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Series / Family Feud

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The current logo, used since 2007.
"When watching Family Feud, it’s a safe bet that you can guess the number one answer with 33% accuracy before you even hear the question. If it’s not breasts, it’s penis or testicles. Of course, you’re not supposed to think of those naughty answers, wink wink, given innocuous questions like, 'Name a reason a man may have trouble paying attention when talking to a woman' or 'Name a famous one-eyed monster.'"

"On your marks... let's start... the FAMILY FEUD!"

Family Feud is a Game Show from Mark Goodson Productions in which two families compete to guess the most popular answers to survey questions. Richard Dawson was the original host when the show debuted on ABC with Paul Alter as director of the show. The original version began in 1976, with a concurrent syndication run starting up a year later; both ended in 1985 within a month of each other.

Gene Wood was the show's announcer from 1976-85, and 1988-95, reading the consolation prizes before he was Demoted to Extra as the show discarded the consolation prize card and announcer format in favor of pre-taped ads for the 1994-95 season.

Ray Combs was the host of the first Family Feud revival on CBS and in syndication starting in 1988. The CBS show was renamed Family Feud Challenge in 1992, with the syndicated version being renamed New Family Feud later that year. While a ratings success, Combs never quite caught on with fans and critics like Dawson did, so when ratings dipped (and the show started bringing on B/C-List celebrities and professional wrestlers as contestants as a gimmick) Combs was fired and Dawson came back for one last season before the show was mercifully removed from the airwaves. It was revived again in 1999, and has had four hosts so far: Louie Anderson, Richard Karn, John O'Hurley and current host Steve Harvey. This version has managed to outlast the original.

Served as the finale to Game$how Marathon, hosted by Ricki Lake, in 2006. Interestingly, though the series aired on CBS (where Ray Combs' version had aired), the focus was instead on the 1976-85 versions hosted by Richard Dawson. A replica of that era's set was built, with the survey board accidentally being built upside-down.

There was also a very short-lived Celebrity Family Feud hosted by Al Roker during 2008, but started off on a farcical note with an bleeped-out answer that became a precursor to the Steve Harvey era's raunchy contestant responses, and another one of the matches, involving the cast of My Name Is Earl, was very clearly staged in character and loaded with in-joke idiocy — unsurprisingly, that version of the Feud sank like a stone. ABC aired a revival of the format for its summer 2015 line-up, this time with Steve Harvey on board, which more or less guaranteed much better ratings this time around; it returned for the summer of 2016 as part of ABC's new "Sunday Fun & Games" block, alongside New York-based reboots of The $100,000 Pyramid (with Michael Strahan) and Match Game (with Alec Baldwin).

The show spawned a popular British version as well, renamed Family Fortunes. Hosted by Bob Monkhouse (1980-83), Max Bygraves (1983-85), Les Dennis (1987-2002), Andy Collins (2002), Vernon Kay (2006-2015) and Gino D'Acampo (2020-present). There has also been an Australian version, hosted by Tony Barber (1978-80), Daryl Somers (1980-1984), Sandy Scott (1984), Rob Brough (1990-1995), John Deeks (1996), Bert Newton (2006-2007), and Grant Denyer (2014-2018 as well as a COVID pandemic revival season in 2020), with Peter Helliar hosting the show's podcast revival in 2022. It also inspired a Mexican version named 100 mexicanos dijeron ("One Hundred Mexicans Said") that was hosted by Marco Antonio Regil (2001-2006) and Adrian Uribe in his "El Vitor" persona (2009), having a revival in 2017. Gerry Dee began hosting an English-language Canadian version in fall 2019.

There's a successful Russian version as well, called "Сто к одному" (literally "100 by 1"), first aired in 1995 and still being produced. The main difference is that teams don't have to be families, often they're made of friends, coworkers or there are two music bands competing. Another quirk is a round where the teams need to guess the least popular answer on the boardHow does it work?. Studio designs have been upgraded a few times, and the host (Alexander Gurevich) was at the helm since the beginning and up to February 2022. When the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, Gurevich left the show after nearly 28 years, stating that he feels wrong to entertain people during wartime. In October 2022, a new host was announced: Alexander Akopov, a successful television producer and lecturer.

Combs and Dawson died 16 years apart to the day: Combs in 1996 from suicide, and Dawson from esophageal cancer.

Not to be confused with Feuding Families, which is a trope about families... feuding, or feuding within families.

"Who will win their bankroll? Let's find out as we play the Feud!":

