Thirteen of the 32 successful Temple Runs were completed by solo players, which is awesome enough on its own, but within this are special subcategories of awesome:
Just two teams managed to complete a Temple Run without losing a single pendant: the Silver Snakes in "The Enormous Iron Nose Ring of Babe the Ox" and the Orange Iguanas in "The Much-Heralded Helmet of Sir Gawain".
The Orange Iguanas in "The Lucky Medallion of Atocha" and the Blue Barracudas in "The Heart-Shaped Pillow of Annie Taylor" completed solo Temple Runs despite winning just one pendant in the Temple Games.
At the other end of the spectrum, Jennifer of the Blue Barracudas in "The Belly Button of Buddha" and Tarrah of the Purple Parrots in "The Milk Bucket of Freydis" completed solo Temple Runs after their teams had won two pendants in the games.
The Red Jaguars in "The Ivory Hunting Horn of Roland" and "The Mask of Shaka Zulu"note Infamously, due to a production error that opened a much faster route to the treasure than the producers intended; when Bobby was in the Holes of Python, Kirk Fogg's commentary suggested that he expected the door leading up into the Treasure Room to open, but the door to the Tomb of the Ancient Kings opened instead - and that room had the mask in it. and the Blue Barracudas in "The Moccasins of Geronimo" completed Solo runs in under two minutes; had Joel of the Silver Snakes in "The Enormous Iron Nose Ring of Babe the Ox" taken a more efficient route, he could easily have finished under two minutes as well. "The Ivory Hunting Horn of Roland" holds the record for non-production error Temple Runs at 1:50 (only three seconds slower than "The Mask of Shaka Zulu") - despite a path that included the Tomb of the Headless Kings and the Jester's Court, usually huge time sinks.note Mitchell of the Blue Barracudas could probably have scored an even faster time in "The Moccasins of Geronimo" had he not forgotten that he didn't need to put the statue together in the Shrine of the Silver Monkey after getting the moccasins until Kirk Fogg reminded him the doors were all open.
Shane of the Green Monkeys completes the Temple Run solo in "The Very Tall Turban of Ahmed Baba" while going through nearly every room in the Temple, avoiding getting caught by a second Temple Guard through judicious application of Genre Savvy.note Based on his path, the other two Guards were most likely in the Crypt and the Dark Forest; he outright ignores the former, knowing well enough not to take the upper path when the artifact is in an upper room, and he evades the latter by not bothering with any trees and just smashing through the wall. To cap it all off, he makes it out of the Temple with fifteen seconds to spare, something many contestants with much shorter routes couldn't pull off. And for bonus points, like Tarrah in "The Milk Bucket of Freydis", he eschews tossing the pots in the King's Storeroom to the ground in favor of smashing them between his hands; the only difference is that he walks to the pots and smashes them without a second thought.
The Blue Barracudas in "John Sutter and the Map to the Lost Gold Mine" and the Green Monkeys in "Lawrence of Arabia's Headdress" and "The Mussel Shell Armor of Apanuugpak" all completed successful Temple Runs despite running into all three Temple Guards.
The Silver Snakes in "The Ruby Earring of bin-Zabib" were the only team to complete a successful non-solo Temple Run in under two minutes; after first runner Annie ran into two Temple Guards, her teammate Kevin stormed through the Temple, grabbed the earring with 1:24 left on the clock, and needed just 22 seconds to get out again.
All of the four teams to make it out of the temple with exactly one second left: the Green Monkeys in "Lawrence of Arabia's Headdress" and "The Applewood Amulet of Emiliano Zapata", the Silver Snakes in "Galileo's Cannonball", and the Purple Parrots in "The Milk Bucket of Freydis". Tarrah of "The Milk Bucket of Freydis" stands out as the only solo win to make it out with a single second.
Despite only winning three of their runs, the Purple Parrots were really awesome. Each of their victories were obtained with less than ten seconds on the clock.
