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The US version of Big Brother provides examples of the following tropes:

    Tropes A to G 
  • 10-Minute Retirement:
    • Season 17's Johnny Mac, who was unanimously evicted and then won a competition to return to the house about 20 minutes later. Several of the other houseguests (John included) made jokes about how little time he was gone for.
    • Taken a step further in Season 18, where after Victor was evicted for a second time, he comes right back into the house after winning the jury buyback.
    • Averted with Kaitlyn on Season 20. The Second Life twist gave the houseguest evicted during week 4 would have the chance to immediately return to the game, and the challenge was designed in such a way that it would be almost guaranteed for the houseguest to complete it, and yet Kaitlyn still managed to flub the competition and get evicted for good.
    • As of Season 21, Cliff joins the "won a buyback competition 10 minutes after being evicted" club. Then he goes on to win Head of Household in a true turnaround situation.

  • Aborted Arc: Most twists rarely last longer than a month:
    • Big Brother 9 was the first, and to date only, season that had houseguests playing as teams as part of the "Soulmates" twist. This meant houseguests were nominated and evicted with their partners. This ended after the third eviction.
    • The "Cliques" of Big Brother 11, based on high school archetypes (Populars, Athletes, Brains, Offbeat), made it so that the members of the current reigning HOH's clique could not be nominated for eviction. This ended after the third eviction.
    • The "Saboteur" was billed as the big twist of Big Brother 12, a houseguest whose only mission was to cause chaos and paranoia, only for the Saboteur in question (Annie) to be evicted week 1, leaving us with a relatively twist-free season of the show.
    • Subverted by the "Coaches" twist of Big Brother 14, which had returning houseguests competing for a separate cash prize if one of their chosen proteges won the season. After the third eviction, however, the coaches were given the choice to enter the house as official houseguests alongside their initial proteges, which technically ended the original twist but still impacted the rest of the season.
    • The "MVP" twist of Big Brother 15 allowed viewers to vote for a houseguest to nominate a third person for eviction over the first three weeks. The twist was then further simplified for the next three weeks, allowing viewers to directly nominate a third houseguest for eviction themselves. Both variants of the twist went away for the rest of the season.
    • Averted by Big Brother 16, which had two long-lasting twists:
      • The "Battle of the Block", which had two separate Heads of Household nominating their own pairs of houseguests for eviction, resulting in four total nominees each week. Both pairs of nominees would then work together to be removed from the block and win immunity for the week. This lasted for eight weeks, making it one of the longest lasting twists of any season.
      • "Team America", which formed a secret alliance (voted on by the viewers) to perform various tasks, awarding an additional cash prize to one of them if they won the season. (Derrick, the eventual winner, was indeed a member of Team America and had his total winnings increased.)
    • The "BB Takeover" stunt during Big Brother 17 was supposed to feature various celebrities providing twists each week of the game. However, it ended three weeks into the season without explanation, with Kathy Griffin, Phil Keoghan and NFL star Rob Gronkowski as the only guest celebrities.
    • Big Brother 18's main twist was similar to that of the "Cliques" from Season 11, wherein newbies were recruited by returning houseguests for their own teams, who would be granted immunity for the week if one of them won HOH. This lasted until after the third eviction.
    • Subverted by most of Big Brother 19, which featured a number of different twists based around the theme of "temptation" throughout the season.
    • Big Brother 20 began with the "BB App Store" twist that granted certain houseguests a special power or punishment depending on their popularity with viewers, which only ran for the first three weeks. It was later succeeded by the "H@cker" competition, which gave winning houseguests the ability to "hack" the competition in varying capacities; this lasted for the sixth and seventh weeks.
    • The "Whacktivity" competitions of Big Brother 21 ran for the first three weeks of the season, which gave certain houseguests special powers in the game.
    • The "Safety Suite" competitions of Big Brother 22 rewarded immunity for the winner and +1 of their choosing, but it only lasted for the first three weeks and houseguests were only allowed to compete once each.
  • Action Girl: Plenty of examples to go around, but some of the more notable ones include Janelle Pierzina, Daniele Donato, Britney Haynes, Rachel Reilly, and Vanessa Rousso all won plenty of competitions in their respective seasons.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Jessie's appearance in Big Brother 12. Britney opened Pandora's Box and was told that she would be given tips from a former Big Brother player. Except they never mentioned what kind of tips she'd be given, so Jessie gave her tips on weight-lifting while the rest of the house got a luau.
  • A House Divided:
    • A quite literal example occurs in Big Brother 6. After Kaysar's friend Michael was evicted, he forms a counter alliance made up of everyone in the house who's not already in the Friendship alliance: Janelle, Howie, Rachel, James and Sarah. Following Eric/Cappy's eviction, the HoH flips week to week between the Friendship and Kaysar's alliance (dubbed the Sovereign Six), and no one except for James ever even attempts to make a deal with a member from the other side following Kaysar's second eviction. You could taste the vitriol the two opposing alliances had for each other.
    • Big Brother 10 occurs after Jessie's eviction. Libra, Keesha, Dan, Memphis, and Renny against Michelle, April, Ollie, and Jerry. The former group flipped the votes by voting out Jessie to keep Memphis.
    • Big Brother 11: There was a big divide starting week one. Braden, Casey, Laura, Jeff, Jordan, and Michele against Chima, Jessie, Lydia, Kevin, Natalie, Russell, and Ronnie. Russell flips sides week four and gets out Ronnie. From then on it was Jeff, Jordan, Michele, and Russell, vs. Chima, Jessie, Kevin, Lydia, and Natalie.
    • Big Brother 13 had the veteran players go up against the newbies. While the veterans were in power, had newbie allies and were in control of the first three evictions. Daniele double-crossed the veterans and started her own alliance with Kalia, Lawon, and later Porsche & Shelly. They took control of the house for the next three weeks and even though they lost Lawon and then their leader, Daniele, they took control of the house again after evicting the veteran alliance's leader, Jeff, and after a member of the alliance became the Head of Household. You might said that they have this game locked if the twist never happened, but with the nature of both alliances being more friendlier and looser...
    • Happened to a lesser extent during Season 17 with the house splitting between the Sixth Sense (Austin, Vanessa, Clay, Shelli, Julia, and Liz, with Steve and John as affiliates) and the After Dark Crew (Jason, Meg, James, and Jackie). While the Sixth Sense controlled the power in the house for the first few weeks, the two alliances worked together to take out mutual targets. It wasn't until the SS evicted Jason that the lines in the sand were firmly drawn and the After Dark Crew started fighting back.
    • Big Brother 20 The season so far is split between Level 6 and FOUTTE (Later known as The Hive). While Level 6 is in control and pulling off blindsides, FOUTTE is still holding their own, winning many competitions and getting members of Level 6 out.
  • Affably Evil: Dr Will so much.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: Once Tiffany from Big Brother 18 is eliminated from the Week 3 POV comp, there is not one person standing or sitting still after realizing she can't take herself off the block.
  • Antepiece: If an upcoming competition involves a particularly unfamiliar or tricky mechanic, the producers will typically supply the house with a smaller version of the competition the night before, to ensure that everyone has at least a fighting chance in the actual competition. Some examples include the golf competition from Season 11, the "roll a ball along a platform" HoH from Season 15, and the Boomerang HoH from Season 17.
  • The Apprentice: All of the newbies of Season 14, in which they had coaches mentoring them throughout the game.
    • Danielle, Jodi and Kara: To Dan
    • Jo Jo, Shane and Willie: To Britney
    • Frank, Ian and Jenn: To Boogie
    • Ashely, Joe and Will: To Janelle
  • Arch-Enemy: From Big Brother 17 Jace's is Audrey because Jace thought that Audrey was the one who was the mastermind behind trying to and successfully getting Jace out of the house. She was involved, but not to the extent that Jace believed.
  • Ascended Meme: Jessie "Mr. Pectacular" Godderz. Where do we begin...
    • He was originally a houseguest during Season 10, came back for Season 11, then was a suggested possibly-returning houseguest for Season 13.
    • Made the most amount of (consecutive) in-house seasonal appearances of any Big Brother houseguest; not only on the US edition, but over every international edition of the show. He's basically a horror movie villain; you can't kill him.
    • Weeks after being evicted during Season 10, he was brought for a few hours back to pester the remaining houseguests... in a gorilla costume.
    • Appeared as part of the Pandora's Box twist during Seasons 12 and 13 in which Britney Haynes and Rachel Reilly respectively were locked in a room with him, while the the other houseguests received some sort of luxury prize.
    • In Season 14, not only did he return through Pandora's Box, this time he was unleashed on the house, replacing all of the house's food with healthier alternatives.
    • In Season 17, he hosted the "Bowlerina" Veto competition at the final 7.
    • Season 19 had him as one of the many cameos of the BB Comics week short movie as Mr. Pectacular... with his hero almost immediately being brainwashed into an evil zombie by Dan Gheesling, AKA the Funeral Director.
  • Audience Participation:
    • It was minimized after the first season. Partly because in season one, people organized huge efforts to slant the game in their favour. Normally it is "Who may/will re-enter the house?", "What will the have-nots eat?". but when they affect gameplay, such as the Coup'de'Tat? People botted the site (this ultimately led to Chima's expulsion). CBS wised on and eventually made it mandatory to have an account on their website to participate in the America's Vote. Another huge factor in cutting out audience votes was the fact that George Boswell's family abused the system by campaigning to get people to vote against Brittany Petros, another hugely popular houseguest at the time, which led to her getting the boot.
    • Season 8 and 10 featured one called "America's Player". In Season 8, it was all season long where the audience would vote for what America's Player would do. Originally, they didn't really know what to do, and at first tried to sabotage Eric by making him vote against the house, even saving the Fan Favourite player. However later on, they begun to tell Eric to vote and act in ways that would help him get further in the game, or provide a bit of entertainment for the viewers. In Season 10, Dan was chosen as America's Player and this only lasted a week. Season 12 had the Saboteur twist where people would send in suggestions for pranks to pull; all the saboteur had to do was survive the first 5 evictions of the season and they leave the house with $50,000. This plan got short-circuited when the original Saboteur (Annie) was backdoored through the first Veto and evicted week 1; the replacement saboteur as decided by the internet (Ragan) did his job when he got it several weeks later and nobody figured him out, winning $20,000.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The strategy of winning competitions so people can't touch you. What happens when you become ineligible to compete or fall a bit short? Everyone takes aim at that target at your back, and...
  • Ax-Crazy: Contestants have, in rare cases, been ejected for violent behavior, including one who held a knife to a housemate's throat (while drunk), another who threatened to have people killed for nominating them, and another for headbutting someone. These guys aren't welcome back on the show.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Done with the "Prank Shot" Head of Household competition during Season 21. Producers spent the entire day before playing a variety of bird sounds into the house, convincing the houseguests they would be quizzed on bird noises for the HoH the next day. Following the eviction, everyone gets to the backyard set up for a quiz-style competition... and Julie reveals the bird calls were a prank by Big Brother. The wall behind the houseguests then opens up to reveal the actual competition: A much simpler ball-rolling game.
  • Bash Brothers:
    • Dan and Memphis - The Renegades (Big Brother 10)
    • Dr. Will and Boogie - Chilltown (Big Brother 2 and 7)
    • Boogie and Frank - Chilltown 2.0(Big Brother 14)
    • Jace and Austin (Big Brother 17)
  • Berserk Button: Chima's the Head Of Household, and she puts Russell up for nomination because she wants him evicted. You'd better not use that mysterious power to mess with her nominations...
  • Betty and Veronica: Briefly in Big Brother 14(U.S) Ian indirectly causes this with Shane (Archie), Danielle (Betty) and JoJo (Veronica). In this case Danielle wins because JoJo was voted out that week.
  • Boring, but Practical: Rob Cesternino, considered one of the smartest players to ever play Survivor, has been asked about this game during his podcast. His response was that "Floating" is actually a very practical strategy. If you stay outside of the dominant alliances, or are seen as the "Low man on the totem pole", you can get quite far, since if the players decide to target you, they're essentially wasting a week, and a lot more can happen in a week than in three days of survivor.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: For the argument about floating and winning competitions. Floating is a great strategy to win the show, and with the long time period between evictions, you can manipulate house guests in your favor. On the other hand, the HOH is one of the most powerful immunities in reality show history, due to its ability to turn the tides instantly when you need to change your position in your favor.
  • Brains and Brawn: Dan and Memphis (Renegades) from Season 10, Dr. Will and Boogie (Chilltown) from Season 2 and 7.
    • The Renegades:
      • Brains: Dan
      • Brawn: Memphis
    • Chilltown:
      • Brains: Dr. Will
      • Brawn: Boogie
  • Call-Back: Episodes will frequently feature flashbacks not only to past episodes but even past seasons.
  • Camp Gay:
    • The US version has (in order): Marcellas (3 & 7), Will (5), Beau (6), Joe (8), Joshuah & Neil (9), Steven (10), Kevin (11 & 22), Ragan (12), Lawon (13), Wil (14), Andy (15), Frankie (16), Jason (17 & OTT), Jozea (18), Ramses (19), Ross (CBB1), JC (20).
    • Subverted by Bunky, who was the show's first openly gay contestant but was otherwise a quiet, withdrawn man. Also downplayed by Will from Season 5, who did have some effeminate mannerism but was nowhere near as extreme as contestants who would be on the show in years to come.
    • Zig Zagged with Tommy from Season 21. He's a Broadway dancer with some flamboyant mannerisms, but shows way fewer camp mannerisms than previous gay men on the show, and could more closely be associated with Big Applesauce.
  • Catchphrase: "But First". Particularly because Julie Chen (who, from the beginning, has been about 40 years too old to host a show like this) has a tendency to say "But first" all of the times...sometimes making the exact same movements as she did before, a common meme is to call her the "Chenbot" and make a compilation of her saying "But First" — it's amazing how she does this so perfectly! (The contestants and Chen are actually aware of this, and have called her the "Chenbot". Heck, official videos from CBS had "Chenbot" in the keywords!)
    • "I'd do that for a dollar!" Invoked in Season 8 as one of Eric's tasks as America's Player.
    • Rachel Reilly tries her best to invoke these every chance she gets:
      • "Nobody gets between me and my man!"
      • Or her "Tequila!"
      • "Floaters grab a life vest!"
      • "I am Vegas, Brendan."
      • "AWK-WAAAARRRRD!"
      • "SHOCKER!"
    • Season 21's Kat did this in a tongue in cheek manner with her "Are you bitches conspiring against me?"
    • Also from Season 21, Cliff' "You know, before the wife."
  • Chekhov's Hobby: In Season 8, several of the contestants passed time in the house by playing beer pong. Later on, one of the food competitions was a giant game of beer pong.
  • The Chessmaster: Will Kirby, who is still generally regarded as the most evil and manipulative house guest ever, in any of the Big Brother series around the world. Not only did the man manipulate his way into winning Season 2, he engineered a win for his friend and business partner, Mike "Boogie" Malin, in the All Stars season.
    • Other examples include Danielle from Season 3, Maggie from Season 6, Dan from Seasons 10&14, The Brigade from Season 12, and Derrick from Season 16.
    • Subverted by Nick from Season 15, who was set up to fill the mastermind archetype a la Will or Dan (especially considering this was the season after Dan's incredibly popular run on Season 14), but ultimately ended up being the second person evicted from the house that season.
  • Continuity Nod: The houses for both of the All Stars seasons featured decorations referencing the show's history
    • The Season 7 house featured a second "memory wall" across from the first, featuring several famous pieces of memorabilia from the previous seasons like Hardy's toothbrush that Shannon used to scrub the toilet, and the Veto that Marcellas refused to use on himself.
    • The Season 22 House had a number of references to previous seasons:
      • The kitchen had spray paint murals of Big Brother legends like Dan, Derrick, and Danielle Reyes, alongside some of their famous quotes and moments.
      • The "comics bedroom" had wall art that was pulled from the BB Comics made for each houseguest starting in Season 16.
      • The "photo bedroom" had tons of stills taken from the live feeds of all of the past 21 seasons.
    • Over the Top, which started one week after Season 18 ended, had a semi-renovated house which included a chalkboard with advice from Season 18's Final 3.
    • Celebrity Season 2 was New York-themed, and the dining room had New York diner caricatures of all the Season 1 houseguests.
  • Cool Old Guy:
    • Season 10's Jerry MacDonald, the oldest Big Brother contestant of all time at 75, was also a retired US Marine, and still kept in shape to show it. He held his own in the house, won a Head of Household and two Vetos by himself, and managed to make it to final three.
    • Cliff from Season 21, at 54, is well above the average age of the house. With modern Big Brother either seeing the token old guy go home first (Glenn, Steve) or make it far by virtue of being The Load (Donny, Kevin), it's refreshing to see Cliff pull out several crucial competition wins and make it to Final Five.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder:
    • Easier to pull off than in Survivor, due to its structure.
    • James Rhine may be the king of this trope when it comes to Big Brother. The man couldn't go two weeks without trying to backstab his alliance.
  • Circus of Fear: The setting for the first stage of Big Brother 17's 3-stage Final HoH competition; the houseguests sat on apples with discs, got dunked into candy sauce, and then slammed into hungry mouths; eventually, the houseguests had to sit on just the apples, turning the challenge into what BB17 finalist and winner Steve Moses called "the carnival from hell"; also, an evil ringleader voice who may or may not be Mike Pollock kept taunting the houseguests.
  • Crazy Enough to Work:
    • Some of the plans pulled off in past seasons. Nakomis's six-fingered plan from Season 5, for example, which later turned into an often used strategy itself, called "Backdooring."
    • A particularly crazy example from Season 14 (US) was Dan's funeral. As HoH, Frank nominated him alongside Danielle, and after Jenn won the veto, Dan hosted his "Big Brother Funeral". He had kind words for everyone...except his closest ally Danielle, who he berated. This left everyone in shock, which created a distraction for Dan to make a deal with Frank and Jenn to save himself and evict Britney instead.
    • Josh's final strategy to take Paul to the Final Two in Season 19 was a supremely dangerous move and seemed like it was going to be the dumbest move anybody could make all season in a season full of some of the BIGGEST idiots to ever play the game, but what nobody realized was Josh had destroyed Paul's chances of looking good in front of the Jury through his own goodbye messages to evicted houseguests and was playing up Paul as the lesser of two evils. He won in a narrow 5-4 victory, thanks in part to most of the Jury either being bitter and/or despising Paul.
  • Creepy Doll: Clowny, Aaryn's clown doll from when she was a child. Amanda had way too much fun with him in the Diary Room.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Britney of S12/14 is the undisputed queen of this trope as far as the show goes.
    • Andy & Amanda from Season 15 have had some pretty funny moments as well.
    • Kevin from Season 19 is very popular because he is a king of snark.
  • Determinator:
    • In Season 6, the houseguests were in an endurance competition called the pressure cooker that was not physically challenging; but they all lasted at least six hours. This wasn't how long the competition lasted — that was how long it took before the first person was eliminated. By the time the competition finished? It was the early morning. Even if it wasn't physically taxing, that's some epic willpower.
    • Evel Dick and Zach had cold water poured on them for about eight hours before dropping out of an endurance competition.
  • Developers' Foresight: Season 20 had a punishment called "Hamazon" in which you had to eat a plate of sliced ham (and a few vegetables) whenever it was "delivered" to the house. However, the person who got this punishment (Faysal) is muslim and therefore cannot eat ham - so instead, they gave him a vegetarian substitute.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Many seasons feature a singular houseguest and/or alliance that seems primed to take over the game early on, but falters midway through if not much sooner:
    • Big Brother 2's "Chilltown" alliance seemed to be a growing threat at the beginning of the season, but this ended up not being the case when two of their three members (Mike and Shannon) were evicted before the halfway point. The last remaining member, Dr. Will, ended up winning the whole thing without them.
    • The "Four Horsemen" alliance were heavy-hitters at the beginning of Big Brother 5, with Jase serving as their de facto leader. Though two of its members, Drew and Cowboy, ended up as the winner and runner-up respectively, Jase's eviction in week five effectively brought that alliance to an end and allowed for the remaining houseguests to play without the Horsemen plaguing them.
    • Eric "Cappy" Littman of Big Brother 6 was a major player at the beginning of the season, emerging as a competitive threat who elicited strong reactions from basically everybody in the house. His shocking elimination in week three was basically the powder keg that ignited one of the most bitterly divided houses in Big Brother history, pitting his "Friendship" alliance against the "Sovereign Six".
    • Brian Hart of Big Brother 10 became an example against playing too hard too early, making himself a target that the entire house rallied against, resulting in him becoming the first evictee of the season to a near-unanimous vote.
    • Jessie Godderz in Big Brother 11 basically had the same trajectory as the aforementioned Eric's, quickly emerging as a threat who was eliminated rather early, prompting his alliance to rally hard against the side of the house that voted him out.
  • Double Standard:
    • A common one: "It's alright for me to nominate you because I see you as a threat, but you nominate me for the same reasons?! How dare you!
    • After Lisa won in Season 3, people are angry that Danielle lost because the jury can see her DR confessions, thus cost her the game. Yet......People never cared when Nicole lost to Will in Season 2......when it is clear that the jury can watch both of their DR confessions. The DR confessions isn't the reason why Nicole lost the game though, this was a case of why an Obvious Rule Patch was needed.
    • Very commonly, people gloat in the diary room to the Confession Cam about how good their game is and how good they are when things are going their way and they're making smart moves by evicting certain players. However, if another player makes a smart move and it doesn't benefit them, they get all pissy about it and oftentimes insult the player in question. Especially if they are doing something to make themselves huge targets in the game.
    • In Season 13, most of the veterans thanks to their influential complain about people who float along or hide in the numbers so that they are not perceived as a threat and targeted by whoever is in power. One could wonder if they'd consider Jun, Alison, Sharon, Dr. Will, and Kevin terrible gameplayers because getting people to not perceive you as a threat is what keeps you in the game. note 
    • Someone gets far by lying, backstabbing, and coasting through and not winning competitions? FLOATER! Terrible player! Dr. Will gets far and even wins once by doing just that? Best player ever. Why is Dr. Will allowed to get away with it?
    • Anyone who claims that if you don't win competitions you are a floater and a terrible gameplayer. This applies to everyone, except for Jordan from Season 11, who up until the final Head of Household competition had more or less let Jeff do all the work for her. And in Season 13, she somehow managed to do even less, only winning a luxury competition by herself.
    • Likewise, the racial slurs in season 15. Several other seasons have had racist or sexist bullying note  but outside Chima's tirade at the first eviction, Chen never acknowledged this. Why did she suddenly start talking about it when it happened this season, despite any previous controversies? Because Aaryn said an offensive comment about Asians. More specifically, Aaryn smacked her Trauma Button HARD, since Julie was bullied growing up over being a "chink".
      • On a more meta example, nobody raised a fuss when Candice called Spencer a "Redneck" or talked about getting his "White ass" out of the house. However, when Amanda called Candice "Shaniqua"? Everyone called for her to be kicked out.
    • Evel Dick bullied his way through the game and took pride in his harassment of other houseguests. His bullying subsequently shot his popularity up to the fan favourite. Jeff likewise bullied Kalia into not nominating Jordan in season 13, and is still a fan favourite. In Season 15, Amanda bullies other houseguests to get them to play her way, and is subsequently seen as the most vile and worst player ever to play Big Brother. What do Jeff and Evel Dick have that Amanda doesn't? Mr. Fanservice. AS lampshaded by a blog:
      "...you just know that if Amanda were a pretty face or had a nicer personality, everyone on the boards would worship the ground she walked on."
  • Dr. Jerk: "Evil Dr. Will," a fan favorite, who may also be considered a Magnificent Bastard and Mr. Fanservice.
  • Drunk with Power: For future contestants, beware of becoming this. The 24-7 filming system doesn't help either.
  • Dumb Blonde:
    • Averted with Janelle. While she seemed to be this at first, she quickly proved herself to be one of the most ruthless players ever.
    • Jordan from Season 11 was an example of this up until her Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass moment in the Final 3.
    • Zig-zagged with Porsche from Season 13, while she she made the final 2 without being a goat, she had some ditzy moments. Just to give you an example, in a competition where they had to guess which celebrity would enter the house, Porsche guessed Michael Jackson. Even if he was willing to appear on a show like this, there's the whole being dead thing standing in his way.
    • Ashley from Season 14, with constant talks about everyone's spirit animals and often incoherent D Rs. Theoretically she was on painkillers for most of the season, but even then it's hard to justify things such as folding in the last round of a veto competition, thus guaranteeing she wouldn't win.
    • David from Season 15 is a rare male example. His conversation skills seemed restricted to hitting on girls or talking about his pecs. A shining example of his brilliance is when, after Julie announced there wouldn't be two nominees every week, he said "One". Would you care to demonstrate how only having one nominee every week would work, David?
