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YMMV / The Weakest Link

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  • Bizarro Episode: The "Puppet Special" episode, where all the contestants were various puppets from childrens' TV (such as Zippy and George from Rainbow).
  • Critical Research Failure: "Montreal is the capital of which province in Canada?" According to the show, the answer was "Quebec". Actually, the answer is "none", as the capital of Quebec is "Quebec City".
  • Cult Classic: Despite its short life in America, the initial run had a noticeable cult following, enough for NBC to revive it in 2020note , when it premiered to strong ratings.
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  • Memetic Mutation: "You are the weakest link. Goodbye!"
  • Older Than They Think: The idea of a cold, uncharismatic game show host who would often belittle poorly-performing contestants was previously used on the Game Show Network original Inquizition in 1998.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Syndicated version host George Gray, who had to follow Mean Brit Anne Robinson, whose previous game was the abysmal Extreme Gong, and whose only notable work since has been announcer on The Price Is Right. Then there are some who think the man's style appears to have helped him redeem himself. However, because it was a daytime syndicated version, the scope of the top prize was cut down to a tenth of what it used to be and the show was slashed in half to a 30-minute run where the rounds were even shorter, there was less suspense, and the prizes awarded were a lot less substantial, leading to a lot of lukewarm episodes (one of these episodes ultimately awarded only $1,250 total, which also saw two $0 rounds).
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The 2020 version. Oy.
    • Though the aesthetics of the show makes it feel like a worthy successor to the original (Jane Lynch has proven herself to be a worthy successor to the likes of Anne and George, even if her insults may be less scathing, original series composer Paul Farrer's return breathes new life to the original soundtrack, and the new set screams Scenery Porn at times), the new rules have earned derision from many people:
      • Instead of the static money chain of the original that capped at $125,000, the revival employs a progressively increasing money chain, starting with a $25,000 cap and ending with a $500,000 cap. Though it sounds good on paper, the jumps on the chain get insanely jarring in execution, especially in the last few rounds (for example, the money chain of the last round goes as follows: $2,500, $5,000, $10,000, $25,000, $50,000, $100,000, $250,000, $500,000), not just leaving no reason, but at times leaving no choice but to bank after every correct answer or two.
      • The revival does away with the Double Round of the original, leaving no reason to keep the Strongest Link around before the final Showdown round, amplifying Tall Poppy Syndrome to the max.
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    • Add on an alleged attack on critics of the show from the producers a mere two weeks in, and it's easy to see why some think America shouldn't do The Weakest Link anymore.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • In the 2010 "Sporting Heroes" edition, the collected group of sporting heroes managed to get a chain of seventeen correct answers, and yet nobody thought to bank the huge amount of money they had earned (even though they weren't earning anything extra after the tenth correct answer). Eventually, they lost it all when Alex "Hurricane" Higgins confidently answered "What day comes after Tuesday" with "Sunday!"
    • Courtesy of Andy Roddick: "What letter is the name for a female sheep?" "Baa?" "...EWE." What makes this worse is the look of inquisitive confusion he gives Anne right after she gives the answer, indicating he thought she said "you" and was addressing him.
    • One contestant confused the motto of Boy Scouts with Alcoholics Anonymous.
    • One incident in the George Gray version: A man gets asked this question: "The term Parisian is given to inhabitants of what city?"
      • You'd Expect: The contestant to immediately respond with the obvious answer, Paris.
      • Instead: He hesitates, and then answers with, "Peru" (this is a country, not a city, and on a completely different continent). Cue immediate laughs from the audience. Said contestant finds himself on the wrong end of a unanimous vote from the other 5 players (one of whom was the statistic worst player that round, but she did not receive a gimme question) and George snarks, "As they say in Paris, Adios Amigo! With 5 votes, You Are The Weakest Link, Adios!" Said contestant did not take this well despite the fact that getting a question where the answer is inside the question wrong on The Weakest Link is essentially grounds for disqualification no matter what you do (plus you get a nasty tongue-lashing from the host, whether it be Anne Robinson or George Gray, for it).
    • In the puppet version, Zippy and George (Technically just Zippy as he was the only one talking) knew the answer to the question ("Pearl Harbor") but just messed up anyways.
    • Booker T in the WWE episode, who did so badly that being an idiot became his gimmick in WWE for a while afterwards. Also Kurt Angle, who did statistically better, but took too long to answer some of the questions, including one point where he spends over half a minute saying "uhhh" before giving up, ultimately costing the team a lot of potential money. Big Show also managed to not come up with an answer for "What television show theme has the phrase "A horse is a horse, of course, of course". Trish Stratus also whiffed on a question about Richard Nixon and Watergate, but had a ready-made excuse afterwards: She's Canadian.
    • In one of the West End specials, on the first round, the actress playing Meat was asked this question: "What word is a common abbreviation for the name Michael and the term microphone?" She passes. When Anne tells her "mike", the audience, understandably, laughs.
    • When asked to identify the mascots for Rice Krispies, a contestant guesses "Crispy" and "Crunch"note .
    • "What 'Z' is used to describe a human who has returned from the dead?" "Unicorn."note .
    • In the revival, a contestant who had been the weakest link several rounds in a row, decided to take the contestant who got every single question right. Amazingly he tied with her in the final round resulting in sudden death, but predictably, he still lost.
  • The Woobie: It's not hard to feel bad for K9 in the Doctor Who special. He, like everyone else, answers his question correctly, and doesn't really do anything to warrant being voted out. However, come voting time, everyone votes him out. He even says his own name sadly when it gets to him. Unfortunately, the other actors were instructed to vote him out first to ensure that he was removed from the game before he broke down. This is because K9, no matter what prop iteration, seems to malfunction at the drop of a hat. And this has been going on since the Seventies. The prop operators and veteran actors knew from experience to make his appearance short but sweet.


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