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Audience Participation

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Dr. Frank-N-Furter: I see you shiver with antici...
Audience: SAY IT! SAY IT! SAY IT!
Dr. Frank-N-Furter ...pation.

When the audience for a broadcast or performance are invited to participate in some way. This can be simple, like a character in a stage show directly asking for the audience's help, or more complex, such as:

  • Taking part in a public vote which influences the show.
  • Contacting a show and commenting on a topic, or making song requests.
  • Inviting audience members on-stage, or having the cast or presenters go into the Studio Audience.
  • Interviewing audience members, or calling someone up to play a game.

A Super-Trope to Official Fan-Submitted Content, which is when Audience Participation is used to turn fanon into canon; Audience Participation Song, which is when this trope is used in—what else—a song; Fake Interactivity, which is when this will have no effect whether the audience chooses to participate or not; and Interactive Comic, which is when a comic is reliant on this trope. A regular feature of Pantomime.

Usually involves Breaking the Fourth Wall, but if it is done very often that you think the work relies on Audience Participation, then there is No Fourth Wall to begin with. Depending on the audience, this can lead to the Subversion, Audience Participation Failure.


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  • Ron Popeil's infomercials for Showtime Rotisseries had the catchphrase "Set it and forget it!" which the audience would shout on command.
  • AMC Theaters' We Make Movies Better ad spawned this thanks to its campy, melodramatic tone, with audiences reciting Nicole Kidman's dialogue and even saluting the screen when the line "somehow, heartbreak feels good in a place like this" came up. AMC not only kept the ad in theaters for far longer than they intended to because of the audience reaction, they recorded a sequel.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Attack on Titan: King Fritz of Eldia rounds up a village after a pig escapes from his livestock. After he threatens to punish the village collectively unless the responsible party comes first, the village unanimously and immediately blame Ymir. It is implied Ymir is not even responsible but the others simply exploited for her kindness and passiveness.
  • Pretty Cure:
    • Ever since the movie for Yes! Pretty Cure 5, the Pretty Cure movies have had the Miracle Lights, basic flashlight-like toys that are given to the audience (mostly the kids and sometimes older patrons) to use. The movies always start out by telling them what the Miracle Lights are for and what not to do with them (shine them in your eyes, pull on another's Light, swing them around, and, in the case of the Fresh Pretty Cure! movie, launch them into space). They're used near the very end of each movie, the mascots urging the children to shine the lights and give the heroines their movie-only Super Mode to save the day.
  • Pretty Series:
    • The Best 10 movies consisted of the top 10 performances in the series, which was chosen by audience vote through a ticket sold with the Greatest Hits Album soundtracks.
    • King of Prism uses a lot of audience participation; not even The Musical is free from this. Glowsticks are sold at every screening, and some parts of the films have captions on the screen for audiences to respond appropriately. This is especially apparent during the Prism Jumps where the film has the characters interact with the audience. There are also official cheer guides to the songs performed.
  • Monster Musume has added several main cast members based on reader votes on what type of monster girls should show up next. Recently, Okayado has had fans send in self-portraits along with what type of monster girls they'd like to be paired up with for various cameo appearances.
  • Gundam:
    • Gundam Build Fighters had a contest for three custom made units to show up in the anime. There was a kitbash model unit, a kitbash unit from New Gundam Breaker and a custom color unit. The winners were "Zssa Storm" (a kitbashed Zssa from Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ), "Benkei" and a red and white Deathscythe.
    • The sequel series Gundam Build Fighters Try had a contest where fans could vote on which obscure (read: not from an animated series) mobile suit they wanted to see put in an appearance; the winner was the Xi Gundam from the novel Shining Hathaway, which showed up during the free-for-all battle in the final episode.
  • A central component of the Love Live! franchise. Many elements and aspects of the series are decided solely by reader polls. These include the names of the groups and subunits, subunit compositions, song centers for major singles, names for certain characters and setpieces like the schools, and more.

  • 3000 Whys of Blue Cat: The viewers have sent questions to the studio that have been used for later episodes of the show.

  • Jim Gaffigan is known to do something similar to this; while not actually having the audience participate, but anticipating what they're probably thinking. You can tell he's doing this when he does a Stage Whisper.
    "Is he going to whisper to himself after every joke?"
  • Jeff Dunham also will answer questions from the audience using Walter.
  • Ross Noble's entire act will be based primarily around the audience's action in the first few minutes, as well as the surroundings of the theater at the time. You are guaranteed to never see the same show twice, and it's triply funny if you see it live.
  • About half of Dara Ó Briain's act consists of him talking to select audience members.
  • Promoters pay attention: even if a comic at your venue is on this list, or is especially good at audience back-and-forth, please do not advertise in a way that encourages hecklers.
  • Tim Minchin has also played with this trope on occasion.
  • Bill Dana was a fixture at San Francisco's comedy club the Hungry i, and in an audience Q&A session (which was recorded for the album Jose Jiminez, First Man In Space):
    Audience member: Why do they call this place the Hungry i?
    Dana: Has anyone given you any food since you've been here?
  • Mitch Benn's show Don't Fear the Reaper opens with a parody of that very song (originally performed on The Now Show). Before this begins, as he's getting onto the stage, he hands a cowbell to someone in the front row with the words "You'll know what to do." (He says on one occasion this has gone wrong: "Never heard the song, never seen a cowbell before.")
  • Robin Williams would often go out into the audience during his standup and riff on the people he encountered or the things he saw.
  • This is the shtick of Insult Comics such as the late Don Rickles and Lisa Lampanelli. If you don't want to be offended, avoid the front row.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman featured what is known as the most infamous example of this trope (at least in comics): a phone poll to decide if Jason Todd would be killed by the Joker's bomb in Batman: A Death in the Family. He lost by 72 votes out of a total of 10,614 cast, and proceeded to perish, not returning until the events of Under the Hood (although he was Retconned into Batman: Hush in 2003 when Under the Hood established that the graveyard scene had Batman initially fighting the real Jason Todd before Jason fled partway through the battle and was replaced by Clayface assuming his form.)
  • The 1980s version of Dial H for Hero that ran in Adventure Comics and New Adventures of Superboy encouraged readers to mail suggestions for superheroes Chris King and Vicki Grant could turn into using their H-Dials as well as villains that they'd fight, including some more mundane submissions such as what clothing they'd wear or what furniture would be in their homes. Harlan Ellison notably submitted a proposal for a villain called the Silver Fog.
  • In the lead up to the Hellfire Gala yearly one-shots, fans are asked to vote for one of six mutants to join the X-Men for its yearly change ups. For the 2021 event, Polaris won the event. In 2022, it was Firestar. 2023 changed things up massively: to kick off the Fall of X era, the people being voted in were already chosen to be X-Men. The winner of the vote was instead the Sole Survivor of Orchis' initial attack. That winner was the Juggernaut.

    Fan Works 
  • Despite FanFiction.Net outright forbidding this type of fic on their site, these are still quite popular and there are quite a few uploaded there. The most popular being truth or dare fics. (Where the audience makes outrageous dares the characters have to carry out.)
  • The author, cuttingmoon57, once had a poll where fans can decide the size of the katana Luso would get in The Tainted Grimoire.
  • Another author, ithinkabouttrees, has a Percy Jackson and the Olympians fanfiction called Annabeth Chase Versus the Internet, where fans not only give suggestions on what kind of internet based shenanigans the gang runs into, but are encouraged by the author to do so. The comments to last week's chapter may give clues to what might be coming in next week's, depending on which ideas the authors decides to use.
  • FanFiction.Net writer Mrfipp put up contests for reviewers so they can decide which summon is up next in his Kingdom Hearts fanfic.
  • Cat-Ra
    • After changing Catra's reaction to the First Ones' virus to acting like an actual cat, Monokub ran a poll about whether the virus' second appearance should do the same thing, or make her act drunk like Adora in canon. Drunk won.
    • For the dream world at the end of Season 3, he allowed fans to write their own flashback scenes.
  • Code Geass: Paladins of Voltron: The author has posted two polls so far, the first of which was to ask who, if any, of the other paladins, would get Geass, and the other to ask if they should give their lions special names beside their colors. Turns out, they were happy with all of them getting Geass. There was also a review based poll to determine who would end up with who in this story. Based on the tags the story has on Archive of Our Own, the final pairings are Lelouch and Kallen, Rai and Shirley, Rivalz and Milly, and Suzaku and Euphemia.
  • Discord's New Business: The story is vote-driven, with the readers deciding who gets transformed into what. More precisely, each chapter ends on revealing who will be the focus of the next chapter. From its publication, the readers have one week to vote for what transformation they want to see.
    • Some chapters let you choose both the transformation and the character, or the transformation instead of the characters.
  • In Mass Effect: Human Revolution, readers were invited by the author to choose the party members that would go with Adam down to Noveria, as well as which two of the three tasks Adam would undertake in preparation for going after Elsa Devereaux.
  • In Opening Dangerous Gates, the author allows the fans to vote on which Bleach characters get summoned to the Fairy Tail universe.
  • In the Imageboards site for Touhou Project, most if not all fan-works operate on a multiple-choice (and the occasional write-in) format to influence the direction of the story and the actions of the lead character, Being Meiling and its sequels being one work page example from the site.
  • In In This World and the Next Robst held a poll to decide what would happen to Ron Weasley.
  • Used regularly in A Dream. If the author likes an idea, theory, or joke put forth by one of the fans, he'll incorporate it into future chapters.
  • Death Note: The Abridged Series (kpts4tv) ran competitions for who among the fans would get guest spots, as well as a full Mad Libs contest.
  • My Huntsman Academia is a "Quest Fic" that places readers into the shoes of Izuku Midoriya and encourages them to vote on how he's going to spend his time, whether it's hanging out with his friends, training, or his strategies in combat with GURPS as a basis.
  • Vendetta543 runs a lot of polls for An Arc for every season. Most of them help to dictate major outcomes in the series and, of course, the "romantic couple" of choice. He also used it to determine, which "omake" of the series make next.
  • Star Wars vs Warhammer 40K: Prior to the release of Episode 39, the author held a YouTube poll where he asked "Which one of these men is the shiniest hidden gem currently serving the Republic?" The choices were Octavian Grant, Terrinald Screed, Nial Declann, and Gilad Pellaeon, all of whom are Star Wars Legends characters who served in the Republic Navy during the Clone Wars. Pellaeon, being the most recognizable and well-known of the four, predictably won the overwhelming majority of votes while Screed came in at a distant second place. After this poll, Pellaeon and Screed would appear as POV characters in Episode 39 where they are each commanding one of Kuat Drive Yards' Mandator II-class star dreadnaughts against Battlefleet Xek-Tek in a big Space Battle.
  • The Web of The Spider-Man is written by the same author as My Huntsman Academia and operates under similar logic.
  • Occam Razor (responsible for Yu-Gi-Oh! The Thousand Year Door and Yu-Gi-Oh! Dark Messiah among others) frequently approached his audience (on a site called The Pokemasters Forum, not for character and card submissions, often including them as a Contest Winner Cameo. This ended after he was banned from Pokemasters for various reasons (because, as mentioned above, doesn't allow this sort of thing).

    Films — Animation 
  • Some anime films make use of "cheering screenings" for their theatrical run, especially for runs of movies featuring Idol Singers. The audience usually brings their own penlights and cheer, perform sing-alongs, and even have their own scripted Rocky Horror-style retorts to character antics. Movies that have done this include The iDOLM@STER, the films in the Pretty Series, and even a rerun of the first The Prince of Tennis movie.
  • Sing-along showings of Frozen, in which people are freely able to sing-along to the catchy tunes without feeling like they're trying to stop themselves from singing aloud. Disney would later do similar screenings with Moana, Beauty and the Beast (2017), Frozen II, and Encanto.
  • Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation has a small segment at the end where the Care Bears directly ask the audience to chant "I care!" along with them to save a girl cursed by dark magic.
  • No joke, some showings of Shrek had live audiences following the instructions of the guards holding the placards in the climatic wedding scene ("Applause", "Laugh", "Awwwwwwwww").

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show redefined audience participation, to the point that there's an entire script for what to yell and what props to throw. The whole thing started when an audience member responded to Janet using a newspaper to protect herself from the rain by yelling, "Buy an umbrella, you cheap bitch!" It just escalated from there. Many theaters that regularly show the movie also have a "shadowcast" of (volunteer) live actors who'll perform in front of and generally engage the viewers as the film is shown, either adhering to the original audience script or (more commonly) making up new jokes all the time, in tune with pop culture and current events. You're almost guaranteed never to see the same exact Rocky twice.
  • Rocky's sequel Shock Treatment has had shadowcast productions as well, though due to the larger cast and comparative obscurity they're not as plentiful as Rocky Horror. This is invoked In-Universe as well-the entire movie takes place in a TV studio, where the audience (hinted to be the entire population of Denton) regularly sings along with the music and responds to cue cards. Not to mention that the plot started when Brad and Janet were plucked from the audience to participate in a game show.
  • The Blues Brothers involves this in Australia, specifically the Valhalla theater in Melbourne (until it closed down in 2003), where the audience lovingly recite the dialogue, dress up as their favorite characters, throw items such as white bread, newspaper and stuffed animals at the screen, and dance in the aisles to the movie's soundtrack.
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera shadowcasts run on audience participation. The show encourages audience members to stand up and sing during certain key songs (We Started This Op'ra Shit!) or to wave/throw certain props (such as blue glow-sticks for Zydrate containers) at other key moments. The show also has a number of call-backs delivered in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 tradition. Which makes a particular callback fairly obvious, given that the first words shown in the film are "In the not too distant future."
  • The Room (2003) has elicited this kind of response, albeit not the director's intention. Complete with people throwing plastic spoons, roses and footballs at the screen. See here.
  • 13 Street: Last Call is a film project wherein you, the audience, submit your cellphone number, and the software randomly picks a number and calls it. Throughout the film, the audience member speaks to the protagonist via voice recognition, helping her make vital decisions that drive the film's plot.
  • Anyone who has ever been to a movie theater in India can testify that this is the whole point in watching a Bollywood movie.
  • The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure encouraged the viewers to dance and sing at its screenings.
  • What's Up, Tiger Lily?, Woody Allen's Gag Dub film of a Japanese spy flick, has the hero suddenly ask the audience to believe really hard in restoring bullets to his gun, a parody of the Peter Pan stage play.
  • Xanadu at one time had people in the audience shadowcasting the performance during the song "Dancin'", where the song deviates between big band and rock.
  • Philadelphia has been trying to make an Audience Participation version of 1776 happen — props (including flies to throw at the screen) and all. It's as painfully nerdy as it sounds.
  • Help!: The film has been called "The Rocky Horror Beatles Show" at some conventions (most notably Beatlefest Chicago), where screenings are frequently interrupted by audience members counting the number of times John dials the phone and handing out sticks of Wrigley's spearmint gum during the "Paul on the Floor" segment.
  • During production of Revenge of the Sith, Lucasfilm created four paint schemes for Obi-Wan's new astromech droid (which has maybe a minute of screentime) and had fans vote for their favorite at The shiny-bronze-all-over design won.
  • Cats seems to have taken this on, as the film flopped badly in its initial theatrical run but has been selling out "rowdy screenings" in various cities, such as Toronto, Los Angeles, Brooklyn and San Francisco. Additionally, the "Mr. Mistoffelees" number seems to encourage audience participation.
    "Oh, well, I never was there ever a cat so clever as magical Mr. Mistoffelees..."

