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YMMV / Password

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Allen Ludden: Alright, we've got "TV", "Tropes", "Different", "Opinion", and "Tab". Trope-tan, for the game, what do you think it is?
Trope-tan: Your Mileage May Vary?
Allen: Is it "Your Mileage May Vary"? ("Password Puzzle" cover lifts) Yes, it is!

  • Broken Base:
    • The disallowing of opposites in Password Plus. Those in favor of it think said clues make the game too easy and that it encourages people to use their heads more whenever they gave clues. Those against it feel it adds unnecessary difficulty to the game and that it unfairly penalizes those who would accidentally forget the rule.
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    • Super Password changed the Alphabetics rule regarding illegal clues. Instead of playing for a reduced share, the grand prize is negated and the round continues at $100 for each remaining password. This split the fan base between those who feel it was justified, saying contestants shouldn't be rewarded for guessing words from illegal clues (which was not uncommon on Plus). Fans who aren't in favor of this point out that contestants have no control on how a celebrity gives clues and that they shouldn't pay the price for a celebrity's mistake.
  • Breather Level: The letters X and Z in Alphabetics/Super Password, especially if one was fortunate enough to get a Q-Z round. Only three known passwords were used for X: Xerox, X-Ray and Xylophone.
  • Gameplay Derailment: The disallowing of opposites as clues in Plus was seen as this.
  • Heartwarming Moments:
    • Prior to Tom Kennedy's first episode as host, he made a dedication to his stricken friend.
      Tom: To Allen Ludden, with each show, we send you our love. Our thoughts are with you.
    • The opening of the infamous "French blooper" episode had Betty White (Allen's wife and a close friend of Tom's) thanking Tom for a "wonderful job picking up the pieces." According to this interview clip, Tom looked up to Allen, but wouldn't do it unless Allen approved. When it was pointed out Allen asked for Tom to host, he graciously accepted.
      • A "Game Show Reunion" episode of Vicki Lawrence's short-lived talk show, Vicki!, reaffirmed the above notion, when Betty discussed the wonderful job Tom did taking over for Allen, with Peter Marshall adding, "He sure did."
    • On the Friday show of his first appearance on Super, Bill Cullen tells Bert Convy he's doing a wonderful job hosting. Convy then pays tribute to Allen Ludden, saying he's not trying to fit into his shoes because no one could host Password quite like him.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Florence Henderson got the password "Bunch" in 1966, three years before she became Mrs. Brady.
    • A 1981 all-celebrity episode hosted by Tom Kennedy saw "Body" and "Language" being used as the first two clues for the puzzle "Charades". Three years later, Tom Kennedy would host the charades-themed game show... Body Language.
    • One summer 1985 episode had Markie Post and Richard Moll as opposing celebrity players, but they were yet to be Night Court co-stars (Post was finishing up her run on The Fall Guy and would join Night Court that fall season).
    • In a Tournament of Champions episode, Frank Gifford was partnered with an airline stewardess. He would later be caught having an affair with one in 1997.
    • One week in 1967 had longtime What's My Line? panelist Arlene Francis appear with future What's My Line? host Larry Blyden.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Kirstie Alley was a contestant on Plus in 1980.
    • Diane Amos, better known as the Pine-Sol lady, was a contestant on Super in 1987.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Fans, celebrities and contestants alike didn't care much for the Ca$hword segment on Super Password. It dragged the game down and contestants didn't quite get the hang of it.
    • Take That, Scrappy!: Betty White particularly hated the Cashword, resulting in her demolishing the toaster during the finale. Vicki Lawrence wasn't too fond of it either.
  • Special Effect Failure: The Super set was incredibly prone to malfunction for some reason, such as the door not opening properly, the board accidentally revealing everything and giving away the puzzle, etc. The errors that resulted were rarely edited out.
  • Surprise Difficulty: Try playing the home versions - it looks pretty easy, but a lot of people accidentally give the password as a clue because the word's written right in front of them. Even Bert accidentally blurted out the password a few times!
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • While All-Stars is a good format in its own right, the change to it in November 1974 is generally considered a bad idea. Then again, Goodson-Todman likely wouldn't have made the "big-money Lightning Round" format otherwise.
    • While some think that Plus making antonyms illegal early in its run made things more challenging by forbidding the most obvious clues, the consensus among most others seems to be that it was an unwarranted rule change that only served to make the game unnecessarily harder than it had to be.
    • Originally, the front game of Plus had a $100-$100-$200-$200 structure and a goal of $300, so games typically ended in three or four puzzles (assuming none were thrown out for one reason or another, in which case they played another puzzle for the same amount). In late 1981, they increased the goal to $500 and added a third $100 puzzle, which meant games now ended in four to six puzzles. One game took place over three episodes and used 12 puzzles.
    • Alphabetics on Plus had the top prize being reduced by 20% per illegal clue. On Super, this changed to the word being thrown out if an illegal clue was given along with the contestant forfeiting the chance at the jackpot. Since the celebrity always gave the clues, this meant a good player will be screwed over by a celebrity's mistake.
    • Million-Dollar's main game switched to a Pyramid-esque format, while the Bonus Round used Cashword's three-clues-per-word concept and didn't really have the suspense of Alphabetics/Super Password. The bonus round required a clue-response-clue communication method — if the clue-giver said two clues in a row, or the contestant gave two guesses in a row, that word was forfeited. One contestant lost because she gave two guesses (the second of which was correct) with about two seconds left on the clock; she would've lost had she followed the rules (there was no time for another clue to be given), and lost because she gave two answers (likely because she knew there would be no time for another clue). Basically, she was screwed either way.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Tom Kennedy and Bert Convy on Plus and Super respectively after Allen Ludden took ill and died before Plus even went off the air. Many fans give them credit for doing their part in succeeding Mr. Password and incorporating their own hosting styles.
  • Values Dissonance: One early puzzle on Plus was about the Ku Klux Klan. Shortly after acquiring rights to the re-runs, Buzzr pulled its episode from the rotation in 2017.
  • Wardrobe Malfunction: Debralee Scott experienced one on ''Plus''. This episode is in the Buzzr rotation (as of June 2021), so if you're watching it and know what's coming, it's impossible not to see her constantly fighting to keep her top closed for practically the entire episode leading up to the reveal. Note: the link, like the Buzzr version, is SFW, having had any actual nudity blurred out.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • This Alphabetics round. Granted, those are not the easiest words, but the clues given were rather terrible.
    • George Peppard's infamous rant against about NBC standards and practices, that resulted in George Peppard not being asked back to do the show and the episode being unaired until GSN and Buzzr aired the episode years later. The pulled episode also resulted in having to filmed a six episode week with Judy Norton Taylor and Robert Walden two weeks later, to catch up due to the rant episode being skipped.
    • Hosts loved to play along with the celebrities and the contestants, trying his best to give the perfect clue. The problem is, in doing so, they'd wind up blowing the answer to many puzzles, forcing them to be thrown out. Some, however, were edited out and replaced.
    • Many celebrity players on Million-Dollar were... none too swift at playing the game. Sara Evans, Monique Coleman and William Shatner were abysmal. Shanter was reportedly so bad that the one Bonus Round he played went unaired (even after they let him try it twice), and they escorted his civilian partner off the set with nothing to show for it.
    • In Plus, guessing an antonym to a clue as opposites were illegal in that version.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Watergate co-conspirator G. Gordon Liddy on Super. In Come on Down!!!: The TV Game Show Book, Liddy admitted that he wasn't that good at the game.


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