Double Dare (Nickelodeon game show)

Double Dare
Logo for 2018 Double Dare revival series
Logo for the 2018 revival.
Also known as
  • Super Sloppy Double Dare (1987, 1989)
  • Family Double Dare (1988, 1990–93)
  • Double Dare 2000 (2000)
GenreGame show
Created by
  • Geoffrey Darby
  • Michael Klinghoffer
  • Dee LaDuke
  • Robert Mittenthal
  • Debby Beece (Family Double Dare)
Written by
  • Alan Silberberg (1986–89)
  • Gary DeLena (1990–91)
  • Bobby Lory (1992–93)
  • John Ten Eyck (2000)
Directed by
  • Dana Calderwood (1986–88)
  • Hugh Martin (1989–91)
  • Lexi Rae (1992–93)
  • Hal Leigh (2000)
  • Hans van Riet (2018)
Presented by
Narrated by
Theme music composer
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes
  • 482 (1986–93)[1]
  • 67 (2000)
  • 32 (2018)
Executive producer(s)
  • Geoffrey Darby (1986–93)
  • Eileen Braun (2000)
  • Marc Summers (2018)
  • Liza Koshy (2018)
  • Peter Herschko (2018)
  • Josh Silberman (2018)
  • Jennifer Mullin (2018)
  • Jayson Dinsmore (2018)
  • Joni Day (2018)
  • Michael Klinghoffer (1986–88)
  • Dana Calderwood (1989)
  • Angelika Bartenbach (1990–93)
  • Marc Summers (1992–93)
  • David Braun (2018)
Production location(s)
Running time22–24 minutes
Production company(s)
Original network
Picture format
Original release
  • Original series:
  • October 6, 1986 (1986-10-06) – February 6, 1993 (1993-02-06)
  • First revival series:
  • January 22, 2000 (2000-01-22) – November 10, 2000 (2000-11-10)
  • Second revival series:
  • June 25, 2018 (2018-06-25) – present
External links
Production website

Double Dare is an American television game show on which two teams compete to win cash and prizes by answering trivia questions and completing messy stunts known as physical challenges. It originally ran from 1986 to 1993. A revival ran in 2000, and a new revival began on June 25, 2018.

Hosted by Marc Summers, the program originally premiered on Nickelodeon on October 6, 1986, as its first game show. The series saw many adjustments in scheduling and titling throughout its run. Almost immediately after its debut, Double Dare had more than tripled viewership for Nickelodeon’s afternoon lineup, becoming the most-watched original daily program on cable television. The program was a major success for Nickelodeon, helping to establish the network as a major player in cable television, and to revitalize the genre of game shows for children. Double Dare remains Nickelodeon's longest-running game show. In January 2001, TV Guide ranked the show number 29 on its list of 50 Greatest Game Shows.

A continuation for syndication premiered on February 22, 1988, later revamped as Super Sloppy Double Dare on January 22, 1989. The program also had a short run on Fox as Family Double Dare, airing from April 3 to July 23, 1988. Nickelodeon continued Family Double Dare, premiering a new version on October 6, 1990. The original series ended on February 6, 1993. The series was revived, hosted by Jason Harris, and titled Double Dare 2000; this aired from January 22 to November 10, 2000. A second revival of the series, hosted by Liza Koshy and featuring Marc Summers, premiered on June 25, 2018.


Main game

Each team on the original Double Dare and Super Sloppy Double Dare consisted of two children, while teams on Family Double Dare and Double Dare 2000 included two adults and two children.[2] Originally, both teams wore red uniforms, but after Double Dare entered syndication in 1988, one team wore blue uniforms while the other wore red.[3][4]

Each round begins with a toss-up physical challenge in which both teams compete, with the winning team receiving both initial control of the round, and money for their score. After the toss-up, the host begins asking trivia questions of the team in control. Each correct answer earns a monetary award, and allows the team to maintain control, while an incorrect answer, or failure to respond within approximately ten seconds turns control over to the opponents. However, the team can dare their opponents to answer the question, doubling its value; in response, the opponents can double dare for quadruple the original value. When the team in control is challenged to a double dare, they have to either answer or compete in a physical challenge. An incorrect answer, or not responding within approximately five seconds on a dare or double dare, awards both control and the appropriate amount of money to the team that issues it. The second round plays the same as the first, with question values doubled.[3][5][6] On the original Double Dare and Super Sloppy Double Dare, a question was initially worth $10. On Family Double Dare and Double Dare 2000, a question was initially worth $25. On the 2018 Double Dare, a question is initially worth $50.[3][4][7][8]

After the toss-up at the start of the first round, the host explains the rules as follows:

Physical challenges

A 1990 Family Double Dare toss-up physical challenge showing two contestants trying to catch a "meatball" in a bowl of "spaghetti."