  • Isaac Asimov's Asimov's Book of Facts: The book has a letter from Dr Asimov, requesting that readers send in their facts for the next volume of Isaac Asimov's Book of Facts.
  • The Thursday Next series plays with this in the first book, The Eyre Affair. Thursday and Landen attend a long-running production of Richard III which involves cast members being drawn from the audience, shouted call-and-response from the audience, and pun-based props.
    Audience: WHEN is the winter of our discontent!?
    Richard III: [hammily] Now is the winter of our discontent, [audience cheers] made glorious summer by this son of York [audience don sunglasses]...
  • In the Rainbow Magic series, readers voted on Mia the Bridesmaid Fairy and Juliet the Valentine Fairy's names.
  • The Vampire Files: In The Dark Sleep, Bobbi's stage performance as Shanghai Lil is prefaced by her costar staggering around the nightclub, apparently drunk, and asking the clientele if anyone has seen his girl Lil.
  • Warrior Cats occasionally holds polls on the official site for the fandom to make decisions. This has included polls about which character should be featured in an upcoming story or book, which dust jacket color or audiobook narrator they prefer, which cats they'd like to be made into plushies, and names of characters including a protagonist's warrior name.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Many game and reality shows use this in various ways. They may get to influence the show by being a gameplay mechanic to assist the main contestant or voting for someone to be eliminated/saved/etc. Or even better, all of the contestants on a show may just be plucked from the audience by default (see The Price Is Right, Truth or Consequences and Let's Make a Deal for examples).
    • On occasion, shows might let audience members play an Audience Game, usually for small amounts of cash or prizes, if they have time left at the end of the show or if the game ends earlier than usual.
    • Bruce Forsyth, who's presented several such gameshows including the British remake of The Price Is Right, has collected several call-and-response catchphrases over his many, many, many years in showbiz. He tends to keep them going even when he moves on from the show, so they're now so well known in the UK you could probably use them to catch out foreign spies. His most famous one: "Nice to see you, to see you...", to which the audience would respond with "NICE!"
    • The CBS Match Game had audience participation of a different sort. Some questions like "Dumb Dora was so dumb..." prompted the audience to call back "How dumb was she?" (this first started on the panel then progressed into the audience). Audiences booing bad answers were a mainstay as well. They also had audience participation of the normal kind where they would poll studio audiences for the Audience Match segment of the Bonus Round. Both of these were carried over when the show was revived on ABC with Alec Baldwin.
    • Pak De Poen De Show Van 1 Miljoen also had audience participation of a different kind. There was a number panel on the front of the screen. If the audience member had the same number as the one that was shown on the panel, they would win the grand prize of 20 million BF. To put this in perspective you only need to know that the winner of the show can maximally win 1.05 million BF.
  • Your Number's Up, a short-lived show on NBC from 1985, had audience members coming to the stage when the last four digits of their phone number showed up on the game board display. They stood behind the contestant they thought would win the game and won a prize if they were right.
  • Many competition shows have or have had a audience vote feature, as part of the show at some point. (usually done through texting or more recently an app option). How much this affects the show depends on... well, the show.
  • American Idol: Audience votes for their favorite to stay in. (exception for this would be the "audition" episodes).
  • Big Brother. Most nations have this as something the viewing public does via a phone line; the US version had it for the first season, but switched over to an internal system among the contestants for later seasons. they sometimes still have some audience vote feature in the US version in some form. by getting resources (One example is season 23 had BB bucks, that you could save for a casino style games that can affect the nomination) even though it's currently house voting. USA Celebrity Big Brother (not sure if the celebrity version is its own show or not) season 3 had people vote for a contestant to have an extra prize (of cash). And had a 'officially' unplanned vote for the winner if there was a tie in the jury. because a contested left unexpectedly outside the nomination, and did not come for the jury.
  • Dancing with the Stars currently (as of April 2022) has half Judge vote, half audience vote. This is a weird one as the voting is only open during the East Coast and Central Time zone broadcast and is closed after the final commercial break of that broadcast. The official response to this is for Western Time zone people to vote based on last week's episode.(which is why the first episode has no elimination in recent seasons.) Making it a weird example of a redemption not mattering due to some of the voters not seen the most recent episode. The two people who have the least combined score. has the judges decide which one of them goes. (The rules for this gets a little fuzzy for Double Elimination nights.)
  • Until the lawyers told them to stop, there were Rocky Horror-style showings of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Musical Episode "Once More, with Feeling", with props for the audience, shadow casts, and audiences shouting things like "Shut up, Dawn!".
  • Community had audience participation of the voting variety. Fans designed their own Greendale flags and then voted for one to become official, the winning one was introduced in "Basic Rocket Science" and the voting was written into the plot as having been done by Greendale students.
  • Endurance:
    • Audience members at the reunion special got to vote for which male and female contestant that they wanted to return in Endurance 2. The contestant votes counted as individual votes while audience vote only counted as 1 per gender though Max and Jenna, whom received the most support from the audience, still got chosen to return.
    • The fireball mission from Endurance 2 was brought back in Tehachapi after being voted as the favorite Endurance mission in a fan contest.
    • Garrett and Kelsey of Hawaii along with Will and Leslie of Fiji got their initial spots on the show due to being voted in from fans from a selection of other hopefuls.
  • Star Trek features an In-Universe use of this trope: a Klingon Opera audience knows all the songs, and any member might get called on to play any part at any time.
  • The cast of Whose Line Is It Anyway? gets their improv suggestions from the audience. And will even pull some of the audience into the scene on the fly.
  • Sports Nation is built around audience participation via the polls in which the audience votes on ESPN's SportsNation website, for which the show was named.
  • In one episode of Call My Bluff, Barry Cryer gets the audience involved in his definition, much to the astonishment of Sandi Toksvig:
    Sandi: I can't believe you got Audience Participation from this lot. I always thought they were just a Laugh Track!
  • The Doctor Oz Show: Dr. Oz likes to get his audience involved. At least one lucky member gets to be the "assistant of the day", and sometimes the front row or even the whole studio gets in on something. (Heaven help you if it's a new dance!)
  • Hot Seat with Wally George had tons of it. Wally would often hold Q&As with audience members, or invite them to grill (or heckle) the guests. They'd wave signs in support of Wally (or, on occasion, his guests). Most memorably, they helped out with the ticket plug; when it came time to recite the final phone number, Wally would shout out "NINE NINE NINE!", and the audience would respond "FIVE THOUSAND!".
  • Studio3 was a quirky between-shows program for Australia's kids' channel ABC 3. As such, it included a lot of audience participation, such as chances for kids to be part of the show by sending in videos, photos, or popping up on the show's webcam.
  • Adam Hills In Gordon Street Tonight has Audience Participation to the hilt. The audience are asked to fill in a questionaire before the show begins and Hills uses the answers in the show, including calling specific people out. The show sometimes revisits past audience members in later shows, such an Anglican minister who willingly adopted the title "The Church Of The Latter Day Geek" for her own church (much to Hill's surprise).
  • One Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch ("The Cannibal Undertaker") was so offensive, the audience rushed the stage in protest. Actually, the BBC wouldn't let the guys do the sketch without some sort of negative consequences, so they went all out; the audience participation was what allowed the sketch to air. In fact, if you watch the scene, you'll notice that two of the people leading the charge are Terry Gilliam and scriptwriter Ian Davidson.
  • This was how That '70s Show was originally going to have its title decided. The audience for the test screening were to choose between the two Working Titles, ''Teenage Wasteland'' and ''The Kids Are Alright''. But the audience came out of the test screening referring to it as "that 70's show" and the name stuck.
  • If none of the panelists on QI know the answer, Stephen Fry will sometimes ask the audience—and with several hundred people in, usually some of them do know. The audience have thus won several episodes, as the panelists themselves tend to score in the negatives. There are also episodes where special guests are invited in and they sit in the audience for the show. On one episode, a member of the audience came onto the stage with flapjacks when Alan Davis complained of being hungry. It hasn't always gone well for the audience however: On a couple of occasions they've been deliberately baited into The Klaxon, and indeed in the episode 'Kit and Kaboodle' the audience actually came last!
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000, when it premiered on Syfy, had a home game of sorts where people on the network's website would riff World Without End while it played live. Two versions were made, at 4 pm and 11 pm.
  • "Doubt," a 2004 episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, featured a "he said/she said" rape trial that ended with no announced verdict. An online poll was held and a majority of respondents found the defendant not guilty.
  • The Carol Burnett Show would start off with star Carol Burnett coming out on stage, and after greeting the studio audience and TV viewers, she would answer questions from members of the audience.
  • The Nightly Show: In the first episode, host Larry Wilmore encouraged audience members to cheer or boo when they think a guest is or isn't "keeping it 100." This was effectively an endorsement for the audience to heckle guests who said things they didn't like.
  • Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future had toys that could interact with the program itself as it was being broadcast.
  • In the late 90's, Microsoft made a line of toys called Actimates that, with the help of a special transmitter, could interact with their respective PBS Kids program. Only Barney & Friends, Arthur and Teletubbies got Actimates made for them.
  • Nina and Melanie Martinez on The Good Night Show encouraged viewers to say Spanish words, learn sign language and stretches, and play games with them.
  • Saturday Night Live:
    • In a 1982 episode, Eddie Murphy appeared in a chef's kitchen with a live lobster, announcing that fans could vote by phone whether or not to boil it. As part of the joke, Murphy intentionally made the "boil" number far more comprehensible... only for the "spare" option to win. Murphy later cooked the lobster anyways and fed it to his co-stars on-air, citing racist complaints he received regarding the skit. DC Comics editor Dennis O'Neil cited the stunt as a direct inspiration for the phone poll for the Batman story A Death in the Family.
    • A similar vote was held in 1983; executive producer Dick Ebersol let the audience decide whether or not eccentric performer Andy Kaufman would be banned from the show. The SNL cast was clearly in favor of Andy staying, with Eddie Murphy telling the audience if they could spare a lobster, they could surely spare his friend too. Alas, the voters decided to ban Andy, to the visible displeasure of the rest of the cast. Andy never returned to the show, passing away a year later. These events are dramatized in the Kaufman biopic Man on the Moon.

