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Series / What Would You Do? (Nickelodeon)

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What Would You Do? was a children's game show hosted by Marc Summers that aired on Nickelodeon. The premise was similar to Candid Camera, as Marc would tape people in unusual situations and ask the audience (set around Universal Studios Florida, the network's original home in the 90s), "What would you do?" before the outcome was shown. Other aspects of the show involved members of the Studio Audience and Marc getting messy from some sort of contraptions, most of which involved pies.

The show went through a slight Re Tool between seasons:

  • In the first season, more emphasis was placed on skits and stunts that did not have a messy outcome. The only pie device that was regularly used was the Pie Pod, and it was not even in every episode. Each show ended with the What Would You Do? medley, where people would perform gross stunts that were on cards taped to their heads or go to the Pie Pod.
  • In the second season, more emphasis was placed on games and getting people messy, with new pie devices like the Pie Wash. Each show ended with the Wall O' Stuff, where people would open panels what would either give them a cheap gift, a card to go to a pie device, or a direct messy consequence like a pie or whip cream being shot in their face.

Not to be confused with the ABC show What Would You Do?, although both shows use hidden cameras as an element.

Game Show Tropes in use:

  • Carried by the Host: Do you think of this show and not think Marc Summers?
  • Covered in Gunge: Self-explanatory.
  • Losing Horns: Type B, heard on a couple of occasions when someone failed to complete a challenge of some sort.
  • Lovely Assistant: Robin in the first season, children and later a monkey in the second.
  • Zonk: Some doors in the Wall O' Stuff contained cards that would send them to a pie contraption, and sometimes contestants would have pies thrown at them or be squirted with whipped cream upon opening the door.

This show provides examples of:

  • Audience Participation
  • Butt-Monkey: Marc.
  • Candid Camera Prank: Some of the things they did out of the studio with people would loosely fall under this category.
  • Catch-Phrase: What Would You Do?.... not used as often as one would think.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: In one of the "memory game" contests in the second season, one girl's father ducked not once, but twice, when his daughter tried to pie him. Eventually not only was his daughter finally able to land a direct hit, but the father was also sent to the Pie Pod in addition as punishment for cheating.
  • The Chew Toy: Any audience member who is chosen, yet doesn't want to go along with the game.
  • Cringe Comedy: Major premise, and especially notable when the producers messed with Marc (who has OCD). For his own part, Marc has said the OCD thing has been blown out of proportion and that he did not have a major problem with the mess.
  • Crossover: With Double Dare, Legends of the Hidden Temple and Nick Arcade called "Nickelodeon All-Star Challenge" that aired during The Big Help in 1994.
  • Eat That: Some of the dares during the What Would You Do? Medley including eating bizarre food combinations such as a Twinkie with gravy, a hamburger with honey, ice cream with ketchup, "Stan's Cola", etc. Most of these are like Fear Factor later on.
  • Every Episode Ending: The "What Would You Do? Medley" in the first season, and the "Wall O' Stuff" in the second.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Marc would ask contestants What Would You Do?
  • Fanservice: A woman once went to the pie pod in a sports bra.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Two contestants, one game, someone's going to be covered in whipped cream very soon. Subverted in the second season, when the winner was offered a token to the Wall O' Stuff or a pie device for their opponent. When the winners kept choosing the tokens, the producers began offering them a chance to either send their opponent to the pie device or go themselves, and several of them decided they wanted to get messy.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: A regular occurrence, most notably on the country western episode when they had a mother and son sing a Double Entendre filled song about wanting her pie. Even ignoring the fact that pie is a common slang term for female genitalia, several of the lines scream Does This Remind You of Anything?, like when she asked him to provide filling for her crust, or when the song ended with the son giving his mom a face full of white cream. The producers were clearly aware of the Incest Subtext involved, as demonstrated by an audience reaction shot. Nevertheless, the double entendre seemed to go right over the head of the mother and especially her young son, who sang the tune without any visible sign of discomfort; the mother had a surprisingly good voice, and even after she'd been pied by her son, she reprised the last line of the song as a duet with Marc,
    • Other examples are the result of the same From the Mouths of Babes formula used by Kids Say the Darndest Things. For example, when a little boy was asked what his mother said that he does not like, he responded that she says his dad is a real sex machine.
    • Marc himself would occasionally sneak a few in since it was an unscripted show, such as asking a man if he had ever been this turned on in his life during an electrical demonstration, or saying that he had a joke that he wanted to say but it would take them off the air after he discovered that two teenagers he had randomly selected from the audience to kiss were cousins, and the boy said the girl would sock him (which Marc misheard).
  • Leave the Camera Running: The show would end with Marc signing off, yet things still went on during the credits, including and especially someone being placed in a pie device.
  • Mascot: The latter part of the second season featured a trained monkey assisting Marc instead of Robin or a kid assistant.
  • Oh, Crap!: The look on some people's face when they get chosen out of the audience.
  • Once an Episode: Someone goes to the Pie Pod.
  • Pie in the Face: Turned Up to Eleven. Half the show was coming up with new ways to pie people.
  • Point-and-Laugh Show
  • Precision F-Strike: According to The Other Wiki, Marc actually swore on the show once (it was bleeped). As a result, he was sent to the Pie Pod.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: The show borrowed most of its musical cues from a show already airing on Nick at the time, Wild and Crazy Kids. Both were produced by Woody Fraser and featured music by Alan Ett.
  • Special Guest: David Cassidy, The Amazing Kreskin.
  • Title Drop: In every episode. It makes sense given the show's premise.
  • Title Theme Tune: The entire theme song consisted of the words "What Would You Do?"