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"The balloons hail a great night for... all of us."—Jim Perry, Sale of the Century
Many game shows throw over-the-top celebrations for their big winners. Often the hapless contestant is showered with confetti, balloons, the cash they just won, etc. and a couple of examples leave you wondering if they're going to burn the studio down. Seen on quite a few game shows in The Seventies and The Eighties, but became a staple of the multi-million dollar game shows and large-scale talent search shows of The Aughties.
Game Show Examples:
- (The New) Treasure Hunt, one of the earliest examples of its use on a game show. Originally just dropped confetti and balloons after a $25,000 win; in later 1970's episodes the contestant was further assaulted with roses by the show's models.
- This was carried out a number of various ways on The Gong Show, usually involving a midget running around throwing confetti while balloons fell from the ceiling; later episodes featured trash and other random items being dropped.
- This was carried to such an extreme on Jim Lange's version of Name That Tune that the viewer could not see half of what was going on onstage, and some contestants had trouble wading through the balloons to get to the car they had won.
- The Big Moment - Streamers and confetti were launched any time the $25,000 was won (and also for a $5,000 audience stunt win, in later episodes).
- Break the Bank 1985 - Any time the bank was broken.
- The One Million Chance of a Lifetime - not only did they drop tons of confetti, they shot fireworks off in the studio on a couple of early episodes.
- Deal or No Deal - Any time the top prize is won; in the US, confetti and money are released. In the UK version, it's just confetti.
- Double Dare 2000 had somewhat of a subversion - the confetti was launched when the Triple Dare Challenge was accepted.
- Duel shot off a circle of pyrotechnic sparks surrounding the arena for a jackpot win. This was changed to confetti and streamers in the second season of the US version.
- Family Feud - Balloons are generally released for tournament wins, a practice that began with the Combs version.
- The Hollywood Squares: Balloons were dropped when a car was won on the Davidson version; several different ones were used on Bergeron's.
- Match Game: Balloons were dropped not for a win, but at the end of every New Year's Eve episode as they changed out the sign indicating the year.
- Make the Grade - Any time the Honors Round was won during the Robb Edward Morris era.
- The Price Is Right - when someone wins $1,000,000 on the primetime specials.
- Press Your Luck - On the final day of the last Home Participation Sweepstakes, the names of all eligible participants that had come up during that contest were entered into a final drawing, the winner of which would receive a cash prize based on one final spin by the champion. After the champion won $36,000 for the home viewer (a $2,000 spin multiplied by 18 spins earned in round 2), balloons and streamers were released in the studio.
- Remote Control - Bonus Round winners were showered with confetti and streamers while still strapped to the bed or wheel.
- Sale of the Century anytime the lot was won or a contestant won (or left with) a sizeable prize in the end game.
- Trashed - confetti was blown by "The Trasher" through a modified leafblower after a bonus win; later subverted when he started blowing trash through it instead.
- Twenty One - whenever a contestant's winnings passed the $1,000,000 mark in the Povich version.
- Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? has something of a subversion: confetti would fall at the end of the second round, rather than the bonus round, when the crook of the day was arrested.
- Wheel of Fortune - when someone wins $100,000 or $1,000,000 in the bonus round. Frequently lampshaded by Pat Sajak, even wielding a push broom on occasion in case it happens.
- Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Greed, and countless others in the "big-money game show craze" that awarded a (multi-) million dollar payout. Averted in One Versus a Hundred.
- Win Ben Stein's Money - money falls from the ceiling when a contestant beats Ben.
Non-Game Show Examples:
- America's Funniest Home Videos drops confetti on the $100,000 winner each season (balloons in the Saget era).
- American Idol unleashes a snowstorm of confetti at the end of the finale.
- Wario Ware DIY allows a user-made microgame to include a confetti drop as a predefined Stage Effect.
- Many, many New Year's Eve celebrations, both on television and in Real Life.
- Pretty much every Super Bowl drops confetti at the final gun; usually red, white and blue rather than the winning team's colors ('cuz it's easier to manage one set rather than two...and more importantly, not get those two mixed up.)
- The the Ace Attorney games, the courtroom audience drop confetti after the player wins a case.
- Done by Maya Fey in Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 during Phoenix Wright's winpose.
- Frequent, and sometimes parodied on The Colbert Report.
- A fictional game show example happens in Slumdog Millionaire.
- Parodied in Portal2. For several test chambers G La DOS has been threatening- er, I mean, playfully teasing that she has a big surprise for your birthday. The player, expecting the worst is treated to....a rather anti-climatic bit of confetti falling.