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Characters appear on a real or fictitious Game Show, but typically they won't win any significant amount of money. Often, two or more characters will be pitted against each other, despite the unlikelihood of two people who know each other being competitors on a real game show.

If a group of people love a game show with one holdout pointing out the show's silliness, chances are the holdout will be the one who becomes a contestant and/or gets obsessed.

Typically, using a real game show will involve the genuine set, props, and staff.

Examples with real Game Shows:

American Gladiators

  • September 18, 1992: In a particularly unrealistic example, the Family Matters episode "Surely You Joust" had Carl Winslow and Steve Urkel squaring off against each other on the show.
  • November 22, 1994: An episode of Taz-Mania had Taz and his mom on "Tasmanian Gladiators".
  • March 1, 1995: Ellen DeGeneres once appeared on the show in the episode "Gladiators".

== Beat The Clock ==* November 20, 1954: One of the so-called "lost" episodes of The Honeymooners had Ralph Kramden and his wife Alice on the show (and Bud Collyer, naturally, playing himself). After completing the $100 Clock and time running out during the $200 Clock, the two practice the stunt for the next week. Alice becomes unable to participate due to her sister having twins, and Ed Norton is brought in as her substitute. He and Ralph complete the $200 Clock, after which Norton wins the Jackpot Clock and TV set. Collyer then gives Ralph a pair of strollers that were to be used in a later stunt for the newborn twins.

Big Brother

  • October 20, 2003: In the Yes, Dear episode "Big Brother-in-Law", Jimmy becomes a contestant to get money so he and Christine can get their own place. Jimmy quickly becomes well-liked by the others due to his wit and storytelling skills, and all signs clearly point to him being winning the $500,000...until Greg, wanting to see Jimmy win, breaks in to warn of a blindsiding which was actually a joke.
  • June 11, 2005: An episode of Doctor Who ("Bad Wolf") had the Ninth Doctor ending up on a future version of the show (although it's only one of several dozen simultaneous "houses") where the evicted contestants die.
  • December 27, 2007: Done tragically in the Grand Finale of Extras, the show representing the lowest point in Gervais' character's career. Culminates in an incredible Moment Of Awesome.

Cash Cab

  • September 30, 2010: In the Thirty Rock episode "When it Rains, it Pours", Tracy Jordan manages to get sidetracked somehow and needs to get to the hospital to witness the birth of his wife's new child (he missed it the last two times). However, when he hails a taxi, he ends up getting a cab driven by none other than Ben Bailey. Tracy answers every question correctly, and arrives at the hospital in time to witness the birth of his third child.


  • July 2, 2010: In "The Final Countdown," an episode of The IT Crowd, Moss shatters all the records on Countdown, and is invited to join the "8+ Club," an exclusive club for the Countdown elite. His success rankles the former Countdown king, who challenges Moss to an intense match of "Street Countdown."

The Dating Game

Deal Or No Deal

  • March 16, 2007: Comic Relief had Catherine Tate, as her filthy-grandmother character "Nan", appear on the British version. Played straight throughout, with Nan proceeding to remove the Power Five in the first round. The subsequent offer of £199 is taken, as Nan had already looked inside her box and saw that it contained £50. Only a few actors were used aside from Tate (those holding the boxes Nan picks), with the audience and other contestants held over from an actual taping; based on their reactions, they either A) weren't told this "taping" was for Red Nose Day or B) have some really good acting skills.
  • September 16, 2007: Kim and Sharon went on the Australian version in an episode of Kath and Kim. Faced with either $100,000 or 50¢, Sharon says "No Deal" and wins the $100,000.
  • September 23, 2007: In the first part of the Family Guy Star Wars parody Blue Harvest, Princess Leia (Lois) hides the plans to the Death Star in "one of these 28 suitcases".

Family Feud

  • 1970s: An episode of Saturday Night Live featured the Coneheads playing against a family headed by a lettuce salesman played by Steve Martin. Dawson was played by Bill Murray, and the set was very unrealistic — the usual SNL thrown-together style.

 Richard Dawson: Name something you like to bite.

Connie Conehead: The Big One.

  • November 20, 1979: An episode of Angie had the titular character's immigrant family face off against her fiance's wealthy family on a reasonable facsimile of the Feud set with Dawson hosting.
  • February 19, 1983: An episode of Mama's Family had the cast appear on the original (syndicated) Richard Dawson era...and lost. Here's the first part of the episode.
  • 1980s: A bit on Late Night with David Letterman had Paul Shaffer's band respond to a "Viewer Mail" letter detailing an error Ray Combs made on a syndicated episode.
  • November 19, 1988: The cast of 227 once appeared on the syndicated Combs version and won the game, but lost Fast Money.
  • 1994-95: An episode of The Critic had Jay Sherman taking his son to the movies. While waiting in line, Jay looks up at a poster for "Family Feud: The Movie" (showing the original Dawson set) and declares that "It stinks!"
  • October 23, 2001: An episode of Scrubs had a brief pre-opening cutaway to Louie Anderson's version, with the question "Name one thing guys want to see more than anything in the whole wide world."
  • May 20, 2003: The Grand Finale of Watching Ellie had the cast go on the show, with Richard Karn as himself. Here's a brief clip.
  • 2005-06: WDJT (aka CBS-58)'s two promos for their "10 At 10" newscast.
  • January 3, 2010: The beginning of the Family Guy episode "Big Man On Hippocampus" had the Griffins appearing on the original Dawson version. The family loses Fast Money, and Peter suffers from amnesia after getting into a fight with Dawson.