  • Actor Allusion: One Fast Money game ended with a question about what you put on a mousetrap; Jaleel White's answer was a chirpy "cheese!"
  • Ambiguous Syntax:
    • Can happen with the survey questions sometimes. One Harvey-era one went "your wife is an animal in bed, but the animal is what?" The answers were mostly what species of animal specifically, but then the one woman on the team just gave the answer "dead". It's up there as "Fish/A Dead One".
    • One infamous case involved the question "name a number that most men exaggerate." Without any more context, the two women just threw up random numbers like 100 and 69.
    • The official rules can sometimes fall under this. In this game they buzz in as per normal, and somehow get the same number of points, whereupon Steve points out that the one that buzzes in first gets priority in this case. The winner buzzes a second time.
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Ray Combs did one in response to a Fast Money answer. He asked "Name something people drink when they have a cold." and the contestant said "Vicks." as in Vicks VapoRub. Not something you'd want to try, because the label warns that it's not for internal use.
    Combs: ...and if anyone at home tries it, please call the number on the bottom of the jar.
  • The Announcer: Gene Wood (1976-95), Burton Richardson (1999-2010), Joey Fatone (2010-2015), and Rubin Ervin (2015-present).
  • Anti-Frustration Features: During Fast Money, you are sometimes given an additional 1+ seconds after the buzzer to give your answer, especially if the host stumbles on asking one of the questions.
  • The Artifact: When the Bullseye round was introduced on Ray Combs' version, the three-panel score display above the survey board was expanded to four panels for use in an unsold pilot format. The score display still featured four panels for the rest of Combs' run and was even built into Dawson's 1994 set.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Interruption: In a Celebrity edition with Steve Harvey as the host, Snoop Dogg gives a particularly bad answer to a question ("Fill in the blank: Pie in the [what?]" "Horse."); Harvey had no idea what Snoop said, so when he reads back the answers, he says, "Fill in the blank: Pie in the what the hell did you say??"
  • Audience Surrogate:
    • Part of Harvey's appeal is that his calling out the contestants matches what the home viewers say whenever a stupid answer is given. Dawson and Combs did this at times when they hosted as well.
    • Grant Denyer takes a different path on this, usually acting out the weirder responses to questions, which matches the home viewers (and the audience's) take on that answer.
  • Audio Adaptation: The Australian version, last televised in 2020, was revived in 2022 as an audio podcast hosted by Peter Helliar, pitting two celebrity guests against each other to win a prize for a lucky listener.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: "Name a TV show you'd be embarrassed to see any of your family members on." The #4 answer (and the first guess) was Family Feud.
  • Black Comedy:
    • One Harvey-era question was "name a reason why you would not Suck Out the Poison for a friend", and one answer was "he wasn't much of a friend." It's on the board as "Want Him To Die".
    • One question was basically what you would do if you came across a supposedly dead body. The first answer from the African-American family is basically "Not a damn thing". Harvey immediately goes into a massive tirade about how much harder it is for African-Americans to be involved in crime-solving without being targeted themselves.
    • An unintended Call-Back across seasons - the question "name something you would want to be buried with" leads to the answer "pet", and much later, "name something that a dog would want to be buried with" leads to the answer "his master".
  • Blinking Lights of Victory:
    • The 1976-94 versions had the final score "flow" into the winning family's bank at the end of each round, via the top half of the lights on the oval survey board cascading from the top score panel down to the family's score panel. When a family won the game, both the top and bottom halves would cascade simultaneously (upwards from the center in the case of the bottom half), and the lights around the family's nameplate would blink for several minutes.
    • The 1994-95 version had a light flash rapidly behind the winning family's nameplate when they won the game.
    • In the Steve Harvey-hosted version, when a family wins a round, the lights on their side quickly shifts and flashes rainbow colors. When a family wins the Fast Money round, the entire studio does likewise.
  • Bonus Round: Fast Money, present in all versions. Two contestants from the winning family are brought out and, one at a time, asked five survey questions, with their totals added up for their answers (answers cannot be repeated; if the second contestant gives a duplicate answer, he or she is asked to give another). If the total is at least 200, the family wins a cash jackpot, and if below the family receives $5 a point ($10 in the Australian version). Over time, the only changes have been in the time limit and amount of cash offered for a win (yes, even after all these years, losses are still $5 a point).
  • Bonus Space: A variant. From 1983-85, wooden "trees" with Tootsie Roll Pops were placed at the end of each family's table. When the fifth contestant on each team was introduced, they would draw a lollipop from the "tree". If it had a black stem, that family received a $100 bonus (counted toward their final winnings, not their in-game score). This gimmick evolved from Dawson's love of lollipops, which he would often give to winning teams, and a lollipop tree that one family gave him as a gift.
    • On occasion, a losing (presumably non-champion) family would get Dawson to search their tree for five black lollipops, presumably to give them $500.
  • Bowdlerize: Prior to the Harvey era, some answers would be toned down on the board. For instance, any time a contestant responded "butt" in fast money, it would be displayed on the board as "bottom" instead.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick:
    • During the Combs era, families were not allowed to confer for the steal; instead, Combs polled each family member for suggestions. This often resulted in moments like this:
      Combs: Name something men wear to bed, Margret?
      Margret: Night cap.
      Jeff: Sweatsuit.
      Nathan: Night cap.
      Elizabeth: Condom.
    • This could also be inverted. One question asked to 100 women was "Name something women borrow from each other." The first suggestion Combs got was "One another's husbands."
  • Bring My Brown Pants: "Steve Harvey says, 'My Aunt Agnes is so mean, when kids see her coming, they' what?" The #4 answer was "Pee/Poo selves", answered by two people.
  • The Bus Came Back: Louie Anderson appeared with his family on a 2017 Celebrity episode, and Steve brought up Louie's hosting tenure.
  • Butt-Monkey: The producers have started putting up select clips (some of which don't make it on the broadcast version) on YouTube, and it seems that their preference for clips during the Steve Harvey era are clips in which Steve looks like he's in incredible pain or otherwise incapacitated from the answer.
  • Call-Back: After a contestant gives a crude answer, Steve will sometimes react by mentioning how the show wasn't like this when Richard Dawson hosted it.
  • Calling Me a Logarithm: On one Steve Harvey episode, the question was "Name a famous 'Arnold': " One of the contestants buzzed in and gave the answer 'Arnold Schwarzenegger'. Steve had a stunned "Say what?" look on his face, at first mistakenly thinking the contestant had said the 'N-word', and a moment later, he regained his composure and said "Oh, you meant him."
  • Calvinball: Celebrity episodes under Steve Harvey have been showing shades of this.
    • The 2020 season had some regular games stretched to fill the hour-long time slot as opposed to two games on one episode. In the following season, hour-long games had a second Triple round in place of Sudden Death.
    • The 2023 holiday special had special rule changes that were underexplained, as if they were made on the fly.
      • The game was played to 500 points, though Harvey didn't mention this until after the second round was complete.
      • A third Single round question was added. The points being totaled in single values would've thrown off those accustomed to the third round being played for double the points.
      • Sudden Death was played for quadruple the points, something that had never been done before. As it happened, Billy Porter—whose team had fewer than 200 points after the Triple round—won the game for his family this way.
      • Before the second player went in Fast Money, Harvey announced that obtaining 200 points was worth $50,000 for Billy Porter's charity and that Rosie O'Donnell's would still be given $25,000.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "The first family/team to reach 300 dollars/points will go on to play Fast Money for a chance at $[X],000."
    • "(Our) survey said!" and "Let's play the Feud!", present in all versions.
    • Ray Combs had his own spin on the phrase with "What did our survey say?", sometimes substituting "the" for "our" and "(random verb)" for "say".
    • "YOU got the cash!" - Ray after a Fast Money win.
