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A cooking themed reality show that has different formats in different countries. In Britain (1990-2001, 2005-), three to six people compete per episode and one of them goes through to the next round at the end. In Australia, New Zealand, America and South Africa, The format is a Reality Television show, with people leaving each episode and the contestants being whittled down to one over time.

This show contains examples of:

  • Americans Hate Tingle: An in-universe example with regard to Molecular Gastronomy, which is a part of the show in nearly every version -- except for the US version, where Gordon Ramsay and Joe Bastianich have made no secret of their disdain for the technique, saying that they don't consider it "real" cooking and that it encourages chefs to show off rather than focusing on making something which tastes good.
  • Bait and Switch Comment: "I have one big complaint about your dish... I can't stop eating it!" shows up a few times.
  • Body Sushi: In the second season of the US version, a contestant attempts to impress the judges by serving the Nyotaimori variety of this in the auditions. It didn't work.
  • Catch Phrase:
    • In the US version:
      • Gordon Ramsay: "We have here the most amazing (foodstuff)!"
      • Joe Bastianich: "That's a very severe technical error."
      • Graham Elliot: "I wish I could think of something positive to say about this."
    • In Masterchef Australia: "For one of you, the dream is about to end."
    • In the UK: "Cooking doesn't get tougher than this!" and "They're/You're fighting for their/your Masterchef lives!"
  • Cooking Duel: Happens in the British and Australian versions
  • Deadpan Snarker: Fortune in the SA version.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Judge Andrew Ratkinson in SA version.
  • EndangeredSoufflé: In the semi-finals of one version, the contestants had to make a chocolate souffle. Whitney, the eventual winner had a case of both Carrying A Cake and Endangered Soufflé as she had to hurry and present the souffle to the judges as the souffle slowly sank.
    • In the US version one pressure test was to make a soufle. In a subversion all the souffles were deemed so good that nobody was eliminated that episode
  • Fat Bastard: Averted by Graham Elliot in the US version; despite probably weighing as much as Gordon Ramsay and Joe Bastianich combined, he's easily the nicest of the three judges.
  • Food Porn - Kinda goes with out saying, really.
  • Foreign Queasine: In the US version, the winner of a challenge got to set the theme for the next challenge, which was based around one of three European cuisines. Joe Bastianich revealed the first choice of Spanish cuisine, Graham Elliot revealed the second choice of French cuisine, and then Gordon Ramsay revealed the third and final choice of... British cuisine. Despite his attempts to talk it up, the contestant and the other two chefs glared at Ramsay with barely disguised contempt, before moving on to discuss whether Spanish or French cuisine would be the better choice.
  • Genre Blind: In the Reality Television US version of the show, many contestants fail to realize that many of the usual genre tropes are not applicable. The standard "I am not here to make friends" behavior is just going to make you look bad in front of the judges.
    • Nobody ever seems to prepare for the Food Science/Molecular Gastronomy challenge despite it being in almost every single version of the show.
  • Jerkass: Many in the US version.
    • David could be this in season 1 or Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
    • Max in season 2 and also Christian who do not treat his competitors or the judges with any respect.
  • Melodrama: "Cooking doesn't get tougher than this!" said repeatedly in the series.
    • The US version takes this Up to Eleven by never missing a chance to hype up how difficult the next challenge is. The show will also always go to commercial right before the judges announce a decision.
    • The South African version seems to have followed in the US versions footsteps, with Khaya seeming always managing to screw up at least one aspect of her dish and finishing at the last minute. Despite this, she's only been in one Pressure Test and is always winning challenges.
  • Non Gameplay Elimination: In the Australian version of the show:
    • In Season 1, one of the chefs quit after making the top 50, due to the stress of the competition.
    • In Season 2, Sarah quit after making the top 24, due to feeling that her heart was no longer in the competition.
    • And just to make it a pattern, season 3's Paul withdrew due to "work commitments" having his spot taken in the top 24 by another contestant.
    • After making it to the top 14 in season 3, Adam resigned his position after ending up in a pressure test, saying he felt he lacked the commitment the others in the pressure test felt towards cooking.
    • After making it to the top 9, Mat was eliminated from season 3 after it was revealed he'd been breaking the rules by bringing a smartphone into the Masterchef kitchen.
  • Oh Crap Adriano Zumbo walking into the Master Chef kitchen with a covered dish is enough to scare any contestant. Particularly the V8 cake.
  • Product Placement: In the US series, this seems to be one of Graham Elliott's main duties. Not quite Once an Episode, he'll approach a contestant and they'll do a mini-commercial for the brand of knife or cookware being used. Ramsay and Bastianich don't seem to be on the hook for it, though.
    • The SA version would like to remind you that it's sponsored by "Robertsons - The Spice People" at least ten times an episode.
    • There was an entire episode in the SA version dedicated to being a Product Promotion Parade for Nederburg wines.
    • The fact that every celebrity chef's restaurant is featured when they're introduced said something in itself.
  • Reality Television: The examples not from Britain are examples of this. The British show is a lot older, so follows a more standard cookery contest format.
  • The Red Stapler: As it states on that page, the trope is now known as "The Masterchef Effect" in Australia thanks to Custard apples appearing on the show.
  • The Runner Up Takes It All: At least on the first season of the Australian show - Julie Goodwin released a book, and wrote a few columns in Women's Weekly (an Australian magazine), while runner-up Poh Ling Yeow has her own ongoing cooking TV show called Poh's Kitchen.
  • Shocking Elimination: Marion in the second season of the Australian version.
    • The double elimination of Brandon and Babalwa in the SA version, followed by Guy in the next episode.
  • Spin-Off: Oh boy. You won't believe how many international spin-offs this show has. This wiki article will explain how many are there.
  • Springtime for Hitler: In the second US season, Adrien won a mystery box challenge, and got to select which chefs would work with which cuts of pork in the following challenge. He therefore took a relatively easy cut for himself, and assigned Christian and Ben (the other two of the top three in the mystery box challenge) the hardest two cuts. When the chefs were done cooking, Christian and Ben's dishes really impressed the judges (Joe even told Adrian that his plan to get Christian eliminated had backfired), while Adrien's dish was felt to be unspectacular. On top of all that, Alejandra, who had gotten the pork loin and whom everyone expected to ace the challenge, served up raw pork and duly got kicked out of the competition.
  • Stupid Statement Dance Mix: Greg Wallace likes the buttery biscuit base.
  • The Quiet One: In SA, Brandon was shaping up to be one until he entered the top 18, then he started referencing classic western animation and soccer in literally every one of his sentences.
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: Repeats almost exactly what happened in the previous 20 seconds after every commercial break, leading to an episode that counted down the seconds remaining for the Pressure Test twice. The British version does this, at points where commercials would be.
  • What the Hell, Player?: The judges did this to Sharone and Whitney in the penultimate episode of the first US season, after the former served up a dish made up of fish livers, while the latter used mostly canned ingredients for her dish, figuring the food critics they were serving to wouldn't know the difference. Gordon openly said that he considered the two to be the best cooks in the competition, and couldn't believe that one of them was now going to be eliminated before the final.
    • One chef on the UK edition (Masterchef: Professionals) bringing forward a dish that consisted of Quail and Chocolate cake. Facepalms all round.
    • In the Australian version, one of the contestants made toffee using the "completely wrong way", at least according to the judges, putting the sugar on foil and using a blow torch. But it worked, and she was saved from elimination.
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