List of games from Whose Line Is It Anyway?
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (March 2008)|
The list below describes games featured on the British and/or American versions of the television show Whose Line Is It Anyway?. Games played in the radio version can also be found here. The games are categorized based on their primary defining aspect, though some might fit into other categories as well. The flag icon indicates which version(s) the game was played on.
The following games are based around the performer(s) singing. In the US version, these games often predominantly featured Wayne Brady.
- All In One Voice: The performers, split into pairs, sing an audience-suggested song as given famous duo. Each pair sings simultaneously as one member of the duo. Similar to "Funeral". Only played two times, both with Brad Sherwood.
- American Musical/Musical: The four performers act out a Broadway-style musical, the storyline of which is based on three audience suggestions. They begin talking normally, but break into musical numbers when background music begins. Similar games include "Show Stopping Number" and "Opera".
- Bartender/Prison Visitor/Psychiatrist: Three performers arrive, one at a time, to sing about their problems to the fourth, who then replies in song. The fourth performer plays the titular role. A prop is provided in each game: a bar and drinks in "Bartender", a set of prison bars in "Prison Visitor", and a couch or set of stools in "Psychiatrist". "Bartender" is played in both the US and the UK, and "Prison Visitor" and "Psychiatrist" are both played in the UK.
- . Song Styles: One performer makes up a song about an audience member or about an audience-suggested subject; the performer is given a specific style or artist to emulate. Sometimes, the other performers provide backup vocals or dancing. In early playings, two performers would each be given different songs to sing. Variations on the basic game include:
- Duet: Variation on "Song Styles" which features two performers. The US version featured a one-time variant called Ballad Of, which was done in a country ballad in the form of a song.
- African Chant: The three other performers back Wayne Brady in the style of an African chant.
- Boogie Woogie Sisters: Three performers sing in the style of a 1940s Boogie-woogie group. Only played two times.
- Doo-Wop: Three performers sing in the style of a doo-wop group. The song is typically an elegy for someone who died in an audience-suggested freak accident.
- Motown Group: Three performers sing in the style of a Motown group.
- Greatest Hits: One or two performers act as pitchmen in a commercial for a compilation of songs about an audience-provided topic. One or both of the other performers perform short songs whose title and genre/artist are prompted by the pitchmen. Running gags that evolved for the pitchmen include opening with "we'll be back to [a parody show title] in just a second", inventing an absurd combination of the number of songs and CDs in the collection, coming up with intentionally awkward segues to the next song or artist, and attempting to come up with difficult titles. In the first UK playing, there was less banter between the pitchmen, with shorter songs. Other than one UK playing, Colin Mochrie and Ryan Stiles were always the pitchmen; in one playing of the 2013 revival, Greg Proops replaced Ryan Stiles. Similar to "Telethon".
- Hoedown: The four performers sing a hoedown about an audience-provided subject, with each performing four-line stanzas (unrelated to each other). The same basic music is always used, and the stanzas typically follow the same AABB rhyme scheme with the fourth line as a punchline. The last line of the last stanza is repeated to end the song. As a musical game that involves all four performers (regardless of their singing skills), a running gag is the performers' legitimate hatred of the game (most notably Ryan Stiles), which they express by blatantly mocking the host, the Hoedown itself, and occasionally the other performers. When played, "Hoedown" (or its predecessors in the UK) are usually the last game before the closing credits (often the "prize" game in the US). It was first played (in an early form) in series 3 of the UK show. The game has three predecessors:
- Gospel: The song style is gospel. Mostly played in series 3 and once in series 10. Unlike the other similar games, Gospel never tended to have a set rhythm.
- March: The song style is a march. Occasionally the final performer performs an extra stanza (which also occurred in at least one early playing of Hoedown).
- Rap: The four performers perform a rap about an audience-suggested subject. The rap could be of any length of the performers' choosing. Only played until series 3. This was the only musical game played on the radio version.
- Irish Drinking Song: The four performers sing an Irish drinking song about an audience-suggested subject. The performers each sing a line, in turn, in an eight-line stanza beginning with the first performer and running two rotations through the performers. The second performer begins the second eight-line stanza, and so-on to complete four stanzas. At the end of each stanza, all singers sing in unison "hai-dee-dai-dee-dai" or something of that nature. Each stanza typically has a rhyme scheme of ABCB, in which the second and fourth performers' lines rhyme, while the first and third performers' do not.
- Opera/Rock Opera: The four performers perform an opera or rock opera based on personal information given by an audience member. The performers can only sing their dialogue. "Opera" was only played twice; once on the UK pilot episode and in episode 11. "Rock Opera" was only played in series 2.
- Remember That Song?: One performer is a shop owner. Two others enter, one at a time, and the owner asks each to sing a certain song they remember from the past. Only played once in series 9. The game was also played at a taping of the US version, but was unaired.
- Scene to Rap: Two performers begin a given scene, rapping throughout to provided music; the other two enter one-at-a-time during the scene, and join the rap. In most playings, each performer raps one verse, though in some playings, performers rap additional verses. Another version of the game is Gangster Rap, involving two performers and only played once.
- Show Stopping Number: Three performers enact a scene. Periodically, the host sounds the buzzer, and the last performer to speak must sing a show-stopping tune based on their last line, set to music played by the show's musicians.
- Telethon: Two performers host a telethon for an audience-suggested group of people who normally do not need financial aid. (e.g. NBA players), while the two other performers impersonate various musical artists as prompted by the hosts. Similar to "Greatest Hits". There was a similar once-played game on the UK version called Charity Anthem, which only required the performers to sing one song, instead of multiple.
- Three-Headed Broadway Star: Three performers sing a Broadway-style song, with each performer singing one word at a time, in turn. The title of the musical and the song are audience-suggested. The song is occasionally sung to an audience member seated in front of the performers.
- Title Sequence: Two performers invent and sing the theme song for a sitcom which pairs two given or audience-suggested unlikely roommates. The other two performers act out the opening sequence as those two roommates. Colin Mochrie and Ryan Stiles always do the acting.
Background music games
The following games are based on a choice of background music:
- Advertisement: One performer advertises an audience-suggested product to the style of provided music. Very common on the radio version but on TV, this was only played twice.
- Scene to Music: The four performers enact a scene involving the style of background music played. In the UK version, only one piece of music played. In the US version, different styles of music would be played throughout the game.
- Wrong Theme Tune: Two performers enact a scene explaining a given subject, while in the background, an inappropriate style of music plays (for example, a cartoonish background music for a western-style scene). The performers try to perform the scene in the style of that music. Played only once on television, but fairly common on the radio version.
The following games are based on limiting the dialogue of one or more performers:
- Alphabet: Two performers enact a given scene in which each sentence must begin with the subsequent letter of the alphabet, beginning with an audience-suggested letter. The performers must go through the entire alphabet once.
- Backwards Movie Overdubbing: Any number of performers make up the dialogue of movie without sound being played backwards. Only played once.
- Backwards Scene: Two or three performers act out a given scene starting with the ending line and working their way line by line back to the beginning. Played only twice in the US version.
- Change Letter: Two or three performers act out a given scene, and must substitute every occurrence of a given letter in their dialogue with another given letter (e.g. every "B" must be changed to "F"). In the US version, all four performers would play.
- Every Other Line: One performer acts freely while another is given a book or play. That performer responds to the first by reading every other line of the work. The performer who is not reading must end the scene with an audience-suggested line. Played only in series 1, and once in series 4. Common on the radio edition. In the US, Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza featured a variant called Playbook where the performer could read every line in the book in sequence.
- Expert Translation: One performer is an expert on a given topic, but can only speak a given foreign language. Another performer translates into English. Played up to series 4. Similar to "Foreign Film Dub".
- Foreign Film Dub: Two performers enact a scene in a foreign language (usually using accented gibberish) chosen by the audience, while the other two performers "translate" into English after each line. This often results in the translators putting the acting performers in compromising situations by translating their gibberish in embarrassing ways. Similar to "Expert Translation".
- Forward Rewind: Two performers start a scene, and two more later enter. Periodically the host will instruct the performers to go reverse, in which case they must reenact the performed scene backwards, and forward, in which case all reversed actions must be repeated in the proper order as originally. Originally appeared in BBC's Fast and Loose first, then on ABC's Trust Us with Your Life, and reintroduced for the 2013 revival.
- If You Know What I Mean: Three performers improvise a scene in which they make up as many innuendos related to the given topic as they can, ending each with the phrase "if you know what I mean." Brad Sherwood was in every playing of this game.
- Number of Words: The four performers act out a given scene. Each is also assigned a number, which is the exact number of words each must use at a time.
- Questions Only: Two performers enact a given scene speaking only in questions, while the other performers wait off-stage, one behind each of them. If either performer speaks in a non-question, or takes too long to respond, the host sounds the buzzer and they are replaced by the performer behind them. In early UK playings, the game was not a competition and involved only two performers. Similar to "Song Titles".
- Questions With Wigs/Hats: In this variation, the performers must act out the scene as a character dictated by the wig or hat they are wearing. Played twice during the show's original run, and twice again during the 2013 revival.
- Questionable Impressions: In this variation, the performers must also do a different impression of their choice each time they enter the game. The "Salute to American Television" episode in season 3 featured a sub-variant called Questionable Impressions From TV in which all the impressions must be of TV personalities.
- Quick Change: Two or three performers enact a given scene. Another performer stands offstage and says "change" at various times during the scene; the performer who had the last line must then provide an alternate line. The changed line is commonly itself "changed", leading to both confusion, or a punchline under the comedic rule of three. This was game was rebranded in Drew Carey's Green Screen Show and Improv-A-Ganza as New Choice.
- Song Titles: In the UK version, three or four performers act out a given scene speaking only in existing song titles. In the US version, two performers do the same, while the others wait off-stage, one behind each of them. If either performer speaks in a non-song-title, speaks a song lyric, or takes too long to respond, the host sounds the buzzer and they are replaced by the performer behind them. Similar to "Questions Only".
- Two Line Vocabulary: Three performers enact a given scene. Two of the performers are limited to using only two specific given lines each, with Colin Mochrie (on one occasion Greg Proops) being the only player who can speak freely.
- What Are You Trying to Say?: Two performers act out a scene in which they are easily offended, taking offense to anything the other performer says. Only played once. The game was played another time, but was unaired.
- Whose Line?: Two performers act out a given scene. They are each given several slips of paper with amusing lines written on them suggested in advance by the audience. Periodically, the performers pull a slip of paper out of their pocket and must include the line in the scene. The lines commonly contain some form of innuendo.
The following games involve creating many different brief scenes in succession:
- Props: The performers are split into pairs, each given a different unusual prop. The pairs alternate at the prompting of the host's buzzer, giving short scenes using their prop in a unique way. The game typically results in a series rapid-fire one- or two-liners, especially in later playings. Props in the UK version ranged from recognizable objects to bizarre, hand-made objects, while in the US version, they were commonly shaped foam with no standout features. Counting the number of times played in both the UK and US, this is the game that has been played the most.
- Scenes From a Hat: The audience submits written suggestions which are placed in a hat. The host then draws from the hat, and any of the four performers, who stand off-stage, may enter and develop that scene. In UK playings, only one response would be given for each suggestion, while in the U.S., multiple responses from the same or different performers were sometimes allowed until the host decided to move on. In early UK episodes, audience suggestions were mainly places, or situations (e.g.: "naming a baby"). The UK version usually took the time to build up to the joke, while the US version often consisted of one-liners. In the UK version this game was played frequently from series 4–6, and it became one of the most frequently played games in the U.S. version.
