a poor host, mainly for his occasional lack of enthusiasm.
Inverted by those fans of Carey who were mostly swayed by the backstage nightmare stories about Barker; indeed, a lot of game show fans have turned on Bob — seemingly moreso after he retired. The above DVD issues come to mind, as well as his spat over the GSN Game Show Awards and Betty White. And memories of his past scandals have resurfaced almost more than ever on online forums.
The replacement of Rich Fields with George Gray as The Announcer also sent the sparks flying. And Fields himself has gotten unfavorably compared to predecessors Johnny Olson and Rod Roddy, as well as to other announcers who were in the running to replace Roddy (such as Randy West and Burton Richardson). Heck, some fans think none of the subsequent announcers have come close to matching Johnny Olson.
The Davidson version was generally hated among longtime fans of the show due to its radical changes (half-hour format, no Contestant's Row or Big Wheel, altered Showdown, glitzier theme and set, different personnel, radically-different games, etc.). Many fans have since retracted their hatred of this version, especially when the Drewcases started up.
Fans mostly hate the complete overhaul of prizes; where there used to be grandfather clocks and dining rooms, there are now ridiculously-expensive trips to little-known cities with amenities that are impossible to price (most notably, insanely-expensive trips to Los Angeles and Hollywood, where the show tapes), home photo booths, "designer" items, and things that Drew has stated on-air as having used himself. Although mostly sounding like an attempt to make the show appeal to one of the aforementioned periphery demographics (what college student dreams of winning a grandfather clock?), many games have been lost due to these items that, generally, nobody would know the price of.
The reverse product placement, done because the items in question aren't sponsored (i.e., provided for free or at reduced price by the company). So, instead of plugging a jar of Jif peanut butter, the announcer instead says something generic like "Peanut butter makes a delightful snack!"
And this then gets subverted after the descriptions, when the brand name is called by the contestant and/or Drew himself. Using the above example, the contestant will say "I'll pick the Jif!" and Drew will repeat "The Jif! Actual price..."
Even changing the music cues around can elicit this trope. The Big Banana, which was kept mostly the same since its induction in the 1976 music package until sometime in 1984, when it was changed to a lower-pitched version for no apparent reason. It didn't take until the very end of Season 20 (1991-92) for it to be replaced.
The 2012 Australian version had popular 1990s-2000s Price host Larry Emdur, but not much else.
The show pretty obviously suffered from a severe case of No Budget — the pricing games not only looked cheap and never bothered to have their names on the props (Cliffhangers being a particularly good example), but almost all of the prize budget was put into the Showcase...including any cars at all. Sure, this had been the case on prior versions, but at least on those the pricing games offered substantial prizes!
The majority of the proceedings were a Product Promotion Parade for the department store chain Big W. Plinko and Wonderwall (aka Punch-A-Bunch), both normally played for cash, were instead played for Big W "shopping sprees" (read: store credit). Cash was never offered during the show's run.
Game Show Garbage does a much better job of explaining it here and here, because thankfully it got canned after seven months.
Pick-A-Number's set screams of this. The set has been used for over 20 years, and they still haven't bothered to give it a new paint job or update. There's no excuse for them to neglect its set for that long, especially when it looks awful in HD.
And now probably the biggest example of this trope in the medium. The lawsuits brought against Bob Barker paint him as a deranged, racist, power-mad dictator who lost (destroyed?) his moral compass at some point between October 19, 1981 note (the day his wife Dorothy Jo died) and Season 16 note (when he let his hair go gray and became Executive Producer)...and who turned sour once the cameras and fans left. Regardless of whether they have any merit, it's quite evident that nobody in a position of power at CBS or All-American/Pearson/Fremantle thought to A) fire Barker outright and/or B) install some hidden security cameras. The only logical explanation for looking the other way time and again is that Barker was making them so much money they could forego morals, ignore wrongful-termination laws, and issue hush clauses.
Deborah Curling's lawsuit allegations imply that the problem got "fixed" — apparently, she was forced to work in a horrible environment (black staffers such as herself were ridiculed and treated poorly) and filed a complaint with CBS despite being told by Roger Dobkowitz not to go against Barker. After telling CBS about the problems and threatening a lawsuit if they refused to do something about it, they offered her an extension with a hush clause; she refused and was immediately fired. Perhaps the most damning claim of all is that this happened in October 2006, which would be (unsaid in the allegations) some days before Barker announced his voluntary retirement on Halloween. If the allegations are true, perhaps "voluntary" isn't the right word...
Fans were quick to point out that Grand Game's refreshed set has new logo lettering grafted on top of the letter shapes from the old logo... which don't match up at all.