FANDOM


Farm-Fresh balanceYMMVTransmit blueRadarWikEd fancyquotesQuotes • (Emoticon happyFunnyHeartHeartwarmingSilk award star gold 3Awesome) • RefridgeratorFridgeGroupCharactersScript editFanfic RecsSkull0Nightmare FuelRsz 1rsz 2rsz 1shout-out iconShout OutMagnifierPlotGota iconoTear JerkerBug-silkHeadscratchersHelpTriviaWMGFilmRoll-smallRecapRainbowHo YayPhoto linkImage LinksNyan-Cat-OriginalMemesHaiku-wide-iconHaikuLaconic
File:PriceLogo.png
"Here it comes! From the Bob Barker Studio at CBS in Hollywood! Television's most exciting hour of fantastic prizes! The fabulous 60-minute Price Is Right!"
—Opening spiel used from 1977-2009. The "Bob Barker Studio" bit was added in 1998 on "Show #5,001", and the current opening is an abridged version.

Goodson-Todman Game Show originating in 1956 with Bill Cullen as host, asking four contestants to look at a prize and guess its actual retail price; whichever contestant got the closest without overbidding won the prize. This format ran in daytime and nighttime on NBC, later ABC, from 1956-65 (moving to the latter in September 1963). The show was pastiched in a famous episode of The Flintstones.

The more familiar format, with Bob Barker and the Catch Phrase "Come on down!", debuted in 1972 on CBS daytime and can still be seen there. Concurrent syndicated series starred Dennis James, Tom Kennedy, and Doug Davidson. This format added two new elements — contestants are now chosen from the Studio Audience, and the winner of each item up for bids joins the host onstage to play one of dozens of pricing games. The hour-long format for The Price Is Right was tried for the week of September 8, 1975 and became permanent on November 3. After starting his 35th year with the show, Barker announced his retirement from TV at the end of October 2006; his final show aired June 15, 2007, and Drew Carey succeeded him on October 15.

The show has been made in many other countries, including in the United Kingdom, where it ran from 1984-2007 with Bruce Forsyth hosting for a time, as well as Australia, which featured versions hosted by Ian Turpie and Larry Emdur.


The Price Is Right has its own Tropes:

  • Contestants' Row
  • $1 bids (basically, betting that everybody else has bid too high and therefore lost automatically): Often, contestants using this clearly have no idea why this is done; they just like saying it.
    • Inverted with $1-higher bids, where the last bidder in a round bids $1 higher than the highest bid of the other three contestants in an attempt to win the prize. While Barker rarely, if ever, acknowledged these, Carey has taken to consoling the "victim" (or providing hope if the "Perfect Bid" bells go off).
    • Zig-zagged with "I'm an idiot" bids, wherein the contestant bids $1 higher than a bid that is not the highest. In theory, this is a very smart way to bid: if you believe the price falls between two other bids, the safest bid would be exactly one dollar higher than the lower of the two. However, in practice, it's usually done to announce to the audience "I have no idea how this game works!"
      • Subverted with "I'm an even bigger goddamn idiot" bids, wherein the contestant bids $1 lower than a previous bid. In theory, one would make this bid if one believed that the bid was the exact price of the prize. In reality, most contestants making this bid were selected for their personalities rather than their game-playing skills.
        • Note that, at least according to Bob Barker, this episode, which aired on April 17, 2007, is the first time someone actually succeeded in using this "strategy."
      • Then there's the "I'm the biggest goddamn idiot on the face of the Earth" bids of five digits. While bids over $9,999 were originally undisplayable due to the primitive four-digit "Eggcrate" displays used from September 1972 to August 1975 and the remodeled "Sportstype" versions used from then until September 2009, the new LCD monitors installed for Season 38 can easily display bids higher than said amount. Now, will there ever be a day where a bid over $10,000 will actually make sense? (One of the gags on the 2011 April Fool's show had the displays flashing random 5-digit numbers, presumably their startup sequence {a common trait of electronic displays for many decades}.) Of course, the new displays don't really help if someone bids $2,000,000]] (like so).
    • And then there's the occasional "I don't quite get the $1 bid concept" person who bids $1 when he/she isn't in the last bidding position, allowing someone else to bid $2 and take the prize if the higher bids are all over.
      • There was at least one occasion where this was taken to its [il]logical conclusion. The first contestant bid $1, and then each successive bidder bid $1 higher. Needless to say, bidder number 4 ended up with the highest bid...of $4. Hilarity ensued. It appears that Youtube does not have this event covered, which is a real shame. For reference, this event occurred no earlier than the late 1990s (probably in the 2000s), and Bob was still the host.
      • There's actually a second version of the "I don't quite get the $1 bid concept", in which someone will bid considerably less then the others, but still quite a bit higher than $1, at such time that nobody else has already bid $1. If you're going to bid hoping that everyone else has gone too high, you might as well go for the minimum value, otherwise you could overbid yourself.
  • The mere existence of Plinko, which is arguably the show's most popular pricing game.
  • Showcase Showdown, with the Big Wheel.
  • "Isn't this exciting?": Bob Barker endlessly delaying his reveal of whether the contestant won or lost, much to the contestant's agony. A precursor to padding on modern game shows.

Game Show Tropes in use:

