Game Shows Wiki
Michael Carrington (1989)
Skip Lackey (1990)
James Eopollo (Season 1)
Henry J. Waleczko (Season 2)
Nickelodeon: 5/1/1989-3/30/1990 (Reruns until 6/29/1991)
Nickelodeon/MTV Networks

This is an article for the 1989 Nickelodeon show. For the 1949 ABC show, see Think Fast (1).

This was a game show on Nickelodeon that resembled to Double Dare but also focused on knowledge.


Main Game[]

Two teams of two (blue and gold) competed in a series of events that tested their bodies and their brains. Each time a team wins an event they win money. The first round events were worth $50, and the second round events were worth $100.


Here are the events used on the show:

  • Simon-type games – Contestants had to repeat in order a sequence of events, adding one event of their own to the sequence. The first team to get any item in the sequence wrong or run out of time (or also forgetting to add an item in season one) lost the event. Examples of Simon games included the following:
    • We've Got Your Number (renamed "Close Calls" in season two) – contestants had to punch in a sequence of numbers on a large telephone.
    • Pat the Uncle (renamed "Burp the Uncle" in season two) – contestants had to push down on the shoulders of three fat "uncles", making them belch violently. The "uncles" were enormously fat men who would be snacking on bowls of random food items which included popcorn, tortilla chips, candy and Pepto-Bismol.
    • Paint Catcher – each team had a "pitcher" with a bucket of paint-filled balloons, and a "catcher" who wore a body shield composed of an abrasive material. Each team had to take turns throwing red, yellow, green, or blue paint balloons at his/her opponent in sequence.
    • Sounding Board – a number of noisemaking objects was placed on a table; each team had to make noises with the noisemakers in sequence.
    • One Man Band – Each player wore a one-man band set complete with several instruments such as: drums, cymbals, horns, etc. Each player had to play their instruments in sequence.
    • Banana Splitsville – Each player had a large ice cream sundae and a selection of toppings. Each player had to put toppings on their sundaes in sequence.
  • Flog – The name of this event was "golf" spelled backward. A miniature golf hole was set up in the studio, and to be able to putt, contestants had to observe a word spelled backward and tell what the correct word was when spelled correctly. The team who made it into the hole first won. Occasionally, palindromes were thrown in to catch the contestants off guard; the most notable and often used was RACECAR (used on the show itself as well as when Carrington demonstrated the game as a guest host on another Nickelodeon show, Don't Just Sit There.)
  • Plumber's Blackjack – The goal of this event was for one contestant to pour random containers of colored water into a larger container over the other contestant's head. The teams took turns, with the goal to get to a marked line on the large container without going over (unlike Double Dare). They first draw cards then pour the container with the same number that was on their chosen card. If a team went past the line, the other team won automatically. The container was perforated along the marked line, so that if a team busted, the excess water would pour out over the seated teammate's head.
  • Weight and Seesaw – Each contestant was placed on one side of a balance, with random household objects having a combined weight heavier than the contestant on the other side. Teams would take turns removing items attempting to balance the scale within a range. If a team took too much off the scale, the contestant would outweigh the objects onto the other side and descend into a large bowl filled with slime. The first team to balance the scale won the event. In the Carrington era, each team competed individually, and the first team to play would play with the clock counting up to a maximum of 45 seconds. If the first team failed, the other team still had to balance the scale before time ran out in order to claim the money.
    • Life's A Beach – This was a similar game which involved balancing a scale by filling its empty basket with sand and having to balance the sand with a weight on the other side. As a running gag, host Skip would sit in a beach chair with sunglasses on (as sound effects of a beach was played).
  • America's Most Wanted Clowns – The host would begin to explain the rules to some bizarre, nonsense "event" when an outlandishly-dressed clown would suddenly run through the studio. After this happened, the real event was for the contestants to answer questions that had to do with what the clown was wearing. The team answering the most questions correctly won.
  • Basketball-type games – Contestants had to shoot balls into baskets, either of which corresponded to answers of a question or set of questions. Variations included:
    • A giant basketball goal was set up above a large tube, with a number of colored rubber balls to its side. Each tube had a phrase with a color word left out (example, "_______ mountains majesty"). The contestants had to shoot the plastic balls through the hoop and into the tube to correctly match the colors with the phrases. The most correct phrases won the event.
    • Ten small hoops were mounted to a giant backboard with their nets tied closed. Each net corresponded to the name of a sound effect. Six of the sound effects were played, after which the contestants had 30 seconds to shoot basketballs into the hoops corresponding to the correct sounds. The team with the most baskets with correct answers filled won the event.
