Follow TV Tropes


Tabletop Game / Operation

Go To

Operation is a board game from Hasbro (albeit originally from Milton Bradley in 1965), developed by John Spinello in 1964. The game is supposed to test a player's eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills. The game board depicts the patient Cavity Sam on the operating table with holes that are filled with pun-oriented ailments made of plastic that need to be removed. In order to cure the patient, the player must use the tweezers attached to the board and retrieve the pieces from their holes. If the player hits the metal edges on the board, the patient's red nose will light up and buzz, thus making it the next player's turn.

Ever since its release in 1965, the game has spawned various renditions and versions based off franchises.

Operation provides examples of:

  • And Now For Something Completely Different: The Ankle Bone Connected to the Knee Bone is the only ailment in the game that is a rubber band rather than a piece of plastic. What's more, though, you have to put it in the board rather than pull it out.
  • Brain Freeze: An ailment introduced in 2004, which depicts an ice cream cone in Sam's head.
  • Bowdlerize:
    • The original 1964 artwork of the game featuted a doctor with a cigarette in his mouth, but later editions of the game removed this image.
    • The kid holding the bucket of water, on the left side of the artwork, had his skin tone changed from white to black in the 2004 revamp of the game, possibly to avoid complaints about racism.
    • Cavity Sam appeared naked (albeit no genitalia showing) in earlier versions of the game, but the modern (2008-present) revamp of the game shows him wearing polka-dot pants.
  • Face on the Cover: Cavity Sam always appears on the cover arts' of the game.
  • Gasshole: The modern revamp of the game has two examples of this: Sam passing gas under an ailment called "Toxic Gas" that depicts a posionous gas bubble, and him burping under an ailment called "Burp Bubbles".
  • Licensed Game: There was a PC game released in 1998 based on the board game that had a rather heavy amount of Adaptation Expansion, right down to the gameplay on a concept level; the game was still about performing surgery to retrieve humorously named ailments, but to get the ailments you would have to guide the tweezers through a maze and avoid obstacles.
  • Themed Stock Board Game: One of the most popular board games to use this trope. Variations include SpongeBob SquarePants, Shrek, Lilo & Stitch, Star Wars, The Simpsons, and Despicable Me, each with their own special ailments.