Another Top 10 Game Show Fails
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Another Top 10 Game Show Fails

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: William Regot
Audiences lost it watching these game show fails.
Transcript
When the stakes are this high, contestants have ample opportunity to mess up in a big way. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today, we’re counting down our picks for Another Top 10 Game Show Fails of All Time. For this list, we’re looking at even more examples of game show contestants embarrassing themselves, or game show moments that took an unexpected turn.

#10: Consenting to Fail
“Jeopardy!” (1964-)


On a 2015 episode of “Jeopardy!,” a clue was given about a term marking adulthood in common law as 14 for boys and 12 for girls. One contestant, Tom, gave the answer, “age of consent,” which made viewers recoil, as the answer was not only wrong, but uncomfortably wrong. For the record, the right answer was “puberty.” In all fairness, the question wasn’t easy, but any answer would have been better than “age of consent” - even no answer at all. Unfortunately for Tom, he offered up this unfortunate answer in the age of social media, and so the embarrassment, criticism and judgement extended beyond the show in the form of online comments.

#9: Horsing Around
“Wheel of Fortune” (1975-)


Contestants aren’t always the ones responsible for a game show fail; sometimes the blame lies with the host. In a 2014 episode of “Wheel of Fortune,” Pat Sajak lost his cool in a big way when contestants kept giving answers using the word “horse” for the category “What are you doing?” This caused a frustrated Sajak to walk off the stage briefly before returning to yell at the contestants. In their defense, “What are you doing?” is a pretty open-ended category that could include literally anything. The phrase Sajak was looking for was “Seeing a Buddy Movie,” which isn’t a phrase that jumps out. There was no need to yell, but it certainly made for a memorable moment of television.

#8: The Frisky Host
“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” (1999-2019)


It’s nice when contestants and hosts can get along for the taping of a game show, but “Millionaire” host Meredith Viera got a little too cozy with one contestant who was a navy pilot. Viera used every opportunity to hit on the man, admitting to the audience that she was, in her own words: “an old, horny woman.” But things got even more uncomfortable when the navy pilot started responding to the flirting in kind, going so far as to give Viera a wet willie when a question came up about the topic. Luckily, the time ran out before things could get too weird.

#7: Toronto Is Where?
“Jeopardy!” (1964-)


The AI revolution may be advancing every year, but some kinks still needed to be worked out back in 2011. Legendary contestants Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter were taking on the specially programmed supercomputer Watson in a series of episodes on “Jeopardy!”, but Watson had a strange answer to a question about an American city: “Its airport is named for a World War II hero; its second largest, for a World War II battle.” Well that’s obvious, right, Watson? WHAT IS TORONTO????? Sounds like geography is not the computer’s strong point. But hey, it ended up winning the game, so who are we to judge?

#6: A Brilliant Choice
“Countdown” (1982-)


When forced to come up with the longest word he could with a jumble of nine letters, one contestant offered the word “hentai.” The nervous way he gave the response showed he wasn’t sure judges would accept it, but surprisingly, they did! Susie Dent, “Countdown’s” lexicographer, made it sound like “hentai” was a perfectly normal word, going on to define the word as a “subgenre” of manga, and not mentioning its sexually explicit nature, begging the question if she knew what hentai really was. But perhaps most surreal, “hentai” ended up winning the round, because the longest word the other contestant could come up with was “patty,” which was five letters and not nearly as fun.

#5: Grand Slam Fail
“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” (1999-2019)


During a college week on “Millionaire,” one student from Harvard didn’t exactly make her school proud. At the $4,000 question, the young woman was asked which Denny’s menu item was named after a sports term. Any red blooded American should have known the answer was “Grand Slam” without so much as a second thought, but this contestant got mixed up and made “Slam Dunk” her final answer. Only once the answer was locked in did she realize her mistake. After such a horrific blunder, she probably never wants to step into another Denny’s again. And that’s why you should always take a second to reflect before uttering the words “final answer”.

#4: Self-Potato
“Wheel of Fortune” (1975-)


Look, we all have our moments. It’s just that our most embarrassing errors don’t happen in front of a live audience and millions of viewers, let alone become a viral sensation. Sadly, 5th grade teacher and huge “Wheel of Fortune” fan Lolita McAuley had a massive brain cramp at the worst possible moment. Faced with a puzzle whose fairly obvious answer was “self-portrait,” McAuley chose instead to go with, well . . . “self-potato”. Yeah, we don’t know what she was thinking either. Hopefully, her class of students got a good-natured laugh or two out of her self-potatoing.

#3: Whoopee Whoops
“The Newlywed Game” (1966-2013)


This answer is one of the most infamous moments in game show history. In fact, it’s so unbelievable that some have dismissed it as an urban legend. However, host Bob Eubanks has gone on record confirm that the incident did take place. And he’s got the footage to prove it. During an embarrassing mixup, a contestant was asked the strangest place where she had the urge to make whoopee. She thought the question referred to where on her body, so she went with the place where the sun doesn’t shine, which was certainly too much information for TV back then. Of course, the question was referring to a physical location rather than a spot on the human anatomy. Her husband’s answer was “In the car.”

#2: Regis and Kelly
“Wheel of Fortune” (1975-)


Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa were a popular morning show duo that most would call household names, but, as this contestant reminds us, the operative word there is “most”. During a tumultuous round of “Wheel,” all three contestants failed at different times to properly pronounce Regis or Kelly’s full names to correctly solve the puzzle. One guessed “Regis Philbern” and “Regis Philman,” and another contestant pronounced Kelly Ripa’s last name as “Reepa.” The third contestant looked like he was going to solve the puzzle when it was spelled out for him, but he also mispronounced Ripa’s last name as “Ryepa.” Clearly none of these contestants were morning people.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are some honorable mentions.

The Moon Is a Planet

Mommy Issues

#1: Grandma
“Family Feud” (1976-)


When asked to name something a “burglar would not want to see when he breaks into a house,” one contestant responded enthusiastically with “Naked Grandma.” The answer was so oddly specific and disturbingly graphic that Steve Harvey couldn’t help but give the guy grief for making such a strange choice. However, everyone had to admit that it was something no burglar would want to see. In the end, the joke was on Steve, because “Naked Grandma” did technically wind up as an answer on the board because it could be interpreted as “Occupant.” Though that’s the only time “Naked Grandma” is ever going to be the right answer to anything.
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I definitely agreed with this hilarious list.