  • Big Win Sirens: The "clang-clang-clang, whoop, Whoop, WHOOP" heard when a large cash prize is won or a contestant wins both Showcases is one of the most recognizable examples.
  • Consolation Prize: The giant checks used in the Check Game are given to the players regardless of whether they win or lose (with a nice big "VOID" stamped on losers' checks). Barker joked that they always found voided checks in the trash outside the studio.
    • At least one of these checks, complete with VOID and framed, turned up on eBay in 2007. It went for $50.
  • Game Show Winnings Cap: $25,000 until 1984; $50,000 until 1988; $75,000 from then. In the 90s this was increased to $125,000. Since 2006 on the daytime show and also on the Million Dollar Spectaculars, no cap.
  • Home Game: Despite the show's complexity, several board games of it do exist as well as several DVD and video game adaptations. Ironically, you can't get the home versions as a proper Consolation Prize, but a push to promote the new 2010 console edition caused various specimens of them to show up during pricing games during Season 38 (and as demonstration material when presenting computers).
    • Other home games have been made by Lowell (1958), Milton Bradley (1964, 1973-75, 1986), GameTek (1990), and Endless Games (1999, 2000, and two DVD games).
    • There was also a Tiger handheld version in the mid-1990s. It's incredibly unwieldy to play, since with the unit you get a huge stack of prize cards, and although there is a space in the unit to store one card (the one you're currently bidding on), there's nothing there to hold it in place.
    • The most recent video game version, The Price Is Right Decades (for Wii, DS, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3) uses the respective system's avatars, contains tons of retro clips (most of which "probably won't be things you've seen before"), and features retired pricing games (including SuperBall!!, Walk Of Fame, Penny Ante, Hurdles, and Professor Price). However, It probably would have been better if Ludia had not developed it.
  • Home Participation Sweepstakes: Both network versions offered viewers a chance to bid on special Home Viewer Showcases — on a regular basis on Cullen's version, during the Christmas season on Barker's, and most recently on Carey's. The long-since-retired Phone Home Game was a pricing game built around this Trope, and went on a three-month hiatus each season from 1983-88 so it wouldn't conflict with the Home Viewer Showcase.
    • Cullen's home sweepstakes went through three different formats:
      • 1956-60: The first sweepstakes singled out all exact bids on the Showcase, with ties broken through a bid-off on one of the Showcase prizes. In late 1960, an extra bonus was added for the rest of the run where the Showcase winner would be flown to New York to be a contestant on the show. Ties (which this version had plenty of) were broken by the tied players sending a telegram with the price of a particular item from the Showcase, which continued until the tie was broken [1]. Unfortunately, perfect bid ties got far too plentiful and, shortly after one Showcase with 14 perfect bids, the format was changed...
      • 1960-61: Used 48 fishbowls, each representing a state in the contiguous U.S., and each with a sampling of postcards from that state. Ten states were randomly chosen and one card from each state drawn and placed on a board. The exact bid (or closest without going over) was the winner.
      • 1961-65: The final format had a random sampling of cards in five rotating drums. One card from each drum was drawn and placed on a board, after which the Showcase price was revealed.
    • The CBS version had a few formats as well:
      • 1980-88: A hybrid of the original series, with a Christmas-themed skit used to tie together the prizes, always very opulent for the daytime version. Most often, a fully loaded Cadillac was one of the grand prizes. Contestants were directed to send their bids to an address, with the closest bid without going over winning. All perfect bids and/or ties were placed in a random drawing, with that winner getting everything. The showcase was introduced in November, with the winner announced on the last first-run program before Christmas. Johnny Olson – and later, Gene Wood and Rod Roddy – played Santa or some grandfatherly figure, while the models played the daughters (if they weren't playing it straight and simply modeling the prizes).
      • 2011-present: The current home viewer contest entreats viewers to call the number on the TV screen when prompted and guess the price of an item from among three prices. Right or wrong, the caller is entered for a chance to win a big prize.
  • Let's Just See What Would Have Happened: Several pricing games have an option to quit and keep accumulated prizes...but Bob was the kind of guy who just had to know what could have been.
  • Losing Horns: Type A. The Trope Maker and Trope Codifier; see "Leitmotif", below.
    • The Davidson run had an alternate version consisting of a "groan" on an electric guitar...and glass breaking. The cut that didn't make it to air also featured the first bar of the theme played Shopping Spree-style and had even more horns...possibly the most evil example of this Trope ever produced.
  • Mystery Box: Used in Half Off, and formerly used in Fortune Hunter.
  • Personnel:
    • The Announcer: Don Pardo announced on NBC, and Johnny Gilbert on ABC. The main announcers on the current version have been Johnny Olson (1972-85), Rod Roddy (1986-2003), Burton Richardson (1994 primetime), Rich Fields (2004-10), and George Gray (2011-). All of the main announcers participated in Showcase skits over time. After Johnny's and Rod's deaths, and Rich's firing, the show held on-air auditions among several different substitutes to determine the successor.
    • Game Show Host: Bill Cullen on the 1956-65 versions, with occasional substitutes (as was the case back in the day when TV shows aired live). Bob Barker helmed the show for an amazing 35 years before Drew Carey took over in 2007. Dennis James hosted a nighttime version from 1972-77 (replaced by Barker from 1977-80), Tom Kennedy hosted a revival for the 1985-86 season, and Doug Davidson hosted a short-lived one in the 1994-95 season.
      • Dick Van Dyke was asked to try out as host for the original show in 1956. He declined it, saying he didn't see any entertainment value in watching four people guess prices for a half hour. Bill Cullen would get the job.
    • Lovely Assistant:
      • The models on Cullen's version were June Ferguson, Toni Wallace, Gail Sheldon and Beverly Bentley.
      • Barker's Beauties (Carey doesn't have a nickname for them, although the occasional reference to "Carey's Cuties" will show up).
      • Special mention must be made of the "Classic" Barker's Beauties trio of Janice Pennington, Dian Parkinson and Holly Hallstrom (which became a quartet when Kathleen Bradley joined in 1991), as well as the "new" classic group of Lanisha Cole, Amber Lancaster, Gwendolyn Osbourne, Manuela Árbelaez, and Rachel Reynolds-Dellucci.
    • Studio Audience: Where contestants "come on down" from.
  • Retired Game Show Element: Numerous pricing games have been retired over time; see that page for specifics.
  • Show the Folks At Home: The prices of the items used in Clock Game.
  • Think Music: Played during several games that require the contestant to handle props.
  • Undesirable Prize:
    • Those damned popcorn carts.
    • Showcases: For years, the "Nothing But Furniture" showcase often fit this trope for many contestants -- especially if they were stuck with it as the second of the two Showcases. Usually, these were (as the name implies) room-centric showcases with another four-digit prize often thrown in after the furniture plugs had been read. Often, the other big-ticket item was something perceived to be equally as undesirable, such as a jukebox, piano, entertainment center, etc., although it could also be a boat, trailer or motorcycles. The musical cue nicknamed "Splendido!" was often associated with furniture showcases.
      • Sometimes averted when the final prize in "Nothing But Furniture" showcases was a desirable trip or a car (especially a sports or luxury car).
  • Zonk: The piggy bank in "Any Number". Yes, the $3.72 (or whatever) actually counts toward a contestant's total winnings should s/he be unfortunate enough to win it (although, strangely, it doesn't appear on the "$35,000+" Showcase winnings graphic used since the late 1990s).

 Bob Barker: ...down there in the Piggy Bank.

    • Carey joked a few times that if the person won the money from the Piggy Bank, they could go out later and get a burger.
Tropes used in The Price Is Right include:
  • Affectionate Parody: The "Flaky Flick" Showcases, most notably The Eggs-O-Cist (February 16, 1976), a parody of The Exorcist and a thinly-veiled Take That to NBC.
  • And 99 Cents: Prices are usually rounded to the dollar, so except for grocery products, nothing actually ends in 99 cents. However, that doesn't stop lots of the prices from ending in 99 dollars. Notable in Clock Game, where occasional Genre Savvy contestants go straight to $x99 for a quick win.
  • April Fools' Day: Several times, the show has held April Fools' Day showcases with gag prizes (which then often lead into a Showcase with a major prize, such as an premium car); including one offering such prizes as a Stato-Intellicator and a trip to Boguslovania (which led to the actual prize of a Corvette). The most notable April Fool's Showcase in the Barker era (aside from the one where every prize got destroyed) was a "Bicentennial Tribute" to Dr. John Barrett Clapinger, with a very awkward feud between two women claiming to be his wife.
    • Drew took the festivities even further beginning in his 2nd season by filling the show with gags throughout. For 2009, the April Fool's Day episode (filmed from the Bill Cullen Studio) had everyone wearing Groucho Marx glasses, Drew introduced as the host of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Mimi Bobeck as a model, various inappropriate displays for prizes (a living room set ... outside?) and other miscellaneous inconsistencies, the Wheel playing different sounds each time instead of beeps (including the Cliff Hangers music, which even slowed down with the wheel), the Match Game think cue used on Cover Up, the second Showcase performed away from the audience in its entirety, and even the theme from Match Game being played over the credits.
    • For 2010, Mimi became the show's new executive producer. Among other things, she had the contestants re-named "Pat" so Drew wouldn't have to remember everyone's name, demoted the models to stagehands and replaced them with an odd collection of men, became One Away's "almighty sound effects lady" (complete with a steering wheel on her desk), and had Rich Fields replaced by a monkey. Additionally, Plinko's items were "as seen on TV" items, Pick-A-Pair's groceries were all holiday products, and both Showcases were exactly the same ... until they were let off the hook and a Mini Cooper was added to the other one.
    • For 2011, the show celebrated its "10,000th." It was not completely established what this 10,000th was, but it was the 10,000th something. However, at the same time; a TV gets smashed, the turntable starts smoking, prizes malfunction, boom mics get into the shots, Drew talks way too much on how to access the website, the Contestant's Row displays go out, George Gray somehow ends up in the "prize bag" for Balance Game (and later gets hit in the shoulder by a tennis ball from a launcher), the screen at the back of the audience malfunctions, the Basket crashes into the floor, Rachel plows a car into Door #3, a light falls from the ceiling and makes nearly everything go out, a prize display catches on fire, the lights above the Turntable crash down... Oh, and that 10,000th thing? Nothing.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Manuela was originally supposed to be a substitute for Brandi Sherwood, who had a baby. In February 2010, however, Brandi supposedly sued the show over being fired because she was pregnant, so it looks like Manuela is here to stay. (The funny thing about that is, two other models on the show became pregnant and weren't fired — though one, Shane Stirling, would wind up quitting in Season 36 for unrelated reasons.)
    • The announcer role is a bit of an ascended extra. Johnny Olson merely read the copy during the early days, but starting in mid-1974, the announcers began participating in Showcase skits and appearing on-camera regularly. The on-camera appearances stopped at the beginning of Season 31, but restarted not long after Drew took over as host. Perhaps because a comedian is now hosting, the producers fired Rich in 2010 and began searching for an announcer with experience in improv comedy; they ended up hiring George Gray, the former host of the syndicated version of The Weakest Link.
  • Asian Airhead: During Season 33, one of the show's models was internet celebrity Natasha Yi, who often acted like this Trope. She remains the show's only Asian model.
  • Audience Participation: Contestants were chosen from the audience since the beginning, but the 1972 return made this part of the show as aired. Much like today, the audience yelled out bid suggestions, "Higher!" and "Freeze!" during the original series (with Bill sometimes commenting that Price was a modern-day version of the Roman circuses).
  • Berserk Button: When writing about Price, remember that the Showcase Showdown has three contestants competing against each other by spinning a giant wheel while the Showcase has two contestants bidding on...well...Showcases. Mixing these up often enrages certain fans, and Drew Carey himself brought this up on the March 8, 2012 episode when the show got back from the commercial break right before the beginning of the showcase.

