|YMMV • Radar • Quotes • (Funny • Heartwarming • Awesome) • Fridge • Characters • Fanfic Recs • Nightmare Fuel • Shout Out • Plot • Tear Jerker • Headscratchers • Trivia • WMG • Recap • Ho Yay • Image Links • Memes • Haiku • Laconic|
The show premiered on December 20, 2010 as four specials to favorable ratings and a controversy involving one particular question, then returned on January 4, 2011 as a regular series until February 1; FOX entertainment chief Kevin Reilly announced the show's death on August 5.
Game Show Tropes in use:
- All or Nothing: Good luck trying to walk away with anything on the final question!
- Lifelines: Quick Change, not present on the British version, allowed an additional 30 seconds for deliberation and wagering.
- Golden Snitch: About as extreme as they get. The last question's no different than the others in terms of basic rules — you have to risk all of your money, but leave one answer open. Problem is, there's only two answers. And the question is arguably the hardest in the game. And the "hint" they gave you was absolutely worthless. And you couldn't opt out of it. It was even worse if you did awesomely on the first six questions.
- YMMV as to whether the final questions were ever genuinely tough. This troper got every final question right, this troper's family got every final question right, and this troper's friends who saw the show got every final question right. I mean, asking who was more trusted between a respected anchorman and Jon Stewart just reeked of trick question, and it's relatively common knowledge that Jon Stewart hates his status as America's most trusted news anchor.
- Unexpectedly Obscure Answer: The final question, basically every time.
- Whammy: Nothing's more straightforward than losing all the money you put on a wrong answer.
- Who Wants to Be Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?: Epic music, epic set, epic padding, and literally stacking out every single bill in front of the contestants at the start of each game.
- Catch Phrase: Variations of "Step up and see what drops..."
- Commercial Break Cliffhanger / Padding: ...But did you really expect otherwise from FOX?
- Did Not Do the Research: The premiere was afflicted by this. A question asked which product was sold first — the Apple Macintosh computer, the Sony Walkman, or 3M Post-it Notes. The couple placed most of their money ($800,000) on Post-it Notes, but promptly lost it when it was revealed that the Walkman was introduced in 1979 and Post-it Notes were introduced in 1980...however viewers quickly pointed out evidence indicating Post-it Notes were test marketed in four cities in 1977. The producers stated that Word of God told them the alleged test marketing was just free samples (although even this is disputed), but eventually 3M sent them the real story — they were indeed test marketed in several cities under the name "Press 'N Peel" in 1977 before making their national debut a few years later as Post-it Notes. The couple was given the option of returning to the show, but sat on the fence until the show was canned on August 5.
- Due to this accident and other unlucky guesses, the couple eventually ended up with just $20,000 to use on the final question...which they promptly got wrong. Some people (viewers, media, and even the contestants themselves) just didn't get the mechanics of the show right in their criticism of FOX, not understanding that the $800,000 was merely a bet, and that they probably would've lost it all on the final question regardless of their performance on the Post-it Notes question.
- Epic Fail: The first question of one episode was "What do drivers in the Indianapolis 500 traditionally drink in Victory Lane?" The choices were "something made by Anheuser-Busch" (Budweiser), "something made by Dom Perignon" (various wines), "something made by an Atlanta company" (presumably Coca-Cola), and "something made by cows" (milk). The couple put all $1,000,000 on "Dom Perignon" (wine)...and lost everything on the first question. (The correct answer was "milk".)
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: the Italian version of the show, simply titled The Money Drop, is epic at this. For instance, the 25th February episode has, among the various two-question choices, one question titled "Lick me". And that's just the tip of the iceberg, as some questions are even more blatant.
Gerry Scotti (Host): "Just HOW can we name a question 'Lick me'?!?"
- Large Ham: the host of the aforementioned Italian version is Gerry Scotti, just as hammy as ever.
- Luck-Based Mission: Unless you somehow happen to know whatever ridiculously obscure fact it asks you about, the last question devolves into a blind 50/50 shot. Do you feel lucky?
- No Animals Were Harmed: Averted, in comparison to fellow money-dropping game show Downfall; the Opening Narration of the premiere at least claimed that the money was real and the security was tight.
- Trans Atlantic Equivalent: The Million-Pound Drop, the originator of the format in the United Kingdom. Also noted for being presented live and having similar controversies — most notably a Series 2 episode that famously thought David Tennant was the longest-reigning Doctor (2005-10) instead of Sylvester McCoy (1987-96) or Paul McGann (1996-2005); the couple who got this question left Tennant as the open space. Not only were there two correct answers, but the money was all lost to a "correct" answer that wasn't even the third-longest (Tom Baker, 1974-81)! After careful research and clarification, the show brought the couple back to continue their game with a new question.