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* UnwinnableByDesign: Just occasionally, the numbers round will throw up a target that it's impossible to reach with the available numbers.

to:

* UnwinnableByDesign: Just occasionally, the UnwinnableByMistake: The numbers round will throw up sometimes generates a target that it's is impossible to reach with the available six chosen numbers.


* GameShowHost: Richard Whiteley is the most well-known.[[note]]He was also a presenter on Yorkshire Television's regional news programme ''Calendar'', earning him the nickname "Twice Nightly Whiteley".[[/note]] He was replaced after his passing in 2005 by Des Lynam, who turned the desk over to Des O'Connor in 2007. Jeff Stelling was the next host, starting in 2009; he left at the end of 2011 and was replaced with Nick Hewer ([[Series/TheApprentice yes,]] ''[[Series/TheApprentice that]]'' [[Series/TheApprentice Nick Hewer]]) at the start of 2012. Anne Robinson, host of ''Series/TheWeakestLink'' (and a contestant in 1987), succeeded Hewer after he left in June 2021. Creator/JimmyCarr naturally hosts ''8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown''.

to:

* GameShowHost: Richard Whiteley is the most well-known.[[note]]He was also a presenter on Yorkshire Television's regional news programme ''Calendar'', earning him the nickname "Twice Nightly Whiteley".[[/note]] He was replaced after his passing in 2005 by Des Lynam, who turned the desk over to Des O'Connor in 2007. Jeff Stelling was the next host, starting in 2009; he left at the end of 2011 and was replaced with Nick Hewer ([[Series/TheApprentice yes,]] ''[[Series/TheApprentice that]]'' [[Series/TheApprentice Nick Hewer]]) at the start of 2012. Anne Robinson, host of ''Series/TheWeakestLink'' (and a contestant Dictionary Corner guest in 1987), succeeded Hewer after he left in June 2021. Creator/JimmyCarr naturally hosts ''8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown''.


* GameShowHost: Richard Whiteley is the most well-known.[[note]]He was also a presenter on Yorkshire Television's regional news programme ''Calendar'', earning him the nickname "Twice Nightly Whiteley".[[/note]] He was replaced after his passing by Des Lynam, then Des O'Connor. Jeff Stelling began hosting the show upon the departure of O'Connor. Stelling left the show in 2012, and was replaced with Nick Hewer ([[Series/TheApprentice yes,]] ''[[Series/TheApprentice that]]'' [[Series/TheApprentice Nick Hewer]]). Anne Robinson, host of ''Series/TheWeakestLink'' (and a contestant in 1987), succeeded Hewer after he left in June 2021. Creator/JimmyCarr naturally hosts ''8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown''.

to:

* GameShowHost: Richard Whiteley is the most well-known.[[note]]He was also a presenter on Yorkshire Television's regional news programme ''Calendar'', earning him the nickname "Twice Nightly Whiteley".[[/note]] He was replaced after his passing in 2005 by Des Lynam, then who turned the desk over to Des O'Connor. O'Connor in 2007. Jeff Stelling began hosting was the show upon the departure of O'Connor. Stelling next host, starting in 2009; he left at the show in 2012, end of 2011 and was replaced with Nick Hewer ([[Series/TheApprentice yes,]] ''[[Series/TheApprentice that]]'' [[Series/TheApprentice Nick Hewer]]).Hewer]]) at the start of 2012. Anne Robinson, host of ''Series/TheWeakestLink'' (and a contestant in 1987), succeeded Hewer after he left in June 2021. Creator/JimmyCarr naturally hosts ''8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown''.


* GameShowHost: Richard Whiteley is the most well-known.[[note]]He was also a presenter on Yorkshire Television's regional news programme ''Calendar'', earning him the nickname "Twice Nightly Whiteley".[[/note]] He was replaced after his passing by Des Lynam, then Des O'Connor. Jeff Stelling began hosting the show upon the departure of O'Connor. Stelling left the show in 2012, and was replaced with Nick Hewer ([[Series/TheApprentice yes,]] ''[[Series/TheApprentice that]]'' [[Series/TheApprentice Nick Hewer]]). Anne Robinson, host of ''Series/TheWeakestLink'', succeeded Hewer after he left in June 2021. Creator/JimmyCarr naturally hosts ''8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown''.

to:

* GameShowHost: Richard Whiteley is the most well-known.[[note]]He was also a presenter on Yorkshire Television's regional news programme ''Calendar'', earning him the nickname "Twice Nightly Whiteley".[[/note]] He was replaced after his passing by Des Lynam, then Des O'Connor. Jeff Stelling began hosting the show upon the departure of O'Connor. Stelling left the show in 2012, and was replaced with Nick Hewer ([[Series/TheApprentice yes,]] ''[[Series/TheApprentice that]]'' [[Series/TheApprentice Nick Hewer]]). Anne Robinson, host of ''Series/TheWeakestLink'', ''Series/TheWeakestLink'' (and a contestant in 1987), succeeded Hewer after he left in June 2021. Creator/JimmyCarr naturally hosts ''8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown''.


* GameShowHost: Richard Whiteley is the most well-known.[[note]]He was also a presenter on Yorkshire Television's regional news programme ''Calendar'', earning him the nickname "Twice Nightly Whiteley".[[/note]] He was replaced after his passing by Des Lynam, then Des O'Connor. Jeff Stelling began hosting the show upon the departure of O'Connor. Stelling left the show in 2012, and was replaced with Nick Hewer ([[Series/TheApprentice yes,]] ''[[Series/TheApprentice that]]'' [[Series/TheApprentice Nick Hewer]]). Anne Robinson, host of ''Series/TheWeakestLink]'', succeeded Hewer after he left in June 2021. Creator/JimmyCarr naturally hosts ''8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown''.

to:

* GameShowHost: Richard Whiteley is the most well-known.[[note]]He was also a presenter on Yorkshire Television's regional news programme ''Calendar'', earning him the nickname "Twice Nightly Whiteley".[[/note]] He was replaced after his passing by Des Lynam, then Des O'Connor. Jeff Stelling began hosting the show upon the departure of O'Connor. Stelling left the show in 2012, and was replaced with Nick Hewer ([[Series/TheApprentice yes,]] ''[[Series/TheApprentice that]]'' [[Series/TheApprentice Nick Hewer]]). Anne Robinson, host of ''Series/TheWeakestLink]'', ''Series/TheWeakestLink'', succeeded Hewer after he left in June 2021. Creator/JimmyCarr naturally hosts ''8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown''.


* GameShowHost: Richard Whiteley is the most well-known.[[note]]He was also a presenter on Yorkshire Television's regional news programme ''Calendar'', earning him the nickname "Twice Nightly Whiteley".[[/note]] He was replaced after his passing by Des Lynam, then Des O'Connor. Jeff Stelling began hosting the show upon the departure of O'Connor. Stelling left the show in 2012, and was replaced with Nick Hewer ([[Series/TheApprentice yes,]] ''[[Series/TheApprentice that]]'' [[Series/TheApprentice Nick Hewer]]). Anne Robinson, host of ''[[Series/TheWeakestLink]]'', succeeded Hewer after he left in June 2021. Creator/JimmyCarr naturally hosts ''8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown''.

to:

* GameShowHost: Richard Whiteley is the most well-known.[[note]]He was also a presenter on Yorkshire Television's regional news programme ''Calendar'', earning him the nickname "Twice Nightly Whiteley".[[/note]] He was replaced after his passing by Des Lynam, then Des O'Connor. Jeff Stelling began hosting the show upon the departure of O'Connor. Stelling left the show in 2012, and was replaced with Nick Hewer ([[Series/TheApprentice yes,]] ''[[Series/TheApprentice that]]'' [[Series/TheApprentice Nick Hewer]]). Anne Robinson, host of ''[[Series/TheWeakestLink]]'', ''Series/TheWeakestLink]'', succeeded Hewer after he left in June 2021. Creator/JimmyCarr naturally hosts ''8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown''.


* GameShowHost: Richard Whiteley is the most well-known.[[note]]He was also a presenter on Yorkshire Television's regional news programme ''Calendar'', earning him the nickname "Twice Nightly Whiteley".[[/note]] He was replaced after his passing by Des Lynam, then Des O'Connor. Jeff Stelling began hosting the show upon the departure of O'Connor. Stelling left the show in 2012, and was replaced with Nick Hewer ([[Series/TheApprentice yes,]] ''[[Series/TheApprentice that]]'' [[Series/TheApprentice Nick Hewer]]). Creator/JimmyCarr naturally hosts ''8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown''.

to:

* GameShowHost: Richard Whiteley is the most well-known.[[note]]He was also a presenter on Yorkshire Television's regional news programme ''Calendar'', earning him the nickname "Twice Nightly Whiteley".[[/note]] He was replaced after his passing by Des Lynam, then Des O'Connor. Jeff Stelling began hosting the show upon the departure of O'Connor. Stelling left the show in 2012, and was replaced with Nick Hewer ([[Series/TheApprentice yes,]] ''[[Series/TheApprentice that]]'' [[Series/TheApprentice Nick Hewer]]). Anne Robinson, host of ''[[Series/TheWeakestLink]]'', succeeded Hewer after he left in June 2021. Creator/JimmyCarr naturally hosts ''8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown''.

Added DiffLines:

** Fabio and his cohorts are a male example- their collective job is to bring the prizes in and out while wearing very little clothing, and then smile and wave to the audience.


* StudioAudience: Used to have one until 2020, due to the UsefulNotes/COVID19Pandemic forced it to begin filming without one when it returned. It was later announced that this change would become permanent.

to:

* StudioAudience: Used to have one until 2020, due to when the UsefulNotes/COVID19Pandemic forced it to begin filming without one when it returned. It was later announced that this change would become permanent.

Added DiffLines:

* StudioAudience: Used to have one until 2020, due to the UsefulNotes/COVID19Pandemic forced it to begin filming without one when it returned. It was later announced that this change would become permanent.


* NumberOfTheBeast: Occasionally 666 will come up as the target sum in the number round. This has been shown to disturb members of the audience, as well as some of the players.

to:

* NumberOfTheBeast: Occasionally 666 will come up as the target sum in the number numbers round. This has been shown to disturb members of the audience, as well as some of the players.

Added DiffLines:

* NumberOfTheBeast: Occasionally 666 will come up as the target sum in the number round. This has been shown to disturb members of the audience, as well as some of the players.


!!GameShowTropes in use:

to:

!!GameShowTropes !!This show provides examples of:
* ActuallyPrettyFunny: when [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfa3MHLLSWI&t=167s this]] occurs, Carol nearly dies laughing.
* AlliterativeName:
** The ''Countdown'' Conundrum. It becomes a "Crucial ''Countdown'' Conundrum" if the players' scores differ by 10 or less.
** The Teatime Teaser that bridges each commercial break.
* AndYourRewardIsClothes: Or, as befits the game, books: the grand prize is a dictionary. Not just any dictionary, though, but the [[{{Doorstopper}} full 23-volume leather-bound complete Oxford English Dictionary]]. It's so huge, it actually causes problems for some winners because it takes up ''so much'' space.
** The winner of series 31, David Acton, refused to accept the leather-bound dictionary because of his strict veganism. He chose to receive the dictionary on CD instead, giving the significant difference
in use:
value to charity.
** When a champion loses, the challenger who beat him/her receives a teapot shaped like the show's 30-second time clock.
* ArtificialStupidity: The computer which generates the target numbers during the Numbers Round has a habit of throwing out ludicrously easy ones from time to time, usually requiring only two or three of the six numbers on the board. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3I2lafp9LY Here's an example]]. Contestants sometimes try to be clever in these situations, but most of the time this trick backfires and gives the opponent a chance at some easy points.



* CatchPhrase: Several, used by the various hosts to start the clock: "Stand by," "Clock time," "And here's the countdown clock," and sometimes just "Countdown."
* {{Corpsing}}: Richard Whiteley loses it while telling a [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFbumvpcvuw joke once]]; amazing how he can even make a bad joke funny.
* CrossOver: Being as iconic as it is, the game has appeared in ''other'' shows as part of some kind of task notably to embarrass Creator/AntAndDec on ''Saturday Night Takeaway'', and as a shopping budget task on ''Series/BigBrother''.
** A more straightforward crossover happened with ''Series/EightOutOfTenCats'' as part of Channel 4's "mash-up" night in 2012. The format proved so popular that it has developed into a series in its own right.
* [[CuteKitten Cute Kittens]]: Jimmy actually brings eight kittens in during one round to distract the contestants. It works, but he also spends the round literally herding cats when they escape from their baskets.
* DidntThinkThisThrough: The above-mentioned [[https://youtu.be/JKub0glGQJg?t=478 "kitten incident"]] in one episode of the ''Series/EightOutOfTenCats'' crossover , lampshaded when they point out that Jimmy didn't think it through.
* DumbBlonde: Completely averted with Rachel Riley. She studied mathematics at Oxford, graduated with honors, and can often work out an exact solution for the numbers round if neither of the contestants can get it. On the rare occasions that she can't figure one out on the spot, she works on it either during a commercial break or at home.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: the basic format hasn't changed that much since the show started on Channel 4, but there have been some peripheral changes which make watching anniversary repeats a bit strange. For example the existence of several female assistants instead of one (who essentially acts as co-presenter now), the extending of the show from half an hour to three quarters, no Susie Dent as resident lexicographer with her own "origins of words" featurette, no "Teatime Teaser" book-ending the commercial breaks, and (in the first episode) the fact that things did seem a lot more awkward.
** Before Channel 4 there was also an earlier incarnation, ''Calendar Countdown'' which was shown only on Yorkshire Television as an offshoot of regional news programme ''Calendar''. If the pilot (kicking around Website/YouTube somewhere) is anything to go by, the format was a lot different, with rounds not making it into the more famous Channel 4 incarnation and the clock ran for 45 seconds.
* EndOfAnAge: On Carol Vorderman's last show (12 December 2008), the final conundrum was ERA CLOSES (CASSEROLE).
* FunWithAcronyms: CECIL is the ''Countdown'' Electronic Computer In Leeds. (Unfortunately, it is now somewhat of a NonIndicativeName, given how the program has since moved from what used to be YTV, to the ex-Granada studio block in Manchester, and most recently to the new [=MediaCityUK=] complex across the river in Salford.)
* GameShowHost: Richard Whiteley is the most well-known.[[note]]He was also a presenter on Yorkshire Television's regional news programme ''Calendar'', earning him the nickname "Twice Nightly Whiteley".[[/note]] He was replaced after his passing by Des Lynam, then Des O'Connor. Jeff Stelling began hosting the show upon the departure of O'Connor. Stelling left the show in 2012, and was replaced with Nick Hewer ([[Series/TheApprentice yes,]] ''[[Series/TheApprentice that]]'' [[Series/TheApprentice Nick Hewer]]). Creator/JimmyCarr naturally hosts ''8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown''.
%% * GettingCrapPastThe Radar: Due to overwhelming and persistent misuse, GCPTR is on-page examples only until 01 June 2021. If you are reading this in the future, please check the trope page to make sure your example fits the current definition.
* GoldenSnitch: Invoked in one of the ''Series/EightOutOfTenCats Does Countdown'' editions, where the team of Bob Mortimer and Lee Mack (trailing 54-0) seemingly arbitrarily persuade host Jimmy Carr (with some help from Joe Wilkinson) to make the final conundrum worth 100 points. [[spoiler:They still manage to lose the conundrum anyway.]] Similarly, just because Jon Richardson wanted to finish a show with the most points of any Countdown player ever, Jimmy made the conundrum of one episode worth over 800 points (the difference between his lifetime total and that of the all-time leader).
* HiddenDepths: One episode had the contestants write poems for a guest appearance by [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Cooper_Clarke John Cooper Clarke]]. Johnny Vegas' poem [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JADmrVVz3bI got a standing ovation from most of the panel]], including Clarke himself.



* Personnel:
** GameShowHost: Richard Whiteley is the most well-known.[[note]]He was also a presenter on Yorkshire Television's regional news programme ''Calendar'', earning him the nickname "Twice Nightly Whiteley".[[/note]] He was replaced after his passing by Des Lynam, then Des O'Connor. Jeff Stelling began hosting the show upon the departure of O'Connor. Stelling left the show in 2012, and was replaced with Nick Hewer ([[Series/TheApprentice yes,]] ''[[Series/TheApprentice that]]'' [[Series/TheApprentice Nick Hewer]]). Creator/JimmyCarr naturally hosts ''8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown''.
** LovelyAssistant: Primarily Carol Vorderman and Rachel Riley, but the earlier seasons had more of them before Carol took over. [[note]]Carol Vorderman's initial role was just that of checking the working out in the numbers round and providing a solution if the contestants couldn't, carrying the humorous (if slightly sexist-sounding) job title "vital statistician"! (She also shared this role with Linda Barrett in the first two series.) Other hostesses were involved in dealing with the letters and numbers tiles. (They included, at various times: Cathy Hytner, Beverley Isherwood, Karen Loughlin and Lucy Summers.)[[/note]]
*** Subverted on some seasons of ''8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown'', where Rachel got her own LovelyAssistant in the shape of Joe Wilkinson.
** StudioAudience
** Dictionary Corner, made up of a lexicographer (usually Susie Dent[[note]]Originally the role varied between different lexicographers but Susie is now a permanent fixture, with her own "Origins of Words" segment[[/note]]) and a guest who changes each week.

to:

* Personnel:
** GameShowHost: Richard Whiteley is the most well-known.[[note]]He was also a presenter on Yorkshire Television's regional news programme ''Calendar'', earning him the nickname "Twice Nightly Whiteley".[[/note]] He was replaced after his passing by Des Lynam, then Des O'Connor. Jeff Stelling began hosting the show upon the departure of O'Connor. Stelling left the show in 2012, and was replaced with Nick Hewer ([[Series/TheApprentice yes,]] ''[[Series/TheApprentice that]]'' [[Series/TheApprentice Nick Hewer]]). Creator/JimmyCarr
HotterAndSexier: The ''Series/EightOutOfTenCats'' version naturally hosts features much more ribald humour and uncensored profanity.
* ImpossiblePickleJar: During one of the countdowns in
''8 Out out of 10 Cats Does Countdown''.
**
Countdown'', Jimmy pulled out an enormous jar of pickles from under the desk and attempted to open it, using an assortment of increasingly unlikely tools. In the dying seconds, Rachel walked over and opened it for him, causing him to comment "I loosened that".
*
LovelyAssistant: Primarily Carol Vorderman and Rachel Riley, but the earlier seasons had more of them before Carol took over. [[note]]Carol Vorderman's initial role was just that of checking the working out in the numbers round and providing a solution if the contestants couldn't, carrying the humorous (if slightly sexist-sounding) job title "vital statistician"! (She also shared this role with Linda Barrett in the first two series.) Other hostesses were involved in dealing with the letters and numbers tiles. (They included, at various times: Cathy Hytner, Beverley Isherwood, Karen Loughlin and Lucy Summers.)[[/note]]
*** Subverted on
)[[/note]] In some seasons of ''8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown'', where Rachel got her own LovelyAssistant in the shape of Joe Wilkinson.
** StudioAudience
** Dictionary Corner, made up
* LuckBasedMission: Even with the Scrabble-like distribution of a lexicographer (usually letters, forming long words can be tricky. Likewise, not all Numbers Rounds have an exact solution.
* MeaningfulName: Two people named Des have hosted the show, and there are two 'Des' in the title of the original French show, ''Des Chiffres et Des Lettres''.
* PungeonMaster: Richard Whiteley.
* RunningGag: On the ''8 Out of 10 Cats'' edition, Nick Helm's [[StalkerWithACrush frighteningly aggressive]] crush on
Susie Dent[[note]]Originally Dent.
* SeriousBusiness: If
the role varied between different lexicographers but Susie is now a permanent fixture, with her own "Origins two players are within 10 points of Words" segment[[/note]]) and a guest who changes each week.other for the final Conundrum, it becomes a Crucial ''Countdown'' Conundrum, and the lights dim to emphasize.
* ShipTease: Considering how much Richard and Carol seemed to get along on-air, this isn't surprising. To a lesser extent, Des O' and Carol.
* SignificantAnagram: Words score one point per letter in the Letters Round, or 18 points for using all nine, and the Conundrum (always a nine-letter anagram) is worth 10.
* TakeThat: When Preston North End got relegated from the Championship, a producer who was a Blackpool fan assembled the Conundrum "[[http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/may/12/blackpool-fans-mock-preston-countdown PNECRISIS]]".



