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Confetti Drop

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The one cent they took off the $69,999,999.99 prize? That's because they need to pay for all the confetti.

"The balloons hail a great night for... all of us."
Jim Perry, Sale of the Century

Many game shows throw over-the-top celebrations for their big winners. Often the hapless contestant is showered with confetti, balloons, the cash they just won, etc. and a couple of examples leave you wondering if they're going to burn the studio down. Seen on quite a few game shows in The '70s and The '80s, but became a staple of the multi-million dollar game shows and large-scale talent search shows of The Aughties.

Game Show Examples:

  • (The New) Treasure Hunt, one of the earliest examples of its use on a game show. Confetti and balloons were originally dropped for $25,000 winners in earlier episodes, while in later episodes, the winning contestant would be mobbed by models and show staff and given roses.
  • On Jim Lange's version of Name That Tune, confetti, balloons and streamers were dropped after $100,000 wins. However, it was carried out to such an extreme that the viewer watching the show could not see half of what was going on onstage, and some contestants even had trouble wading through the balloons to get to the car they had won.
  • The Big Moment - Streamers and confetti were launched any time the $25,000 was won (and also for a $5,000 audience stunt win in later episodes).
  • BOOM! - Money is shot from the floor whenever the Mega Money Bomb is successfully defused.
  • Bozo's Grand Prize Game - When a contestant hits Bucket 6 successfully (alongside all other buckets), Confetti and balloons fall onto them.
  • Break the Bank (1985) - Any time the bank was broken.
  • The Chase - Confetti is dropped at the end of the celebrity Christmas specials, although it is only for cosmetic purposes. Pyrotechnics were sometimes used for earlier Christmas editions.
    • However, it is played straight for its primetime spinoff Beat the Chasers, which drops confetti whenever a contestant defeats all five Chasers and wins the main jackpot. (£100,000). However, more recent seasons dump confetti on anyone who defeats them all no matter the jackpot.
  • The low-profile Clash used one for getting the bonus round question right. Looks like someone spun the "Easy Question".
  • Deal or No Deal - Confetti (and Money in the US version) is dropped on top-prize winners. Although sometimes it was dropped on several other occasions.
  • Double Dare 2000 had a variant: the confetti was launched when the Triple Dare Challenge was accepted.
  • Duel - In Season 1 of the US version and the UK version, a circle of pyrotechnic sparks surrounding the arena was shot off for a jackpot win. In Season 2 of the US version, alongside all other international versions of the format, Confetti and Streamers are used instead.
  • Family Feud - Starting with the Combs version, Balloons are generally released for tournament wins. Confetti itself would be very rarely used on the show.
    • On the UK version - Family Fortunes, balloons were dropped at the end of older Christmas specials.
    • The Australian version (Namely the Grant Denyer era) dropped confetti and balloons during milestone events (eg, the 100th episode, 1st Anniversary episode, etc.)
  • The Gong Show - a midget wearing a tuxedo would run around the contestants, throwing confetti from a bucket while balloons fell from the ceiling. Later episodes featured trash and other random items being dropped instead of balloons.
  • The Hollywood Squares - In the Davidson version, Balloons were dropped upon a car being won. In the Bergeron version, it was normally confetti that was dropped.
    • In the UK version - Celebrity Squares, it was averted for both Bob Monkhouse eras, but the Warwick Davis era played it straight by dropping gold confetti on anyone who completes the end game and wins the jackpot.
  • Let's Make a Deal - If the Super Deal is won on the Brady version, money falls from the ceiling. A couple of Big Deal wins on the short-lived 1991 version were accompanied by balloons being dropped on the car.
  • Match Game: A unique variation on this trope. Balloons, Confetti and Streamers were not dropped on big winners. Instead, it was used on the New Year's Eve episodes as they changed out the sign indicating the year.
  • Make the Grade - During the Morris era, Confetti dropped on Honors Round winners.
  • The $1,000,000 Chance of a Lifetime - Tones of confetti were dropped when a couple won the grand prize. However, they also set off pyrotechnics in the studio on early Season 1 episodes, and balloons in Season 2. Even a Marching Band played in the pilot!
  • Panel Quiz Attack 25 - for Bonus Round wins, but they phased it out by the year 2000 or so.
    • This was a staple of many Japanese game shows of the '70s thru '90s, which used them for Bonus Round wins or perfect achievements:
      • Quiz Time Shock dropped confetti on anyone who managed to get a perfect 12 to win the ¥1,000,000.
      • Up-Down Quiz dropped confetti for any player who scored a perfect 10, thereby winning the trip to Hawaii.
      • Sekai Isshu Sugoroku Game dropped confetti on any player who completed the course.
  • The Price Is Right - Confetti was dropped whenever someone won $1,000,000 on the prime time specials or $100,000 on Pay the Rent. During Season 44's Dream Car Week, streamers were fired when one of the Dream Cars was won. Balloons were also released at the end of the 35th season premiere (which, coincidentally, ended with a contestant winning both Showcases and setting the then-current winnings record for the daytime version.)
  • Press Your Luck - On the final day of the last Home Participation Sweepstakes, the names of all eligible participants that had come up during that contest were entered into a final drawing, the winner of which would receive a cash prize based on one final spin by the champion. After the champion won $36,000 for the home viewer (a $2,000 spin multiplied by 18 spins earned in round 2), balloons and streamers were released in the studio.
  • Remote Control - Bonus Round winners were showered with confetti and streamers while still strapped to the bed or wheel.
  • Sale of the Century Confetti and balloons were dropped anytime the lot was won or a contestant won (or left with) a sizable prize in the end game. It was also used also for big wins at the Winner's Board or Winner's Big Money Game, and at the end of the final episode.
  • Trashed - confetti was blown by "The Trasher" through a modified leafblower after a bonus win; later subverted when he started blowing trash through it instead.
  • 21 - Confetti dropped whenever a contestant's winnings passed the $1,000,000 mark in the Povich version.
  • Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego has something of a subversion: confetti would fall at the end of the second round, rather than the bonus round, when the crook of the day was arrested.
  • Wheel of Fortune - Confetti drops when someone wins $100,000 or $1,000,000 in the bonus round. Frequently lampshaded by Pat Sajak, even wielding a push broom on occasion in case it happens.
  • Shows like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Greed, and countless others in the "big-money game show craze" that awarded a (multi-) million dollar payout dropped a snowstorm of confetti on big winners. This was however averted in 1 vs. 100.
  • Win Ben Stein's Money - money falls from the ceiling when a contestant beats Ben.
  • WinTuition - confetti is dropped when a contestant wins the $50,000 in the final round.

Non-Game Show Examples:

    open/close all folders 

  • A fictional game show example happens in Slumdog Millionaire.
  • In Turning Red, Mei drops confetti onto and around Ming's head as part of the play that they perform in their temple for visitors. The practice evidently symbolizes the blessing bestowed by the red panda on the Lee family of good fortune and prosperity.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Parodied on an episode of 30 Rock, where the balloons that were dropped were apparently load-bearing, and everyone has to run away before the building collapses.
  • America's Funniest Home Videos drops confetti on the $100,000 winner each season (balloons in the Saget era).
  • American Idol unleashes a snowstorm of confetti at the end of the finale as the winner performs.
  • Many, many New Year's Eve celebrations, both on television and in Real Life. Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve is no exception, though the 2012-13 edition has a notable Tear Jerker example: In the months following Clark's death in April 2012, the city asked its citizens to write their memories of him and his New Year's specials. These little reminiscences went on display until they were combined with a healthy helping of Manly Tears and used as confetti to ring in 2013... The man got to celebrate one last time.
  • Frequent, and sometimes parodied on The Colbert Report.
  • Parodied on Whose Line Is It Anyway?: Balloons dropped from the top of the set when Colin won the show's millionth point.
  • Done on Dexter in "Born Free" (season 1 finale). Dexter has a rather long Imagine Spot when he sees himself appreciated by people who are fans of his work as a Serial Killer who takes out the trash, hunting down criminals. People scream their supporting words and they even have banners with "I'm your #1 fan" and similar stuff. The celebrity worship and party-like feeling is complete with the Confetti Drop.
  • Eurovision Song Contest: The Grand Finale traditionally ends with a Triumphant Reprise of the winning song with a massive amount of confetti being dropped. This is actually the only time that the producers allow confetti to be used, probably because it's so difficult to clean up.
  • Faking It: Confetti drops as Amy and Karma kiss to prove they're not fake lesbians. Their rival Lauren is understandably perturbed at this; Principal Penelope simply replies, "It dropped early, I'm so sorry."
  • The Joe Schmo Show, a fake game show that was really a "Truman Show" Plot in which all but one contestant were actors, always ended this way, with another contestant "winning" and the truth being revealed to the Schmo immediately thereafter.
  • The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade uses confetti cannons at the beginning and the end of the parade, alongside the more stirring production numbers (e.g. LeAnn Rimes' "Remember When" from the 2005 parade).
  • Square One TV used one for one of its several game show segments, "Piece of the Pie", a Family Feud-esque game based on percentages of survey results.
  • Star Trek: Voyager. The episode "Timeless" opens with Voyager crashed and buried on an ice planet. A How We Got Here flashback then shows Chief Engineer B'Elanna Torres being showed in confetti by crewmen on the upper decks of Engineering for the Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony of the new quantum slipstream drive that will take them all the way back to Earth.

    Music Videos 
  • Bubble Butt by Major Laser features a woman exploding butt-first into confetti that rains down on the other dancing girls. Yeah, the video's a bit wild.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Normally in the WWE, they tend to do it with pyrotechnics after a big match win such as the Royal Rumble, an Undertaker Streak win or WrestleMania main event.
  • Triple H played the trope straight when he won his second WWF title during the McMahon-Helmsley Era with black and green confetti.
  • As mentioned above, WWE themselves do usually play this trope straight (mainly with a Balloon Drop as well), examples being:
    • The "This is Your Life" segment (Raw is War 27/9/99)
    • Chris Benoit winning the World Heavyweight Championship (WrestleMania XX)
    • Daniel Bryan's WWE World Heavyweight Championship win (WrestleMania XXX)
    • The Finale of The Rock's Birthday Celebration (Raw 2/5/11)
    • And many, many more.
  • Other wrestling promotions, including WCW, Impact! and AEW have also utilized these over the years.

  • Every Super Bowl launches confetti at the final gun; usually red, white and blue rather than the winning team's colors, because it's easier to manage one set rather than two, and—more importantly—not get those two mixed up.
  • This has extended to the end of nearly every single major college or professional championship game in any sport, if the winning team is at home or a neutral site.
  • A hilarious early confetti drop happened in the 1999 WNBA finals Game 2 (of 3). The Houston Comets won the first game and led the New York Liberty by 2 at home with 2.4 seconds left. The Liberty inbounded to Teresa Weatherspoon in the back court, and the confetti started to fall as Weatherspoon launched a desperation shot at half-court—and made it, thus ruining the confetti drop.

  • A few Cirque du Soleil shows have confetti drops over the stage and audience as part of the finale: Varekai, Zumanity, and The Beatles LOVE. LOVE also opens with a confetti drop, which makes sense when one realizes that the story begins with "Get Back", which The Beatles performed in their final public concert.
  • Spamalot's curtain call singalong to "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" ended with a confetti drop over the crowd.
  • In the adaptation to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the Childcatcher's demise is signaled by a confetti drop over the crowd. And then there's another more festive one during the curtain call.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory does this twice over. The first time, it's played for Black Comedy — the purple glitter that's showered over the balconies and upper stalls is the fallout from Violet Beauregarde (who wears a sparkly tracksuit) exploding after her transformation into a giant blueberry. The second time, it's purely festive as confetti cannons are shot off over the stage and front rows to celebrate Charlie Bucket's triumph.
    • The 2017 Broadway Retool instead opts to shoot the confetti over the audience just once, as Willy Wonka enters the Curtain Call.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • WarioWare: D.I.Y. allows a user-made microgame to include a confetti drop as a predefined Stage Effect.
  • In the Ace Attorney games, the courtroom audience appears to drop confetti after the player wins a case.
    • Done by Maya Fey in Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 during Phoenix Wright's win pose.
    • Hidden in the back of the manual for the second DS game is a brief comic strip that lampshades the confetti drop. It turns out that it's not the entire audience throwing confetti; it's just Detective Gumshoe, celebrating Phoenix's success in the only way he can afford - laboriously cut up bits of paper. Apparently, the reason why the prosecution doesn't get anything when they win a case is that Gumshoe tried using fireworks, and Edgeworth was understandably not impressed. It is arguable how canon this is, especially considering the confetti still drops even when Gumshoe isn't around.
  • In Just More Doors this can happen when you enter a room, with the text congratulating you for how many doors you opened so far. The event triggers at random.
  • Parodied in Portal 2. For several test chambers GLaDOS has been threatening- er, I mean, playfully teasing that she has a big surprise for your birthday. The player, expecting the worst is treated to....a rather anti-climatic bit of confetti falling.
  • If you "use" confetti in Kingdom of Loathing, your character throws it in the air for him/herself, and then picks it back up (no need to litter!). Multi-using eleven confetti handfuls earns you the "I Love A Parade" trophy.
  • Completing a mission in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity results in the screen being filled with falling confetti.
  • In Undertale, your first encounter with Mettaton involves him summoning a rain of confetti as he selects you to be a contestant in his Deadly Game.
  • In Kingdom Hearts χ, if all of your battles in any round of the Coliseum end in one-turn triumphs, then colorful confetti rains down on the Coliseum and your player character and you get to skip past a whole bunch of rounds.
  • Some of the game modes, board events, and most of the mini games have this in the Mario Party series.
  • The ending cutscene in stage 2 in PaRappa the Rapper has it when PaRappa finally got his Driver's Licence.
    • Also, in the spinoff UmJammer Lammy, getting a high score after a stage will result in this.
  • Some Puyo Puyo games have this, mainly when a player wins.
    • An example is from Puyo Puyo Tetris, When a player wins, the word WINNER will appear and confetti will drop on the winning player..... while the other player who lost to the winner will not get this and the word LOSER will appear.
  • Treadmilllasaurus Rex: +1 Confetti makes confetti drop, with more dropping the more you land on it.
  • Progressbar 95: An animation of confetti falling is always played after you beat a level and see the chart which shows how many correct/wrong segments were collected.
  • This happens every time you get on the podium after winning a race in Crash Team Racing. Its remake provided a little more variety during the last few Grand Prix Events by replacing them with a thematically appropriate equivalent; snowflakes for the Winter Festival, ashes for Rustland, and stars for Gasmoxia.

    Web Original 
  • The "You are the one millionth visitor, click here to claim your prize" clickbait banner ads seen on the Internet sometimes use this, as well as certain types of phishing schemes which claim the visitor have won a free product or gift card code.

    Web Video 
  • Kitboga is a scambaiter popular on Twitch and YouTube. In an epic series of calls in which he wasted 37 non-consecutive hours of a group of four scammers' time, he did an animated confetti drop to celebrate the 24 hour mark. "Honey, Happy New Year, darling! Happy New Year!"

    Western Animation 
  • On Blue's Clues & You!, Josh, Blue and Magenta get this in "Hide and Seek with Blue" after winning the Snail & Seek game and receiving the Golden Snail trophy.
  • After Spongebob Squarepants trained his friend, Patrick to open a jar. Balloons and Confetti drop for the success.

    Real Life 
  • Tickertape Parades, which are usually held downtown in the city of a person or group that is being honored, such as a major sports team that has won a national championship.
  • A common event at large New Year's Eve parties.
  • In the US, there is generally a confetti and/or balloon drop during national political conventions, usually after the party's candidate for president delivers the acceptance speech.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Balloon Drop


Royalty Pass confetti

Mario is showered with confetti when he presents his Royalty Pass at the Shogun Studios gate.

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