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"On your mark, get set, GOOOOOO!!!"
Marc Summers announcing the first game to start.
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Children's quiz/stunt show on Nickelodeon, and is arguably considered the greatest game show for such audience, with seven years (1986-1993) and some 500 episodes, give or take a few, under its belt. Teams answered questions to earn money, trying to be the leader after the end of two rounds. The team in control could answer a question asked to them or "Dare" the other team, letting them try to answer for double the money. The other team could then "Double Dare" in return, doubling the value again (i.e., four times the original amount). Once a question had been Dared or Double Dared, an incorrect answer would award the money to the opposing team.

Once the question had been Double Dared back to the first team, they had to either answer or take the Physical Challenge, where they competed in a timed stunt in order to win the money and retain control of the round. These challenges, and the whole show in extension, were famed for being very messy and ridiculous, and of course getting people Covered in Gunge. Contestants also competed in messy stunts at the beginning of each round to see who would get the first question, as well as in the Bonus Round.

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There were two short-lived spin-offs: the first Super Sloppy Double Dare (referred to by Variety Magazine in May 1987 as the "third season" of the show), which was just like regular Double Dare except it took place in New York and aired on Sunday mornings, and Fox's Family Double Dare, which expanded the scope of players to include adults, and aired on Saturday nights.

In 1988, the show entered syndication, later reviving the Super Sloppy Double Dare name, this new version substantially increased the gak and mess of the show. While the syndicated run ended in 1989, the show returned to Nick with a new Family Double Dare, which was the last incarnation of the show. (By this point, they had moved to the Nickelodeon Studios complex located inside Universal Studios Florida (opened with the park in 1990, and closed in 2005 after years of declining activity); prior to that it had taped at the studios of the PBS affiliate WHYY-12 in Philadelphia (the first two seasons of Finders Keepers and the first season of Think Fast also taped there), and at Unitel Studios while in New York.)

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In 2000, a revival called Double Dare 2000 debuted, which ran throughout that year. This version largely remained the same as Family Double Dare, but introduced the Triple Dare Challenge, which added an extra objective to a physical challenge in the second round in order to win an additional prize and extra money. While Summers was replaced by Jason Harris as host, he did stay on as a consultant.

In 2018, Nickelodeon announced another revival with 40 episodes to be taped in the summer. The revival debuted on June 25, 2018, with Liza Koshy hosting and Summers returning as announcer and color commentator. Following the revival's success, a live version, fittingly titled Double Dare Live, began touring across the US, with Summers back as the host.

A UK version of the show was made for BBC1's saturday-morning variety show Going Live!, the only major difference being the teams played for points rather than money (UK law forbids kids from winning cash on game shows; this was also the case for some of the other international versions mentioned below). It became famous for host Peter Simon slipping on the gunge and falling over, which happened almost Once an Episode.

Not to be confused with CBS' Double Dare, which is something quite different (and considerably less messy). Nor with a very short-lived caper series in 1985, which starred Billy Dee Williams and Ken Wahl as a pair of reformed jewel thieves aiding the San Francisco Police Department.


Game Show Tropes in use:

  • Bonus Round: The Obstacle Course (renamed to the Slopstacle Course for 2000). The winning team had 60 seconds to get through 8 obstacles, finding/grabbing and passing an orange flag at the end of each. Prizes of increasing value were awarded for each completed obstacle, and completing the course typically awarded a trip (or a car on the first two Family versions).
  • Bonus Space: For the Fox Family Double Dare, the seventh obstacle in the Obstacle Course would be worth a random amount of cash instead of a prize, ranging from $2,000 to $5,000.
  • Call-Back: Part of the 2018 version's appeal comes from Marc Summers referencing the original series and strategies for some of the obstacles and physical challenges. Also, when a classic obstacle shows up in the current course, Koshy often tells the contestants "You know it, your mom knows it, your dad knows it."
  • Carried by the Host: Do you think Double Dare and not think Marc Summers? Even in the revival, Marc is present as announcer and color commentator on the physical challenges and some of the questions.
  • Cap: For the entirety of the show's kids' run—and shortly into the Family days—each team's scoreboard displayed only three digits. Though extremely rare, the winning team would pile up a score of at least $1,000, thus prompting an upgrade to four-digit scoreboards.
