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Series / Uh Oh!

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Children's game show on YTV that lasted from 1997-2003. A spin-off from the mid-1990s sketch comedy series It's Alive!, Uh Oh! saw three contestant pairs compete in various stunts, games, and challenges (determined by the spin of a wheel) to earn points. In the show's eponymous "Uh Oh!" game, a wrong trivia answer would result in their partner getting slimed (an almost certainty on each episode), where a right answer earned the team 50 or 75 points. The first round and third round followed this format, while the second round saw contestants trying to predict the winners of an off-site obstacle course for 35 points, usually called the Slime Tour. Like fellow contemporary YTV game show Video And Arcade Top 10, Uh Oh! is a fond memory for many Canadian kids from the late 1990s and early 2000s, and reruns used to air on Discovery Kids (now the Canadian version of Nickelodeon) in the 2000s.

Game Show Tropes in use:

  • Audience Game: In the extremely rare event where no contestant was slimed by The Punisher after a missed Uh Oh! question during an entire episode, a studio audience member would get a similar question where they'd be slimed if they were incorrect. This only happened once, where the prize for a correct answer was a Rawlings basketball (which wasn't won.)
  • Bonus Space: Win & Spin, and if you weren't in first place, Trade & Spin. Averted if your bonus spin landed on Lose & Spin (or if you landed on Trade & Spin while in first place.)
  • Carried by the Host: When you think of Uh Oh!, Wink Yahoo has to come to mind, even if just for the cheese factor.
  • Covered in Gunge: A contestant's partner would have this happen if they got their Uh Oh! (Deluxe) question wrong, much to The Punisher's delight. Buckets of slime being poured on the contestants was a virtual guarantee. This was taken to the extreme in a 2000 episode where eight spins landed on the Uh Oh! space, six of which were all in the first round, setting an all-time show record.
    • Many of the Mayhem stunts would force one/both of the contestants to get dirty as well, and with just 20 seconds to work with in any of them, you had little room for finesse to avoid it.
  • Extra Turn: Win & Spin, Lose & Spin, and Trade & Spin on the Round 1 & 3 wheels, which would see the team in control winning 20 points, losing 20 points, or trading all of their points with another team. If you landed on two "... & Spin" spaces consecutively, your points would be altered again depending on what you landed on, but you wouldn't get a second extra spin.
  • Game Show Appearance: In a trope inversion, Uh Oh! was spun off from what was originally a scripted sketch on It's Alive!, which later morphed into a mini-game show, and then became it's own full fledged series.
    • A brief clip from Uh Oh!'s days as an It's Alive! segment was included in the long running Concerned Children's Advertisers PSA "Smart As You", as one of the programs shown on the talking TV in the spot ("I'm just a TV, I'm not even human!")
    • Uh Oh! cast members made at least one appearance at the final YTV Achievement Awards (or YAA!) in 2000, where Wink Yahoo showcased his beatboxing skills, and The Punisher met his match at the hands of kids armed with Silly String. Wink also hosted game show segments at YTV's live show Psyko Blast at Canada's Wonderland in Toronto.
  • Game Show Winnings Cap: Like most other children's game shows, each Uh Oh! episode featured three new teams with no returning champions.
  • Golden Snitch: Trade & Spin, where one lucky spin could see a distant third place team trade all of their points with the leaders without any display of skill.
  • Personnel
    • The Announcer: Mr. Voiceman (Dwayne Hill) and his uncredited season 4 replacement
    • Game Show Host: Wink Yahoo (Scott Yaphe), complete with cheesy 1970s game show host attire and mannerisms
    • Lovely Assistant: Every other on-screen personality could count, though all had an element of co-hosting in their segments (except maybe the Slime Tour/Field Games referees.) Mostly averted with The Punisher (who'd probably dump slime on you if you called him lovely), but he actually did some assisting on Mayhem stunts in the first season.
    • Studio Audience: The kids in the audience always shouted the show's name during Mr. Voiceman's opening spiel, and were dressed and seated by colour to root for specific teams. Audience members also recieved Hubba Bubba gum (and occasionally other small prizes) just for showing up. Some also became targets for The Punisher during his introduction.
  • Product Placement: The Slime Tour was sponsored by Sunny Delight from 2000-2001, and the show's last season (2002-2003) saw the "Pick It!" space on the wheels replaced by "Fruit Gushers", where the contestant had to bob for giant Fruit Gushers candy to earn points for their team. Contestant and audience prizes were also well advertised on air.
  • Retired Game Show Element: The show's first season featured Wink interviewing contestants before the third round (mainly concerning the game and it's progress), though this was dropped in 1998. Early episodes also saw contestants winning a Rawlings basketball if they landed on The Dump, regardless of it's or the game's outcome.
    • Uh Oh! Deluxe was a permanent wheel space in the third round from 1998-2001, where contestants had to identify a smell correctly to win 75 points. If they failed, their partner got slimed twice. It was replaced for the 2001-2002 season by Pick It!, where the contestant could choose that among the other wheel choices (aside from Win/Lose/Trade a Spin) for what challenge to do. Pick It! was itself retired for Uh Oh!'s final season to make way for the Fruit Gushers space.
  • Rules Spiel: On each episode, Wink introduced the first round by saying "Each spin of the wheel could alter your points, force you into messy activities, pose you some quick quizzes, or result in all sorts of unpleasant surprises: Mayhem, Uh Oh!, Speed Round, or The Dump." Other rules spiels related to individual games that the wheel landed on, but all had one.
  • Speed Round: Not only did Uh Oh! have one, it was called Speed Round too! If the wheel landed on it, "Quizmaster" Patricia Ribeiro would ask the contestant 10 rapid fire questions in 20 seconds, worth 5 points each. Though all fairly easy on their own, the speed factor increased the difficulty.
  • Whammy: Lose & Spin (if you had 20 points or less), and if third place was far behind first, them hitting Trade & Spin might as well be a Whammy for the leaders.

This version provides examples of:

  • The Artifact: The game show format aside, Wink Yahoo, Quizmaster Patricia, the Punisher character, and his original actor (Mike Beaver) were all holdovers from It's Alive!, as was the conceit of having on-air talent playing a character. The rest of the show's co-hosts were new hires as themselves, just with nicknames.
    • Patricia's roles on the show were themselves an artifact, as Wink Yahoo could have easily handled Speed Round & The Dump without throwing the show into upheaval.
  • The Bully: The Punisher, from dumping slime on contestants (and carrying them into the chamber for said slimings), to squirting water and slime on audience members during his entrance and the commercial breaks, even throwing some into pools on set.
  • Butt-Monkey: Any contestant slimed by The Punisher, complete with trivia question-related pun to rub it in. Wink Yahoo also treated contestants like this at times, especially if they were losing, while also showing clear enthusiasm when they landed on an Uh Oh! space on the wheel.
  • Captain Obvious: Whenever a contestant completed Mayhem, the Speed Round, or The Dump, Sam & Aaron or Patricia would throw it back to Wink to announce how many points the team won or lost, even though they could have done it themselves, and attentive fans would have known what the result was anyway.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Not only were the teams colour coded (red, blue, and green), but the audience was colour coded into cheering sections for them too. The Round 3 wheel's indicator was in a three-pronged shape that was also colour coded, so each team had their own indicator for wheel spinning. The Slime Tour/Field Games teams were also decked out in coloured outfits (yellow, orange, or purple), easing contestant choices when predicting who would win.
  • Different in Every Episode: Every episode had a unique structure, thanks to spins of the wheel determining each round's games and challenges, and not all-wheel options were guaranteed to come up on a given day. Also, every Mayhem stunt was different, with only one (the object identifying game "What's That?") a possibility to be played in every episode.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Season 1 has some oddities and other things that make it feel out of place compared to future seasons:
    • First off, the set looked incomplete in certain areas and the decor was all white compared to the flashy neon that would later be used.
    • Slashin Sam was partnered with Jumpin' Joe in the first 13 episodes before Tearin Aaron joined her.
    • There were three Uh-Oh spaces on the second wheel. Starting with Season 2, the third spot was replaced with either Uh-Oh Deluxe (Seasons 2-4), Pick It (Season 5), or Fruit Gushers (Season 6).
    • The Punisher was a little more active in Season 1 as rather than just do his regular job for Uh-Oh, he helped out on a few of the Mayhem games.
  • Excited Kids' Show Host: Wink Yahoo, though it was this trope combined with a parody of 1970s game show hosts, while possessing a mean streak that took delight in contestants losing points or getting slimed.
  • Expository Theme Tune: One that's delivered via Theme Tune Rap.
  • Gameplay Roulette: Literally, as a wheel spin determined every challenge of the first and third rounds, and it was not uncommon for most (if not all) possible spaces on the wheel to be landed on in a given episode, often with at least one hit more than the others. Averted with the Slime Tour second round, which always followed the same basic "guess the obstacle course winner for 35 points" format.
  • Grossout Show: It varied on the episode, but the Uh Oh! slimings and certain Mayhem stunts definitely qualified.
  • In-Series Nickname: Slashin' Sam, Tearin' Aaron, Quizmaster Patricia, and Slime Master Shaun/Ryan
  • Invincible Villain: Within the rules of the game, there's no official way to "defeat" or get revenge on The Punisher. All you can do is avoid Uh Oh! (Deluxe) on the wheel, and if you land on it, get the question right (or hope your partner does) to deprive The Punisher of sliming you (and disappoint him, naturally.) However, that's easier said than done given the difficulty of the questions.