 Dawson: Take your hands off me! I'm a veteran of the Pretend Army!


The Gong Show

  • December 17, 1976: In an episode of Sanford and Son called "Sanford and Gong", following Lamont meeting Chuck Barris, Fred, Lamont, and Bubba perform on Fred's favorite show. Barris and the correct prize of $516.32 are present, but the set's a knockoff, the logo's vastly different, and the panelists are fake first-name-only people.

 Fred Sanford: This is Fred G. Sanford...the G stands for "Gong"!

  • February 12, 1977: A Carol Burnett Show "Family" sketch had Eunice appearing on the show (with Barris, Jamie Farr, Jaye P. Morgan, and Allen Ludden as themselves)...and torturing the panel through her awful singing. She was Gang-Gonged at the panel's first opportunity. Here's the first part.
  • December 16, 1993: In the Simpsons episode "$pringfield", Marge reminds Homer that he already fulfilled his lifelong dream — a flashback reveals that said dream was appearing with Barney on a 1977 episode (they each wore one leg of a giant pair of suspenders and played a giant harmonica). They got more gongs than the breakdancing robot that caught on fire.

The Hollywood Squares

  • 1993-94: "East Hollywood Squares", a recurring sketch during the final season of In Living Color, featured Peter Marshall hosting once again. Gary Coleman appeared as himself in one skit, while Fred Berry did the same in another.
  • November 18, 1998: In an episode of The Nanny, Maxwell Sheffield was invited to be a celebrity guest on the Tom Bergeron version when Andrew Lloyd Webber couldn't make it. Bergeron, Whoopi Goldberg, and Bruce Vilanch all appeared as themselves.
  • The Simpsons has "Springfield Squares", a local version hosted by Kent Brockman and featuring a Charlie Weaver Expy.

I've Got A Secret

  • July 14, 1959: In It Happened To Jane, the title character appears on the original version. Garry Moore and the panel (Bill Cullen, Jayne Meadows, Henry Morgan, and Betsy Palmer) appeared as themselves in the only surviving color footage of the 1952-67 era. Also in the film were Robert Paige (on The Big Payoff, shortly before its demise and which is also pretty rare) and an uncredited Gene Rayburn (as himself, a WTIC reporter).


  • October 23, 1976: A memorable Saturday Night Live sketch was Jeopardy! 1999, complete with clues like "Comedian whose career fizzled after leaving NBC's Saturday Night" (which was lampshaded with none of the contestants even ringing-in, including the one played by Chevy Chase). The game board and wager cards were eerily accurate to the end of the original series (complete with bad punctuation and shortened wording to fit on the former's cards), giving the impression that they had been sitting around at NBC for over a year...and the sketch even used the actual board reveal sound and think music! [1]
  • December 10, 1982: In Airplane II: The Sequel, one character remarks to another that "You're putting the passengers in JEOPARDY!" Cut to the passengers playing Jeopardy! on the plane with Art Fleming. (Interestingly, the board is based on the 1978 version with the 1975 dollar values; also, trilons.)
  • 1984: "Weird Al" Yankovic's parody song "I Lost On Jeopardy", set during the classic Art Fleming era. The song featured Don Pardo, while the music video (filmed on May 24 and 25) featured Pardo and Fleming. Notably, while Fleming doesn't speak, he still manages to go way Out of Character by giving Al a "raspberry" just before the "Complete Loser" is taken from his podium.
  • February 13, 1988: In a Mama's Family episode, Thelma Harper (aka "Mama") appears on the show and takes second place — a trip for four to Hawaii, leading into the subsequent two-parter. Here's the full episode, and this is only the relevant portions (from a more recent TBS repeat than the other).
  • February 27, 1989: During the TV special What's Alan Watching?, the main character channel surfs and eventually stops on a Jeopardy! episode with the categories of Geography, Literature, History, Alan's Family, Jewish Presidents, and State Capitals...and it is here that Alan learns about his father's World War II affair with a Samoan nurse. Incredulous, Alan turns the TV off right after the Daily Double sound plays when "Jewish Presidents for $100" is picked.
  • Late 1980s: A Cold Opening for an episode of D.C. Follies featured Sam Donaldson hosting "Political Jeopardy!" with contestants Ted Kennedy, Lee Iacocca, and NYC Mayor Ed Koch.
  • January 18, 1990: Cliff Clavin of Cheers appeared on the show) and had enough going into Final Jeopardy! (nearly $18,000 more than his opponents combined thanks to a "dream board" for the Jeopardy! Round) to easily secure a large payday, but bet everything and got it wrong. [2]
    • Alex Trebek, who appeared as himself, refers to this on actual Jeopardy! shows as "pulling a Clavin".
    • "Who are three people who have never been in my kitchen?" was used on the actual show on June 6, 2000 as a contestant's response to the Daily Double of "Hedda Tesman, Helen Alving, Knut Brovik". The category was "Who Created 'Em?", which made his response even more incorrect than Clavin's a decade earlier. (Henrik Ibsen was the correct response.)
    • On May 10, 2005 the Double Jeopardy! categories were from Cliff's "dream board".
  • February 8, 1992: Dorothy of The Golden Girls tried out for the show and, while not making it, played against Rose and Charlie in a Dream Sequence. Alex Trebek, Johnny Gilbert, and Merv Griffin all appeared as themselves.
  • March 27, 1992: In White Men Can't Jump, Gloria was a contestant and won handily. The bit is also notable for showing the 1991-96 set through some unusual camera angles, and that "Foods That Begin With The Letter Q" did end up getting used on the actual show (October 1, 1997).
  • 1992: An episode of Late Night with David Letterman had "Rude Jeopardy!" during, you guessed it, a "Viewer Mail" segment.
  • October 11, 1993: An Animaniacs short had the Warners' teacher quizzing them on social studies through the familiar set-up. Wakko got a Daily Double and was tasked to name all 50 states and their capitals, which he did (in song, no less)...but was ruled wrong because he didn't phrase his response in the form of a question.
    • The short implied that all "ordinary" methods to teach the siblings just didn't work. Since the Warners love having fun, not to mention sprinkling pop-culture references around...
  • September 18, 1995: An episode of The Nanny had Fran going on the show and, to everyone's amazement, wins a measly $200 when she's the only one to get Final Jeopardy! correct.
  • December 7, 1996-May 16, 2009: The "Celebrity Jeopardy!" sketches with Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek.
  • December 21, 1997: In The Simpsons episode "Miracle on Evergreen Terrace", Marge goes on the show to try and win money to pay back the neighbors after Bart scams them on Christmas Day. She somehow ends up owing the show $5,200.
    • This scene has two versions. In both, Alex and two hulking people he refers to as "The Judges" try to bully Marge into paying back the money. After Marge gets away, one of the "Judges" originally said to Alex "We'll break her signaling finger". For reruns, this was redubbed as "She ain't getting the home version!".
  • An episode of Pinky and The Brain (originally aired on Animaniacs, then on January 9, 2000 as a stand-alone with another short) had the Brain go on "Gyp-parody", sweep the board, then bet it all on the final clue — and lose because he hadn't paid attention to Pinky's comments earlier in the episode.
    • Another Jeopardy spoof appeared in the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "K-ACME TV", also titled "Gyp-parody". Buster hosts this, and his tolerance is tested against the contestants — Dizzy Devil was only interested in eating his podium, Calamity Coyote's buzzer was broken, and Elmyra could only answer "A bunny. When the final question asked what animal was commonly associated with Easter, she answers "George Washington", causing Buster to finally snap.
  • Ellen went on the show in a Dream Sequence where she played against Albert Einstein and her old roommate as part of Epcot's Universe Of Energy ride. She only won when her neighbor, Bill Nye the Science Guy, spirited her away during the commercial break to teach her all about energy conservation.
  • 2005-06: WDJT (aka CBS-58)'s promo for their "10 At 10" newscast.
  • March 12, 2006: In the Family Guy episode "I Take Thee Quagmire", in one of the many brief cutaway clips that are often the best part of the show, Mayor Adam West appears on the show with a secret agenda — he's not there to compete, but rather send Alex Trebek "back to the Fifth Dimension where he belongs!" He does this by writing Trebek's name backwards as his Final Jeopardy! response.
    • On June 15, 2007 the same trick was tried on the actual show. It didn't work, though some fans claimed this was because Alex pronounced "Kebert Xela" wrong.

