When it comes to game shows, you might think America has the formula down. From Jeopardy to Double Dare, there’s no end to what our TV executives have been able to dream up over the years. Heck, they even started a whole Game Show Network! Yet, if you’ve ever seen Japan’s game shows, you know America can’t compare.

While American shows offer some crazy stuff, Japan’s versions usually feature insane and potentially embarrassing challenges, bright flashing lights, and supremely enthusiastic hosts. Take these 12 Japanese game shows, for example. They might just take “absurd” to levels never before thought possible…

1. Candy or Not Candy: No, this isn’t a game popularized by toddlers eating unidentifiable food off the floor. This is a real game show that utilized the Japanese art form known as sokkuri, or sweets sculpting, for its premise…

Candy or Not Candy

The game was simple: bite into random objects and see if they’re actually chocolate. Sometimes, the contestants would luck out and the object they bit into was actually delicious chocolate. Other times, it might just be a shoe. Every time, it was entertaining.

Candy or Not Candy

2. DERO! DERO!: On the surface, this Japanese game show closely resembled something you’d expect on American TV. Contests simply had to solve puzzles, answer questions, or complete a mental challenge. There was a catch, of course.

DERO! DERO!

Contestants on DERO! DERO! weren’t treated to the comforts of a cozy studio. Instead, they had to complete these challenging mental tasks while facing extremely stressful situations—like balancing on narrow planks as the floor retracted into the wall!

DERO! DERO!

3. The Bum Game: This game show managed to combine all things inappropriate, degrading, and hilarious into an easy-to-consume cocktail. It started with a few women placing their rear ends through an open port in a large wall. And on the other side of that wall?

The Bum Game

Obviously, a couple of lucky—is lucky the right word?—contestants then have to kiss the exposed bums and guess which one belongs to which girl. It’s kind of like America’s Matchmaker game show, except contestants one and two are butts.

The Bum Game

4. TORE!: Seven questions was all that stood between contestants and the game-winning prize. But by now, you should know that these seven questions came with a catch: you had to answer them before you were mummified!

TORE!

Yup, as contestants answered questions, they dealt with the constant distraction of being wrapped in white cloth from head to toe. If they didn’t answer fast enough, their consolation prize was… placement in a rather stylish tomb. So… yay?

TheGasMaskCreep / YouTube

5. Human Tetris: Just about every person on the planet has played the game Tetris. Blocks fell from the sky, and you had to stack them neatly as they fell. In Japan, they have a show sort of like that. Sort of…

In Human Tetris, instead of blocks falling, contestants have to contort their bodies to fit through the gaps in oncoming walls. Failure to twist into the right shape resulted in a dunk in a pool of dirty water. Ew!

Trouble-Makers / YouTube

6. Let’s Go To The End Of The World: This game show gave contestants an incredible opportunity to live their dreams and travel the world. Unfortunately, the trips came with a pretty big catch. A beary big catch, if you will.

Let’s Go To The End Of The World

When contestants reached their destination, the game show presented them with an appropriately horrific challenge. In this case, the contestant was given the opportunity to explore wildlife… by being placed in a plexiglass cube and exposed to a grizzly bear.

Let’s Go To The End Of The World

7. AKBingo!: Now this game was some good, wholesome fun. In it, teams competed in a dodgeball match. In that respect, there wasn’t even a catch! The balls weren’t made of iron. The floor wasn’t greased up with Crisco. If you were hit with a ball, however, then things got ugly…

AKBingo

If you were hit, a famous Japanese comedy duo would choose your punishment, which became more and more gross as the game progressed. Here, two losers had to try and blow a bug into the others’ mouth!

AKBingo

8. Unnamed Sleeping Game: This one might just be the weirdest of all. The set featured a room of sleeping Japanese models, and two male hosts—named “mama” and “son”—went around waking them up. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Japanese game show without a catch.

Hanya Blogger / YouTube

Of course, each model was asked to wake up as “cute” as possible. If the judges—also hosts “mama” and “son”—deemed her a serious morning monster, they would throw a pie in her face. What fun.

Hanya Blogger / YouTube

9. Soapy Stairs Game: Of all these games, this one probably packed the most painful punch. It was extremely simple: contestants just had to run up some stairs… but, of course, it was much easier said than done.

The stairs would be covered in grease, and when contestants inevitably slipped and fell, they would batter all their limbs on the stony steps and slide into a pool of water. It’s hard to imagine the pain was worth it.

Soapy Stairs

10. Strip the Girl: Meet the Japanese game show so salacious that clips of it no longer appear on YouTube. The main prize was getting to see a model naked, so it obviously wasn’t concerned with being politically correct, but how’d it work?

Strip the Girl

In this game, contestants endured a series of degrading tasks that usually involved throwing beanbags at numbered tiles covering the naked model. The more tiles he hit, the more of the naked model he’d see.

Strip the Girl

11. Spread Your Legs: Now there’s a comforting sight! A big colorful wheel with numbers on it, à la The Price is Right. Unfortunately, ladies in this game show weren’t spinning for a spot in the Showcase Showdown.

Spread Your Legs

Instead, after one woman spun the colorful wheel, another female contestant endured a device that spread her legs further and further apart (the distance spread corresponded with the number spun). Sounds pretty painful.

Spread You Legs

12. Human Bowling: This game show really didn’t require too much explanation—it’s all right there in the name! There were pins, there were humans, and to the audience’s great pleasure, the humans flew headfirst into the pins. There’s one detail that makes it a little cooler than it sounds, though…

Human Bowling

What made the game awesome—besides, uh, everything—was that the people were in inner tubes and cruised down a nice incline. If you were a fan of people flinging themselves into things and sometimes getting hurt, this was the show for you!

Human Bowling

All right, so maybe contestants don’t have to answer mind-bending trivia questions or navigate obstacle courses designed by evil geniuses. That doesn’t mean these game shows aren’t just as entertaining!

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