  • Tic-Tac-(Animal) – Contestants played tic-tac-toe with animals in their team color instead of "Xs" & "Os". The host read questions regarding a certain animal. The first contestant to buzz-in with a correct answer wins the right to place his/her animal marker on the board. The first player to get Tic-Tac-Toe, claim five spaces, or answer the most questions correctly won the event.
  • This is to That – Contestants faced a board of anagrams (scrambled words). The host gave a series of analogies in which the last word in the phrase was located somewhere on the board scrambled. When an analogy was given, the contestant buzzed in and ran up to the board to unscramble the right word. The player who successfully unscrambled the most words won the event.
  • Categorically Speaking – A letter was given at the start, then a category was given by the host (a la Scattergories). The first player to buzz in gave an answer that began with that set letter and fit the category. Then the opposing player did the same. Contestants continued to alternate turns until one player either gave an answer that did not fit the category and/or begin with the set letter, repeated a word (including different forms of a word), or ran out of time. For each mistake a player made, his opponent scored one point, and the player with the most points won the event.
  • Word Search – Contestants had to find words in a puzzle based on clues given by the host (the words usually had a theme, e.g. animals); correctly finding a word resulted in the contestant being able to pour a bucket of slop into a pipe with a funnel. The team that filled their pipe first won the event.
  • Spilling Bee – A series of containers marked with item names consisted of those items except one which was empty. Problem is that everything was in the wrong containers. The contestant's job is to place them in the right containers and then press a button to indicate that they're done.
  • Leaning Tower of Things – Both teams were given an identical assortment of objects, and had 60 seconds to build as tall a freestanding structure as they could using those objects. The structures still had to remain standing on their own for three seconds after the time buzzer sounded; the team with the tallest structure won the event.
  • The Feelies – One teammate handed their blindfolded partner an object, and gave a one-word clue as to the identity of the object. The team that identified more objects in a faster time won the event.
  • Leaping Letters – One teammate placed letters on a catapult and launched them toward their partner, who had to catch the letters in the air and put them on the board to form words of at least 2 letters (proper words were not allowed). The team that made the most words in 90 seconds won the event.
  • Mind Boggling – Both teams were given a large pile of cubes with a letter on each side. The teams would place them in their grids in a criss-crossing fashion in an effort to make as many words as they could. The team that made the most valid words, or, if both teams had the same number of words, the team that used more letters in their valid words in 60 seconds won the event.
  • Market Madness – Each team had three shelves with all its items mixed up, and each one had a scrambled marker that showed what belonged on that shelf (cereal on the top shelf, fruit on the middle and snacks on the bottom). With one player riding in a shopping cart, teams would push their teammates to the markers to unscramble them, and then must put all the items on their proper shelves, buzzing in when they were done. The first one to buzz in with everything sorted out correctly won.
  • Frosty The Junkman – Each team had an identical pile of junk and a snowman named Frosty. The host would sing a parody of "Frosty The Snowman", and then the teams had 45 seconds to use the junk and dress up Frosty as described in the song they had just heard. The team with the most correct junk on Frosty won.
  • Wipe Out – Each team had a gunked up poster of a celebrity and a tank of water and sponges. Teams would throw the sponges at the poster to clean it off. Once they knew who the celebrity in the picture was, they must buzz in. The first team to buzz in with the correct celebrity won.
  • Jack's Be Nimble – One teammate stood in front of a large board while their partners stood next to a pile of balloons filled with shaving cream and letters and a red beach ball. The host would give out a phrase that each team needed to spell out on the board and their partners had to throw the red ball up into the air until it hit the ground, like in jacks. They then must throw balloons to their partners who must break them and stick the letters inside them on the boards to spell out the phrase. The first team to spell out the phrase won the event.
  • Mess Heads – One teammate must identify a food that the host described. Once identified, the player must scoop up some slop from a tub and pour it into a paper bag suspended above their partner's head. The first team to fill the bag with enough slop to make the bag's bottom break above their partner's head won the event.
  • Movie Marquee – Each team had a marquee and several buckets filled with popcorn and letters, each spelling out a word in a movie title. Teams must dump out the popcorn and stick the letters on their marquee to spell out the movie title. The first team to correctly spell out the movie title won the event.
  • Alphabet Soup – A big bowl of alphabet soup was placed in the middle of the floor and each team had an identical lunch menu with some missing letters. One player would fish a letter out of the soup and pass it to their partner, who must place the letter in its proper spot on the menu. The first team to correctly complete their menu won.