Let's Make A Deal

  • February 23, 1973: A famous episode of The Odd Couple, helpfully titled "Let's Make A Deal", had Felix and Oscar playing on a New York-based version...dressed as an ass. Monty Hall, naturally, played himself.
  • November 20, 1973: An episode of the animated sitcom Wait Till Your Father Gets Home featured Ink Suit Actor Monty Hall, as Erma attempts to win money for her upcoming anniversary and ends up with both Monty's and her fingers stuck in a bowling ball.
  • An episode of The Nanny showed Sylvia yelling "Don't take the curtain!" at her TV. The camera then shows a bit of what she's watching — a tape of herself on Deal trading a trip to Paris for what's behind the curtain...which turned out to be a Zonk. Amusingly, Wayne Brady brought the current version to Fran Drescher's talk show.

Love Connection

Match Game

  • February 3, 1994: The Simpsons had a rather interesting example in "Bart Gets Famous", where Bart dreams he's a panelist on Match Game 2034. He ends up knocking over, and breaking, Kitty Carlisle's head-in-a-jar.
  • September 5, 2001: The Family Guy episode "Mr. Saturday Knight" did a brief parody of the 1973-78 era where Rayburn asks "Forgetful Freddy was so forgetful-" HOW FORGETFUL WAS HE?! "He's so forgetful that when he couldn't remember someone's name, he drew a BLANK." Cue stares from the panel, including Somers (who Word of God admits got seated incorrectly), Reilly, and Dawson.
  • 2003: Comic Relief presented a "lost" Terry Wogan episode of Blankety Blank, with a rather accurate set and Peter Serafinowicz as Wogan.

Name That Tune

  • March 3, 1997: A famous episode of Cybill, helpfully titled "Name That Tune", has the title character becoming a vocalist on The New Name That Tune (hosted by Tom Kennedy with the 1950s logo). Thanks to an overly-knowledgeable female contestant (the male player is an imbecile), Cybill can barely get more than two words out at a time and resorts to stealing the female player's buzzer so she can finally sing; she gets carted off by security.
  • June 14, 2011: Conan O'Brien's Basic Cable Name That Tune, using a nice recreation of the 1979-81 logo with "Basic Cable" in the same font. He explained that, unlike the network show, TBS can't afford the licencing fees for real songs. To work around this, the band plays the intro only followed by a song "that sorta sounds like the original". For example, instead of Born in the USA they sing a parody called C-Section in America. Conan also offered the audience members Bid-A-Note style clues like "If we were to play the real version of this Stadium classic chant, Queen's lawyers would undoubtedly say, 'We will, we will, sue you'".

The Newlywed Game

  • March 20, 1981: An episode of The Brady Brides (helpfully titled "The Newlywed Game") featured Jan, Marsha, and their husbands competing on the show. No points for guessing who played the host.
  • 1987: An episode of Late Night with David Letterman went over here during a "Viewer Mail" letter.
  • 1994-95: A cutaway clip on The Critic showed Jay Sherman and his then-wife on the show...winning.
  • September 1998: The Nanny did a "new season" promo with Fran and Maxwell on the show, with Eubanks as host and the three-couple version of the 1998-99 set. And yes, they made reference to the urban legend.
  • August 8, 1999: Kenan and Kel go on "The Honeymoon's Over" (a Newlywed Expy with a very similar set, Eubanks hosting, and a grand prize of a house) as Kenan and Kelly, who had been instructed to answer with girly answers. When the final, tiebreaker question was "What is Kelly's favorite soft drink?", Kenan ecstatically ran around the studio celebrating his win with the answer "orange soda"...only to find out that Kel had answered "root beer", which he thought was more girly.
  • Circa 2002-03: This Comcast promo with Eubanks, Todd Newton, and Kennedy spoofing the show; the GSN announcer even talks about Comcast's offer!
  • January/February 2007: A promo for CBS' Rules of Engagement featured the three main couples on the show with Bob Eubanks (who else?) appearing as host. Eubanks' question, to the surprise of nobody, was the urban legend.


  • December 1, 1972: A famous episode of The Odd Couple had Felix and Oscar playing on a New York-based version of Password ABC with Allen Ludden and Betty White as themselves. Here's the full episode (the Password scenes begin at 7:18 into the second video). The scenes not only have the infamous "Aristophanes" moment and a rare glimpse into the long-since-destroyed ABC era, but even Lampshade the obvious difference in sets.

 Oscar: Doesn't that look bigger on TV?

Felix: That's often the case.

  • 1980s: An episode of Late Night with David Letterman featured a skit where Dave beat his partner's head into the desk for not getting "Ball" on the clue "BaskeT" (reading the latter with a higher voice at the end).
  • 1988: Another episode of Late Night featured Dave and Paul Shaffer playing a word upon reading a Bert Convy question (dated August 26, 1988) in "Viewer Mail".
  • July 25, 2000: The Family Guy episode "Wasted Talent" had a cutaway to Peter on CBS (resembling the later 1960s set) trying to get Tony Randall to say "Flaming".
  • January 18, 2011: An occasional segment on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon is a game of CBS hosted by Steve Higgins on a really accurate rendition of the later 1960s set; typically played with the night's celebrity guests, the rules are slightly downgraded (word values begin at six points, with no Lightning Round). They also have an offstage announcer reading each password, a shot of the audience clapping as the logo appears, and even a rendition of the later CBS theme! The very first game) had Betty White proving that she is still very awesome at Password.
  • January 16, 2012: One segment of the NBC special Betty White's 90th Birthday Celebration featured a reasonably accurate recreation of the Password set with a fake game hosted by Joel McHale between the teams of Valerie Harper & Vicki Lawrence against Gavin MacLoed & Ed Asner. The password: 'Betty White'.

The Price Is Right

  • 1995: An episode of The Late Show with David Letterman during a week in Los Angeles featured a clip showing Dave as a car model in Master Key...and subsequently managing to get his hand stuck in the steering wheel. Unfortunately, the segment has two errors which foul up what could've looked like a legit outtake (not like you couldn't tell it was a skit) — 1) at least one prize has to be unlocked by a key before it can be tested as the Master Key, and 2) "The Big Banana" was played instead of the Price theme.

 Bob Barker (seeing Dave with his hand stuck in the steering wheel): What a bonehead.

  • September 26, 1998: The premiere of Martial Law had Sammo Law (Sammo Hung) help an injured person just outside of Studio 33. A few moments later, Rod Roddy calls him down to be a contestant.
  • October 22, 2001: An episode of Yes, Dear had Jimmy getting a ticket. A brief sequence shows him forcing the Big Wheel to go backward from 35¢ to the dollar. Barker's speech to Jimmy, while within context refers to the quiz show scandals and the subsequent "rigging-is-a-felony" law, has a different meaning if one knows the legal troubles Bob found himself in during the latter part of his career.

 Barker: Every day, millions of people watch The Price Is Right. They trust us. When you try cheating, as you are right now, you are compromising the integrity of the show, and we can't have that. I will not stand for that.

  • November 29, 2001: The Family Guy episode "Screwed the Pooch" had a brief cutaway with Peter on Survivor...which was actually fake, and on the same set as Price. Bob Barker played himself.
  • November 27, 2005: The Family Guy episode "The Fat Guy Strangler" had a brief bit with Bob Barker as himself.
  • April 30, 2007: In How I Met Your Mother, Barney Stinson went on the show intentionally to meet his "father", Barker. (As he explained, his mother told him that Bob was his father — and Bob got the hot women all the time just as Barney did.) Barney ends up winning everything he bids on, including both Showcases (through a perfect bid, no less).
    • Unlike the Martial Law episode, this Price segment used obvious knockoff music that kills some of the realism. There are also several errors, such as Barney's $500 bonus and Bonus Spin not being shown (although the former did happen in-studio) and the Showcase placards not being changed to the "description" ones following the two bids.
  • November 16, 2008: Another Family Guy cutaway ("Tales of a Third-Grade Nothing") had Prince on the show. Again, Barker played himself.
  • Donna Forrester on The Bold and the Beautiful, the first time this Trope was used with Drew Carey's Price. Pam gets into an argument with Stan Blits, the then-contestant coordinator, but manages to make it into Studio 33 where she talks to Donna about Rich Fields while he's studying his script. Rich calls Donna down instead of Pam to be a contestant. Donna wins a car in Let 'Em Roll and later both Showcases, winning a total of $65,661.
  • January 9, 2011: An episode of Family Guy had Peter, loaded up on Red Bull, appearing on Drew's version. He spins the Big Wheel, and as it goes around (and around, and around, and...) says hello to about half or so of the main cast. Right after he finishes, however, the moment we all dreaded finally happens — the Big Wheel breaks out of its casing and rolls over Contestant's Row into the quickly-scattering audience, flattening about a dozen or so people before plowing through the back wall.
  • November 6, 2011: Yet another Family Guy cutaway showed probably the cheapest Showcase ever. This originally had Rich Fields announcing, and he even promoted his cameo on his Facebook page, only to be dubbed over by series writer and occasional V/O artist John Viener.