----
!!This show provides examples of:
* ActuallyPrettyFunny: when [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfa3MHLLSWI&t=167s this]] occurs, Carol nearly dies laughing.
* AlliterativeName:
** The ''Countdown'' Conundrum. It becomes a "Crucial ''Countdown'' Conundrum" if the players' scores differ by 10 or less.
** The Teatime Teaser that bridges each commercial break.
* AndYourRewardIsClothes: Or, as befits the game, books: the grand prize is a dictionary. Not just any dictionary, though, but the [[{{Doorstopper}} full 23-volume leather-bound complete Oxford English Dictionary]]. It's so huge, it actually causes problems for some winners because it takes up ''so much'' space.
** The winner of series 31, David Acton, refused to accept the leather-bound dictionary because of his strict veganism. He chose to receive the dictionary on CD instead, giving the significant difference in value to charity.
** When a champion loses, the challenger who beat him/her receives a teapot shaped like the show's 30-second time clock.
* ArtificialStupidity: The computer which generates the target numbers during the Numbers Round has a habit of throwing out ludicrously easy ones from time to time, usually requiring only two or three of the six numbers on the board. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3I2lafp9LY Here's an example]]. Contestants sometimes try to be clever in these situations, but most of the time this trick backfires and gives the opponent a chance at some easy points.
* BadAssNormal: James Martin, if only for [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfa3MHLLSWI this Numbers Round]].
** On 16th August 2017, Noel, the defending champion, managed it twice on the same show.
* CatchPhrase: Several, used by the various hosts to start the clock: "Stand by," "Clock time," "And here's the countdown clock," and sometimes just "Countdown."
* {{Corpsing}}: Richard Whiteley loses it while telling a [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFbumvpcvuw joke once]]; amazing how he can even make a bad joke funny.
* CrossOver: Being as iconic as it is, the game has appeared in ''other'' shows as part of some kind of task notably to embarrass Creator/AntAndDec on ''Saturday Night Takeaway'', and as a shopping budget task on ''Series/BigBrother''.
** A more straightforward crossover happened with ''Series/EightOutOfTenCats'' as part of Channel 4's "mash-up" night in 2012. The format proved so popular that it has developed into a series in its own right.
* [[CuteKitten Cute Kittens]]: Jimmy actually brings eight kittens in during one round to distract the contestants. It works, but he also spends the round literally herding cats when they escape from their baskets.
* DidntThinkThisThrough: The above-mentioned [[https://youtu.be/JKub0glGQJg?t=478 "kitten incident"]] in one episode of the ''Series/EightOutOfTenCats'' crossover , lampshaded when they point out that Jimmy didn't think it through.
* DumbBlonde: Completely averted with Rachel Riley. She studied mathematics at Oxford, graduated with honors, and can often work out an exact solution for the numbers round if neither of the contestants can get it. On the rare occasions that she can't figure one out on the spot, she works on it either during a commercial break or at home.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: the basic format hasn't changed that much since the show started on Channel 4, but there have been some peripheral changes which make watching anniversary repeats a bit strange. For example the existence of several female assistants instead of one (who essentially acts as co-presenter now), the extending of the show from half an hour to three quarters, no Susie Dent as resident lexicographer with her own "origins of words" featurette, no "Teatime Teaser" book-ending the commercial breaks, and (in the first episode) the fact that things did seem a lot more awkward.
** Before Channel 4 there was also an earlier incarnation, ''Calendar Countdown'' which was shown only on Yorkshire Television as an offshoot of regional news programme ''Calendar''. If the pilot (kicking around Website/YouTube somewhere) is anything to go by, the format was a lot different, with rounds not making it into the more famous Channel 4 incarnation and the clock ran for 45 seconds.
* EndOfAnAge: On Carol Vorderman's last show (12 December 2008), the final conundrum was ERA CLOSES (CASSEROLE).
* FunWithAcronyms: CECIL is the ''Countdown'' Electronic Computer In Leeds. (Unfortunately, it is now somewhat of a NonIndicativeName, given how the program has since moved from what used to be YTV, to the ex-Granada studio block in Manchester, and most recently to the new [=MediaCityUK=] complex across the river in Salford.)
%% * GettingCrapPastThe Radar: Due to overwhelming and persistent misuse, GCPTR is on-page examples only until 01 June 2021. If you are reading this in the future, please check the trope page to make sure your example fits the current definition.
* GoldenSnitch: Invoked in one of the ''Series/EightOutOfTenCats Does Countdown'' editions, where the team of Bob Mortimer and Lee Mack (trailing 54-0) seemingly arbitrarily persuade host Jimmy Carr (with some help from Joe Wilkinson) to make the final conundrum worth 100 points. [[spoiler:They still manage to lose the conundrum anyway.]] Similarly, just because Jon Richardson wanted to finish a show with the most points of any Countdown player ever, Jimmy made the conundrum of one episode worth over 800 points (the difference between his lifetime total and that of the all-time leader).
* HiddenDepths: One episode had the contestants write poems for a guest appearance by [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Cooper_Clarke John Cooper Clarke]]. Johnny Vegas' poem [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JADmrVVz3bI got a standing ovation from most of the panel]], including Clarke himself.
* HotterAndSexier: The ''Series/EightOutOfTenCats'' version naturally features much more ribald humour and uncensored profanity.
* ImpossiblePickleJar: During one of the countdowns in ''8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown'', Jimmy pulled out an enormous jar of pickles from under the desk and attempted to open it, using an assortment of increasingly unlikely tools. In the dying seconds, Rachel walked over and opened it for him, causing him to comment "I loosened that".
* LuckBasedMission: Even with the Scrabble-like distribution of letters, forming long words can be tricky. Likewise, not all Numbers Rounds have an exact solution.
* MeaningfulName: Two people named Des have hosted the show, and there are two 'Des' in the title of the original French show, ''Des Chiffres et Des Lettres''.
* PungeonMaster: Richard Whiteley.
* RunningGag: On the ''8 Out of 10 Cats'' edition, Nick Helm's [[StalkerWithACrush frighteningly aggressive]] crush on Susie Dent.
* SeriousBusiness: If the two players are within 10 points of each other for the final Conundrum, it becomes a Crucial ''Countdown'' Conundrum, and the lights dim to emphasize.
* ShipTease: Considering how much Richard and Carol seemed to get along on-air, this isn't surprising. To a lesser extent, Des O' and Carol.
* SignificantAnagram: Words score one point per letter in the Letters Round, or 18 points for using all nine, and the Conundrum (always a nine-letter anagram) is worth 10.
* TakeThat: When Preston North End got relegated from the Championship, a producer who was a Blackpool fan assembled the Conundrum "[[http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/may/12/blackpool-fans-mock-preston-countdown PNECRISIS]]".


* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Any non-capitalized, non-hyphenated single word in the ''Oxford English Dictionary'' is valid in the Letters Round.
** Perhaps the most famous occasion: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gBXPUSXGWs A pair of wankers.]] The word has been used by other contestants since.
*** Once, Dictionary Corner found a seven-letter word, FUCHSIA. Guess what word is [[PrecisionFStrike right below it in the dictionary]]?
** True up to a point - if a really offensive word comes up, they'll redo it. (The "pair of wankers" clip was an out-take, for instance).
** Or some of peoples' looks. The panelists during this exchange...
-->'''Richard Whiteley''': "And what's yours, Kate?"
-->'''Kate Ogilvie''': "Erection."
-->'''Richard''': "Erection.... Don't do this to me please, Kate. I don't want to be on any more [[HilariousOuttakes late-night blooper shows]]!"
** The word ''VOETSAAK'' was once admitted as valid. The reasoning is that this is a colloquial Afrikaans expression accepted into South African English, and is therefore to be found in English dictionaries. It was defined as a familar expression, inviting somebody to go away or to buzz off. Which is [[PrecisionFStrike on the way to being an accurate definition]].

to:

%% * GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Any non-capitalized, non-hyphenated single word GettingCrapPastThe Radar: Due to overwhelming and persistent misuse, GCPTR is on-page examples only until 01 June 2021. If you are reading this in the ''Oxford English Dictionary'' is valid in future, please check the Letters Round.
** Perhaps
trope page to make sure your example fits the most famous occasion: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gBXPUSXGWs A pair of wankers.]] The word has been used by other contestants since.
*** Once, Dictionary Corner found a seven-letter word, FUCHSIA. Guess what word is [[PrecisionFStrike right below it in the dictionary]]?
** True up to a point - if a really offensive word comes up, they'll redo it. (The "pair of wankers" clip was an out-take, for instance).
** Or some of peoples' looks. The panelists during this exchange...
-->'''Richard Whiteley''': "And what's yours, Kate?"
-->'''Kate Ogilvie''': "Erection."
-->'''Richard''': "Erection.... Don't do this to me please, Kate. I don't want to be on any more [[HilariousOuttakes late-night blooper shows]]!"
** The word ''VOETSAAK'' was once admitted as valid. The reasoning is that this is a colloquial Afrikaans expression accepted into South African English, and is therefore to be found in English dictionaries. It was defined as a familar expression, inviting somebody to go away or to buzz off. Which is [[PrecisionFStrike on the way to being an accurate definition]].
current definition.

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* BlinkingLightsOfVictory: The set flashes when one of the contestants gets a nine-letter word.

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