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Wheel of Decisions

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"Bust a deal, face the wheel!"

A decision needs to be made for your character, but you don't want to make a heavy dramatic moment out of it—rather, a comedic one?

Use the Wheel of Decisions! A colorful carnival wheel of fortune with images of all the different options illustrated on each space. No matter where it stops, the option will be amusing.

Sister Trope to Decision Darts.


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     Anime and Manga  

  • A very dark example on One Piece. Resignations Not Accepted as far as Big Mom is concerned, so anybody who wants to leave has her service or territory must spin one of these; Depending on where the arrow lands, she'll either take a body part or an amount of life-force from the victim. However, your head is included among body parts, and the years stolen are in the fifties or hundreds. And if you don't have enough years left to give (IE, you die) she'll take the remainder from a comrade until the whole bill is paid. The whole show is basically a glorified death sentence to intimidate people from even considering leaving her.


  • This is crossed with Decision Darts in one of the old TV commercials for Bartles & Jaymes Premium Wine Cooler. It showed Frank and Ed selecting a new flavor with a spinning dartboard.


     Comic Books  

  • The Planetary Chance Machine from an early story of the Legion of Super-heroes, also crossed with Decision Darts in that the spinning wheel tosses off parts of itself—the person they strike is the one chosen.
  • One Richie Rich cover from the 1980s shows Richie about to spin one of these in deciding which of his girlfriends to ask out.
  • In one early issue of Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog, Robotnik decides to fake out whoever's spying on him with one of these; each space is a different evil plan. The logic being that if Robotnik doesn't know what he's doing, neither will the hedgehog. it flops because said spy planted a camera on the wheel beforehand.
  • Judge Dredd: The corrupt Judges of Las Vegas use a giant spinning wheel in the Hall of Justice (a repurposed casino) to determine the method of execution for arrested criminals. Of course, they take bets on it.


  • UHF plays with the trope: the game show "Wheel of Fish", where the contestant can choose to win the type of fish the wheel lands on.
  • There was something like this in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World when Scott is trying to figure out what to say. As you can see here, it didn't quite work out as planned.
  • Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome: Those who break Bartertown's laws must face this. One that is filled with all sorts of punishments - and one chance at complete acquittal. Even better, the wheel has uneven-sized pieces, and guess which piece is the smallest?


  • In some Doctor Dolittle stories, the decision of where to go next is made by spinning a globe and stopping it with one's finger, or opening an atlas and pointing at random.

     Live Action TV  

  • In teen sitcoms, some girls have the Wheel of Excuses for what they'll say to turn down a boy they don't want to date.
  • Played with on Late Night, where Jimmy Fallon has the wheel of carpet samples. The carpet sample names are often very descriptive (for example "hotel lobby"). There are supposedly "points" awarded based on the carpet sample the wheel lands on, but these are arbitrary. The wheel only chooses the carpet sample the audience member/player may get if he/she "wins".
  • In FOX's pseudo-reality show My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss (a parody of The Apprentice), the Man Behind the Man, who makes the decisions on who gets fired, is a monkey with a decision wheel.
  • Lexx: Episode 1.3, "Eating Pattern". The people controlled by the Satellite Worms incorporated a spinning wheel in their sadistic pattern-making ritual.
  • Some seasons of Have I Got News for You have had rounds where one of these is used to choose the headlines (other seasons have used variations, such as strength-o-meters).
  • KYTV: "Challenge Anna", its parody of Challenge Anneka, uses such a wheel to add extra difficulties to Anna's task.
  • An episode of Ed featured a judge who used one of these to decide the punishment for anyone he found guilty. Notably, Carol had to sing "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" as part of her sentence.
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert uses the Wheel of News.
  • The short-lived game show All-Star Blitz had the contestants spinning a big wheel covered in stars during the Blitz Bonanza; with every click of the wheel, a different box on the gameboard would be lit up and part of a word puzzle would be revealed.


  • In No Good Gofers, the spinner doubles as a Wheel of Decisions, spinning to give a random reward at certain times.
  • Black Knight 2000 has the Lightning Wheel, which gives out a random award and is a prominent part of the playfield.
  • Scared Stiff has the Spider Wheel on the backglass, which gives out a random award. Collecting all 14 awards enables Spider Mania.


     Professional Wrestling  

  • In the early 1990's, WCW twice had the main event of their Halloween Havoc pay-per-view a "Spin The Wheel, Make The Deal" match, in that a wheel was spun to determine what kind of match would be fought.
  • In the early 2000's, after WCW went out of business and Eric Bischoff was hired to the be GM of Raw, he brought in the concept of "Raw Roulette", where a wheel was used to determine what kinds of matches would be fought. Raw Roulette still pops up from time to time.


  • The Kevin & Bean Show on Los Angeles alternative station KROQ features a recurring segment called "The Wheel of Bad Animal Voices." The wheel is used to select a recent news story featuring an animal, whom the hosts proceed to "call" and interview about the story. The voice of the animal is performed by co-host Ralph Garmon, who will always protest the segment and leave just prior to spinning the wheel to explain why he isn't asking the "animal" any questions.

     Video Games  


     Web Video  

  • Best of the Worst (from the RedLetterMedia website) has the Wheel of the Worst episodes. The Wheel of the Worst subcategory of episodes have the crew spinning a wheel in order to pick 3 weird old VHS tapes to watch and review.

     Web Original  

  • The Ginyu Force in Dragon Ball Z Abridged play the "Wheel of Death" game after securing the Dragon Balls. note 
    Ginyu: Now, the rules are simple: one of my men spins the wheel, and whoever it lands on... he kills!
    Vegeta: WHAT?! When did you have time to set this up?! Is... is that a camera...? What kind of sadistic retard watches this crap?!
    Frieza (back on ship): Love this show.
  • FreedomToons: The host of The Echo Chamber uses a giant spinning wheel to determine what kind of "bigot" the guests he disagrees with are.

     Western Animation  

  • Animaniacs has the Wheel of Morality, which the Warners use to come up with a moral lesson to teach the viewers, which tends to be a not-very-useful one.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has the Wheel of Punishment in "Avatar Day" to determine what sentence someone gets from their screwy justice system.
  • The Fairly OddParents! has this in one episode. In order to decide which fairy will host the next fairy convention, Jorgen spins Binky while the latter is tied to a carnival wheel with every fairy's name on it.
    • A later episode has Crocker spinning the "Wheel of Destiny" in order to find a new obsession.
  • Futurama has a wheel which the robot devil spins, with every robot's name on it. He uses it to pick which robot will have his hands exchanged with Fry's hands.
  • Looney Tunes cartoon "It's Hummer Time" has a dog using one to pick punishments for a cat.
  • Moonbeam City: Dazzle Novak is wrongly convicted of 1st degree murder and sent to prison for life, after taking his chances spinning the "Verdict Vortex", instead of going to trial which he would have certainly won.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man: Spidey's imagination has Wheel of Excuses for what he'll tell his Muggle friends when his superhero life intrudes on his regular life.
    • He also has "Wheel of Explanations" for what he'll tell Harry about his power-mad father, Norman. He discards the three explanations the wheel gives him, and then jumbles them all up out loud when pressured.
    • He also has "Wheel of Bad News" for when Green Goblin is back in town, and he needs to tell Harry that Green Goblin may be coming after Harry.
    • As well as "Wheel of Responses" for when Venom is back in town, and Fury believes that Spidey knows more than he's letting on.


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