  • Altered States – Each team had an unfinished 3-D jigsaw puzzle of the United States, with each piece being a U.S. state. Teams must complete their puzzle by placing the remaining pieces in their proper spots. The first team to finish their puzzle won.
  • Safe Crackers – Not to be confused with The Price is Right active pricing game of the same name, each team had a safe with an item locked inside of it that needed to be handed to their partner. The safe's combination was the answer to a crazy math problem that the host gave each team to solve (example: number of days in a leap year(366) plus the number of obstacles on Double Dare's obstacle course(8) minus the number of people living in the Brady Bunch house, including Alice(9), 366+8-9=365). The first team to crack the safe's code and hand their partner the item inside won.
  • Card House – Each team had a set of playing cards and a bowl of glue. The host would show the teams a card house that they must duplicate using their cards and the glue provided. The house had to be an exact copy of the host's model based on which cards were used and their positions. The first team to complete their card house won.
  • Heavyweight Boxing – Each team had an identical pile of boxes of various shapes and sizes. Teams must place their smallest box into a slightly bigger box and then that box into the next biggest box, and so on until all their boxes were in one big box. The first team to finish won.
  • The Absent Minded Chef – A clueless chef arrived with several bags containing ingredients to a meal, but the chef couldn't remember what meal the items in each bag would make. The chef would select a bag and pull out ingredients out of that bag one at a time until the team buzzed in with the correct meal. The team who identified the most meals won.
  • Space Art – Each team had a 4x4 grid of spinning blocks with different colored sides. The teams were shown an image that they must copy on their grid by spinning the blocks to the corresponding colored side. The first team to recreate the image on their grid won.
  • Memory Match – The teams would study a board with different answers, each with a corresponding number. The answers were covered up after 10 seconds and then the host described an answer on the board. The player must buzz in and shout that answer's number, much like Get The Picture's mega memory round. The team with the most correct answers won.
  • Egg Me On – One player from each team must help their partner, who was blindfolded and dressed as a chicken with large feet, walk across a field of color-coded eggs (gold for the gold team and blue for the blue team). The players being guided couldn't touch their partners or break any of the opposing teams eggs because then they would be disqualified. The team to make it across the field with the fewest broken eggs won.
  • 3 Card Chicken – The host would ask a question to the teammates; the first to buzz in and answer correctly had the teammate to "go against the chicken" (actually a person dressed in a chicken suit). The chicken would show the player a hard boiled egg, then mix that egg up with two that were raw. The player then must select an egg and break it on their head. If the egg was hard boiled, the team scored a point. If it was raw, the player would wind up, as the host described, with egg on their face. The team with the most hard boiled eggs chosen won the event.
  • Behind The Teacher's Back – Teams would be sitting at desks with rolls of paper and bowls of water. A teacher then asked one of the teams many questions until the team gets one right, at which point the teacher would switch to the other team. While one team was asked questions, the other team must use their paper and water to make spit wads, which they would throw onto a target on a chalkboard behind the teacher. The team with the most spit wads on the target won.
  • Paper Route – One player stood at the podium while their partner stood next to a newsstand with several different headlines and newspapers. The host then described one of the headlines for the team to identify. Correctly answering the headline earned the team a point. Plus, their partner had a chance for an extra point by throwing a newspaper into a bucket on a front porch, which host Skip Lackey usually demonstrated by accidentally throwing the newspaper through the porch window. The team with the most points won the event.
  • Smelly Garbage – Each team had a pile of garbage and an identical assortment of trash cans and bags, each a different size. Teams must first place the bags into the appropriately sized cans, and then place the garbage into the trash cans. The first team to fill each of their trash cans to the top with the garbage won.
  • Shhh! – The host would give a word to the players, with the object being to identify the silent letter in the word. (ex: the letter A is silent in the word 'Beat') A correct answer scored a point. The team with the most won.
  • Chores – The host would read a list of chores for the teams to do in a certain order, but those chores were read in a random order. For instance, the host might say, "The second chore is to put Jello in a dog food bowl and dog food in a Jello bowl; the first chore is to stack plates and bowls in an alternating order, the fourth chore is to unroll an entire roll of toilet paper and put the paper in a hat, and the third chore is to sweep all of the banana peels off a rug using a shovel." The teams had to stack the dishes, then place the Jello and the dog food in the stated bowls, then sweep the banana peels from the rug, and then unroll the toilet paper and put it in the hat. Once a team had completed all four chores, they would buzz in. That team only won if they completed the chores in the correct order.

