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Endurance was a teen reality competition hosted by J.D. Roth that lasted six seasons from 2002 to 2008 on Discovery Kids. Sixteen to twenty teenagers aged 12 to 15 would be placed in a remote location and compete in various missions as mixed gender teams of two for a grand prize trip.

Typically, the contestants compete in a "right to stay challenge" where a few of the boys and girls are eliminated on the first or second day. The remaining are paired into colored teams and are assigned with a starting pyramid piece (a triangular prism containing a trait like "Strength" "Commitment" and "Knowledge" that is needed to win the game). They then compete in a number of challenges, typical known as Endurance Missions and Temple Missions. The winner of the 'Endurance Missions win additional pyramid pieces and can give the samadhi to another team, which gives another team a disadvantage in the following temple mission. The winner of the Temple Missions selects 2 teams to go the Temple of Fate where they risk elimination. The winner at the temple gets to stay while the loser goes home. This goes on until 2 teams are felt. They go to the temple one last time where they compete to get the other team's pyramid pieces. The team that gets all of the pieces becomes the Endurance Champions. Several twists though have been incorporated throughout the series which can strongly impact the game.

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Before that, there was also a predecessor, Moolah Beach, which aired on Fox Kids in 2001; it is indexed here as well.

You're going to need every single one of these tropes to win this game:

  • A House Divided: The teams in Season 2 had mixed reactions to the inclusion of the brown team. This split the teams into two opposing alliances: those who wanted the brown team gone because they didn't want to play against people who have already played Endurance before, and those who didn't mind playing against them.
  • All or Nothing: While both members of the final 2 teams often get a memento from J.D before they head to the temple of fate to decided the winner, there is overall no official prizes for any team that isn't the Endurance Champions (who win an exotic vacation).
    • Somewhat averted (depends on the choice of the teams) in Moolah Beach. The team with the most idols at the finale were offered bribe prizes (Playstation 2, Mcdonalds for 1 year) in order to give up idols. The team could keep the bribe prizes even if they didn't win the grand prize ($25000 in cash).
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  • All There in the Manual: Some of the information about the contestants, primarily what they were like before the show, tended to be placed on the discovery kids website rather than being mentioned in the show. Contestants typically are introduced as saying their name, age and place where they are from but only a couple per season got an additional voice over to talk about themselves or their approach to the game.
  • The Amazon: The winning team of the first endurance season won a trip to the Amazon forests. Some pictures of their time there was shown in the reunion special.
  • Arc Words: Two examples from High Sierras: "What goes around comes around." and "It's not a matter of whether you win or lose; it's how you play the game." Both of these emphasis the role karma has in the game.
  • Audience Participation:
    • Audience members at the reunion special got to vote for which male and female contestant that they wanted to return in Endurance 2. The contestant votes counted as individual votes while audience vote only counted as 1 per gender though Max and Jenna, whom received the most support from the audience, still got chosen to return.
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    • The fireball mission from Endurance 2 was brought back in Tehachapi after being voted as the favorite Endurance mission in a fan contest.
    • Garrett and Kelsey of High Sierras along with Will and Leslie of Fiji got their initial spots on the show due to being voted in from fans from a selection of other hopefuls. The latter 2 even teamed up to form the Green Team.
  • Back From Elimination: There was a twist during Hawaii in which the six competitors who lost the Right to Stay challenge were brought back. They then competed against each other in another challenge. The winner of this challenge got to pick their partner from the three losers of the opposite gender, and the two reentered the game as the brown team.
  • Bad Luck Charm:
    • The Samadhi is usually this. It is typically a clay urn (log in High Sierras) and the winner of the endurance missions usually gets to pick another team to receive it. The team with the samadhi will receive a disadvantage in the following temple mission which is represented by what is inside the jar. Disadvantages can range from time delays/head starts (whichever is inconvenient for the mission), an extra task to complete in order to win or another element that hampers a teams chance of winning (there were even a couple of cases where the disadvantage was that the team was not allowed to compete in the mission). A few teams have managed to overcome the samadhi and still win the temple mission but it was rare for that to happen. A couple of samadhis were not inherently bad such as in Hawaii where one samadhi allowed the winning team to either take all of the pyramid pieces from another team or switch partners. A samadhi in High Sierras also permitted a partner switch.
    • The Gray team, while not inherently suppose to be this but the performance of these teams throughout the series gained them this reputation. Four of the five gray teams featured on the show were the first colored teams to get eliminated (the one exception though were the champions of their season). Even JD noted in Endurance 2 that Gray seemed destined to be eliminated first. Connor from High Sierras also had a superstitious feeling regarding the color (it also happened to be the last color claimed in that season). Zigzagged in season 1 where the gray team, due to the rules of the partner selection game, was the only team to start with 2 pyramid pieces instead of one and thus giving them an early lead only to get sent home after losing the very first visit to the temple of fate. Averted in Fiji where there was no Gray team.
