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Some people have won millions of dollars by participating in game shows, while others have won only embarrassment and a life of infamy. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the "Top 10 Game Show Fails of All-Time."
For this list, we’re looking at those moments where game show contestants embarrassed themselves, or did something they probably weren’t intending to do, which led to unexpected results, regardless of whether they won or not.
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#10: What Does ‘Urban’ Mean? “The Newlywed Game”(1966-2013)
We don’t know the origins of the “dumb blonde” stereotype, but this contestant certainly fits the bill. When asked if her new husband was more urban or rural, Kathy looked completely dazed, before admitting she was unsure what either term meant. She decided that her husband was urban and, to the delight of both the host and the audience, answered several questions about her husband’s urban problem that required the attention of a doctor.
#9: Fastest Finger Fail “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” (1998-2014)
Before you are given the chance to win a million dollars, you first have to win the fastest finger round. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. Things didn’t quite go according to plan in this episode of Millionaire, however, when none of the ten contestants were able to put the traffic light sequence in order according to the British Highway Code. Host Chris Tarrant even stressed that this was common knowledge that everyone should have known right before he realized, much to his amusement, that none of the contestants had actually answered the question correctly.
#8: Immoral Pleasure Seeker “Jeopardy!” (1964-)
Ken Jennings is arguably the greatest game show contestant in history, and is best known for his winning streak on Jeopardy!, where he won 74 straight times. En route to another easy victory, Jennings was given a question asking for a term that referred to both a gardening tool and an immoral pleasure seeker. Jennings confidently, but incorrectly, answered with the term “hoe,” which caused host Alex Trebek to hilariously question his education. The correct term was actually “rake.”
#7: Your Ding-a-Ling “Family Feud” (1976-)
The Fast Money round of Family Feud has given us some hilarious responses, as people say the very first thing that pops into their heads in an effort to get through all of the questions in time. Host Steve Harvey was only able to ask one question, however, before he was rendered speechless by the contestant’s response. When asked what men would say is a part of their body that’s bigger than it was when they were 16, this contestant immediately responded with… Harvey’s reaction might even be better than the actual response.
#6: First Question Wrong “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” (1999-)
There have been plenty of contestants on Who Wants To Be a Millionaire who have made fools of themselves, such as the one who thought the classic Denny’s breakfast was named a slam dunk, but this one tops them all. Contestant Lovi Yu seemed ready to play, that is until she was given the first question. She erroneously locked in “Owl” when asked which animal used an ink sac for protection from predators before immediately realizing that the correct answer was actually squid.
#5: Ten Chances Fail “The Price Is Right” (1972-)
Talk about an easy victory! This entry has less to do with the contestant and more to do with the game show organizers. In this game, the contestant is given ten chances to guess the prices of three prizes. Normally, they are shown three digits and have to use two for the first prize, then they’re shown four digits and have to use three for the second prize, and then they’re shown five digits and need to use all of them for the car. Luckily for Daniel, but to the annoyance of Bob Barker, the prices were already on the board before he even had to guess.
#4: Snake Charmer “Catchphrase” (1986-)
Who would have thought the occupation of charming snakes could look so, so wrong? As the boxes disappear from the screen during this episode of Catch Phrase, we see an animated banana in a suit and top hat, appearing to be enjoying himself a little too much. The contestants, host, and audience can barely keep it together as they try and continue the game. Things get out of control when we see that there is also a snake involved. Good luck getting that image out of your head.
#3: An Animal with 3 Letters In Its Name “Family Feud” (1976-)
Back to the Family Feud Fast Money round! They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and this father-son duo certainly proves that claim. When asked to name an animal with three letters in its name, Bob answers with “frog.” When asked the exact same question, Bob’s father, who is also named Bob, answers with “alligator,” prompting host Richard Dawson to ask if he uses narcotics. The pair somehow managed to win $415, despite younger Bob thinking that snow comes with a summer storm.
#2: Kellie Pickler “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” (2007-)
Kellie Pickler’s debut album, Small Town Girl, sold close to 900,000 copies. That’s less than 5% of the number of people who have watched her appearance on “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” on YouTube. When asked to name the European country of which Budapest is the capital city, Pickler exclaimed that she thought Europe was a country. She tosses the idea of France around in her mind, because they speak French there, but is also unsure of whether or not France is a country. Thank goodness she had an elementary student to copy from.
Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Strangest Place to Make Whoopee, Newlywed Game (1966-2013)
- José Starts With an H?, Family Feud (1976-)
- Age of Consent, Jeopardy! (1964-)
- Bob Barker Can’t Believe It, The Price is Right (1972-)
#1: Achilles “Wheel of Fortune” (1983-)
Who would have thought that watching Brad Pitt run around with long blond hair would have been all you needed to do to win a million dollars? On this episode of “Wheel of Fortune,” all Indiana University student Julian Batts needed to do to win that sum was pronounce Achilles correctly. Instead he said… something. Later, Julian had a chance to win a car but thought the puzzle was “world’s fastest car” instead of “world’s fastest man.” Wheel of Fortune may just be this kid’s Achilles heel.
Do you agree with our list? What do you think is the biggest game show fail? For more hilarious top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.