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Series / Dinner: Impossible

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"Dinner: Impossible" (2007-2010) (2021-) is a show broadcast by the Food Network. Chef Robert Irvine is ready for any challenge. Robert must overcome culinary obstacles and deliver a delicious meal before his time runs out. For a time, Iron Chef Michael Symon took part in the challenges instead of Irvine.

This show provides examples of:

  • Berserk Button: "Oui, chef!"
  • The Bet:
    • In the Fashion Model episode, Robert stated that he would go out on the runway if it started raining. It rains just as the mission is finishing, so he has to go out.
    • In the cookoff against Guy Fieri, Robert bets that the losing team has to take a swim in the lake.
  • Chef of Iron: Robert is a Royal Navy veteran. On top of it all, he's buffed and cut enough to look like he could kick your ass with ease.
  • Did Not Do the Bloody Research: Robert is bleeped when he uses the curse words that are forbidden on US television, but not when using words like "bollocks", "tosser", "bugger", etc..
  • Didn't See That Coming: In the Block Party episode, both Robert and David are competing against another and a special judge will arrive to decide who wins. What neither of them know until they appear is that it's George Galati who is arriving.
  • Does Not Like Spam: Robert has noted that he's not a big fan of cinnamon in a few episodes.
  • Everythings Better With Bacon: At least Michael Symon thinks so, as he is a lover of pork.
  • Flat "What": In the Comedy Improv episode, this is Robert's reaction when George's improv ingredient for his challenge (to make a meal based off 15 random ingredients a comedy troupe is providing for him) is a Hot Pocket.
  • Food Porn: They always show beautifully plated glamour shots of the finished dishes at the end of each mission.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Robert often recruits local help from whatever facility he's currently using for his mission.
  • HA HA HA—No: In the Barbie's Birthday Bash episode, Barbie asks Robert — who must make miniscuel hoe doeurve's based on seven Barbies — to make one dish based on Ken, Robert chuckles a little before bluntly replying "No".
  • Heroic Build: Robert brings the gun show every week! See also: Mr. Fanservice.
  • I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham: In the Sesame Street episode, Elmo is not happy that Robert is cooking Brussel sprouts as part of his mission. However, he changes his mind after he munches on one.
  • Impossible Mission
  • Impossible Task: The second Disney episode, which required Robert to, amongst other things: used canned food in one item, run around Epcot to find three princess characters, and make 2500 mini desserts on top of everything else.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: With Lost. Robert's mission was to cook for the cast using only what he could find on the island. Though it was clear to everyone that Lost is only a television show, Nestor Carbonell did appear in character as Richard Alpert and Robert was given several Dharma food drops to work with, so it qualifies somewhat for this trope.
  • Letter Motif: The Sesame Street episode, which was in celebration of Sesame Street's 40th birthday, had Robert challenged to make food that either started with the letter "B" or the ingredients involved had to start with the letter "B".
  • Loophole Abuse: In the Block Party Bonaza episode, the rules state that aside from the three participants per group, both David and Robert can ask help for one more person. David gets help from a few more ladies to shuck corn by having one person out, but the others doing the work in their homes.
  • Man in a Kilt: Robert is dressed in a kilt for the Medieval Mayhem episode.
  • Mission Briefing: At the beginning of each episode, Robert meets the people for whom he'll be cooking and is given his mission.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The opening sequence, which is quite deliberately cheesy.
  • Muppet Cameo: The episode "Sesame Street Surprise" has Robert cooking for Sesame Street's 40th birthday and interacting with Cookie Monster and Elmo.
  • Oh, Crap!: Happens frequently whenever Robert realizes that some new disaster has occurred (i.e. food he needs has been ruined/won't be ready on time/isn't even available).
  • Pirate: One episode had Robert cooking for an annual Pirate festival alongside a brigade of pirates which also includes him digging for treasure
  • Product Placement: Dinners have been done for Barbie and Pixar (Linguini was Robert's assistant!). In addition, brand name items are often clearly shown.
  • Real Men Eat Meat: Michael Symon is a lover of pork and will try to put it in nearly every mission he's in.
  • Real Men Hate Sugar: Robert constantly notes that he hates trying to mix sweet and savory or anything that has to do with him baking. The former one got him in trouble when he had to incorporate candy into every dish he made — although the Hershey one was an easier task and he actually was happy with how one of the dishes turned out — and the latter has to do with a very infamous episode where all the donuts he made for the bakery fell onto the floor with a crash. However, in "Ice Cream Meltodnw", he was willing to try and make his own ice cream flavors.
  • Sadist Show: The show could be fairly accurately summarized as "Food Network tries to kill Robert Irvine."
  • Spiritual Successor: The current Restaurant: Impossible is not a sequel per se but it has a similar open and the same producers (Mark Summers' company).
  • Supreme Chef: Considering some of the challenges and/or helpers he's given, it's a wonder he's able to complete them as well as he does.
  • Temporary Substitute: In 2008, Irvine was replaced by Michael Symon while the network investigated allegations about the accuracy of Irvine's resumenote . Irvine returned to the show after ten episodes, and both he and Symon continue to appear on the Network.
  • Time Keeps On Ticking: Robert must beat the set deadline or he will fail the mission. And unfortunately, his clock begins while the mission is being explained to him!
  • Visual Pun: "Crossword Crisis" is about making dishes based off of various food idioms ("Ducks in a Row" or "Cream of the Crop") and then presented in a way that expresses the phrase in general (for example a plate of three duck type dishes, with one of them being a duck "sushi" topped with fish roe).