  • 1979: An episode of The Soupy Sales Show had Soupy and Pookie on $20,000. Although Dick Clark played himself, the genuine set was not used.
  • 1980s: An episode of Muppet Babies (a CBS show) had Miss Piggy play "The 25,000 Dollhouse Pyramid". Dick Clark, through footage from a real episode and new narration, guested as himself.
  • March 7, 1992: In Living Color did a spoof of $100,000 with the Brothers Brothers as guests. Jim Carrey played Dick Clark, although John Davidson had most recently been host. The spoof aired the day after the last week of Davidson repeats.
  • February 9, 2005: On an episode of The King of Queens, Arthur watches GSN and sees an episode of the show on which he was a contestant (the clip shown being genuine, but of Jerry Stiller as a celebrity), then remarks that he never got his Rice-A-Roni Consolation Prize.
  • February 5, 2004: In Friends, Joey Tribbiani once had a disastrous stint on Donnymid. The absurdity was taken Up to Eleven when his first-game partner (Gene Lester), who couldn't stand him, won the second game with the other celebrity (Leslie Charleson of General Hospital)...and Osmond told him he'd be playing the Winner's Circle with Joey.

 Joey: Paper! Snow! A ghost!

  • March 2012: Jimmy Fallon plays this as well, albeit only the front game. Still better than Donnymid.

The $64,000 Question

  • September 18, 1955: The Season 6 premiere of The Colgate Comedy Hour opened with The $64,000,000 Question, hosted by Hal April (Dean Martin) and sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive (naturally). Returning champ Morty M.M. Morton (Jerry Lewis) is forced to go for $32,000,000 and manages to survive...then is submerged underwater for the long-winded final question, leading to many ad-libs by Lewis.
  • September 25, 1956: On an episode of The Phil Silvers Show, conman Sgt. Bilko tries to cheat on the show. Cue Hilarious in Hindsight several years later, when the quiz show scandals proved The $64,000 Question was actively cheating to help contestants it wanted to win and force contestants it didn't like to fail.
  • October 26, 1958: In the teaser for the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode "The Crooked Road", Hitchcock is placed in the game show's Sound Proof Booth and told to identify "What the following person just ate, drank, or drove." Hitchcock pauses, then says "Ah yes...the answer is..." and the shot fades out to commercial.

Supermarket Sweep

  • 1992: Late Night with David Letterman showed a clip of Dave as a "coach" on the show during a "Viewer Mail" segment. "Finally, some damn meat!"

 Paul Shaffer: I love Supermarket Sweep! Where can we see more of that show?

David Letterman: I have no idea.


To Tell The Truth


 Micky Dolenz: Will the real Davy Jones please stand up?

Davy Jones: I am standing up!

  • December 25, 2002: The movie Catch Me If You Can stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Frank Abagnale Jr. The real Abagnale appeared on an episode of To Tell the Truth, and the movie is framed by actual footage of this appearance with DiCaprio digitally inserted.
  • 2009-10: This DirecTV commercial, one of several with Alex Trebek (who hosted the show in 1991) and a really accurate rendition of the 1973-78 set. Still, for all their work on the set, they certainly botched the rules.

University Challenge

The Weakest Link

  • An episode of My Family centered around Michael getting the entire family onto the show. He thought he was sure to win since he was the Teen Genius of the bunch, but lost to Alfie in the last round.
  • June 11, 2005: The Doctor Who episode "Bad Wolf" had Rose Tyler ending up on a future version of the show, hosted by the "Anne-Droid" (Anne Robinson). And the losers die. Amusingly, the Anne-Droid reappeared for a 2007 special of the actual show with Who cast members playing for charity.

What's My Line?

