Get the Picture is an American children's game show aired from March 18, 1991 to March 13, 1993 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.

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: 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,Password, Password Plus and Super 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 his 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: Contestants had to guess 5 famous monuments with objects blocking the image.
  • Matchmaker: Contestants had to match 16 pictures in 45 seconds.
  • Mike's Maze: Using the Videowriter, contestants had 45 seconds to navigate through a maze.
  • Mike's Makeover: A picture of Mike appeared on screen and one contestant has to draw it and the other one has to guess.
  • 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: Same as "Raining Pictures", except that the contestants had to guess the pictures 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: Contestants had to guess what the animal was doing in a bunch of photos.
  • 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: Contestants used the Videowriter to solve a math problem shown on screen.
  • Buried with the Mummy: Contestants had to guess the shape of the object that was "wrapped" in the tape matching 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 was relating to.
  • 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 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 numbers (9 in all).The pieces also had punctuation marks, which did no good. The game continued until time ran out, all nine numbers were revealed, or the team ran out of chips.
  • 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 playing Golf, now teams are putting in the hole.
  • 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

Reruns have been aired on Nickelodeon GAS starting in 1999. It is the oldest and longest-running show ever aired on GAS after Finders Keepers was removed in 2006. Reruns are currently on Nick Gas and are also seen on-line at TurboNick Broadband Network.

International Versions

In the United Kingdom, the show aired its own version on Nickelodeon UK. 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 link

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