    • "The big board got 'em." - Ray after a Fast Money loss; if it was a particularly low-scoring round, he'd say "The big board didn't beat 'em, they beat themselves."
    • If a family was doing exceptionally poorly in Fast Money, Ray would often tell the second contestant, "You may be writing ''us'' a check."
    • If a family struck out with very little money (usually less than $10) in their bank during a main game round, before going to the opposing family for their chance to steal, Ray would tell the audience "Someone is going to get the $X that neither family deserves!"
    • "At least two people would have to say that". What Richard would say everytime a contestant gave an answer during the Fast Money Round that resulted in no points.
    • "Don't get testy with me!" Sometimes, Richard would get into a dispute with producers on rulings and other things.
    • "And we'll never see *other contestant's name* again". What Richard would say if a player was about to win 200 points in Fast Money by him/herself.
    • "Good answer!", used even on obviously bad answers. Mostly used to either make the contestant feel better after their goof up or if the family really believes the answer was a good one. Lampshaded by Steve Harvey in one of the celebrity episodes he hosted, where he noticed a family wasn't doing this and told them that they should support their family members.
    • Louie Anderson tended to shout "Is it up there?!" for nearly every response.
    • Richard Karn became known for this after his first year; particularly, "I'M DOUBLING/TRIPLING THE POINTS!!" and "The [name] family have drawn first blood!" after the first round.
    • Sometimes when a contestant gave a particularly silly/stupid answer, Dawson would say "The dreaded (contestant's answer)".
    • "Welcome to Family Feud! I'm [your man,] Steve Harvey! We got a good one for you today..."
      • "We got a good one" comes up a lot in general.
    • Harvey usually prompts the next contestants to walk up to the buzzers at the start of each round with "Give me [name of next contestant from first family], give me [name of next contestant from second family]!"
    • "Welcome back to Family Feud/the Feud, everybody! The [winning family] won the game! And now it's time to play..." "FAST MONEY!"
    • If the first player did particularly poorly on their Fast Money turn, Steve will usually wind up his Rules Spiel with something like, "Let's remind everybody of [first player]'s answer..."
  • Celebrity Edition:
    • Each run has had various weeks where celebrities would compete against each other for charity.
    • The All-Star Family Feud Specials, which featured the casts of various (oftentimes classic) television shows playing against each other. The specials effectively served as a spin-off from Dawson's run on ABC.
    • The 2006 Game$how Marathon episode, as well as Celebrity Family Feud from 2015 onward, are technically subversions, since they've all consisted largely of just one celeb and their non-celebrity family members in each team. The original Celebrity Family Feud from 2008 also had this, but to a lesser extent (usually having the casts of television shows competing like the All-Star Specials).
  • Celebrity Impersonator: They've had a few "Hollywood Lookalikes" specials, which feature teams of just that.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:invoked On the Dawson version, the contestant who gave the higher answer at the podium could choose to have his or her family play the question, or pass it to the opposing family; passes were extremely rare. The Combs/Dawson '94 versions did not have the play/pass option, but it returned with the Anderson version. (In Steve Harvey's tenure, it's so complacent that oftentimes the podium contestant forgets to say whether they'd pass or play, resulting in an amused Steve having to coax them back up to ask them.)
    • Oddly enough, subverted with the Denyer era of the Australian version, with many families utilising the pass/play option as a strategic move instead.
    • The Combs Version had one rare exception to this: since the "number two" and the "number one" answers both had the same point value (the "number one" answer was alphabetically first, which was why it was "number one") the team giving the number two answer got to play first, as their answer was first given.
  • Confetti Drop: Starting with the Combs version, balloons would generally be released upon tournament wins.
    • On the March 22, 2016 episode, to celebrate it being Steve Harvey's 1000th episode as host, Streamers and Confetti shoot out after the Fast Money win.
    • Some international versions play this trope straight after Fast Money jackpot wins, eg, the Filipino version.
  • Consolation Prize:
    • In addition to the aforementioned Bonus Round consolation of $5 per point, during the syndicated Dawson era (starting somewhere around 1978 and continuing to the end of the run), he would often give the losing family $250 as a consolation just for playing.
    • The lollipop tree prize, as noted above.
    • Pre-Bullseye Combs era episodes had a house minimum of $250 if a family failed to reach that amount.
    • Initially, main game values were in dollars, not points, so whatever the losing family had accumulated over the course of the game was theirs to keep. This was thrown out when the Bullseye round was introduced.
    • Beginning with Steve Harvey's sixth season, all participating families receive a $500 gift card for playing — an Enforced Plug for Green Dot pre-paid debit cards.
  • Continuity Nod: One early episode of the Combs era had Combs kissing a woman, and the woman remarked "You kiss better than Richard Dawson!".
  • Crossover:
    • Just about every late-1970s/early-1980s Top-20 ABC show made an appearance on primetime Feud specials during the Dawson era. The Price Is Right and CBS soap operas appeared for charity during the Combs run. Dawson '94 again featured soap operas, as well as American Gladiators. And, of course, Feud has been the setting of a number of sitcom game show episodes.
    • "Tonight Show Family Feud" is a recurring segment during the Harvey era, done on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Steve Higgins and their Special Guest on one family, versus Questlove, Tariq and James from The Roots.
  • Cultural Translation:
    • Most foreign adaptations got rid of the American version's "feuding hillbilly" aesthetic. The original Australian version and the French Canadian version were two notable exceptions.
    • The 2000 PC game was re-released in the United Kingdom as a Family Fortunes game, with Les Dennis replacing Louie Anderson as host.
  • Cut Short: The original ABC version was set to end on June 28, 1985, according to newspapers via Associated Press. However, for reasons that remain unclear to this very day, it instead ended two weeks earlier on June 14. In 2022, Bob Boden confirmed to Connor Higgins, who had done videos on the history of the show, that the final two ABC weeks never aired originally. Those remaining ten episodes would finally air on GSN roughly 15 years later.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Richard Dawson, Ray Combs and Steve Harvey have had their moments.
  • Demoted to Extra: The announcer's role has been gradually reduced with each passing version.
    • Gene Wood got hit hard with this for the 1994-95 season. The show switched to pre-filmed commercial spots, which reduced Wood's on-air announcing time to introducing the families and saying "This is Gene Wood speaking for Family Feud: A Mark Goodson television production." He still did the audience warm-ups prior to each taping, though.
    • When Burton Richardson signed on to announce starting in 1999, his opening spiel included introducing each family and naming the members one by one. Partway through the main game, Richardson would vamp for a pre-filmed closed captioning ad. The sign-off at the end was retired. Starting in 2003, Richardson only announced the family names when introducing them. Since Steve Harvey took over, the announcer's on-air role only includes introducing Harvey and the closed captioning vamp. These bits are pre-recorded, though Rubin Ervin (who succeeded Joey Fatone in 2015) still warms the audience up before each taping.
  • Double Standard: Questions based around negative gender stereotyping have grown in number since Steve Harvey started hosting, likely to accommodate his sense of humor. A question in a previous era may be reworded to enforce this.
  • Double the Dollars: Most of the scoring formats have used some form of this, in that the dollar amounts are doubled and then tripled as the game progresses.
  • Downer Ending:
    • Whenever a family scores 199 points in Fast Money. Even more of a downer if either contestant fails to provide an answer at any time. Or if a family otherwise does very well on the first half of Fast Money (170+ points) and depressingly enough choke it away on the second half, which is so notoriously (and, to the viewers, insultingly) common.
    • In a 1980 episode, Dawson got booed for not overturning the judge's decision in Fast Money. Dawson then assured the contestant that "you're the champs anyway, there's no way you can lose." They finished with 197 points.
    • Ray Combs' last episode (see Grand Finale below) and as a meta-example, for even more of a downer, where his life went from there...
