Follow TV Tropes


Series / Friend or Foe?

Go To

"Trust me."
The only words in the title music.

GSN Game Show described by its host Kennedynote  as "the test of knowledge and trust". Three teams of two had to agree on a correct answer to a multiple-choice question to build up their Trust Fund. It was mostly seen as GSN's answer to The Weakest Link.

The game is set up in three rounds. After each round, the lowest scoring team's game ends, and they must go to the "Trust Box" to determine how the money was given to the two members. After each member has been given a few seconds to plead his case, they each secretly vote Friend or Foe:

  • Friend-Friend: Each member gets half of the Trust Fund.
  • Friend-Foe: Foe takes the entire Trust Fund, Friend leaves with nothing.
  • Foe-Foe: GSN doesn't have to write any checks.

Everyone "looking out for Number One" is a policy that hurts everyone; in order for at least one in a pair to get any cash, someone has to be at the other's mercy... but choosing "Friend" won't maximize a contestant's payout. Assuming a $1,000 Trust Fund, choosing "Friend" means you'll leave with $500 or nothing, while choosing "Foe" means you'll leave with $1,000 or nothing; choosing "Foe" is the best decision personally, but collectively it's the worst decision. This is based on a well-known example of Game Theory called the (iterated) Prisoner's Dilemma.

This show provides examples of:

  • All or Nothing: When someone says "Foe", this comes into effect for that person only.
  • Bonus Round: "Right or Wrong?", a chance for the last team standing to add to their Trust Fund before going to the Trust Box themselves. The team has 60 seconds to answer a maximum of 10 questions, each of which has two options. Each correct answer adds $500 to the trust fund, while each miss gives the team a strike. The round ends immediately on the third strike. Getting all 10 questions correctly doubles the entire trust fund.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: One player who got "Foed" took it rather hard and let loose with one during the credits.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Mark L. Walberg hosted the show during GSN's April Fool's 2003 host switcharound... which also happened to be the show's last first-run episode.
  • Deadpan Snarker: This is Kennedy we're talking about here, folks!
  • Doomed Protagonist: Regardless of the vote, one contestant won nothing if the teammate voted Foe.
  • Downer Ending: Whenever the last team of the day went Foe-Foe.
  • Epic Fail: If all three teams went Foe-Foe, it was a $0 giveaway day for GSN. Inverted if all three teams went Friend-Friend.note 
  • Obvious Rule Patch: In Season 1, each team got $200 from the outset. This rule was revoked in Season 2, so if a losing team ended up with $0, they would be given $200 to risk at the Trust Box.
  • Prisoner's Dilemma: The show revolves around this trope. After teams of players work together to answer questions to earn money for their trust fund, they go to the Trust Box to decide how to split the money. If both players choose "Friend," they split the money 50/50. If one chooses "Friend" but the other chooses "Foe," the Foe takes all the money while the Friend leaves with nothing. If both players choose "Foe," they both walk away with nothing.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: The same contestant responsible for the Cluster F-Bomb example had his profanity censored with the Strike buzzer from Family Feud. He also had a boxed "X" graphic covering his mouth.
  • Sound Proof Booth: Three of them, one for each team. All were wired so the teams could only hear Kennedy.
  • Unusual Euphemism: One promo had a pair of guys using "friend" and "foe" in place of F-bombs.
  • Unwinnable by Design: If one player voted Foe, the other always left empty-handed.