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Series / Guy's Grocery Games

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Guy's Grocery Games is a Food Network series that debuted in 2013, and is created and hosted by Guy Fieri.

Like Chopped and Cutthroat Kitchen, it involves four contestants preparing dishes for a three-judge panel during three rounds, with one contestant eliminated after each round. This time, however, the chefs have to gather their ingredients from the aisles of the fictional Flavortown Market, and Guy assigns a dish type and one or more challenges (i.e., requiring chefs to use only frozen items or stay under a certain price or weight limit). The winner plays a bonus round for a maximum of $20,000 cash.


Tropes for this series:

  • Acting for Two: Played for laughs in one episode where Guy surprised the judges by having them cook in the final round. When Guy "introduces" the judges, it is him in all three seats.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Guy likes to refer to frequent judge Alex Guarnaschelli, who has competed in and judged various American incarnations of Iron Chef, as "ICAG."
    • Guy has dubbed chef Brian Malarkey "Shenanigans".
    • Antonia Lofaso is known as "Warrior Princess" by Guy.
  • Alliterative Title: Guy's Grocery Games.
  • Bonus Round: "Guy's Shopping Spree" for the winner, giving them a chance to win up to $20,000 in two minutes.
    • First format: Get 10 specified items, one from every aisle, for $2,000 each.
    • Second format: Answer five questions with the names of different items, then find them in the market for $4,000 each.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: In, “The Ol’ Switcheroo”, manly-man cowboy Lenny says that grilling a steak well done “makes the carcinogens come out”. Carcinogens are cancer-causing compounds. Richard just repeats the word flatly.
  • Crossover: There have been tournaments and special episodes serving as crossovers with other Food Network shows, such as Diners, Drive-ins and Dives (all of the contestants are chefs that had been featured on said show), Restaurant: Impossible (the winner must battle Robert Irvine), etc.
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  • Deaf Composer: One chef in Season 10 was born without a sense of taste, so he learned to rely on his other senses as he grew up and started cooking.
  • Delayed Reaction: See Running Gag below.
  • Do Not Try This at Home: Invoked by Guy for the "Shop Lift" challenge (chefs must "steal" all the ingredients for their dishes from the market shelves without being caught). If this challenge comes up in an episode, expect Guy to note that as owner of Flavortown Market he is allowed to give the chefs permission to shoplift, but under all other circumstances people should pay for their items.
  • Down to the Last Play: One chef found the first four items in Guy's Shopping Spree and had only a few seconds left to grab the fifth one, ice. The chef yanked open the freezer case full of bagged ice, found a single loose cube lying at the bottom, and threw it into the cart a split-second before the clock hit zero to take home the full $20,000.
  • Failed a Spot Check: One challenge for the March 31, 2021 episode called for the chefs to pick ingredients from two totes, each of which contained seven items. Two of the chefs assumed the insulated bag with the steak and shrimp was simply an ice pack. (To be fair, this was season 25 and the Home Game boxes did have ice packs, but those chefs also didn't notice they were short two promised ingredients.)
  • Game Show Host: Guy Fieri, of course.
  • Grocery Store Episode: More like Grocery Store Game Show.
  • Home Game: The 25th season takes places in Guy's home and the homes of his fellow chefs. Instead of shopping the store the competing chefs have boxes delivered to their houses and they must create their dishes from the ingredients found inside. This being Guy's Grocery Games, there is always a twist of some kind (for example, all of the ingredients come frozen). The competing chefs must also taste their own dishes and describe the taste to the judges, who are also watching from home.
    • The latter half of season 25 has Guy watching and cooking along with old episodes of GGG - with son Hunter picking the episodes, so Guy doesn't know what's coming. Guy is also subjected to the same games that he subjects the chefs to, albeit within the constraints of his own home kitchen. A judge, usually one of Guy's fellow chefs, stops by to judge Guy's dish and compare it to the dishes created in the episode.
  • Hurricane of Puns: In the cheese-themed episodes and egg-themed episodes, Guy has actually encouraged the contestants and judges to make as many puns as they can with a running tally on the bottom of the screen when one is made.
  • New Rules as the Plot Demands: On occasion, after the judges finish deliberating, Guy announces that none of the chefs will be eliminated in the current round. It usually happens if the judges can't pick a clear loser among the dishes put before them, or if all the chefs completely screwed up. This is followed by an announcement that two chefs will be knocked out in the next round to compensate.
    • Sometimes Guy skips the bonus round and just gives the whole $20,000 to the winner.
    • A 2018 "Sandwich Showdown" episode ended with the judges choosing two winners in the final round. They ran Guy's Shopping Spree together and split the money.
  • Non Standard Game Over: In one episode of the GGG Impossible tournament, one chef runs out of time and fails to complete two of the three challenge requirements for the round. The judges refuse to taste his dish and he gets eliminated.
  • Reality Show Genre Blindness: See Running Gag below. One would think people would eventually wise up to this - but several repeat contestants still wait for him to actually break his banter and say "Go!"
    • Subverted in one episode with child contestants, who literally went the second he said "go" while he was still talking. Guy was of course shocked.
    • Lampshaded in one episode, where a Genre Savvy contestant mistakenly started to run when he said "one." He scolded her fondly, adding that "If I'd said go, it'd be different!" Of course all four contestants took off immediately.
  • Running Gag: Guy likes to sneak his "3, 2, 1, Go" countdown into his banter at the beginning of each round, often resulting in a delay of several seconds as one or more chefs figure out that he's given them the signal to start.
  • Secret Test of Character: Guy Fieri pulled one in a charity episode in which all of the competitors were firefighters. During the first round, one of the contestants (the only woman) cut herself and was bleeding, which rendered her food ineligible for tasting. Guy then asked the other three contestants if she should be eliminated as normal, or if they were willing to go on to the next round with all four competitors. The response was that firefighters stick together and she should remain. Guy then admitted that he was going to let her stay anyway, but he wanted to see if they would respond the way he thought they would - which they did.
  • Troll: Half the appeal is watching Guy's good-natured taunting of the contestants or games like the claw machine where the contestants get a "prize" they have to incorporate into the meal. It's often labeled something easy to work with like "rice," but when Guy reveals the full label, it's more like "rice pudding."
    • Guy takes this Up to Eleven in season 25 with the "Package of Pain", requiring the chef with the lowest score from Round 1 to do or wear something while cooking in Round 2, like carrying a raw egg in their pocket for the entire round without breaking it or wearing welder's goggles and gloves.

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