Brain Bender[]

The winners of each event went on to solve a puzzle called "The Brain Bender", which was hidden behind a jigsaw puzzle; on each turn, a puzzle piece would be removed to see parts of that puzzle, after which the team had five seconds to solve it. The first team to solve the Brain Bender won $200. In later episodes, if the Brain Bender was solved in the first round, a new one replaced it. Normally, these puzzles were very hard and obscure, so nobody could figure them out.

If neither team solved the Brain Bender after the last event of the show, a sudden death match was played; the sudden death round was played two ways:

  1. In the Carrington season, teams alternated turns with each piece removed before each guess.
  2. In the Lackey era, pieces were removed one-by-one until one team buzzed-in with a correct answer.

There were different kinds of Brain Bender puzzles:

  • Celebrity Photo – A picture of a famous celebrity was hidden behind the jigsaw puzzle.
  • Close-Up (Common) Object – A picture of an everyday object was taken close-up making it harder to guess.
  • Rebus – Played like Concentration except with puzzle pieces removed on each turn. A rebus is a puzzle in which letters, numbers, drawings etc. were added together to make up a common word, phrase or name.
  • Objects in Common – Six items had something in common, and all the team needed to do was to guess the common bond. Puzzle pieces were replaced with squares to hide the items. The items were revealed one at a time, and after the final item was revealed, if no guess was made, the host gave clues to the common bond.

The team with the most money at the end of the game won and would go on into the Think Fast Locker Room for big prizes. If both teams were tied, another Brain Bender was played. Both teams kept the cash, while the losing team also went home with parting gifts.

Locker Room (Bonus Round)[]

The winning team went into the Locker Room to play a matching bonus game. In the locker room were 15 lockers, and inside most of these were pairs of crazy costumed characters or an amount of themed items. In the first season, the lockers also contained puppet characters and cannons that blasted confetti when they opened. However, only one locker had no pair whatsoever. The object of the game was to find as many matching pairs as the winning team could in 60 seconds. To begin, a locker door would open up, and regardless of whoever or whatever comes out, that was the matching pair the team must find. As soon as the team found the match, a bell rang, and they had to hit a button at centerstage to close up all doors. Each match won a prize for the winning team.

Carrington's Locker Room[]

The contestants on the winning team played individually. Each of them had 30 seconds to make as many matches as they could. The single locker with no match hid a Time Bomb that was set to explode after 20 seconds. This affected how much time the second player had; if the first player did not find the time bomb, 10 seconds was removed from the second player's time, making it only 20 seconds. However, if the first player did find the time bomb, the second player kept the entire 30 seconds. In early shows, the second player also received a 10 second bonus if the time bomb was found in the first 20 seconds; this rule was dropped after only around three tapings. Each matching pair found was worth a prize, with each one valuably higher than the previous, and finding six pairs also won a trip.

Lackey's Locker Room[]

This time, the winning team took turns making matches during the full one minute and the goal was to find all seven matching pairs. The unpaired locker now contained an extra character called the "Red Herring", which had no match at all. Anytime their door opened and the team found out about them, the player in control would run back to center-stage and pull down on the handle (in other words, "yank on the Herring Handle"), causing lots of plastic fish to fall down on their head, and all lockers (including theirs) would close and allow the next player to keep on matching. For the first four matches made, each one was worth $100, and the final three were worth prizes with the grand prize being the very last one for matching all seven.


WHYY-TV Studios, Philadelphia, PA (Season 1)
Nickelodeon Studios, Universal Studios, Orlando FL (Season 2)


Edd Kalehoff

Additional Page[]

Think Fast (2)/Quotes & Catchphrases


Think Fast Rules @
Jay's Rules for Think Fast
Think Fast @ Brian's Game Show Amusement Park
Think Fast @ Game Show Garbage