  • Confetti Drop: Subverted; used whenever someone went for the Triple Dare Challenge on 2000.
  • Consolation Prize: Up until 2018, both teams kept whatever money they ended up with, with the losing team receiving "lovely parting gifts". In the current version, only the winners keep the cash and the losers receive only parting gifts. On every version except for 2000, all contestants keep the uniforms they wear on the show.
  • Covered in Gunge: Self-explanatory. Along with You Can't Do That on Television, Double Dare established green slime as a trademark of Nickelodeon's original shows.
  • Double The Dollars: Trope Namer.
  • Losing Horns: Present in the 2018 version upon an obstacle course loss; the falling "back from commercial" cue from the 1988 music package is used.
  • Personnel:
    • The Announcer: (John) Harvey. Doc Holliday announced for the 1992-93 season (as Harvey was busy with his new baby), and Tiffany Phelps for 2000. Marc himself serves as announcer for the 2018 revival (now stationed behind a podium near the contestant/host area, with a small replica of the Pick It nose and glasses on the front)
    • Game Show Host: Marc Summers; Jason Harris in 2000, and Liza Koshy for 2018.
    • Lovely Assistant: The assistants filled this role. Marc even compared Robin to Wheel of Fortune letter turner, Vanna White, one time.
    • Studio Audience: Occasionally, Marc would pull someone from the audience to demonstrate one of the obstacles.
  • Rules Spiel: Marc Summers even made a ceremony out of ripping up the cue cards with the rules on them when he finally had them memorized.
    Marc: I'm going to ask you a question, which you can answer for $X. But if you don't know the answer, or think the other team doesn't have a clue, you can dare them to answer it for Double The Dollars. But be careful, because they can always double dare you back for four times the amount, and then you either have to answer the question or take the Physical Challenge.
    • He would sometimes get other people (like the show’s new producer) to say all or part of the rules. One time, he even brought out a large group of crew members, whom he dubbed the Double Dare Rules Choir, to say it in unison.
    • Jason Harris gave a few involving the Triple Dare Challenge.
    Jason: Because this is Double Dare 2000, we have the all-new Triple Dare Challenge worth three times the dough but that's coming up in round two. Right now, we want to play round one.
    Jason: In this round, any physical challenge can become a Triple Dare Challenge worth $300 and a really cool prize.
    Jason: Tia/Jeffrey/Will, bring out THE BOX! (TDC is brought on stage accompanied by a fanfare) In this box is something that makes the challenge a little bit harder but it's worth $300 and a really cool prize. Tiffany, what is that prize?
  • Sudden Death: If round 2 ends in a tie score, they would do a Tiebreaker Challenge. The team that completes the challenge would go to the final round. One episode of 2000 subverted this by having both families run the course after the game ended in a tie.
  • Undesirable Prize: Flip-flopped. Like other Nickelodeon game shows of the early 90s, one of the grand prizes in the 1992 season of Family was a trip to Universal Studios... where the show was taped. This meant the ultimate reward for running through gak and slime was seeing the same things in the park all over again. Then again, Marc Summers has said that most of the contestants didn't care about what they won insomuch as they just relished the opportunity to run through the obstacle course and get messy. Plus, the amount of time filming an episode would eat up a lot of time, necessitating an extra day to see the rest of the park.

This show provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Played with in one of the physical challenges. A contestant would have a slime-filled balloon put on his/her hat, and then sit down receiving a pat on the head from a giant hand. This would break the balloon leaving him/her Covered in Gunge.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: While the set stays lit in the standard team colors for most of the game, the LED lighting technology in the current version allows for the lights on the set to change an infinite amount of colors during physical challenges and the obstacle course. The contestant backdrops are highlighted with the team names against the team colors, but change to a "dripping slime" animation during physical challenges. The host backdrop is now an enormous animated LED panel capable of displaying "dare"/"double dare"/"physical challenge" as well as the show title and physical challenge clock.
  • Bar Slide: The basis for one of the physical challenges, albeit with a "root beer-like substance" and later a green slime-type liquid.
  • Berserk Button: Not on the series (it was a stage show at the Philadelphia Beer Festival), but if this video is any indication, Marc does not like people shouting out the answers. He's also not above dispensing a Precision F-Strike, either. One could suspect he was waiting over 25 years to say it... The audience, meanwhile, laughed and cheered, probably because it took everyone by surprise, you know, coming from Marc Summers.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Both Marc and Harvey were used for humiliating and embarrassing stunts by the producer.
    • There were also single-episode examples like the one with the wheelchair athlete who got slimed twice after the physical challenge was already finished.
    • In some episodes, one person on the team seems to be picked to perform most of the wet and messy stunts.
  • The Cameo:
    • Make The Grade host Robb Edward Morris once appeared randomly sitting in the audience before a commercial and received a Pie in the Face. And given his hosting ability...
    • Then Nickelodeon president Geraldine Laybourne was introduced on air by Marc in a 1987 episode.
    • Nick GaS correspondent and Slime Time Live host Dave Aizer shows up in an episode of 2000 to help demonstrate an obstacle.
  • Camera Abuse: On a show as active as this one, it is not surprising that the camera is occasionally hit or splattered during physical challenges and the obstacle course. One notable example happened in 2000 when a large dollop of slime landed on the main camera on the first obstacle. It remained there for the rest of the run, slowly dropping down to the bottom while the family ran the course.
  • Celebrity Edition:
    • A pilot was made in July 1987 for Celebrity Double Dare, a spinoff with celebrity/adult contestant pairings. Caitlyn Jenner (as Bruce) hosted and Bob Hilton announced. Didn't work.
    • The second-half of the 1988 syndicated run had three weeks during which young celebrities would be paired with civilian teammates.
    • In 1992, they had a couple of Super Special episodes. One of these episodes featured cast members from two then-running Nickelodeon sitcoms, Clarissa Explains It All and Welcome Freshmen, competing alongside civilian contestants in a Boys vs. Girls match, and the other featured four NBA All-Stars competing alongside civilian contestants.
    • For 2000, Nickelodeon did the same thing using actors from its own shows. In this case it was the cast of The Amanda Show vs. the cast of One Hundred Deeds For Eddie Mc Dowd. Another had the boy band No Authority squaring off against R&B group N-Toon and a third had the casts of Taina and Noah Knows Best playing against each other.
    • On one edition of Super Sloppy Double Dare, Marc and Harvey paired off with child teammates. Jim J. Bullock took over hosting duties and Double Dare production assistants Robin and Dave filled in as announcers. They were then made to run the Obstacle Course as a pair with any prizes won going to both civilian contestants.note 
    • Family Double Dare had a handful of episodes where a kid from a popular sitcom would join a family of three to play the game. Participants included Zachary Ty Bryan and Jonathan Taylor Thomas from Home Improvement, Candace Cameron from Full House, Jaleel White from Family Matters, Tina Yothers from Family Ties, and Tatyana Ali from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Other celebrities were occasionally used with this setup- like "Weird Al" Yankovic vs. Lou Ferrigno.
    • There were two "Superslopamania" specials that paired WWF stars with children. The first featured Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan, and the second featured Mr. Perfect and "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan.
    • The 2018 version reunited Kenan & Kel and brought Lori Beth Denberg along for the ride as well. Two obstacle course runs were done by the winning team and Kenan and Kel respectively, the latter of which was played for charity. Another episode had pro skier Lindsey Vonn and The Thundermans ' Kira Kosarin.
  • Christmas Episode: Featured decorations on the set and a Christmas themed obstacle course; in addition, the parents of the kids on each team performed all the physical challenges and the Obstacle Course. Given that this was produced prior to the first incarnation of Family Double Dare, it may have been an experiment for this very purpose.
  • Clip Show: There were four Direct-To-Video specials with memorable clips from various episodes, as well as a TV Special from 1990 called Salute to Double Dare. One of the weirdest clips was from 1990, and in it, Marc was seen being dragged by several people into the vat at the bottom of Sundae Slide. This clip turned out to be from an "Old Timers" edition, which was taped as the unaired finale of the 1990 season of Family Double Dare, and had production crew members playing the game.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Not until the first-taped syndicated episode in 1988, but for the majority of the show's run it was always the red team (or family) vs. the blue team. The crew members wore gray shirts from 1988-1992/2000 (previously, they wore purple, and red in very early 1986 episodes).
    • In the 2018 revival, the video wall behind Liza is yellow and blue during round 1, and yellow and red during round 2.
  • Conspicuous Trench Coat: Before the spy spoof physical challenge Contraband, Robin would come out with one on. One of the contestants would put it on and break balloons on his partner's head.
  • Crossover: With Legends of the Hidden Temple, Nick Arcade, and What Would You Do? called the Nickelodeon All-Star Challenge that aired during The Big Help in 1994.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: High-scoring games weren't uncommon. The only known game that ended in a shutout was Family episode where a team won $925-$0.note  Another shutout happened in a 2018 Celebrity Edition when Rico Rodriguez beat his sister Raini $1400-$0.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Marc Summers, on a question:
    Marc: In Encino Man, what actor plays the caveman?...Need an answer!
    Contestant: Pauly Shore?
    Marc: No, it's not Pauly Shore. This person has talent!
  • Downer Ending: It wasn't uncommon for the team to pace through the Obstacle Course looking like they could win, only to run out of time on the last one, but on one occasion the contestant's gunge-covered hand slipped off of the last flag at the last second. The real kick in the nuts? That slip cost the family a Ford Mustang.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • In the first taped episodes, EVERYONE wore red outfits—the assistants as well as the contestants. The scoreboards were also taller and had a digital dollar sign where the "DD" logo would eventually be placed.
    • After the first set of tapings, the scoreboards were lowered and replaced the dollar sign with the "DD" logo, but the assistants still wore red.
    • Soon after these tapings, the assistants now wore outfits that were a very dark blue, almost black. It wasn't until the first syndicated episode in 1988 that the assistants began wearing the familiar gray T-shirts (they still wore the complete outfits with "DOUBLE DARE" on the right pantleg for the early 1988 syndicated episodes. Afterwards, they began wearing blue jeans with the T-shirts).
  • Epic Fail:
    • On the first taped episode (not the first one aired), the first item in the Obstacle Course (find a flag hidden inside a pillow) was missing said flag. On the second take, the flag was still missing due to miscommunication. The flag was present on the third take, but in addition to the clock freezing at 60 seconds, a cameraman fell, getting right in the contestants' way immediately afterward. A fourth take was necessitated which went into the episode as aired.note . The obstacle's name, by the way, was Nightmare.
    • On a celebrity episode with Jerry Supiran and his teammate running the Obstacle Course in 1988, they only cleared one obstacle, and bombed miserably on Pick-It. It's the only known time where one prize was won in the obstacle course.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys:
    • There were several physical challenges where a person getting messy had to dress like a gorilla (a few episodes even featured Robin dressed in the costume). Marc would often give the other player in such challenges a Fay Wray wig, meaning if you were told to wear that you were safe from the mess; however, he once pulled a Bait-and-Switch by telling a girl to put the wig on and then having her also put on the gorilla outfit and receive the messy end of the challenge.
    • 2000 had a chimp mascot named Brooks, a carryover from the Wild Style era of Figure It Out, in a few episodes, usually showing up somewhere on the Slopstacle Course or helping introduce the Triple Dare Challenge box.
  • Freudian Slip: Jim J. Bullock's infamous "a fag's gonna spew".
  • Game-Breaking Bug: While all the searching obstacles were hard, Pick It could be this if the flag was put up too high for a contestant to get while on his/her back.
  • Giant Food: Several physical challenges involved making a giant food item with one of the contestants as the centerpiece. This took a few forms:
    • The contestant could be in a container and have the dish made around him/her with the contestant acting as a sort of bonus ingredient, for example the sushi rolls.
    • A common variation on the "contestant as bonus ingredient" idea was the rolling challenges. One contestant would lie down and his/her partners would pour gak on him/her. S/he would then be rolled to the other end of the stage and have more gak poured on him/her. The best known of these is probably the Human Burrito.
    • The contestant replaced the main food item and have the condiments put on him/her, like in the "Take Me Out To The Ballgame Hotdog".
    • The contestant would be holding a large food item. S/he would then try to catch ingredients in it. 2000's "Thanksgiving Turkey" was a good example of this.
    • The contest would be part of the base item or container, and run to different stations to add ingredients. An example of this is the "Banana Split Boat".
    • Finally, there were the physical challenges where a contestant sat in a container with the main ingredient already there, and s/he would have to catch the finishing touches. An example is the "Spaghetti Bowl".
  • Grossout Show: With each passing year, there seemed to be more physical challenges and obstacles that revolved around bodily functions, most notably obstacles themed around mucous ("Pick-It", later re-named "Da Nose"), ear wax ("In One Ear"), and toe jam ("Foot Locker", later renamed "Toe Jam").
  • Halloween Episode: Early on, with a brutal obstacle course.
  • Hold the Line: There was one challenge that did this. Basically, there were vats of slime with spouts shaped like giant noses. When the challenge started, those spouts would start draining the slime out of the vats, and the contestants had to stuff rags up the noses so that the slime wouldn't drain below the line (yeah, rather than fill a container past the line, the liquid's level started above the line, and the contestants had to keep it there). Depending on how generous the producers were feeling that day, either two or all three containers had to survive for 30 seconds.
  • In Medias Res:
    • Before Double Dare 2000 debuted, a special preview episode aired on SNICK. It featured the casts of One Hundred Deeds For Eddie Mc Dowd and The Amanda Show.
    • A similar thing happened on during the Philly era of Super Sloppy Double Dare, which featured football players and their children playing in honor of Super Bowl XXIII, and the Fox era of Family Double Dare.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Some of the more excruciating puns in Marc's rules spiels would draw groans from the audience, which Marc would duly acknowledge.
    (while explaining a physical challenge involving finding the keys to unlock two padlocks) "We have, uh, a door over here, and we also have, uh... we have, uh, a couple of locks. No bagels, just lox today. (audience groans under next sentence) And we have some keys- oh, 'Boo!' yourself!"
  • Lampshade Wearing: The basis for one of the physical challenges - one partner would have to find poker chips in a bowl of dip and throw them to his partner, who was required to catch them with the lampshade serving as a blindfold.
  • Last-Name Basis: Harvey.
  • Level Ate: Aside from using large quantities of post-dated food in the physical challenges and obstacles, many such obstacles consisted of the contestant having to crawl through and/or find the flag in a giant sandwich, slice of pizza, stack of waffles, plate of mashed potatoes, etc. Later in the run, some of the physical challenges required a team to create a giant replica of some food, such as a burrito or bowl of cereal, with one of the contestants naturally replacing one of the items.
  • Loads and Loads of Rules: Some of the physical challenges later in the Summers versions and 2000. The "Breakfast in Bed" challenge on Family victimized two such teams with its complex rules, and in both cases it affected who went to the obstacle course. For this challenge, the two adults had to switch places between sitting on the bed and pushing it as the kids dumped toast, jam, juice and scrambled eggs on them. To complete the challenge, both adults had to be on the bed as the second kid released the eggs on them. One family lost out on $200 because the husband was not on the bed with his wife as the eggs came down. The other time, both parents got on the bed when the eggs fell, but the judges ruled against them because the bed wasn't directly underneath the eggs.
  • Loophole Abuse: Some of the physical challenges had rules that allowed for less obvious but much easier game play. One of the easiest involved filling a cup on a contestant's head using a water fountain. There was no minimum distance, so the contestant could simply put their head under the fountain instead of having to arc the stream.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Depending on how many obstacles required the contestant to find the flag (whether in simulated food, a giant nose, or a big foam rubber shark's mouth), the Obstacle Course could easily become one of these.
  • Lucky Charms Title: The FOX version of Family used a ticking clock in place of the "o". Strangely enough, this variant was used for the contestants' shirts on 1990 episodes of Family.
  • Mascot: During the early years, the obstacle course would regularly feature a Toys 'R' Us gift certificate as a prize for one of the early obstacles. The obstacle with the gift certificate as its prize would generally have a stuffed Geoffrey Giraffe, the mascot of Toys 'R' Us, sitting on the sign giving the obstacle's name.
  • Obstacle Exposition: Before the Obstacle Course began, Marc would give a brief-but-thorough explanation of how to get through each segment of the course. Occasionally, he would have an audience member demonstrate one for a Double Dare t-shirt.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: In the 1986 season, contestants quickly learned that "Icy Trike" became trivial if, rather than sitting on the tricycle and either pedaling or pushing with their feet, they simply put one foot on the back of the tricycle and propelled themselves with the other foot as if it were a scooter. From the 1987 season onward, the producers closed this loophole by declaring that contestants had to sit on the tricycle or they would have to start over.
  • Only One Name: Harvey the announcer note , who is referred to as "Harvey the announcer" or Harvey on the show, and credited by his last name on other reality TV show appearances.
  • Pie in the Face: While not as iconic as the gak or memorable as pies in the pants, physical challenges that required a contestant to get their face covered in whipped cream have been a part of the show's physical challenges since day one. However, the one that takes the cake (no pun intended) was the "Flying Trapeze" from the final season of Family Double Dare, where a person was put on a platform being moved back and forth by his family and had to throw four pies at his teammate's face while she sat in front of him.
    • This was not limited to the contestants. Sometimes, during the show's Ad Bumpers, when the camera zoomed in on the audience the operator would zero in on a particular person and mash a pie in the fan's face. Marc was also the occasional target of pie pranks by Harvey, Robin, or other members of the crew.
    • A subversion happened on the President's Day special when a contestant was told to make a pie by putting cherries on a plate, put a few handfuls of cream on it, and put it into his partner's face. Instead, with the clock nearing zero, he put the cherries in the big bowl of cream and smashed the whole thing in her face! (The judges declared this a rule violation, and the money went to the other team.)
    • In the 1987 Super Sloppy Double Dare episode "The Difference vs. Punky Preppies", Harvey announced that part of the grand-prize package for the Obstacle Course was the right to smash a pie into Marc's face. Marc made it into a bet saying that if the team lost, Harvey would receive the pie in the face, to which Harvey reluctantly agreed. The team won literally at the last second, and Marc got the pie in the face.
    • Marc and Harvey made the bet again in the 1989 episode, "Slime Busters vs. Bodacious Blonds". The Mirror Maze hung the team up, and Harvey got the pie in the face this time.
  • The Pratfall: As pointed out by the Nostalgia Critic, the floor was very slippery and would cause the contestants and the host to fall on their butts on multiple occasions!
  • Product Placement: All contestants got to take home the pair of Reebok sneakers they wore for the show (though they often needed to be cleaned before they could be worn again). Every crew member (including Marc) wore the company's shoes as well. As stated above, the Toys 'R' Us mascot was also frequently seen.
  • Projectile Toast: One of the physical challenges involved launching toast out of a spring-loaded toaster to one's partner on the other side of the stage.
  • Rearrange the Song: The music cues (including the main theme) originally had a synth lead. Beginning with the Fox primetime version of Family Double Dare in 1988, they were given a jazzy makeover, along with the addition of guitar, horn, and saxophone leads. The updated music cues would be carried over to subsequent episodes/editions of the 80's era (until 1992), though some of the original synth cues would be snuck in as well.
  • Retraux: Albeit using video monitors, the scoreboards and timer in the revival still resemble the digital counters used in the original series.
  • Reunion Show: Marc Summers and John Harvey reunited on an episode of NBC Philadelphia's The 10 Show in late 2010, and participated in a Double Dare-esque challenge. The interview portion is here, and the challenge portion here.
  • Running Gag:
    • During the second half of Super Sloppy Double Dare, Marc would always announce the show was originating from a different Florida city like Quincy or Niceville, only for Harvey to correct him that they were in Orlando.
    • On one episode, all of the obstacles for that day's Obstacle Course were renamed to variations of "Harvey".
    • On Family Double Dare, there was one toss-up challenge (when played, it usually started the second round) that Marc would always introduce while doing an impression of Desi Arnaz, complete with Desi's laugh. Its name? "Honey, I'm Home! Haa Haa Haa Haa!"
    • On the 2018 iteration, whenever Liza introduces a classic obstacle, (usually Pick It) she'll occasionally say "Your parents/mother/father remember(s) this."
    • Also in the 2018 version, Liza getting freaked out by the obstacle course's final obstacle, Mount St. Double Dare, loudly spewing smoke during its introduction.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: The Triple Dare Challenge in round 2 of 2000. An add-on to the regular Physical Challenges, it carried a prize and $300 in score money if attempted and completed, but if failed, the money and the prize went to the other team. If declined, the team would play the Physical Challenge normally for the usual $200 either way. No Show the Folks at Home or Let's Just See What WOULD Have Happened here, though: the additional challenge was only revealed if accepted.
  • Serious Business: Contestants (and the host) seemed to treat the events as such.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Various episodes were themed around The Hollywood Squares (1988) and I Love Lucy (1989).
      • A season after the I Love Lucy episode, the show introduced a new toss-up challenge called "Honey, I'm Home! Ah Ah Ah!" In it a female contestant would dress like Ricky and try to catch objects in a briefcase. She would then go threw a door where her husband was waiting dressed like Lucy (in the process she would be Covered in Gunge from a Bucket Booby-Trap). Marc loved it because it gave him a chance to do his Desi Arnaz impression, and would frequently try to get the women dressed as Ricky to join in.
      • There was also a physical challenge based on Hollywood Squares that involved throwing sponges at a tic-tac-toe board. However, it was infamously hard and was never completed.
    • Once during his pre-Obstacle Course rundown, Marc ran into Baravelli (Chico Marx's character from Horse Feathers). He demanded a password before letting him through the drawbridge.
    • During one episode of Family Double Dare, Marc had a box on stage containing a head similar to the Pedro puppet used by Señor Wences.
    • Marc is a big fan of comedians and shows from the 1950s-60s, and would do an impression of one if something reminded him of them. For example, during Stupid Hat Day, he was given a sombrero after a question and did a quick impression of the Mel Blanc character Sy from The Jack Benny Program.
    • One episode was a tribute to fellow game show host Wink Martindale, who was the MC of shows like Tic-Tac-Dough and High Rollers; he actually worked with Martindale as a substitute announcer during TTD's stint at CBS Television City.
    • While explaining a physical challenge involving paper airplanes, Marc made a reference to Bud Collyer.
    • 1988: A young girl in the audience said her favorite show was...Finders Keepers.
    • 1990: A question asking who hosted the Wheel of Fortune pilot. (And this was before the Internet rendered it easily knowable; clips of the pilot weren't shown until 1998, during a Wheel Clip Show / Milestone Celebration episode.)
    • In a later episode, one of the questions asked was "What is the only game show on PBS?", which was Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?. When neither team could think of the answer, Marc gave it out and took time to acknowledge the fact that host Greg Lee was a former staffer on Double Dare.
    • During the explanatory spiel for the obstacle course in one episode, Marc referred to the show as "Double Damp", himself as "Muck Slummer", and Harvey as "Hardly", the names MAD Magazine had given them for their TV parody in the October 1988 issue.
    • "One Nation Underwear", one of the obstacles in the 2018 version, has the contestant running two pairs of boxers up a flagpole to retrieve the flag.
  • Showrunner's Foresight: The prizes were chosen based not on dollar value, but intrinsic value to the kids. The money awards in the show's first half were there so that the winners would be able to pay the taxes on the prizes.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Almost. The only ones on the show truly safe seemed to be Robin and Dave. Anyone else, male or female, was fair game.
  • Side Bet: As mentioned under Pie in the Face, a few episodes involved Marc and Harvey making a wager on the outcome of the obstacle course, with the winner (Harvey if the team got the eighth flag, Marc if they didn't) giving the loser a pie in the face.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: The physical challenge music picks up with four seconds left as does the obstacle course music with seven seconds to go.
  • Spiritual Successor: It's a more competitive (and messy) Beat the Clock with a quiz added.
  • Take That!: Invoked by Marc with this question:
    Marc: In Encino Man, what actor plays the caveman?
    Contestant: Pauly Shore?
    Marc: No, it is not Pauly Shore. This person has talent.
    • They aimed quite a few potshots at their rival, Fun House.
  • The Teaser / Cold Open: Each episode began with a physical challenge to determine initial control of the board. This was the only game show to open in such a manner. The usual Rules Spiel for the challenge plays out in voiceover, which also introduces the show.
  • Timed Mission: The physical challenges were usually played in 20 or 30 seconds (always 30 on 2000, barring a time reduction due to a "Triple Dare Challenge"), although in earlier episodes 10 and 15-second challenges were not unheard of. The Obstacle Course had a time limit of 60 seconds.
  • Title Scream: Family subverted this, each episode began with the audience yelling "Take the Physical Challenge!"
  • Transatlantic Equivalent: Several, as listed below. Some of these versions were also shown in a 1989 "International Day" edition of Super Sloppy Double Dare.
    • From Brazil: Passa ou Repassa (lit. Dare or Double Dare) (1987-2000; 2013). Aired on SBT. Hosted by Brazilian TV legend Silvio Santos (1987-1988); Gugo Liberato (1988–1994); Angélica (1995–1996); and Celso Portiolli (1996–2000; 2013-Present).
    • From Great Britain: Aired from 1987-1992 on the BBC as a segment on Going Live. Peter Simon was the host.
    • From Australia: Aired on the Ten Network for 3 years from 1989-1992. Each season had a different host (Gerry Sont, Tom Jennings, and Simon Watt respectively {the last one had previously served as The Announcer}). This version was the most identical to the American original, in terms of set design and music. There was also a primetime Family version, but this one was even less successful, running only 3 episodes in 1989, with Larry Emdur as host.
    • From Netherlands: DD Show (1989-1990). Hosted by Norbert Netten and aired on TROS.
    • From Canada French: Double Défi (1989-1991). Hosted by Gilles Payer and aired on TVA.
    • From Germany: Drops! (1991-1994). Hosted by Jürgen Blaschke and aired on Sat.1.
    • From India: Nick Dum Duma Dum (2004). Hosted by Vrajesh Hirjee and aired on Nickelodeon India.
  • Unexpectedly Obscure Answer: In the original run, this was most often done on the third question of the game to induce a physical challenge. It didn't always work, though.
    • In 2000, this was more or less done intentionally in the second round due to the main mechanic of the second round's physical challenge, the "Triple Dare Challenge".
  • Valentine's Day Episodes: Two of them; one in 1987 and one 1989. The first one aired as a Saturday evening special on the appropriate Holiday.
  • Very Special Episode: There have been a few episodes with differently able individuals competing. For example, an episode of Family Double Dare featured wheelchair athletes competing. There was also a 2000 episode which featured Special Olympics athletes.
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: Double Dare 2000 made it a habit to remind the viewers on every single show that they had the all-new Triple! Dare! Challenge!
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: Marc and Harvey were not shy about expressing their disdain for what they felt were some of the weaker ideas for themed episodes. For example, when the production staff bought a pink blazer while buying clothes for physical challenges, they "justified" the purchase by building a Super Sloppy episode around Miami Vice and giving Marc the pink blazer to wear. Marc makes no effort to hide how silly he finds the idea each time he explains it, and Harvey closes the episode by inviting the viewer to see "whatever other dumb idea the producers come up with for a theme show."
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Marc Summers did a show that got very messy despite suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, though he didn't know he had it during the show's run.
  • William Telling: The show had two variants. One had a contestant attempting to knock a plastic apple off a pedestal while spraying a bottle of seltzer at a teammate. Another had contestants shooting plunger arrows at fake apples which would target a bucket of slime to fall on their family members.
  • Womb Level: Several of the obstacles: "Pick-It" (a giant nose); "Down the Hatch" and later "Big Gulp" (huge mouths, the latter being a Sundae Slide retool); "In One Ear" (a big head filled with "earwax"). "Foot Locker"/"Toe Jam", a huge foot, may also qualify somewhat.
  • Worth It: This tended to be the reaction of kids on Family Double Dare when they got to slime their parents, even if they didn't get any money for it.
  • Writing Lines: Some Super Sloppy episodes had a physical challenge where contestants had to stick graduation caps on a chalkboard. To introduce the challenge, Marc would have to stop Harvey and Robin from writing "I will not watch Fun House" on it.

Alternative Title(s): Double Dare 2000

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