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YMMV / Whose Line Is It Anyway?

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  • Acceptable Ethnic Targets: Lampshaded in the episode where "Cosby and Hitler" is rejected as a "Title Sequence" name. During "Scenes From a Hat", Tonto was imitated by Brad. Drew then said about the Double Standard:
    Drew: I love that, let's make fun of Native Americans all we want, who gives a shit about them?
  • Acceptable Political Targets:
    • The British version liked to mock the Conservative government of John Major, while the American version liked to poke fun at both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. One US episode features the "Voted for Ross Perot" Irish Drinking Song (the prompt being "something you regret").
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    • The 2013 revival has had several jabs at the Republicans and failed 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney. There's even a rare case of Colin doing it, choosing to add "the mayor of Toronto" to his horror movie characters act.
    • After the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, just like so many other shows, the cast started making wisecracks about the most unexpected POTUS in modern history.
    • In Drew Carey's run, the cast mocked George W. Bush's intelligence and the Scenes From A Hat segments occasionally included a few suggestion cards from the audience to encourage ways to mock the president.
  • Acceptable Targets: The US version had a trend of hillbilly jokes. In the UK version though... it was Americans...
    • At least during the first few UK seasons, which had a maximum of 1 American player on occasion (Archie Hahn and Ron West in particular). As time passed and more Americans were added (reaching a 3:1 ratio eventually), any jokes were either Self-Deprecation or followed by snarking at something British.
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    • Bald people and Canadians (especially the exchange rate with the Canadian dollar). So in other words, Colin.
    • Ryan's height, big nose, and big feet. Therefore, also, his ridiculous shoes.
      • In a few episodes of the U.S. version, Ryan also wore a Western-style shirt: Numerous cowboy jokes were lobbed at him. "...And a special yippy-yi-yo! to Ryan Stiles!"
    • Ryan took jabs at Bill Clinton (as did Wayne, Colin, and Drew). Colin at one time referenced the Firestone exploding tire debacle.
    • Ryan loved to insult the British director on the Carey-era run and mock him at every turn. There are a lot of scenes on the gag reel where Ryan gleefully taunts the man, and one where Ryan even pies him!
    • Several performers have cracked Justin Bieber jokes.
  • Adaptation Displacement: Some of the games (even more in the UK version) will still make sense with just the audio - the only indication left of this show's radio origins.
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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: One editor of the now defunct "Dean's Line" episode guide wasn't as big a fan of the "Sound Effects" where two audience members provide the sound effects. When speaking of the first instance of this (the game where Ryan and Colin played cops who used a quacking elephant to distract robbers), he noted that "Interestingly, Drew sits and cries after the game."
  • Awesome Ego: Colin, fan favorite that he is, (jokingly) developed a bit of this as the American series progressed, which showed in his increasing indulgences. Of course, the audience just loved him that much more for it. Hell, he still has this:
    Reddit user: Which cast member was the 2nd funniest?
    Colin: All of them. (Which is also heartwarming since he's saying everyone is EQUALLY good.)
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • After one sketch, Drew was joking with the cast, unaware of a stage hand hunching over his desk and refilling his cup with Pepsi. When he finally noticed her, the woman ran off. "Who the bleep was that?" Drew asks. Capping it off with "More ale, wench!"
    • One episode was edited in a special way: rather than just coming back from commercials with Drew welcoming the viewers back to the show, we see Wayne sneak over to Drew's desk and record, "My ass, my ass, my ass, my ass," into his tape recorder (that already had "One thousand points!" recorded on it) while he was off stage. Wayne then hurries back to his seat just before the audience is cued for applause.
    • The episode where Drew gave away the one millionth point on the show, which unleashed a bunch of balloons from the ceiling while "The Stars and Stripes Forever" played. The celebration was short, came out of nowhere, and the balloons were cleaned up after the commercial.