- Tag: Two performers begin in audience-suggested positions and must begin a short scene based on that position (though they can then move freely). At any point they choose, one of the other two performers calls "freeze", at which point they tag one of the two on-stage performers and take their physical position, and begin a new scene. Performers continue to replace each other and perform short scenes. In earlier playings, scenes typically went on longer before being interrupted. Played until series 4. Although the game was not played on the US version of the show, it was adapted into its spin-off show Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza.
- World's Worst: A topic is given in the form of "the world's worst [something]." The four performers come to "The World's Worst Step" (the lowest step behind the stage) and step forward one-at-a-time with examples that fit the topic. Topics could include characters (e.g. the world's worst doctor), but also other topics (e.g. the worst game show). One topic is chosen per playing, and the performers can step forward in any order, and as often as they want. In early playings, the examples were longer with later playings more commonly featuring one-liners. The title of the game did not appear until the show moved to television.
- Hats/Dating Service Video: A variation in which the performers are split into pairs. Each pair is provided a box of random headgear; the performers use the headgear to enact examples of "the world's worst dating service videos". Play alternates between the pairs at the prompting of the host's buzzer; usually only one member of each pair acts at a time. The game typically results in a series of rapid-fire pun-laden pick-up lines. UK playings had subjects other than dating videos (e.g. movie auditions). The 2013 revival featured a one-time variant called Dating Profiles which eliminated the headgear from the game.
The following games involve one performer needing to guess some element(s) of the scene:
- Interrogation: Two performers are police officers interrogating a third, who plays a suspect in a given crime. The suspect, however, does not know what the crime is and must deduce it from the clues given by the other performers. Played only once; similar games include "Newsflash" and "Press Conference".
- Let's Make a Date: One performer (usually the fourth performer in the American version) is the contestant on a dating-type show. The other three performers are the possible dates who are given odd personalities or characters via envelopes. Following one or two rounds of questioning, contestant must guess who the others are.
- Newsflash: One performer, usually Colin Mochrie, stands in front of a green screen as a field reporter, while two or three others are news anchors. Certain footage is shown on the green screen which the anchors and the audience can see, while the reporter can see only the green screen. Based on clues in the anchors' questioning - and sometimes the audience's reaction - the reporter must guess what kind of footage is being shown.
- Party Quirks: One performer hosts a party at which the other three arrive. The three guests are assigned odd personalities or characters via envelopes. Whenever he is able, the host must identify what each guest is portraying. The guests enter one-at-a-time at the prompting of a doorbell sounded by the host. When their quirk is guessed correctly, a performer returns to their seat.
- Press Conference: One performer is giving a press conference while the other three ask questions as reporters. The subject of the conference is either a known figure giving some sort of announcement (e.g. Santa retiring) or some sort of unusual achievement (e.g. the first female Pope). The subject is not informed of their identity, and must deduce it from the questions that the reporters ask.
The following games have a defined genre, event or scene structure:
- Action Replay (aka Instant Replay): Two performers enact a given scene, usually making exaggerated physical movements; the other two observe visually, but wear headphones playing loud music so they can't hear the scene. They must then attempt to create their own scene, re-enacting the same motions and concocting a scene to fit them. Colin Mochrie and Ryan Stiles are always the reenacters.
- Addicts Anonymous: One performer hosts an Alcoholics Anonymous-type meeting for the other three, who are addicted to a provided unusual item or activity. In every playing, Stephen Frost, Colin Mochrie and Ryan Stiles were the addicts. This game was also played in a US taping, but was unaired.
- Award Show: Two performers host an award show for a given absurd achievement; the other two are the winners and make an acceptance speech. Various audience members are shown as other nominees, but Colin Mochrie and Ryan Stiles are always the winners.
- Courtroom Scene: One performer is a judge, and another is the prosecutor. The other two are given a selection of hats to choose from and act as witnesses in the given case.
- Daytime Talk Show: One performer is the host of a daytime talk show (usually a parody of The Jerry Springer Show and other similar shows). Two other performers are guests appearing on the show, and the fourth portrays one or more members of the audience. The topic of the talk show is usually a given fairy tale, nursery rhyme, or Biblical story. Jerry Springer himself guest starred as the host of this game on one occasion of the US series. In early UK playings, there were three guests and no performer as an audience member, with less resemblance to The Jerry Springer Show.
- Director / Hollywood Director: Two (in the UK) or three (in the US) performers are in a given scene. The last performer (in both versions, Colin Mochrie) is the director, who interrupts the scene and has the performers re-enact the same scene in a different style or performance suggestion.
- Fashion Models: Three performers act out a fashion show, the subject of which is usually an audience-suggested profession. The fourth performer comments on the show.
- Funeral: Three (in the US) or four (in the UK) performers act out a scene at a funeral for a person with an audience-provided name and occupation, who died in a job-related freak accident. One performer usually takes the role of the funeral director, with the remaining performers being associated with the deceased in some way. After briefly eulogizing, the performers sing an elegy all at once. Played only once on the UK version and twice on the US version. Similar games include "All In One Voice", "Reunion" and "Wedding".
- Hey, You Down There!: Two performers silently enact a 1950s public information film on a given topic. A third performer provides the narration with a provided style-appropriate music track.
- Home Shopping / Shopping from Home: Two performers are presenters on a home shopping channel. They are given two useless items to sell, as well as a third audience-suggested item. Common on the UK version but played only twice on the US version. Similar to "Infomercial".
- Ice Skaters: The participants are figure skaters performing their final routine. But instead of dancing, they are instead performing some other activity while skating. Only performed once since it appears Ryan Stiles hurt his back in this game.
- Infomercial: Two performers are presenters in an infomercial selling "miracle" solutions for a given personal problem. The performers are given a box of unusual props which they must use as products they are selling, or in demonstrations. Similar games include "Greatest Hits" and "Home Shopping".
- The Millionaire Show: The four performers enact a Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?-style game show, with a given theme (e.g. gangsters, hillbillies, Germans). The performers take the roles of the host, a contestant, a "phone-a-friend" lifeline, and an audience member lifeline (not part of the actual Millionaire format).
- Mission Impossible/Improbable Mission: Two performers are Mission: Impossible-style secret agents. A third performer acts as a taped voice who gives them their assignment. The assignment is a mundane task (washing a car, getting dressed, etc.) which is carried out in an exaggeratedly intense, dangerous, and difficult manner. After the mission is defined by the third performer, suspenseful background music is played. The UK version occasionally had all four performers playing.
- Narrate/Film Noir: Two performers enact a scene based in an audience-suggested location. The scene takes a film noir style, both in content and mood, as well as by breaking the fourth wall to approach the camera and narrate. Appropriate pre-recorded music is played during the scene. In early UK playings, Jim Sweeney and Steve Steen play this game. In later UK playings and all US playings, the game features Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie.
- News Report: The four performers enact a news report on the topic of a fairy tale or Biblical story. The country in which the report will take place is also chosen. One performer is the news anchor, another is an expert in the studio, another is a field reporter, and the fourth plays several characters interviewed by the reporter.
- Panel: Clive Anderson is the host of a panel show; The four performers are given a variety of costumes and props and must discuss a given issue of the day. Played only once.
- Quiz Show: One performer is the host of an audience-suggested quiz show, while the other three are as contestants. On the UK version, host Clive Anderson would occasionally participate as a judge.
- Reunion: Three performers are old friends who once had the same profession, meeting at a reunion. The scene culminates with the three players, all in one voice, improvising an "old song" relating to the profession. Similar to "All In One Voice", "Funeral" and "Wedding"; only played once.
- Secret: Two performers act out a given scene which begins shortly before one performer's secret object is discovered by the other. Played only twice on the US version, and reintroduced for the 2013 revival. In the original run, the location of the secret is audience-suggested; in the 2013 revival, the secret is changed to a prop hidden inside a trunk given to the performers.
- Sports Commentators/Sportscasters: Two performers enact a given scene, usually a mundane daily activity, in slow motion. The other two performers provide commentary as if the event were a sporting event. The activity is usually elevated to a highly competitive and extremely violent spectacle.
- Survival Show: The four performers enact a Survivor-style game which is set in an everyday location. Though Drew states that all four are the survivors, one performer acts as the host, while the others perform stunts and have a tribal council as contestants. Played only once.
- Themed Restaurant: Two performers dine in a restaurant with a given unusual theme; the other two performers act as waitstaff.
- Wedding: The four performers, along with a female audience member, perform a wedding using the audience member's foible as a base. One performer is the groom to the audience member's bride. Another is the master of ceremonies, another a drunken relative, and the last sings a wedding song. Similar to "Funeral" and "Reunion", it was played only once.
The following games are based on one or more performers having a strange quirk or identity:
- Animals: Two to four performers enact a soap opera-type scene as given species of animal. Performed only once on the US version, with a second performance included in outtakes on the 1st Season Vol. 1 DVD.
- Book Writer: One performer interviews another who plays an author who has just written a book on a particular subject. Only played once in series 4.
- Change Emotion: Three performers are given an actual prop; whoever holds it must express a given emotion as they act out a given scene. Occasionally, two or three props are used, each assigned a different emotion. Commonly played in the UK, but played only once in the US.
- Multiple Personalities: A variation in which there are three props, and each is assigned a different famous identity. The performers must bear the identity associated with whatever prop(s) they are holding. Frequently, the props in question are given from one performer to another spontaneously, forcing the performer to do a new improvisation based on the prop he has just received. The game frequently ended with one performer having all three objects given to them, forcing them to try and act out the three personalities simultaneously.
- Characters/Two Characters: Two performers act out a scene in the style of two given personalities, such as Kirk and Spock. Only played once on TV and once on the radio version.
- Expert: One performer has a strange way of behaving (e.g. frog spawn) and another interviews them in a given style (e.g. in the style of a children's TV presenter). Played in series 1 - 4.
- Fixed Expressions: The performers act out a scene while each must maintain a fixed facial expression. Each performer is given a different emotion to emulate.
- Here He Is Now: Two performers await the arrival of the others and discuss their Idiosyncrasies. The other performers then arrive and must enact the traits that were assigned to them.
- Interview: One performer interviews a second one, who acts as a famous celebrity. Only played in series 2 and 3.
- Meet the Family: Two of the performers are the parents of a third. The fourth performer is engaged to the third, and is meeting the parents for the first time. The parents are given odd personalities or characters. Played only once.
- Old Job, New Job: Two to four performers enact a given scene in which one of the performers displays traits of his given old job while performing his new job. Played only twice on the American version.
- Superheroes: One performer superhero with an odd audience-suggested identity. He faces an audience-suggested crisis, and is joined by another performer. In welcoming this performer, he provides them another odd superhero identity. The third and fourth performers arrive in turn, and are named by their predecessors as well. Then, after the crisis is solved, the performers depart in reverse order. The superhero names are typically in stereotypical superhero form (e.g. [something]-man, or [something]-girl) with an unusual identifying characteristic or power.
- Strange Bedfellows: Three performers are roommates, but each is given a celebrity impression to do during the scene and must solve a problem in the apartment. Played only once.
- Unlikely Couples/Couples: Two performers play a scene, as two people (fictional or real) that wouldn't normally be seen together. Periodically, the host sounds the buzzer and requests audience suggestions for a different pairing. Played only twice.
- Weird Newscasters: One performer is the lead anchor of a news broadcast who acts normally; the other three are the co-host, sports anchor (sometimes finance anchor on the British version), and weather anchor, and are each given an odd personality or character which they must exhibit.
The following games are based on a physical impediment or requirement:
- Dead Bodies / Fainting Bodies: One performer acts out a given scene while the rest of the performers in the scene act as if they are dead or unconscious. The performer must physically move the others, including their mouths, and say their lines for them. In the UK, two "dead" performers begin in the scene with the third, while in the US, it is one performer and one audience member. In both, an additional performer joins the scene partway through and quickly dies/faints. Colin Mochrie is always the performer who remains alive.
- Hands Through/Helping Hands: Three performers enact a given scene; one performer can move freely, while another cannot use his arms, and places them behind his back; the third provides the arms for the second, placing his own arms through the second's armpits. Other than some early UK playings, the performers are usually provided with a table full of props, some of which are messy. They are also commonly provided with aprons or other protective costumes. In the US version, Ryan would always act as the 'armless' person with Colin providing the hands, often to Ryan's chagrin.
- Living Scenery: Two performers enact a given scene. The other two performers or special guests stand in for props during the scene. This often results in the human props being put in very suggestive situations.
- Moving People: Two performers enact a scene, but they cannot move on their own. Instead, two audience members or special guests must move them into different positions during the scene. Other than one UK playing, this game is always played by Colin Mochrie and Ryan Stiles.
- Picture: A life-sized painting or picture is presented with the faces of some characters cut out. Two to four performers put their heads through the holes and enact a given scene.
- Scene With a Prop: Two performers are given a random prop, and must make up a scene using that prop. Played only once.
- Sideways Scene: The performers act out a scene and different styles are introduced (similar to "Film, TV, and Theater Styles"); however, all this is done lying down on a special floor behind the normal set, with the action displayed via overhead camera on a screen. Originally appeared in BBC's Fast and Loose first, then on ABC's Trust Us with Your Life, and reintroduced for the 2013 revival.
- Stand, Sit, Bend/Stand, Sit, Lie Down: Three performers enact a given scene; at any given time, one must be standing, one must be sitting and one must be either bending over or lying down, depending on the game. Whenever one changes position, the others must change to maintain this requirement. A stool or bed is typically provided to accommodate the scene.
- Audition: One performer plays the director of an upcoming musical while the other three audition. One performer must act, one must sing and one must dance.
- Authors: The performers tell a story with an audience-supplied title, each in the style of a different author (or writing style) they select themselves. They each perform one-at-a-time, continuing from where the last performer left off when the host sounds the buzzer. Often the first game played in early UK episodes, but last played in series five. Always played on the radio version. Similar to "Remote Control".
- Dubbing: Two performers enact a scene with an audience member, whose dialogue is provided by a third performer off-camera. Sometimes (most frequently in the 2013 revival) a celebrity guest is used instead of an audience member.
- Explanation: Two performers play. Both performers must explain something, (for example, the existence of God) in a certain style (i.e. five year olds). Only played twice.
- Film & Theatre Styles/Film, TV & Theatre Styles: Prior to the scene, the host solicits various styles of film, TV or theatre from the audience. These can be either broad genres (e.g.: sci-fi) or specific titles (e.g.: Star Wars). Two or three performers then begin a given scene; the host periodically stops the scene with a buzzer and chooses an audience-suggested style for the performers to continue the scene in. In early UK episodes, only genres were accepted; later specific films, shows and plays were accepted. In the radio and UK pilot episodes, this game was called Genre Option. In early UK playings, it was sometimes played twice in one episode, once with each pair of performers. Later US playings added a third performer to the game.
- Change of Cast: The four performers enact a given scene, changing their characters at the host's prompting. Only played once.
- Change of Company: The four performers enact a given existing fairy tale. The host periodically suggests a profession for the characters to continue the scene as. Only played on the radio version.
- Emotion Option: Variation on "Film & Theatre Styles" with emotions instead of styles.
- Film Dub: One to four performers watch a clip from an old (and usually unknown) movie or television show that has been muted. While only the clip is shown on-screen, the performers each provide the dialogue for one of the characters following a given scene suggestion.
- Film Review: One performer is a film critic and reviews an audience-suggested film, while the other three act out scenes from the film, as prompted by the critic. Played only once.
- Musical Film Review: A variation which adds music to the scenes.
- Film Trailer: One performer provides a voiceover for an audience-suggested film's trailer over provided background music. The other three act out scenes from the film, as prompted by the narrator.
- Musical Producers: Two performers are producers of a musical. The other two performers act and sing scenes, as prompted by the producers. Similar to the format of "Greatest Hits".
- Story Teller: One performer is an author, narrating the non-speaking parts of a story. The other three performers portray are the characters in the story, entering when prompted by the narration, and saying dialogue. The author works towards an audience-suggested moral of the story. Played until series 4. There was a variation called Book Writers on the radio version.
- Video Player: Host Clive Anderson flips through a film review guide until the audience prompts him to stop. He reads the title and description of a film on that page to the performers. One performer mimes using a video remote control to "flick through the film" to a part of the film he prompts and the other three performers act out the scenes. Played only once.
- Good Cop/Bad Cop: One performer is a homeowner who has some problem around the house, suggested by the audience, such as a broken down washing machine. Two other performers are the repairmen the first calls in to fix it, formerly partners on the police force who specialized in the good cop/bad cop method of interrigation. They interrogate the homeowner as if s/he committed some crime which caused the issue. Played only once.
- Make a Monster: One performer acts as Dr. Frankenstein and one as Igor; the other two are corpses. Either of the two performers picks the corpses' heads, arms, and legs from various celebrities or professionals, such as choosing the head of Mr. T, the arms of a sushi bar chef, and legs of an ice hockey player. The performers portraying the corpses must then act accordingly. Played only twice.
- Remote Control: The four performers each enact a different given style of television program on the same topic (sometimes given, sometimes audience-suggested). They each perform one-at-a-time, switching when the host sounds the buzzer and chooses the next performer. Similar to "Authors".
- Scene With an Audience Member: Two performers and an audience member perform a given scene. Later in the show's run, the audience member would read pre-written lines from a card when prompted.
- Scenes Cut From a Movie: The four performers enact scenes ostensibly edited out of an audience-suggested movie.
- Soap Opera: All four performers enact a typical soap opera scene, however the location it is set is atypical of a soap opera and all four must bring some of the location into the scene. Played only once.
- Sound Effects: One performer enacts a given scene while a second, offstage, provides the sound effects vocally. While the onstage performer spoke in early UK performances, later scenes typically lack any dialogue other than occasional mumbled speech provided by the offstage performer. In early UK playings, Archie Hahn would provide sound effect for another performer. In later UK playings and all US playings, Ryan Stiles provided the effects for Colin Mochrie.
- Sound Effects (second version): Two or three performers enact a given scene and must react to several pre-recorded sound effects which are occasionally played.
- Sound Effects (audience version): In this variation, two performers act onstage while a pair of audience members are chosen to provide the sound effects, one for each performer. The performers must adapt to the sound effects given by the pair of audience members. Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie were always the performers in this game.
- Really Bad Hangover: Two performers wake up with hangovers. As a result, sounds they hear seem amplified. The other two performers provide the sound effects offstage. Played only once.
- This Is the Story of Your Life: One performer plays the host of a "This is Your Life"-type television show with a second performer as the guest of honor and the other 2 as acquaintances. Played only once.
- What's in the Bag: Three performers act out a scene in which two of the performers are each provided with a handbag from an audience member, and they have to take out items from the bag to use. Only in the 2013 revival.