 Drew Carey: "This is the Showcase round, not the Showcase Showdown as everybody calls it; that's when you spin the wheel. This is the Showcase round".

  • Big Red Button: Used in several pricing games, including in Range Game to stop the rangefinder, and the reveal mechanism on 10 Chances and Flip Flop. The one used in Split Decision was later adapted for Ten Chances after the original numbered buttons broke.
  • Blatant Lies: Bob had a habit of declaring "historic moments" despite the slightly unusual circumstance having happened countless times before (most notably, every time that the four bidders in Contestant's Row each ended up bidding $1 over the other). In 1997, GSN did a promo which showed a supposed "historic moment" in late 1982 occurring on April 15, 1975 (the promo shows their tapedates)...although it also happened even earlier on November 17 and 29, 1972 as well as an early-1976 James episode.

 "Be careful what you say...Game Show Network is watching."

  • Book Ends: Any Number was the first and last pricing game played with Bob Barker as host.
    • In addition, it was also first pricing game played with Drew Carey as host.
  • Breakout Emcee: Dennis James was originally the only emcee chosen to host the syndicated version in 1972 after Mark Goodson saw him fill in for Monty Hall on Let's Make a Deal. CBS head Bud Grant was interested in picking up a daytime version, but only if Bob Barker (who didn't want the job because, according to Grant, he "didn't like those in charge") was host. Guess who became more famous for their role hosting this show?
  • But Not Too Black: Gwendolyn Osbourne and retired model Phire Dawson are the only black models to play this Trope straight. Everyone else averts it. Gwenny makes up for her paleness by being a Twofer Token Minority and coming from Bath, England. (Yes, in America, Brits count as "minorities".)
  • Butt Monkey: Squeeze Play during the Barker years (until around 2004), and Rich Fields during Season 37 (and maybe Summer 2010). Also, Drew Carey and George Gray had some moments (despite Carey's weight loss)!
  • The Cameo: Several Goodson-Todman hosts made walk-ons to promote the debuts of their new shows, including Bert Convy (the 1980s Tattletales revival), Bob Eubanks (Card Sharks) and Ray Combs (Family Feud). Eubanks was even called down as a "contestant". Sometimes, they would also come on for other reasons, such as Charles Nelson Reilly congratulating Bob on the show's third anniversary.
    • Although phased out in the 1990s, walk-ons started occurring again in the Carey era. While most are inoccuous enough (e.g., Country Music singers promoting country-themed prizes/Showcases on the episode before the Academy of Country Music Awards, which are also on CBS), some have been derided by the fanbase. One notorious walk-on involved Jack Wagner popping up repeatedly to complain about the noise; he spent a great deal of time Chewing the Scenery, even pretending to "flash" the contestants before deciding that he liked the noise — which he demonstrated by beating on a drum set in a Showcase.
  • Catch Phrase: "Come on down!", "A NEW CAR!", and "All this can be yours, if the price is right."
    • Don Pardo and Johnny Gilbert: "Price authority: (name of manufacturer/distributor).
    • "Dennis James saying don't miss the show next week, 'cause if you do then we'll miss you."
    • "This is Bob Barker, reminding you to help control the pet population: have your pets spayed or neutered!" Carried on by Drew as a homage.
    • Of Range Game: "Once it's stopped, we can't start it again for 37 hours." [2] Drew tried to carry on this phrase, but said "days" by mistake and has not attempted the phrase since.
    • During the Showcase Showdown (said by Carey): "That's why God made dollars."
  • Channel Hop: Started on NBC, moved to ABC, reappeared on CBS and syndication seven years after ABC canned it.
  • Characterization Marches On:
    • In the early days, Bob was a lot more upbeat and jovial. Around the time his wife died, he became much more of a Deadpan Snarker although he still got a few laughs in. He grew increasingly curmudgeonly and testy in the 1990s and 2000s.
    • Similarly, Drew began his tenure as an upbeat sort who was learning the ropes (even if he was "winging it" by refusing to study the pricing games or attend rehearsals), so the fanbase gave him a pass for Season 36. Carey began creeping about in Season 37, as exemplified by his immature need to smash groceries, but he became jovial again in Season 39 (presumably due to losing so much weight over the taping break). He seems to show more enthusiasm when contestants are winning a lot.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Mostly subverted. There are only five known occasions of cheaters during the Bob Barker era.
    • October 6, 1986: A contestant playing Shell Game lifted one of the shells to place her first chip. Although the ball was not there, she realized her mistake and placed the chip by the same shell she had just looked under. One Aside Glance from Barker later, she moved it to another shell upon his request, then won two more chips. Bob then made a Funny Moment with the "exciting" reveal.
    • October 7, 1988: A contestant playing Three Strikes almost pulled out the third Strike but shoved it back in, then later drew the Strike anyway.
    • February 28, 1992 (unproven): A contestant playing Three Strikes for a Porsche had two chips left (the number and the third Strike) and allegedly very nearly pulled the Strike out of the bag...but suddenly dunked it back in and pulled out the number. Despite it never being proven that she cheated, Three Strikes + wasn't played for the rest of Season 20 and the Strike discs became white with red X's for a brief time.
    • December 1, 1992: A contestant playing Pathfinder briefly touched a digit with his foot and moved it back, causing the digit (which was the correct choice at that point of the game) to light up. (To be fair, this could just be the result of the technician having an itchy trigger finger.)
    • April 4, 2005: A contestant playing Flip Flop hit the price reveal button without actually changing the price. Barker, after declaring that "I'm going home" and calling the contestant a "troublemaker", gave him the prize anyway.
    • And a variant: In 2008, a lady played Plinko and won $30,000, but it was discovered that the producers had "rigged" the game with fishing line so the chip would land in the $10,000 space every time — however, this rigging was done entirely for a promo, and they forgot to "un-rig" it once they were done. They later stopped tape and had her play with the normal board, where she won only $3,000...but to be fair, they awarded her the $30,000 she had "won" before that.
  • Cowboy Bebop at His Computer: The show is one of the many sources that violate the Nintendo Style Guide by having the word "Wii" preceded by the word "Nintendo".
    • There are also the many sources that confuse the Showcase Showdown (when the Big Wheel is spun) with the Showcase (when they bid on the prize packages at the end).
    • People often refer to the bidding portion as "Contestant's Row", "Item Up For Bid", or aren't even aware it has a name; the proper title for the bidding game is "One Bid".
  • Crossover: Bob, Rod and some of the models appeared on Family Feud (which at the time preceded Price on CBS and even taped in the same studio), competing against the cast of The Young And The Restless and beating them senseless. The first Feud episode that week even copied the Price intro, and had Bob and his team "come on down" out of the studio audience while Feud announcer Gene Wood called their names. Said Y&R team was led by Doug Davidson, who later helmed a version of Price which got beaten senseless.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Holly Hallstrom. It didn't help that the guys behind the scenes often tried to invoke it by messing with the prizes (e.g., setting the seat on a bicycle too high).
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Several examples:
    • Numerous contestants who, due to their excitement over winning or just getting on stage, will grab Barker, bearhug him, etc. Barker will invariably joke afterward that he had been injured, although he almost always comes away unhurt. This most often is attributed to female Samoan contestants, with many of these examples appearing on online video sharing services. Drew Carey has not carried on this joke after taking over as host.
    • When a contestant spins the Big Wheel with great strength (causing it to spin very fast and thus take longer than usual to stop), Barker -- in addition to making jokes about the show possibly having to pre-empt other programs, usually The Young and The Restless -- will sometimes remark that the contestant's vigorous spin will cause the Wheel to come off its moorings.
    • Several game props have been damaged through the years. These have happened by contestants trying to complete an objective but breaking the prop, or the host trying to dislodge a stuck prop.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: Cover Up. Rather than trying to get the price right on the first try, it might be beneficial to leave the first number (or one of the first two numbers) incorrect in hopes of guaranteeing yourself another try and eliminating some of the wrong choices if you get any of the other digits.
    • In One Away, getting just one number right is almost invariably better than getting two, three, or four. It's virtually a given that the first number is the one that's right and changing the other four will result in a win.
      • That's the catch in regards to these games. Apart from the first number, no contestant, the audience or even the host knows what numbers will follow. It's a crap shoot no matter which way it's sliced.
  • Downer Ending: Double Overbids in the Showcase, especially after a Perfect Show. An "El Skunko" is worse, being a Fan Nickname for any episode in which all six games are lost followed by a Double Overbid.
    • At least two contestants have overbid by $1 on their Showcases. One of these also led to a Double Overbid.
    • In one of the first $1,000,000 Spectaculars, a player just barely missed the $1,000,000 win on his bonus spin of the Big Wheel. It looked as if he could've blown on the Big Wheel and it would've clicked into place.
    • On Dennis James' third-to-last show (taped March 1, 1977), a contestant playing Grocery Game lost by one penny. This also happened at least once during the Barker era, with one audience member yelling for Bob to give the contestant the prize anyway, and happened again during the 2011 Thanksgiving show.
  • Dumb Blonde: On the January 5, 2010 playing of Switch?, model Amber Lancaster insisted on revealing the price of the item she was modeling despite the fact that the contestant asked to switch the prices and Drew repeatedly said "Switch!" That meant that she was supposed to pick up her price card and put it on the other prize. She almost blatantly refused. To be fair, this was just an isolated incident.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • In 1956, Price nearly didn't make it on the air, period. The pilot for NBC was fraught with pending disaster. First the tote machines malfunctioned, then as Bill Cullen's turntable started to revolve he nearly got strangled by his microphone cord. NBC wanted to buy out the show's contract and cancel it right then, but creator Bob Stewart pleaded for a leap of faith — 13 weeks, and if the show didn't click then NBC could cancel it. Stewart was granted his wish, but NBC slotted Price opposite CBS' Arthur Godfrey, then a ratings juggernaut. By February 22, 1957 (the end of the 13 weeks), Price was beating Godfrey and earned NBC's respect. Word is that if NBC had canceled the show, Goodson-Todman would have tried to sell it to CBS, which dropped all big-ticket giveaway shows two years later in light of the quiz show scandals.
    • The 1972 return. First, the audience didn't show much excitement until the contestants began to come on down, although the contestants were told by Johnny Olson to "stand up!" Upon Bob's entrance, the music began to "echo" — after which the very first item up for bids was a fur coat. The first two pricing games revealed themselves as Bob and the contestant approached them, and had a brown podium nearby for the contestant to stand behind. Any Number had an actual piggy bank prop brought out, which remained until partway through Week 2. The Showcase podiums had no "description" plaque until after the commercial, and the prices were revealed by a push-button flap.
    • The Big Wheel looked much different when it premiered in 1975; the so-called "Rainbow Wheel" (used for an "anniversary week" of hour-long shows from September 8-12) was much smaller and entirely visible on-screen. When the modern wheel premiered a few months later, the beeping sound was different and there originally weren't green sections until December 1978, when the Bonus Spin for getting $1.00 was introduced.
    • At the start of taping for Season 37, the Big Wheel was refurbished for HD and gained a tasteful new color scheme with green borders, violet walls and dark purple spaces! When Drew first saw it, he did not like it. In the first episode it was used, he shrugged it off by claiming that it was "accidentally painted purple", and even called it "the big ugly wheel" after someone won $1,000. After five shows with the Purple Wheel, it was replaced by a Stunt Double from the Las Vegas Price Is Right Live! casino show (essentially a "bootleg" version of the old wheel) for the sixth taping while the wheel was re-painted again, but this time with normal black spaces and new walls and carpeting incorporating the new square tile motif which debuted in daytime that season.
      • The resulting episodes were moved later into the season, which makes the "accidentally painted purple" comment intentionally Hilarious in Hindsight.
  • Epic Fail: Oh, so much.
    • Plinko is the show's most popular game. Its draw is that the pricing strategy (the small prizes) is secondary to luck (the board itself), and that the pricing portion was usually a mere formality. But...
      • March 26, 1996: A contestant wins all five chips and promptly drops all five in the $0 slots.
      • February 15, 2010: But even that is nothing compared to this playing. (Yep, that's right — one chip, $0, and the audience booed Plinko. The subsequent applause and cheering? Added in post-production.)

 Contestant (royally pissed): Oh, come on!

      • June 10, 2011: History Repeats, with Drew commenting on how the same exact thing happened to another contestant a year ago.
    • January 5, 2010: This playing of Pick-A-Number had the prize package include ten massages "at a spa of [the contestant's] choice" — something that can't reasonably be priced, in a game where the price matters. Making this an even bigger fail was that the three number choices were for the last digit. A contestant was forced to price to the exact dollar a prize package which included an element whose inherent nature means it doesn't have a set value. (And yes, this was the same day Amber screwed up Switch? and Drew smashed the yogurt in Hi-Lo.)
    • January 11-15, 2010: Of the 30 games played that week, a staggering 27 were lost due to a combination of dumb contestants ($41 on a $15 tote bag in Cliff Hangers?!) and way too many games set up to be lost (Lucky $even's price ending with 9, where most contestants would go with 5).
    • May 21 and 24-26, 2010 (excludes the weekend): A streak of 16 consecutive game losses, which includes two "skunked" shows, with one "El Skunko" on May 24.
  • Episode Code Number: For the 1972 version, the daytime series originally used a "D" designation corresponding to the week number and day of that week — for example, #6543D was the Wednesday show of the 654th week (aired June 10, 1987). Once the show reached week #1000 in May 1996, they switched the "D" to a "K" and went from #9995D to #0011K, skipping a week. Some fans may refer to "K" episodes with their "D" variation in parentheses — e.g., Barker's last show was #4035K (or #14025D).
    • The first week taped in 1972 used a second number according to the taping order. For example, #0011D was also called #0101-1.
    • The 1972-80 nighttime show used a three-digit number followed by "N", for nighttime. The Davidson version used four digits and the "N", which apparently used the same system (#0015N being the 15th episode).
    • The 1986 nighttime specials used three digits followed by "P". Nighttime specials from 2002 (the "Salutes" series) onward used the same method, but with "SP".
  • Escort Mission: Cliff Hangers, in a unique way.
  • Exact Words: The contestant on June 1, 2011 who took Drew's advice to "throw down the price tags" a little too literally. She threw the tags haphazardly on the floor in front of the prizes instead of hanging them on their hooks. As a result, the game operator couldn't tell what was where, so she was told that she only had one right instead of two. The confusion resulted in her winning all four prizes.
  • Expy: Goodson-Todman's Say When!! (1961-64) had two contestants selecting prizes from a pool and trying to not go over a target value. Similarly done on 1975's Give-N-Take. And more recently with NBC's primetime game It's Worth What??, where contestants determine which in a group of antique items (in a series of seven separate games) is most expensive.
    • The primary contest on the 1960s Supermarket Sweep had the three housewives (whose husbands did the "Sweep") guessing the prices of grocery items, with the closest guess scoring the added sweep time. (No "without going over" rule patch.)
  • Fan Service: The models, particularly when they break out the swimsuits. There's a reason the show offers an average of at least one pool/spa or boat per episode...and a reason why those prizes get the most cheers from the audience.
    • Dian Parkinson, aka the Fetish Fuel Station Attendant. Posing for Playboy, wearing hundreds of swimsuits, wearing cheerleader outfits, dressed as a "June Bride" (June 20, 1980)...
    • On the Cullen show, the models wore nautical outfits with extremely short skirts whenever a boat was wheeled out as an IUFB. With some of the moving around they did in them, it's a wonder there was no panty shot.
  • Freudian Slip: One contestant who wanted to pick Tidy Cats kitty litter in Grocery Game referred to it as "Titty Cats". Went right over Bob's head.
  • Fur and Loathing: When Bob Barker joined PETA, furs were no longer offered as prizes. This would be understandable, but he doesn't even want those old episodes aired on GSN or put on DVD.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Drew suffered a separated shoulder, and for quite some time he either had his (right) arm in a sling and strapped to his side, or he'd hold it there himself.
  • George Jetson Job Security: Once Barker became Executive Producer in 1988, lots of people were often fired from the show for rather hazy reasons. The most frequent excuse for the models was claiming the girl was getting too fat, although nobody seemed to notice it but Bob.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Bob said "hell" and "damn" at least once each during his tenure, and remarked many times on-air that he had been asked by audience members to say that line from Happy Gilmore ("The price is wrong, bitch!").
    • The June 30, 1960 nighttime show with contestant Kenneth Jones saying he was glad he wasn't on the previous week's show (which had honeymooners playing) because "I didn't get a damn--er, darn one right!"
  • Guest Host:
    • The 1950s version had several people fill in for Cullen; this was standard operating procedure at the time, since the shows taped live and often had others fill in to give the regular host a break. (Interestingly, this newspaper article from October 1976 mentions that Cullen hosted Price before Barker, George Fenneman, and James. Yes, in that order.)
    • Dennis James guest-hosted four daytime episodes (December 24-27, 1974) because Bob was ill on the tapedate (December 5).
    • The large rotations of guest announcers and guest models.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: Drew Carey lost (and kept off) at least 100 pounds.
  • Helium Speech: Rich Fields once inhaled helium before reading the prize copy as part of a Drewcase skit. He then did it again when he signed off.
  • I Am Not Spock: Contrary to wide belief, Price wasn't an in-house creation of Goodson-Todman. Bob Stewart developed it as early as 1954 on local New York City TV as The Sky's The Limit after seeing an auction house vendor ply this contest to prospective customers. Two years later, Goodson-Todman noticed the show and a pilot, titled Auction-Aire, was ordered for NBC (see Early Installment Weirdness for details on the pilot).
    • There was a show called Auction-Aire," which ran on ABC in 1949. Studio audience members and home viewers called in bids to their local ABC station on Libby's grocery labels.
      • Some references have the pilot listed as The Auctioneer, but Bob Stewart himself said it was Auction-Aire.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: Several pricing games have wipes themed to the game's motif (e.g., a hexagonal wipe for Spelling Bee, an octagonal one for Danger Price, one with dice for Dice Game, etc.).
  • In-Series Nickname:
    • Frequently, Bill Cullen referred to the contestants as "the bargain hunters."
    • "El Cheapo", coined by Barker, is the lowest number pair (usually less than 10, but not always) in Money Game.
    • The Cliff Hangers mountain climber has had several names.
      • Doug Davidson dubbed him "Hans", after one of his The Young & The Restless co-stars.
      • Drew Carey usually calls him "Yodely Guy" or "Yodel Guy", but called him "Hans" at least once.
      • Those at The Price Is Right LIVE! typically call him "Johann".
      • Dennis James once called him "Fritz", in a Too Soon moment for Janice Pennington (her mountain-climber husband, Fritz Stammberger, had gone missing before the beginning of the 1976-77 season). It Got Worse when the contestant lost, as Dennis shouted "There goes Fritz!"...which sent Janice running backstage in tears and not coming out for the rest of that taping.
  • Instant Win Condition: Choosing the $2.00 envelope in Pocket ¢hange is virtually a guaranteed win.
    • In Bullseye, finding the bonus bullseye behind a product with which a contestant hits anywhere on the board is an instant win.
    • In Master Key, one of the five keys wins all the prizes.
    • In Spelling Bee, the two cards (out of thirty) that say "CAR" are this. To a lesser extent, bidding perfectly on any one of the three small items instantly wins all three items and all three extra cards even if the contestant missed previous items, though this in no way guarantees actually winning the car.
  • The Klutz: Several.
    • Janice Pennington once infamously modeled an overstuffed Amana refrigerator in early 1976, and occasionally wrecked cars into the Big Door frames.
    • Holly Hallstrom was quite disaster-prone and, on at least one occasion, held a price card upside-down. Most famous are her three bouts with kitchen appliance packages, including a "rogue cantaloupe".
    • Lanisha Cole seems to be a modern-day Holly — in Season 38 alone, she crashed a little scooter into Door #3 (Fall 2009) and had to deal with a refrigerator whose doors kept opening in a very similar manner to Holly in a 1980s Safe Crackers playing (April 22, 2010).
  • Large Ham: Drew Carey, George Gray, and the models have their moments
  • Large Ham Announcer: This show is likely the Trope Codifier on the game show front.
  • Last of His Kind: Daytime network games used to be as ubiquitous as Soap Operas, especially in the mid-1970s. From the end of Caesars Challenge in January 1994 until the return of Let's Make a Deal in October 2009, Price was the only daytime network game on the air.
  • Leitmotif: The losing horns, heard when someone loses a pricing game or there's a Double Overbid in the Showcase. If you've seen the show, you probably just heard it in your head by its mere mention.
  • Loads And Loads Of Games: Altogether, a staggering 105 have been used on the show since 1972 (the newest being Pay The Rent). In recent years, some pricing games appear so rarely, fans often wonder if they're still on the show.
  • Long Runner: The CBS version is in its 40th season, giving it the longest contiguous run by far for any American game show. It's also one of the longest-running game shows in the world.
    • The nine years the original series ran was no small feat in itself, considering how critics considered it the end of civilization as we know it.
  • Loophole Abuse: Averted with Secret "X". Although you can win up to two extra X's, you can't place them all on the left or right side of the board — the three-in-a-row must involve the middle column.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Skill is often not enough for these games. ½ Off comes down to a random choice between two boxes if you get everything else right, Three Strikes can easily be Unwinnable if the Strike chips are pulled too quickly, Secret "X" still has a 1-in-3 chance of being lost even if both small prizes are priced correctly, and in Plinko and Punch-A-Bunch you're just as likely to get a Zonk as hit the big money. The only game that can usually be won without luck is Clock Game.
    • Pocket ¢hange is also a huge luck-based game in two flavors. The first part, you have to guess a number on the board that goes with the specific place value of the car. Every wrong guess raises the price of the car (score needed) by 25 cents, so it's possible to get nothing but bad guesses and make the winning target for the car be over $2.00. The second part of the luck is every time you do get a number right, you pick an envelope off the board, which can contain values of $.00, $.05, $.10, $.25, $.50, $.75, or even $2.00. The contestant then has to hope all their envelopes will match or surpass the target price. Unlucky contestants can get a string of low values and come up short.
  • Lucky Charms Title: Pocket ¢hange has had a cents sign in its title since the beginning. Lucky Seven and Most Expensive added a dollar sign to their titles over the years — Lucky $even by May 30, 1986 and Most Expen$ive on February 12, 2010 (although the first taped playing with the new title didn't air until February 18).
  • The Man Is Sticking It to the Man: The show's official website has attempted to replace the popular fan forum Golden-Road.net, but is nowhere near as popular or well-moderated. Among those who support the fan site are Roger Dobkowitz and Rich DiPirro, both of whom were fired under dubious circumstances (Dobkowitz because Fremantle Media wanted to take the show in a new direction, DiPirro because he refused to be a Yes-Man for Mike Richards and went so far as to tell the Executive Producer that he was ruining everything).
  • Milestone Celebration: Every x,000th episode features tons of big prizes and special decorations.
    • The show celebrated its 25th, 30th and 35th Anniversaries with a primetime special. The first (#0001S) used the half-hour format, with the other half filled with clips; the second (#0001LV) was filmed in Las Vegas, using the regular format; the third (#023SP) also celebrated Barker's 50 years in show business, with a similar format as the 25th-Anniversary Special and a cameo by Adam Sandler.
  • Minigame Game: The show's format in two words.
  • Missing Episode: Several.
    • The episode aired on September 6, 1972 wasn't the real third episode. The actual third episode (the second one taped) went unaired because a contestant was deemed ineligible; the episode also contained a fur coat (as did the first and third tapings), shoving this one further into the realm of "not gonna air anytime soon"...although there hasn't been a straight answer as to whether it still exists.
    • The third Dennis James episode (#003N) got replaced as well, this one due to a set of special calculators (used to determine the Showcase winner) getting broken and nobody knowing how to fix them. A replacement was taped later on, but it remains unknown how the episode wrapped production (or, as with #0013D, if it still exists).
    • One episode was shelved with a designation of #1513X due to the contestants switching spots in Contestant's Row without anyone noticing; this was to air on September 27, 2000 but, again, the episode you saw that day was a replacement.
    • In its other flavor, many episodes prior to the late 1990s will likely never be rerun, at least during Barker's lifetime, due to various bans he maintains. Most commonly cited are those through about late 1981 or so where fur coats were a prize (Barker became involved in animal rights). But there are also claims that episodes featuring model Holly Hallstrom are also on the "do not air" list because of bitter (non-)relations between her and Barker; Hallstrom testified against Barker at several of his sexual harassment trials, and sided with another ex-model, Dian Parkinson, when the Barker-Parkinson affair blew up; she was unceremoniously dismissed from the show in the fallout, due to Barker's insistence. (Barker's vehemently denied all of Hallstrom's claims.) For these episodes, if the show is seen in reruns in the future, it is not known if the ban will expire upon Barker's death, or if Barker's will has a clause maintaining an indefinite and/or permanent ban. Regardless, numerous episodes from this "banned" period are on YouTube and in private collections.
  • Missing the Good Stuff: The real first playing of the "Cover Up" game was interrupted by a CBS News special report. Only a few east coast markets where Price is shown an hour earlier actually got to see it.
    • Atlanta viewers never saw the debut episode of either the original series or the CBS reboot. In 1956, when Price first premiered at 10:30 AM EST, the NBC station in Atlanta aired a movie from 9:30-11:00 AM. When New Price premiered, the CBS affiliate (as well as several others around the country) was running the Jerry Lewis MDA telethon.
  • Motor Mouth: One of the biggest criticisms of Carey's hosting style.
    • George Gray has his moments.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: November 11, 2010 brought a Veteran's Day special leading off with the new extremely-high-stakes game Pay The Rent, which offers $100,000 as its top prize. The contestant playing it left with $10,000, but he actually managed to put the items in the correct order and could've had $100,000; the staff hopes most contestants aren't that lucky/smart and gutsy.
  • Nintendo Hard: Seasons 37 onward have been accused of this, as the staff is apparently using the prize budget to upgrade set pieces. Roger Dobkowitz, who generally knew how and when to avoid this Trope (and when to play it straight), was fired by Fremantle after Season 36 to "take the show in a new direction".
    • Lucky $even is this most of the time. You need to guess each digit and lose $1 for each number you're off by (guess 2, and if it's 6, you lose $4). You can only lose up to $6 through four digits. If the price of the car is something like $15,645, you'll probably win. If it's something like $19,281, have fun being on TV.
    • Bullseye '72, the only pricing game that never had a winner. The premise was to guess a car's price to the dollar within seven tries, with Bob saying "Higher" or "Lower" after each bid. Attempts to make the game easier (adding a $500 bidding range for two playings, then ditching the range in favor of the price being rounded to the nearest $10) didn't help. Neither did playing for a boat, which it only did once (and on #0013D(R), at that!).
    • Plinko has never been won and isn't statistically likely to be, either. Most people consider it a win if the contestant hits the big-money slot once, but Word of God says the full $50,000 must be won.
    • Fortune Hunter was retired because of its low win rate.
    • Stack the Deck is also noted for being difficult to win; many contestants who got all three number picks still lost.
    • Pay the Rent is basically designed to be this, mainly because there's only one correct solution and contestants usually try to put the lowest-priced item in the mailbox (which would require more than one correct solution). In fact, it's never been won — not on-air, not in run-throughs, not in rehearsals.
    • Temptation was notorious for going without a win for five years, mainly because it's much safer for contestants to bail out with the four prizes than risk all of them to get the car when even one wrong digit in the price of the car leaves them with nothing.
    • Hi-Lo requires the contestant to be perfect in choosing the three highest priced items out of six. You can expect even a knowledgeable contestant will slip up by picking an item slightly less expensive than one they didn't choose.
  • No Indoor Voice: Paul Boland, who previously announced the 1998-99 Match Game, filled in for just five shows in 2002; he didn't do any more because the staff wanted him to tone it down and he refused. Rich Fields in his later years tended towards this as well.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: Several.
    • In the Cullen era, if all four players went over, nobody won the prize. Once in a while, Bill would silently look at the price, tell the contestants they were all over, have the bids erased, and allow them to make one bid with all required to be lower than the lowest original frozen bid. In the earliest episodes, those who overbid could not bid on the next item.
    • When the show returned in 1972, if both contestants bid more than their Showcase price, they were told this and allowed to make new bids until at least one of them was not over. After #003N was shelved, it was decided to allow for the possibility that neither Showcase would be awarded. We know of this rule as the Double Overbid.
    • When Race Game debuted in 1974, it used magnets to connect the pricetags to the stands...which didn't always work (at least one playing had the tags keep falling off). The more familiar holes and hooks were introduced by the end of '74.
    • A contestant on November 3, 1975 spun 60¢ in the Showcase Showdown, then tried to spin the Big Wheel only a few pegs in an attempt to hit the 40¢. By the end of the month, a rule was added where the wheel has to make at least one full revolution in order to count.
      • Sometimes Bob/Drew helps the contestant spin if s/he is physically unable to spin it a full rotation, usually if the contestant's handicapped or very old - although several have admirably tried to do it themselves, and a few succeeded.
    • Clock Game has tried four-digit prizes several times. After finding out that four digits ate up too much time against the clock, they tried offering a $1,000 range, but it didn't help. They tried four-digit prizes again in late 2008, but after a six-month span in which nobody won any of said prizes (barring a single technical win), the rules were changed again, so that a contestant bid on two three-digit prizes as before, and if they got both, they would win a four-digit prize as a bonus. (Many times, the second three-digit prize could be considered part of the four-digit prize, such as a Blu-ray player for a large TV; the contestant only bid on the Blu-ray player.)
    • Early on, Dice Game's car prices had 0's and numbers higher than 6. Because these often made the game too hard, the game was quickly altered to include only prices with 1-6. So if you roll a 1 and hear a buzzer, you know the digit has to be higher.
    • It's "Hole in One.....or Two!"
    • The price-reveal button of Flip Flop was eventually moved to the side of the board, where it's not nearly as easy for the contestant to hit (accidentally or otherwise).
  • Opening Narration: The 1977-2009 version is quoted at the top of the article. Also:
    • NBC Daytime (later modified): "Today, these four bargain hunters match their shopping skills as (sponsor's products) present...The Price Is Right, the exciting game of bidding, buying, and bargaining."
    • NBC Primetime: "Tonight, these four people meet to compete for the prizes of a lifetime on...The Price Is Right."
    • ABC Daytime: "Today, (celebrity name) bids for prizes with these contestants on The Price Is Right."
    • ABC Primetime: "Backstage are some of the most exciting prizes on television. On our panel tonight is (superlatives; celebrity name). Stand by for The Price Is Right!"
    • Seasons 1-3 (CBS): "A fortune in fabulous prizes may go to one of these people today if they know when the price is right!"
    • Syndicated (1985-1986): "Here it is! All-new! And this audience is sparkling with excitement because a fortune in fabulous prizes can be theirs if they know when the price is right!"
    • Syndicated (1994-1995): "Get set, America! It's time to come on down!" (montage of clips from both this and the daytime Price is shown) "From Studio 33 in Hollywood, home of America's favorite games and the world's most fabulous prizes, it's The New Price Is Right!"
    • Seasons 38-: "Here it comes! From the Bob Barker Studio at CBS in Hollywood, it's The Price Is Right!"
  • Out of Order: Not always the most obvious, usually manifesting itself in minute set changes that seem to disappear and reappear, sometimes within the week. This also can result in the host making reference to a past event as if it were upcoming, or vice versa (e.g., saying that a contestant is the first to play a new pricing game when, due to another episode being moved, they are actually the second). And in 2003 and 2010's announcer searches, it led to the substitute announcer post frequently changing mid-week.
  • Overly Long Gag: April 1, 2011. Drew turns the website ticket plug into an one with extremely-detailed instructions. It carries over into an interstitial break two minutes later, where he finally finishes; the whole time, the crew is putting away the Big Wheel and rolling in Balance Game behind him.
  • Panty Shot: The models during some 1980s Showcases, which had them in cheerleader outfits.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Bob would sometimes kick or hit set pieces if they got stuck, the most frequent victim being Squeeze Play.
    • Squeeze Play usually got hits to the price reveal flap or button, but at least once (February 27, 1980) it took hits to the numbers themselves.
    • Before it went digital, Drew even had to do this to Temptation.
  • Pie in the Face: One Drewcase skit involved everyone getting pied, including Rich. Drew was pied during his signoff, and the Showcase winner was pied shortly afterward.
  • Potty Failure: Happened to a Plinko contestant in 2007, and was later recounted by Drew during an interview.
  • Pretty in Mink: Fur coats were often prizes until Bob Barker joined PETA.
  • Product Placement: Even moreso than other game shows. Not just with big prizes, but contestants often have to figure out the prices of several small prizes and groceries to get more chances to win the big one. And of course, every single one is described in detail for the contestant and viewers. Utterly justified, as knowing which brand something is can help contestants guess the price, which of course is the object of the game.
    • This is actually far less common now. The smaller products used in the pricing games are brand-name products, but these days about half of them are just given a generic description. And, on occasion, the show has stooped to using store-brand products (Target, Walgreens, etc.).
      • Rich Fields said that the prizes that get full descriptions were provided directly by the sponsor. Prizes with generic descriptions were purchased locally for use on the show (although, prior to Rich becoming the permanent announcer, all products at least had their brand names announced on-camera).
  • Prop Recycling: Price, for the most part, rarely throws their old stuff out.
    • The original Bullseye board put a prop with a clock on its top half for the first three playings of Clock Game. In April 1973, the board got a unique four-sided faceplate and became Double Digits.
    • Professor Price himself apparently popped up in a few prize displays during Season 6, then languished somewhere until turning up in an early-2000s eBay auction as "Mr. Wiggles".
    • The spotlights used around the Big Doors on the 1986 primetime specials were used in the same role for the 1993 New Price Is Right pilots. They then appeared in an October 1998 Showcase where Kathleen played a studio tour guide.
    • The Barker Silver Dollars for "Balance Game '84" were reused when "Balance Game '06" debuted.
    • The "bonus money" cards for Clock Game during the 1986 Specials occasionally showed up in Barker's Bargain Bar as the "difference" card.
    • The display from Check-Out's giant calculator seems to have been reused for the "change" display in Pocket ¢hange.
    • The "$1,000,000" sign used in the back of the audience for Million-Dollar Spectaculars was cut down a bit, and is now the "$100,000" sign for Pay The Rent's intro.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • A couple of years into Drew Carey's run, many of the games went missing without explanation or being confirmed as retired. All but Credit Card and Check Game have trickled back into the rotation. Kathy Greco said on PriceisRight.com that they're still active, but nobody knows when they'll return...not even Greco herself, it seemed.
    • Kathy Greco also said that "Bargain Game" (the show's internal title for Barker's Bargain Bar) would possibly perhaps come back in Season 39. If that sounds pretty unsure, considering she was one of the show's producers at the time, it's not just you. Now that she's retired (possibly not of her own choice) and we're in Season 40, it's looking even less likely.
      • Producer Adam Sandler claimed on the official forums that Bargain Game and Check Game would be "coming soon"...shortly before the forums were overhauled. Among the posts removed? Sandler's statement.
      • Bargain Game finally returned from its bus trip (with the name change and a redesigned set) on 4/10/12, almost three and a half years after its last playing.
    • Double Prices on the Israeli version, quite literally.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: Some of the music cues have been actual songs. Most notably, the Cliff Hangers music is an actual yodeling song ("On the Franches Mountains") by a Swiss group called the Jura Orchestra, and the theme from The Pink Panther was formerly used in Safe Crackers.
  • Rearrange the Song: Every now and then, with the main theme getting quite a few remixes for prize plugs. [3]
    • The prize cue that was used for Temptation's third prize, grocery plugs in the Barker years, and the "Come On Down" music are both part of a cue known as "Walking".
    • A now-retired new-car cue was rearranged to become the Theme Tune for Family Feud. The last bar of this theme soon returned as an introductory sting for the first playing of Plinko, then in 1980 as the opening sting for Grand Game. Then Trivia Trap (1983-84) used the same snippet as a fanfare. And then Feud retired that theme in 1994, but brought it back in the mid-2000s.
    • The show's main theme used a different orchestration for the Davidson version.
    • This cue was used from 1972-76 when contestants after the first four came on down. The same tune is also used as a Showcase cue, albeit with a synth arrangement.
  • Recycled Soundtrack:
    • The Bob Cobert theme used from 1961-65 (titled either "A Gift For Giving" or "Window Shopping", depending on who you ask) would be used on two NBC games afterward — Snap Judgment (1967) and You're Putting Me On (1969). The Best Of TV Quiz And Game Show Themes CD is missing the first quarter of the theme.
    • The theme to The Match Game Hollywood Squares Hour became a prize cue not long after that show ended, most notably as the intro cue for SuperBall!! It's now used as a new-car cue.
    • A remix of the Celebrity Charades theme was used as the Switcheroo "think cue" on Tom Kennedy's nighttime version.
    • It's believed that at least one Showcase used the Jack Narz Concentration theme.
    • Some prize cues from the original series were also used on an obscure Goodson-Todman game for ABC in 1961, Number Please. One prize cue was used on To Tell the Truth for their ticket plug after both shows had their themes and music rescored by Bob Cobert.
    • The British version used the Doug Davidson version's remix of the main theme.
    • The Family Feud theme, as mentioned above, has really gotten around.
  • Repeat After Me: Occurred during a playing of ½ Off on a 2008 MDS:

 Drew: Say "alakazam", lift up the lid.

Contestant: Alakazam, lift up the lid.

  • Running Gag: Does ANYBODY know how to play Check Game?
    • "We can't start [Range Game] again for 37 hours." (For Barker's last few seasons, cue Laugh Track here.)
    • Early in Drew Carey's tenure, whenever the Grocery Game was played, he would claim that the model operating the cash register had been discovered working as an actual grocery cashier.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: On two occasions, the beeper on the Big Wheel malfunctioned. Rather than stop down to repair it, the audience made the beeping sounds as the wheel spun.
  • Scandalgate: The scandals involving Barker, Dian Parkinson, and other models fired after Dian became known as "Modelgate".
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules: The reason Holly was booted out of the show. But thanks to contractual tricks, she didn't make that much money anyways.
  • Screwed by the Network: The original Price on NBC was holding its own in daytime, but the nighttime sponsors were playing around too much with it in other time periods. It flourished at 8:30 PM Eastern Wednesdays, then in 1961 was moved to Mondays at 8:30 PM. A year later it was moved to 9:30 PM Mondays where The Andy Griffith Show was clobbering it, then again at midseason to Fridays at 9:30 PM. NBC wanted to skew younger than Price sponsors wanted and optioned a sitcom called Harry's Girls, but ABC stepped in and offered more for Price than NBC was willing to pony up.
    • Both versions moved to ABC, but their new home couldn't afford to air the nighttime show in color as NBC had. Further, not every market had an ABC affiliate in 1963, so 48 markets got Price on their CBS station instead. Ratings dropped significantly for both versions, with the nighttime show ousted on September 11, 1964 and the daytime show gone on September 3, 1965.
  • Shout-Out: Tons, including a Match Game Showcase.
    • Bob's "37 hours" joke in Range Game was changed to "48 hours" on primetime specials. If you don't know why that's here, you probably don't watch CBS on Saturdays at 10:00 PM.
    • Many Showcases saluted famous and current movies, such as Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don't Come Back!) (taped May 7, 1980).
    • A 1986 Showcase, in which Martians tried to find certain items for their mother, used a Suspiciously Similar Song version of the iconic Doctor Who theme during the prize descriptions.
    • April Fool's Day 2009, where the Match Game think music was played instead of the normal music, and the Match Game main theme played over the end credits.
    • In an April 2010 episode, as Money Game was being played for a van, Drew kept making references to the original Hollywood Squares panel as he uncovered the cards.
    • In July 2011, Drew did radio commercials for an appearance of his hometown orchestra appearing at New York's Met. He wrapped it up by saying "And at $35 dollars apiece...the price is right."
    • Drew referred to a small prize shaped like a British phone booth as being shaped like a TARDIS in a spring 2011 episode.
  • Shown Their Work: After years of incorrect episode counts (to be fair, a lot of reschedulings and Out of Order airings occurred over time), the count was finally corrected both for Fingers' final episode (where it was mentioned that she was present for 6,618 episodes) and the 7,500th milestone episode.
  • Skeleton Key: Master Key's eponymous key, which unlocks all three prizes. The host typically has the contestant unlock the first prize, then the car; nowadays, while the contestant celebrates, Drew frequently unlocks the middle prize.
  • Space Clothes: Worn by the models as they opened the "Time Capsule" Showcases.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • The first prize offered in Clock Game was a clock.
    • The one-bid right before the debut of Range Game was for a range.
    • In one episode, Rod announced the next IUFB was a man's chest. Bob interrupted, asking if he should take his shirt off so the contestants could get a better look at what they were bidding on.
    • The contestant who ran to the bathroom when she was called came on down afterwards and proceeded to bid...on a waterbed.
  • Take That: While the 1994-1995 New Price Is Right was airing in syndication, Bob mentioned several times on-air that confused fans had written in wondering if something had happened to the "old" series (see the Adaptation Displacement entry on the YMMV tab). In one such instance, Rod joined in reassuring viewers that "the real Price Is Right" was still very much alive and well on the air.
  • Timed Mission: Bonkers, Clock Game, Race Game, Split Decision, Switcheroo, and Time Is Money have time limits for making attempts to win, often overlapping with Trial and Error Gameplay. Ten Chances originally had a 10-second timer for each guess, but this hasn't been enforced since around the mid-1980s. Range Game could be considered here, since it only goes in one direction and stops once the rangefinder hits the top of the scale.
    • On Cullen's show if it appeared that a contestant was stalling, a five-second time limit was imposed. The five-second time was always imposed on one-bid games. Some bonus games used specified timeframes for the contestant to complete.
  • Title Drop: "All this can be yours, if the price is right."
    • "THAT'S TOO MUCH!!!"
  • The Show Must Go On: Even if the contestant doesn't get to pick a single rat in Rat Race, the race is carried out anyway.
  • The Un-Reveal: The April Fools' Day 2011 episode kept hyping up a "10,000th thing". Which was...nothing.
  • Too Soon: The show had the misfortune to air a rerun offering a trip to New Orleans as a prize -- a week after Hurricane Katrina. Whoops.
  • Totally Radical: The Halloween 2011 show had the entire set, crew, music, and the contestants decked out in 1970s outfits, including the slang. Even some of the prizes were made to emulate the 1970s look, and cues from the largely-discarded 1972, 1974, and 1976 music packages. Fans quickly realized said cues were a cheap cop-out by Mike Richards — a Twitter question some weeks earlier asked if classic cues would be returning, to which he said yes. They were only used on this episode.
  • Vanity License Plate: Not only was it the basis for a semi-regular Showcase, but "PRICE IS RIGHT" plates were used on cars offered and another kind is given to car winners.
  • Vocal Evolution:
    • To a slight extent, Johnny Olson had this happen in his later years. Although he didn't lose much enthusiasm, his voice became a little more slurred with old age; to be fair, the man never missed a taping (even when he was sick and throwing up in a nearby pail), and stayed with the show until shortly before he died at age 75.
    • In comparison, Rod Roddy became much less enthusiastic by the early 1990s, and his voice started cracking a great deal. To be fair, a lot of this was related to his increasingly declining health; like his predecessor, he stuck it out until the end because he enjoyed the job. In his last few months, he only showed up if he felt healthy enough, and even then, often collapsed from exhaustion between tapings.
    • On his earliest episodes (when he was just a substitute), Rich Fields sounded like this — a decent enough mid-range voice with proper enthusiasm. Once he became the official announcer, his delivery jumped all over the place: sometimes he'd sound like the early episodes; sometimes he'd be low and mellow, as he was on Flamingo Fortune; sometimes, he'd be high and screechy and have No Indoor Voice, which ultimately became his default setting when Drew took over. However, when he did post-production work for a few Summer 2010 reruns, he reverted to the lower, mellower voice. He also used this lower delivery when he filled in on Wheel of Fortune in late 2010-early 2011, and kept it for Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza.
  • Voice of Dramatic: All four announcers on the current version, to various extents.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: Eazy az 1 2 3.

 "This is Bob Barker, reminding you to help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered. Goodbye everybody!"

Notes

  1. (it is not known what happened if the tie remained after all items in the Showcase had been used for the telegrams)
  2. (Cue Laugh Track in Barker's last few years.)
  3. (A "wood" remix for cuckoo clocks, a "dreamy" remix for beds, and another remix for small prizes that was always used for Plinko's fourth prize until Drew became host.)
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.