- Adaptation Displacement: The 1978-86 version is far better known than the original 1956-59 era.
- Awesome Music: "Crazy Fun", the theme song of the 1978-86 version.
- Averted in the 1990 version. Although Henry Mancini composed the theme, it sounds more like the cheesy theme to some bad 1980s children's show.
- Funny Moments:
- At the end of a 1983 episode, Wink dons a hat sent in by a fan that was so large it covered his whole head. He then spends the entire credit roll blindly fumbling through the set, nearly running into the gameboard, tripping over himself at the contestants' entry point, and bumping into one of the contestants.
- On some occasions during the contestant plug, Charlie would remind the viewer "Make sure it's a postcard".
- Harsher in Hindsight: At the start of Thom McKee's 22nd episode, Thom said of his triumphs that he felt like Bruce Jenner. Today, that can be taken in a completely different way.
- Memetic Mutation: See the quotes at Replacement Scrappy, below.
- Narm: The melodramatic intro to the 1990 version, saying how the game "intrigued a nation".
- Nightmare Fuel: The Dragon was the source of many nightmares among fans who grew up with the show. He even roared whenever he was picked.
- Replacement Scrappy:
- Jim Caldwell. Wooden hosting, constant screwups, and an unhealthy obsession with the red boxes (we'll explain those when we get to them). To his credit, he did get better as the season progressed, and was greatly improved by the time TNN's Top Card debuted in 1989.
- Patrick Wayne, he of "YOU WIIIIIIIN!" infamy. Every bit as wooden when interviewing or reading the questions, but Suddenly SHOUTING! when a contestant blocked or won. According to Wink Martindale, he did study tapes of Wink's shows for weeks on end, and to his credit he did show some growth as a host while the series progressed. But the numerous other flaws with this version didn't help.
- Retroactive Recognition:
- Gene Rayburn was previously the announcer/sidekick on The Tonight Show Starring Steve Allen and he later hosted Match Game from 1962 to 1969 and from 1973 to 1982 in daytime, as well as hosting a nighttime version of the show from 1975-81.
- Wink Martindale previously hosted Gambit from 1972 to 1976, as well as a Las Vegas-based revival from 1980 to 1981.
- Bill Wendell later announced for Sale of the Century (1969-74), To Tell the Truth (1972-77), and Late Night with David Letterman (1982-93).
- Jay Stewart previously announced for Let's Make a Deal from 1964 to 1977, and later went on to announce for Sale of the Century from 1983 to 1988 and Scrabble from 1984 to 1986. Incidentally, original Deal host Monty Hall previously worked for Barry & Enright as host of 21 during the Summer of 1958, and later returned to the conpany in 1987 to host an unsold pilot for a revival of Queen for a Day.
- Charlie O'Donnell previously announced on Wheel of Fortune from 1975 to 1980 before doing a second run from 1989 to 2010. Incidentally, original Wheel hostess Susan Stafford was also working for Barry & Enright around the same time in the position of vice president for public relations. She was also Dan Enright's companion for many years.
- Scrappy Mechanic:
- For a time in 1983, the Bonus Round required players to accumulate $1,000 exactly, and going over made finding Tic and Tac the only option to win. Thankfully, that didn't last long.
- The 1990 revival changed the rules involving tie games. In all previous versions, when a tie game happened, the pot would carry over to the next round with the contestants playing nine new categories. In the revival, the money in the pot reset to 0 in the event of a tie, and the next round would be played for double the stakes. This is hated by fans because it means the second round can potentially be worth less than the first one. The first round can be worth at most $5000, but the second round can be worth at least $3000, and that did happen a few times during the show.
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
- Many fans' opinions of the Caldwell season. The numerous red boxes that dragged the gameplay down by this point didn't help. Inverted with the redone set and recolored logo—those are often seen as nice and less harsh on people's eyes (it's been stated that the new set was needed because Wink's set was falling apart by the time he left).
- The 1990s revival reset the pot to $0 after each tie (each box's value was doubled instead), and made other changes which many fans disliked (mostly the Bonus Round, a harder variant of the CBS version, and theme music)...to say nothing of Wayne's hosting. But then about six weeks in, the Dragon and Dragonslayer started rapping their purpose and made the show nigh intolerable.
- Special mention goes to Divorced Couples' Week in the Wayne era. As its name implies, two divorced contestants competed against each other. The pot was gone, with a flat $2,000 awarded to the winning contestant in each game, plus an anemic $5,000 bonus split among whichever sex won more (9-4 in favor of the men) and the Bonus Round was ousted. The final episode of said week also had Wayne smarmily telling the contestants during the closing that "divorced couples can still have fun together, riiiiiiight?"
- What an Idiot!: On the only surviving Jay Jackson episode, the show starts with an interrupted game. The champion has X's in the left corners and the opponent has an O in the center box. One would think that the champ would go for the easy victory by picking "Pot Luck" in the middle left, but he goes for a "Civil War" question in the lower right instead. He gets his turn back and again ignores the same spot to choose a square that blocks his opponent. Had this version not been rigged, Jay would have at least tried to talk him out of both selections.
YMMV / Tic-Tac-Dough