Their first victory at "Snakeskin Boots of Billy the Kid" can only be described as 'Purple Parrot Pwnage'. They were the first to cross the moat, the first to pass the steps of knowledge, got both medals in the temple games and scored the artifact in record time. It also had an epic moment in the Jester's Court with the boy going second facing forward and bashes his head on one of the buttons instead of facing it backward (To look at the camera) like any normal person would do. At the end, he tries to swing to the other side, but his hand slips so he ends up literally crawling towards the exit through the ledges nearly making a costly mistake taking the wrong route with four seconds to spare.
In "Milk Bucket of Freydis" our runner is a little girl namedTarrah who, while going through the run at a slow pace, solos the entire Temple Run, only running into a Temple Guard once and makes it out with only one second to spare all while going through three time-sinkers in the Jester's Court, King's Storeroom and the Shrine of the Silver Monkey despite her short stature. One cool moment of hers is instead of tipping the vases or raising them over her head like one usually does in the King's Storeroom, she straightens them out, brings her arm back on the first vase she finds...and then repeatedly punches it like she wants to punch someone in the face before slamming another one between her hands. On her way out, she tried to swing across the moat but hits the ledge and breaks the bucket during the fall, a move that would've cost most people the win...yet she still manages to hang on and go through the ledges till the very end and leaps three steps onto the ground where her partner catches her in a flying hug. She wants to be a cop, indeed.
The third and final victory for the Parrots was "The Metal Beard of the Egyptian Queen". The first runner, TJ, zipped through at least half of the path until reaching the Dark Forest. His partner, Randy, follows it up with style, pushing a panel to get to the room of the Secret Password, grab the item at the Shrine of the Silver Monkey and traverse through the other remaining rooms and decides to go swim through the pit and crawl through the ledges with five seconds to spare. All while TJ is screaming at the top of his lungs "GO! GO!!!!" once Randy got the beard.
The Orange Iguanas won just four of their 25 Temple Runs (the lowest win ratio of all six teams), but every one of those victories is pure awesome.
"The Lucky Medallion of Atocha". At first, it looks like this run would be the trope's exact opposite, as Ty drops the team's one and only Pendant on his way into the Temple. However, his partner Jennifer grabs the dropped Pendant and tosses it to him through the Ledges, just in time for Ty to be caught by a Temple Guard. Ty then proceeds to solo the rest of the run and makes it out with mere seconds to spare. It's an extremely rare instance where both players deserve credit even though only one actually went through the Temple; Jennifer's quick thinking saved their run from derailing before it even began. For Ty specifically, it could be seen as something of a redemption after he finished with a silver medal on Nickelodeon GUTS with a disappointing run on the Aggro Crag, struggling to make it to the summit after being sent back down to hit a missing actuator.
Elizabeth and Jason use teamwork and ingenuity to get through the Temple Run in "The Levitating Dog Leash of Nostradamus". Elizabeth signals Jason where the spare half-pendant is located, and when she is caught by her second Temple Guard, Jason uses the dog leash as a lasso to grab the rope and swing his way onto the other side of the pit on his way out.
"The Silver Horseshoe of Butch Cassidy" has the team of Matt and Paula, or as Kirk calls them, "The Comeback Kids", obtain a victory of their own: having a big comeback at the moat, winning the third temple game and winning the tiebreaker to make it to the temple. Paula solos the entire temple with only a pendant on her, starting slow on her way to the horseshoe but then picking up speed at the last minute.
"The Much-Heralded Helmet of Sir Gawain" is a comeback for the solo runner, Tiffani. After giving a dumb answer in Steps of Knowledge and tanking her own temple game, she has to not only solo the run by herself with one pendant and worry about a possible production error (the lights to the Chamber of Sacred Markers flashed but the door didn't open), but also grab the much-heralded helmet (so heralded because it was the largest and heaviest prop for the show) all the way back to the gates with 53 seconds left, struggling with it as she carries it with her through the ledges and makes it out with only ten seconds to spare. The best part about it is that she encountered no Temple Guards on her run.
In the same vein as Tarrah of the Purple Parrots, we have Missy of the Blue Barracudas in "The Lucky Pillow of Annie Taylor" solo-running through the Temple with only a pendant on her. She had to use the pendant but successfully dodged the other guards to retrieve the pillow in Medusa's Lair and make it out with only twenty seconds left. Missy was also the first person to retrieve an artifact from that room in that temple and one of two ever. Add to that Missy being one of the shortest contestants in the show's history (she had to jump to reach the shelves in the Shrine) and having been a nervous wreck pretty much the entire game (she even had to visibly calm herself to regain her composure after informing Olmec she would be going first) and it also becomes a Heartwarming Moment.