  • Analog: Several columns were developed that include unpaid reader submissions. The "Analytical Laboratory" is a tally of reader votes for the best stories of previous issues. "Brass Tacks" is a column where readers share their opinions on the magazine's quality (often praising/bashing specific stories), while "Science Discussions" is usually more of a direct back-and-forth about Non-Fiction things, such as one of the essays in the magazine from half a year ago. %[invoked]%

  • Paul and Storm are probably the Rocky Horror of musical comedians; half of their songs just won't work live without banter with the audience. One of their songs, "The Captain's Wife's Lament", is regularly side tracked by joking with the audience and the general consensus is that if it runs under ten minutes, you've been short-changed (the studio version clocks in 2:25; the record is 35 minutes). In live performances, they'll often make a point of stating the time early in the song. "We are beginning it at 8:26 PM. Those of you who've not seen us before, I mention that because you'll be wondering why we're still singing it at 9:17 PM. And those of you who've seen us know I'm not kidding."
  • Dutch band De Staat try their damnedest to emulate the colossal CGI circle pit from the video to "Witch Doctor", finding themselves hampered either by a lack of space or health and safety regulations. They managed it on a small scale in 2016, but the barricades bordering the runway stopped them from forming a huge one around a podium at Lowlands three years later. Does this stop audiences from forming one for the song regardless? Nope.
  • My Chemical Romance encouraged their fans to do this with the universe based on the their fourth and (currently) most recent album.
  • The Protomen have numerous songs where the audience is encouraged to clap along and chant or sing certain parts. Some key examples are the "WE HAVE CONTROL. WE KEEP YOU SAFE. WE ARE YOUR HOPE," in Will of One, and the back-up in Breaking Out.
  • Chris Daughtry has been known to ask the audience to sing along (either as a call and response or just letting them have the chorus), even joking with them that it doesn’t matter what they sing as long as they singnote 
  • Elvis Costello had an entire audience participation tour back in 1986, and brought it back again in 2011. Called "The Revolver Tour", it featured a giant carnival-style wheel that audience members would spin to determine which song Elvis would play next.
  • Subverted by Tom Lehrer in his live album Tom Lehrer Revisited, while introducing "The Irish Ballad", which parodies folk music in general:
    One of the more important aspects of public folk singing is audience participation, and this happens to be a good song for group singing, so if any of you feel like joining in with me on this song, I'd appreciate it if you would leave, right now!
  • Weezer did this with the Hootenanny Tour, in which audience members were encouraged to bring instruments along and play along with the band.
  • Anyone who's ever been to a Green Day concert is aware of Billie Joe's infamous "Hey-Oh's" and doing the YMCA with a Pink Bunny.
    • Green Day is also notorious for bringing fans onstage to play guitar during a song. On some occasions, when they perform Operation Ivy's "Knowledge", they will bring a bassist, drummer, and guitarist on stage to start a makeshift band.
  • The Angels' "Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again?" has the traditional response to the chorus "No way, get fucked, fuck off!" Classic Aussie humour right there.
  • It wouldn't be a Pete Seeger concert without the audience joining in on some songs. Pete was good enough at this that he could get people singing along to choruses in languages they don't know.
  • Kool Koo Kangaroo is big on getting audiences at live shows to sing and dance along.
  • The Arrogant Worms: "Rippy the Gator" and "Rocks and Trees" are straight examples. "Jesus Brother Bob" has a couple of lines that tends to be spoken by the audience. "Mounted Animal Nature Trail" is a bizarre example, as the animals in the song are dead and shouldn't make noise, but the crowd will make the noises anyway just so the Worms will make fun of them for doing so.
  • Before they retired the song, during live performances of "Misery Business", Paramore singer Hayley Williams would bring 1-3 fans onstage to either sing, play guitar, or both.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus had the audience at New York's City Center Theater sing along with the Bruces Philosophers' Song. When the audience's first attempt came half-hearted, the Bruces threatened "Anyone not singing will have a bottle of Foster's lobbed at their heads!" The words were presented and the audience joined in full volume.
  • Arlo Guthrie's famous live recording of "Alice's Restaurant" includes a segment of audience participation in which he invites the crowd to sing "You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant." He chastises their first attempt as "terrible" and has them try again.
  • Bobby McFerrin's The Wizard of Oz medley encourages audience participation, from humming "Over the Rainbow", to scatting part of "If I Only Had a Brain", to responding "Oh my!" appropriately to "Lions and Tigers and Bears!".
  • This is MILGRAM's core, stand-out feature, allowing anyone to decide and vote on whether or not they want to forgive a prisoner. The results of the vote influence the story and content of the future songs, with many of the songs from the second trial referencing the fan-voted results from the first. Fans can also ask prisoners questions through the mobile app from time to time.
  • Christmas With The Tabernacle Choir: To varying degrees depending on the year and the guests. Special mention goes to Kristin Chenoweth who is introduced not by walking on stage but as she strolls around the auditorium greetings audience members as she goes.
    • The 2017 and 2018 concerts each had a sing-along number.
    • The concerts traditionally conclude with the choir and audience joining in an encore of "Angels From the Realms of Glory".

  • Hey! Jake and Josh:
    • Almost every Hey! Jake and Josh show has this to some degree. Pokémon World Tour: United is the most noteworthy since all gym leaders except for Blue are played by patreon sponsors. Pokemon World Tour also has the name-rater segment with viewer-submitted nicknames.
    • Morphin' Grid, Pokemon World Tour, and Kingdom Smarts all have segments for reading listener emails (though for the latter those are usually saved until the end of each game to manage spoiler potential).
  • Psycomedia starts every episode with a feedback section known as backfeeding and will often tackle topics based on requests.
  • Marek vs. Wyshynski: Prior to every episode, the titular hosts will ask a Question of the Day and invite listeners to give their answers via e-mail or Twitter, with the best answers (as judged by the hosts) being read on-air at the end of each show. Answers that get on the air range from the obvious to the witty - even Black Humor will occasionally make its way there if it is particularly clever.
  • Top Down Perspective: Before being released in podcast/video format, the show is streamed on Twitch, where the hosts always interact with the chat. They also end every show by answering viewer questions submitted to them via Twitter, the show's email address, (rarely) Facebook, and (even more rarely) handwritten letters sent to ProtonJon's P.O. box.
  • The Welcome to Night Vale live shows often have the actors encouraging the audience to say or do certain things, like shouting along with a battle cry, or looking under their seats for an escaped Librarian.
  • During live episodes of How Did This Get Made?, Paul Scheer encourages the fans to perform jingles for the "Second Opinion" segment (where Paul, Jason, June and the guest panelist(s) read five-star user reviews culled from Amazon for the movie of the week). The songs are usually parody versions of existing songs with the lyrics exchanged for something relating to the movie.
  • Most of the episode outros of Mystery Show included host Starlee Kine giving a hint about the next mystery and inviting listeners to guess what it might mean. Also, in episode five, she turns to Twitter for help in locating Jake Gyllenhaal, and things get a little out of hand.
  • The House to Astonish live show had volunteers from the audience assisting in "House to Astonish Theatre" (a Dramatic Reading of Nightwing).
  • Anime Slushie:
    • For the Winter 2021 taster and onward, Cube and Feen took requests from the Patreon supporters on which anime each of them would watch.
    • The Jupiter Ascending slushie was the first episode requested by the patrons.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Professional wrestling lives and dies on this form of audience participation; a suitably "hot" crowd is practically a character in the show. So much so that Dave Meltzer, of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter fame, factors the crowd into his ratings of matches on his five-star scale. Many matches have been elevated from good to great because of a hot crowd.
    • One of the most infamous incidents was at ECW's Hardcore Haven in 1994, when Terry Funk and Cactus Jack called for chairs to be thrown in the ring and the crowd responded with ALL of them.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Sesame Street: In Journey to Ernie, viewers would be encouraged to help Big Bird find Ernie.

  • I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue
    • Used in the intro to the Pick-Up Song round, parodying that of Bruce Forsyth in now-long-defunct game show Play Your Cards Right. The chairman gives the Borrowed Catchphrase "Winners will be awarded points, and what do points mean?" with the audience expected to shout back "PRIZES!" Due to this being such a well-known catchphrase, they've taken to subverting it.
      Humph: And points mean Gatwick Airport. What do points mean?
      Most of audience: PRIZES!
      A few people: Gatwick Airport!

      Jack: ...And points mean prizes. What do idiots shout?
      Audience: PRIZES!
      Jack: Thank you.
    • The round "Karaoke-Cokey" requires the audience to hum a well-known tune and the teams to guess what it is. In the stage show, the audience is provided with kazoos, which they use not just in this round but also in "Swannee Kazoo".
  • Just about every hrase in Riders Radio Theater involves some form of call and response, usually the whole audience saying the tail end along with the voice actor in unison.
  • In early episodes of Just a Minute, chairman Nicholas Parsons would sometimes put difficult decisions on challenges to the audience, asking them to cheer for one panellist or boo for the other and declaring the winner to be whichever attracted the louder sound. The Swedish version, På Minuten, still uses this approach, although the chairman asks for separate cheers for each of the challenger and the challenged rather than simultaneous cheering and booing.
  • The Be Our Guest block on the Disney Hits station on Sirius XM has two different Disney fans each week each pick 4 of their favorite Disney songs. Sometimes, the person on the block will be a celebrity associated with Disney, like the cast of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. In addition, several songs that were eventually placed in regular rotation debuted on this block first, such as "One Little Spark" and "Stand Out".

  • Older Than Television: Peter Pan has Peter demanding that the audience clap to restore Tinkerbell.
  • Ayn Rand's Night of January 16th had a jury selected from the audience to judge the defendant guilty or innocent at the end of the play.
  • At the beginning of the second act of Cabaret, the emcee comes into the audience (it helps that the theater is set up like an actual nightclub) to search for a dance partner, often leading to ad-libs, such as "I sense fear here."
  • Cirque du Soleil often involves the audience in its acts. For example, Mystère has a bit before the show actually starts in which a clown leads arriving audience members all around the room, to every place but where they need to be seated.
  • Drood is built on this trope. Since the source material was never completed, the audience decides the identity of one mysterious character, who the murderer is, and which two characters spontaneously fall in love.
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: In some productions, during the "soothsayer" scene Pseudolus will ask the audience for help as to what to say to Erronius.
  • In Passing Strange, we have characters running through the audience and audience members being sung at.
  • Return to the Forbidden Planet treats the audience like passengers on Scientific Survey Ship Nine, complete with "polarity reversal drills" and a vote as to whether one character should be forgiven or punished.
  • The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee selects three audience members to join in the spelling bee. The setup is rigged so they'll win or lose by certain points of the story.
  • During the "Money" song in Avenue Q, the cast runs out into the aisle with buckets and hats asking for money to build Kate's Monstersorri school. All of the money ends up being donated to Broadway Cares: Equity Fights AIDS. After the song, they still won't have enough and will chew out the audience for being cheapskates, and may remark on any strange things that were placed in the hat.
    • A more subtle instance earlier can happen earlier the show. Kate interrupts Trekkie Monster's song "The Internet Is for Porn" insisting that "Normal people don't sit at home and look at porn on the internet!" Trekkie just stares blankly at the audience. In many productions, Trekkie will point to a guy in the front row and chuckle at him knowingly.
  • Modern Luv: "Turn down the lights, take out your cell phones...", in the final number.
  • Most Pantomime performances involve their audience at some point. (“Oh no they don’t!” “Oh yes they do!”)
  • Several Reduced Shakespeare Company productions involve the audience:
    • The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) selects six couples from the audience to play the animals on Noah's Ark. The rest of the audience plays the drowning sinners.
    • In The Complete History Of America Abridged, the script recommends allowing the arrival of latecomers to interrupt the Amerigo Vespucci sketch, and pausing the action to ask them where they were all this time so that one of their answers can be recycled as a Brick Joke at the start of the second act (when one of the actors hasn't returned yet). Later in the second act, audience members are invited to participate in a history quiz, and are polled on which of two endings to the show they want to see (though their vote doesn't matter).
    • The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) has one audience member be Ophelia, another audience member be her ego, the front row be her id, and the rest of the audience be her superego. It's worth noting that Ophelia is not a volunteer; one member of the troupe sarcastically says "That woman there would make a better Ophelia!" and they then decide this is a good idea and drag her onto the stage.
    • The Complete Millennium Musical uses an audience member as the victim of the Inquisition.
  • Maureen's performance in RENT, where she asks the audience to join her in mooing like a cow.
  • At one point in Seussical, the Cat in the Hat plays an auctioneer selling a kidnapped Horton the Elephant, and gets the audience to bid on him. He will invariably mock the audience:
    The Cat: Sold for $50,000 to the good sir with the mustache and the greasy sideburns... oh, sorry ma'am.
  • More or less implied in Vanities, while the girls are practicing cheers in the first scene. However, in some productions, audiences find this works so well that they voluntarily choose to shout back at them: "Gimme a T.(T!) Gimme an I.(I!) Gimme a G.(G!) Gimme an E.(E!) Gimme an R.(R!) Gime an S.(S!) Put 'em together and whaddaya get? (Tigers!)"
  • The Ship That Never Was has a fair bit of audience participation. Some characters with no spoken lines are played by people picked from the audience, some audience members are assigned characters (and given hats to wear), but said characters never actually appear on stage, and some members are given props and/or told to make sound effects.
  • One of the most famous plays that has audience participation is Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding, which is performed in the style of a wedding reception and has the audience seated at tables while the cast acts from different parts of the theatre (often a converted reception hall). A 2004 film version took out the interactive aspect and was a critical and commercial failure.
  • In Spamalot, the Knights find the Grail beyond the fourth wall, since the clue is hidden behind a rock (exactly what this clue is depends on the seating plan of the theatre itself). The Knights bring the one sitting in that seat onto the stage to congratulate them. The lucky individual is then awarded a trophy shaped like the Monty Python foot.
    • The audience is also encouraged to join in with the reprise of Always Look on the Bright Side of Life at the end.
  • Five Guys Named Moe has a lot of audience participation, especially during the final song of the first act, "Push Ka Peesh Ka Pi", which culminates in the audience dancing onto the stage and then out of the theatre in a giant conga line!
  • Accidental Death of an Anarchist presents two endings to the play, and The Maniac invites the audience to choose whichever one they prefer.
  • As part of a production of Julius Caesar at the reconstructed Globe Theatre in London shortly after its completion, the production company planted audience members who, during the scene in which Mark Antony reads Caesar's will to the crowds to turn them against the conspirators, began shouting, "Read the will!" Soon, the whole audience began to join in, as though collectively playing the role of the crowd at Caesar's funeral.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory's second act opens with Fourth-Wall Observer Willy Wonka conducting the entr'acte and then heading into the front row to call up the Golden Ticket winners, who come charging through the aisles, to the onstage Waiting Room. And as he steps off the conducting platform, he briefly takes a seat on an audience member's lap! (If there's an unoccupied front row seat, he might take that instead, but often that's not the case.)
  • Here Lies Love is notable that the immersive setup delineates the political atmosphere. There's a floor-standing audience closest to the the action, while the mezzanine and floorsider seats observe. During line-dancing sequence, all audience members are encouraged to dance. More notable in the musical's conceit is that it implicates the audience in falling for the Marcos regime and its incoming dictatorship.
  • Starkid:
    • The Trail to Oregon! has the audience decide upon the names of all the characters in the family. Much like the game it is based on, most of the names tend to end up being quite silly (e.g. Slippery-When-Wet, Crap-Hole). The audience even gets to choose which character ends up dying of dysentery.
    • The Princess directly asks the audience about Aladdin's intentions at one point. When the audience inevitably tries to tell her that he's not trustworthy, she does not seem to care.
    Princess: (towards the audience) Oh no, you guys! Do you think Jafar could be right?
    Audience: Yes, yeah, of course, etc.
    One Guy: I don't think so.
    Princess: Me either!
    Von Nazi:Now say it with me:
    Nazis are not so bad, nazis are not so bad
    Nazis and Audience: Nazis are not so bad
    Nazis are not so bad, Nazis are not so bad
  • Fairview: Both In-Universe and played straight. First In-Universe in the third act, some white people in the audience that have been commenting on the action insert themselves in the story (a black family throwing a birthday party). Then, right at the end, after Keisha (the daughter of the black family) gains Medium Awareness, she tells the white people in the audience to come up on the stage and join the play, so that they will be the people being watched instead of the ones doing the watching.
  • Dave Malloy's Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 relies on audience participation. The cast is constantly running through the audience and hands out things like pierogies and shaker eggs. In one of the songs, two audience members are chosen to be suitors to Princess Mary and Old Prince Bolkonsky. Two characters pull stools into the audience and have a conversation around the people seated there. The character of Anatole repeatedly goes out into the audience and kisses women on the cheek. Letters are also given to the audience directly by cast members to pass to other cast members. Much of the audience is seated on stage for the cast to interact with, and much of the stage is where seating would normally be; there is basically no line between the stage and the seating.
  • As anyone who has ever seen the stage version of The Rocky Horror Show will be able to tell you, it gets just as chaotic and raucous as it’s film counterpart, but with the added bonus of the actor playing The Criminologist (usually a stand up comic, or someone with experience in Pantomime) coming back to the audience with some kind of retort.
  • Matilda opens its second act with Mr. Wormwood asking the audience if they've ever read a book. He then mocks a particular person, usually in the first few rows, for being a bookworm.
  • Pippin has the title character's grandmother, Bertha, asking the audience to join her in a singalong. The end of the number averts this when she tells the audience that she has to sing the final verse by herself.
  • In some post-2007 productions of Schoolhouse Rock LIVE!, after the line "And Pluto, little Pluto, is the farthest planet from the sun" is sung in "Interplanet Janet", the characters living inside Tom's mind realize that something is off, causing whoever is the music director to chime in and tell them the truth about Pluto as the actor playing the planet shows a deflated version of it. Shulie suggests that the audience vote for whether they should make Pluto a planet for the rest of the performance or not. George agrees and does what she suggests, asking the audience to raise their hands if they want Pluto to be a planet. If enough people raise their hands, the "normal" version of Pluto returns, and if they vote no, the deflated planet gets tossed behind the stage.
  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch is very reliant on audience participation, with Hedwig calling on the audience to sing along with her during "Wig in a Box" and getting very close to audience members during "Sugar Daddy."
  • The plot of the 2022 Game Grumps LIVE tour "Tournament of Gamers" relies on audience participation. The audience is divided into two teams (Arin's "Team Grump" and Dan's "Not So Grump"), and audience members on each side get called onstage to play various minigames and defeat the other side. The final battle, however, has Dan and Arin play onstage, with the audience being encouraged to cheer for one side or the other to power them up, with the Final Boss being powered by both sides' cheering combined.

    Theme Parks 
  • Universal Studios LOVES to use this throughout many of its attractions. In particular, attractions like Earthquake: The Big One, Disaster!, Animal Actors, and Universal's Horror Make-Up Show have guest volunteers brought up on stage to help demonstrate the many techniques used in the creation of special effects in movies.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios has its share of Audience Participation in pretty much 95% of its attractions. Original shows from the past included Superstar Television where guests can act in select scenes from classic TV shows like The Golden Girls, Cheers, Home Improvement, and others, and the Monster Sound Show, in which guests can add classic sound effects to a short comedic film starring Martin Short and Chevy Chase. Superstar Television was replaced with Doug Live!, a musical based on Disneys Doug, in which one child played "Quail-Kid," and selected adults played members of The Beets. And after ten years, THAT was replaced by The American Idol Experience, where talented guests auditioned for the chance to be the first in line for a real American Idol audition in their hometown. Other attractions that had audience participation included "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire-Play It!" (which is more or less a recreation of the TV show of the same name), "Lights! Motors! Action!" (in which a guest controlled a stunt car through remote control), the Studio Backlot Tour (guests were picked to get splashed in an underwater mining sequence for an unnamed action film), and "Toy Story Midway Mania" (which is an interactive ride!). Oh, and even one of the RESTAURANTS has audience participation, in the style of a 1950s household with the waiters admonishing patrons to get their "Elbows off the table!"
  • As part of the Millennium celebration that ran from October 1, 1999 to January 1, 2001 Epcot had the "Tapestry of Nations" parade in the World Showcase area of the park. The Sage of Time character who headed the parade encouraged guests to dance with the performers - most of which controlled various large puppets strapped to their backs - as part of his narration. The performers occasionally interacted with the guests, depending on a given puppet or costume's capabilities. IE: they reached down and had the puppet shake hands with a guest or in the case of the Reverse Marionette, let a guest hold the hands of the smaller marionette.
  • Star Tours: The Adventure Continues: Darth Vader will single out a random member of the audience as a Rebel spy on board, and their picture will show up on the screen.

    Video Games 
  • As a general example, crowd-funded games (such as those on Kickstarter) often involve pledge-participation. In addition to donation gifts for different levels of support, many studios will also poll their backers as to some of the content that will be going into the game. Other times, they will promise to include certain additional features if the project meets certain stretch goals, which can often help drum up a surge of further funding for the project.
  • Puzzle Clubhouse is a series of free online games based entirely around the idea of audience participation. A new game episode comes out on the first of every month, and between episodes, the development team asks the player community to submit game concepts, story ideas, artwork, sound effects, puns, etc, for community vote. The most popular content is integrated into upcoming episodes and becomes part of Puzzle Clubhouse canon.
  • After Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed was released, Steve Lycett stated that if fans of the game could get at least one hundred votes for 3 different characters from SEGA history, he would pitch those characters to Sumo Digital and SEGA for consideration of being made into DLC. The winners were Segata Sanshiro, Ryo Hazuki, and Hatsune Miku.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door features in-universe Audience Participation with its battle system. All battles take place on a stage, with certain factors causing audience members to come in and leave, cheer on the player (which gives them star power, and Mario can even show off to the crowd to gain even more Star Power) or even throw things at the player to help or hinder them. Some enemies will even attack the audience (such as Magnus von Grapple's machine gun that fires audience members, or the Final Boss devouring the entire audience to regain health.)
  • In April of 2015, Nintendo opened an official polling website known as the Super Smash Bros. Fighter's Ballot, where fans could suggest a character to be added to Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U as the game's final DLC fighter. Two months later, Bayonetta was the announced as the winner, coming in first in Europe, placing in the top five in North America, and being first worldwide among realizable characters. Series creator Masahiro Sakurai would later reveal that the ballot results went on to inform both main roster and DLC character selection for the following game in the series, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The characters in question being Ridley, Simon and Richter Belmont, King K. Rool, Banjo and Kazooie, and Sora; Sora, in particular, was the actual overall winner of the ballot. It was simply impossible to negotiate with Disney for the character within the given timeframe.
  • Domina has this for viewers on Twitch. They can cheer on the fights to increase the prize money and determine the fate of gladiators that surrender. They also vote on decisions the player has to make during events, although the player is not required to make the audience's choice.
  • In Phantasy Star Online 2, some concerts will have the option to jump on stage with the singers, dancing along by clicking the mouse in time with the beat.
  • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony has an in-universe example: the audience of the Immoral Reality Show can talk to the robot K1-B0 in his head, and serve as his guide. Then exaggerated when they hijack him in the last chapter and become the Final Boss.
  • The Splatoon series does this by way of each installment's final Splatfest, with the results of the event going on to inform some major element of the next installment.
    • The first game's "Callie vs. Marie" Splatfest had the latter win, resulting in the two cousins slowly drifting apart (to Marie's complete dismay) between the first and second games, with the sequel itself having its main campaign partially concern Callie having disappeared and later revealed to have become a Brainwashed and Crazy general for the Octarian Army.
    • Splatoon 2's "Order Versus Chaos" Splatfest, led to the third game having a "chaos" theme, with the setting shifting from Inkopolis (the metropolis where the first two games take place), to the desert environment of the Splatlands and the more multicultural city of Splatsville.
  • In most The Jackbox Party Pack games, anyone who joins a room after the eight contestants enter will join an audience pool. The audience can influence the games in certain ways (like placing votes in Quiplash), and in some cases even participate collectively as an extra "player".
  • Prior to the release of Gears of War 3, two shirts were made available for the Xbox Live Avatars that were functionally a poll for Clay Carmine’s fate in the game, with his two brothers being killed unceremoniously early on in the previous two games. One shirt said, ”Save Carmine” and the other said “Carmine Must Die.” Each shirt purchased counted as one vote. He lives! The first and to date only Carmine to survive the events of the game. Two in fact.
  • Since 2017, the Fire Emblem series has an annual public poll called Choose Your Legends, for which characters will have special versions of themselves added to Fire Emblem Heroes. The honors for each year go to the top two from each gender, and past winners will be removed from the running for future installments of the poll.
  • Blaseball has gameplay where you can earn coins, with which you can then buy votes. At first these were used to vote for Decrees (leaguewide rules changes) and Blessings (improvements for your team). Later on, there were Wills (internal team raffles), the Idol Boards (a weeklong popularity contest: your idol could earn you coins), and Renovations and Gifts (highest coin bidder).

