Friends fans think Gordon Ramsay may have accidentally remade Joey’s game show Bamboozled

Adam White
·2 min read
Gordon Ramsay’s Bamboozled, and Joey and Ross playing Bamboozled on Friends (BBC/Warner Bros)
Gordon Ramsay’s Bamboozled, and Joey and Ross playing Bamboozled on Friends (BBC/Warner Bros)

Friends fans have spotted parallels between Gordon Ramsay’s new BBC show Bank Balance and a needlessly confusing game show invented for the sitcom.

In a 2002 episode of Friends, Matt LeBlanc’s Joey announces that he is auditioning to host Bamboozled, a proposed game show with nonsensical rules.

To the confusion of Ross (David Schwimmer) and Chandler (Matthew Perry), Bamboozled is described as a general knowledge quiz involving a spinning “Wheel of Mayhem”, a “Ladder of Chance” and a “Wicked Wango Card” that determines whether you go “higher or lower” – a concept Joey cannot explain.

Ramsay’s new BBC series, which started this week, has drawn unflattering comparisons to Bamboozled.

Bank Balance is a question-and-answer quiz show in which contestants must successfully balance gold bars on a board after they answer a question correctly. If the board tips over, they lose everything.

Read more: Gordon Ramsay starts swearing just 45 seconds into his new game show Bank Balance

But to confuse matters, there are 12 “zones” and 12 “stacks” of bars, along with “penalty bars” for incorrect answers, “zero bars” that don’t add money to the balance, and something called “pick again” credits.

BBC/Warner Bros
BBC/Warner Bros

The show has so far left viewers baffled, drawing comparisons to the memorable Friends episode.

“Errrr what the hell is Gordon Ramsay’s Bank Balance all about?” wrote one viewer. “Is it Bamboozled?”

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“Just turned on Bank Balance and I don’t have a single clue what is going on,” wrote another. “Anyone remember Bamboozled in Friends? This is where I am right now!”

“Gordon running through how the game works made me think of Joey and Bamboozled in Friends,” tweeted a third. “Far too confusing.”

Bank Balance airs nightly at 9pm on BBC One.