  • Broken Base: US or UK version? And if you like the US version, which one? Certain sites, like YouTube, are rife with comments like "X version is so much better." God help you if you enjoy both versions. The debate is so headache-inducing – and can become so personal at times – that it's better to stay away from it all. Now that The CW has brought the show back with Aisha Tyler as the new host, the US fanbase has split between fans who miss Drew Carey and can't accept her as the host, and those who think Aisha is a breath of fresh air. Basically the same thing that happened when Drew Carey took over as host of the US version from Clive Anderson. And may God have mercy on your soul should you be a fan of any of the shows' Scrappies.
    • Specific games can get this, too. Is the "Sound Effects" where Ryan provides sounds for Colin better, or the version where Ryan and Colin react to sounds made by two members of the audience? Both versions showcase the duo's talent for thinking on the spot in different ways, but some fans prefer Ryan's professionalism at sound effects to the amateur audience members.
  • Cargo Ship: Ryan with the mobile boom cam on stage left (the audience's right).
  • Creator's Pet: The Hoedown seemed like the skit version of this. Drew loved it (and so did the studio audience), to that point that he often called it his "favorite game in the whole wide world" and whenever Drew participated in a game at the end of the show, most of the time it would be a Hoedown. The others... not so much (especially Ryan). And they would joke about how much they hated it regularly.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • Colin coming up with "Mary Had a Little Lamb" as the title of the animal porn movie he was watching. Simultaneously dirty and hilarious.
    • During a playing of "Hollywood Director" where Wayne and Ryan are motorists in a traffic accident and Brad plays a cop. As soon as Brad gets in, he says "LAPD, LAPD," and starts beating Wayne up.
    • In a game of "Party Quirks", Colin was someone who wasn't sure about the sex of the other performers, and was groping them to find out.
    • "I didn't mean to cook your dog..."
    • "You simply wait for traffic, then you ... push the old lady."
    • Josie Lawrence once had to tend bar for Ryan in the UK version, where his prompt was that he was in love with his teddy bear. After all the sexual implications were laid out, Josie ends the scene by recommending, whenever Ryan gets urges to take the teddy to bed again, just using a neighbor's pet.
    • During a Halloween hoedown, Wayne sang about dressing up as a KKK member. This would have been controversial coming from anyone else.
  • Cult Classic: Maybe the show never quite achieved the mainstream rub the creators obviously wanted, but it still has a devoted following that's stuck with the Whose Line Is It Anyway? gang for many years. ABC's low expectations (and the show's low production cost) saved Whose Line - during Whose Line's first run, they were on opposite NBC's ratings juggernaut Friends, later joined by CBS and Survivor. ABC decided to put Whose Line opposite those shows because while they knew it would never beat those shows, it did have a dedicated fanbase.
  • Designated Monkey: Besides maybe Colin, Drew was the person the panelists made fun of the most. Everything about him was basically fair game, from his weight to his glasses to his wealth to his lack of talent at improv to his perceived uselessness as the host. Wayne, Ryan and Greg in particular seemed to enjoy slamming him.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Jeff Davis, a guest star in only a few episodes and the youngest comedian in the show, turned out to be extremely popular and later played a bigger part in Drew Careys Green Screen Show - which unfortunately did not last. Eventually, this led to him being the first fourth-seater in the 2013 revival. And he keeps showing up in the fourth seat in all three seasons of the new version so far.
    • Mike McShane was one of the most talented of the UK show, but vanished following the show's move to the United States (and, reportedly, a violent back-stage argument with one of the producers). McShane appeared in a cameo on Frasier and after having gastric bypass surgery and losing fifty pounds, became unrecognizable. However, he seems to have gained some back in his appearance in the Doctor Who episode The Angels Take Manhattan.
    • The original music man of the series, Richard Vranch. He was a Nice Guy who was talented, charming and actually very good at improv, but alas, he was never allowed to perform onstage as a performer.
    • Among the new faces in the 2013 revival, Gary Anthony Williams.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • To separate it from its British counterpart in discussions, fans dubbed the first American series "Drew's Line Is It Anyway?"