  • Dude, Not Funny!: On a Combs episode where divorced couples played each other, Combs asked for a slang term for "wife". One ex-husband said "bitch" which the audience promptly booed. Combs gave a sarcastic "Good answer!"
  • Dutch Angle: Used to ridiculous extremes on the Karn era: the camera would tilt and spin going into and out of every commercial break. In later seasons, the spins were fast enough to give viewers whiplash.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: John O'Hurley participated in a Dawson-era soap opera special twenty-one years before he became the host.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • The three Pilots from May 1976 used a different set, different sound effects, different Strike graphics and Johnny Olson instead of Gene Wood. Further, all rounds were Single-value with first to $200 winning. Even more of a beta, Pilot #1 introduced the families as "In this corner!" instead of "Introducing...". And Richard would cue the bank being added with a separate "ting" sound for every question, rather than just the first two.
    • The 1992 pilots for Family Feud Challenge featured a radically-different (and much more complicated) format, including a much longer and more convoluted Bullseye round.
    • Dawson era:
      • The theme played in a slightly lower key originally, and Gene Wood used a more energetic delivery.
      • Originally, it took $200 or more to win the main game. There was also no Triple Round originally; just Singles and Doubles. In addition, many early games straddled, with at least one Fast Money being played on the next episode. Other episodes were replete with filler, such as an introduction of the next day's family.
      • Richard Dawson wasn't kissing women often originally.
      • The first five weeks (25 episodes) with Richard Dawson were taped at the former ABC Vine Street Theater on Hollywood/Vine; subsequent tapings were at ABC Television Center on Prospect/Talmadge. The best away to tell apart the two stage layouts, is to look for the audience. The ones with no audience on camera, and in a "Theater pit" are the former, and the ones with the audience on camera are the latter.
      • The very first episode (as well as during the Louie Anderson era of the current run) did not display the strike graphic, if the contestant failed to give an answer on the board during the Face Off; only the strike sound was left intact.
      • During early Fast Money rounds, the camera was static for the entire round, thus meaning that Dawson and their contestants had the back to the camera as the point values were added up (and that the entire board was seen throughout). By the end of 1976, they had begun to use cuts and superimpose the second contestant on the board during his or her turn, which is how the round is shot to this day.
      • The Dawson version was also the only version not to have a sound effect when the answers were revealed in Fast Money.
    • Later versions:
      • For his first two years on the program, Ray Combs didn't carry the handheld microphone he would use for most of the run. Early episodes also featured the family nameplates sliding away to reveal the families in the intro (much like the 1976-85 Dawson run), as well as a much louder and more jarring strike sound than most viewers would be used to later on (as well as different strike graphics). The structure during the Combs era was originally three single-value rounds, a double-value question and then triple until a family scored $300 (although a winner could still be decided as early as the end of the double round). On November 14, 1988, one of the single rounds was cut, and the format went unchanged until Bullseye was introduced.
      • For Anderson's first season, Burton Richardson made up punny rhymes on the families' names when introducing them.
      • Richard Karn's first season still had several elements of the Anderson era, including the "one strike in the Triple Round" rule and the "party" theme. His hosting style was also less reliant on shouting the same catch phrases.
      • Steve Harvey's first season had fewer moments of Harvey going off on tangents, and the few moments that did occur were more natural and off-the-cuff. There were also a lot fewer instances of bawdy PG-13 answers, and the few that were given were far less likely to appear on the board. Steve's first season was taped at Universal Studios Florida; his first two seasons were still produced in standard definition. In addition, Steve's first two seasons still used the O'Hurley-era Strike and $20,000 graphics.
  • Everyone Has Standards: During Steve Harvey's run of the show, he's noticeably uncomfortable about asking dirty questions to younger women. When he has to ask these questions, he'll say it quietly, have them read it out loud instead, or he'll ask someone else to read it for him. While he isn't above making dirty jokes and making raunchy comments, he also says he has 3 daughters and draws the line at dirty questions directed at younger women.
  • Feuding Families: Aside from the obvious, one week of episodes during the Dawson era pitted descendants of the Hatfields going against descendants of the McCoys, complete with shotguns, "Triple X" moonshine jugs and a descendant of the pig that started the original conflict awarded to the winning family.
  • Finding a Bra in Your Car: "Name something you find in Santa's sleigh if he's been naughty."
  • Foregone Conclusion: Humorously averted by Combs. A few times, the first contestant in Fast Money got 200 points on their own, so Ray would prank the second contestant by telling them that their teammate did poorly, then ask gag questions such as "Give me a number between 3 and 5" before announcing that they had won.
  • Foreign Remake: As above, Family Fortunes. In Latin America, it's "100 [nationality] Said"; Japan's version is called We Asked 100 People... (the Japanese don't usually change the titles of game shows they import, but their version doesn't use families as contestants). In parts of Europe it's "5 vs. 5". In France it's "Une famille en or" ("A golden family"), and in Poland, it's Familiada (a portmanteau of "familia" and "Olimpiada"). In Indonesia, the show is called "Famili 100".
  • From Bad to Worse: Dawson felt this way when he asked the Fast Money question "Name an animal with three letters in its name." The first contestant said "Frog" and the second said "Alligator".
  • Game Show Host: Richard Dawson (1976-85, 1994-95), Ray Combs (1988-94), Louie Anderson (1999-2002), Richard Karn (2002-2006), John O'Hurley (2006-2010), Al Roker (2008) and Steve Harvey (2010-present).
  • Game Show Winnings Cap:
    • On the original ABC version, families were retired upon reaching $25,000. This was changed to five wins on both Combs-hosted versions. The last year of the CBS version and the syndicated run from 1992-95 had no limit. The original syndicated version and Anderson's episodes threw out returning champions entirely, but the limit returned when Karn began hosting. Beginning in the 2009-10 season, families who win 5 games in a row also win a new car.
    • Unlike most other game shows, Family Feud allows contestants to return after ten years.note  Since the current version began, many families from the Dawson era came back to play again.
  • Golden Snitch:
    • The points in the final survey are so ridiculously overvalued, you wonder why they bother playing the first few rounds at all.
    • Even worse with the one-Strike rule from 1999-2003 where one family could sweep the first three rounds, then lose because of one bad answer in the Triple round.
    • The Sudden Death round from 2003 onward where the fate of the entire game rests on getting the number one answer. Many a family has snatched victory from the jaws of defeat this way, going from zero before the Triple Round to winning via getting the one Sudden Death answer.
  • Good with Numbers:
    • Karn sometimes subverted this for laughs if a contestant did poorly in Fast Money and was under 100 by the last question, by jokingly suggesting that they could still win if say, 104 people out of 100 gave the response.
    • In the Fast Money section, Steve Harvey always tells the number of points the second contestant needs to reach 200. (He did get it wrong once.)
  • Grand Finale:
    • The last ABC episode featured a long, impassioned speech from Dawson.
    • Ray Combs' last show (May 27, 1994) was less than grand, with the second Fast Money contestant scoring zero points. Ray not only ribbed the guy on it, but his response after the fourth zero showed that yes, he knew this was his last day.
      Ray: You know, I've done this show for six years and this could be the first time that I had a person that actually got no points and... I think it's a damn fine way to go out. Thought I was a loser 'til you walked up here; you made me feel like a man.
  • Guest Host: Sammy Davis, Jr. guest-hosted one question on the Dawson version.
  • Helium Speech: Ray Combs did this on the October 10, 1988 episode, which coincidentally also featured a clown in one of the families.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Contestants sometimes buzz in on the "face-off" before the host finishes the question in order to get first crack at an answer they think is up there. Of course, not having heard the entire question, such contestants may find themselves pretty red-faced at their answers.
    • An example from the Dawson era in 1977:
    Dawson: Name something made of leather- (Contestant buzzes in) Yes sir?
    Contestant: A purse.
    Dawson: You're gonna be slightly embarrassed when I finish this question. A purse? (Strike sound) Name something made of leather that a cowboy uses.
    • And one from the Harvey era:
    Harvey: Name something a woman does for her baby that—(buzz)
    Contestant: Change his diaper!
    Harvey: Change his diaper! (*buzz* Steve now has a big grin on his face) "Name something a woman does for her baby that she also does for her hubby."
    Harvey: Name something spring breakers do in Florida that—(buzz)
    Contestant: Drink!
    Harvey: Drink!
    CLANG! (#1 answer)
    Harvey: I didn't even flinish—I didn't even finish the question. (Beat) Name something spring breakers do in Florida that Grandpa might like to join in on.
  • Home Game:
    • Each incarnation has at least one to their credit, on multiple platforms. Ray Combs plugged the latest edition of the board game at the end of certain episodes, Louie Anderson plugged the Tiger handheld game on air, and Steve Harvey currently reminds viewers to "play 'Family Feud' on Facebook with your friends."
    • A downplayed version currently occurs on the Australian version, with the board game being given as a consolation prize and Grant usually just throwing in a one-liner about the game itself i.e. "Family Feud Board game, now available at Kmart/great Christmas present option".
  • Hotter and Sexier: A trend since the Ray Combs era shows more innuendo in the questions and answers. The Steve Harvey version plays this straight and turns it up to eleven. A big part of this seems to be that they stopped censoring the answers, therefore the dirty answers to otherwise innocuous questions are getting onto the show. This was likely enforced due to positive reception of Harvey's Wild Takes on earlier episodes, combined with attempts by the writers to pander to his style of humor.
  • I'm Going to Hell for This: Some of the more absurd answers (some of which are actually on the board!) tend to elicit this kind of response from Steve Harvey.
  • I'm Standing Right Here: One Celebrity Family Feud has the Vanderpump family bringing a Precious Puppy that's wearing clothes, because it's afflicted with alopecia, or unnatural hair loss. Steve immediately takes notice.
  • Inflation Negation:
    • The daytime show had a top prize of $5,000, while the syndicated show had a top prize of $10,000, from the show's beginning in 1976 to when the Bullseye round was introduced in 1992. The $10,000 prize returned for the current syndicated version in 1999 and lasted until 2001, when it was finally raised to $20,000. Cumulative inflation during those years was 188%, meaning the top prize had about a third of its former buying power before they upped the stakes.
    • Even today, $20,000 is actually a fairly cheap top prize for a game show. By the debut of the Harvey version, it had only about 11% more buying power than the daytime top prize had in the beginning. Although in theory, a family could play well, stay on for a week and win a car along with $100,000 if they took Fast Money every night, which lets Feud compare more favorably to most game shows, except for mega-money ones like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? — and even on those, contestants often walk away with one of the smaller prizes.
    • Fast Money losses are $5 a point to this day; this has remained unchanged since the very beginning.
  • Jerkass: Dawson could be downright mean both on- and off-set. He barred producer Howard Felsher from appearing on-camera; he would often insult particularly stupid contestants (although he usually did not mean to come off as mean); he would throw tantrums over something as simple a burnt-out light bulb; and his ego was uncontrollable. (As a prime example of his ego, he declined an interview with TV Guide for a game show article, saying he wouldn't be interviewed unless they put him, and only him, on the cover. Keep in mind that the article interviewed several other hosts, all of whom appeared on the cover together. All of the other hosts interviewed had rather unkind words to say about Dawson's mannerisms; Monty Hall in particular criticized Dawson's show-opening monologues.) By the time that Dawson was re-hired for the final season of the Feud revival in 1994, he had mellowed considerably.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: However, Dawson did have moments of sweetness, including a very heartfelt speech on the final episode. He also tried to put the contestant first whenever possible — debating with the judge to rule over "close" answers, allowing more time if they didn't hear the final question in Fast Money, rewarding contestants with lollipops, etc. His deriding of obviously bad answers were meant to be taken in jest. During the original syndicated series, Dawson gave losing families $250 in consolation just for playing (if they failed to reach that amount). Also, he stated in an interview that he always wanted to keep the game moving so that the home and studio audiences wouldn't lose interest, even if it meant pulling a The Show Must Go On. Finally, countless families gave him gifts over the years, so he couldn't have been that bad a guy.
  • Large Ham:
    • Richard Karn. He was fond of shouting "I'M DOUBLING/TRIPLING THE POINTS!" before the Double and Triple rounds, and "TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS!" (followed by studio applause) before the Fast Money.
    • Steve Harvey also qualifies as one, with his over-the-top reactions to bizarre responses, which sometimes turn into full-blown stand-up comedy. And if you think his reactions are over-the-top to the responses, wait until you see him if one of those responses is actually up there (which they usually are in some way). It does help that Harvey is known as one of the "Kings of Comedy".
    • Grant Denyer (the most recent televised host of the Australian version) also qualifies, as he tends to take some of the more weirder responses and act them out (such as "golf" given as an answer to a question about sport played in the snow), coupled with his general hammy nature.
  • Leave the Camera Running: A common trait in the Harvey era — stuff that would normally get edited out, such as discussing an answer with the judge, gets left in because of Harvey's reaction. Some of those that don't make it to air are available on their official YouTube channel.
  • Let's Just See What WOULD Have Happened:
    • Done on occasion, particularly if a family didn't do well in Fast Money, or if Fast Money was won (with a score of exactly or just over 200) at a point where the remaining answers would not have produced a win.
    • On at least one show (from 1978), where a team got only 63 points (and $315) in Fast Money, Dawson brought the answer list onstage and consulted with the family, saying in essence that if they had given the top answers, they would have scored much higher.
    • In several Combs-era shows, if the winning points came before the fifth question, and the last answers would have scored zero or not enough to reach 200 points, he would sometimes point this out.
  • Lovely Assistant: Some foreign versions feature models who act as cheerleaders and/or escort Fast Money contestants to the isolation booth.
  • Ludicrous Precision: Sometimes happens in fast money when the question asks for a number. Among the more extreme examples are 98.6 degrees for the ideal everyday temperature, or a price of $1.75 for a dozen roses. If a guess is too precise, it will generally get a zero.
  • Mathematician's Answer: Contestants sometimes give these when a question asks for a numerical answer. Among the most infamous are two instances where "Morning" was given for "Name a time that most people get up." On the Combs version, there was the question "What birthday do men dread the most?" Instead of giving a milestone such as fortieth or fiftieth, a contestant guessed "Their wife's" which got two points. A Harvey-era question asked "How old do you think Joan Rivers is?" with a contestant answering "Old."
  • Medal of Dishonor: Louie Anderson would present a "Dumb Answer of the Day" trophy whenever a contestant came up with an unfathomably bad guess, complete with a fanfare. On at least one occasion, the trophy was taken back because said answer was on the board.
  • Mood Whiplash: Richard Karn during the Triple round. First he'd shout "I'M TRIPLING THE POINTS!" to get the audience rolling and then shift gears to Serious Business by saying he'll only read the question once.
  • Mythology Gag: Many over the show's history, more often than not involving competing families who had been on the show in the past. Also former Feud hosts' names have often been used as answers to survey questions; asked at least once on the show was "Name a host of Family Feud."
    Contestant: My family was on this show once before, and I kissed the host. Have you ever kissed Richard Dawson?
    • One GSN ad featured a clip of a woman after being told that Combs doesn't kiss the female contestants 'like the other guy' saying "Oh, you're gonna kiss me, Honey!" and forcing a kiss on the bemused Combs.
  • N-Word Privileges: Subtly referenced in a Steve Harvey episode. The question was "Name a famous Arnold", and the first contestant buzzed in to say "Schwarzenegger". Steve sat there for a moment with a "WHAT did you just say?!" look on his face, before giving a start and saying "Oh, you meant him."
    • Similar to his reaction when he thought a contestant said "My black-ass parents".