    • Averted at the final YTV Achievement Awards (or YAA!) in May 2000, where a group of kids kids finally got revenge on The Punisher by spraying him with Silly String on stage.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The Dump, Uh Oh!'s Plinko expy, where contestants dropped a ball into the playfield to land in a space where they would either win or lose points for themselves, do the same for another team, or trade an amount of points with another team. As it was essentially Plinko, there was little skill involved.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The Punisher, whose design is effectively a luchador in body armor.
  • Mascot: The Punisher, who even appeared in animated form in the intro. Keep in mind, he was the show's antagonist.
  • Motor Mouth: Quizmaster Patricia did this quite a bit, usually as part of the speed round.
  • Nintendo Hard: The Uh Oh! questions (and Uh Oh! Deluxe smells) were designed to be extra hard, so that they were both worth their point amounts (50 & 75 points respectively) and would virtually guarantee a sliming of the contestant's partner. Sure, they were multiple choice, but they were far above the educational level that contestants were presently at.
  • Nonindicative Name: The Dump wasn't the game with the possibility of having slime dumped on you (that'd be Uh Oh!) Rather, it referenced "dumping" the ball down the pseudo-Plinko board, even though it just rolled down an entrance pipe onto the board and wasn't technically "dumped"
  • Obstacle Exposition: Each Mayhem stunt got a brief one from referees Slashin' Sam Cook or Tearin' Aaron Alexander, sometimes with a plotline, and with the potential for up to 12 Mayhem stunts an episode, this could come up a lot. This also came up for the Slime Tour/Field Games, which actually had a full obstacle course requiring exposition.
  • Obvious Beta: Uh Oh!'s predecessor run as an It's Alive segment.
  • Running Gag: Mr. Voiceman had these in his opening intro, including asking the audience a "What do you say when..." question (always answered with their shout of "Uh Oh!", and always introducing Wink Yahoo as "the only Canadian/North American TV personality who...", followed by trivia fact that was always incorrect, weird, or random in nature.
    • The Punisher always preceded his slimings of contestants during the Uh Oh! portion of the show with a pun relating to the trivia question that was incorrectly answered.
  • Spinoff: A unique example of a game show being spun off from a sketch comedy show, It's Alive! (essentially You Can't Do That On Television for 1990s kids) featured a recurring sketch about a game show with shackled contestants that would get slimed, which was later adapted into a real game show segment (resembling the series' first round), and was finally expanded into it's own half hour program after It's Alive!'s 1997 cancellation. Ultimately, Uh Oh! would run two years longer than It's Alive! did in first run, and it also got a much longer run of repeat airings.
  • Sudden Death: Generally, if the game ended in a tie, the winner was decided by a jump-in question, with the first to buzz in and answer correctly winning the game. If they were wrong, the other team won automatically, unless it was a three-way tie, than a buzz in and answer was still needed. Early in the final season, ties were determined by bobbing for Fruit Gushers, with whoever grabbed the Gusher with the higher point value winning.
  • Timed Mission: Mayhem and the Speed Round each had a strict 20 second time limit. Though you could still get points in the Speed Round for the questions you did get right (5 points a piece), Mayhem was usually all or nothing for 50 points, with very few games offering incremental points for partial success.
  • Title Scream: The audience did this in response to Mr. Voiceman's question in the show's intro.
  • Transatlantic Equivalent: Double Dare would be it's closest kin for American children's game shows, but Uh Oh! was less based on trivia and added a lot of varied gameplay options, for better or worse.
  • Vacation Episode: The Slime Tour always took place in a different random Canadian city (hence calling it a "tour"), with some rounds even taking place in Canada's territories! The location was always given until the round became Field Games in 2002.
  • Worth It: Some contestants had this reaction if their teammate got slimed, though depending on how they were doing in-game, it could be either because of how memorable and fun the slimings usually are, or as revenge for them getting you slimed earlier on.


Video Example(s):


Uh Oh Deluxe

Introduced in the second season of Uh Oh!, Uh Oh Deluxe gives the player a chance to score 75 points. But if they guess wrong, their partner gets double the sliming.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / CoveredInGunge

Media sources: