|Quotes • Headscratchers • Playing With • Useful Notes • Analysis • Image Links • Haiku • Laconic|
Okay, you're on a Game Show, and you've won a substantial pile of cash and prizes. The host offers you the chance to walk away with your pile of loot, or go for broke and play one question for One Million Dollars. You elect to walk away, and the audience supports you. You're celebrating your cool collection, and the host congratulates you, reminding you that it's all yours to keep...but he wants you to play out the final question anyway, because he has at least two more minutes of show to fill.
And how does he justify this? By saying "Let's just see what would have happened..."
Also known as a Proveout.
- Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?: Happened in the event of a bailout, especially with the final question (Million-Dollar Question during the FOX era, 10x Bonus Question during the syndicated run).
- Cash Cab: Averted, in that if the players don't accept the double-or-nothing video bonus question, Ben simply hands over the amount they won and they get out of the cab. Neither they nor the audience have any idea what the question would've been. Since the video screen is controlled by the producers, and Ben is fed the questions through an earpiece, there's good reason to believe that even he doesn't know what it would've been.
- Canadian version though sometimes show the question. Quite a few people have been grateful when they find out they wouldn't have gotten the answer at all.
- Deal or No Deal: Oh, does it ever in some countries, and especially prevalent if they take a commercial break while doing so. Often, they'll inflate the hypothetical offers by 10%, which means that's not what truly would've happened had the contestant played on.
- Other versions avert this by occasionally inviting a player to forfeit their deal and open their case/box anyway, if the two numbers left on the board are on opposite ends of the spectrum. It's most commonly done in the UK, where it's called a "Banker's Gamble".
- Catch 21: If a contestant quits before busting out.
- Let's Make a Deal: Quite often. Half the point of the show, really.
- Pyramid (Dick Clark's versions): Dick would come out and try to give clues; quite often, he gave the perfect clue due to having plenty of time to think about it and hindsight regarding what clues didn't work, leaving the actual celebrity dumbfounded (and, in the case of Vicki Lawrence, visibly pissed). Occasionally, though, even he whiffed.
- Averted hard on the Donny Osmond version; 99% of the time, he just ran onstage and screamed "OH! OH! OH! OH!" before the audience yelled out whatever the missed box was.
- The Jokers Wild: If a contestant stopped during the bonus game.
- The Price Is Right: Usually happens following a bailout in Punch-A-Bunch, Pass The Buck, Temptation, It's In The Bag, Step Up, Spelling Bee, and Pay The Rent.
- Russian Roulette: When a player won $10,000 in the bonus round, but decided not to go for the $100,000. They would pull the handle, step off the Drop Zone, and after finding out what would've happened walks off with Mark down the corridor as the credits roll.
- (The New) Treasure Hunt (Geoff Edwards' versions): You quit with the money? Okay, then, but we'll still do the skit!
- Since the early 2000s, Wheel of Fortune has had two Mystery Wedges. These can be taken for their cash value of $1,000 (originally $500) per letter, or flipped over. One has a Bankrupt on the other side, while the other has a $10,000 cash prize (originally a compact car). If a contestant opts not to flip over a Mystery Wedge and solves immediately afterward, Pat will often ask the contestant if he or she wants to see what was on the other side. When the wedges were first introduced, he would often flip over the other one if one had already been flipped.
- ...Until the show began adopting the Show the Folks At Home tactic of revealing the other side of the Mystery Wedge while Pat gives the contestant their options.
- Early in the show's NBC daytime run (or at least on June 7, 1976), host Chuck Woolery sometimes told a player who had solved the last puzzle but ended up losing to spin the Wheel one last time.
- Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?: Turned out to be especially heartbreaking during the Tournament Of Ten, where nearly all of the contestants walked...and nearly all of them would've gotten it right.
- However, other times it turns out to be a great relief when the contestant finds out that they would've lost a lot of money if they had answered the question. One notable case is Lyn Payne whose gut was strongly leaning towards one answer for the million-dollar question and almost half of the audience agreed with her, but she chose to walk away because she thought it was still too risky...and found out that if she had gone with her gut, she would have lost $475,000.
- Cricket is another unlikely example, but with Hawkeye technology this happens with close LBW decisions with the simulation showing whether the ball would have hit the stumps or not. Very important, since the LBW laws have a degree of subjectivity.
- One Versus a Hundred: If the player opts for the money over the Mob, both the correct answer and the number of Mob members who would've been eliminated are revealed. Inverted in the Xbox 360 era, as players were only offered Money Or Mob after the answer and eliminations were revealed.
- In Poker, when one player wins a pot by way of everyone else folding before the final showdown, sometimes one or more players request that the dealer invoke this Trope by dealing out the remainder of the hand anyway. In Poker parlance, this is called "rabbit hunting".
- Bullseye UK had a notoriously cruel variation of this where, if the players failed to win the big prize, Jim Bowen would say "Let's see what you could've won!" and they would bring out the speedboat accompanied by a sad remix of the usual victory music.