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Special Effect Failure / Game Shows

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  • A compilation of prop and animal screw-ups can be seen here.
  • There were actually a few times in which something broke in the American version of Big Brother. One challenge had to be repeated because someone's machine was malfunctioning.
    • There were also a few in Big Brother 8.
      • Supposedly, Jameka's machine in the final veto challenge was malfunctioning, but nobody seemed to notice.
      • During the first part of the final 3 head of household, the contestants had to hold onto their keys and jump over a spinning rabbit (while water was pouring down on them). Unfortunately, one of them (probably Danielle, since she did hit it when she was eliminated) accidentally kicked or landed on the rabbit as it came by (at least several times) and the machine broke. This meant that Zach and Dick (the two left after it broke) were more or less just standing there.
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  • This one from Catch Phrase... it's hard to believe this was an accident.
  • In Countdown Carol suddenly has a stagehand's hand appear from behind the letter cards.
    • The same thing happened with a puzzle board on the last episode of Body Language.
  • While Ray Combs was host of Family Feud, the electronic portion of the game board (which displayed the show's logo in the intro and going into commercial, and the answers in Fast Money) was prone to errors. In one instance, it erased the "FE" from the opening logo, leading to Ray and one family making several jokes about the "Family Ud".
    • In the 1994-95 season (when original host Richard Dawson returned), the board was a chyron over an actual board. However, they often forgot to put the chyron up.
  • Every so often, the crew would engineer the entryway to the Match Game set not opening as a prank to Gene Rayburn. On one memorable occasion, Rayburn smashed right through.
  • Password, Password Plus and Super Password has actually had this happen quite a bit. There were a few moments in which the other passwords that have yet to have been played were accidentally revealed, another moment where the wrong word was revealed at the start of the puzzle.
    • There's the time where one of the celebrity contestants couldn't quite see the password. Whoops.
    • The set of Super was ridiculously prone to malfunctioning for some reason- the entire puzzle would be revealed, the doors when the celebs and Bert Convy entered wouldn't open, the monitor for the celeb in Super Alphabetics would go out- and the hilarity that would typically ensue wasn't edited out.
  • Three examples of this on The Price Is Right:
    • During the dreaded "Drewcases" era of the show (first half of Season 37), the show decided to change its "trip skins" (which were giant picture frame-style signs with artwork representing vacation prizes, built to be hidden behind the stage's doors) to use green screens. While it was hinted that the show had intended to use a video wall for trip skins instead, green screens were cheaper, and either way, they were going to be able to save money by not having to produce and presumably print out artwork for every trip they offered. The problem? It not only looked bad on-air, but on-stage too, given that all the contestants saw when being presented a prize was a giant green wall. The change was almost universally hated by everyone, including every side of the show's Broken Base. By the episodes airing February 2009, the producers had realized their mistake, and replaced the green screens with new stagings incorporating large flat-panel screens, along with a similar monitor at the back of the audience.
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    • When Clock Game was played for the first time after the Turntable change in March 2003, the producers discovered that the chroma key area (where a headshot of the contestant appears) was the exact same shade of blue as the blue spot in the pink, purple, and blue Turntable wall. Their first solution was to put a yellow circle background behind the game, but when that didn't work either, they just repainted the game. In May of 2003, Clock Game redebuted with a somewhat ugly-looking yellow border and a green chroma key box. As of November 2005, the game's border is now a much more tolerable...light blue!!! The game's new, more futuristic board doesn't use chroma key at all.
    • The original Bill Cullen edition (which was live on the East Coast) would have the contestants' tote screen going on the fritz, displaying odd figures in place of the bids. Once in awhile, the tote screens went off altogether, so the models had to write the bids on sketch pads behind the contestants with frozen bids circled.
    • One time, the show had to recycle a number card from Cover Up for the first number on Dice Game due to said display being out of order.
  • Wheel of Fortune has some pretty sloppy editing across the board. To wit:
    • On a 1988 episode, a round was thrown out and re-shot. However, they didn't remove all of the thrown-out round, so you got "Our category for this round is Phrase..." (10 seconds later) "...once again, our category is People."
    • In fall 1989, some of the puzzles had zeroes instead of O's. These were blatantly obvious, as they didn't match the rest of the letters at all.
    • When the show still had returning champions, the contestant backdrops would display the contestant's running total for their combined episodes. These displays held five digits, but one particularly lucky contestant was north of $100,000 by her third day, so host Pat Sajak taped a "1" to her backdrop.
    • Back when the board was still mechanical, both Vanna White and predecessor Susan Stafford sometimes turned letters so hard that the letters themselves slid partway off the trilon (the little three-sided boxes they turned).
    • Similarly, with the electronic board, sometimes a letter just won't reveal itself when Vanna touches it. She's had to wait as long as 10 seconds to get the stubborn letter to reveal.
    • Sometimes, the camera over the Wheel doesn't catch it as it stops to show what the contestant landed on. As a result, a spin from another episode may be dubbed in. Most of the time this is very obvious, as the spin may come from a different round or even a different arrow, or show the different episode's Prize wedge still present. On one occasion, the dubbed-in spin even came from a different season, which was noticeable as some of the dollar values had changed.
    • This is also present during the Final Spin. If Pat hits Bankrupt or Lose a Turn, they edit it out and he spins again. Sometimes, you can tell that the original spin was re-shot, because the Wheel will suddenly jump to a totally different spot as it comes to a stop.
      • In the past, when Pat did the final spin and it hit either Bankrupt or Lose A Turn, he'd quip "Vowels worth nothing, consonants will be worth...not a darn thing, either!", after which he'd simply spin again.
    • On several occasions, the graphic showing the puzzle category has disappeared, or the wrong one has been put up.
    • At least twice, a letter was revealed in the Bonus Round that the contestant did not call. On both instances, it led to a win, and it was decided to let the contestant keep the prize.
  • In an episode of the British game show The National Lottery Big Ticket, the CGI co-host Bernie crashed during a home game segment. Of course, given that she was being voiced by Kate Robbins, she all but lampshaded it by joking about having become a ghost, and suggesting that she "broke" because she didn't have her makeup on.


Example of: