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YMMV / Double Dare (1986)

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  • Awesome Music: Some of Edd Kalehoff's most recognizable work can be found here. Taken Up to Eleven on the FOX version with countless remixes of the Theme Tune and in-game music (and not just the ones that were kept after this version ended).
  • Breather Level: The Obstacle Course usually had one or two straight-forward obstacles to balance the more difficult ones. Drawbridge, where all a contestant had to do was push down a door, is one such example.
    • The original Sundae Slide often had an easier obstacle following it such as Slime Canal or Down the Hatch.
    • In the 1992 season of Family, Das Blimp always followed the time sink Shark. The obstacle was also used in 2000 and the 2018 revival.
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    • The 2018 revival had One Nation Underwear, which was essentially Fireman's Flag-Pull without the height. Brick Wall Breakout, where the contestant had to plow through a wall of foam bricks and grab the flag that fell to the floor, also qualified.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Very rarely did a team use the "I Dare you to answer it because I don't think you know it, but we do so we'll get four times the money" strategy.
  • Creator's Pet: The Triple Dare Challenge on 2000 which was mentioned ad nauseum on every episode and celebrated with its own marching band and staffers in giant boxes. Fan opinion on the other hand left a lot to be desired.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • It was revealed years after the show was over that Summers suffered from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). That's right, the host of one of the gungiest shows on TV was a massive neat freak; a documentary on the show and him showed him doing things such as lining up all the fringe on a throw rug. Fortunately, he got over it and has gone on to be a successful TV show host, producer, and author. He's one of the more prolific producers at Food Network and its affiliates.
      • This also made him a major badass among fans, as he still showed up for work and you'd never know. Guy's got balls.
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    • The first obstacle on the first taped Obstacle Course fell victim to this. The obstacle was called "Nightmare" where a contestant had to find a flag in a giant feather pillow. On the first two takes, the flag wasn't even in there, leaving the contestant to dig around the feathers for two whole minutes. The flag was finally found on the third take but not only did the clock freeze, a cameraman also fell and blocked their path. This required a fourth take which went into the episode as aired. Seems "Nightmare" was also an appropriate description for what the staff and the contestants went through that day.
    • A 1990 Family episode had the joke answer "Donald Trump's foreclosure on Pee-wee's Playhouse", one year before Paul Reubens' infamous arrest.
    • One family recounted a story where the son, thinking his dad was an intruder, called 911 which led to the SWAT team showing up at their house. This was treated as a joke, which could be done in 1990. The alarming rate of homes being swatted since The New '10s now makes the matter extremely uncomfortable.
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    • For one 1990 question, Marc had Harvey dress up as one of the Milli Vanilli members and lip-synch to him asking. Eerily prophetic when Milli Vanilli admitted that they didn't sing any of their material mere months later.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The American version ran from 1986-1993, with a brief revival in 2000, and another one in the late 2010s. The Brazilian version, Passa ou Repassa, ran from 1987-2000 along with a revival that has been airing since 2013.
  • Growing the Beard: The show started to look and feel much more polished with the FOX Family version. Updates to the Theme Tune, a noticeable increase in the amount of messy challenges, an increase in the budget for that version only (exotic trip for Obstacle 6, cash from $2,000-$5,000 for #7, and a Car for #8), and some visual elements carried over into subsequent versions of the show.
  • Good Bad Bugs: In the first taped Obstacle Course win from 1990, the clock froze at 11 seconds during the exchange between the seventh and eighth obstacles. This is noticeable from the music ending with 3 seconds to go.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Marc Summers hosted this show, despite having obsessive-compulsive disorder (which, at the time, was undiagnosed). Now everyone between 18-32 who grew up watching the show knows. Specifically, he had a Monk-level obsession with neatness at home. He's been public about his battle with the illness in the hope of helping others, but it makes one wonder how he could've made it through hosting the show (and the similarly sloppy What Would You Do?) without having a massive on-air meltdown.
      • Marc Summers has said publicly that he was undiagnosed and the rumors about him have blown up over time. He could have left anytime he wanted if it felt overwhelming, as after Double Dare he was getting huge offers from other companies to leave Double Dare, but said that he didn't feel the need too and enjoyed his time there. He sometimes felt a bit uneasy after some shows but was able to decompress after the taping.
    • A Family Double Dare question asked why Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep and Michael Jackson can't be featured on postage stamps (they have to be deceased). No one would have guessed Michael Jackson would have been the first to go out of the three celebrities listed in the question and so soon.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • One of the angles for early commercials for the original Double Dare focused on the fact that the game was for kids rather than adults, and tended to show a man in a jacket and tie making a fool of himself trying to go through such obstacles as "The Sundae Slide" or "Icy Trike" to emphasize this. Then Family Double Dare came along... although the adults still looked quite ridiculous going through the obstacles, it was now part of the show's appeal.
    • A 1987 episode asked which actor hadn't played James Bond. Pierce Brosnan was the correct answer, but he would eventually play as him for four movies, beginning in 1995.note 
    • A 1988 episode had a team named Couch Potatoes.
    • A 1989 episode asked what Sylvester Stallone answered when he was was asked if he'd ever work with Arnold Schwarzenegger. The correct answer was "Not in your lifetime, darling". Stallone would eventually work with him 20 years later.
    • One team from the 1989 run of Super Sloppy called themselves the Blue Barracudas.
  • Iron Woobie: Knowing Marc went through all he did with OCD is amazing. And that's not counting that in 2012 he broke his face in a car accident. Although repeatedly being asked about those two topics in interviews or on Twitter has turned into sort of a Berserk Button, as he insists that neither is nearly as significant or sensational as people have made it out to be.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Marc Summers is to the line "On your mark, get set, go!" what Michael Buffer is to "Let's get ready to rumble!"
  • That One Obstacle:
    • "Blue Plate Special", "Garbage Truck", "Squelch'M Waffles" - pretty much any obstacle where the team member had to find the flag hidden in gunge. At least one team lost nearly 50 seconds on such an obstacle and ended up with only two prizes; Marc gave them the third prize out of pity.
    • Any time a fourth tunnel was added to "Sushi" or "Dallas". An already long obstacle now became the difference between getting all eight prizes and not doing so.
    • Cranked right on up to Platform Hell whenever the producers deliberately made finding the flag more difficult:
      • In Super Sloppy Double Dare, upwards of twenty balloons were used for "Inside Out" instead of three or four. Then, for Family Double Dare, the number of balloons decreased slightly but different-colored flags were hidden inside several of them with only the orange one counting. One family exchanged a blue flag and completed the next obstacle before their mistake was noticed and they had to go back and find the correct flag. Another family almost exchanged a yellow flag but to their credit, they recovered quickly and eventually won.
      • On one episode of the Family version, it took the whole family, Marc, and a few crew members to find the flag hidden in "The Garbage Truck". They eventually did, and just before the announcer rattled off where the show was taped, too!
      • "Pick It", where the flag was hard enough to find inside the nose. Later on in the run, green nose gak was added inside making the obstacle even harder. Then, someone on Double Dare 2000 had this bright idea to make Pick It sneeze green slime on the contestants while they were trying to find the flag!
    • Many Obstacle Course runs in the early years were derailed by the original version of "The Sundae Slide", which required contestants to climb up a 45 degree incline covered with grease and slime before going down the eponymous slide. If they did not make a point of only putting their feet on the padding under the rails on either side of the incline (which had no grease on it), they could waste 15 or 20 seconds just trying to get to the top of the slide. In the Super Sloppy era, even trying to climb up the padding was far from foolproof if the contestant's shoes were already covered in gunge from previous obstacles. Though arguably one of the most popular obstacles with young audiences, it proved the difference between getting all eight flags and getting only seven (or fewer) so frequently that one could be forgiven for suspecting that it was deliberately engineered to prevent the obstacle course from being won too often.note  It got to a point where in the final season, the incline was replaced by a regular ladder; the incline returned for 2000.
    • Even worse than "The Sundae Slide" in the first season or two was a variant entitled the "Fireman's Flag-Pull", where once you climbed up the chocolate covered ramp you then had to pull in a clothesline to retrieve the flag before sliding down a fireman's pole to pass it off. At least one contestant forgot to pull in the flag and had to repeat the obstacle. Made worse on a Halloween episode where there were Trick-or-Treat bags on the clothesline with the flag hidden in one of them (naturally, the last one). It was used on 17 episodes, and on the last four, it was changed to have the flag hung on the pole. It only made things worse, as there were people who would slide down the pole and forgot to get the flag. The course was only won twice with "Fireman's Flag-Pull". That should tell you how bad it was.
    • 2000 brought us an updated version of "Hunt and Peck" called "Double Click", replacing a giant typewriter with a computer. Here, the contestant stomps on all the keys until the flag shows up on the screen complete with "You've got flag!" message. This didn't always work right due to the contacts on the keys being electronic rather than mechanical as in "Hunt and Peck".
    • 2000 also brought us a new obstacle called "The Gak Factory", which consisted of contestants traveling along an overhead conveyor belt as spray nozzles shot gak at them before they reached the other side and could grab the flag. The problem was that the overhead design meant that a)contestants would have to wait for a handlebar to arrive if it didn't happen to already be there, which could waste several seconds and b)once they grabbed on, all the contestants could do was hang there as the obstacle slowly took them to the end (which was nearly ten seconds). Making it even worse was that if a contestant fell off without the flag, they had to restart from the beginning of the obstacle.
    • The 2018 revival brings us another notorious new obstacle, "Couch Searching", which had contestants search under four couch cushions and all of the junk underneath each one for a flag. Like "Garbage Truck" before it, it will often mean the difference between 6 prizes and 5 (or less) depending on how well-hidden the flag is.
  • Periphery Demographic: Managed to go through this twice. When Double Dare originally aired, it was quite popular among college students. These days, it has an audience mainly consisting of adults who grew up watching the show or its reruns.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • Jason Harris and Tiffany Phelps, the host/announcer tandem on 2000. Jason, while doing the best he could, couldn't hold a candle to Marc Summers, and Tiffany didn't share the same dynamic Marc and Harvey had with Jason.
    • 2000 had an upgrade of "Hunt and Peck" from Super Sloppy and the 1990 season of Family called "Double Click". The earlier version was a breather obstacle which had seven keys, one of which mechanically raised a flag. "Double Click" had the same objective, but it had sixteen keys across three rows. The correct key would light up a virtual flag with the message "You've got flag!" serving as the signal to grab the real flag. Many times, the keys would be stuck together, and contestants would lose track of which ones were already hit. The obstacle could be even harder if a contestant previously completed a messy one beforehand.
  • Retroactive Recognition
    • Greg Lee was a contestant coordinator and the audience warm-up comedian before leaving the show to host Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?. He can be seen participating in various skits during Family Double Dare's 1990 season.
    • 2000 host Jason Harris would eventually become a voice actor, with his most recognizable role being Numbah 274/Chad Dickson on Codename: Kids Next Door.
  • Scenery Porn: The 2018 set, an updated rendition of the 1980s set with slick LED lighting and digital monitors and displays, is amazing.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: The Triple Dare Challenge from 2000. During the second round a family could turn any physical challenge into a Triple Dare Challenge worth $300 and a prize. The producers ensured that a PC happened in each episode by including at least one question that the contestants almost certainly couldn't answer. However, even without the Triple Dare Challenge, the challenges were so complicated that they could take several minutes to describe (longer if, as often happened, host Jason Harris stumbled through the description). When all was said and done, adding the Triple Dare Challenge ate up most of the second round, leaving time for only four questions at most. It didn't help that the Triple Dare Challenge was overhyped with confetti cannons, people dressed in huge boxes and marching bands. To make matters worse, the Triple Dare Challenge was only revealed if the family opted to go for it, ruining the buildup to get there. Even Marc Summers got in on bashing the Triple Dare Challenge, pointing out all its obvious flaws in an interview with AfterBuzz TV.
  • That One Rule: Physical Challenges where the goal was to break hanging balloons had one such rule. If a balloon fell off without popping, the Challenge was deemed a loss. This happened to at least two teams who got understandably pissed at the outcome.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The Family and 2000 versions, with many unnecessary rule changes. The most obvious was in 2000: The "Triple Dare Challenge".
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Some teams on the original run had names that would never fly in today's society. Two teams from 1988 called themselves "Salt & Pepper", both consisting of a white player and a black player. If that isn't bad enough, another team from that year was called "Chocolate & Vanilla". If those weren't bad enough, two teams from later seasons called themselves the "Redskins" after the then-NFL team.
    • On the Marc Vs. Harvey episode, Jim J. Bullock accidentally said "fag" instead of "flag" while describing the "That she blows!" obstacle. Marc followed it up with a comment of "You're coming out of there!"
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!:
    • All the cosmetic changes associated with Double Dare 2000. According to Doc Holliday, this was also the reason he was turned down for the announcer's booth.
    • The 2018 version slightly falls into this category, with more references to social media trends (one of the new obstacles is called "Unboxing", a take on the multitude of unboxing videos on YouTube), internet culture (the sound to signify the end of a round is an MLG airhorn) and having a YouTuber, Liza Koshy, as the host.
  • What an Idiot!: A common type of question asked how many body parts someone has (e.g. "How many arms did Babe Ruth have?" or "How many ankles did Michael J. Fox have?"). On four occasions, all from 1989, neither team could answer those.
    • When a team did not know how many ears Kirk Cameron has, Marc had to check with the judges to make sure they were allowed to dare.
    • On the Celebrity pilot, a question asking for the two letters not found on telephone keypads went to a physical challenge.note 
    • Even worse than those? On at least two occasions, the obvious joke answer to a question... got picked:
      • In a 1987 episode, Marc asked what closet feature O. A. North invented, shaking his head at the camera when he read the C answer: "The Boogeyman". When one team answered that on a Dare, Marc broke out in laughter.note 
      • Another from 1992 had the question "What feature is missing on a Manx cat?" and a family chose "C: Its sense of humor." Marc: "I just read 'em, folks."note 


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