Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

  • Actor Allusion: One celebrity episode of Rock & Roll Jeopardy! consisted entirely of Survivor alumni, and was hosted by Jeff Probst as usual. It also contained an obligatory question about the band that recorded "Eye of the Tiger", which no one answered correctly.
  • Blooper: With their crack research team, Jeopardy! rarely has wrong information in a clue, but it has happened very sporadically.
    • For instance, one clue on April 9, 2004 said that Johnny Gilbert announced on the Bob Barker version of The Price Is Right, which he did not.
    • One in early 2012 was actually acknowledged by Alex in a post-production segment during a commercial break: the clue was supposed to say C Major instead of C Minor. Alex also noted that it ended up not mattering since no one rang in anyway.
    • Heck, one time Alex got the name of one of his former shows wrong, calling it The Wizard of Oz rather than The Wizard of Odds.
    • The scoreboards are also prone to this.
      • On at least the second Trebek episode, during Final Jeopardy!, a contestant's wager was accidentally deducted from another player, although this was quickly fixed.
      • On another occasion, a contestant rang in with an incorrect response, but the value of the clue was briefly added to their score instead of subtracted from it.
  • Fan Nickname: The 1991-96 set is called the "grid set" by fans, while the 1996-2002 set is called the "sushi bar".
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Trebek was fairly well-known as the host of High Rollers, Battle Stars, and The Wizard of Odds (among others) before taking the helm on Jeopardy!.
    • Rock & Roll Jeopardy! was hosted by a pre-Survivor Jeff Probst.
    • Senator John McCain was a contestant in August 1965. The NBC microfilm archive on his games (as well as many other Fleming episodes) managed to remain intact; info here.
    • Noted game show buff Matt Ottinger appeared on June 21, 2004 during Ken Jennings' streak. Matt actually held an early lead (over $2,000 more than Ken) during Round 1 but, although still holding a formidable second place in Final Jeopardy!, lost.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes:
    • The original Fleming era is believed to have been destroyed by NBC, although about 20+ episodes are known to exist and four (plus the first five minutes of another) circulate. [1]
      • In January 2010, five consecutive episodes from August 1968 and a Tournament Of Champions show from late 1969 surfaced on audio tape featuring Burt Sherman's run to become the 48th undefeated champion. The person who presented the tapes, Steve Sherman (Burt's son), also had a pair of four-minute "home movies" consisting entirely of footage from these games; a slideshow of Game 5, plus nine clips from it matching up the audio and video, can be viewed here.
    • The 1974-75 syndicated run and 1978-79 revival are intact; no episodes circulate of the former, while five episodes circulate of the latter. [2]
    • Certain Trebek seasons have rarely been seen on GSN.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Alex Trebek sometimes comes off (particularly in earlier episodes) as snooty and overly-serious on the show, but he has said in interviews that this is only because he wants to get through the material as quickly as possible. In real life (and on most of the other game shows he's hosted), Trebek is a very witty, often self-deprecating person.
  • Screwed by the Network: Oy.
    • Lin Bolen, who was then NBC's vice president for daytime programming, wanted to oust all of the network's games hosted by middle-aged men on technologically-obsolete sets, as part of an aggressive attempt to bolster ratings among women aged 18-34, so she moved Jeopardy! on January 7, 1974 from its long-held (and ratings-proven) Noon slot to 10:30 AM — directly against The $10,000 Pyramid on CBS; Fleming pummeled Clark's new game into a very unexpected submission at the end of March and ran equal with Pyramid's replacement at that slot, Gambit. Needless to say, this was not what Bolen wanted, and so she moved it on July 1 to 1:30 PM Eastern/12 Noon Pacific — against Let's Make a Deal and As the World Turns in the east (against local programming on CBS affiliates and Password on ABC in the west), which pummeled it into submission. In exchange for the final year of the show's contract, Merv Griffin debuted Wheel of Fortune the Monday after Jeopardy! ended.
    • The 1978-79 version began its life on October 2 at 10:30 AM against the first half of The Price Is Right. On January 5, the show moved to its old Noon slot — now against The Young and The Restless and a beefed-up $10,000 Pyramid (now The $20,000 Pyramid). Jeopardy! was canned two months later.
  • Scully Box: Shorter contestants are placed on boxes so that they can see over the podium. One contestant on October 23, 2014 actually played from a chair on top of a box, because her leg was in a cast.
    • The 1993 College Tournament winner Phoebe Juel recounts how the coordinators had to search the studio for more boxes because the ones which were on hand were too short for her.
  • Throw It In: More than once, Alex has misread a clue and insisted that his slip-up be left in. One example is when he misread "sewers" (i.e. people who sew) as "sewers" (i.e. sanitary sewer).
    • November 19, 1986: In Double Jeopardy!, a contestant is credited with a wrong amount for a clue and this lasts until he finds a Daily Double near the end of the round. He wagers everything but forgets to phrase his response in the form of a question, bringing him down to zero. He doesn't ring in on the final two clues and is disqualified from Final Jeopardy!, making the crew's mistake inadmissible.
    • 1997: After Johnny finished reading the copy for the car that the runner-up would receive, Alex accidentally called him "Johnner", causing Johnny to laugh. Alex then lampshaded his slip-up by intentionally misreading the Final Jeopardy! category of Famous Pairs as "Famous Pores".
    • July 2000: Johnny Gilbert mistakenly said "Glenn Trebek". While this may seem a totally arbitrary name-switch, Glenn was the name of one of the contestant coordinators, who at the time hosted the "practice" games that contestants-to-be played.
  • What Could Have Been: The contestant coordinator hosts "rehearsal games", recorded under actual taping conditions and designed to let the contestants "warm up" on clues taken from past episodes. For the first Trebek season (1984-85), the role was filled by former Starcade host Mark Richards and the clues were primarily from the 1983 pilot; coincidentally, Richards got the job for Starcade after Trebek turned it down following a trio of pilots...which means that in another universe Richards is a legend, Trebek is a semi-remembered host whose career began fizzling out after High Rollers, and Geoff Edwards never played a single video game.
  • Written-In Infirmity:
    • A variant. Season 28 began with Trebek staying at his podium for the whole game, as opposed to walking to the contestant podiums during the interviews. This is because he tore an Achilles tendon during the summer while chasing a would-be burglar out of a hotel room.
    • On several occasions between 2004 and 2010, he sported a cast on his right wrist due to carpal tunnel syndrome.
    • Season 25 had an unusual variant: contestant Priscilla Ball (who was champion on January 16, 2009) was unable to make the taping for her next episode. As a result, she was brought back as co-champion on an episode that aired in April.
    • Sarah Whitcomb Foss of the Clue Crew had her own real-life pregnancy worked into a pregnancy-themed video category on September 18, 2013.
  1. (September 7, 1966 {the five-minute excerpt}; February 21, 1972 {the 2,000th show}; April 24, 1974 {seen in The Twilight Zone Movie}; June 27, 1974 {"the three K's"}; and the Grand Finale.)
  2. (October 2-3, November 13 {an episode which surfaced following the above events}, a Tournament Of Champions final, and the Grand Finale.)