  • Battle in the Rain: A couple of times in Hawaii, the contestants would have to compete in missions while it was raining.
  • Beach Episode: Moolah Beach, Endurance 2 and Fiji tend to take place on or by the beach and thus making most of the episodes of those seasons this.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Temple Mission episodes where the 2 teams sent to temple are close to each other. The team that wins stays in the game and still has a shot at the grand prize but it comes at the cost of eliminating their friends.
  • Call It Karma: Became a Piece in season 6 after the events of last season.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: It happen in High Sierras for a short while the contestants are trying to make a list of who should be with who prior to the partner selection mission. An initial list is made of who each person should be partnered with but some contestants don't speak out who they really want as a partner. This includes Dakota who was initially planned to be with Taylor but he actually wanted Kelsey. Only after a few people convince him to speak up does it cause others to claim they don't want who they were initially paired with, messing up the initial partner plan and creates some tension in the process (especially with Taylor who is instead planned to be paired with Garret, a person no one wanted as a partner).
  • Chekhov's Gun: Pyramid pieces are usually this for most of the game. While each team starts with at least one and can earn more by winning endurance missions and, starting with Endurance 2, be given pieces by eliminated teams (exception being the third place team's pieces in which the final 2 will compete for those remaining pieces), they lack a direct impact in gameplay until the finale where the pieces are used in a game that determines who becomes Endurance Champions. Somewhat averted for the friendship piece in High Sierras as that piece featured the "triangle of immunity" which could be used to save a team from temple before the final 3 it was never used though.
  • Cliffhanger: At the reunion special in between endurance 1 and 2, where the original 7 team members voted for 1 guy and 1 girl to come back for endurance 2 as the brown team, J.D decided not to reveal who won yet. It wasn't until the after the endurance 2 teams were formed that it was announced that Max and Jenna, the season one gray team, were the winners
  • Clip Show: In addition to 2 recap episodes per season (one airing midseason and the other airing at the end), there are a couple of other specials that generally feature clips. The first list the fan voted top 10 missions of the first four seasons where clips of the chosen missions are played. The other was after 'Fiji' which listed the top 5 biggest twist of the series.
  • Color-Coded Armies: The teams when they are created - they wear predominantly team-colored clothing.
  • Confession Cam: There is usually a small room provided where contestants can express their thoughts and comments on challenges and relationships that are occurring throughout the series.
  • Coordinated Clothes: In addition to the colored endurance outfits that teams wear when completing in a mission or when they are at the temple of fate, the contestants will often wear casual clothing that tends to be a similar to their team's color after they are paired.
  • Crowded Cast Shot: The intros to each episode show one for a few seconds. The first couple of episodes each season show a picture of each contestant (including those who are eliminated in the right to stay) while the episode following the formation of the last team will show a shot of all of the official teams on Endurance for that season.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Quite a few missions ended up becoming this with one or two teams completely dominating, while the others were fighting a losing battle trying to catch up. Most notably was Pipeline on Endurance: Hawaii, when the Gray Team got all of their balls in when barely any of the other teams could get one.
    • That same team managed it again in the final mission and the final game. The final mission, where the teams competed for the fallen yellow team's two pieces, consisted of a boat race where teams could pick up to 4 four possible pieces (1 real, 3 decoy) along the way. Gray not only finished first (giving them 1 real piece automatically) but got all 4 of the pieces along the way which ensured they got the other one. For the finale, Gray team had 10 pieces before the game while Orange only accumulated 2. Gray managed to win in only 4 rounds, making it the shortest final game in the entire series.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: During the final five of Tehachapi and the final four of High Sierras, whichever team came in last in the Endurance Mission would automatically be sent to Temple unless they won the next Temple Mission. Neither team overcame this obstacle.
    • At least 2 cases in Fiji,
      • After winning the second endurance mission (the first in the season to offer the samedhi), the winning team was offered the choice to get rid of the samedhi. In exchange, they could select another team who would, whether or not they won the following temple mission, automatically go to temple. Orange won the mission and choice to send Yellow to temple where Yellow ended up getting eliminated.
      • The two teams who would go to Temple after the final Temple Mission were decided based on a drawing of nuts. The order which the teams finished said Temple Mission determined how many nuts each team would have in the drawing bag. Essentially, whichever team won the final Temple Mission could still go to Temple. This was what got the red team eliminated even though they won the mission.
  • Didn't Think This Through: In High Sierras after Blue wins an endurance mission that grants them the power to switch 2 teams, Red and Green volunteer to switch as long as they give the power to switch teams to Red. Even though they considered the possibility that Red could switch someone else once given the power, they still give it to them. This results in Blue and Gray being switched instead.
    • To a smaller extent with Orange of the same season. They are informed they will be sent to temple with Blue. They believe a way to ensure their victory is to get Purple to tell Blue a temple strategy Orange is supposedly going to use (a similar technique that allowed Yellow to beat Gray). The problem is that Blue knows that Purple was responsible for planning the team switch between Connor and Taylor's backs and that they know Purple and Orange are allies. While Dakota goes through with the plan, Kelsey is aware of this flaw, which already made Blue skeptical, and does concede that the plan might be a ruse. Thus, Blue does not fall for it.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Winning a Temple Mission with a Samadhi-induced disadvantage working against you. The only teams that were able to pull this off were Season 1's blue team, Season 3's yellow team, Season 5's purple team, and Season 6's red team.
  • Downer Ending: Whenever someone is eliminated as they likely won't return to the location where the game took place and they often say they will miss the contestants on the show. Perhaps even more of a downer for teams eliminated in the final 3 due to how close they came and because half of the time, they were the team at that point with the most pieces which would have given them an advantage in the final challenge.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • Moolah Beach naturally had some of this. Beyond being on a different channel, Moolah had a cash prize as the main reward whereas in endurance it was an exotic trip. Rather than pyramid pieces, the game had idols (one of which awarded the cash prize to the team that held on to it at the end). There was also no right to stay challenge and everyone who competed got to be on a team. Rather than the rock-paper-scissor style elimination game in endurance, Moolah had a more lottery style game where a team's performance in a recent mission impacted their odds of getting eliminated. The number of teams was this for a time (moolah had 6 teams while most endurance seasons had 7 or 8) but Fiji reduced it back to 6.
    • Season 1 had just ten pieces, whereas Seasons 2 and 3 had 12, Seasons 4 and 5 had 13, and Season 6 had 14. Season 1 also had multiple prize trips that the teams could win. Missions were typically presented with a history lesson that tied in with what contestants would have to do. Finally, the way the pieces (and prize trips) were given off when a team was different: on E1, all pieces would be in play after the first endurance mission. When a team is eliminated, their pieces are the prize in the following endurance mission as well as the option for the winning team to switch their trip for the one that the eliminated team carried. If they switched, the trip the winning team originally had is out of the game. If they didn't switch, the trip the eliminated team had was gone. E2 onwards: Endurance missions usually give out 1 piece that was not held by one of the teams at that point. When a team is eliminated, they can selects a team to give their pieces to (E5 and E6 allowed eliminated teams with multiple pieces to split their pieces among multiple teams if they wanted to) with the exception of the third place team whose pieces were up for grabs in one last endurance mission before the final 2 head to the temple of fate. There was also only one possible trip available as the grand prize.
    • Moolah Beach and Endurance 1 were the only seasons to have a reunion special.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: The Temple of Fate is this essentially - In each round, both teams teams pick one of 3 elements; fire, wood or water. The winning outcomes are as followed; fire burns wood, water puts out fire, wood floats on water. The first team to win 2 rounds stays in the game while the other is eliminated
  • Epic Fail: On Endurance 2, the Green team lost the Face To Face mission in about 10 seconds even though the team had not been lifted up yet.
  • Game Show Host: JD Roth handled hosting duties for Moolah Beach and all seasons of Endurance
  • I'm Not Here to Make Friends: In "Tehachapi", after Green Team wins the first endurance mission, Jeszie tells this to her teammate Isaac while convincing him to give the Samadhi (a handicap in the following temple mission) to the Gray Team despite his promise to them that he would not give it to them.
  • Inevitable Mutual Betrayal: This was the case for the bigger alliances (particularly four team alliances) when one member wins the temple mission but has to send at least one other member team to temple due to the shortage of non-member teams still in the competiton (or at least, who are eligible to go to temple at that point).
    • Endurance 1: Blue had been in an alliance with Yellow and Red for most of the game and won the final 4 temple mission. While it was clear their main rivals, Green, was chosen as one of the 2 teams to get sent, Blue did have to pick one of their alliance members to join them. Yellow was ultimately chosen.
    • Hawaii: Purple, Red, Orange and Gray had an alliance but where forced to send at least either Red or Orange to temple of fate when their superteam loss in the superteam temple mission (their main enemy, Yellow, was on the winning superteam with Purple and Gray. Brown was the only non-member team on the losing superteam). Red was chosen for temple and were eliminated after losing to Brown.
      • This was also mentioned by Orange as the reasoning for sending Gray and Purple to temple during the final 4. While Yellow was the only non-alliance member team left in the game and thus could have just sent one alliance member with them to temple, Nicole knew (and confirmed by Sarah and Lindi in confessionals) that Gray and Purple were so close to each other that if either of them had won the temple mission, they would have sent Orange along with Yellow to temple.
    • Mentioned in Tehachapi: When Green won the Hang 5 endurance mission, Isaac and Jeszie argued over who to give the samedhi to. Isaac wanted to give it to Red as he was very close to Jonathan (Purple) and Amelia (Blue), both of whom seemed loyal to Green. Jeszie pointed out though that if Green won the following temple mission, Isaac would have to send at least one of them to temple.
    • High Sierras: Had another 4 team alliance with Purple, Green, Red and Orange. All four made it to the final 5 which meant when Green won the temple mission, they had to send a member to the temple of fate where they would risk elimination. Orange was selected and was eliminated after losing to Blue (the only non-member team left at that point). Happened again in the final 4 where Purple won the temple mission and, despite having the power to save Red, decided to make them go to temple with Blue which resulted in Red's elimination.
    • In general, if an alliance makes it to the final 3, this is the result of the last temple mission if either team wins it. Only the winner is granted a spot in the final 2 as the other 2 teams must go to the temple of fate by default even if the winning team has a preference for who they want to compete in the finale with.
  • Irony: On Endurance: Hawaii, Demian got the #1 ball in the partner selection, which allowed him to pick any girl he wanted to be his partner. He chose Nicole, together forming the Orange Team, but ended up not working well with her by the end of the season.
  • Later Installment Weirdness: Fiji to a minor extent regarding the number of players. The first 5 seasons started with 20 new contestants. The sixth season though only had 16. Moreover, while the other seasons of endurance had 7 or 8 teams, this season only had 6 (this was the only endurance season to not have a gray team) unless you count Endurance predecessor Moolah Beach which also had only 6 teams. The opening in Fiji is also a bit different since it doesn't include facts like previous seasons (ex: "20 contestants", # teams, fact about the location). After a team wins a mission, there are screenshots of them in the mission plus their official team photo shown immediately afterwords, something not done in past seasons.
  • Location Theme Naming: Started with Endurance: Hawaii and continued the trend of placing a location in the title for each season continued with the remaining seasons.
  • Luck-Based Mission: A few missions were like this
    • You're Fired from Hawaii. Three balls (each with a number from 1 to 3) are launched with each team trying to catch them. To win the mission, your team must catch the ball that has the matching number to the ball JD has hidden until all of the balls are caught. Thus, while playing, the teams don't know which ball they need to catch to win.
    • Color Coded from Hawaii. Each team has a bunch of plates in front of them with 4 plates in each row. 1 plate in each row has a triangle on it and the team needs to accurately guess which plate its under to advance to the next row. If they don't get it, they must go back to the beginning. While the teams can memorialize past results, they have no clue in where the triangle will be in the advancing row.
  • Multi-Part Episode:
    • Occur in Hawaii a couple of times. The first was the casting special which comprised of 2 episodes (episode saw the shortlist of contestants made while part 2 showed the final selection). The second was the right to stay which began in one episode with the girls doing a challenge and the boys starting it at the end of it with the conclusion marking the beginning of the next episode (most seasons had the right to stay condensed into one episode). The third was the partner selection (the first part sharing the second part of the right to stay episode) which was also spread out over two episodes
    • Happened a couple of times in High Sierra near the beginning of the season. The first two episodes both comprised of the right to stay challenge. The second episode also marked part 1 of the partner selection challenge with the concluding results and first team elimination occurring in the next episode. This was followed by another multi part episode where the endurance mission to win the power to switch 2 teams begin in one episode and concluded in the next.
    • Finales in general tend to be multiple part with part 1 being the final 2 teams competing for the remaining pieces while part 2 is the final game.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: Max & Jenna (Season 1's gray team) were voted by their castmates to be put into Season 2 because of their misinformation about what The Temple of Fate was, which made them the first team to be eliminated. Nevertheless, they ended up winning season 2.
  • Non-Gameplay Elimination: Vanetta had to be taken out of the game due to an leg injury that required stitches. Her partner Tom spent the rest of his time in the game as the only one person team in the entire series.
  • Once a Season: The final 2 teams will be given a gift by J.D to remind them of their time on endurance. Season 1 is a bit of an exception as the gift giving wasn't shown during the endurance finale episodes though the scene is shown during the reunion special.
  • One Steve Limit:
    • The girls in Yellow Team, albeit spelled differently. Seasons 2 and 4 had Calley and Callie and Seasons 3 and 6 had Bryanah and Briana. Seasons 1 and 5 were the only Yellow Teams with standalone names (Sabrina and Lilly).
    • There was an Alex in Hawaii and another in High Sierras, both of whom where part of a green team. The former though was a girl while the latter was a guy.
  • Tagline: Moolah Beach had "If the Sun Doesn't Burn you, Someone Else Will!"
  • The Place: Season 3 and onwards
    • Endurance: Hawaii''
    • Endurance: Tehachapi''
    • Endurance: High Sierras''
    • Endurance: Fiji''
  • The Power of Friendship:
    • In Moolah Beach Purple won as the one idol that Red earned before getting eliminated was the one with the prize money and they choose to give it to purple due to their friendship with them.
    • Became a pyramid piece in Season 4 onward, as friendships became an important part of the show. It got even more emphasis in Season 5 where it became the Triangle of Immunity where the team who holds it (based on the team chosen by the eliminated colorless team) can save themselves or another team from temple up until the final temple mission.
  • Previously On: Most episodes after the first one will begin with J.D summing up what happened in the previous episode.
  • Purple Is Powerful:
    • In Moolah Beach, Purple won a number of missions and never came in last in a Kahuna Mission. They also won the game
    • On Endurance, 2 Purple teams made it to the final 2 Though neither won and 2 others made it to the final 4. They collectively won the most missions of all of the teams (when including superteam missions) and every winning superteam included Purple.
  • Recap Episode: There is one during the halfway mark of each season as well as a "Best of" special near the end of the season.
  • Reunion Show:
    • A reunion special was held following Moolah Beach where the contestants got to discuss their team on the show. It would ultimately serve as the final episode before the show ended and was succeeded by endurance
    • A reunion special was held following the first endurance where the 7 teams got to discuss their time on the show as well as present some clips that weren't shown during the season. They also got to vote for a guy and girl to come back for endurance 2.
  • Secondary Color Nemesis
    • In the first Endurance, Blue Yellow and Red maintained an alliance for most of the game and their main targets were Green, Orange and Purple who wanted the primary colored teams gone. Gray was one of the first 2 teams sent to the temple along with Green but was done with the expectation that Green would lose to them.
    • Most of the members of the main alliance in High Sierras were secondary colors (Red being the only non-secondary color of the group) and targeted the other teams. Red did fall out of favor when Purple won the final 4 temple mission, opting to ensure Green went to final 3 instead.
    • The main alliance in Fiji was Green and Orange. They have a "unofficial alliance" with Red but they did eventually turn against them in the final 4.
  • Shell Game: The winner of endurance is decided by playing a variation of this. A row of pyramids is shown in between the final 2 teams and usually starts with 2 or 3 pyramids (more are added as more rounds are played). In each round, there is a gold pyramid underneath one of them. The teams are given beforehand miniature pyramid pieces based on the ones they earned throughout the season. These are used to make wagers on what pyramid they think might have the gold pyramid. The team with the lowest number of pieces at the start of the round is the one that gets to make their wagers first. That team can make multiple wagers (1 piece per pyramid) per round as long as there is still at least 1 pyramid left for the other team to make a wager on. All pyramids in each row must be covered. Whoever wagered on the pyramid with the gold pyramid underneath keeps all of the pieces that were wagered that round. This goes on until one team has all of the pyramid pieces. That team is crowned the endurance champions.
  • Spoiler Opening: Relatively minor, but you can tell in the openings first couple of episodes which color a contestant will be on (which also implies they did pass the right to stay challenge) since most of the challenge clips in the opening credits will have teams competing in their colored outfits. It may also hint if a team isn't going to be eliminated if a clip shows a team member competing in a mission that has not happened yet.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: There were more than a few mismatched teams who didn't get along. Notable examples include the green team from Season 1, the orange team from season 2, the blue team and the orange team from Hawaii, and the original blue team from ''High Sierras".
  • Tempting Fate: After the Blue team was given the samadhi in endurance 2, with the penalty being a 10 second delay before they start, Scooter responds by saying "Ten seconds. What is that going to do?" and continues express this view that it is a weak handicap. In the following temple mission, while Blue nearly wins the challenge despite the handicap, at one point being neck to neck with Brown, the latter still wins.
  • Vacation Episode: One of the specials for Hawaii showed the winning team on their grand prize trip to the Galápagos Islands.
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