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Series / Big Brother

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"I don't watch Big Brother to see people cleaning their teeth or having a shower. I watch Big Brother to see George Galloway pretending to be a cat. That is funny."
Guy on The One Show

Big Brother is a groundbreaking Reality Show that started in the Netherlands in 1999, and has since spread around the world. There have been versions in the United States, South America, Australia, the Middle East (where it was canceled after ten days due to religious protests), Africa (where it caused a constitutional crisis in Malawi), throughout Europe, and (in Asia) India, briefly Thailand, the Philippines and Canada. However, by far the most famous version of the show is the British version, which was so popular that a Celebrity Edition was made. Brazil also had a Celebrity Edition, but it wasn't by the same network that held the broadcasting rights to Big Brother and wasn't different enough to avoid being Screwed by the Lawyers. Said edition was known as "Casa dos Artistas" (House of the Artists). The 2007 version of Celebrity Big Brother set the UK record for most complaints about a TV programme, mostly due to the Shilpa Shetty racism row.

The premise is simple: lock several "ordinary" people in house, supply them with alcohol (you won't see this aspect much anymore due to the disasters that followed), and watch the results on omnipresent cameras. Viewers can watch the edited highlights in the evening, or watch it live on cable or the Internet. The public then proceed to vote them out every so often.

The US version notably abandoned the public-voting-out after the first season; the public kept voting out the trouble-makers, who the producers saw as "more interesting" and wanted to keep, resulting in them switching to a more Survivor-like system where the house guests vote each other out. (This was later adopted by the Canadian version.) However, they must vote out one of two contestants nominated by a third contestant who won the "Head of Household" title that week. Therefore, there is less safety in the large, unconcealed alliances you see on Survivor. The change also meant that the show didn't have to manufacture drama purely by casting the looniest people alive.

A common twist is a "Big Brother goes evil" or "Hell" twist, where Big Brother is psychologically abusive to the houseguests or where they are put in a bad environment.

Among the numerous references to the show, it was homaged by the Doctor Who episode "Bad Wolf" with a dystopian future version where the contestants are disintegrated when they're voted out (this is often assumed to be a parody or a Take That! against Reality TV, but Word of God confirms it as a tribute); inspired the Mini Series Dead Set by Charlie Brooker, in which seven contestants and some of the show's backstage staff battle a Zombie Apocalypse; and additionally inspired Dead Famous, which turns the concept into a murder mystery. It's also often actually turned into Machinima; see SBB Brothers for just one example.

Check out and help build the character sheet.

Not to be confused with George Orwell's classic work Nineteen Eighty-Four, in which Big Brother represents the totalitarian Party that treats free thought as a crime. Its name is, however, based on the fact that in the book cameras are everywhere, with everyone being watched by "Big Brother", which is about all most people (think they) know about it. For information on that trope, see Big Brother Is Watching. For the trope on the totalitarian figure of "Big Brother" who may or may not exist, see Shadow Dictator.

Notable spinoffs and iterations of Big Brother around the world include:

  • Global:
    • Various celebrity editions (often referred to as VIP, as in the original Dutch series) exist alongside most regional versions and are often more popular than the civilian seasons
    • "All Stars" seasons are less common than celebrity editions, and have only occurred in a handful of regions: United Kingdom (as Ultimate Big Brother, the Series Fauxnale of the original Channel 4 run), United States (seasons 7 and 22), Bulgaria, and continental Africa (season 5).
    • Teen editions are even less common (and much more controversial) than either of the above, with only the United Kingdom (Teen Big Brother: The Experiment, which ran for five episodes in 2005) and the Philippines (which has aired multiple teen seasons) having attempted them.
    • Some countries even experiment with blended versions of the above formats, combining teens, adult civilians, and/or celebrities for a single season.
      • The sole season of Denmark's Big Brother Reality All-Stars (2004) combined civilian houseguests from past seasons as well as celebrity houseguests from other reality shows of the time.
      • Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack (2008), a one-off season conceived in response to the maligned 2007 celebrity edition (which was so bad that it has its own article on The Other Wiki) that consisted of civilian adults following the whims of guest celebrities acting as Big Brother.
      • The Philippine version has aired several combined editions that incorporate teens, civilian adults, and celebrities, including the colossal Kumunity season (2021) that lasted for 226 days and had houseguests from each group participate in their own separate mini-seasons until the tops from each came together to declare an ultimate winner. It was essentially an All Stars season within an All Stars season!
    • France's Loft Story (2001 — 2002) was a slightly modified version of the format to suit the country's milder sensibilities that soon made its way to Quebec (predating Canada's English version of the parent series) and later relaunched as Secret Story, while Quebec got their own Big Brother and a celebrity edition much later.
    • The sixth season of the German version (2005 — 2006), though not formally dubbed a spinoff, was unique in that it encompassed not just a singular house but a miniature simulated village where housemates could work various jobs and make money in. This season also lacked a planned end date and ran for a whopping 363 days, making it the second longest season behind only Germany's own preceding fifth season.
    • Big Brother Second Life (2006 — 2007) was an interesting oddity for the franchise, doubling as the format's first explicitly international season as well the first exclusively virtual one that took place entirely in —as the title suggests— Second Life.
  • United Kingdom:
    • Big Brother Panto (2004 — 2005), a festive limited run that dropped the usual format of the parent series and instead followed various fan favorite houseguests from past seasons as they organized a pantomime of Cinderella, with the sole public vote of the season determining which of them would star in the title role.
    • The aforementioned Ultimate Big Brother (2010) was an All Stars edition that incorporated fan favorites from both the adult civilian series as well as the celebrity edition.
  • United States:
    • Big Brother: Over the Top (2016), a spinoff that aired exclusively on CBS All Access and utilized a slightly different format than the parent series, incorporating more input from the audience than usual.
    • Big Brother Reindeer Games (2023), a limited Christmas-themed spinoff that brought back several fan favorite contestants in a new format that prioritized competitions over social gameplay, and notably did not have the players living in the house or captured on live feeds.

This TV series has examples of the following tropes:

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    All Versions 
  • Ascended Fanboy: It's fairly common for self-described "superfans" to be cast on the show.
  • Anyone Can Be Evicted: Being a highly competitive show that relies on backstabbing for much of the drama, this is bound to happen. Even in versions where the public votes to evict, expect a few fan favorites to be voted out early.
  • Audience Participation: Every version of the show tends to have some level of audience input. On the original Dutch format and the popular UK version, evictions (and ultimately, winners) are determined by an audience vote, whereas in the American version note  and the ones that follow it, all evictions and winners are determined by the houseguests themselves. That being said, you'll often have an "America's Vote" poll to determine various factors within the game, most notably "America's Favorite Houseguest", who receives a cash prize in addition to the winner and runner-up.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: It's common for fans to want people who cause drama in the house and fight with each other. When they end up doing this? People call for their removal from the show. So the next season casts less volatile people - cue the fans complaining that the players are "boring".
  • Better the Devil You Know: A common strategy for players that are good but not great is to keep said players in the game even when they become a threat. The idea is that when they're in the game they're being targeted by everyone and therefore draw attention away from the other players, whereas if they're eliminated it's only a matter of time before somebody is forced to fill the Evil Power Vacuum.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Inverted. We're watching Big Brother. Or rather, via the live feeds, we are Big Brother.
  • Confession Cam: Most versions of the show have a "Diary Room" containing a Cool Chair facing a camera. In addition to housemates using the room to vent their feelings about what's happening, the room is also used to cast votes for eliminations or to receive warnings/reprimands for bad behaviour or outright rule breaking.
  • Cool House: There have been some very nice houses over the years.
  • Covering Up Your Gray: Inverted in the fourth UK series. During a superhero task, the oldest housemate Cameron becomes the Silver Fox, whose mission is to restore dyed hair to its natural grey.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Happens more than you would think after houseguests return to the outside world and get to know one another in a non-competitive setting.
  • Fanservice:
    • A lot of people watch it just because they are waiting for someone to take a shower. And the sole purpose of some challenges seems to be to get the contestants to show some skin. Wet T-Shirt contest in Big Brother Czech, anyone?
    • Big Brother Brasil inserts more of this each year, to the point of suggesting oral sex under the couches. And there always will be a girl who "accidentally" exposes a critical area every now and then.
    • Averted in one season of Big Brother Australia; one contestant insisted on wearing a bikini while bathing. So much so that "Jemma in the shower" became somewhat of a IRL Meme.
    • The Dutch version contestants were smart enough to see this coming, and spent the first episode having a hot tub orgy. Really.
    • In the ninth UK series, Dale and Stuart were given tasks seemingly for no reason other than to show off their torsos.
  • Game Show Physical Challenge: In most scenarios, a round of the show will begin with a challenge between all houseguests to become the head of household (excluding the previous HOH). Later in the round, the head of household, the current nominees for eviction, and three others compete in a challenge to be able to veto one of the nominees. While several challenges are predominantly mental and/or social, obstacles and tests of endurance are also common.
  • Genre Blind: Subverted in versions that follow the American format. Hail Mary attempts to save yourself in the game by convincing an HOH holding the Power of Veto that is targeting you for eviction to take you off and put someone else up often don't work, but many houseguests have continually tried doing this despite the fact that it would take some pretty damning knowledge about another contestant to convince the HOH to turn the target toward that other person to save you. Trying to convince someone else holding the POV to take you off the block instead of keeping the nominations the same has somewhat better odds of success, but not by much.
  • Grey-and-Grey Morality: The 24/7 viewing system shows all the things happening in the Big Brother house, so people can deliberately find your characteristic flaws. That means, no one is totally perfect.
  • Gilded Cage: With the house's homely design, 24/7 viewing system and you will never leave until you're out or you win, it's quite comparable like a luxury prison.
  • Hobbes Was Right: More so in the American format than the original Dutch version, which incentives strategy and manipulation. While there are exceptions, generally the houseguests that do the best are the ones that are ruthless in their gameplay and manipulate others to further their own advancement. By contrast, houseguests who play nice and friendly better be good at competitions, or else they'll either be dominated by the controlling houseguests or find themselves in their crosshairs. Some houseguests try to strike a balance, being friendly while manipulating people, but it's usually for gameplay purposes; they don't want to make enemies and need allies to play the numbers game when it's time to evict.
  • Literary Allusion Title: The name comes from George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four.
  • Long Runner:
    • The series itself is one. The original Dutch version started in 1999, and while that one has since ended, there are several versions of the show that started in 2000 and have run consistently since then. As of 2020, the American version is the longest-running one of them all, airing more than twenty seasons over two decades.
    • Seasons 5 and 6 of Big Brother Germany deserve a mention for being long-runners unto themselves: they both lasted for one year before a winner was finally crowned. It was estimated by Guinness that the 24/7 broadcast of the house for season 5 currently holds the record for longest uninterrupted live broadcast.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Frequent. The Brazilian version at times even has former\current beauty pageants. And many who end up on Playboy.
  • Non-Gameplay Elimination: Happens quite a bit, house guests either break rules (Fight Night and N-Word Privileges in UK Version, Turkey Slapping in Australia, the "Knife incident" & "Hirochima" in America come to mind) and get kicked out, or decide to leave (Sometimes due to family emergencies, injuries like Rima in Australia or Keeley in 2010, or just not wanting to play the game).
  • Numbered Sequels: The editions are recognizable by the numbers. Brazil managed to have the numbers coincide with the year of release, given the first two happened in 2002, and it's been an yearly affair since BBB 3 in 2003.
  • Pixellation: The series usually airs on network television in their respective countries, which may or may not have certain watershed censorship rules and are limited in just how much of the houseguests they can show.
  • Reality Show Genre Blindness: It's always surprising for some houseguests whenever they are lied to, especially if they've seen the show before and know that it's a critical aspect to staying in the game.
  • Scenery Porn: Some of the houses for these series have been very elaborate and very well-designed...only to be covered in a huge mess in a couple weeks.
  • Spinoff: Usually of the Companion Show variety:
    • The UK series has most notably had: Big Brother's Little Brother, a BB news fanzine; Big Brother's Big Mouth, a BB public opinion/talk show; Big Brother Live, live streaming from the house; and Diary Room Uncut, in which notable Diary Room conversations were played in full. With the show's move to Channel 5, a new spinoff known as Big Brother's Bit on the Side exists: it functions similarly to BBLB and Big Mouth six days of the week, and on Sundays it's a quiz show. Also on C4 there was "Big Brother's Big Brain" and "Big Brother On The Coach", both of which were psychology shows. As well as a podcast "Big Brother's Big Ears".
    • The US version had Big Brother After Dark, a 3-hour block of live streaming from the house that aired on Showtime and then Pop TV. Until Season 11, the US version also had House Calls, a internet call-in show featuring the latest evictee of that week.
    • The Australian version had: Live Nominations, which broadcast the housemates' nominations live; Uncut/Adults Only, which broadcast material that didn't fit the PG rating; UpLate, which was live streaming from the house late at night; and Friday Night Live, which had the housemates competing in a series of games for prizes (both gameplay bonuses and tangible prizes). In its final season, the Australian version adopted Big Mouth from the UK version.
    • There have also been celebrity editions of the show, which sometimes become more popular than the regular editions.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Essentially one of the premises of the show; isolated for weeks with a small group of radically different strangers when a large sum of money is up for grabs, what will people do to win and what will they reveal about themselves in the process? The results are often not pretty.