  • Dwindling Party: A feeling enforced with the round table in the house every season. When the house gets down to about less than half its cast, the big table is replaced with one that is much smaller and less imposing, because now there's no need for a big piece of furniture like that to take up the living space. When the house gets down to the Final Three, the table is once again replaced with an even smaller one with only three chairs and an imposing design as if to tell the houseguests they've made it to the big time and things are about to get real.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Season 5 included identical twins swapping places for five weeks and half-siblings who didn't know each other existed until after the show started. And in Season 8, there was the estranged father and daughter that grew closer note  and went on to become the Final 2.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The first season of the U.S. version was much more similar to the UK, which had 10 contestants and allowed for audience nominations. This setup did not do so well. They changed formats with season 2, upped the contestants number to 12 (and sometimes 14, though season 14 & 16 had 16, the largest amount of Houseguests to date), and introduced in-house nominations/evictions and Head of Household and picked the winner, as opposed to the audience really doing anything more than picking what losing Houseguests will eat.
    • The show used to condone the use of alcohol and the contestants could get drunk if they wanted to. It took all of two seasons for this to completely backfire when Krista Segall got on top of the island table and started to kiss Justin Sebik... and then Justin nonchalantly threw out the question of if Krista would she be mad if he killed her, jokingly put a kitchen knife to her throat, and she was too drunk to know better than to repel him right then and there. This incident got Justin booted from the game that same night. Now, alcohol is only permitted sparingly, and only to be bestowed in HOH gift baskets and from Pop TV.
    • Early on in the British run, Housemates were allowed to bring two books to read during their stay in the House, and could even sleep during the daytime. The no-book and no-daytime sleeping rules were added in BB5 UK.

  • Enemy Mine: Of a sort. Some players' fanbases exist mostly because they are entertaining the possibility of going after the "dominant player" or "dominant alliance". Examples include Britney (12), Nicole and Donny (16), Steve (17), Paul (18), and Mark, Cody and Jessica (19).
  • Epic Fail:
    • In Season 14, Joe lasts a total of two minutes in an endurance competition. The first thing he says? That his kids will still be laughing at him when he gets back home.
    • The spelling Veto in Season 11, with Jeff trying to spell "technotronics" (which isn't even a word, mind you) and ending up with "tectronics". What pushes it into Epic Fail territory is that, had he have simply ditched the R, he would've had "tectonics", which is a word and would've beaten Russell's seven-letter "shotgun" handily.
      • The spelling Veto returned again in Season 15, when David's fixation on trying to spell "Competition" resulted in him failing to spell a word at all.
      • In Season 16, many of the contestants (who were in an alliance no less) failed to spell words correctly, letting the intended target for eviction in Week 1, Donny, to win.
    • A more hilarious example: In Season 8's luxury challenge, everyone had to put on bunches of clothing and then strip them off one by one, eventually unscrambling the letters to spell a word. Dick, Eric, and Zach didn't quite catch on that it was clothing-themed words and had spelled "Goat" instead of "Toga".
    • In Season 16, Paola's repeated failures to start a suspended swing from a stopped position cost her and Donny any chance of winning the first Battle of the Block Competition.
    • Season 20: In order to return to the house after being evicted, Kaitlyn is given two and a half minutes to complete what is essentially a six-piece jigsaw puzzle. She doesn't finish in time.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Daniele Donato had hair that reflected her persona during each season she competed in; in Season 8, she had blonde hair and was seen as the young ingenue of the house, but when she returned for Season 13, it was dyed dark brown, which was more in line with her ruthless, take-no-prisoners approach that year.
  • Five-Man Band:

    • The Brigade (S12):

      • The Hero /The Leader: Hayden
      • The Lancer: Enzo
      • The Smart Guy: Matt
      • The Big Guy: Lane
      • The Chick: Britney

    • The Quack Pack (S14):

      • The Leader: Dan
      • The Lancer: Britney
      • The Smart Guy: Ian
      • The Big Guy: Shane
      • The Chick: Danielle
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Ian's win in Season 14 had this in effect; Before tallying the votes, Julie Chen announces that it takes four votes to win. The first vote revealed is for Dan, the next three are for Ian. As soon as Julie announces the third vote, Brittany and Frank can be seen smiling and cheering behind her; they had both voted for Ian to win, and their votes hadn't been announced yet...
  • Flanderization: Competitions were important in the early seasons; but the social game was what won you the game over somebody else. When there's no real target in the house, who do you target? The person who you know can win competitions that are not in your alliance. People used to throw competitions all the time and nobody cared or batted an eyelash. Given how many people complain about "Floaters" or people who try to play the social game without winning competitions, you'd wonder if this was derived from The Amazing Race instead of Survivor.
  • Foreshadowing: Two completely unintentional examples come from Ronnie in Big Brother 11, which is even crazier given how the show is live week by week. Ronnie states in a confessional that "he doesn't want to think back and say 'damn, Russell backstabbed me and I had the chance to backstab him first'" while deciding whether to backdoor Russell in week 2. Sure enough, Ronnie does not pull the trigger on Russell and two weeks later Russell proceeds to do the exact thing that Ronnie predicted. At the end of the very same episode, he then says that "he put Jordan up as a pawn because everyone likes her and nobody would want to evict her". Ronnie unintentionally manages to correctly predict the exact trajectory of the whole season with this statement, as Jordan proceeds to be on the block four times throughout the course of the season, is never evicted, and manages to win the season at the end.
    • In Big Brother 14, an even more ridiculous example happens when Dr. Will Kirby in a guest appearance on the live episode of week 2 makes the bold prediction that Ian was going to win the season at the end, in spite of the fact that Ian had almost been evicted week 1 and was only saved thanks to Boogie winning the Coach's competition. Sure enough, Dr. Will Kirby was completely right about his prediction and Ian does in fact wind up winning at the end of the season. Bonus points for him also stating that Boogie was "basically a 40 Year Old Ian", and Ian being the one responsible for Boogie's demise.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble: Most of the alliances over the course of the show - The Brigade from Season 12, The Four Horsemen from Season 14, The Quack Pack/Team Touche (minus Ian) from Season 14 (US), The Mrs. Robinson Alliance from Season 8 (US), and The Regulators from Season 13 (US):
    • The Brigade
      • The Cynic - Enzo
      • The Optimist - Hayden
      • The Realist - Matt
      • The Apathetic - Lane
      • The Conflicted - Britney
    • The Four Horsemen
      • The Cynic: Scott
      • The Optimist: Drew
      • The Realist: Jase
      • The Apathetic: Michael
    • Team Touche
      • The Cynic: Britney
      • The Optimist: Shane
      • The Realist: Dan
      • The Apathetic: Danielle
    • Mrs. Robinson Alliance
      • The Cynic: Nick
      • The Optimist: Kail
      • The Realist: Mike
      • The Apathetic: Zach
    • The Regulators
      • The Cynic: Keith
      • The Optimist: Lawon
      • The Realist: Dominic
      • The Apathetic: Cassi
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Most of the alliances over the course of the show - The Brigade from Season 12, The Four Horsemen from Season 14, The Quack Pack/Team Touche (minus Ian) from Season 14 (US), The Mrs. Robinson Alliance from Season 8 (US), and The Regulators from Season 13 (US):
    • The Brigade
      • Sanguine: Enzo
      • Choleric: Hayden
      • Melancholic: Matt
      • Phlegmatic: Lane
    • The Four Horsemen
      • Sanguine: Jase
      • Choleric: Scott
      • Melancholic: Drew
      • Phlegmatic: Michael
    • The Quack Pack/Team Touche (- Ian)
      • Sanguine: Dan
      • Choleric: Britney
      • Melancholic: Shane
      • Phlegmatic: Danielle
    • Mrs. Robinson Alliance
      • Sanguine: Nick
      • Choleric: Kail
      • Melancholic: Mike
      • Phlegmatic: Zach
    • The Regulators
      • Sanguine: Lawon
      • Choleric: Keith
      • Melancholic: Cassi
      • Phlegmatic: Dominic
  • Freudian Trio: The Three Stooges from Season 4, Dan, Danielle and Shane from Season 14, The Three Amigos from Season 14, and Team Misfits from Season 19:
    • The Three Stooges
      • Jee (Superego)
      • Robert (Ego)
      • Justin (Id)
    • Dan, Danielle and Shane
      • Dan (Id)
      • Danielle (Ego)
      • Shane (Superego)
    • The Three Amigos
      • Shane (Superego)
      • Danielle (Ego)
      • Frank (Id)
    • Team Misfits
      • Paul (Superego)
      • Christmas (Ego)
      • Josh (Id)
  • Fun with Acronyms: Season 20 gave us an alliance called FOUTTE, standing for "Five Of Us To The End". Simple, right?
  • Fun with Subtitles:
    • In Season 6, there was a part where Ivette was in the diary room and the subtitle said, "She's gay".
    • Also from Season 6, when Howie received lightsabers in his HoH basket, the others commented in the Diary Room about how he was carrying them everywhere. When Howie was talking in the Diary Room, it said "Jedi In Training" under his name.
    • In Season 12, Britney is in the diary room with Brendon handcuffed to him via a veto. Brendon is talking about having to take a chum bath, and you can see Britney mouthing, "Help me". They even subtitled it.
  • Genre Blind:
    • Season 16 was pretty bad considering that Derrick was silently running the whole show from the background simply by remaining out of view, but Devin takes the cake. In his short run in the house he took a solid alliance called the Bomb Squad he had crafted and then destroyed it by adding new allies on a whim without input from anybody else, then targeted Brittany and sympathized with the fact they are both single parents and flipped against his own pawn, Zach. Finally, he basically screwed over everyone in the house so much that it caused Donny, someone who had been viewed as an easy target, to become yearned for as an ally and step up to the plate and secure Devin's ouster. In close second is Joey, who basically squawked about an all-girls alliance with unconvincing statements, and behaved so manic and downright loony that nobody wanted to take her seriously and sent her home immediately.
    • Audrey from Big Brother 17 is this. She kept bringing people to an alliance she had, not worrying that that might be a bad idea.
    • Season 19 is so bad it's easier to list those who are NOT lemmings. It has only three competent houseguests to its name- Paul, Dominique, and Cameron. Unfortunately, Cameron got screwed by a twist and some poor judgement, and Dominique made too much of a fuss about Paul too early in the game while the numbers were still completely with him. Otherwise, Paul had near-absolute control of the house. Josh is a special exception because he is more of a Bunny-Ears Lawyer but escapes full genre blindness because he at least acknowledges Paul as dangerous and is able to pull the season out from other him.
  • Girl Posse: Aaryn, Kaitlin, and GinaMarie in Season 15.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The main twists in Season 6 (secret pairs, hidden room, Kaysar voted back into the house) are blown up immediately. But this season is regarded as one of the most successful season. Why? Because it develops into a war that Survivor gods yearns to make this scenario happen for years, the anti-Pagonging system certainly helps either.
  • Granola Girl: A few have appeared on the show, most notably Elissa and Becky. This has led to some humorous moments when both won HoH and, much to the chagrin of their fellow houseguests, their baskets were full of health food and vegetables rather than the typical snack food.
    • Season 20 gave us not one but two granola girls in the form of Angie "Rockstar" and Kaitlyn. Rockstar was a self-professed pagan witch with bright pink hair and giant glasses, and Kaitlyn worked as a life coach, claimed to read the auras of her other houseguests, and interpreted minute details in the house as symbols and "manifestations". Needless to say, it took the two about 5 seconds to bond over bringing crystals and oils into the house with them.
  • Guide Dang It!: In Season 9, there was a Head of Household challenge where Julie Chen asked "True or false: There were more than two existing relationships in the house". There actually were only two existing relationships (Jacob and Sharon and Jen and Ryan) but anyone who said "False" was counted wrong...because the guinea pigs apparently were the third existing couple! This screwed Sharon over majorly, and may count as Executive Meddling (apparently, Chen paused before giving the answer because she was being given it herself).
  • Gym Bunny: JC is this to a T. Especially impressive considering his 4'8" height.
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    Tropes H to Z 
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Zach and Frankie.
    • Matt and Ragan, to a lesser extent.
  • High Definition: Starting with the Season 16 in 2014.
  • Humiliation Conga: Sometimes, competitions are based on this trope, often "How many punishments are you willing to take in order to win?"
  • Hurricane of Puns: The Grunge-themed Battle of the Block competition from Season 17 had plenty of puns referencing grunge bands. The nominees had to dive through the pit of mud-honey and search four keys: one in a pool full of Pearl Jam, one in a grove of Screaming Trees, one buried in a Soundgarden, and one obtained by smashing some pumpkins. Once the team had all four they could unlock their Alice from her chains and carry her into Nirvana. The dethroned HOH would also be forced to "smell like teen spirit".
  • Iconic Outfit:
    • Shane's pink tank top from Season 14.
    • Judd's grizzly bear shirt in Season 15.
    • Zack's pink hat and Gators shirt in Season 16.
    • From Season 17, Audrey's sunglasses, hoodie, and blanket, which she wore during her Villainous Breakdown.
    • Season 19 goes meta and gives us Jason's self-advertising "Whistle Nut and Ole" apparel, as well as his lucky cowboy hat.
  • It's Personal: A lot of players play personally. Among them, Rachel, Lydia, Amber, and Alex. A good number of jury votes can be personal if not handled well.
  • Jaw Drop: Danielle in Season 14 had a comically huge one after Dan had manipulated her into vetoing him off the block, placing her showmance partner Shane up in his place, then evicting Shane after swearing that he wouldn't do it.
  • Jerkass: Most of the contestants, and most of the winners. Not only that, but douchebags are often prized by the BB fandom (Chill Town and Evel Dick come to mind.) The only people that won and weren't jerks about it were Jun from Season 4, Drew from Season 5, Dan from season 10, Jordan from Season 11, and Ian from season 14. Arguably, you could throw Josh into the mix from Season 19 because he's a Bruiser with a Soft Center, but given that over half his time in the house was built on annoying people, it's a heck of a stretch.
  • Karmic Eviction: Jeff in Season 13 won HoH, put up Kalia and Porche, then won the Veto and removed Porche in favor of his primary target Danielle, who was evicted. However, it was a double eviction night - Kalia won HoH, put up Jeff and Rachel, and Porsche won the Veto and kept the nominations the same, resulting in a tied vote which Kalia broke, voting out Jeff. To drive the point home, Porsche was heard saying "It's what Danielle wanted".
    • James in Big Brother 9. He is constantly targeted, but then one by one, his alliance goes. Finally, he fails to win veto to remove himself and is then evicted over Sharon, nominated again.
    • Marcellas in Season 3 who had the opportunity to get himself guaranteed safety to the final four. But he doesn't use the veto on the one time he could use it on himself and is promptly evicted, in what's seen as the original "stupidest move in the game."
  • Kick the Dog: Paul's m.o. He repeatedly bullied and ordered his alliance members to bully other houseguests for no reason other than that he could and to demoralise them.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Chicken George in All-Stars. The oldest person in the house by 11 years, brought on by the producers so they could say they had someone from Season 1, and having never played the proper US version of Big Brother before, everyone saw him as effective dead weight. He then went on to surprise everyone by showing an impressive knowledge of what was going on in the house, winning an HoH and a crucial PoV, and managing to make it to 5th place in that season.
  • Lighter and Softer: Of a sort. American BB can almost be considered classy and sedate compared to both its fellow reality game shows and to international versions of BB. Physical fights, common (and even encouraged) as they are on other reality shows, are often grounds for expulsion from the house and treated as scandalous by the hosts. British viewers would be shocked at this fact, having grown up with a BB that held the exact opposite reputation for its entire run. As mentioned on the main page, at least some of this can be attributed to the fact that American BB, from the second season onward, used a Survivor-esque system that had the housemates voting to evict one another rather than the viewers, meaning that they could cast "normal" people rather than obvious goofballs and still generate drama.
    • One could also make the case that American viewers of BB are Lighter and Softer than their British counterparts. The reason why the first season was so widely derided as a bore (leading CBS to change the voting in future seasons) was because American audiences voted out the nastier housemates first, while British audiences allowed their jerkasses to become Karma Houdinis because they were more entertaining to watch.
  • Live but Delayed: To keep excited contestants' swearing out of the mix on live eviction shows. One live episode in Season 11 had to be taped because Chima threatened to go ballistic if Russell wasn't evicted. She would be expelled from the game a few days later, but only because she damaged studio equipment by throwing a microphone into the pool.
  • Loophole Abuse: Combined with Fridge Brilliance. In season five, Marvin and Nakomis set up a plan where they would nominate two people they have no intention of evicting. For the veto, they pick players who would either use the veto anyways or are in on the plan and would use it. Then at the veto meeting, whoever won the veto used it and then the Head of Household put up the real target. They referred to it as the "six-finger plan", but would later be referred to as "backdooring", and it influenced how the game was played. Later seasons made it a little harder to do, as players were picked through the veto by a random draw, although there is still a "player's choice" option that can be drawn.
    • In what might go down as one of the most unanticipated game moves in Big Brother history, Josh from Season 19 invoked Ain't No Rule to use his goodbye messages to evicted houseguests heading to the Jury House to clue them in on Paul's devious game play. Because the farewell messages are privately recorded in the Diary Room, Paul had no idea what Josh was up to.
  • Mama Bear: There is usually at least one mother in the house each year. Expect them to mention their children and how much they love and miss them often.
    • Devin (S16) is a male example. He was playing the game for his daughter, as he so often reminded us.
    • Da'Vonne from Big Brother 17 is this. She's also a single mom.
  • Manipulative Editing: A lot of the stuff that happens in the house doesn't make it to the highlights show. Even then you don't see everything unless you watch all of the live feeds. This sometimes portrays a different character. Which can be shocking to watch the feeds and find that someone who's edited to be mouthy on the show is actually quite silent on the feeds. (Daniele, Ragan.) Or how someone who appears to be quite innocent is quite a cusser (Jeff). In some cases, what gets cut out is done for good reason because it is either to risqué for primetime or nauseating; it cut out a striptease (Joey), a whole slew of bigotry (BB 15 in general) and even an injury resulting in bloodshed (Raven). But in the case of Raven, some fans did digging around to find out what she was really like and were extra pissed that the cameras were milking up a nicer side to someone who in real life is completely crackers.
  • Metagame: The first few weeks are spent making allies, and the ideal place to put yourself within an alliance is in the middle. Don't act annoying during the first few weeks - you can be evicted for simply being annoying if nobody else is a target. Throw Head of Household because the first few Head of Households will be forced to announce their targets to the house and possibly invoke a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Within an alliance, you force somebody else to win Head of Household and take the fall for you. Unless you or a close ally is nominated, don't win veto (and don't use it.) When the time comes, start knocking out the people who can win competitions by winning them yourselves.
  • Moral Myopia: James during Season 7 has too many examples to list, but the gist of the story is that he wanted Janelle to make the nominations that HE wanted when she was HOH in week four, and when she didn't comply, he got all pissy at her for the entirety of the game. This happened in spite of James' multiple betrayals to the Sovereigns.
  • Mr. Fanservice:
    • From Big Brother 17 there's Clay. He can sometimes be seen shirtless and his build isn't too bad either.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Liz Nolan from Big Brother 17 counts. In the intro alone she is in a bikini. She's also before she enters the household.
    • Jackie from the same season is also this. A key example is the outfit she wore on the first eviction night: a sports bra and tight black pants.
    • Jessica Graf, for being a Walking Swimsuit Scene and also having a bikini intro as well as in her introduction. So much so that she landed a spot on The Bold and the Beautiful because she definitely had all the looks for it.
  • No-Damage Run: Danielle, Jun, Alison, Drew, Boogie, Daniele, Adam, Dan, Lane, Ian, Andy, and Gina Marie, who all made it to the final two without ever having an eviction vote cast against them. Alison probably fits closest to this trope, since she was never even on the block for eviction. On top of these people, Paul technically counts in 19, because he never went on the block officially, but didn't go the whole game without someone making the move to put him on the block, and had his one and only nomination nullified.
    • Derrick in BB 16 is the best example of this. House-guests his season had TWICE as many chances to get nominated with the Battle of the Block Twist. Derrick was not nominated a single time. He was only eligible to go home when he lost the final HOH and was nominated by default. Cody evicted Victoria, and Derrick won the whole thing.
  • Noodle Incident: Sometimes, houseguests talk about incidents and events that happened in the house but were not shown on the show. Sometimes; there is actually controversy around what happens on the live feeds that's not shown on the main show. Among these include comments and behaviour of Evel Dick that were not shown on the highlights, N-Word Privileges, Adam's comments towards autistic people calling them "Retards", and Jeff's homophobic comments towards Harry Potter (Especially worse since the movie had just been released around the time).
    • Averted when Chima was ejected from the house, though — before her outbursts, we had seen her make a racist tirade that was censored and...that's just about it, outside of verbally abusing Russell. However; the houseguests mention that Chima has broken rules from day one, but we hadn't seen any of this. Cue a flashback montage of Chima doing stuff like refusing to come to the diary room when called, covering cameras with blankets, and saying that she was going to say a bunch of terrible stuff on live television.
    • "Fibergate". Wherein Porsche put Fiber inside Muscle Milk. This wasn't aired on the live shows at all, yet people were talking about it on fan sites.
    • Jeff talking about his "Blow-up" with Shelly on live TV. This wasn't shown due to the Double Elimination show needing to be mostly filmed live, but houseguests had been talking about it during the main show.
    • The huge controversey surrounding N-Word Privileges in Big Brother 15. While you would never be able to tell by watching the show, anyone who watches the live feeds can assure you these are some of the most foul-mouth, bigoted houseguests ever. There have been huge petitions to expel some of the worst offenders from the house, and it even cost 3 houseguests their jobs.
    • The main show has been getting better about showing these incidents, although it only shows Aaryn & her group of friends.
    • As of Big Brother 19, the show has resorted to airing special recap episodes on Fridays to showcase best hits moments that didn't make it into the official episodes when they were set to happen, but were to good to pass up. However, Jason's infamous rape joke about Kevin's wife Deborah was obviously not included, because it was far too gross for TV.
  • No Indoor Voice: Sharon in Season 9 sounded like she shouted all the time.
    • Also, Hayden and Rachel from Season 12.
    • JOE FROM SEASON 14 MOST DEFINITELY HAS NO INDOOR VOICE. DAN IS ALMOST AS BAD.
      • Hilariously lampshaded by his family - Sarah introduces herself as Joe's wife and says, "I'm Sarah and-no wait, I'M SARAH AND I AM JOE'S WIFE!" and then his four children tell him to stop shouting.
    • Gina Marie from Season 15 one of the worst examples yet. She's essentially a female Joe who doesn't confine her loud voice to the Diary Room.
    • John from Big Brother 17 is this.
    • Josh from 19 is this when he gets really excited and antic-y. Factor in his habit of taunting people and Banging Pots and Pans while singing circus music, and he's really, really this.
  • Noodle Incident: As a mistake on the producer's part, Tommy and Christie knew each other prior to Season 21, as Christie had dated Tommy's aunt for a few years. However, close friends and family of the houseguests have to sign release forms allowing them to be talked about on the live feeds and the edited show. Tommy's aunt did not sign one such form, and so the only mention we got on the show of how Tommy and Christie came to know each other was a Diary Room where Christie mentions she recently ended a relationship with "a member of Tommy's family".
  • Obfuscating Disability: Sharon in Season 9 said that she had a bad back and this was why she couldn't win an endurance challenge. Later in the season, she said that her biggest lie in the game was that she had a bad back.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: Season 4 switched to a Jury-of-7 vote with the jury sequestered after Season 3, wherein Lisa won by a 9-1 vote to Danielle. Part of the reason why most contestants voted for Lisa was because of rude or insulting comments Danielle said about them in the diary room. To be fair, Danielle knew the rules going in the game; but some felt this was a bit unfair.
    • The Six-Fingered plan in Season 5. It was a clever use of the rules to put someone on the block (and subsequently evict them) without even giving them a chance to defend themselves. However, after Season 6, the rules were changed so the players would draw names out of a hat or a wheel and could only pick if they drew the "Houseguests' choice" token. This helped keep the shows from becoming too predictable since it was actually very easy to do.
    • Season 15 replaced the "Veto bag" that people picked tokens from with a box, reportedly after houseguests tried to manipulate who would be picked. (Allegedly, somebody had palmed a token so they could replace it with somebody else, and Boogie had dropped the bag, noticed a token slid out, and then picked another one.)
    • Starting with Season 18, any twist involving the audience voting to give a houseguest an advantage is designed so that once a houseguest has been chosen, they are no longer eligible to be voted for. This is to prevent the same fan favorite from being chosen every single week, like what happened with Elissa and the MVP during Season 15.
    • Much like the jury vote, the reason Josh's goodbye messages were played after the houseguests cast their votes was out of fear it could affect the votes.
  • Odd Friendship: Kent Blackwelder and Bunky Miller, from Season 2, became friends on the show despite their differences. More than a decade later and they are still close friends.
  • Once a Season: Starting in season 12, the Zingbot 3000 (later 9000) roasting the houseguests before hosting the veto competition for the week.
  • One Steve Limit: The reason the US version has never had a houesguest named "Julie". Though Season 17 gave us a "Julia".
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Nakomis from Seasons 5 and 7. The Season 5 intro originally called her by her real name "Jennifer", but switched over to Nakomis once it became clear everyone was calling her that.
    • Season 20 gave us a double dose of this, with Swaggy C (real name "Chris") and Rockstar (real name "Angie"). Justified in Rockstar's case, as this was done to avoid confusion with fellow houseguest Angela.
  • Out of Focus: With editors picking their favourites and keeping them perpetually in focus, this sad fate is bound to happen to a couple houseguests. Season 19 is one of the worst offenders, due to sending Paul back into the game and him feeding off the spotlight to the point where fans thought it was more appropriate to refer to the whole season at large as "Big Paul"!
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: In the first week of the 15th season alone, about half the cast have made at least one racial slur directed toward other contestants in the house. The worst offenders were GinaMarie and Aaryn, who frequently commented on Asian contestant Helen's eyes and talking about her making rice and the two African-American contestants Candice and Howard behind their backs saying the sheets smell black.
  • Prestige Peril: Jackson suffers from this with several of his late-game HoH wins on Season 21. Despite keeping himself and his showmance Holly safe, he realizes each win makes him a bigger target to take out once he;s ineligible to be Head of Household. Post-Double Eviction, Jackson's game essentially consists of "win every competition, or I will be evicted".
  • Properly Paranoid: Willie in the first week of Season 14 tried to turn the entire house against the Coaches because he thought they would be entering the game. One week after his eviction...the coaches entered.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: By nature of the contestants being cut off from the outside world. There will usually be a time or two each season where the houseguests are given news from the outside world, but two events led to a larger chunk of the episode being dedicated to the houseguests' reactions.
    • A significant portion of Season 2's Final Three episode deals with the remaining three houseguests learning about the September 11th attacks, including the fact that houseguest Monica had a cousin working in the building on that day who was unaccounted for.
    • Big Brother: Over the Top was the first season of Big Brother to air through late fall, and as a result, it's the first time houseguests were in the house during a US presidential election... and it just happened to also be the election of Donald Trump. Following that Thursday's eviction (two days after the election), Julie jokes that the remaining houseguests are likely the only six people in America who don't yet know the results. She then informs them of Trump's win, and leaves them to discuss it until the end of the episode.
  • Reality Show Genre Blindness:
    • Common strategic blunders such as letting a deadly floater slip through.
    • Thinking that being nominated is fine. In a game where you chose 1 from 2 to evict, is not fine!
    • Wearing your emotions in your sleeves and being nasty to some people, what happens when they win the HOH, or are in the jury voting for you in the end?
    • Refusing to get rid of returning players. If this is your biggest pet peeve, then RUN from Season 19.
    • Brendon telling Daniele that he and Rachel would win if they made it to the finals while trying to convince Daniele to not target them for eviction.
    • People tend to make ballsy but unnecessary gameplay moves and are surprised that this winds up putting a target on their backs. Or if their alliance is targeted, are surprised that they get targeted, too. Really, this is why you want to be the middle man, since #2 is always the main target if #1 gets veto'd off the block.
      • Winning competitions makes people perceive you as a threat and often gets you directly attacked or "backdoored". The show has a track record of people who don't really win that many competitions getting far in the game. Sometimes even winning. And many times; they outlast "Power players" who win a bunch of competitions or try to be The Chessmaster but wind up being "Backdoored".
      • Or being ignorant about the power of HOH, as it is a dangerous game changer when fallen to the wrong hands unless you got great manipulation skills.
    • Volunteering to be nominated. On top of the counter-intuitive notion of immediately putting yourself at the mercy of your houseguests who can flip at the drop of a hat instead of getting guaranteed safety, especially in the early parts, this has proven to very rarely work.
      • And even though it worked for Evel Dick; he would have been the first member of the Jury had it not been for the tiebreaker being Eric, America's Player.
      • Jillian from 19 is probably the epitome of why it is a bad idea to go up on the block as an eviction pawn. Not only did she go up during a week when she could not obtain any form of safety at all due to Josh taking a temptation that disqualified her participation in any challenges for safety, the eviction block rotated FOUR times, due in part to the original target unexpectedly walking from the game, the next one vetoing herself off, the backdoor target having an advantage that kept them safe from nomination, and the final result being a player put on the block considered to be of more worth than Jillian, resulting in her being outvoted for eviction.
    • Managing alliances, it needs a lot of trust, work, adaptability, and winning competitions to make it worth. Though you will be cruising until the end when you perfected it.
      • Additionally, openly revealing your alliances and inviting people in without informing your original alliance members can easily hurt your reputation in the alliance.
      • True alliances larger than yourself and one other person in general, because you inevitably are put in a position where you have to "backstab" your own alliance because there's literally nobody else you can nominate. The only people to have been fully aware of this were Chilltown, to great success in two different seasons.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • Big Brother 14 (The Surgeons): Dan (Blue Oni) and Danielle (Red Oni)
    • Big Brother 10 (The Renegades): Dan (Blue Oni) and Memphis (Red Oni)
    • Big Brother 14: Boogie (Blue Oni) and Frank (Red Oni)
    • Big Brother 11/13: Jeff (Red Oni) and Jordan (Blue Oni)
    • Big Brother 12/13: Brendon (Blue Oni) and Rachel (Red Oni)
    • Big Brother 14: Shane (Blue Oni) and Danielle (Red Oni)
    • Big Brother 14 (Alpha Omega Bye): Britney (Blue Oni) and Danielle (Red Oni)
    • Big Brother 2/7 (Chilltown) Dr. Will (Blue Oni) and Boogie (Red Oni)
    • Big Brother 12 (Raisin Bran): Lane (Blue Oni) and Britney (Red Oni)
    • Big Brother 13: Brendon (Blue Oni) and Jeff (Red Oni)
    • Big Brother 13: Dominic (Red Oni) and Danielle (Blue Oni)
    • Big Brother 14: Rachel (Red Oni) and Jordan (Blue Oni)
    • Big Brother 16: Zach (Red Oni) and Frankie (Blue Oni)
    • Big Brother 19: Paul (Red Oni) and Cody (Blue Oni)
  • The Remnant: Season 16's first alliance was the Bomb Squad, which exploded a few weeks in. Several members of the squad rejoined each other and formed The Detonators, which was much more successful. Notably, Caleb was part of the first but not the second alliance, and he believed that all the other Detonators were still working under Bomb Squad. By the time of the final five, while Cody, Derrick, and Frankie are getting excited about the Detonators going so far, Caleb is still hyped over how far the Bomb Squad has gotten.
  • Reset Button:
    • Season 14 of the US version pulled this trope (literally) on the house on Day 27. After an online vote, the then-'coaches' were offered the chance to enter the competition as players; they accepted, thus 'reset' the game. Because of that, the prior four evictions were disavowed, and the first three to be evicted afterward would not be entering the Jury house upon elimination (which they already would have normally by that point).
    • Another appeared in Season 16, the "Big Brother Rewind", which would cause the current week to rewind to the beginning, and anything that happened that week would be nullified. None of this is known by the houseguests, who only pressed the button because "it's Big Brother, we should press it".
  • Retool: The original Big Brother 2000 in the US played almost identical to the UK version of the show, which itself was a near identical import of the Netherlands version. However, the first season was very unambitious and lacked pizzaz, so a new production team came in and revised the series into something more original for the US take, while the UK version stuck with the original format but gave it some flavor when they emphasized naughty and rambunctious activity.
  • Sarcastic Confession:
    • The best part of "Evil Doctor Will" being The Chessmaster is that at the beginning of Season 2, Will literally told everyone else in the house that he was going to lie, cheat, and steal in order to win, and that none of them, not even his friend Mike, should trust him as far as they could comfortably spit the Chrysler Building, and that he would betray any so-called "alliance" the moment he saw profit in it. They all thought he was being funny... except that's precisely what he did in order to walk away with the prize.
      • He came back for All-Stars wearing a shirt that said, "I'm probably lying," told everyone he hated them all, and nearly won again.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Several veto competitions have featured some kind of mascot or creature named "Otev".
  • Shout-Out: The show occasionally sneaks one or two in, usually during competitions.
  • Slut-Shaming: Samantha (Season 20) combines this with playing personally during her reign as the Week 4 HOH. She nominates Haleighnote  and Kaitlynnote  because she didn't thought that their flirting with some of the male contestants "took the easy way" to get ahead in the game and was "the opposite of female empowerment." While it could be justified that Kaitlyn shouldn't have flirted with Tyler or Faysal on account of her being in an ongoing relationship outside of the house (Haleigh, on the other hand, was single), Sam's reasoning for their nominations did not sit well with Faysal and some of the other houseguests and soured her for some fansnote . It could also be considered risky gameplay since Sam never used her "Second Life" power app during the first three weeks of the season, and since it would go to whomever was the Week 4 evictee, if either Kaitlyn or Haleigh were evicted then come back into the game once the app was activated and they or their alliance members became HOH, Sam's move could put her at risk of eviction.
  • Spin-Off: Big Brother: Over the Top, a shortened version of the show aired exclusively online through live feeds and weekly recaps. It featured a smaller cast than the regular show (13 houseguests as opposed to 16) and had the public voting on several things, including having one vote in the eviction and eventually choosing the winner.
  • Stealth Pun: In Season 5, one luxury competition had houseguests run through a web of bungee cords to retrieve lettered balls and spell out a word. The word they had to spell: Internet.
  • Steampunk / Clock Punk: The house design for Big Brother 16 features a giant gear-themed table at the starting phases of the game as well as gear-themed wallpaper for the halls to the Diary Room.
  • Stopped Numbering Sequels: Stopped numbering its seasons after 10.
  • Straight Gay: Bunky (2), Ivette (6), Neil (9), Steven (10), and Vanessa (17).
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Dr. Will, Kaysar Ridha(occasionally filled this role), James Rhine(who doesn't have black hair, but fits the tall and snarky parts perfectly), Evel Dick, Russell Kairouz, and Amanda
  • Token Minority: Most seasons seem to be contractually obligated to have at least one black person, and at least one gay man, who almost always has to be Camp Gay. (Curiously, there have to date only been four bisexuals (two of each gender), three lesbians (two of which were Latinas), and one transgender woman as of Season 17.)
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Season 15's Howard flat out refused to make deals or campaign when he was nominated for elimination. He made no attempt to save himself because he was convinced that God would keep him in the game. He was promptly evicted.
    • In Season 16, Joey's very public attempt to organize a girls alliance, then going around openly admitting it essentially sealed her fate in the first week. Trying to assume her "Alex" persona only made things so much worse.
    • The entire house of Big Brother 19. It's almost embarrassing how so many people absolutely worshipped Paul moreso than Boston Rob's tribe in Redemption Island and were all shocked that they get voted out. The fact that a "Big move" in that season was... to go after the person the entire house wanted out should indicate the general stupidity of the cast. The only person to break free of this stupidity was Josh (due to actually working to blow up Paul's game at the end), who ironically was the last person you'd think would due to being the zaniest guy of the season.
  • Twin Switch: Done twice. Once with Adria and Natalie in Season 5, and again with Liz and Julia in Season 17. Both cases involved the twins switching out of the house every few days and pretending to be a single person, with the challenge of surviving a set amount of evictions before both entered the house as individuals.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: In Season 14, and in Season 19.
  • Values Dissonance: Given the progress that has been made in LGBT rights and public acceptance of the LGBT community, it can be shocking to go back to Season 2, where Bunky gradually coming out to the house was a major, multi-episode plotline. Especially egregious is Kent openly talking about his disapproval of gay people to Bunky's face, something that would get him crucified by viewers and the house alike in more recent seasons.
    • Even as late as Big Brother 8 (2007), we have Kail reacting to Joe by saying she would be "heartbroken" if her kids came and told her they "chose a gay lifestyle." Yikes.
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: After watching the host of competitions explain the rules, the editors seem to feel we didn't understand it and cut in a clip of one of the houseguests recapping the rules.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Rachel in Season 13, who had to have a psychiatrist called in to calm her down!
    • In Season 11, while Chima was never too keen on following rules, after Jeff used the coup d'etat to overthrow her nominations she went off the deep end. She started covering the cameras with blankets and refused to wear her microphone, infamously throwing it into the hot tub when some of the others attempted to get her to put it on. This ultimately led to her getting kicked out of the house.
    • Some notable examples from Season 15:
      • Jeremy after being used as a replacement nominee in Week 3 began to Took a Level in Kindness, after realizing how nasty he was coming across. Despite his pleas and apologies, he will still evicted per being a physical threat.
      • Amanda had one, along with a complete Humiliation Conga during the week in which she was evicted.
    • Audrey in Season 17, who, after realizing she was going home, locked herself in the Diary Room for 5 hours and then almost never left the Have-Not room, not even showing up to the veto ceremony where she was nominated. The sunglasses, hoodie, and blanket she wrapped around herself for the entirety of this meltdown have since become a memetic mutation.
  • Voted Off the Island
  • Worthy Opponent: Jessie actually admitted this in season eleven. Jeff won a game changing power called Coup de tat and used it to put Jessie and Natalie on the block. Kevin had the insight to cast the deciding vote to evict Jessie as a bigger threat. Jessie even said in his interview that it was a very good move on Jeff's part and that he would vote for him if he made it to the end.
    • Brendon to Daniele. In the same season after Jeff was evicted, Rachel and Jordan said that they saw Kalia as the most deserving winner.
    • Boogie said this about Ian, saying that he really did learn from the best.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: Live feeds are cut off when contestants sing, except as part of a challenge, or mention trademarks.
    • If a contestant has a tattoo of something trademarked, it must be covered in a bandage or blurred out. (James in Big Brother 9.)
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Rachel's (S 12/13) bright red hair.
    • A literal example would be Joey from Season 16, who could best be described as "The One with Blue Hair". Well, at least until she changed it up for the finale to cotton candy pink, and turns out to sport a wide variety of hair colors, with blue being the only one she got to show off in the house.
    • Also from Season 16, Frankie had bright pink hair.
    • Season 19 had bluenette/multi-colored streaks of pink and blonde Megan.
  • You Keep Using That Word:
    • Backdooring was used in Season 5 wherein through a play of Loophole Abuse and Fridge Brilliance, a player was put up on the block without even having a chance to defend himself. Nowadays, the term is essentially used for "evicting the Replacement Nominee" or "Putting up someone who most people did not expect to see nominated.". You can't really do true backdooring any more because a rule patch helped make it so that it wouldn't happen five or six times in a row every single year.
    • A Floater is a player who does not commit to any alliance except maybe one ally and only votes with the majority and goes to whichever alliance has power at the moment so they don't get targeted. They intentionally don't try to win Head of Household challenges because the Head of Household is forced to reveal their alliance(s) to the house. A Floaters' goal is to just keep the target off their back by making it so the house wastes a week trying to evict them. The way "Floater" is used by almost everyone in Season 13 is to describe "Whoever is not aligned with us" or "lazy coward". This term was coined by Dr. Will in Season 2.
      • Thanks to Rachel's outspoken attempts to evict Floaters in Seasons 12 & 13 (famously shouting "Floaters grab a life vest!" after winning Head of Household one time), from Season 13 onward being a Floater has shifted from a genuine strategy to an insult used by houseguests and fans alike to refer to houseguests who are perceived as not playing the game.
      • Later seasons have had fans trying to combat misuse of the term Floater by pointing out its use as a valid strategy and offering the alternate terms "coaster" or "goat" for a player acting as The Load. Additionally, if a player is intentionally laying low and playing both sides of the house, it's become common to say that they're "playing an old-school floater game" to distinguish the fact that yes, they know what they're doing, and yes, doing nothing is a strategy.
    • The term Showmance was coined during All Stars by Will and Mike to refer to their relationships with Janelle and Erika, and explicitly referred to the fact that their romance was fake and for the purpose of advancing their game. Come Season 11, the term "showmance" was used several times to refer to Jeff and Jordan's very real relationship, the exact opposite of the term's original meaning. Now, "showmance" is used to describe any relationship that happens in the house (and these relationships are almost never for the game). Essentially, the portmanteau in "showmance" went from meaning "a romance for the show" to "a romance on the show".
  • Younger and Hipper: The days contestants like Chicken George Boswell could come within sniffing distance of being a contestant are way, way, way over. Season 14 only had two people who were over 40. Newer seasons will often cast one token old guy (Donny, Glenn, Kevin, Cliff, etc), while the rest of the cast is in their 20's, with maybe a few people in their 30's if production is feeling generous.
    • Hugely averted in Season 10 by casting someone who was 75 years old in the form of Jerry Macdonald, whose age upon competing remains far older than any contestant in the run to ever play the game.
    • The oldest contestant on Season 15 and 16 was only 37 and 42, respectively.
    • Taken Up to Eleven with Season 17, which currently holds the record for youngest average cast age at 26.7. The oldest person in the house was Shelli, who was a whopping 33 years old during the season.

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