Think Fast was a game show on Nickelodeon that tested kids' brains and their muscles.

Main Game

Two teams of two (blue & 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.


  • 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 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.)
  • 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. 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Spit Wads on the Chalk Board - A teacher, 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.
  • 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.

Brain Bender


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. Both teams kept the cash, while the losing team also went home with parting gifts.

Locker Room

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 Room

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 Room


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.


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

External links