’90s game shows shaped the person I am today. They provided me with the inspiration I needed to be simultaneously competitive and a team player, work really hard on my athletic and video game skills and learn every useless fact known to child. Because at any moment, I could have been asked to be on a game show that required all of those skills. I wasn’t asked, but there was absolutely nothing I wanted more as a kid than to get slimed or pied in the face. And still, as an adult, those things are pretty high on my list.
Let’s take a trip down nostalgia lane and remember some of the best childhood game shows of the ‘90s.
1. Double Dare
Was the ice cream at the bottom of the sundae slide real? And what were the boogers in the gigantic nose made out of? I dreamed of accepting the physical challenge, shoving orange flags down my shirt and Harvey telling me what I’ve won.
2. What Would You Do
What would I do? Basically anything to get put in the pie pod.
D-d-do you have it? Yes! I had it. I probably don’t anymore though, but I’d still like a chance at taking home a piece of the Aggro Crag.
4. Legends of the Hidden Temple
Even though the talking rock man was moderately terrifying, the hidden temple was basically a haunted house of athletic adventures, with promises of being rewarded handsomely in prizes if you made it out before the buzzer.
5. The Bozo Show
The bucket game was the original beer pong. Minus the beer. Also, as a kid, I didn’t notice how painfully and uncomfortably awkward it was for a grown adult man to host a TV show dressed as a clown.
6. Wild and Crazy Kids
Remember when kids were wild and crazy? And now they’re just wild about iPads and Instagram?
7. Make the Grade
It was basically Jeopardy for kids. You know, the kids who didn’t like getting messy or doing sporty things.
8. Think Fast
Another smart kids one. I didn’t watch this one very often, because I didn’t like thinking outside of school.
9. Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?
You guys, I never understood what this show was about, and even with the help of Internet—I still don’t.
10. Finders Keepers
In Finders Keepers, the more things they found, the more prizes they won. And childhood was mostly about trying to win prizes, so that worked out.
11. Figure it Out
Celebrity panelists had to figure out something very specific about the contestants to avoid being slimed. But they were always slimed, because slime made for good TV.
12. Masters of the Maze
Kids wearing weird space costumes had to navigate each other through a weird maze with the help of an overzealous Mario Lopez.
13. Nick Arcade
Where video game skills were put to the ultimate test, and the team that remained in control got to go inside an actual video game. Every kid’s dream.
14. Fun House
Kids had to compete in ridiculous physical games to be able to compete in the fun house. If I had to live on any TV game show set, it would have been Fun House.