Physical challenges are often messy stunts[2] that a team has to perform in a specified time, usually 20 or 30 seconds, although occasionally 10 or 15 seconds. All physical challenges on Double Dare 2000 were 30 seconds in length, unless a time reduction was in play due to the Triple Dare Challenge. The team wins money and retained control for completing the stunt. Otherwise, the money and control pass to their opponents.[5]

Many challenges have involved filling a container past a line with one of a variety of substances including water, uncooked rice, green slime, whipped cream, and milk. Others involve catching a specific number of items before time runs out. For example, during "Pies in the Pants," a contestant has to catch a set number of pies in a pair of oversized clown pants within the specified time limit, while their teammate launches the pies from a foot-operated catapult at the opposite end of the stage.[11]

On the original Double Dare and Super Sloppy Double Dare, both contestants on a team competed in all physical challenges. For the 1988 version of Family Double Dare, all four members of a team competed in the challenges. On the 1990–93 version of Family Double Dare and on Double Dare 2000, two members of a team competed in round one, and all four members competed in round two. All members of a team competed in physical challenges on the 2018 Double Dare.[3][4][7][10][12]

Double Dare 2000 introduced the Triple Dare Challenge. Available only in round two, this allowed a team to make their physical challenge more difficult, increasing its value by $100, and putting a bonus prize at stake. Difficulties included reducing the time limit, adding an extra item to the stunt, or increasing the overall difficulty of the stunt. The actual modifier was not revealed unless the team decided to accept the challenge. If the team did not complete the challenge successfully, the money, prize, and control went to their opponents.[2]

Obstacle course

The Sundae Slide being prepared on a 1987 Double Dare obstacle course.

The team with the highest score at the end of round two goes on to the bonus round, the obstacle course (renamed the Slopstacle Course for Double Dare 2000). From the original Double Dare through Double Dare 2000 both teams keep all money earned, regardless of the outcome.[10] Only the winning team on the 2018 version gets to keep their money.[8]

The course consists of eight obstacles which have to be completed within 60 seconds. Each obstacle has an orange flag either at its end or hidden within it. One team member runs the first obstacle, then passes its flag to a partner, who then moves on to the next obstacle. The team continues to alternate in this manner until they have completed the course or until time expires.[5] For safety reasons, team members are given helmets, elbow pads, and knee pads to wear while running the course.[13]

Many obstacles have appeared in the course rotation, often based on body parts, food, and enlarged items found in daily life.[14] Popular elements of the obstacle course have included The One-Ton Human Hamster Wheel, an oversized hamster wheel; Pick It, a giant human nose with a flag hidden inside; The Sundae Slide, a chocolate-covered ramp leading to a playground slide with ice cream at the bottom; and Gum Drop, which required contestants to leap into a giant gumball machine filled with plastic balls and slide out through the dispensing hatch at the bottom.[14][15]

The team wins a prize for each obstacle completed, escalating in value up to a grand prize for completing the entire course.[5] Two-person teams split the cash earnings, and both contestants receive the same prize for each obstacle. Prizes have included televisions, concert tickets, encyclopedias, electronics, gift certificates, non-motorized modes of transportation and, on the Fox Family Double Dare, cash.[6] On the original and Super Sloppy versions, the grand prize was usually a vacation or an experience at Space Camp. All eight prizes were usually worth a total of between $3,000 and $4,000, with some episodes featuring a prize package nearing $10,000.[16] On the Fox Family Double Dare, as well as the first season of the Nickelodeon run, the grand prize was a vehicle, making all eight prizes worth between $15,000 and $25,000.[17] Once again, the grand prize was typically a vacation for the second season of Nickelodeon's Family Double Dare, Double Dare 2000 and the 2018 Double Dare, with grand prize packages on the 2018 version having a value of more than $6,000.[18][19]

Other Languages
Deutsch: Drops!
français: Double défi
português: Double Dare