  • A House Divided: Possibly the most famous instance was in Big Brother 2002 when the house was divided into two, the Rich Side and the Poor Side, with live tasks determining who would live on which side for a week.
    • It was also seen in Big Brother 2006 during the Prison task, when the Prison wardens lived in the main house whilst the prisoners moved next door into a prison cell. Unbeknownst to the wardens, the prisoners were given instructions on how to find the secret hideaway.
    • In the Celebrity version of the 2007 series, Jade Goody, her mother and her boyfriend entered the main house, and all bar Shilpa Shetty, Jermaine Jackson and Ken Russell moved into the servants quarters, as part of a Masters and Servants task which involved the servants waiting hand and foot on the Goody clan and the remaining celebrities in the main house, much to Donny Tourrete's dismay.
    • This made somewhat of a comeback in Big Brother 2008, when there was a "Heaven" and a "Hell" side of the house.
    • There are usually two main "warring" factions. One made up of the "underdogs", the other made up of "populars". Notable examples are Team Richard vs The Plastics (series 7), B Block vs The Whisper Club (series 9), and The Insiders vs The Outsiders (series 13, ironically, The Outsiders were much more popular with the public).
    • In Big Brother 2004, the house featured Marco's Harem (Marco, Michelle, Nadia and Emma) vs the Jungle Cats (Victor, Jason, Ahmed and honorary member Stuart). The two factions, for the most part, hated each other and had a massive difference of ideals - the Harem were camp, loud, and always up for a party, while the Cats were serious about the game, moody, but more mature than the harem. The conflict between these two came to a magnificent climax on the legendary Fight Night, on which Jason threatened to knock Marco's block off, Nadia slapped Jason, and Emma and Victor threw platters at each other, resulting in Emma being thrown out of the house.
  • Alpha Bitch: One who fits the trope closest was Grace in series 7. She was relentlessly bitchy and snobby, and called housemates who were outside her clique "freaks". She had a Villainous Breakdown after hearing the audience loudly chanting "Get Grace Out!". It later became tradition for an unpopular housemate to have their name chanted in such a way, but at the time it was a shock to all the housemates that one of them could be so disliked by the public, not least Grace herself who sobbed that she had never been unpopular in her life.
    • Helen Wood from BB15 and 16 embodied this trope TWICE! Her confrontational behaviour in BB15 caused her to receive multiple formal warnings for bullying and threatening other housemates. Viewers were ultimately shocked when she won the show. In BB16, Helen returned as a Time Warp housemate and displayed much of the same confrontational behaviour, arguing with Nikki Grahame and calling Brian Belo a 'paedophile' and a 'rapist' leading him to walk out of the show. Again, she received formal warnings for her actions and was subsequently banned from appearing on future BBUK series.
  • Annoying Laugh: Caroline's cackling laugh in BB1 infuriated most of the boys.
    • Nadia from BB5 also had one, much to the annoyance of the Jungle Cats.
  • Back for the Finale: The evicted housemates usually return for the finale night, as with most versions.
    • This happened in a more literal sense in season 7 when Nikki Grahame was voted back into the house for the final week and was once again eligible to win.
  • Blindfolded Trip:
    • If a housemate left the house temporarily, perhaps for medical treatment, they were usually blindfolded and wore headphones, to prevent them from seeing the outside world.
    • Various tasks involved housemates being blindfolded: in series 5, they dressed as cows and were guided by fellow housemates (farmers) wielding cattle prods.
  • Camp Gay : Marco, Kemal, Shahbaz, Dennis, Tom and Scott. You could also make a case for Craig from the 2005 series. The increasing levels of campness are hilariously mocked by Lee Mack in his stand up show.
  • Can't See a Damn Thing: One housemate Mikey was very partially-sighted. The other housemates had a task of taking turns to be blindfolded for several hours.
  • Catchphrase: "Big Brother house, this is Davina. You are live on channel 4. Please do not swear!" or "You have 30 seconds to say your goodbyes. I'm coming to get you!"
    • Also "Dear 25 in tha Big Brutha howse, an Dearvid is summoned to the diary room." Not so much a Catchphrase as a Catch Accent. Marcus Bentley's (natural) County Durham accent is such an iconic element of the series that he's been known to exaggerate it for effect.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down:
    • Ray in series 4 once sneaked into the toilet at night, hidden under his duvet. Although the action was not visible, it was clear what he was doing. On another occasion, Gos pulled the duvet off him, yelling "stop wanking!".
    • In series 6, the housemates were each given a large cardboard box, and tasked to stay in them for as long as they could. Moans of pleasure could be heard from a female housemate's box. This was not commented on much, but Davina tried to ask her about it.
  • The Chessmaster: Makosi in series 6. She manipulated and controlled the whole house, turned situations to her advantage in a magnificent away, and sent most of her main rivals AND her main allies to the door. She was a favourite to win at one point, but she took her tactics too far by pretending to be pregnant. Public opinion quickly turned against her, and, two-faced backstabber though she was the harsh reception she got from the crowd made for uncomfortable viewing.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder:
    • Noirin and Bea from series 10. By the time each were evicted, they had succeeded in alienating the vast majority of their housemates. They just had no concept of loyalty ... to ANYONE! And no, this shared trait didn't help them bond. They hated each other just as much as everyone else, coming close to a full-on bitchfight once.
    • Makosi in series 6. She backstabbed from week one all the way to the final!
  • Comedic Spanking: Imogen in series 7 was issued with a smacking stick (leather hand on a pole) with which to hit Mikey when he annoyed her.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Big Brother had inventive ways of punishing the housemates. Some of them were:
    • In series 5, there was a good-natured escalating war between the housemates and Big Brother. For a day, the housemates refused to speak at all, while Big Brother played irritating noises into the house, such as babies crying (Michelle imitated this by pulling faces). Big Brother then showed them a film of a cowboy hat (much loved by Stuart) being burned. The housemates retaliated by taking the diary room camera outside, and trying to set fire to it.
    • Nikki in series 7 was made to sit in the diary room in silence, after she spoke about the outside world. With her loud and attention-seeking ways, and her general refusal to accept responsibility, this was a terrible punishment for her.
    • Makosi in series 6 (perhaps in a Shout-Out to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) entered a gingerbread house in the garden: as soon as she was inside, the walls fell away, revealing a cage, which was hoisted high in the air by a crane. The other housemates were told that she had been kidnapped, and were offered something nice (cigarettes, tea and cakes), if Makosi stayed kidnapped. Most of them disliked Makosi, so they gladly accepted these offerings.
    • Housemates who discussed nominations were once punished by having to make their nominations in front of the other housemates.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Housemates are able to directly speak with Big Brother in the diary room. Big Brother is voiced by a member of production, and always talks with zero emotion regardless of who is providing the voice. This is meant to reinforce the idea that Big Brother is the neutral controller of the house, but it leads to the occasional deadpan moment when Big Brother gets snarky (see Empty Piles of Clothing below for an example).
  • Double Standard: Emily Parr and the whole N-Word Privileges. Black housemate Charley uses the n-word and nobody raises a fuss. White housemate Emily uses it and is kicked out of the house.
    • Had it not been for the celebrity edition scandal a mere four months earlier, she most likely would have gotten off with a warning. But since the producers were so afraid of another blowup, they decided to remove her immediately. Ironically, the only controversy was over Emily's unfair expulsion!
      • Indeed, in the previous series, Spiral and Michael had a conversation about the word and intents of its use.
  • Dumb Blonde: There's usually one. Helen Adams (series 2) and Jade Goody (series 3) became iconic (but not in a good way, at least in Goody's case). Sophie Reade (series 10) who went on to win that series. Subverted with blonde twins Amanda and Sam Marchant in series 8. They at first appeared to be blonde bimbo girls, as they were giggly, excitable and loved wearing pink, but turned out to be quite intelligent. For example Amanda once added up the entire shopping budget on her own, when usually several housemates contribute to that task, and the other housemates commented that Amanda did a better job of it than anyone else had before. Keep in mind that Amanda was the ditzier of the two!
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Early on in the British run, housemates were allowed to bring two books to read during their stay in the house, and could even sleep during the daytime. The no-book and no-daytime sleeping rules were added in BB5 UK.
  • Empty Piles of Clothing: In series 3, to emphasise his hunger while living on the poor side of the house, Jonny laid his clothes flat on the diary room chair, with his head visible behind the chair.
    Jonny: As you can see, I'm wasting away on the poor side; and if you don't give us something nice to eat, one of the chickens is gonna get it.
    Big Brother: Big Brother will not allow you to kill one of the chickens. Are you finding it difficult on the poor side, Jonny?
    Jonny: Well, what does it look like?
    Big Brother: It looks like you've got some clothes on a chair.
    Jonny: He's good, I didn't expect that.
  • Excrement Statement: Sandy from series 3 urinated in the bin before he left, with the narrator's comment "before he left, Sandy let his housemates know what he really thought of them".
  • Foreign Exchange Student: Of a sort, in series 4. Cameron spent a few days in the Big Brother house in South Africa, and was replaced with African housemate Gaetano.
  • Granola Girl:
    • Vegetarian tofu lover and yoga devotee Sada in BB1.
    • Zig-zagged with Wolfy from series 14. She will meditate and speak to the birds in the backyard, and also believes that animals only approach you if they have something to say to you, but at the same time she has no problem with smoking.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: The housemates were given a task of who could keep dancing on the spot the longest, to music through their headphones. As well as not being able to hear what was happening around them, they were also blindfolded, so they could not see if anyone dropped out.
  • Head-Turning Beauty: In the seventh season Imogen Thomas and Grace Adams Short received incredibly loud cheers from the crowd as they went into the house, mostly due to their beauty (Imogen also being known as a former pageant queen). Grace even got audible wolf whistles as she went in - which is Hilarious in Hindsight considering the sheer amount of X-Pac Heat she would quickly get for herself.
  • Hilarity Ensues: In Big Brother 2009, one task required the houseguests to put on suits with electrodes inside. Three were then told to guide a wand through a complex maze, and if it touched the metal, everyone would receive a minor shock. This was considered to be so memorable that it was released on the commemoration DVD.
  • Humiliation Conga:
    • John James in series 11 in the last few weeks, as the producers and many viewers had got sick of his Jerkass Spoiled Brat behaviour. They made him wear ridiculous costumes for tasks and bought back evicted housemates he argued with. In the last few days leading up to his eviction they bought back Rachael. He bragged to the others about laying into her, but when he learned that she had hooked up with Nathan on the outside he literally started crying for his mummy.
    • Most of the series for series 13 Luke S. He had curry powder put in his protein shake by Benedict, who told him that as a parting shot just before he left the house. After accusing Deana of being a golddigger, she countered that his relationship with Ashleigh was fake for the cameras. In a task he was fooled into thinking a phony talent agent was really interested in signing him, which saw him doing a photoshoot for a cheesy calender and saying that Ashleigh annoyed him and when he left the house he would rather be a player than in a relationship. Later he overheard Ashleigh complaining that he smelt of onions and implying that she fancied Conor more. Worst of all, he and Conor were in the White Room task and were told that if one of them pressed a button they would win £50,000 but would have to leave the house immediately and the other would get a free pass to the final. Conor had said a few days before that getting to the final was the most important thing to him, but he pressed the button a split second before Luke S, leaving him crying and kicking the furniture in anger. It didn't end there either. Conor said in his interview that despite being allies in the house he never liked Luke S much, and in the last week in the house Deana couldn't resist making jokes about Luke S not pressing the button. Then when it came to the final Luke S was out first and 'Push The Button' by the Sugababes was played as he exited the house.
    • In BB15, Steven had a relationship with housemate Kimberly. They had sex several times in the house, much to the disgust of both housemates and viewers. On one particular occasion, Steven was heard telling Kimberly to "open it" leading to numerous internet memes and jokes from presenter Emma Willis. This was taken even further when Big Brother had Steven host a talk show called 'Opening Up With Steven' and the crowd began chanting "two second Steven" during evictions.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: One task in Big Brother 11 saw the housemates build tiny robots to battle Bigger Brother.
  • Irony: To avoid controversy due to the racist bullying in the previus Celebrity Edition, Emily Parr was ejected from Big Brother UK for using the N-word in a conversation with Charley. However, it sparked a controversy instead about how people viewed it as Unfair, since Charley was not even punished for saying it, and Emily had not offended any other houseguests.
    • Celebrity Big Brother 4, the winner of that season (Chantelle Houghton) was non-celeb.
    • Despite most woman in BB15 evicted like flies to the point where the production had to give twists to slow it down, the final 2 of that season are both female.
  • Jaw Drop:
    • This was the reaction of arrogant BB7 UK contestant Sezer after it was announced he was the latest evictee. His jaw almost dropped again when he was told that he had got an at the time record breaking 91.6% of the public vote to be evicted.
    • Jade Goody in series 3 reacted similarly in the diary room, when Big Brother listed all the times she had discussed nominations.
  • Jerkass: Due to the vote to evict, they usually bit the dust as soon as they were on the block. Now the voting system has changed to "vote to save", controversial characters (such as The Shannon Twins) manage to survive longer (even make the final). But, in the end, good usually wins. Of course, that depends on who you view as "good", as the majority have "jerkass" moments now and again.
    • Alexandra and Dennis deserve special mention - Alexandra's actions got her kicked out, followed quickly by Dennis. Big Brother is more than willing to allow Jerkass characters to stay around for entertainment, but there are lines you should never ever cross.
    • Averted with Helen in BB15, despite being bullying and controversial behaviour, ended up winning the show, much to the baffled public.
      • Also averted with Stephen Bear in Celebrity Big Brother 18, who won the show despite angering every single housemate that series, being incredibly aggressive, cheating on his girlfriend and being up for eviction nearly every week.
    • Marc in BB16 was very open about his jerkass nature, saying before he went in the show he was expecting that no one would like him. He deliberately goaded his housemates into conflict, trashed the house, made comments on female housemates' weight and struck up an alliance with Helen Wood. His late appearance and behaviour vastly improved ratings that series and he ended up getting a pretty good reception from viewers.
  • The Mole: 2010's show had an 'extra' housemate chosen to enter from Day one, who had a secret task. Mario had to act as Big Brother's 'Mole' for the first few weeks, completing sabotage tasks for them. After a few weeks the housemates would be informed there was a mole in the house and had to vote who they thought it was - with Mario risking being kicked out if he was discovered. To make it extra obvious, they made him enter in a mole costume (although he wasn't required to wear it after that). He managed to not only avoid being pegged as the mole, his genuine and nice persona meant that even after Big Brother revealed who it was no one really held it against him.
  • Neon Sign Hideout: When Aisleyne was "evicted" to the secret House Next Door in Big Brother UK Series 7, the housemates could hear noises from where the House Next Door was located and sussed that there was a secret place.
    • In fact, the "sent next door" twist had been done so many times that in the 12th UK series, nominees Anton and Jay were secretly moved to the Big Brother Crypt, as they were "dead to the housemates". Despite the others being told that they had been evicted from the house they managed to suss that they were in fact living in a secret room.
  • Never Live It Down: Former MP George Galloway will never live down his infamous, cringeworthy "would you like me to be the cat?" moment in Celebrity Big Brother 4. It might have been part of a task, but even so, him pretending to be a cat growling and licking cream out of the hands of actress Rula Lenska was one of the biggest UK car crash TV events ever, and it's still remembered to this day.
  • No-Damage Run: There were houseguests who managed to make it to the finale without being nominated or receiving very few nominations. Amanda & Sam in Big Brother 2007 UK received no nomination votes, while Josie in Big Brother 2010 never faced the public vote until the end.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Rachel Rice in the UK series apparently faked an illness to get off from work and get on the show.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Bonnie Holt. Brian in series 8 infamously claiming he had never heard of Shakespeare.
  • Odd Friendship: Aisleyne and Imogen from series 7. Imogen's closest friend, Grace, HATED Aisleyne, and the feeling was mutual. Somehow, after Grace's eviction, Aisleyne and Imogen became close friends, and they still are to this day.
    • Adam and Luke A from series 13, and one of the more genuinely heartwarming friendships from the show.
      • In BB15, 18-year-old fashion model Ashleigh and 33-year-old Chris, largely considered to be a weird outsider by many of his housemates, had a surprisingly close friendship.
  • One-Steve Limit: Surprisingly rare that it comes up, though Luke S and Luke A were in the same series, usually one housemate goes by a nickname. 2 housemates in one series were both called "Rachel" with no qualifiers though, as the second Rachel only arrived several weeks after the first was evicted.
    • In general Big Brother UK is more willing to break this rule: celebrity series 19 gave us James C and James J, and celebrity series 21 gave us Shane J and Shane L.
  • Periphery Demographic: Celebrity series 21 garnered a strong online following from fans of RuPaul's Drag Race due to the presence of popular contestant Courtney Act on the series.
  • Punctuality Is for Peasants: In series 5, the short-lived housemate Kitten tried to be arrogantly late for Big Brother on the first evening, ignoring Big Brother's summons to the diary room, saying "I'll come when I'm ready", while lounging in the spa. This backfired, because the reason the housemates were called to the diary room was to vote on which housemate would have their suitcase confiscated for their entire stay. Unsurprisingly, she received most of the votes; in the end it mattered little, because she was the first to be evicted.
  • Punishment Box: Some series contained a jail, to which housemates could be sent for a few hours (or even overnight) for breaking rules. The first unlucky housemate to suffer this fate opened an envelope delivered with the food, sending her to jail. Using lipstick, she made a sign saying "Big Brother is a Beast"; her stay in jail was extended, because she broke a rule about not writing in the house.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Team Richard from series 7, B Block from series 9, the Soldiers/Outsiders from series 13.
  • Rain Dance: In the fourth series, Scottish contestant Cameron spends a few days in the Big Brother house in South Africa. When taking part in a rain dance task, he demonstrates his rain dance, adding that he has different reasons for a rain dance in his continent from theirs.
  • Reality Show Genre Blindness: Specific examples include:
    • Every year, at least one of the new houseguests is punished for discussing nominations. This happens every year.
    • People who don't realize they'll be away from their families for a while.
    • The "in crowd" during Series 10. They put up Freddie 5 times in a row, and he survived each time versus their representative that the misfits had nominated. Only after Freddie had set a world record for most survived consecutive nominations, did they realise that his popularity was basically annihilating their group.
    • The Head: Luke S
    • The Muscle: Conor
    • The Quirk: Caroline
    • The Pretty One: Arron
    • The Smart One: Shievonne
    • The Wild One: Ashleigh
    • Sixth Ranger: Becky
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Susie in series 7 was a very "sensible" older housemate, and tended to look down on the younger ones having fun. During her eviction interview, she was shown a montage of her dour ways, ending with her eyes going red. Davina chuckled that this was a "bit harsh".
  • Rearrange the Song: At least four times: ready for Series 5 in 2004; again in 2004 for the Big Brother Panto during Christmas; again in 2010 with a trumpet version for a promo; and in 2023 for the remake.
  • Sleep Mask: Some tasks required housemates to work overnight, such as in series 4 when they had to keep a pedalo going for 72 hours non-stop. They were provided with sleep masks, so they could sleep during the day. They sometimes used these masks to play blind man's buff, or other games.
  • Snark Knight: Deana Uppal in series 13 made many hilarious cutting remarks.
  • Springtime for Hitler:
    • When racing pundit John McCririck went into the house for Ultimate Big Brother, the UK edition's Series Fauxnale, he openly announced that he had gotten all of his friends and family to place large bets on him being the first to be evicted, and intended to behave in such a disgusting and offensive manner that he would definitely be the first person voted out. Naturally, this led to an internet campaign to keep him in until at least the second eviction. The trope was ultimately averted: McCririck was indeed the first person voted out (he wasn't the first person to leave, since Josie Gibson walked out the day before his eviction, but as McCririck himself pointed out, that wouldn't affect any bets on him being the first to be evicted by the public).
    • Comedian Jack Dee attempted to escape the house every night during the first season of Celebrity Big Brother. Naturally, the public found this, along with his constantly morose demeanour, completely hilarious and he ended up winning the thing.
  • Stage Names: Some housemates use them, either due to One-Steve Limit such as Nushnote , a task like Halfwit and Dogface note , or just feeling like their name is boring, like Shabby Katchadourian note . There's also DJ Spiralnote  from Series 7, who trolled the rest of the housemates by avoiding the question of his real name until he was about to be evicted.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: In the UK series at least, some newcomer housemates that enter late in a series tend to be suspiciously similar to big characters that have already been evicted.
  • Team Mom: Lea attempted to be this in BB7 and was later succeeded by Susie. Carole was this in BB8, though she got a bit...overzealous about it as the series went on. In BB20 both Farida and Kerry seemed to want this role, which was one of many reasons why they clashed. In the long run in BB20 though, it was Trish who had it.
  • To Be Continued... Right Now: At least from the perspective of Josie White, who won Series 11 of the show and after meeting with Davina was told that she was now the first housemate on Ultimate Big Brother and would be going right back into the house. The quick turnaround actually ended up being too much for her, and she walked from the house a few days later.
  • That's All, Folks!: Both times the UK series had a final seasonnote , the finale ended with a voice announcing "Big Brother will get back to you".
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • "Nasty" Nick in BB1 was reduced to tears after the others finally confronted him over his duplicity and scheming.
    • Luke in BB9 UK had one after his romantic interest Rebecca was evicted. His bitching went into total overdrive and he became noticeably more aggressive. He was evicted the following week, his final words being "watch your back in here, Lisa".
    • Bea in BB10 UK had several!
    • Caroline from BB13 UK. After hearing "Get Caroline out!" during a Live Eviction, she went up for eviction the next week and became adamant she would leave. She decided to have the last laugh by sabotaging the house shopping list by only buying chocolate, sweets, pancakes, doughnuts and all sorts.
  • Wardrobe Malfunction: Lateysha's dress splitting on the spin-off show Big Brother's Bit On The Side.
    • Courtney Act had a wardrobe malfunction before she'd even entered the house!

  • Action Girl: Season 8 had fitness freak Alice, who spent so much time on the treadmill a fight broke out when the other housemates tried to trade it to Big Brother for toilet paper, and who during the fake snap eviction in the final week jogged up and down the holding room (the 'plane') after she was evicted so she wouldn't cry.
  • Catchphrase:
    • The first season had a rule that the audience were not to cheer during evictions, so that the housemates didn't know there was a live eviction audience. This led to host Gretel Killeen repeatedly reminding the audience “quiet as a mouse while we cross to the House”.
    • Whenever the host crossed to the house: 'Hello house!'
    • Travis in the 2007 version didn't so much have a catch phrase as he did a catch "accent." On severeal occasions he'd add "o" onto the end of words, dropping the suffix as appropriate (eg Nommo=nomination)
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Nobbi from Season 8 was so unhappy at housemate Terri's re-entry to the house that the live broadcast was interrupted by, according to Big Mouth host Tony Squires, “about thirty seconds of continual bleeping”.
    • Bianca, also from Season 8, once went on a rant about something quite minor where nearly everything she said had to be bleeped out. As everyone pointed out, it was surprisingly out of character for her, but no less hilarious.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: In one of the final weeks of Season 9, the weekly task was to ignore all unwelcome guests which included several former housemates from previous seasons, a ninja and narrator Mike Goldman.
  • Repeating Ad: The last five series of Big Brother Australia (2004-08) were sponsored by KFC, to the extent that Friday Night Live had the KFC Twister Instant Replay, and in-store promotions were available with Big Brother-branded items. The Season 9 revival is also sponsored by them.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Angela from Season 12 constantly talked about enjoying a cup of tea, leading to drama when tea was left off the shopping budget. At one point Angela resorting to keeping used tea bags in her bra so she could reuse them later.
  • Unusual Euphemism: The infamous "turkey-slapping"note . You can thank the Australian media for that.
  • Voted Off the Island: This version mixes the US format and the normal voting system. Housemates narrow the voting-off list down to the least popular group of housemates, then they get voted off out of that group. The only exception was the first three evictions of season 8, where the voting public narrowed it down to three housemates that the housemates then had to vote to evict. The 2020 season moved to the US style of one housemate, the winner of a challenge, nominates housemates and the rest vote one out.

  • Breakout Character: A few managed to mantain their fame after the show. Juliana (season 3) and Grazi (5) became actresses on BBB's broadcaster, Sabrina (3) became part of a popular comedy troupe and eventually became a very popular talk show host, and Iris (7) a TV host (given all are gorgeous, all became Playboy covers as well). Season 5 winner Jean became a politician well-regarded for his gay rights activism.
  • Camp Gay: Dicesar and Serginho in Season 10; Daniel and Lucival in Season 11. The Camp Gay seems to be a mandatory member in every season from 10 onwards (probably since Jean managed to avoid elimination in the first week by playing the "just because I'm gay" card). Season 13 features a two-for-one minority who's both gay and black.
  • Catchphrase: Quite a few. In fact, at one point the most noteworthy Season 9 catchphrases were mashed all into a song. Also, not really a phrase, but one season of the same version had a fairly popular Mondegreenified rendition of "We Are the World" called "Iarnuou", sung by one of the contestants.
    • From Season 11 is Igor's Verbal Tic of "Tá ligado?" (translating to something akin to "Get it?").
  • Hated by All: 21's Karol Conká entered as a revered artist... and left the house eliminated with 99,17% of the vote.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Diana, Season 11.
  • In-Series Nickname: The Brazilian version has its name officially shortened as "BBB", and the contestants were occasionally nicknamed as "brothers" and "sisters". During the first season of this version, a contestant named the elimination process "Paredão" (literally "big wall" in Brazilian Portuguese, meaning the place where people are taken to be shot by a firing squad), which eventually became the official name.
  • No Indoor Voice: Anamara.
  • Repeating Ad: Within the show, nonetheless. In the later editions, every competition for leadership or immunity is themed with a certain brand. Say the characters need to grab the highest amount of Brand X objects. The whole scenario will be covered with ads of the brand, the host will repeat the brand name every time it refers to the object, there will be massive close-ups on the objects in case, and when counting the amount of objects grabbed, the characters must say the brand name for each object they grabbed. Taking batteries for example, if they got 15 batteries, they will say the brand and the specific type of battery 15 times.
  • Un-person: Whenever a participant gives up, the usual MO is to erase their existence from the show (which includes removing them from the opening sequence). Averted for Lucas Penteado from Season 21, whose departure was treated like a regular eviction, given the unfair circumstances of him giving up for being ganged up on by the others, so he remained in the opening and participated in Globo shows after leaving the house.


  • Aborted Arc: In a very sad case of Real Life Writes the Plot, Big Brother Canada 8 had to shut down due to legislature forcing the cessation of all non-essential public activity in the wake of COVID-19, which grew into a pandemic as the season continued and producers kept houseguests informed of the situation until they had to pull the plug, arranging transportation home for everyone and one last day to pack up and bid their farewells to one another. The grand prize was moot, and most of the house was heartbroken to say goodbye early.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Talla, who never showed any real interest towards a male houseguest, yet went out of her way to kiss Topaz. At one point, she even tried to take Topaz's bikini top off, and ended up chasing her around the yard! She WAS drunk when this occurred, but whether that detriments the case or not is up to you.
  • Appropriated Appellation: Most of the players starting calling Rachelle and Sabrina the Gremlins after they became the last of the First Five alliance. Rachelle and Sabrina took it in stride.
  • Ascended Meme: Season 10's Kyle Moore was cast on the show as a result of this. After a different Kyle Moore was announced as part of the Season 9 cast, fans started spamming the Twitter account of the former Kyle, who at the time had never seen the show. As a result of this, he became a fan of the show and was even included in several alum's discussions of the show, with many joking he was the "real" Kyle Moore. When the Season 10 cast was announced, many were surprised yet delighted to see that the real Kyle Moore had been included.
  • Awful Showmance Life: Alec and Topaz did start out genuinely liking each other, but over the course of their time in the house their relationship eventually soured to the point that, while they remained together, it was solely because it would be bad for each of their games if they were to break up.
  • Borrowed Catch Phrase: Adele's "Wake up Canada!" started being used by most of the other houseguests towards the end of season 2, and several in season 3. Also popping up from season 2 are Jon's "Hundo" (meanign "hundred percent") and "bingo bang-o".
  • Big "NO!": When the season 3 houseguests see the first five evictees from their season competing to get back in. Justified, since every vote to get them out was unanimous, which means they all had reason to believe that whoever came back would be gunning for each of them.
  • Camp Gay:
    • Gary and to a lesser extent, Aneal.
    • Scott in Season 2 - it comes with being a Drag Queen.
    • Johnny in Season 3.
    • Raul in Season 4, who also counts as a Twofer Token Minority, being originally from Mexico and stating that English isn't his first language.
    • William in Season 5, who again counted as the Twofer Token Minority, being the first houseguest from French-speaking Quebec (while there were 3 other houseguests from Quebec, including one on Season 5, they were from the more bilingual Montreal).
  • Chekhov's Gun: Topaz would often fall asleep when she wasn't supposed to, not pay attention to details, and just be very flighty in general. This ended up coming back to bite her in the ass when she cost her friend Gary winning the game by accidentally voting for Jillian to win instead of him.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Jillian was accused of being this in regards to Emmett by Danielle.
  • Cloudcuckoolander:
    • AJ definitely had shades of this, particularly when he referred to himself in third-person...
    • Also Talla. Actually lampshaded by Gary, who was frustrated by the fact her quirky attitude made her impossible to read gameplay-wise.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Expect one whenever Talla isn't doing well in a competition.
  • Competitive Balance: Cited by most viewers (and Peter and Gary) as the reason for he Head of Household in season 2, week 5, being Canada. The First Five alliance was in clear control of the house, and everyone else in the house was either too scared or two incompetent to make any kind of move against them. It was clear that the group was going to eliminate everyone else in the house and make it to the final five if nothing in the situation changed, which makes for pretty boring television. Banking on the (correct) idea that Canada was predicting the same boring game, the producers gave viewers a chance to to vote on who would be put up for eviction. Canada picked Andrew and Sabrina, two of the biggest players in the alliance and also generally the least liked for the season.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Apparently one of the house guests tampered with a camera. The entire house is punished by being woken up every hour overnight to do wacky things, such as- build a human pyramid, make a trail of objects around the house, and have a non-stop dance party.
  • Cool House: The season 3 house is designed to be this - it's a steampunk homage to the Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass:
    • Paras in Season 6 used this as a strategy. She intentionally pretended to be an airhead so that people wouldn't consider her a threat. When the Final Five came, she was put up alongside Maddy, which you can tell caused Paras to think Oh, Crap!. After that Paras proceeded to win two Head of Households in a row and later won the game.
    • Tera in season 9 was considered a "Wallflower" for most of the game. In week 7, she was the target, then surprised them by pulling a veto. After that? She proceeded to win the very next Head of Household, beat Jedson (the biggest threat) head-to-head, and won the final four Veto beating out Tychon. However, she choked in the final Head of Household.
    • Breydon, to a lesser extent. Breydon was 9's "Pawn star", as evicting him would always be seen as wasting your time. He then proceeds to win several competitions, even winning the Endurance part of the final Head of Household.
  • Cut Short: Season 8 had to be ended only 25 days in with 12 people still in the house, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic bringing workplaces to a halt in 2020.
  • Deader than Dead: By the time of the finale, the third season would seemingly end with ten jurors, which means there would be the risk of a tie vote. Except the final three were given the chance to evict somebody from the jury house to bring it down to nine, and removing a person from the game even moreso than when they were first evicted. They evicted Jordan, who was also the first jury member that season.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Peter. There is no doubt.
    • Same for Andrew.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Zach in Season 11. He spent the first couple week(s) in pretty firm control of an alliance and indirectly controlling the house. He chose to quit deciding it's Better to Die than Be Killed.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The end of Season 8's final episode has the lights turning off on the now-empty house. A few cursory credits roll... and then the Big Brother eye turns back on, the theme music starts playing, and we go to the real credits. Most likely a nod to the fact that Big Brother Canada is not over, despite the 8th season being Cut Short.
  • Enemy Mine: In season 3, week 5. Godfrey and Jordan were on the block, with Jordan connected to Zach who held control over most of the house (he had Bruno, Willow, and Ashleigh; Ashleigh had Pilar and Kevin). In order to get rid of lynchpin Jordan and keep Godfrey (who had publicly declared his intentions of removing Zach the next week), SSB (Sarah, Sindy, and Britnee) teamed up with Bruno and Bobby even though the two had been going head to head for the past few weeks. There was also a hint of this with Jordan and Godfrey, as they both implied that they knew the other would be going after Zach should they stay.
  • Even the Subtitler Is Stumped: During one episode of Season 2, Jon and Allison were given the secret mission to get as drunk as possible in the diary room without the other houseguests catching on (they would have to periodically come and go from the room). Given that both were from Newfoundland and had thick accents, heavy drinking only made it worse. At one point the two are babbling to each other and the subtitles only read "???????"
  • Everyone Can See It:
    • Zach and Asheligh in season 3 tried to keep their attraction to one another a secret since they both knew it could hurt their game, but the entire house was already treating them like a showmance before they went official.
    • A platonic version, also from season 3, was the Newport alliance between Zach and Jordan. Though they managed to not make any big waves, most people realized that they were close early on in the game, and their attempt to make it look like they weren't together any more (namely, Zach nominating Jordan as a pawn) only convinced the others more.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin : The "First Five" an alliance made from the first five people to enter the house in season 2.
  • Face Your Fears: A Divergent-inspired Veto Challenge from season 2 began with a ten-foot jump off of a ledge, which most of the competitors were nervous about. It also had a hipline element, which also freaked out several players. Most of them managed to get over them fast enough to stay in the competition, but Paul had serious trouble.
  • Femme Fatale: It seemed like Liza tried to be a version of this. Emphasis on the "tried".
  • Foil: The final two from season 3, Godfrey and Sarah, played essentially the inverse of each other's games. Sarah was always talking game with everybody (to the point that people were getting annoyed with her), cultivated a few strong friendships and alliances over the course of the season, and was always trying to get rid of big targets. Godfrey talked very little game unless he had to (spending most of his time relaxing and flying under the radar), was on civil terms with every house guest and member of the jury, and though he made his targets clear he was always able to get someone else to get them out in order to avoid bloodying his hands.
  • Foreign Exchange: In series 4, Big Brother arranged for one housemate to swap with a another from Big Brother Africa for a few days, which was running at the same time. The Scottish Christian housemate Cameron went to Africa, and was temporarily replaced with the warm and friendly Gaetano, who memorably told hyper-sensitive housemate Tania that she was "piggerish" about her food.
  • Freak Out: Gary had an epic one when he was put up for the first time as a have-not. Best believe a bitch went crazy.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: AJ eventually became this.
  • Genki Girl: An episode rarely went by without Talla screaming to the heavens in euphoria at least once.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Peter and Alec, aka (dramatically crosses arms in an X formation) The Shield!
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Tom said this in his eviction speech.
  • It's All About Me:
    • Suzette definitely had this problem, as numerous houseguests pointed out. Emmett even called her out on it when he decided to leave her up on the block.
    Suzette: I was like pissed off! I was thinking "why is he saying this, this is so rude". Nobody knows what I've been going through, because I've been on the block three times.
    • Tom had shades of this as well.
  • It's Personal: During season 2. Andrew gave a few game-related reasons for nominating Paul, but the main point of contention was Paul spreading (false) rumours about Andrew being racist and sexist, which could heavily impact his life outside of the game.
  • Jerkass: Zig-zagged with Tom, who frequently said and did things that caused his fellow houseguests to feel as though he was arrogant or a bully. At the same time though, he was fiercely loyal to Emmett and Liza, and whenever he was called out on his behavior, he always made sure to apologize and seemed to genuinely feel bad.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Ika was given a Sadistic Choice shortly before her eviction thanks to winning a smaller competition: either give everyday a letter from home and shred a $5000 cheque, or shred the letters and keep the cheque. Unbeknownst to her, the entire house saw her as she reasoned (out loud) that everyone in the house was out to get her and she might as well take the money. Though she said some pretty nasty things concerning the other houseguests, Sara at least agreed that most of it was right and that she was just angry.
  • Locked in a Room: During Season 4 Kelsey and Loveita, who were on opposite sides of the house, were both evicted during a double eviction. However, they were then told that they would be living together in a secret room next to the house for a week, at which point one of them would gain the opportunity to re-enter the house. Needless to say, Kelsey did not look pleased when she learned this. Despite this, though, the two girls developed a friendship while in the room together, even comparing notes and gaining information which Kelsey, upon returning to the house, used to take down house chessmaster Mitch.
  • Monster Clown: One tormented the House Guests in an HOH competition in season 3. It appeared afterwards as well, hiding behind the mirrors and appearing inside them at night. This led to a hilarious sequence that ended with everyone sleeping in Sarah's HOH bed for safety.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Jillian's outfit during the Build a Demon POV competition. Every male houseguest present, including Gary, admitted to enjoying the view. Hell, the camera even zoomed in on her boobs!
  • No Indoor Voice: Peter when he's in the DR, in an attempt to emulate Dan from the US version.
    • Alec actually called him out on it while they were in the Diary Room together.
  • No Social Skills: Talla, at least slightly. She has no problem blurting out personal questions, and then demanding answers for them. Also she was prone to going off on tangents that people rarely followed and definitely had the occasional pointless temper tantrum.
  • Official Couple: Emmett and Jillian, who frequently flirted and made out, became this shortly after Tom was evicted. Gary, who was sitting on the couch across from them during the conversation, lampshaded it.
  • Off the Rails: Jon's Head of Household week in season 2, since it saw both Adel and Allison use their secret powers during the same week (Adel could replace any person in the veto competition, and Allison had a spare veto). The looks of exasperation and terror on Jon's face are ridiculous.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted, Seasons 9 and 10 both feature a houseguest named Kyle Moore. However, this name similarity is part of the reason the Season 10 Kyle was cast (See Ascended Meme above).
  • Person as Verb: After Big Brother pulled the same trick on Ika that they did on Topaz last season (forcing her to make a difficult decision while, unknown to her, the rest of the houseguests could see and hear everything she did), Adele came outside and told Ika that she had been Topaz'd. Right before all the other houseguests started screaming at her for insulting them.
    • Also, "pulling a Topaz" refers to when she accidentally voted for Jillian over her bestie Gary, causing him to lose by one vote.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Gary and Topaz were acknowledged as this within the house though considering how she fucked him over during the finale, the status of their friendship outside the house is likely a little tense.
  • Product Placement: Several.
    • Most notably is Twistos starting season 2. Big Brother Canada doesn't have twists, it has Twistos Twists. In season 1, they were called Chevrolet Power Shifts.
    • Furniture outlet The Brick is responsible for providing the furniture for the house, as well as a substantial shopping spree at their store for the winner, and the show won't let you forget that. There's also a new item from The Brick in the HOH room every week, which the week's Head of Household will make a forced comment about in the diary room.
    • There are often competitions designed to tie into a real-life movie (Evil Dead (2013) in season 1, Divergent in season 2) or product (such as Oxiclean or KFC).
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Happened in Season 8, when the entire season had to be Cut Short 25 days in due to the COVID-19 pandemic leading to the shutdown of all non-essential services, including Big Brother.
  • Sadistic Choice: Shortly before her eviction, Ika got one thanks to winning a smaller competition: either give everyday a letter from home and shred a $5000 check, or shred the letters and keep the check. She took the check.
  • Series Continuity Error: In season 3, Britnee was given a power hyped as "never-before-seen on Big Brother". When revealed, it was exactly the same as the Coup de tat that Jeff won in US season 11. Then again, maybe they were saying it was never-before-seen in Canada, which wouldn't be that hard to do since there were only three seasons at that point.
  • Sexier Alter Ego: Alec's Ricardo, who's a waiter/stripper with a talent for foot massages.
  • Silicon Snarker: Zingbot 9000, a robot who appears Once a Season to make disparaging quips about the show's contestants.
  • Straight Gay: Kenny, an incredibly rare example considering the show traditionally relishes in casting Camp Gay men.
    • Mitch from Season 4 also counts.
  • The Stoner: Sarah from Season 3, to the extent that the show made fun of her for it a few times. Since the houseguests didn't have access to marijuana, she spent April 20th in the house smoking an imaginary joint with all the other houseguests.
  • Talking Animal: Marsha the Moose and her evil twin, Marge.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Emmett loves milk. This later led to a challenge where he drank so much milk he threw up.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Zach in Season 11. After spending the first couple week(s) controlling the house from behind, Kuzie nominated him and the alliance(s) turned on him. Zach, rather than face his eviction, chose to walk.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Alec may be the worst example of this across any version of the show.
  • Wham Line: In the first season's live finale, as Arissa counts the votes and Topaz realizes she voted for the wrong person.
    Arissa: Topaz has voted for...Jillian.
    Topaz: Wait a minute...what?
  • With Friends Like These...: Andrew has this view when it comes to AJ.
  • You Say Tomato: On Season 4, the British Nikki was unable to wrap her head around how Raul pronounced his name. He used the Hispanic pronunciation, "ra-ool", as opposed to "rahl" like "Paul". Nikki screwed this up several times before finally settling on "Rail" as her best attempt at a pronunciation, which was pointed out and made fun of by several other houseguests.

    Other Versions 
  • Catchphrase: The second season of the French edition gave us immortal lines which are still quoted ten years later, even by people who never watched the show. Among the best:
    • A mispronunciation of "thyme" followed by the candidate's explanation that he'd never seen the word written down before.
    • A conversation on whether the word "ingenue" exists and an argument on whether it's the same as "a genius".
    • And the classic "Je t'emmerde avec un grand A!", which literally means "Well, fuck you with a capital P!" No, that wasn't a joke. The candidate spelt the word "emmerde" with a capital a and the sound-bite was used over and over in commercials for the show.
    • Also, Carlos Navarro from the second season of the Spanish series: "¡Te voy a meter dos yoyas que te van a temblar las orejas!" (approximately "I'm going to give you two slaps that will leave your ears shaking!"). His threat did never become a reality, though, since getting your hands on another contestant meant instant disqualification.
  • Cut Short: The Arab world version.
  • Determinator: In Big Brother Germany 5, 2 contestants manage to live in the Big Brother House for 1 year!
  • I Shall Taunt You: In Bulgaria Big Brother - a contestant goaded another player by insulting his heritage and resulted in a small riot.
  • New Rules as the Show Demands: Becoming increasingly common in the Spanish version.
  • Secret Chaser: The premise of Secret Story, the French version of the show. While the primary objective remains the same, every player has some secret that they want to keep. Players are incentivized to find secrets through betting and protecting their prize pool of 10,000 Euros. Getting secrets right results in a player winning more money, guessing wrong results in them giving money their pot to the falsely accused.

Alternative Title(s): Celebrity Big Brother