Michael Carrington 1989-1990
Skip Lackey 1990-1991
James Eopollo (Season 1)
Henry J. Waleczko (Season 2)
Nickelodeon: 5/1/1989-6/29/1991
Nickelodeon/MTV Networks

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

A game show on Nickelodeon that is similar to Double Dare but focuses also on knowledge.

Main GameEdit

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 forgetting to add an item in the Carrington season) lost the event. Examples of Simon games included the following:
    • We've Got Your Number (renamed "Close Calls" in the Lackey era) - contestants had to punch in a sequence of numbers on a large telephone.
    • Pat the Uncle (renamed "Burp the Uncle" in the Lackey era) - 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 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.
  • Flog - The name of this event was "golf" spelled backwards. A miniature golf hole was set up in the studio, and to be able to putt, contestants had to observe a word spelled backwards 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.)
  • Movie Marquee - Both teams have their own movie marquee. Each one is equipped with buckets of popcorn. Inside each are letters to a word in the movie title. The teams have to dump the letters out and then place them on their marquee. Then they must unscramble the letters to reveal the movie. First team to do that, wins.
  • 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). If a team went past the line, the other team won automatically.
  • 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 indicated by a red wedge. 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. Earlier tapings had event be a timed event, with the team to balance the scale in the faster time winning this event.
    • Life's A Beach - 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 the event.
  • 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 of which 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.
  • Behind the Teacher's Back - A teacher (Mrs. Tillerwell in season 1 and Mrs. Prunewhip in season 2), would ask a question to one team while the opposing team threw spitwads onto a chalk-drawn bullseye on their own chalkboard. The equipment for making spitwads were hidden behind the notebooks so the teacher wouldn't see. Teams went back and forth answering questions and throwing spitwads until time ran out. The team with the most spitwads on their own target won.
  • Memory Match - Eight answers numbered 1-8 were shown on a board. The answers were then closed up and the event began. The host asked questions and the contestants have to rely on their memory to answer the questions. The first player to buzz-in had to pick a number he/she though the answer is. A correct answer scored a point, but an incorrect answer gave the opposing team the point. Most points wins.
  • Tic-Tac-(Animal) - Contestants played tic-tac-toe with animals 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 wins 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; 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 towards 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 - Each team is given a large pile of cubes with a letter on each side. The teams place the cubes in their grids in a criss-crossing fashion in an effort to make as many words as they can. The team that makes the most valid words, or, if both teams have the same number of words, the team that uses more letters in their valid words in 60 seconds won the event.
  • Market Madness - Each team has 3 supermarket shelves with all of it's items mixed up, in addition each shelf has a scrambled marker that shows what belongs on that shelf (snacks, cereal, fruit, etc.). With one teammate riding a shopping cart, the other teammate pushes them to unscramble the markers and correctly sort out the shelves, and then buzz in when they are done. First team to buzz in with everything sorted out correctly won. However, if a team buzzed in when incorrect (ex: an item is on the wrong shelf), the other team won by default.
  • Frosty the Junkman - Each team has an identical pile of junk along with a faux snowman named Frosty. The host then sings a parody of Frosty the Snowman, and then the teams have 45 seconds to use the junk to dress Frosty as described in the song they just heard. The team with the most correct junk on Frosty won.
  • Altered States - Each team has an unfinished 3D jigsaw puzzle of the USA with some of the states missing. Teams must complete the puzzle by putting the pieces in the proper places. The first team to finish wins.
  • Heavyweight Boxing - Each team has an identical pile of boxes of varying shapes and sizes. Teams must place the smallest box inside a slightly bigger box, then place that box inside a bigger box, and so on until all of the boxes are in one large box. First team to finish wins.
  • Alphabet Soup - A large bowl of alphabet soup is placed in the middle of the floor, and each team has an identical lunch menu with some letters missing. One teammate fishes a letter out of the bowl while the other teammate tries to place the letter in it's proper place on the menu. The first team to correctly complete the menu won.
  • Safe Crackers - Each team has an item locked inside that must be handed to their teammate. The combination was the answer to a crazy math problem that the teams must solve (ex: A perfect game of bowling+ the number of obstacles on Double Dare's Obstacle Course - the number on Heinz's steak sauce (300+8-57=251). The first team to solve the combination and hand their teammate the item won.
  • Card House - Each team has a set of playing cards and a bowl of glue. The host shows the teams the card house that must be duplicated exactly (based on what cards were used and the positions they're in). The first team to finish wins.
  • Wipeout - Each team has a gunked-up picture of a celebrity and vats of water and sponges. They must throw the sponges to clean it off. As soon as a team knows who the celebrity is, they buzz in and give their answer. A correct answer won the event.
  • Jacks be Nimble - One teammate is in front of a large board, while their partners are next to a pile of balloons filled with shaving cream and a large beach ball. The host gives a phrase that the teams must spell out on the board. As in Jacks, the teammates throws the ball in the air, then they throw the balloons to their partners before the ball hits the ground. The first team to spell out the phrase wins the event.
  • Mess Heads - One teammate identifies a food the host is describing, a correct answer has the teammate scoop up some slop from a tub and pour it in a bag placed above their seated partner's head. The first team that has poured enough slop to cause the bottom of the bag to break, spilling it's contents on their teammate's head, wins. Before the event, host Skip would ask the audience "You ready to see something really gross?"
  • The Absent Minded Chef - A clueless chef, named Julia Childish (obvious parody of famous chef Julia Child), has various bags of ingredients to a specific meal she is preparing, but can't remember what meal each bag makes. She will select a bag and pull each item out of the bag one at a time until the team buzzes in and correctly identifies the meal. The team with the most correct meals identified wins.
  • Space Art - Each team has a 4 by 4 grid of spinning blocks with various colors and shapes. the host shows the teams a picture that they must duplicate exactly. First to duplicate the picture correctly wins.
  • Egg Me On - One teammate guides their partner, who is blindfolded and is wearing large chicken feet, across a playing field of colored eggs (blue for the blue team, gold for the gold team), The teammate being guided cannot touch or break their opponent's eggs, doing so disqualifies that team. The team who makes it across with the least number of eggs broken won the event.
  • 3 Card Chicken - The host asks a question to the teammates, the first to buzz in and answer correctly has the teammate to "go against the chicken". The chicken shows the player a hard boiled egg, then mixes that egg up with 2 that were raw. The player selects an egg and breaks it on their head, if the egg was hard boiled, the team scored a point. If the egg 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.
  • Paper Route - One teammate stands at the podium, while their partners stood next to a newsstand filled with newspapers with various headlines. The host described a headline, and the team that buzzes in and correctly identifies the headline scores a point, then earns a chance to earn an extra point by tossing a rolled up newspaper into a bucket located on a porch, which host Skip usually demonstrated by accidentally throwing it through a porch window, shattering it. The team with the most points wins.
  • Smelly Garbage - Each team has a large pile of garbage, and an identical assortment of trash cans and bags, each a different size. The teams must place the appropriately sized bag into the correct trash cans, then they place the garbage in the cans. First team to finish wins.
  • Shhh! - The host gives 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. Most points wins.