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner: Strong Bad Emails and annual Halloween costume contests.
  • Many of the battles in DEATH BATTLE! are taken from fan requests. For Season 10, fans were able to vote for two match-ups (one for 2D animation, the other for 3D animation) to become episodes in the season.
  • Taco-Man Plays a Video Game lets viewers of the Captain Novolin review choose what Captain Novolin does to Mayor Gooden via annotations. If you wait too long, Taco-Man picks the wrong choice, causing Captain Novolin to go to jail.
  • Many competition-based Object Shows, including Battle for Dream Island, the first one which popularized it, allows the viewers to vote on who gets eliminated as well as recommending characters to debut as contestants or simply be part of the crowd in particular episodes.
  • The creators of Club Penguin Shutdown use ideas based on what people have written in comments, and showcase them in an aftershow mini-series known as Club Penguin Shutdown: The Aftermath.

  • In Drowtales the audience exists as a black mass of white faces that surrounds Kiel at all times, making her hear the forum posts. In moments where Kiel is knocked out or badly hurt, the audience is told to call out to Kiel, which can go from taking the form of people telling her to wake up, to telling her to wash her hair every once in a while.
    • Unfortunately, it's implied that Snadhya'Rune has her OWN audience of fan advisors from an alternate Earth - hence all the successful mayhem and corruption.
  • The main characters of Voices can hear the readers' forum posts in their heads.
  • An important element of Awful Hospital, as it is an Interactive Comic.
  • Request Comics has this as a central conceit: readers can request ideas for Ben Heaton to make webcomics out of.
  • Tempts Fate, the hero of the side-comic to Goblins, is sometimes indirectly aware of the audience's guesses to the riddles he must solve. One time he says "I bet if a lot of people made a guess, they would say...", while another time he states that "Over 400 people wrote [the answer to the riddle] on the door.."
  • The Jupiter Palladium has fan characters which appear from time to time
  • Books Don't Work Here has No Fourth Wall and all the Non Player Characters are afraid of what would happen if the audience stopped reading the comic. Because of this anyone who is an avatar of someone in the real world is treated as a first class citizen, and lives in the lap of luxury. Readers who donate to the comic can request an avatar of themselves.
  • In-universe, the Traveling Heterodyne Shows in Girl Genius often have this. Case in point:
    Actress Lucrezia: Who has deactivated my beautiful frogs?!?!
    Audience: (while pointing at actor Bill) HE DID!!!!
  • The comics of MS Paint Adventures started out this way, being framed as text-based games. Originally fans submitted suggestions for the next 'command' which would become the next panel(s) of the comic. However, the growing fan base and increasingly complex plot resulted in the suggestion box for Homestuck being closed altogether, though fan suggestions and ideas are still incorporated into the universe on a smaller scale.
    • Naturally, MS Paint Adventures inspired Prequel (and some other comics and "Ask [character]" blogs) uses this. In the former case, how much participation there is is variable; either the audience bands together to make poor Katia miserable, or the author conveniently handwaves some reason for the audience's helpful suggestions to be ignored, and still sometimes the audience suggestions will be closed temporarily for things to happen outside of her control. (When they try to force Katia, or the current protagonist, to do things that clearly go against the character's nature, it gets written off as a particularly perverse or self-destructive impulse that they are annoyed with themselves for even having.)
  • Played for laughs in this strip from Zero Percent Discount.
  • Oceanfalls takes reader submitted command suggestions and uses them to advance the story. As expected, the commands submitted range from plot related to downright absolute memetic nonsensical suggestions.
  • Level 9, 10 and 11 of Rusty and Co. have an overreaching plot involving the three main characters (Rusty, Mimic and Cube) choosing two companions each for a specific quest. Said choice is done through the readers voting for any characters from earlier in the comic (except for those aforementioned three and the Princess, who's been kidnapped) they fancy. Choices are guided either by who could be the most useful for said quests, of who could provide the most entertainment (since the vote can include former villains too).

    Web Original 
  • Most (but not all) of the tweets on make up a guy are follower submissions messaged to the account.
  • In October 2018, On, the creator of the Grow games, made an audience participation game called Grow RT on his Japanese Twitter account. The game consisted of an image of a creature and gave the audience two choice of how the creature would evolve, similarly to how Grow ver. 1's gameplay works. If the image would get enough reteweets, the creature would evolve and the audience would be presented with two new options to choose from (All steps can be seen here on reverse order). The game got interrupted a week later due to the creator's health problem. In December 2020, he tried the concept once again on his more popular English account (All steps can be seen here). Once there was not enough people to reach the next evolution step (largely because the game went on a little hiatus), he decided to conclude the game with an animation that was made thanks to the specific choices the audience made during the Twitter game.
  • Imageboards such as 4chan and Questden involve many scenarios called "Quests" where audience participation is the most important part of the story. The level of Medium Awareness of the main characters varies between nonexistent (characters believe that they are making queries to their subconscious and making the choices themselves) to completely aware (with many characters freaking out at the start of their stories upon listening to voices in their heads for the first time). Voting and arguments are frequent.
  • Some of the links on Nobody Here invite the reader to submit content themselves.
    • "Blasphemy" tracks the movements of the readers' cursors to be played when other readers open the link.
    • "Reality" shows an insect dying, and its body parts being pulled apart by ants. The ants' movements are the actions of the previous visitors.
    • "Apologies" allows readers to submit things they would like the author to apologize for.
    • "Wait" asks the audience three questions, and the answers are displayed for everyone to see: "What are you waiting for?", "What are you doing in the meantime?" and "What if it doesn't happen?".
    • "Avoid" can be described as an "anti-dating" page, which asks you to name four things that they love or hate—whether by manually typing them or by selecting them from a list of previous responses—as well as adding your name. It will then produce the names of a user that you should avoid, one whose opinions are different to yours.
  • Being an open species Art RPG, everyone wanting to join in on the Seldnac'Rae is able to make their own Seldnac character and create stories set in their world.
  • The two leads of Shea Scientific Films will interact with tweets and YouTube comments in-character.
  • Solar Wind allows its audience to make decisions to move the plot forward. This mechanic was especially prevalent in the first few chapters.
  • Let's Plays on the Something Awful forums will often have audience participation in the forum topic, if the game has scope for such a thing.
  • All of the segments of the Creepypasta story Vox and King Beau were originally posted on /x/ with the author writing as the titular character. Vox posted about the strange happenings in her life and frequently asked /x/ for advice, actively encouraging and responding to comments.

