Follow TV Tropes

Following

Series / Family Game Night

Go To

Family Game Show aired by The Hub which was supposed to be its flagship program note . In this show, families compete in adaptations of Hasbro board games (which makes sense, given who owns the channel) to try and earn a chance at cash and prizes.

Advertisement:

Games featured on the show include:

  • Guess Who?: The toss-up game, played much like the "Fame Game" questions from Sale of the Century. Todd gives clues as to the identity of a celebrity or fictional character, and the first team to buzz in with the correct answer wins the right to go first or second in the first game. Was demoted in Season 2.
  • Battleship
  • Bounce 'n' Boogie Boggle: Played on a grid styled much like a Big Boggle board, the teams must spell words by jumping from square to square. As with its source, words must be at least three letters long and all letters must connect in some direction.
  • Bop-It Boptagon: Played in a octagon with giant props, additionally having to cycle through the stations when prompted, eliminating people who make a misstep. Last person standing wins it for their family.
  • Advertisement:
  • Connect Four Basketball: ...With the "pieces" replaced by balls that are thrown into the chutes on top.
  • Cranium: On-the-buzzer puzzles themed around content from the game. Retired after Season 2.
  • Guesstures Free Fall: Essentially charades, but with the clue givers suspended over a "pit" and "dropped" if the guessing family member passes. The format plays somewhat like Pyramid in that the object is to get as many as possible in two minutes.
  • Operation Relay: Much like its source, the teams use tweezers to get as many pieces from Cavity Sam as possible within two minutes. Getting buzzed sends you to the back of the line, while getting a piece means you have to navigate a short obstacle course for the points.
    • Operation Sam Dunk: A skee-ball game with Sam's cavities as the holes, and a bell target for double points. Replaced "Relay" after Season 1.
  • Scrabble Flash: It's the crossword game you've played all your life...but never quite like that. Teams make words (3-5 letters) using five huge electronic letter tiles, with points awarded based on the length of each word.
  • Sorry! Sliders: Each team pushes its two giant-sized pawns into one of four rings for points (from outside to inside, Sorry!-1-3-5). Like shuffleboard, teams can hit their opponents' pawns to change the score.
      Advertisement:
    • Sorry!: Replaced "Sliders" after Season 2. One team member dresses in a pawn costume, while another pulls cards with numbers on them to advance around a board, earning whatever money they land on and a special prize for reaching the end. If they draw a Sorry! card, the pawn must go back to start, all money is lost, and pulling another Sorry! card ends the game.
  • Twister Lights Out: ...With the dots on a video board on the floor. The dots begin to disappear as play goes on, and last member standing wins the round. Combination of Twister and Lights Out, the latter an electronic game by Hasbro subsidiary Tiger Electronics.
  • Yahtzee Bowling: ...Because the "dice" are six-sided bowling pins. Each team has three chances to knock down the pins with a bowling ball and make the best hand (One Pair, Two Pairs, Three-of-a-Kind, Small Straight, Full House, Large Straight, Four-of-a-Kind and the titular Yahtzee). In season 3, it is now played solo, and the different hands now have prizes attached to them.

For Seasons 1-2, two families competed per episode, and "Crazy Cash Cards" were earned for each victory. At the end of the show, they were inserted into a Crazy Cash Machine to reveal their values and spit out a bunch of Monopoly money. While most were worth from $100 to $995 (in $5 increments), at least one was worth between $1,000 and $5,000. But one card out of those 21 was the Top Cash Card, which if inserted would break the Ba—er, award an amount from $7,500 to $25,000. Both teams kept all cash and prizes, but the team with more money got a bonus vacation.

Season 3 changed up the format: families (one or two, depending on the game) are now called from the audience Price Is Right-style to play one of four games per episode for prizes. Each of the participating families (or the winner in two-team games) then choose a card containing a combination, hopefully containing the one that opens the Community Chest and allow them to advance to a revised Crazy Cash game for a chance to win a car. The same setup carried into season 4, with a few new games added into the rotation(including the first mini-game based on Monopoly).

Season 5 debuted in August 2014, looking the same as before, but now celebrities joined in the fun for a few games. Two months after it debuted, The Hub became Discovery Family, with Family Game Night being the only Hub game show to carry over to Discovery Family's lineup. A sixth season never materialized, however, likely owing to Discovery Family's slow death (outside of MLP, of course).


