Over the series' 120-episode run, just 32 Temple runs were completed successfully, for a win rate of 26.7%. In terms of the ratio of the number of Temple runs won to the number of Temple runs attempted, the Silver Snakes were the "winningest" team, with a 38.1% success rate (21 runs, 8 wins) over all three seasons. The Green Monkeys were a close second with 33.3% (24 runs, including 15 in the final season; 8 wins), followed by the Purple Parrots with 27.3% (11 runs, 3 wins). The Orange Iguanas were statistically the "worst" team, with a success rate of only 16% (25 runs, 4 wins). The Red Jaguars were little better, only winning 20% of their Temple runs (20 runs, 4 wins). Just short of average were the Blue Barracudas, who won 26.3% of the time (19 runs, 5 wins). The winners of those 32 Temple runs make up a whopping 4.4% of all the kids who ever appeared on the show.
Counterintuitively, the fewer pendants a team had upon entering the Temple, the more often they won the grand prize (11 wins in 53 runs (20.8%) for two pendants, 15 wins in 52 runs (28.8%) for one and a half pendants, and 6 wins in 15 runs (40%!) for one pendant). It should be noted that more doors opened for contestants with only one pendant, making the temple runs easier since dodging temple guards and reaching the artifact was significantly easier.
The Purple Parrots, despite being the third-most winningest team in the Temple Runs, won only three of their eleven trips to the Temple ("Snake Skin Boots of Billy the Kid", "Milk Bucket of Freydis", and "Metal Beard of the Egyptian Queen").
The fastest Temple Run win was, of course, "The Mask of Shaka Zulu" at 1:47 due to an error that made the temple run stupid easy. The fastest Temple Run not to involve a Good Bad Bug was "The Ivory Hunting Horn of Roland" at 1:50. Coincidentally, the runners in both episodes were the Red Jaguars, who were also involved in the Temple Run that failed in the quickest time; in "Elizabeth I's Golden Ship", the three Temple Guards took out the two players in 1:31.
Four Temple Runs were won with exactly one second left on the clock: "Galileo's Cannonball", "Lawrence of Arabia's Headdress", "The Applewood Amulet of Emiliano Zapata" and "The Milk Bucket of Freydis"note The last one was the only Solo Run with one second left. The Temple Run with the closest loss was "The Broken Wing of Icarus"; the contestant was rounding Olmec when time expired.
Eighteen solo Runs were accomplished throughout the show's history with three running out of time, two retrieving the item but not getting out in time and thirteen wins. Notably, thirteen of the solo runs were accomplished by girls with nine of them successfully escaping.
Three of the solo Temple Runs included no encounters with the Temple Guards: "The Enormous Iron Nose Ring of Babe the Ox", "The Much-Heralded Helmet of Sir Gawain", and "The Broken Trident of Poseidon". Unfortunately, the last of these still ended in defeat after the contestant dropped the trident on the way out of the Temple and then unwittingly chose a slow route to get out after retrieving it.
Anywhere from three to six episodes were shot during a typical taping day. Every segment of each episode was taped in chronological order. The Moat crossings came first, each filmed one after another. Second, the Steps of Knowledge rounds would be taped all at once. The Temple Games were next with the Temple Runs rounding out each session. All contestants wore aquatic shoes with which to cross the Moat. Contestants who made it across would be given time to dry off before returning to the set to film their segment of the Steps of Knowledge. Teams who made it to the Temple Games were served a catered lunch (one contestant said the teams shared a Pizza Hut Bigfoot while another said everyone was offered pizza and soda throughout the day). Since tapings lasted at least twelve hours (sometimes as long as fifteen), the Temple Runs were filmed without an audience using canned effects. Every audience member was a Universal Studios visitor, and the park was closed by the time taping began for the Temple Runs. The contestants' parents were not allowed on the set and watched tapings from the green room.
The only room in the temple never to have been changed at all is, you guessed it, the Shrine of the Silver Monkey. The Shrine of the Silver Monkey even makes a reappearance in the 2021 reboot.
The most successful team at crossing the moat was the Red Jaguars, who placed in the top four in 90 episodes (24 in first place), which one would expect for jaguars (and which may explain their record-setting paces in the Temple, both successful and unsuccessful). Second were the Green Monkeys with 88 top four finishes (14 in first place), followed by the Silver Snakes with 87 (29 in first place). The Orange Iguanas had the fewest successful moat crossings with 68 (19 in first place); the Purple Parrots were slightly better with 70 (13 in first place). As with successful Temple Runs, the Blue Barracudas were just below average with 77 (21 in first place).note With six teams per episode across 120 episodes, "average" would be 80 top four appearances.
The Green Monkeys had the best record on the Steps of Knowledge, with a "top two ratio" of 54.5% (88 appearances, 48 top two finishes). Second were the Orange Iguanas with 54.4% (68 appearances, 37 top two), followed by the Purple Parrots with 54.3% (70 appearances, 38 top two). The Red Jaguars had the lowest "top two ratio" with 44.4% (90 appearances, 40 top two), the Silver Snakes fared slightly better with 46% (87 appearances, 40 top two), and the Blue Barracudas were - once again - just below average with 48.1% (77 appearances, 37 top two).
The Orange Iguanas had the highest win ratio in the Temple Games at 67.6% (37 appearances, 25 wins); the Silver Snakes were second with 52.5% (40 appearances, 21 wins), followed by the Blue Barracudas with 51.4% (37 appearances, 19 wins). The Red Jaguars (40 appearances, 20 wins) and the Green Monkeys (48 appearances, including 25 in Season 3, 24 wins) both had even records. Only the Purple Parrots had a losing record; their win ratio was just 28.9% (38 appearances, 11 wins).
According to an interview by a former contestant on an ImageBoard, Olmec was the protector of children in the Ancient Empire of Ottawa, and hosts a game show because he wants to lead modern kids on adventures.
"The Broken Wing of Icarus" marked the closest someone reached the artifact but could not escape through the gate in time; time expired while the player was right behind Olmec.
Six runs were lost right before the players could reach the artifact. They were "The Dragon Lady and the Blue Pearl", "The Imperial Purple Robe of Empress Theodora", "The Golden Pepperoni of Catherine de' Medici", "The Red Sash of Tokugawa Ieyasu", "The Pearl Necklace of Gwalior" and "The Dried Ear of Corn of Sojourner Truth".
Breaking News Interruption: KALB's CW subchannel 5.3 in Alexandria, AL delayed the premiere of the 2021 version's 5th episode for this year's special telethon Moonlight & Miracles Gala from its sister station WVUE in New Orleans.note Which also delayed the premiere airings of both The Simpsons episode "A Serious Flanders (Parts 1)" and The Great North episode "Skidmark Holmes Adventure".
Channel Hop: The original run aired on Nickelodeon. The revival jumped over to The CW after changing hands from Quibi.
The original run was subject to this after Nick GaS went off the air. Subsequent airings were limited to blocks since the 2010s from The '90s Are All That to NickRewind. Rescued, as the entire run (except the Robin Hood episode, due to the WWF Royal Rumble video game prize plug) can be found on Paramount+.
The CW reboot is currently not available to stream.
Looping Lines: Anytime Cristela isn't on-screen, her dialog is very obviously ADR'd.
Missing Episode: Kirk Fogg has recounted several times about an episode (most likely from Season 2) that went unaired because a contestant threw up in the Pit of Despair. They had to stop taping to console the contestant and clean up the mess.
The Other Darrin: Many consolation prize plugs from the Moat through the Temple Games were replaced when the show reran on Nickelodeon. Some episodes with updated plugs had Doc Holliday reading them instead of Dee Bradley Baker.
"Blackbeard's Treasure Map" was the first episode planned to begin production, but it would up being taped later that season over the course of an entire day. The second episode in production order, "The Golden Cup of Belshazzar", had its Temple Run delayed to another taping session, on the same layout as "Blackbeard's Treasure Map". "Galileo's Cannonball" was the first episode to complete production despite being third in order.
"The Secret Battle Plan of Nathan Hale" from Season 2 had its Temple Run filmed on a later taping. This is most noticeable in the Temple Games where the artifact can be seen in the Throne Room. By the time that Temple Run was taped, the Laser Light Room replaced the Throne Room. The artifact was relocated to the Shrine of the Silver Monkey.
Promoted Fan Boy: Cristela Alonzo, who hosted the 2021 reboot, was a huge fan of the original version.
Two from Double Dare (1986). The wheel used for the Wheel Room in the first season was the One-Ton Human Hamster Wheel. In the third season, they used the Sundae Slide's spiral slide for the Pharaoh's Secret Passage.
Often, artifacts from other episodes were used as set dressing or even refurbished as new artifacts for other episodes.
In the 2021 version, the lighted podiums used to signal the end of a Temple Game run/tiebreaker question are the same ones used during the original's Moat challenge.
The Resolution Will Not Be Identified: Kirk signed off every episode with something along the lines of "Join us again for more adventure and another great legend of the Hidden Temple!" The exception was "The Lion-Headed Bracelet of Chandragupta", where the phrase was cut for time. Popular fan theory was that the "Chandragupta" episode was the last one produced, before Nickelodeon revealed that it was actually "The Jewel-Encrusted Egg of Catherine the Great".
The original concept producer Scott Stone pitched to Nickelodeon was a horror themed game show called Secrets of the Haunted House. The format was the same, but with contestants having to solve puzzles in a haunted house where monsters would jump out to frighten them. The network thought this was too scary for kids, so it was revised to a temple in a jungle with guards. A horror-themed kids' game show without the involvement of Stone/Stanley was eventually greenlit for CBS Saturday mornings in 1996: Secrets of the Cryptkeeper's Haunted House.
Two months before The CW announced that Cristela Alonzo would host the 2021 reboot, Kirk Fogg had expressed interest in hosting again. While this did not happen, he occasionally makes cameo appearances during the Temple Runs in the Dark Forest.