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: On a New Family Feud episode, the Stovall family swept the Bullseye round to build up a $20,000 bank for the second and last time in the Combs era. Unfortunately, their opponents won the game.
  • Nepotism: Dawson's son worked on the show for a while. Goodson-Todman once gave him a Take That! by changing everyone's surname to Dawson in the credits, perhaps the first Credits Gag in game show history (it happened on Dawson’s birthday).
    • That culminated in a rather blatant example of egotism:
      Dawson: Name a man in show business who also has a son in show business.
      Contestant (after ringing in): Richard Dawson.
      Dawson: (turns to board) Me!
      (buzzer sounds)
      Dawson: Where did you take this survey?!
  • No Indoor Voice: Karn, as noted above. Same with Burton Richardson. This may also apply to Steve Harvey whenever a contestant gives a particularly bad answer.
  • Nobody Poops: Magnificently and hilariously averted here.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: The first Triple format on the current syndicated version. The game could be over before the other team had a chance to steal due to the bank not having enough points for the initial team to win.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: During the 2020 season of Celebrity, certain episodes had one game stretched into a full hour, rather than the normal two games per hour format. When those episodes happened in the 2021 season, any instances of neither team reaching 300 points after one Triple question had a second Triple question following it instead of a Sudden Death question.
  • One-Steve Limit: Obviously averted with the many families that appear on the shownote , but also averted with the hosts. There's Richard Dawson and Richard Karn.
  • Only Sane Man: The hosts seem to be the only people who truly comprehend the sheer mind-numbing stupidity of some of the answers. Steve Harvey in particular lampshades the insanity of the various players quite often. Grant (Australian host) also lampshades this, albeit gently and done in a way that even the contestant who goofed up can see the funny side.
  • Once an Episode: During the original series, Dawson kissed nearly every single female contestant. Including Gretchen Johnson, who later became his wife. The kissing wasn't there when Richard returned in 1994, because Dawson pledged to his daughter Shannon that he wouldn't kiss "anyone but mommy".
  • Opening Narration:
    • "It's time for the Family Feud!* Introducing* the [name] family: [name], [name], [name], [name], and [name], ready for action! And* the [name] family: [name], [name], [name], [name], and [name]. On your marks... let's start... the Family Feud!* With* the star of Family Feud, Richard Dawson!" The first part was abbreviated to "Introducing the [name] family, ready for action! And the [name] family!" near the end of Dawson's run. Rinse and repeat for the Combs version, with any changes marked with asterisks above, then reverted with the 1994-95 Dawson run.
    • The introduction of the Bullseye round saw Gene Wood asking a survey question at the top of the show, then depending on what version you were watching either he would give the #1 answer himself or Combs would come onstage and do so after he was introduced.
    • With the 1999 Retool: "You're about to see these two teams battle it out, for a chance to win $10,000/$20,000 in cash! 'Cause it's time to play... the Family Feud!" For the first season only, this was preceded by an introduction of both families, their hometowns, and a rhyming pun on their last name.
  • Overly Generous Time Limit: Inverted with Fast Money before 1994. The first contestant would have only fifteen seconds to answer the questions, with the time usually running out as the host read the last question. An Obvious Rule Patch that added five more seconds was inevitable.
  • Player Nudge: Every host does this with a prompt of "Three seconds..." if a player is slow to give an answer.
  • Promotional Consideration: Early in the Steve Harvey era, prior to Fast Money, the winning family would receive a good luck message from another family member in what was called a “Family Moment” sponsored by Comfort Inn.
  • Ratings Stunt: The Bullseye round was created in an attempt to boost the show's ratings, which were at an all-time low. When that didn't work, Combs was fired and Dawson was rehired in an unsuccessful last-ditch effort to avoid cancellation. Years later, when ratings plummeted during the O'Hurley era, the Bullseye round returned.
  • Rearrange the Song: "The Feud", by Walt Levinsky of Score Productions, is a remix of a music cue from The Price Is Right with a banjo line added. The Combs version remixed the theme in stereo, removed the introductory banjo and added a synth drum line. Upon Dawson's return in 1994, the show used a jazz re-orchestration of the theme by Edd Kalehoff. Louie's version used a generic "party" theme by John Lewis Parker, which began with a slow, ominous interpolation of the classic theme. Both Karn's and O'Hurley's runs alternated between two different remixes of the "party" theme and an edit of the Combs theme. Once Harvey took over, the Combs theme became official again, though Parker is still listed in the credits.
  • Recycled Sound Track:
    • The last bar of the Dawson-era theme was used as a victory cue on the short-lived game show Trivia Trap.
    • The last few bars of the Dawson-era theme have been used as the introductory cue to Grand Game on The Price Is Right since its introduction (save for a brief spot in the early-'90s when the Combs-era theme was used instead). At least two different arrangements of the 1994-95 season's opening theme were used as Showcase cues on Price until around the time Drew Carey took over.
    • The Australian version used a remix of the theme from the American game show Second Chance, which itself was recycled from the 1976 revival of I've Got a Secret.
    • The prelude theme, as heard during a 1991 Bikini Special week on Combs' Syndicated edition, was recycled from two unsold Mark Goodson pilots in TKO (1989) and Body Talk (1990). It would become better known as the Illinois Instant Riches (1994-1998) theme.
    • A cue from the unsold Rock Feud pilot was used as Fast Money Think Music in the Karn run.
  • Retool: When the show was revived into its current run in 1999, producers did away with everything familiar about the show except the gameplay — the "Whitman's Sampler" set, the theme song, and even the logo was thrown out in favor of a new, "hipper" one. (Fast-forward a decade and you'll find that many of these elements have {in some form or another} returned.)
  • Retired Game Show Element:
    • The second run (1988-1995) eliminated the pass/play option and immediately gave control to the family who scored the higher answer during the Face-Off.
    • During the last seasons of the Combs era and the 1994-95 Dawson era, the game began with a "Bullseye"note  round to determine how much the families would play for if they reached Fast Money. This round was removed when the Anderson version started, revived for O'Hurley's final season, then removed again when Steve Harvey took over. The Bullseye round was known to have been used on the Australian,note  Indonesian, Italian, and Portuguese versions.
    • Until the introduction of the Bullseye Round, the values in the main game were in dollars. Since 1992, families have played for points. Even after this round was discarded in 1999, the values have remained in points.
    • If a family has a successful steal, the value of the stolen answer is not added to the bank. This changed after Bullseye was added to the show; a family that came up with a stolen answer was awarded the points it was worth. The current run retained this rule until Karn's second season reintroduced the play-to-300-points format.
  • Retraux: The Dawson-era set was intentionally designed with an old-fashioned, "homey" atmosphere in mind with its beige carpet, wood-grain podiums, and sampler-style name boards.
  • Rules Spiel:
    • With the exception of Steve Harvey, all hosts would open up each round with something along the lines of "100 people surveyed, top [X] answers on the board." before reading the question. Before the first round, the host would say, "Try to find the most popular answer." Harvey announces the number of answers on the board and only clarifies who was surveyed if it pertains to a specific group (married men, single women, etc.); it's possible he does the whole thing in-studio, just with bits and pieces edited out for broadcast.
    • Before the second contestant plays Fast Money, the host says "I'm gonna ask you the same five questions. Try not to duplicate your partner's answers. If you do, you'll hear this sound (buzz-buzz). I'll say, 'Try again' and you have to give me another answer. It's tougher so we'll give you 25 seconds. Ready? Please remind everyone of the answers [first player] gave us... 25 seconds on the clock... clock will start after I read the first question. Good luck." On the current Australian version, the spiel is trimmed down a bit.
      • While the rules were Fast Money were briefly explained early on in Dawson's and Combs' runs, the current version has had a full-blown one since it started airing in 1999: "We've got [partner's name] offstage where s/he can't see or hear your answers. I'll ask you five questions in 20 seconds, try to give me the most popular answer. If you can't think of something to say, say 'pass'; if time permits, we'll come back to it. Now if you and [partner] together get 200 points, you will win... (contestant shouts out top prize)!" This has started appearing less frequently in the Harvey version, most likely for the editing reasons above.
    • Since 2003 before Sudden Death: "Nobody's reached 300 points so now we're going to play sudden death!" "For this question, we're looking for the top answer only. Whoever gets this answer wins the game."
    • Toward the end of the final round, Harvey usually sums up the situation to the current family: "Gotta be careful, you've got two strikes. If it's there, [you're still alive|you clear the board and win the game]; if it's not there, [other family] can steal and [win|play for sudden death]." If the team strikes out, he gives a similar summary to the other team: "There's [X] answers on the board. If it's there, your family steals, your family [wins the game|plays for sudden death]. If it's not there, [other family] [wins the game|plays for sudden death]." On the rare occasion that neither team can score enough points to win and thus the Sudden Death round is inevitable, he'll make some snarky comment instead.
  • Running Gag:
    • Dawson kissing all the women as mentioned above, a hot-button issue at the time (old-timer Dawson scrapped this for his 1994 return, at his daughter's request).
    • Whenever a contestant admitted they couldn't think of an answer, Dawson would request a short buzzer.
    • Ray Combs, having been a stand-up comedian for a living, had several:
      • Combs constantly tried on female contestants' high-heel shoes after doing it as a joke on one episode.
      • During Fast Money, if the first contestant scored 200 points by themself, Combs would bring out the second contestant, fool them into thinking that their partner had only gotten 18 points, and then ask gag questions such as "Name a number between three and five" before showing the scoreboard.
      • Sometimes when a contestant gave an obviously bad answer, Combs would say things like "that's a good answer, I'm sure it's going to be up there" before mouthing "no way" to the camera. At least once, the answer was on the board.
      • If a contestant gave a particularly horrendous answer while his/her family had already had two strikes, Combs would sometimes walk over to the other, possibly-stealing family before asking whether or not it was up there. Steve Harvey often does something similar on the current version.
    • The "Dumb Answer of the Day" trophy on the Anderson version.
    • Richard Karn's hammed-up "I'M DOUBLING/TRIPLING THE POINTS!" became this during the latter half of his tenure.
    • Steve Harvey frequently fixes the neckties of male contestants, so that they have a proper wrinkle in the knot.
      • And pretty much all of Steve's more extreme reactions to the ridiculous answers, from Stunned Silence to junking the cards and walking off. It's like the producers budgeted for an extra camera just to capture them.
    • Many, many contestants on the current Australian incarnation of Family Feud will joke about how they tower over the host (Grant is 5'4", the average contestant is around 5'6")
  • Running Gagged: In the Fast Money round during John O'Hurley's first season, while explaining to the second contestant that they cannot repeat any of the first contestant's answers or else they will "hear this sound", he would often jolt in faked surprise upon the "buzz buzz" sound being played. Fans got very tired of this near said first season's end, and O'Hurley must have listened, as he finally stopped when his second season rolled around.
  • Russian Reversal: A couple from the Ray Combs era:
    "The Big Board didn't beat them, they beat themselves." [after the winning family finished Fast Money with a low score]
    "You may be writing ''us' a check." [if the second Fast Money player had quite a number of answers with zero or very few points]
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: In the "September" episode, Dawson was so consumed with laughter going through the motions that he yelled "Aw, to hell with that!" when the time's up buzzer sounded for the second contestant.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Ray Combs at the end of his final episode in 1994.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • A constant part of Ray Combs' hosting style, as he usually made fun of his own jokes and his height.
    • One episode from the Harvey era had the question: Name a television show you'd be embarrassed to see a member of your family on. One of the contestants answered Family Feud. The best part? It was up there.
  • Shaped Like Itself: Many answers on both survey and from contestants fall into this. For example, on one Steve Harvey episode, a question was "Name something that's greasy". "Grease" was on the board and got eight points.note 
  • Shout-Out:
    • After both families failed to reveal all the answers on the question "Name a phrase with the word 'home' in it", Karn turned to the audience and shouted, "I know! What about Home Improvement?!"
    • And another episode (with Karn on it) had him using his character Al's Catchphrase from Home Improvement.
    • Ray Combs often compared himself to Barney Rubble. He even sometimes did the character's voice; admittedly, it wasn't half bad.
  • The Show Must Go On:
    • Dawson said in an interview that he absolutely hated stopdowns, and would demand that the staff work around anything that they possibly could so that the studio audience wouldn't lose interest. This led to such oddities as the Fast Money round being played on cue cards because the electronic board went on the fritz.
    • In another example, Dawson was wearing a brace since he had just injured his ribs. The brace started slipping, so he had contestant coordinator Caryn Lucas host a round while he went to adjust it.
    • On the Combs version, the same families competed for at least three days in a row, due to repeated issues with the audience shouting out answers and thus causing rounds to be discarded.
  • Shown Their Work: In one episode, Harvey called out a contestant who didn't know that piranhas live in freshwater.
  • Show the Folks at Home: During Richard Karn's latter three seasons, Karn was allowed to read the triple-valued question in its entirety once. In his last season, the question was shown to home viewers when it was a contestant's turn to guess.
  • Signing-Off Catchphrase:
    • Dawson usually said "Love ya, see ya here on the Feud" while showing the sign language for "I love you".
    • Combs would often say "Have a great day on CBS" at the end of his daytime episodes.
    • Anderson usually signed off with "Be good to your families, come back and see ours."
    • Harvey says "I'm Steve Harvey. We'll see you next time." and does a salute.
  • Sound Proof Booth: During Fast Money, the second contestant was originally placed in one while the first contestant gave his or her answers. Now, the second contestant is given sound-blocking headphones instead. The Australian version uses both the sound proof booth and the headphones, to also avoid contestants lipreading.
  • Spin-Off:
    • Family Feud itself is a spinoff of Match Game. Original host Richard Dawson was far and away the audience favorite on the latter series, and initial efforts to get contestants to choose any other panelist for the Celebrity Super-Match segment was just causing friction between Dawson and, well, everyone around him. Since Dawson was so popular, they decided to give him his own show, with the game that he was best known for spun into its own format.
    • Celebrity Family Feud, patterned after the 1976-85 version's frequent nighttime celebrity specials, aired in Summer 2008 with Al Roker as host. The first answer ever to be given in this series had to be censored (a testament to how Roker was as a host: he nicknamed the offending answer "Captain Winky"). This, coupled with the fact that the visiting cast of My Name Is Earl seemed to be intentionally-stupid with their answers and not care about the $50,000 jackpot, equaled a definite Cancellation.note  Steve Harvey would also host a series of primetime Celebrity episodes in 2015 that were better received, and in fact spawned a mini-comeback of primetime game shows for the summer of 2016.
  • Spoiler Opening: If Steve Harvey talks to one family and has the team members introduced one by one at the beginning of an episode, it's a good indicator that they won't win any faceoffs, and unless they successfully steal at least twice, probably won't win either, so this is included in the TV airing so viewers can at least meet the family.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: This is the bane of Steve Harvey's existence. Especially so after he rails against a really stupid answer a contestant gives and yells at the family for applauding it, only for said stupid answer to be on the board. He's been visibly stunned at times, and it's quite obvious this is the "gimmick" producers are going for.
    • For example, when the survey was "Name something that gets passed around". The guy immediately buzzes in with "a joint". What follows is possibly the most hilarious moment in the show's history. It must be seen to be believed.
      • The best part? The only answer worth less than that was "Hat/Collection Plate".
    • Some answers make him facepalm.
    • Fast Money often results in this, with two contestants initially guessing the same stupid (or at least unlikely) answer before the second thinks of something more obvious (or doesn't). Case in point:
      Grant Denyer: Name something you eat for breakfast that you might also have for dinner.
      Both contestants: Weet-Bix.
  • Syndication Title: When Nighttime Feud with Richard Dawson ended in 1985 (shortly before the daytime one) after 8 years, 260 (52 weeks) of its 976 episodes, were reassembled by Viacom (its original syndicator) into a new package called The Best of Family Feud. Before the Game Show Network reruns debuted in 1994, this was how viewers would catch reruns of anything Dawson Feud.
  • Take That!:
    • Those surveyed would occasionally make digs at particular people. One poll from 1988 asked to "Name a television evangelist who you think is trustworthy." 28 people responded with "None".
    • On a 1995 episode, Dawson asked for a career that makes getting to heaven a longshot. Three people responded to the survey with "TV evangelist".
    • Dawson made fun of Richard Nixon whenever he could. He also took frequent potshots at Card Sharks during that show's run.
    • On a Combs era episode, a Fast Money question asked for a male singer with a good voice. The first contestant, Kristen, answers Tony Orlando which gets a good deal of ribbing from her other family members and Combs. After the second contestant goes, he exclaims, "She said Tony Orlando!?" which gets even more laughter.
      Combs: That's what we said, man!
      Kristen: That's not fair.
      Combs: I thought he stood a good chance at being a street in New York before being a good singer!
    • One episode from circa 2020 had the question "When you were a child who did you think was the smartest person in the world?" One of the contestants answered "The President," prompting Harvey to quip as he read the answer out loud "the previous Presidents," which caused the audience to laugh and applaud an obvious dig at the intelligence of Donald Trump.
    • Asked to 100 married women: "Name something you still won't do in front of your husband." The #7 answer was "Sing/Hanson songs".
  • That Came Out Wrong: On an ABC Dawson episode, while Dawson was greeting a family, he came to a gentleman at the end of the row, greeted him, and asked him what he did for a living. The contestant's response? "Well... I'm in young girls' pants..." He continued to speak as the audience went into an uproar, clarifying that he was in a kids' clothing business.
  • Think of the Censors!: Steve Harvey says something to this effect when a contestant provides a family-unfriendly answer. Sometimes he even anticipates such answers.
  • This Is Gonna Suck:
  • Tiebreaker Round: When the show adopted the "one Strike in the triple round" format in 1999, a Sudden Death round was introduced in the event where both teams were tied after four rounds. It is played with Triple point values and a question for which the #1 answer is typically in the 70s or higher. Whoever is first to ring in with the right answer wins the game. Although Sudden Death never came into play during this era, it was retained after the return to Single-Single-Double-Triple, and it is played whenever neither team has reached 300 points after four rounds.
  • Time Keeps On Ticking: During Fast Money, except when the host loses it after a particularly ridiculous answer.
    • On one particular episode in the Steve Harvey era, Steve's reaction to a contestant's answer caused him to slowly get down on his knees and facepalm in utter disbelief. Against precedent, the timer continued to count down to zero as Steve tried to recover. Once he collected his bearings, he allowed the contestant to try again.
  • Toilet Humor: During one Fast Money, Combs asked for "Something that your dog does." The first contestant answered "Pee" which got two points and the second answered "Poops" which got three.
  • Two Decades Behind: By the final year of the Dawson era, the big board's answer-flipping mechanics and Ferranti-Packard Fast Money display paled in comparison to the computerized game boards used on Tic-Tac-Dough and the then-new Jeopardy!. A similar board was used for the Combs era with tightened mechanisms that made it run smoother and less clunky. When Dawson returned, the show did away with the flip-card board and used the Fast Money board for the entire game (a practice inherited from the British version), but the main camera angles of the board had a CGI version of the flip-cards overlaid on top of it in post-production. The current syndicated version went further and uses a video wall instead. Most foreign versions followed suit, but the Polish version, Familiada, still uses a flip-disc display for its board.
  • Unexpectedly Obscure Answer:
    • During a Pizza Hut-sponsored week of episodes in the Karn era, the question "On which day of the year are the most pizzas delivered?" had a couple of these from the people surveyed. #2 was "Good Friday" (?!?), #4 was "Christmas", #5 was "Halloween", and #6, "Memorial Day".
    • Some of the 2-point entries in questions that are almost certainly played to foil a clean sweep. For instance, "Name something you've never had, but you know you want" (to 100 men): "A guitar" and "truffles" were #6 and #7 out of 8.
    • In a 1982 episode, the Triple Round question was about days when kids get a lot of candy. The first three answers were holidays, but the #4 answer was "Saturday". After the round ended, Dawson determined that the question was unfair, since no one would have guessed a day of the week after the first three answers were revealed. He then allowed both families to play again on the next episode.
  • The Unreveal: There are occasions during Fast Money when the host forgets to tell the contestant and the viewers what the top answer was when neither contestant answered.
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: A practice that started in the Combs version and became more widespread by the Harvey era. Expect the opponents of a family with two strikes to make "X" symbols with their arms instead of thinking of a steal answer. By the Harvey version, the Throat-Slitting Gesture has become commonplace.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Seen regularly on the board since the beginning of the 2011-2012 season. To wit: We've seen "A 'man sausage'," "Man berries," "Guy's 'Soul Pole'," "Ankle Spanker", "Dairy Queens", "Burying the Cane", "My Willing Wiener", "The Notorious V.A.G.", "Riding the honey train", "Wonder down under" and "Meat missile" (all of which should be fairly self-explanatory), but the one that could possibly take the cake is "Blow the butt bugle" (or perhaps "A booty tooty", which no one on the stage could even figure out).
  • What the Hell, Player?:
    • If a contestant gives a very stupid answer, the hosts (even Karn on occasion!) have been known to either call them out for it, or give them a "prize". Before Steve Harvey took over, Richard Dawson was the undisputed king of this.
    • When Anderson hosted the show, if a contestant gave a very stupid answer, they would receive a Dunce Cap for the stupidest answer of the day.
    • Harvey will call the contestant(s) out if they give stupid answers. For example:
      Steve: Michael... in this bad economy, what might Santa have to do to one of his reindeer?
      Michael: Eat one.
      (audience laughs)
      Steve: ...
      (family applauds Michael)
      • Of course, the family gets the last laugh when it's on the board.
    • From the show's Hilarious Outtakes, apparently this question about James Bond isn't the first one that day they had to throw out due to two dreadful answers at the Face-Off:
      Steve: Go get yo' ass over there and you go get your ass over there. I'm gettin' sick of this now, damn it, hell.
      (minute-long "The Reason You Suck" Speech follows)
    • There are times when, due to grouping similar or synonymous answers together, a contestant will give a response that is already showing on the board. Oftentimes Steve Harvey will sarcastically ask them if they think it's up there, patiently waiting until the contestant realizes their mistake. See him in action here.
    • Grant Denyer will also call out contestants for giving stupid or just plain bizarre answers, but usually he will mime the answer first in relation to the question (for example, an answer given to the question "Name a sport you play in the snow" was "golf". Grant then mimed someone looking for their golf ball in the snow) or just plain laugh along with the audience.
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: Steve Harvey often calls out the survey writers whenever a raunchy question comes up, especially if it forces contestants to think dirty.
  • Younger and Hipper: The reason for the drastic set and theme song change when Dawson returned in 1994, as reasoned by Mark Goodson's son Jonathan, who had become CEO of Mark Goodson Productions upon his father's death in 1992. Notably, Jonathan Goodson did the same thing for 1994's The New Price Is Right for similar reasons. Also one of the reasons behind the 1999 Retool seen above.

"Love ya, see you here on the Feud, buh-bye."


Video Example(s):


Steve Harvey's YES!

Steve Harvey finally receives an answer that makes him excited.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (23 votes)

Example of:

Main / BigYes

Media sources: