Get the Picture (game show): Wikis


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Get the Picture
Get the Picture title card.
Format Children's game show
Created by Marjorie Cohn
Developed by Gwen Billings
Herb Scannell
Presented by Mike O'Malley
Narrated by Henry J.
Country of origin  United States
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 115[1]
Location(s) Nickelodeon Studios at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida
Running time 23 minutes
Original channel Nickelodeon
Picture format NTSC (480i)
Audio format Stereo
Original run March 18 – December 6, 1991

Get the Picture is an American children's game show aired from March 18 to December 6, 1991 on Nickelodeon. Hosted by Mike O'Malley, the show featured two teams answering questions and playing games for the opportunity to guess a hidden picture on a giant screen made up of 16 smaller screens. The show was taped at Nickelodeon Studios at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.



Two teams of two players, one wearing orange and one wearing yellow, competed.


Round 1 (Connect the Dots)

In this round, an outline of dots representing something in a set category was revealed on the 16 square board. A series of general knowledge trivia questions would be asked of the teams, with a correct answer earning a team $20 and a choice of a square. Once a square was chosen, the dots in it were connected to the rest of the puzzle and the team had five seconds to guess the picture. Guessing correctly earned $50, while an incorrect guess lost $20 and no penalty was given for failure to guess. Hidden in two of the squares were "Power Surges", which were guessing games played for bonus money and a piece of the actual image. Winning one of these earned $20 extra and a guess at the puzzle, but failure to complete it successfully meant the opposing team got the money and the guess.

The round continued until time ran out. If a picture was being played when time was called, it would be revealed one square at a time until someone guessed correctly and earned the $50. Multiple guesses were allowed with no penalties for incorrect guesses.

Round 2 (Dots)

The second round now featured an actual image hidden behind the Get the Picture logo. Each of the sixteen squares on the board had numbered dots around them and had to be connected to form a box. The teams accomplished that by answering questions that had either two, three, or four answers. As in round one, if a team failed to answer correctly (in this case, come up with the allotment of correct answers) then the opposing team would be able to steal control by completing the allotment themselves. Doing so won a team $40, and the team was able to complete as many lines as there were correct answers in the question. Four lines were required to complete a box and, with the way the board was set up it was possible that a team could reveal two squares in one turn.

Pictures were now worth $75, with incorrect guesses still costing $20, and one Power Surge was on the board. The games shifted from knowledge-based to physical challenges (see below), were played at center stage, and were worth $40 each. Again, if time was running short the puzzle in play would be revealed one square at a time until someone guessed correctly for $75. Whoever was ahead when time was called won the game and advanced to the show's bonus game, dubbed "Mega Memory." Both teams kept whatever they had won.

In the event of a tie one final puzzle with the speed-up rules was played, with whoever guessed it correctly winning the game.

Power Surge: Knowledge activities

  • Airport Security: The team would be shown some items as if they were being put through an airport security X-ray machine, and would have a set amount of time to identify certain items that passed through based on what the objective was.
  • Slap Happy: A picture would slowly be revealed onto the screen through hands "slapping" it onto the screen. The team had to identify a certain amount in the time allotted.
  • Rebus Mania: The team would be shown a rebus and would have 30 seconds to solve it. Such rebuses include "Super Mario Bros." and "Homer and Marge Simpson".
  • What's In Common?: Four pictures are shown similar to rebus, and the team would have 30 seconds to identify what they are in common.
  • It's Raining Pictures: Like it's raining, a picture square is revealed one square down and would have 30 seconds to identify five.
  • Follow that Rhyme: Like Simon, three pictures shown, one at a time, a picture will reveal, and then they have to repeat what they've seen until they get eight times in a row.
  • Clue Me In: As in Pyramid and Password, one will give a clue and the other will guess. They'll have 30 seconds to identify three.
  • Find the Chiphead: Like Where's Waldo, the team was shown a picture. Using a telestrator -- called the Videowriter—the team must circle eight people with chip-type heads in 30 seconds.
  • Down in Front: People are dancing in front of a music video, and slowly dance away from it. The team must identify the performer(s) in the video in 20 seconds.
  • Data Distortion: Pictures will twist and distort images. The team must identify five within 30 seconds.
  • You Draw It: One contestant draws a picture on the Videowriter while the their teammate remains at the podium and tries to guess what's being drawn.
  • Don't Be So Negative: Contestants are shown negatives of a celebrities and they have to guess who they are.
  • Rear Window: Contestants look out the rear window of moving binoculars.
  • Mike's Photo Album: Players try to guess what's the area in the picture behind the things that are blocking it.
  • Matchmaker: Contestants try to match 16 pictures in 45 seconds.
  • Mike's Maze: Using the Videowriter, contestants had 45 seconds to navigate through a maze.
  • Seeing Double: Contestants are shown eight pairs of an image, with each pair slightly altered, and have 45 seconds to match all the pairs.
  • Off the Chart: Similar to It's Raining Pictures, but the pictures are revealed in columns.
  • Kiss my Picture: Lips will kiss the image. Each lip reveals a portion of the image. Teams need to guess five pictures correctly.
  • Splatter it On: Portions of the picture are splattered on to the screen. Teams need to guess four pictures correctly.
  • Scrambled Pictures: A picture is out of place and the team must identify the photo in 15 seconds.
  • Extreme Close-Up: A camera would show an object very close-up and slowly zoom out to show the entire item.
  • Computer Printout: A picture is shown by "printing" (beginning in top like a computer).
  • You Can Count On It: A math problem is shown. Using the Videowriter, the team must solved the problem in 15 seconds.
  • Word Up: A crossword puzzle appears on the Videowriter. One contestant circles as many words as they can in 30 seconds while the teammate helps them out. When time ran out, they took a guess as to what theme the words fit.
  • Filler-Up Irregular: A video of an object being covered in a substance is shown in reverse. Contestants have 15 seconds to identify the object.
  • Digitized Display: Pixelated pictures would slowly come into focus, and contestants had to identify five in 30 seconds.

Power Surge: Physical activities

All physical Power Surges except for one involved players trying to earn pieces of a picture on a three-by-three grid. After the team completed the Power Surge, they were given one chance to guess what the picture was for $40. Failure to do so earned $40 for the opposing team. The games continued until all nine numbers were revealed, time ran out, or a team ran out of objects.

  • Toss Across: Played similar to the Tyco game of the same name. The team playing had 30 seconds to toss computer chips in an attempt to flip over the game pieces. The pieces were three sided and had numbers, punctuation marks, and the Get the Picture logo on them, with the object being to reveal the numbers.
  • Ring Toss for Pieces: Same idea as Toss Across, with the exception of the contestant having to throw rings over spots on a computer motherboard. The spots were not all in order, either.
  • Putting for Pieces: Similar to golf, with nine holes to putt into.
  • Shuffling for Pieces: Similar to shuffleboard, with the exception of contestants shuffling large floppy disks, trying to get the center of the disk onto designated spots, in numerical order from top to bottom.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle: The contestants have 45 seconds to put a jigsaw puzzle together, retrieving the pieces from a podium and placing them on a giant jigsaw puzzle board. When time runs out or if the puzzle is complete, the contestants must guess what the picture formed by the puzzle is.

Bonus round (Mega Memory)

The winning team now faced a nine-square board that hid nine pictures, all in relation to a theme revealed before the round. The pictures were shown to the players for ten seconds, with the object being to remember where they were placed. A nine-numbered keypad was used by the players, with each picture hidden behind a corresponding number. For 45 seconds O'Malley would read clues one at a time and the team would hit the number on the keypad that they thought would reveal the correct picture. A team was encouraged to take turns but this rule was not enforced.

For each correct answer up to six, the team split $200. The seventh and eighth matches won merchandise prizes, and if a team matched all nine pictures before time ran out they won a grand prize, which more often than not was a trip – although higher-level merchandise prizes (personal computers, televisions, etc.) were awarded.

Season Two changes

The following changes were made for Get the Picture's second season.

  • Contestants now wore nametags.
  • The contestant podium replaced its computer-keyboard buzzers with plunger buzzers.
  • The game was played for points, with the most points winning the game.
  • A toss-up picture was played at the beginning of the game for 20 points.
  • All Power Surges were knowledge-based, an additional Power Surge was added in the second round, and every Power Surge took place at center stage (in Season 1, knowledge-based Power Surges took place at the contestant podium).
  • The time limit in Mega Memory was reduced to 35 seconds, with the team now splitting $100 for each of the first six matches. Also, the "take turns" rule was enforced.

This time deduction made the Bonus Round much harder (although it was won at least nine times during the second part of the run), and as a result many teams could not reach the merchandise prizes or grand prize because they failed to get six matches before time expired.[citation needed] The change in the main game to points also meant that the most cash a team could win was $600, as compared to the vast amounts possible in Season 1.


Although the series ended first-run episodes on December 6, 1991, reruns aired weekly until March 13, 1993. Reruns aired on Nickelodeon GAS from the channel's launch on March 1, 1999 until its closure on December 31, 2007. Several episodes can be found online at TurboNick Broadband Network.

International versions

The United Kingdom had its own version on Nickelodeon UK.

See also


  1. ^ The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows: 1946-Present by Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh

External links


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