    • Due to the way the stage is built, the four seats are on an elevated stage right in front of the actual floor, creating an area that one could hop down and then disappear from view by ducking low enough. The performers learned a long time ago to utilize this for certain gags, leading to the area being called the "mosh pit" (despite an actual mosh pit normally going in the front).
  • First Installment Wins: The show itself - specifically, its American version. Every attempt at a Spiritual Successor (Drew Careys Green Screen Show, Drew Careys Improvaganza and Trust Us with Your Life) never got a second season.
    • Subverted with The CW revival, which did get more seasons ordered, but CW considers it a direct continuation of the original show: The set is largely unaltered, many of the games return, all of the regulars aside from Drew and many of the semi-regulars return (including the musicians), and most importantly, CW considers the first episode of the revival as being from season nine (the original run had eight seasons). The network has also bought the broadcast rights to the older seasons, aside from a couple of the celebrity episodes, and the entire package is available on their website as a single show.
  • Gateway Series: The show has introduced a lot of people to Improv comedy.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • In the first playing of "The Millionaire Show", Brad (portraying Regis Philbin) mentions, "I'm just happy to be anywhere without that Cathy Lee Crosby!" For the unaware, this is just a silly name mix-up, but for the film buffs out there, it's amusing that he mentioned the name of an actual actress.
    • The Hollywood Director with Wayne as a pig farmer. One of the apparently random names he makes up for his pigs is 'Szechuan', which is actually a subset of Chinese cuisine that usually has a lot of pork.
    • In the "Scene to Rap" about The Exorcist, Ryan's verses were "I'm here to say, here to tell / I have come right straight from hell / I want your soul, gimme gimme / Why you do this to me Dimmy?" While "Dimmy" seems like a nonsensical way to rhyme with "gimme", it's an actual quote from the film.
    • Colin displays some knowledge of Greek mythology in one "Props":
    Wayne: Zeus! You keep your lightning bolts out of my yard!
    Colin: Well, you keep your wife out of my shorts!
  • Growing the Beard: Everyone agrees this happened at some point. There are people who prefer the British show over the American one, and there are people who love Wayne Brady and hate Tony Slattery and Steve Frost.
    • For the U.K. version itself, it's generally agreed that the show really started to find itself as John Sessions disappeared from the show. John, originally a regular, favored a more cerebral and well-read style of humor, and combined with his often self-indulgent performances, he seemed to amuse himself more than the audience (there's a reason he's often considered The Scrappy - see below). Gradually (and perhaps not coincidentally), as more and more performers showed up from across the pond, like Greg, Ryan and Colin, the show's humor became more universal and hit better with audiences. Eventually, Colin and Ryan became regulars, and the rest is history.
    • Colin himself took some time to come into his own as a performer, seeming a little more hesitant, until being Those Two Guys with Ryan brought him out of his shell, giving us the absurdist goofball we know and love. It's best exemplified by his Hoedowns. It was a Running Gag in the U.K. version that Colin wouldn't finish a Hoedown, usually screaming or fainting. By the time the U.S. series debuted, he had improved immensely, and his verses were often the highlights of the game, along with Ryan's.
    • The 2013 series: While the first season was funny as usual, many fans noted that one of the highlights from the first U.S. series (the performers good-naturedly ribbing the host) was absent. By season 2, this aspect was put back in. Also, there were certain episodes with no guest stars, a throwback which delighted some fans who thought guest stars were an unnecessary gimmick. And, the return of classic Whose Line performers (Greg Proops, Chip Esten) and certain games that hadn't been played in a while ("Showstopping Number") were welcome as well.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • In 1990, Chris Langham, actor, comedian and former writer for The Muppet Show, made his only appearance on the program, alongside John Sessions, Sandi Toksvig and Mike McShane. Probably for the best it was just the one, as it's already an episode very uncomfortable to revisit with knowledge of Langham's child pornography conviction in 2007.
    • One suggestion in Scenes From a Hat was, "Bad times to tell her you don't care." Wayne's joke was miming flipping through TV channels before doing an uncaring, "Yeah, I love you too." Drew then remarks, "Scenes from Wayne's real life." This joke isn't so funny anymore since Wayne got divorced.
      • Even worse, one suggestion in the 2013 revival was "Songs that celebrate divorce". Wayne went up first.
      • Again in the 2014 season, from Wayne as the sportscaster "going through an entire relationship" with Aisha, down to the breakup phase, to an Irish Drinking Song about divorce (a suggestion they've had before, by the way).
      • During a hoedown, Drew did a verse about Wayne's wife being out with him at 3 AM.
      • Don't forget about the time Wayne's wedding ring flew off his finger...
    • "Hey, I didn't mean to cook your dog. But hey, these things just happen..."
    • In a game of Let's Make a Date, Ryan Stiles played TV's Crocodile Hunter. At one point, he "dies" after clutching his chest and falling over.
    • In the UK version Season 8 episode 6, a game of Sound Effects with Ryan making noises for Colin ends with gunfire. Clive comments, "It's a crazy country, America. Even meeting a date turns into a mass shooting." That was 1996. America's problem with mass shootings has skyrocketed since then...
    • In the original British radio program, Clive asked Stephen Fry to "be a manic depressive". This was seven years before Stephen was diagnosed with manic-depressive disorder.
    • After a disastrous game of Party Quirks in which Tony failed to guess Ryan's very obvious quirk, Clive remarked "I don't think we'll have [Tony] on the show ever again." This actually did turn out to be Tony Slattery's last performance ever, as he was fired and removed from the show after that episode.
    • In the UK version, on a 1994 episode, they had the game "Bartender" when Greg was singing about how he was trying to forget about his taxes. Chip suggests he should drive a car bomb into the I.R.S. Extremely unfunny when the very next year Timothy McVeigh caused the Oklahoma City Bombing with a car bomb because of hatred against the American government.
    • In one playing of Weird Newscasters, Ryan was to do the weather as "Siegfried and Roy whose act is going dangerously wrong." In October of 2003, Roy was mauled by one of their male white tigers, Montecore, during a performance in Las Vegas. Also, shortly before that incident, a Greatest Hits game had Colin promising to return to Crouching Tiger, Screaming Siegfried and Roy.
    • One Hoedown about getting pulled over had Drew end his verse with "they don't give no ticket to a rich celebrity". Who would predict that celebrity mugshots after arrests for driving violations would actually become a thing?
    • Robin Williams jokingly asking himself "I have a career. What the hell am I doing?" during Scenes from a Hat is harder to watch in light of his suicide.
    • The second episode of the CW reboot features Kevin McHale from Glee as the celebrity guest. While it was probably exciting at the taping, the episode proper ended up airing three days after Glee star Cory Monteith's death. Even worse... Wayne joked about getting a role in that show. Now that they're a man down...
    • The second revival season has a game of "Helping Hands" where Ryan accused Michael Weatherly of NCIS of using a forged passport - at about the same time that the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was attributed to at least two passengers slipping aboard on stolen passports.
    • It was a more innocent time when the worst joke that could be made about Bill Cosby was his sponsoring Jell-o. However, ever since he got numerous accusations of sexual assault, those light-weight Cosby jokes really date the show.
      • One could argue this makes the infamously cut "Cosby and Hitler" Title Sequence game even more inappropriate.
      • The revival managed to have a Cosby reference, with Keegan-Michael Key in the role of the Big Bad Wolf from Red Riding Hood, a role that's often been interpreted as an allusion to date rape.
    • There was the "Scene To Rap" about getting hit by a tsunami that was long before the Christmas 2005 disaster made people realize how serious those can be.
    • The biggest example has to be on the British version before Princess Diana died; they did a small joke about her getting divorced in a Hoedown, and they did "Let's Make A Date" with one man pretending to be her, as an eye-batting ditz.
      • Similarly, on the UK version, they did a game of "Let's Make A Date", where Caroline was supposed to be Sarah Ferguson. She says as a hint she eats a lot and the public pays for it. Greg guesses she's supposed to be Princess Diana. Clive tells him if it was Diana it would involve eating and throwing up everything. There's no way you could do jokes about her being bulimic after she died, only a year after that episode first aired.
    • Kathy Griffin's first game of Hollywood Director has her adopting a Sensual Slavs accent as the trophy wife of an elderly billionaire (Wayne). It's a little funny that she predicted Donald Trump and Melania... but not so much after her even more cutting statement against Trump.
    • A particularly short-range one when Scenes from a Hat does "If all TV shows were performed by incredibly angry people", leading to Colin as a newscaster who outright screams "EVERYTHING IS SH**!" Probably meant to be that guy from Network, but it should be noted that this was shown rather early in the now memetic Annus Horribilis of 2016.
    • The Running Gag of Colin playing female characters could be viewed this way after his real-life daughter came out as trans.
    • One World's Worst game covered Oscar acceptance speeches, which led to Colin going "you don't know how many b*tts I've had my d*ck up just to get this". By 2018, sexual harassment in the upper echelons of the entertainment industry was revealed to be rampant.
    • During the World’s Worst in season 4, episode 8 of the UK version (World’s Worst person to be a parent), Archie Hahn made a joke about a gay couple adopting a baby. Needless to say, the joke has NOT aged well.
    • One Scenes From a Hat skit entitled "Shortest Book Ever Written" has Wayne say "The Life and Times of Gary Coleman". Gary Coleman died in 2010 at the young age of 42, so needless to say, this joke has aged about as well as year-old milk.
    • One "Scenes From a Hat" skit had Greg Proops mocking Alex Trebek during the scene "People you wish would just shut up". Proops got a round of applause at the time, but after Trebek's diagnosis with stage IV pancreatic cancer in 2019 and his later death, many YouTube comments point out how retroactively tasteless the joke is now, with some even calling for the scene to be cut from reruns.
    • All the Monica Lewinsky jokes in the first U.S. series really have not aged well, both for dating the show and because they're just mean-spirited (calling her fat, ugly, etc.).
    • The UK version had The Excessive Drinking Hoedown featuring Tony Slattery as a reluctant participant. In 2019, Tony has mentioned in interviews that he has been struggling with alcoholism for many years.
    • One post-commercial joke had Drew telling viewers in Beirut to turn off their TV and move. Was funny at one time, since Beirut is not exactly a bad place to live. Isn't funny in 2020 because of an explosion that caused widespread damage and many deaths.
    • Wayne and his wife got divorced in 2007, which makes Drew saying "Wayne, how's the wife?" before Song Styles to be this. As well as a suggestion made during Scenes from a hat:
    Wayne: (What your wife is saying right now) "I love my husband, Wayne Brady."
    • A game of "Sound Effects" by audience members has Ryan and Colin play buddy cops. It was filmed before 9/11, because of the flippant way they throw around the word "terrorist".
    • During the final season, there was a bit of a running gag about Drew Carey asking Wayne Brady how his marriage was doing, before introducing a particularly attractive guest star for him to sing about, such as Undarmaa the contortionist, body-builder Jayne Trcka, or incredibly handsome actor David Hasselhoff. (He always says it's fine, but he sounds kind of uncomfortable.) During his ode to Undarmaa, he actually makes a joke about getting a divorce.
    • In an episode with Kathie Lee Gifford, Wayne makes a joke about being her "black Frank", with the episode only airing about a month before Frank Gifford's death.
    • In the taping of the Sid Caesar episode, one of the languages given to Drew and Sid to fake in Foreign Film Dub was Arabic. The episode was taped on September 9, 2001, two days before 9/11. Guess why they cut that one before it made it to air...
    • Crude jokes about transgender people were pretty common in the 1990s, from Ace Ventura to Mad TV, and this show was no different. They come across even more mean-spirited now that we know Colin Mochrie's daughter is trans.
    • A "World's Worst" game in one episode of the UK version was "Person to Be Prime Minister". Tony's final parody of the round? "Hello, my name is Jimmy Savile."
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Has its own page.
  • Memetic Molester: Because he once randomly touched Ryan's crotch during a game of Helping Hands, and humped Chip Esten during Scenes From a Hat, Archie has this reputation with some fans.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Welcome to Whose Line Is It Anyway?, where everything's made up, and the points don't matter." That, and variations.
    • Plenty. One of the more popular ones is a response to a post with a picture of Colin reading from a card, accompanied by text with a reverse-engineered Scenes from a Hat pitch for the post.
    • Memetic Animutation: Colin appears in almost all such animations created; he played the sun in the very first one.
    • On "you laugh, you lose" challenges: "Posting Whose Line is cheating."Explanation 
    • "The Cat!"
    • The "Is that still a show?" moment from a game of Mixed Messages from the CW era. It's become incredibly popular amongst fans, has been used in promo tweets, and the shot of the cast flipping off the audience member's sister on Facetime tends to circulate frequently amongst the fan base. Many have also pointed out, this moment sums up Whose Line's status amongst general audiences, as there are many people who aren't aware of the revival.
    • "What noise does an arctic tern make?" "BACKSTREET BOYS!"
  • Misaimed Fandom: In-show example during Scenes from a Hat, when the topic was, "Things that Make the Audience Boo"
    Ryan: "You simply wait for traffic, then you push the old lady! Push the old lady!" (Cue strange mixture of boos and applause) "...I wasn't looking for applause on that one, I was looking for..."
  • Nausea Fuel:
    • The mass of maggots footage in "Newsflash." It was so disgusting that Kathy Greenwood looked physically ill. One editor at the defunct website Dean's Line even went so far as to say it ruined the whole episode.
    • The 2013 version adds another with footage of a dental procedure.
    • In the "Improbable Mission" on walking the dog: "Hey, you still got that tapeworm?" It made the audience groan. Colin and Ryan are weirdly fond of tapeworm jokes, and they're ALWAYS gross.
  • Never Live It Down: If someone epically screws up, expect it to be referenced constantly for the rest of the episode.
    • In one episode, Drew accidentally calls Africa a country instead of a continent. People still remind him of this one.
    • Wayne spelling Howard as H-O-R-W-A-R-D (multiple times, in song).
    • Drew was in Geppetto. (So was Wayne, but he got away with it.)
  • One-Scene Wonder: From the 2013 revival:
  • Parody Displacement: Some of the impressions done in games can be the first introduction to those being imitated - like Peter Lorre, Jimmy Stewart, and especially Carol Channing.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis:
  • Replacement Scrappy: Aisha Tyler was labeled this for replacing Drew Carey in the U.S.A. version's 2013 revival. Of course, Drew Carey was initially this for Clive Anderson as well.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Aisha became a lot more popular with many fans during Season 11, when she started participating in the sketches more often and, more importantly, doing so willingly. The cast also began to crack more jokes about her like they did with Drew, making her seem less like a Sacred Cow and more like a member of the cast.
  • The Scrappy:
    • John Sessions is considered unfunny by many, and Archie Hahn (who was on during the same period) was derided in some quarters for his carrying props around and having an unfair advantage.
    • Kathy Greenwood was a frequent fourth-seater in the Drew Carey run, but oftentimes, fans considered her to be The Bore among the rotating cast lineup and a benchwarmer because her jokes weren't as witty as the regular trio's half the time and the other half she was generally sidelined or apparently too nervous on stage to interact or provide banter.
  • Seasonal Rot:
    • With each passing season of the the U.S. version, there was a heavier reliance of guest appearances. While some were uproariously funny (Richard Simmons' appearance was outstanding for one), the act got tired after a while with usage of guest stars reaching its peak in Season 5. The revival has a similar reliance on guest stars, appearing on every other show at least.
    • The last two seasons in the first U.S. version were made entirely of unused footage from the same tapings as previous episodes. While season 7 managed to mask this well and had plenty of funny episodes from the leftover material, season 8 wasn't quite as lucky for the most part. It didn't help that season 8 used unused footage from season 1 for many of its episodes, which was quite jarring this late in the series.
  • Shallow Parody: Whenever the improvers are given a style or subject they aren't familiar with, this is likely to happen. Though this rarely makes the improv less funny.
    • An especially hilarious example was when Colin and Ryan had to do a scene as characters from South Park. Colin does well with the material, but all Ryan can do is walk around goofily with a nasally voice. Lampshaded by Colin who asks Ryan "You've never watched South Park have you?".
  • Signature Scene:
    • From the old series, the part with Ryan as a Fabio-esque romance cover guy holding Colin in a warm embrace while Colin does the same to Ryan's junk. Then Colin starts using his other hand.
    • From the new series, the moment Lauren Cohan kicked Wayne out of frame pretty much set the tone for the whole revival.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The audience members Drew brings up for Sound Effects always suck at making sound effects, which make the sketches that much funnier. Most of the time one person tries to sound as realistic as possible, while the other just makes random noises based on what the actors are doing. It always makes it worse in the best ways possible.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • One game of Newsflash starts inadvertently with the green screen showing the studio cam's view instead of the archive footage intended. Chip and Ryan have some fun reaching to the far left to "touch" Colin's head.
    • Perhaps the best example of this is in the UK version wherein one prop broke, then continued to deteriorate throughout the sketch.
    • In a playing of Props, another prop breaks and hits Colin in the face.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: Nick Cannon presents Wild 'n' Out is essentially Whose Line in hip-hop fashion. Interestingly, they follow one of the wildly inaccurate reviews of Whose Line by dividing eight performers into opposing teams.
  • Squick: Some versions of Newsflash seem to be set up with this in mind, from rats to maggots to cockroaches to a series of skateboarders wiping out and landing groin first.
    • Jayne Trcka had her hand on Wayne's crotch.
    • The tradition of showing disgusting and/or disturbing Newsflashes hasn't stopped in the revival. #DentalFears, indeed.
    • Thanks to one Greatest Hits doing songs about the gym, Wayne goes into way too much detail about what happens during a hernia... to the tune of "Livin la Vida Loca"!
    • During a game of World's Worst, Jeff does a couple of silly human tricks by twisting and contorting his fingers. It horrifies the audience, plus Aisha, especially since one trick has audible cracking sounds. This man nearly broke all the fingers on his right hand for a cheap laugh. Talk about dedication to the craft.
      Aisha: Jeff. Bryan. Davis. [Jeff's fingers crack, grossing everyone out some more] I hate you.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: Greatest Hits and Song Styles/Duet almost always had improvised music meant to evoke real artists, especially after US season 2.
    • The theme music for the 2013 series is similar to the first U.S. series but not exactly the same.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • Though it gave way to a hilarious and heartwarming moment, in the 100th episode Scenes From A Hat skit, they did "A brief glimpse inside the dreams of Colin Mochrie," where Greg ruffles through his hair. That actually visibly got to Colin for once.
    • In one of the outtakes, Drew announced "Let's Make a Date", saying Greg is hoping to be picked by a date, snarking "I don't know why that would ever happen in real life." When the game began, Greg responded in a mock downbeat manner, "Yes, but... what's the point, Drew? Since no one would ever pick me?" The audience awww'd in sympathy. The moment quickly veers back into comedy when the two "make up" with a Ho Yay hug.
  • That One Level: The games may all be in good fun and the points certainly don't matter, but some games like "Changed Letter," "Multiple Personalities," and the "Questions Only" variants can be pretty difficult. While "Questions Only" is often hard for keeping a mental note of the topic, the others are difficult for the how random they can be.
    • Certain games get audible groans and expressions of dread from the performers, such as "If You Know What I Mean" (Ryan once described it as a party game if you want people to leave, and Colin always has trouble with the game due to his style of humor), "Hoedown" (Ryan again - he hates this game), "Number of Words" (during the 100th episode, Ryan groaned and quickly said, "I mean, "yay"!"), "Hats" (Greg, who will most likely complain about how immature or unamusing he looks while using said implements), "Song Titles" (which suffered from very poor judging at times from Drew, and was similar to Questions Only) and "Questionable Impressions" (or, as Drew puts it: "We're gonna change the name of that game to "Hey, Let's All Make Idiots Out of Ourselves").
    • The British version occasionally ran into this with the American guests, who weren't always familiar with British customs, media, and so on. One example came when Greg Proops was trying to guess the characters on the dating show, and Tony Slattery had been portraying British cartoon character Noddy. Greg had no idea what this was, as the show would not come to the United States until 1998:
      Tony: *nodding vigorously as a clue*
      Greg: ...Bouncing Forelock Man?
      Clive: Do you not have Noddy in America?
      Greg: *clearly baffled* Noddy?!
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: A lot of fans of the UK version didn't like the American humor of the American version. Other things included how vastly different Drew's hosting style was to Clive's; Drew interacted with the players a lot more and even participated at times, while Clive was far more low-key and actually made the points "appear" to be important. And there are plenty more who are fine with all of that... but just can't stand the overexcited audience.
    • Widely considered to be inverted with "Sound Effects", which seemed to improve in hilarity when it changed from "Ryan makes sound effects for Colin" into "audience members make ridiculously bad sound effects for Colin and Ryan."
    • Much like the UK version above, a lot of fans of the first US show don't care for the 2013 revival. Aisha is considered a poor replacement for Drew, largely due to an almost complete lack of friendly ribbing that made the interactions of the cast so entertaining, as the cast would often joke about Drew or pull pranks on him, while with Aisha, the group rarely makes a joke about her as if she was not someone they could joke at. Furthermore, the fact that the show has a larger budget means that props are used much more frequently, taking away from the original show's charm of the guys making due with what little they had. And the few games that did use props, which tended to be well-received due to their scarcity, are now done so often as to lose what made them special in the first place (Helping Hands comes to mind). An overuse of Guest Stars doesn't help either, as during the Drew period, guests were used very sparsely, which resulted in episodes with them becoming some of the funniest moments in the shows history. The new guests are usually not at all related to comedy, and often are dull and stand around looking confused. Or worse, the show turns into a shameless Wolverine Publicity plug for the CW to promote an actor on the network's current lineup of aspiring series who otherwise has no reason to appear.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: In retrospect, it's pretty obvious what era the first U.S. version came from. Between the Monica Lewinsky jokes, the Firestone tires controversy, and Blair Witch and Jar Jar Binks references, it definitely has its dated jokes even though the show overall is still quite hilarious. The UK version has aged even worse, as they occasionally referenced Jimmy Savile, which is probably jarring to most British viewers today, and the few Americans who know who Savile is, and the serious scandal that came out regarding him.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: The U.S.A. version's season 9 (2013 revival) insisted on promoting Twitter hashtags on screen during nearly every game. From season 10 onward, this was just reduced to #WLIIA throughout each episode. Not helping is jokes aimed at controversial figures in the media that felt very outdated by the time the jokes were made. Season 11 manages to bump up the jokes to current matters as the actors finally stop making up for lost time.
  • Win Back the Crowd: The "Newsflash" with the maggots is considered by some to be one of the grossest playings of that game, so the cast had their work cut out for them to recover from that game for the rest of the episode. Opinions vary on whether they were successful.
    Drew: And you can't show people smoking on TV. But you can show that.
  • The Woobie: In between Drew stating when they came back from a commercial "Welcome back to Whose Line Is It Anyway?, the show that gives Colin Mochrie a reason to live," to Chip actually making a drinking game out of all the times that they rip on Colin, it's hard not to see him as this.
    Drew: "Oh man, never make fun of the popular, funny guy, that's the thing you shouldn't do."