    Web Videos 
  • 7-Second Riddles has a variant; some riddles never actually have definitive answers, and are instead deferred to the commenters, who can then theorize amongst themselves as to what the "correct" answer is. On at least on occasion, a riddle's answer was chosen from the comments section.
  • Break It to Make It: Viewers are able to submit ideas for items to use in future videos to break stuff with.
  • Chuggaaconroy:
    • He based his Let's Play of Animal Crossing: New Leaf on this idea. Once per 2-3 episodes, he asked fans about some idea(e.g. next public works project or his new clothes), and everyone was able to send him his/her suggestion.
    • Whenever he plays a Pokemon game, the fans are allowed to choose the nicknames of his party members.
  • Clumsy Chicken's live YouTube streams are built around this. Viewers can request areas for her to go to/specific enemies to defeat/specific party configurations.
  • Epic Rap Battles of History takes majority of matches from comments under videos, and even encourages it in one of announcer's catchphrases: "WHO WON? WHO'S NEXT? YOU DECIDE!" Starting from season 2, fans can also vote for official winner of the battle.
  • Failboat has had a couple streams where he allows his live chat to play games alongside him, each viewer typing in inputs to control the character, akin to ‘’Twitch Plays Pokémon’’. Things tends to go off the rails quickly. The first time they did this was with ‘’Super Mario 64’’, where they tried to get the first star in the game. Later, Chat controlled Bandana Waddle Dee in Kirby and the Forgotten Land and joined Failboat in defeating all three arena boss rushes. Soon after, Chat played another Kirby game, this time Kirby Star Allies, with Chat playing as Kirby and Daniel playing the allies.
    • Fail has also done a couple of live performances where he bring audience members to compete in a contest of Mii making (using Miitopia to create popular characters from Miis).
  • Along with having a live chat for subscribers, viewers can spend money on "tokens", which they can spend to vote on polls, or send text-to-speech messages to various rooms in the house. They can also cash in their tokens on "fishtoys", with various effects such as sending goodies to contestants, switching on/off camera feeds, or turning up or down the temperature in the house.
  • Game Theory has the Super Amazing End Card Tournament — a poll about a set of subjects related to the video shown or about the next episode MatPat covers. Only a few times does this impact what is shown, such as what subject for the next episode.
  • Gronkh often lets his viewers decide what to do next in his Let's Plays.
  • Jacksfilms:
    • "Your Grammar Sucks," where Jack makes fun of incoherent Internet comments, has viewers screenshot the comments and send them to him on Twitter or Facebook.
    • YIAY (Yesterday I Asked You) is a series where Jack asks his audience questions and shows off their best answers in his video. Sometimes he goes beyond straightforward questions and asks viewers to create photo manipulations, make valentines, or write lyrics for a song. YIAY led to a few Spin Offs like "Fix Your Pix," where Jack edits user-submitted photographs, and "Fake Facts" where Jack makes clickbait images out of fake trivia his fans create, then asks his audience to submit proof that it fooled their friends. Jack also runs a live Twitch game show based on YIAY where he competes with fans to have the funniest response to a question.
  • Many of Jerma985's more ambitious streams allow the chat to participate in whatever he has going on. His carnival stream, for example, necessitated chat input to operate robots to perform a series of simple carnival games. The Jerma985 Dollhouse streams were a more ambitious flavor of this, with chat dictating Jerma's clothing for the day, his activities, and where furniture would be placed.
  • Prior to releasing the second season, the Garfield parody Lasagna Cat put out some teasers for said season, in which fans were encouraged to call a phone number and answer an automated survey. It turned out that the survey only asked the caller to state two things: their name and how many sexual partners they have had throughout their life. The results were included in the "Sex Survey Results" video which was released along with the rest of the second season.
  • Lost In Google: The scripts of the episodes are based on the viewers' comments and suggestions from the previous videos.
  • Lost Pause: A significant part of Noble's content is his reaction videos. With his Try Not To Laugh challenges, he asks his fans to send him funny pics or clips.
  • One of the appeals of Movie Night is that you can submit your own reviews of the movies that Jonathan Paula is reviewing.
  • Marriland, also known as Devin, did this at the end of his Yellow Sleeplocke. After he (as Hello) loses to Mewtwo, he ends up depositing two of his Pokémon but keeps the four mains used in the Sleeplocke in the party. Why? Because he has challenged his Twitch audience to a final battle, with the viewers controlling Hello, and Devin using his four main Pokémon from the old team from long ago, consisting of Pikachu, Pippi the Clefable, Zippy the Charizard, and Porkchop the Primeape. Devin has the audience vote on the moves and strategize. In the end, Devin is defeated by the audience itself.
  • Pirates SMP: While many of the creators' stream chats have been canonized from their introduction, they become crucial in the finale on Day 134 when they are invited to vote for whether the pirates choose to fight against Ivy (the heart of the Corruption) or Iris (the leader of the Church) in the end, judging by their knowledge and belief of who's the true villain after watching the SMP, with the total votes tallying up for a final decision. They choose to fight Iris and are able to help the pirates Earn Your Bittersweet Ending.
  • Skawo's Patreon Supporters can decide which playthrough will be up on Patreon early, regular viewers can decide what format some games will be displayed in (E.G. Whether Twilight Princess would be displayed on a Game Cube, a Game Cube hacked to have wide screen, or the Wii U remake).
  • SMPLive's hit mechanic allows viewers to donate to streamers and tell them a player they want them to kill.
  • SomeGuy712x's let's play videos allow any users to vote on which level he plays next. Many players also throw in jokes with their votes, so the vote recap starts with a long list of "1 vote for [thing in comment]" before the actual results are listed. Sometimes, these spawn Running Gags throughout the playthrough. In EVERY LEVEL IGGY!, viewers could vote for which Self-Imposed Challenge he would use while playing the next episode's levels.
  • Tear Of Grace occasionally plays the games suggested by his audience and decides whether a series is successful and worth continuing by the amount of people who like and view it. He also regularly hosts polls in his comment section about whether or not a series should stay or be "slayed".
  • Anyone of the React members will always tell the viewers to comment what they should React next on the next episode of any React series (Kids, Teens, Elders and Youtubers).
  • Double subverted in the Unraveled "Perfect "Pokérap" video, which was filmed at a panel at PAX East 2019. A Running Gag has Brian put questions up onscreen for the audience to read aloud, only to chew them out because he said there would be no audience participation, and that was just a test. However, when Brian realizes he can't say the names of every Pokémon in the short timeframe he's been alloted, he gets the audience to shout out a bunch of Pokémon whose names he couldn't fit into the rap.
    Brian: I love all the Pokémon, but here's the catch,
    Saying them all kinda seems Farfetch'd!
    Lemme Axew a question, wanna help me out?
    It's time to Throh in more names, come on, give me a shout!
    [Right side yells out 200 names]
    Those Pokémon are Tentacool!
    [Left side yells out 200 other names]
    And those Pokémon are trash!
  • Given that The Whiskey Vault revolves around a deeply subjective topic (namely, sampling and reviewing all kinds of whiskey), hosts Daniel and Rex are not comfortable doing list episodes. The ones that they have done on The Whiskey Vault and its sister channel The Whiskey Tribe have all been based on feedback given by their fanbase which is collated together to create the list for each such episode.
  • Xiil3gendaryzetsubou do this during their Twitch streams to decide things like who to spend time with in Danganronpa, who to take into battle in Valkyria Chronicles, which route to take in Zero Escape, etc.

    Western Animation 
  • Blind Vaysha: This animated short is about a girl, Vaysha, who sees the future with one eye and the past with the other, but never the present. At the end the narrator invites the viewer to close their right eye. A blank bright screen is shown and the narrator muses about how the movie hasn't made yet. The narrator then tells the viewer to close their left eye. A dark screen is shown and the narrator says the film has crumbled to dust. Then the narrator wonders "do we see the world with the eyes of Vaysha the blind?"
  • The Simpsons had, at the end of season 22, a vote to decide whether Ned Flanders and Edna Krabappel should get together. They did...and they even got married!
  • Parodied and subverted in Earthworm Jim, where Jim has his super suit stolen by Psy-Crow and Professor Monkey-For-A-Head and replaced with a powerless version. He tries various methods to get superpowers to compensate, to no avail, before finally Breaking the Fourth Wall in desperation.
    Jim: (to the audience) I'll get superpowers if you all just believe! Believe and clap very hard!
    Jim: Well? Are they clapping?
    Peter: Uh... a few of them. Most of them are just changing the channel.
  • Cosgrove in Freakazoid! also appeals to the audience to clap to get them out of a bind (this time getting Freakazoid and him out of a trap). This time it actually works.
    Cosgrove: Throw in some "huggbees", too!
  • The Family Guy episode "Prick Up Your Ears" played with this trope. At certain points, the cartoon would pause and an announcer would say "If you want X to do Y, text FAMGUY1, if you want X to do Z, text FAMGUY2, etc", then played some relaxing music. Once that finished, the cartoon would then act out the one the public "picked."
  • A season two episode of Laff-A-Lympics utilized a cartoon gauge to determine which team would win an event by means of home viewer applause. Mildew Wolf (one of the commentators) would hold his mic up to the camera (which we see as a close-up of it). Naturally, the Really Rottens got bupkis.
  • ¡Mucha Lucha!; in one episode, the three protagonists and Sally Got Volunteered for this watching a pro match after one wrestler "dares" the other to fight with four junior luchadores in his jersey. (And they help him escape a pin.)
  • Teen Titans Go! did this twice: once as a hotline for who would win in "Justice League's Next Top Idol Star" and the second as to which alternate forms of the Titans would appear in the "Beast Girl" episode. The latter of which was infamous for being false advertising, as all of the Titans in the episode turned out to be Gender Bender versions of themselves.
  • PAW Patrol did this for the names of the Mighty Twins. Via a special phone number, children could vote for one of two sets of names note  after texting the word "TWINS".
  • Total Drama had two different endings for each season, because during the week leading up to the season finale, the broadcaster in whatever nation would hold a vote as to who the audience wanted to be that season's winner. When asked which ending is canon, Tom McGillis stated that both endings are canon.
    • This was subverted in World Tour, only because the audience poll had the final three up for voting instead of the final two - Cody, Heather, and Alejandro. In America, since Cody had always been a fan favorite and was the only one of the three to not be a villain, he received far more votes than either of the other two. However, he lost early in the finale and got third place, with most of the episode being a competition between Heather and Alejandro. The winner in America was the runner up in the votes, Heather.

Alternative Title(s): Caption Contest



Yes, you are bad.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / AudienceParticipation

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