Chapter 7 – With Bob, The Price Will Always Be Right

You can check out the other chapters of the series at


For all of you Boomers, Gen X’ers, and Millennials, here’s a scenario: It’s summer and you’re out of school or home from work. You wake up around 9:00 or 10:00 AM and it’s still a little early to go swim or play with friends. You’re half-awake as you grab some cereal, sit on the couch, and turn on the TV. You hear the familiar theme music, see the iconic skinny microphone held by the host, and hear that phrase we all dreamed of being told to us, “Come on down! You’re the next contestant on The Price Is Right!”

For millions of Americans, The Price Is Right was a staple of our summers and sick days and a comforting daytime distraction for many others. A major part of that was the long-time host, Bob Barker, who passed away on August 26 at the age of 99. You no doubt saw the thousands of memes about how he came closest to 100 without going over but did you realize how impactful he was to so many people?

In this episode of Assume and Doom, we’re going pay tribute to Bob by investigating the impact he had that spurred hundreds of thousands, non-X (Twitter) conversations about the legendary talk show host.


Assumption: There’s no way a talk show host could have impacted so many people compared to an actor, musician, or major celebrity.

VERDICT: In Bob Barker’s case, that is completely false.

I’ll grant you this week’s assumption isn’t quite like the others we’ve explored but we were blown away by the volume of people who went in-depth about the influence and fond memories they have of Bob Barker. What makes it more impactful is that we’ve had a number of legendary figures pass away this year, but few sparked the outpouring of conversations that Bob Barker did.


Comfort and Childhood Memories

The first theme of the social narratives was about the fond memories of watching Bob as kids, either by themselves or with family members, and the comforting electronic presence he was, and still is through reruns.

He lives forever on PlutoTV. I frequently turn it to the PiR channel and play it in the background for the comfort. RIP, Bob.

Watching Price Is Right in my pajamas with a big bowl of cereal in my lap is one of the best memories of childhood I have.

As a kid, I always was so mesmerized by the pricing games as set pieces. I specifically remember the sound made from playing Penny Ante — it was like ASMR for me back then.

My first babysitter. Have better memories of this guy then I do of my own mother…lol

This man was such a huge part of my childhood, I’m told one of the first words I said was “Bob Barker”. He will definitely be missed.

You knew it wasn’t a day off until you heard Bob. Then, you knew you were in the clear.

I sure did learn a lot about the price of laundry detergent those days though

I watched it every day with my grandma and Grandpa in the summer through the 90’s


Sick Days

Closely related to comfort but in a category by itself, was watching Bob while home sick from school or work. While it was no fun to be sick, Bob somehow made people not only deal with it better but also was a reason some faked being sick.

Thanks for all the great sick days home from school.

Sick days were Love Boat and Price is Right while my mom folded laundry.RIP – a voice of my childhood!

Man, this hits home. I can’t tell you how many times my brother and I watched him when we were sick. My parents always kept us both home if one of us were sick. Then after that The Price is Right was over, we would play Super Mario World together for hours. The glory days.

100% he was my favorite part of my sick days as a kid. RIP Bob.

A little bit of wholesome game show humor followed by hours of trashy court shows. Staying home from school was awesome in the 90s

Thank you for your years of entertainment during all of those mornings I played sick to get out of school. TPIR was always my favorite game show as a kid, and Bob’s charisma was definitely the driving force. Even as Drew Carey’s gotten better in the role, the show still feels off to me without Bob. Pluto has a channel that only plays Bob Barker episodes – I know what I’m doing this week.

We’ll always remember you from those sick days from school


Animal Advocacy

If I were to ask you to quote a famous line most associated with Bob, towards the top or at the top of the list would be “Bob Barker reminding you to help control the pet population, have your pets spayed or neutered.” The impact of his advocacy on this one issue still resonates today.

In his memory, this is your reminder to help control the pet population — have your pets spayed or neutered.

I’m worried about the inevitable pet population explosion, now that nobody is reminding us to spay and neuter.

Drew Carey still says it at the end of each episode. Such an important part of Bob’s legacy on that show

Bob Barker was the first to make me aware of the importance of it as a kid. Our family finally got our first dog two years ago and I convinced my parents why spaying her was important.


Introduction to a New Generation

While Boomers and Gen X’ers developed a relationship with Bob by watching The Price Is Right, many Millennials were introduced to Bob through the 1996 Adam Sandler movie Happy Gilmore, where Sandler’s character played a round of golf with Bob that ended in a funny altercation with the memorable line, “The price is wrong, bitch!” It not only endeared Bob to a younger audience but many said they started watching The Price Is Right because of it.

Genuinely I hope Adam Sandler speaks at his funeral and does a tongue in cheek performance where he says nice things about him while badly masking that they (pretend) hated each other

RIP I’ll never forget that time he kicked Adam Sandler’s ass for sucking at golf

Bob Barker is the sole reason why no Adam Sandler movie can ever top Happy Gilmore.

The price is wrong, bitch. (Thousands of comments with this quote)

I think someone told the grim reaper that i watched Happy Gilmore last night. Sorry guys. I think you’ve had enough. Bitch.

He was in that movie for like 3 minutes but he really did nail those three minutes.

That also made him popular with a younger demographic and helped give a boost to Price is Right ratings wise and demographic wise!

Honestly that’s about almost all I can remember of that entire movie. That dude made his scenes.


So RIP Bob Barker! Your legacy, advocacy, and influence will live on in many of us for years to come!


Quester’s series “Assume and Doom,” presents some prevalent assumptions, then brings clarity to them using our intuitive and informative ability to dig into social narratives to see what consumers are saying about these issues. So many times, people on all levels within a company hear about trends and buzzwords or read one article about a topic and make assumptions based on limited information. They then sometimes make knee-jerk decisions that do not help their business. We’re here to bring clarity to current issues so companies don’t fall prey to the “Assume and Doom.”

While most social listening/analytics quantifies large ideas and metrics, Quester social narratives go underneath the numbers to explain consumer behaviors, emotions, and motivations.  We focus on the deep “why,” offering insight into implications, directions, and whitespaces. Because all consumer decisions are influenced by narratives—what they hear, read, watch, and discuss; social listening or analytics may not fully explain, analyze, or break down how these narratives affect consumer behavior.

While sometimes these assumptions will be an easy “true” or “false,” in most cases, as is common with human behavior, we’re predicting there will be a lot of nuances. Issues like these generally are not black-and-white.

The quotes you see in these articles are pulled from the various social platforms from which we analyzed the narratives and are representative of many thousands of discussions about the themes, not as “one-off” quotes from a qualitative study.


  • Brett Townsend

    As SVP of Strategy, Brett is future-focused by offering clients consulting about Brand and Innovation Strategy, always focused on building muscular brands and organic growth.

    Brett is always quick to drop a movie or TV quote, a historical anecdote, or music lyrics to any situation. He’s happy to give you travel or eating tips to many domestic and global destinations, as well as advice on being a girl dad.

    As a client of Quester for over 10 years before joining the team, Brett’s favorite thing about Quester is our desire to never settle, we’re always looking for better ways to solve problems, and to offer our clients the art and science that tells story behind the story—because human behavior is rarely linear and can’t be explained with data points.

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