Brain Bender Edit

The winners of each event went on to solve a puzzle called "The Think Fast Brain Bender". The Brain Bender was hidden behind a jigsaw puzzle; on each turn at the Brain Bender, a puzzle piece would be removed to see parts of that puzzle, then the team had five seconds to solve it. The first team to solve the Brain Bender won $200. In the event the Brain Bender was solved in the first round, a new one replaced it.

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 have something in common, and all the team has to do is 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 sixth and final item was revealed, if no guess was made, the host gave clues to the common bond.

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

Locker RoomEdit

The winning team went into the Locker to play a matching bonus game. In the locker room were 15 lockers, inside most of the lockers were pairs of costumed characters, or items; but only one locker had no pair whatsoever. The object of the game was to find as many matching pairs as the winning team can in 60 seconds. A locker door would open up, and regardless of whoever or whatever comes out, that's the matching pair the team must find. As soon as the team found the match, a bell rang, and they must hit a button at centerstage to close up all the doors. Each match won a prize for the winning team.

Carrington's Locker RoomEdit

Players on the winning team played individually. Each player had 30 seconds to make as many matches as they can. The one locker with no match hides a Time Bomb which was set to go off after 20 seconds. This affected how much time the second player will have, if the first player did not find the time bomb, 10 seconds was taken off the second player's time making it 20 seconds; but 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. Each matching pair found was worth a prize, each one is valuably higher than the previous, and finding six pairs also won a trip.

Lackey's Locker RoomEdit

This time the winning team took turns making matches during the full 60 seconds and the goal was to find all seven matching pairs. The unpaired locker now contained an extra character called the "Red Herring", a character with no match at all. If and when his door opened and the team found out about him, the player in control ran back to centerstage and pull down on the handle (in other words "yank on the Herring Handle") which caused plastic fish to fall down on his head, and all the lockers (including his) to close allowing the next player to keep on matching. For the first four matches made, each one was worth $100, and the final three were each worth prizes with the final prize being a grand prize for matching all seven.


Edd Kalehoff

Additional PageEdit

Think Fast (2)/Quotes and Catchphrases


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