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Illustration by Jason Reed

The best ‘Legends of the Hidden Temple’ teams

Green Monkeys to the left.


Ramon Ramirez


Posted on Oct 7, 2016   Updated on May 25, 2021, 8:31 pm CDT

On Thursday, Nickelodeon debuted the trailer for its live-action Legends of the Hidden Temple movie. Swooping in to prey on ’90s nostalgia while building a bridge to the children of parents who dreamed of being contestants on the inventive game show, the timing is perfect.

The original game show ran from 1993 to 1995. Each of its 120 episodes featured six teams, and these two-person squads would compete across a culturally insensitive temple filled with ancient secrets. There was a wise-cracking magical being, Olmec, who would begin rounds by dispensing mythical narratives about ancient warriors. The herd was thinned during its four-round tournament—the moat, steps of knowledge, temple games, and temple run—because producers reportedly only had the budget to let eight teams win per season.

Children were randomly paired off, and then given a T-shirt that would define them for the rest of their lives. What lent Legends of the Hidden Temple its timeless urgency was the post-Lord of the Flies tribalism behind its teams: the Silver Snakes, Blue Barracudas, Green Monkeys, Orange Iguanas, Purple Parrots, and Red Jaguars. 

But which team was the best? If you need to ask, you don’t need to know. 

Historically, it’s fairly cut and dry: The Green Monkeys and Silver Snakes each won eight titles trips to space camp. However, in March, Nerdist went inside the numbers and made a strong case for why the Orange Iguanas were actually the winningest franchise in league history.

Here, we’re doing the impossible and ranking art—particularly, the aesthetics and schoolyard cachet of such art. You live by the shield, and so you must be prepared to die for it.

6) Green Monkeys

A front-running centrist banner for phonies and frauds.

5) Silver Snakes

“Your grandfather was a Silver Snake,” said a Trump supporter. “It is your destiny.”

4) Orange Iguanas


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3) Blue Barracudas

Burdened by weak links and brash fools.

2) Purple Parrots

Gettin’ warmer.

1) Red Jaguars

Kick out the jams, motherfuckers.

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*First Published: Oct 7, 2016, 1:48 pm CDT