Not only was "Lawrence of Arabia's Headdress" the first episode to air on Nickelodeon, but the temple run was a real nail-biter. The Green Monkeys get the Headdress with only 27 seconds left on the clock and get out with one second remaining.
"The Belly Button of Buddha" may be boring but the Blue Barracudas dominated that episode. They were first in the moat and the steps of knowledge. They won two pendants in the temple games. In the temple, Jennifer was able to do the run herself.
"The Lost Hornpipe of the Pirate Captain". Both Green Monkeys were really competent and won despite having to climb the central shaft. Upon closer analysis, one can see the column on the pits side of the King's Storeroom was done as Jessica was climbing it. This meant that it was supposed to open and they won despite a production error.
"The Secret Map of the Bandit Queen" is considered by many fans to be one of the best temple runs in the series. Silver Snakes front runner Miriam gets taken out by the temple guard after hesitating for 27 seconds to go into the Dark Forest because of her fear of getting caught in the room. There is only 1:17 left on the clock when her partner Zac goes in and blazes though the bottom in less than 30 seconds. He has to climb up The Pharaoh's Secret Passage because the door from the Bog to the Shrine of the Silver Monkeynote Where the map was located. wouldn't open. According to an interview he did, the slide was slick making it hard to go up. When he gets the map, he gets out of the temple in 18 seconds. He also has the record for the fastest single player run through the temple with a time of 1:08.
"The Mussel Shell Armor of Apanuugpak" has Amanda first going through at a slow start and after she gets caught, her partner Gator blazes through the entire temple picking up where she left off with fans comparing Gator's comeback to that of Zac in "The Secret Map of the Bandit Queen".
"Galileo's Cannonball" was the first taped Temple Run victory, and a pulse-pounding one at that. As happened with many contestants in the first season, Jennifer and Jon were unfamiliar with the Temple's objectives to the point where the first Temple Guard had to guide Jennifer. Jennifer gets captured in the Shrine of the Silver Monkey, Jon clicks into gear after Kirk tells him to put the statue together. After getting a much-needed break by taking the elevator to the Mine Shaft, Jon grabs the cannonball with 44 seconds on the clock. He takes the upper route, jumping in the Pit of Despair from the Observatory. He slides out of the Cave of Sighs, whereupon he drops the cannonball. He picks it up and hands it to Kirk with one second to spare.
"The Applewood Amulet of Emiliano Zapata": Olivia-Emma enters the temple with just under two minutes remaining after her partner Robert gets captured. She has terrible luck in the King's Storeroom but more than makes up for it by doing a terrific job on the Silver Monkey. She swipes the artifact from the Viper's Nest with 37 seconds to go. With the seconds ticking down, the camera cuts to the Temple Gate as she scurries out of the Ledges. She rounds Olmec with one second left on the clock, crossing the Gate just before the timer hits zero.
Red Jaguar Cadie's solo victory in "The Llocano Legend of Lam-Ang". Though she had a little bit of trouble with a few of the objectives, she found the rooster and made it out of the temple in time, winning her and her partner Mallory $25,000. It was also the first temple run victory in the reboot.
Episode 5's Blue Barracudas were actually contestants on the old version... One of them being the Silver Snake who jumped out of the temple in terror (and the other was defeated by the Shrine of the Silver Monkey back in the day). While they don't win, they DO reach the artifact, and probably would have made it out... had KIRK FOGG HIMSELF not been hanging out in The Dark Forest for a cameo, which cost each Barracuda about 3 seconds as they passed through.
"The Greek Legend of Atalanta" has the Red Jaguars dominate the whole episode, culminating in a victory in the temple run.
Purple Parrots Jordann and Jen's temple run victory in "The Sumerian Legend of Gilgamesh", with the former getting the lycium of immortality out of the temple with eleven seconds to spare despite encountering Kirk Fogg.