Scare Tactics (TV series)

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Syfy's hidden camera prank show that put unsuspecting people into weird and often frightening situations. Tracy Morgan hosts.

Formerly hosted by Shannon Doherty. It puts people in seemingly paranormal experiences, sorta like Punk'd but with aliens and vampires.


Tropes used in Scare Tactics (TV series) include:


  • Blood Bath: One prank set up the target as a new employee at a health spa "for professional clientele" that uses "very expensive ingredients." Along with female clients who come in for rejuvenation treatments is a list of younger women and their corresponding blood types. The exact scare prank involved the target walking in as one young woman is being bled over a bathtub that an older client was bathing in.
  • Catch Phrase: Usually to end the pranks, they ask the victim, "Are you scared?"
    • "You shouldn't be. You're on Scare Tactics."
  • Chainsaw Good: One prank had a woman working for a kitchen, only to walk in on the chef using a chainsaw to cut off a homeless guy's leg. Not knowing what to do, she handed the homeless man a paper towel.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Though bleeped by the network, this is a fairly common reaction of people on the show to either the horrors they're subjected to or when they find out they were on a hidden camera show.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: One person who was the victim of a prank in one episode decided to get back at their friend in another episode.
  • Deadly Prank: Somewhat averted in that a couple of occasions, the actors clearly cut a scare short when the target is showing signs of excessive distress.
    • There's also another form of prank they do, in which the victim believes THEY are pulling the prank for a show called Fear Antics. The prank they think they're pulling usually results in a (supposed) death, and then we see the real prank beginning.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Shannen Doherty
  • Don't Try This At Home: The disclaimer at the beginning of the show, and with more than good cause.
  • Genre Savvy: In one prank, the victim was confronted with the typical 'terrible secret' situation in a locked room. Before the bad guy started his exposition, the victim got up and broke through a wall, then bolted straight for the exit. How many times have you wanted to say "just leave right now and everything will be okay" to the hero/heroine at the beginning of a horror flick?
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: A few pranks ended prematurely with the victim escaping before they finished the bit; for instance, one woman squeezed past a Mook trying to box her in and fled into the streets.
  • Refuge in Audacity: And how!
  • Special Guest: Matt Hardy. Unlike Punk'd, he was the one doing the scaring. After The Reveal, the victim claimed to be a WWE fan.
  • Stiff Upper Lip: Some victims take the crazy stuff that's thrown at them exceedingly well.
  • Survival Mantra: During a prank involving a vampire biting people, the victim kept repeating "Everything is fine" to herself. Even when things... weren't.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Or rather, what you are at your most vulnerable. Oftentimes victims will beg for their lives, or even make desperate, less-than-righteous bargains when threatened. Once in a while, though, victims will display some degree of bravery and try to protect their allied actors. One victim even tried to scare away aliens who were closing in on him and a young girl on an abandoned bus.
  • You Look Familiar: Several actors appear in various pranks.