Get the Picture is an American children's game show aired on Nickelodeon from March 18 to December 6 of 1991, with reruns airing until March 13, 1993. 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.

Main Game

Round 1 (Connect the Dots)


Two teams competed. One was the Orange Team, and the other was the Yellow Team. Dots outlined of a Thing, Food, Animal, Person, Sport, Character, Place, People, Things, Event, Action, Game, Celebrity or Monument was shown on the 16-panel screen with only the unconnected dots, the numbers of the sections, and the category showing. The host will ask a series of questions to both teams worth $20. They can buzz-in in the middle of reading of a question, and if the team answers the question correctly worth $20 and enabled a team to pick a square. If incorrect, the opposing team will have a chance to answer once the host re-reads the question. The square that they chose had the dots connected, after which the team could guess the picture. A correct guess awarded the team $50, but a team lost $20 for an incorrect guess. Hidden in two of the squares were "Power Surges" which were picture guessing games worth $20, which revealed actual portions of the image; however, if the team fails, the money is awarded to the opposing team. The round continued until time was called, at which point the picture (if one was being played) would be revealed one square at a time. The first team to buzz in with the correct answer got the $50 for solving it.

Round 2 (Dots)


The board was broken up into squares with four points on them and a new subject was revealed. The host reads a series of questions with multiple answers (2, 3, or 4 answers), and any team that gave all answers earned $40. If a team missed any part of the answer, the opposing team could give the remaining answers and steal the money once the host re-reads the question. The team that earned the money selected two dots to connect for every answer the question had. If the lines made formed a box, that portion of the picture was revealed. In this round, correctly guessing the picture scored $75, while incorrect guesses still cost $20. There was one "Power Surge" hidden on the board in season 1; however it was now a physical activity. Completing a Power Surge in this round earned the team $40, however, failure awards the other team $40. Again, if time was running short the puzzle in play would be revealed one square at a time until someone guessed correctly for $75. After time ran out, the highest scoring team won the game and advanced to the "Mega Memory" bonus round.


If teams ended the game tied, a final speed round would be played, with the first team with the correct answer advancing to Mega Memory. The tiebreaker has only been played once out of all 105 episodes.

Power Surge themes (Knowledge activity)

  • 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: Pictures were placed behind a background, which were slowly revealed through hand-shaped cutouts that "slap" it. 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 a rebus, and the team would have 30 seconds to identify what they have in common.
  • It's Raining Pictures: Pictures of things or celebrities would fall in one square at a time, and the team would have 30 seconds to identify four or five.
  • Follow that Rhyme: Like the children's game Simon, three pictures, all of which have the same rhyme, are shown. Teams had to repeat the sequence 8 times in a row.
  • Clue Me In: As in Pyramid, Password, Password Plus and Super Password, one teammate will give a single-word clue and the other will guess. They'll have 30 seconds to identify three pictures.
  • 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.
  • Find It in the Crowd: Using the Videowriter, contestants had to find eight pieces of a specific item amongst a static image of the studio audience within 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 four or five within the allotted time.
  • (You) Draw It: One contestant draws a picture on the Videowriter while their teammate guessed what was drawn. Another version of this Power Surge had a contestant tell their teammate what shapes to draw, and their partner had to guess what was drawn.
  • Don't Be So Negative: Contestants are shown negative images of celebrities or things, and they had to guess who or what they were in the allotted time.
  • Don't Stay Out in the Sun too Long: Similar to Don't Be So Negative, contestants had to guess "solarized" images of people or things within the allotted time.
  • Rear Window: Contestants looked through a pair of moving binoculars that revealed an image. They had to guess either four or five pictures within the allotted time.
  • Mike's Photo Album: Contestants had to guess 5 famous monuments or landmarks that were either obstructed by an object or blurred within the allotted time.
  • Matchmaker: Contestants had to match 16 pictures that correlate to one another in 45 seconds.
  • Mike's Maze: Using the Videowriter, contestants had 45 seconds to navigate through a maze.
  • Mike's Makeover: A still image of Mike appears on the screen. One teammate will be given a clue to draw while the other guesses what Mike resembles.
  • 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: Using the Videowriter, players had to find four words that were hidden in a pyramid-shaped puzzle.
  • Kiss my Picture: Similar to "Slap Happy", lips "kiss" the image, revealing a portion of the pictures containing celebrities. Teams had to guess three of them correctly.
  • Splatter it On: Portions of the picture are splattered on to the screen. Teams had to guess four pictures correctly.
  • Scrambled Pictures: A picture was broken up into 16 pieces and reassembled slowly. Contestants had 15 seconds to guess what the picture was.
  • Extreme Close-up: A camera would show an object very close-up and slowly zoom out to show the entire item. Contestants had to identify three items in 30 seconds.
  • Computer Printout: Contestants had to guess 5 celebrities while the screen "prints out" the next celebrity.
  • You Can Count On It: Mike asks the contestants math questions, and should they get it right, a portion of the picture was revealed. When time ran out, contestants had to guess what the picture was.
  • Buried with the Mummy: Contestants had to guess the shape of the object that was "wrapped" in the tape matching the background.
  • Wrap It: Similar to Buried with the Mummy, contestants had to guess the objects that camouflaged in the same texture as the background.
  • Word Up: Contestants have to find words in a crossword puzzle and when time was up, they had to guess what the words in the puzzle were relating to.
  • Filler-up Irregular: A video of an object being covered in a substance is shown in reverse. Contestants had 15 seconds to identify the object.
  • Digitized Display: Pixelated pictures would slowly come into focus, and contestants had to identify five in 30 seconds.
  • Name That Theme: Mike will tell the contestants what the theme is, and the contestants are tasked with finding five or eight things that relate to the theme in 30 seconds.
  • To Half or Half Not: Pictures of celebrities' faces have been mirrored, and contestants had to guess four of them in 30 seconds.

Power Surge themes (Physical Activity)

  • 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 the pieces over to reveal a number. The pieces also had punctuation marks and the Get the Picture logo, both of which they had to avoid. The game continued until time ran out, all nine numbers were revealed, or the team ran out of chips.
  • Ring Toss for Pieces: Similarly to Toss Across, the playing team had to throw red and blue rings to the connectors on a chip-like board. When time ran out, the pylons with rings around them would remove a portion of the picture.
  • Putting for Pieces: On a motherboard-like surface, players had to putt pink golf balls into one of the nine holes, revealing a picture when time ran out.
  • 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.

At the end of the time or if the team got all 9, a picture on a 3-by-3 grid was shown with the revealed places on the grid, and a correct guess won, an incorrect guess or ran out of time give the opposing team 40 points.

  • 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)


Nine numbered pictures were shown to the team for ten seconds, then concealed. The team stood in front of a large keypad numbered 1 through 9, each button corresponding to one of the pictures. O'Malley read a clue corresponding to one of the nine hidden pictures. Taking turns, the contestants pressed the number of the matching picture. For each correct answer within 45 seconds, the team won cash or a prize. The team won $200 per square for identifying the first six; two prizes of increasing value for the next two, and a trip for all nine. They did occasionally deviate from offering a travel prize as the grand prize -- merchandise prizes such as a new computer or a camcorder were sometimes seen.

Rule changes in the Second Season

  • The game started out with a toss-up picture played the same way as the speed rounds.
  • Contestants now played for points instead of dollars.
  • There were two "Power Surges" in round two, and they were now involved knowledge instead of skill (just like in round 1). In addition, all Power Surges were played center stage (the knowledge based Power Surges in season one were played at the contestant podium).
  • The time in the "Mega Memory" bonus round was reduced to 35 seconds, and teams now earned $100 for the first six matches. The shortening of the round to 35 seconds was likely because of a few teams that made the bonus round look too easy in the first season (a few teams won with almost 20 seconds remaining). The time deduction made the bonus round much harder, with many teams not reaching the merchandise prizes or grand prize in the bonus round because they failed to get 6 matches before time expired.

Episode status

Although the series ended first-run episodes on December 6, 1991, reruns continued to air weekly until March 13, 1993. Reruns later aired on Nickelodeon GAS from the channel's launch on March 1, 1999, all the way until its closure on December 31, 2007. Episodes of Get the Picture could be watched on Nick's own TurboNick service from 2007 until 2009.

International Versions

In the United Kingdom, the show aired its own version on Nickelodeon UK and the final round was renamed '''Total Recall'''. It is possible that other countries have versions as well.


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

External links