Wheel Of Fortune

  • February 16, 1984: Nell and Addy of Gimme A Break played on a special "Friends Day" episode of the daytime version.
  • January 14, 1986: An episode of The A-Team (helpfully titled "Wheel Of Fortune") had Murdock going on the daytime show and winning a trip to Hawaii interrupted by kidnappers. Pat, Vanna, and then-announcer Jack Clark all played themselves.
  • 1986: The Dr. Dave song "Vanna, Pick Me a Letter" is about appearing on the show during the shopping era.
  • October 4, 1986: An episode of 227 had Mary and Sandra playing on the syndicated version for what Clark called "a special Neighbors version". This is also a good example of why you should call a consonant you know is in the puzzle, so you don't get overconfident and mis-solve.
  • May 12, 1988: An episode of Santa Barbara had Gina Lockbridge solving the rather appropriate bonus puzzle BLACKMAIL.
  • November 29, 1990: An episode of L.A. Law ("Vowel Play") picked up after the "previously on" trailer as a Bob Goen episode, with no hint that it was anything but (well, minus the $1,250 space already out). "But wait", you say, "daytime Wheel was on CBS and L.A. Law on NBC!" Yes, and on January 14, 1991 Wheel Channel Hopped to the Peacock.
  • February 26, 2001: A brief dream sequence on The King of Queens had Doug playing against Carrie and Arthur.
  • 2005-06: WDJT (CBS-58)'s promo for their "10 At 10" newscast, using the 1997 "Changing Keys" theme.
  • March 12, 2006: The Family Guy episode "I Take Thee Quagmire" began with Peter winning the Bonus Round with no letters showing (thanks in large part to his picks of Z, 4, Q, another Q, a third Q, and a Batman symbol). He then goes shopping and buys, among other things (including a $600 ceramic Dalmatian), a week of maid service, setting up the plot.

 Peter: How much is the fat guy in the circle, I don't see a price tag on that.

Pat: That's you.

Peter: Oh-oh, embarrassing. Well, in that case I'll just have the rest on a gift certificate.

  • March 7, 2007: The South Park episode "With Apologies to Jesse Jackson" starts with Stan's dad, Randy Marsh, at the Bonus Round. With the category "People Who Annoy You", the puzzleboard reading N_GGERS, and $30,000 on the line, Randy ends up embarrassing himself on national television (and kicking off the plot) by blurting out a certain racial epithet instead of the right answer (NAGGERS)...although in his defense, he was very reluctant to say it.
  • 2008: A Lexus commercial had the H's disappear from Wheel...although the contestant actually got buzzed for trying to solve after spinning, an oversight that pretty much defeats the concept.
  • 2011: The debut sketch of So Random was "All-Star Wheel of Fortune" with Fred, Taylor Swift, and Willow Smith competing. But their antics (Fred being obnoxious, Taylor singing about everything, and Willow whipping her hair) prevent the game from getting anywhere. (This can also be seen as an Homage to the "Celebrity Jeopardy!" skits on Saturday Night Live.)
  • January 26, 2012: Playing off a story in which Sajak recalled doing Wheel after "kicking back a few margaritas with Vanna" in the 1980s, Conan O'Brien showed a clip of Pat and Vanna talking during a credit crawl, slowed down to make him sound drunk. After that, Conan mentioned he also did drugs during the show, then showed a clip of a contestant asking for a T, followed by the board being bathed in odd lights and a dancing brain appearing, followed by Pat blinking and saying "Oh, hi, there."

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

You Bet Your Life

Examples with Fake Game Shows:

Anime and Manga

  • In an episode of Cromartie High School, after hearing that someone at school won the All-Japan Kingpin Tournament, Noboru Yamaguchi goes there to challenge the title...only to wind up in a game show hosted by the Kingpin Tournament winner (Takashi Kamiyama) himself. Using his rules of comedy, Noboru Yamaguchi wins the title by accident.
  • In Ergo Proxy, main character Vincent inexplicably finds himself in a game show. The episode literally starts in the game, with no connection to past episodes or the plot. Eventually, it's revealed that the game show is actually a metaphorical fight against a proxy. Considering Vincent's usual fights are actual...well, fights...the entire episode throws the viewer for a loop.
  • In Gravitation, the band Bad Luck's first TV appearance is as a guest contestant on "Quiz de Pon". They win, but since Shuichi asked to forfeit the 1,000,000-Yen prize for a song live on TV if they won, what they get is an impromptu concert with a TV audience. This turns out to be a smart tactical move.

Comic Books

  • In the Disney Ducks Comic Universe story "The Crazy Quiz Show" (by Carl Barks), Donald Duck (having gone through an intense book study in preparation), Huey, Dewey and Louie become contestants on a radio quiz show named "You Say — We Pay". The quiz itself is a massive Refuge in Audacity, giving the nephews questions that take little to no effort to answer correctly, while giving Donald rediculously impossible questions just because he looks like a professional prize-grabber. They also prevent Donald from coaching the nephews into choosing money over bicycles. Donald answers the last question successfully, but the mental effort taken to answer the question ("How many drops of water pass over Niagara Falls in a week?") was so exhaustive that Donald ends up choosing a trike instead of a barrel of money.


  • National Lampoon's European Vacation begins with the Griswalds winning the titular vacation on "Pig in a Poke".
  • The kids-versus-adults quiz show "What Do Kids Know?" from the movie Magnolia.
  • The Horrid Henry film has Henry competing in "2Cool4School".


  • The novel Q and A by Vikas Swarup, which Slumdog Millionaire was an adaptation of, had the fictional game show Who Will Win A Billion?

Live-Action TV

  • On The Brady Bunch, Bobby and Cindy get a shot at appearing on the children's game "Quiz The Kids", but an overconfident Bobby doesn't make it past the entrance test after failing to study for it. Cindy rubs his nose in this and alienates the rest of the family with her egotism, then suffers her comeuppance when she gets on the show and can't answer any questions due to camera fright. Both kids thus learn valuable lessons about preparation and humility, respectively.
  • In an episode of The Burns and Allen Show Gracie appears on (and wins!) an Expy of The $64,000 Question, after being hypnotized into being "the smartest woman in the world".
  • Clarissa Explains It All had a Double Dare-esque game with a "sibling rivalry" theme called "Brain Drain", containing elements suspiciously similar to Nickelodeon's later game Brain Surge.
  • In the classic Dick Van Dyke Show episode "Coast to Coast Bigmouth", Laura appears on a game show and, under pressure from the host, reveals that Alan Brady (her husband Rob's employer and the star of the series' Show Within a Show) is bald. Hilarity Ensues.
  • In an episode of The Golden Girls, all four of girls played "Grab That Dough!", whose host was played by Jim McKrell (most famous for hosting Celebrity Sweepstakes). Rose and Sophia ended up playing against Dorothy and Blanche. The latter pair won $1,200, but traded it for a mystery prize behind a curtain, which turned out to be a lifetime supply of soup.
  • One Goosebumps episode was "One Day at Horrorland", where the Morris family is placed in a horror-themed-amusement-park-themed game show run by monsters with intent to kill them for their audience.
  • The Hardcastle and McCormick episode "Games People Play" centered on a local Los Angeles quiz show called "Trivia Masters" hosted by "Bryce Benson" (Tom Kennedy), which has the lowest ratings of any show in the nation. McCormick appears on the revamped version, "Million-Dollar Trivia Masters", and climbs the money ladder; unfortunately, his game is rigged and Benson is a homicidal maniac. You can read a full recap here.
  • In a popular episode of The Honeymooners, Ralph competes on "The $99,000 Answer", a $64,000 Question Expy hosted by "Herb Morris" (Jay Jackson) where a contestant must answer a series of questions in a category of their choosing in order to win the titular prize. [3] After stage fright and stuttering badly while choosing his category (Popular Music), Ralph gets a full week to study and doesn't slack around — he grabs Ed Norton and studies like hell, to the point where he can name virtually any song no matter what part of it gets played. Ralph returns to the show a knowledgeable man, confident that he can tackle any and every song Morris may ask him to identify; naturally, the $100 song is the only one he doesn't know, and furthermore it's "Swanee River", the song that Norton always played the first few bars of "to warm up" while he was helping Ralph memorize songs.
  • On the I Love Lucy episode "Lucy Gets Ricky on the Radio", Lucy and Ricky were slated to appear on the radio game "Mr. & Mrs. Quiz" with a top prize of $500. Lucy happened to find the answers before going on-air and memorized them, but the questions were changed at the last minute, making her answers quite wrong.

 Host: How long is a term for a U.S. Senator?

Lucy: The sap runs every three years.

Host: Why was Marie Antoinette put under the blade of the guillotine?

Lucy: To scrape the barnacles off her hull.

    • By the end, when they were asked the bonus question ("What did George Washington say while crossing the Delaware?"), Ricky was exasperated and wanted to leave, begging Lucy "Please, let me sit down, I'm tired" — which, of course, was the right answer.
  • Happened a couple of times in Married... with Children:
    • Al and Peggy once competed in a show for newlyweds (posing as Steve and Marcy) called "How Do I Love Thee?", where they had to torture each other for the prizes; needless to say, it wasn't hard for them. They ended up winning a car...which disappeared before the next episode.
    • In the episode "Kelly Knows Something", Al auditions to be on the sports trivia game "Touchdown Trivia". Though he knew pretty much everything, the producers rejected him for being unsympathetic. He ended up training Kelly, with surprisingly good results.
    • In another episode, Bud goes on "You Can't Miss!" (a Dating Game expy with the host played by Bill Maher) as a potential suitor...and wins.
  • In The Mary Tyler Moore Show episode "Ted's Moment of Glory", Newscaster Ted Baxter gets a chance to host a pilot for "The $50,000 Steeplechase" — a Game Show with contestants dressed in jockey colors and sitting on hobby horses. He gets the job and is ready to leave the newsroom when Lou convinces him that he's better being a "NEWSMAN" than a "Quiiiiiiiiiiizmaaaaaaaaaaster" (as Lou pronounces both). In addition, Dian Parkinson plays the Lovely Assistant of the Show Within a Show.
  • Mama's Family had an episode titled "The Big Wheel", with the titular show being an Expy of The Big Spin.
  • Maude is corralled by her friends Vivian and Arthur into participating with Vivian in a show called "Beat the Devil". They win everything in sight, and Maude proclaims that it's the happiest day of her life...only for the prizes to be voided. The announcer is none other than Johnny Olson, playing himself.
  • An episode of Monk involved Trudy's father getting Adrian to work out how someone is cheating on his game show, and turns out to involve a murder. Adrian did figure out how the cheating was going on, but he had to get to the bonus round to expose those involved, so he started using the clues meant for the cheating contestant first. The questions were multiple-choice and the answer was revealed by which corner of the card the host (who was in on the cheat) was holding. This resulted in Adrian and the cheating contestant racing to hit the buzzer as soon as the host picked up the card to ask the question, with the third player forced to watch in horror.
  • In the final follow-up trilogy of Only Fools and Horses, Del goes on "Goldrush", a fictional BBC game hosted by Jonathan Ross in which the top prize is £100,000 and there are three Lifelines. It was an obvious Fictional Counterpart of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, created because ITV refused to let the BBC use the actual show — probably because a plot point was that an answer given as being wrong on the show turned out to be right.
  • On The Parkers, Nikki and her family go on "Family Secrets". The host of the fake show is the host of the real game show The Weakest Link. The game consists of answering embarrassing questions about family members, but remains pretty harmless and funny until the final round when the host asks Nikki the million-dollar question "Who is your real mother?" Before Nikki could answer, her favorite aunt reveals that she's Nikki's real mother.
  • On Perfect Strangers, Balki and Larry go on "Risk It All", which used several actual props and games from Fun House.
  • In the Sanford and Son episode "Masquerade Party", Fred, Bubba and Grady appear not on a revival of that old 1950s show, but a Let's Make a Deal Expy called "Wheel and Deal" with comedian John Baubor playing "America's Second Greatest Dealer". The episode's writing credits say "Story by Redd Foxx".
  • In Sister Sister, the twins appear on the Double Dare-esque game "Slime Party". Their opponents? The Olsen twins.
  • On Small Wonder, the Lawsons and Brindles were opponents on a game similar to Nickelodeon's Family Double Dare. Its host was played by Geoff Edwards.
  • The Suite Life of Zack and Cody had "Risk It All!", complete with a stated lesson about greed and an unsaid one about how not to host a game show.

Western Animation

  • In an episode of Animaniacs, the Warners were contestants on "Quiz Me Quick!" and drove the host crazy by doing things like answering every question "Isaac Newton" (except where the answer actually was Isaac Newton).
  • In one episode of Arthur, the title character loses on a game show called "Riddle Quest", hosted by one "Alex Lebek" (who, by the way, is voiced by Alex Trebek).
  • Cluemaster's backstory in The Batman has him losing a quiz show called "Think Thank Thunk", although in the comics he was a former game show host. Both the Riddler and the Joker have occasionally hijacked game shows for their own devices.
  • Barney Rubble became Fred Flintstone's proxy on "The Prize Is Priced" in The Flintstones episode "Divided We Sail". Barney wins a fishing pole in the bidding game, and the bonus attached to it was a houseboat.
  • On the Futurama episode "The Duh Vinci Code", Fry appears in the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? parody "Who Dares To Be A Millionaire". He fails spectacularly to answer the first question.

 Morbo: Which tool would you use to hammer a nail? Is it A) a hammer, B) another nail...

Fry: Another nail! Final answer!

  • The Jetsons appear on a game show called "Family Fallout", facing off against the Spacelys. Mr. Spacely threatens to fire George if he takes the grand prize. George decides to trade the grand prize for the other prize, which happens to be a food-making machine they had always wanted since the old one broke down; Spacely, on the other hand, won a lifetime supply of Cogswell Cogs (the product of his arch-nemesis).
  • The Looney Tunes short "The Ducksters" has Porky Pig as a contestant on "Truth or AAAAUGH!", a radio quiz (and a parody of Truth or Consequences) hosted by Daffy Duck. Daffy subjects Porky to unanswerable questions ("What was Cleopatra's aunt's maiden name?") and Impossible Task challenges (guessing an opera from one note), as well as a set of very painful "penalties" (naming every U.S. state before firecrackers in his mouth and ears go off) and a number of ludicrous booby prizes ("And the gentleman wins the Rock of Gibraltar!"). Porky eventually uses the prize money to buy the station and turn the tables on Daffy.
    • 1959's People Are Bunny had Daffy appearing on "People Are Phony" (a send-up of People Are Funny) with a cartoon version of Art Linkletter. Naturally, Daffy loses while Bugs cleans up locked in a phone booth.
  • In the pilot episode of Cartoon Network's The Looney Tunes Show, Bugs and Daffy go on a relationship Game Show called Besties.
  • The animated version of Punky Brewster had an episode, "Punky's Millions," in which Punky and Henry vied to win a jackpot on a show called Can You Spend It?, but to do so they had to spend $1 million in one day. Punky and her pals take the task at hand after Henry comes down with chicken pox. Punky and the gang lose the game when Allan reveals that he has change in his pocket.
  • Rugrats has Tommy's mom Didi on "Super Stumpers", hosted by "Alan Quebec" (voiced by Alex Trebek). It also had elements of old-school Wheel of Fortune, as Didi ended up taking home a porcelain dalmatian statue.
  • The beginning of an episode of The Simpsons has Moe appear in a Millionaire parody, "Me Wantee!". It even made fun of Millionaire's Padding habit of Moe "stalling for about 15 minutes". Given a $500,000 question on atoms, he phones Homer for help (since he works at the nuclear power plant). Lisa gives Moe the right answer, and after winning the $500,000 he decides to walk.
  • The cast of Tiny Toon Adventures appeared on two different mock game shows — one was "Win, Lose, or Kerplooey" and the other, "That's Incredibly Stupid!"
  • Played for laughs on Two Stupid Dogs where the titular characters try to win the booby prize (dog biscuits) on "Let's Make a Right Price" (a parody of The Price Is Right), but keep winning. Eventually, Little Dog tries to rig the Big Wheel by clinging to it and forcing it off the $1 which point the host says "You cheated! You get the car!"
  • On an episode of The Venture Bros it is learned in Flash Back that Billy Quizboy got his last name from "Quizboys", a children's game show which he was expelled from after unwittingly participating in a Quiz Show-esque scandal conducted by host Pete White.
  • An episode of Jimmy Two-Shoes had Jimmy (unknowingly) being put on a game show where he has to keep his word and stay on the same spot. Since the prize is Lucius' fortune, he faces some serious temptation.
  1. (As for being prophetic, pretty much the only things they got right were Don Pardo still being around, Chase not having much of a career, and a Jeopardy! champion winning over $3,000,000. YMMV about "baby killing", aka "abortion", being legalized.)
  2. (For the record, this is how Cliff should have played.)
  3. ($100--$600--$?--$6,187.50--$12,375--$24,750--$49,500--$99,000; the third hurdle isn't mentioned, hence the question mark. It would probably be $1,200 or $3,093.75, but in either case that's quite a jump.)