While the airwaves were chock full of great cartoons, and it seemed like an awesome movie was coming out every week, for my money the best part about being a kid was all the wacky game shows. Sure, adults can still have fun testing their mental sharpness with Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, but those games don’t share the ridiculous sense of humor that all our childhood favorites had.
If you were lucky enough to compete in one of these games, you were just as likely to fall into a pit of slime as you were to win a Walkman, but that was all part of the fun.
As it turns out, some kids did hurt themselves while filming these shows, but that only makes them even cooler!
Before you were old enough to know that the rocks they were dumping on the contestants’ heads were made of Styrofoam, this show’s climactic showdown on the Aggro Crag could be a real nail-biter. As it turns out, the producers let a lot of kids compete when they just weren’t ready, and there are lots of behind-the-scenes injuries.
Luckily, future Backstreet Boy A.J. McLean made it through the show safe and sound (he nabbed 2nd place). This contestant wasn’t so lucky:
American readers may not remember this Canadian classic, but it was totally wild. A host who openly enjoyed torturing contestants, a psycho in a hockey mask named the Punisher who dumped buckets of glittery slime on kids, and challenges including popping a “warthog’s” zits. It’s hard to believe this show was real, and not just a bad nightmare.
Sure, it wasn’t very physically demanding. But we never found out exactly what was in that gross slime they soaked kids with.
Click the next page to find out which game traumatized a contestant!
3. Double Dare
This Nickelodeon classic was a huge hit – it quickly became the most watched show on cable TV, probably because every kid dreamed of running through the obstacle course. But there was a downside to being on the famous set (which smelled “like death” according to one contestant).
The physical challenges were mostly silly, but when the floor was covered in slime or milk, kids were bound to slip. One poor kid injured his arm so bad during a fall that his bone popped out, although host Marc Summers blames him for not revealing he had a medical condition that made his bones weak.
4. Legends of the Hidden Temple
Exploring the Olmec Temple as one of the 6 teams – which did you dream of being on? Blue Barracudas for me – seemed like a lot of fun. There was trivia, history lessons, and usually a cool rope swing. But the Temple Run event was serious business.
As if worrying about solving the Silver Monkey wasn’t bad enough, temple guards were waiting to scare you. In a 2013 interview, one guest revealed she’s still traumatized by the experience, and can’t even step into a haunted house anymore.
This video game inspired fantasy adventure from the UK seems like jolly good fun – until you’re inside it. Teams of 4 competed on the show, with 1 putting on the “Helmet of Justice” (a dorky blindfold) while the others gave directions.
Sure, the blindfold was just to keep kids from seeing the primitive blue screen technology, but depending on a team of 12-year-olds to survive encounters with evil knights and dragons is enough to scare anyone.
Plus, the show was hosted by “Dungeon Master” Treguard. Any sensible kid would cross the street to avoid a creep like this!
Share this list if you dreamed of competing on one of these shows!