Game Show Tropes in use:

  • All or Nothing: Averted, since everyone keeps any cash and prizes won.
  • Bonus Round: Seasons 1 and 2 had the above-described Crazy Cash Machine round, but Season 3 added a proper bonus round, the Monopoly Community Chest, making the Cash Machine into a Bonus-Bonus Round. For the Community Chest, each team that played recieved a card for their event with a color combination on it. If the como was right, the Chest would open, cash would be won and the team would have a chance to go onto the Crazy Cash Machine, which now has shades of a game from the current Let's Make a Deal. There are 16 Crazy Cash cards arranged in a 4x4 grid. The winning family picks a single card from each row to reveal cash, and hopefully avoid the increasing number of Go to Jail cards also hidden among them (they end the game, but allow the family to keep their prizes). If the family manages to pick the one "WIN" card in the final row (a 1 in 4 chance), they also win a new car.
  • Golden Snitch: Due to how the old bonus round was played, a team who loses all five games can still have the Top Cash Card from that 1/21 shot at the beginning of the game. As both families kept their cash and prizes, and "winning" only added an additional prize like a vacation, this point may have been moot.
  • Home Game:
    • The rounds are based off games you've played all your life, but never quite like this! note  Scrabble Flash and Sorry! Sliders were released some time before the show's debut, although they're quite normal-sized.
    • The show gets its name from a a promotional campaign Hasbro uses to market its board games, which also spawned a series of compilation video games of the same name.
      • The Family Game Night 4 game is actually based off the show itself.
  • Personnel:
    • The Announcer: Burton Richardson for Seasons 1-2. Stacey J. Aswad replaced him at the beginning of Season 3, Andrew Kishino (who had previously worked for The Hub as a voice actor for G.I. Joe: Renegades) took over for the final two seasons.
    • Game Show Host: Todd Newton, best known as the host of Whammy! and Hollywood Showdown on GSN. It gave him his first "Best Game Show Host" Emmy following Season 2.
  • Product Placement: It's essentially a 60-minute commercial for Hasbro board games.

This show provides examples of:

  • Celebrity Edition: The fifth season featured celebrities like Jon Heder playing alongside the families.
  • Colour Coded Multiplayer: The first two seasons had one red team and one yellow team, their shirts colored accordingly. In Season 3, the families in the audience wear matching colored shirts; they wear either red, blue, orange, green, or yellow.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: After all, where else could you hear "Pull it!" and "Whack it!" over and over (during the Bop-It round) on a family-oriented game show?
    • Oh, and Stacey Aswad.
    • Todd's "getting to know each other" remarks while playing "Twister: Lights Out".
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • While the original format gave the advantage of having more Crazy Cash Cards at the end of the show for each game you won, each card had a different, unknown amount of money attached to it. Moreover, each team got a card at the start of the game, meaning that a team could have fewer cards but still win if the values were large enough.
    • Yahtzee Bowling.
    • The re-designed Crazy Cash round for Season 3.
  • No Indoor Voice: Todd is like this sometimes (as he was on Whammy), though compared to many of the over-dramatic game show hosts that permeated the 2000s, he actually shows genuine enthusiasm and likability.
  • Scenery Porn: The set looked pretty cool, as did many of the props used in the games.
  • Spin-Off: Scrabble Flash was removed from the game rotation for Season 2, mainly because it got moved to Scrabble Showdown.
  • Spiritual Successor: To the 1964-65 Merrill Heatter–Bob Quigley children's game Shenanigans, hosted by Stubby Kaye and just as heavily sponsored by Milton Bradley. The presence of Operation may or may not be an intentional Call-Back, as it's the only game they share.
    • The idea of winning Crazy Cash Cards from various games and inserting them into the Crazy Cash Machine smacked quite a bit of the stunt-era endgame of Break the Bank (1985)- while the revised Crazy Cash Machine and the Community Chest took more after the Master Puzzle-era endgame instead.
    • The redesigned "Sorry!" game used from Season 3 onwards kinda seems like Card Sharks, in that you have to flip around giant game cards and hope it's a good one.

Top

Example of:

/
/

Feedback