In the world of television game shows and trivia, Jeopardy! is no traditional game show. The show puts a unique spin on trivia and invites contestants to answer trivia questions backwards. What’s the fun in simple trivia games anyway, right? If you wanted to answer questions about geography, history, and literature, you could just sit around the table with your family and play Trivial Pursuit!
Jeopardy! is nothing like that! Its unique feature is that the questions are compiled by (often unique) categories and are then presented in the form of answers. As a result, the players have to present their answers in the form of questions. In fact, that is a vital part of the rules and answers that are not presented in the correct form are not accepted.
If you’ve never seen the show, this concept probably sounds very confusing to you right now. You can only imagine how confused some of the contestants have gotten over the years! There have been some answers that made us burst out laughing. Today, we’d like to talk about these answers. More specifically, here is our list of the worst Jeopardy! answers ever!
1. What’s a Who?
Episode: Friday, October 8, 2004
Do you remember that time when Ken Jennings said what we were all thinking? No wonder he is the host of Jeopardy! now; he clearly has a connection with the audience!
This term for a long-handled gardening tool can also mean an immoral pleasure seeker.
What is a hoe?
2. This Answer Went Down the Drain
Episode: Thursday, November 13, 1986
This contestant spoke too soon. Turns out that libraries were invented way before the thing that he answered with. Well, it was an honest mistake, or, should we say accident?
By the 4th Century A.D., Rome had 28 public ones stacked with rolls of papyrus.
What are toilets?
3. Same Same but Different
Episode: Friday, March 21, 2014
NHL and NBA sound similar enough, right? That’s what the contestant thought, anyway, when he responded with an NBA star instead of the NHL one.
100+ assists in an NHL season has been accomplished only 13 times, 11 times by this player.
Who is Magic Johnson?
4. What is the Cringiest Answer?
Episode: February 24, 2017
An MIT student by the name of Lilly Chin was so close to winning that she decided to have a little fun with it. She bet nothing on Final Jeopardy!, and gave an answer that was obviously wrong and out of context.
Astronomer who began his epitaph, ‘I used to measure the heavens, now I shall measure the shadows of Earth.’
Who is the spiciest memelord?
5. What is High School Geography?
Episode: Tuesday, February 15, 2011
In a battle between man and computer, the computer by the name of Watson generated an error. Watson was a bit far off, a few thousand miles off.
Its largest airport is named for a World War II hero; its second-largest, for a World War II battle.
What is Toronto?
6. Something You Should Never Do in a Love Triangle
Episode: Thursday, November 3, 2011
In her defense, the question does sound somewhat erotic to me too! Or, maybe the contestant that guessed that just has a dirty mind!
If Andy yearns for Brenda and Brenda cares about Charlene who pines for Andy, the three of them form one of these.
What is a threesome?
7. Tom Got the Numbers Mixed Up
Episode: Friday, April 3, 2015
Contestant Tom got a lot of heat after he gave an answer that was seriously wrong. Can you guess arguably the wrong-est answer in the history of Jeopardy!?
In common law, the age of this, signaling adulthood, is presumed to be 14 in boys and 12 in girls.
What is the age of consent?
8. Seriously, Who is He?
Episode: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
A teen got way too excited about winning the game, so he answered with an elaborate version of “idk”. He didn’t forget to let us know how much money he won, anyway!
On June 6, 1944, [this person] said, ‘The eyes of the world are upon you.”
Who is some guy in Normandy. But I just won $75,000!
9. Hint: Don’t Name the First Person You See
Episode: Monday, January 28, 2008
In an unbelievable stroke of hilarity and confusion, a contestant on Jeopardy! gave an answer that was very obviously wrong, but funny anyway. He didn’t go too far for that answer!
Not an actor, he is the highest-paid foreign-born personality on the 2007 Forbes list of top television earners.
Who is Alex Trebek?
10. Florida Gets All the Heat Again
Episode: Wednesday, March 7, 2018
This contestant described this baseball league in Florida as very minor and subpar. Perhaps he was thinking of the Bush family or grapefruit bushes. Never mind; grapefruits grow on trees.
Spring training baseball in Florida is known as this league.
What is the Bush League?
11. A Freudian Slip?
Episode: Thursday, March 3, 2011
When asked the following question, the contestant was told that there’d be a body part in the name of the rodent. When the obvious correct answer didn’t come to mind, he had to get creative. In his defense, the animal he named is actually a bird!
The fur of this rodent is said to be 30 times softer than human hair.
What is a titmouse?
12. Not Even Close
Episode: Tuesday, November 27, 2018
A contestant was shows a picture of Kid Rock’s former DJ and asked to reveal his name. The girl was probably focused a bit too hard on the “Kid” part of the question when revealing her answer. It’s not even close, but I see her logic!
Formerly Kid Rock’s DJ, this avuncular fellow has ranged from country-pop to rap-rock.
Who is Kid Cudi?
13. Have You Ever Seen a Donkey Punch?
Episode: Monday, January 16, 2012
Have you ever heard of a rabbit punch? I haven’t, and neither has this contestant! Mike, the contestant, was probably thinking of a kick rather than a punch.
A blow to the back of the neck is the punch named for this animal.
What is a donkey?
14. Will the Fake Slim Shady Please Stand Up?
Episode: Thursday, January 11, 2018
A Jeopardy! contestant was shown a picture of a man from Detroit. Though it’s hard to get these two mixed up, our contestant managed to do just that!
A recent vinyl resurgence has been aided by this musician, who built a pressing plant in his Detroit hometown.
Who is Eminem?
15. Dua Lipa is Not the Only One Who Did it
Episode: Wednesday, March 4, 2020
Famous basketball player Joel Embiid got assigned a new nickname by Jeopardy! contestant Paul. Turns out that Paul did Joel a service with his wrong answer. Embiid was a good sport and poked fun at himself on Twitter!
Joel Embiid in 2019 won the trademark for this nickname of his that also describes the 76ers’ strategy of improving the team.
What is Do a 180?
16. Another Pop Music Lover
Episode: Thursday, January 10, 2019
To be fair, if you don’t listen to pop music and keep up with the hot gossip, you probably wouldn’t know the answer to this question. Nevertheless, it is a hilarious classic that deserves a spot on this list.
Jay-Z and Beyonce released the album “Everything is love” under this collective name.
Who is Bey-Z?
17. So Close, Yet So Far
Episode: Friday, September 25, 2020
The craziest thing about this answer is that it would have been correct, had Julissa completed it. She got the first name right and even started writing the last name, but ran out of time. There is a lesson in there somewhere; never doubt yourself… and hurry up with your Jeopardy! answers, you’re on the clock!
On Forbes’ 2020 list of the 100 highest-paid athletes, at age 50 this active individual sportsman is the oldest.
Who is Phil?
18. A Ponytail was Involved
Episode: Wednesday, April 29, 2020
The contestant on this episode clearly doesn’t keep up with pop music. If he did, he would know that the singer he named has been performing regularly in the past decade.
As the recipient of the 2018 Icon Award, she took “control” and took to the stage in her first live TV performance in nearly a decade?
Who is Ariana Grande?
19. And She Still Won
Episode: Monday, April 27, 2020
Sarah Jett Rayburn, a champion of Jeopardy!, managed to win the game and walk away with a handsome sum of money despite getting this question wrong at first. In her defence, she did know the correct answer in the end, and she redeemed herself.
Here, as on each September 24, Zulus celebrate a holiday that was named in honor of this warrior leader of the early 1800s.
Who is Chaka Khan?
20. The Easy Question That No One Answered
Episode: Wednesday, January 27, 2021
In this round, the contestants were not only asked a question, but also shown a picture of the comedian to make it easier to answer. Despite the efforts of the production, none of the contestants knew the answer. In fact, they didn’t even try to guess! Ken Jennings saved us all from the awkward silence by sharing the right answer. Let’s see, do you know who the host was referring to?
This comedian displayed his drama chops in A Star is Born, playing Bradley Cooper’s longtime friend.
Who is Dave Chapelle?
21. She Did Not Hit a Home Run
Episode: Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Here is another sports question that didn’t get the answer it deserved. Who knew sports was such a difficult topic, right? Despite giving the wrong answer, the contestant Xiaoke still won the game and got into the finals.
One of the topics covered in a Major League Baseball course in Arizona State is this player who broke the color barrier in 1947.
Who is Babe Ruth?
22. Are We Talking About Glue?
Episode: Monday, April 17, 2017
In this category, the answer consisted of two 3-letter words. While the correct answer might be obvious to you (and Jamie, the other contestant), Kevin said another combination of words. It was a close call!
A hired killer.
23. Hate to See You Go, but Love to Watch You Leave
Episode: Thursday, June 26, 2014
Ari Voukydis showed us that the show must go on, even if you don’t have the right answer. His attempt at humor was well-received, when he revealed his answer featuring an arrow pointing to him. He went out in style, as a true comedian would. Can you guess what he wrote?
In 1891, this European said ‘perhaps my factories will put an end to war sooner than your congresses.
Who is this handsome gentleman?
24. It is a Musical, Alright
Episode: Monday, May 25, 2015
When this Jeopardy! contestant offered his answers, he was probably heavily focused on the “musical” element of the question, disregarding the “hymn” part completely. It is a musical, alright, but it’s quite far from being the title of a religious hymn!
A Christian hymn and Jewish holiday hymn are both titled this, also the name of a 2009 Tony-nominated musical.
What is Kinky Boots?
25. Answer… or Don’t
Episode: Friday, November 4, 2011
When contestants don’t know the answer, they get very creative. This contestant didn’t. Instead, they just let us know that they didn’t know the answer, and the way they did that was pretty funny.
Harpo Marx was among this group when it met in NYC’s Rose Room for its final time, in 1943, and found there was nothing left to say.
What is… I have no idea?
YouTube Compilation of Answers
If you want to laugh a bit more, watch YouTube compilations of wrong Jeopardy! answers. They are hilarious! Here are three to get you started:
We’ve all been there; even the most experienced trivia players don’t always know the correct answer. What makes these wrong answers special is that most of them also made us burst out laughing. Which one is your favorite? Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments! We also couldn’t not take some time to acknowledge some of the best Jeopardy! questions as well. And for more funny Jeopardy! moments, check out this list of the 25 dirtiest questions and answers!