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The first player to score $500 played the Bonus Round against "The Spoilers", usually three men (sometimes two men and a woman) with doctorates in different disciplines. The contestant was shown a subject and tried to stump the Spoilers by choosing four clues from a pool of eight, with the ability to pass up to four if s/he felt it too easy. Each time a Spoiler didn't guess the answer, the contestant received $100; if a Spoiler guessed the answer, s/he received $100 and were out for the rest of the round. If at least one Spoiler remained stumped after the fourth clue, the contestant won $5,000.
Game Show Tropes in use:
- Bonus Round: Try to stump three doctorates by selecting just the right four clues from a pool of eight for $5,000.
- Game Show Winnings Cap: $25,000.
- Losing Horns: Type A. Recycled from The Price Is Right, minus the first two notes.
- Show the Folks At Home: Any time a new subject was put into play, Trebek would remind viewers to look away until they heard the bell if they were playing along at home.
- Sound Proof Booth: Each contestant was placed in one, as were each of the Spoilers.
- Unexpectedly Obscure Answer: Even after the maximum 10 clues, both players were unable to identify Louise Lasser, the star of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.
This show provides examples of:
- Funny Afro: Trebek, believe it or not. Complete with the Porn Stache he used to have, the man could not look more 1970s than he did on Double Dare. And he had it during almost all of his 1970s hosting gigs.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: During the final few episodes, the writers were starting to have fun with their clues (well, if it worked for Match Game '63...). The Grand Finale featured an infamous round with some rather racy clues for "The boomerang". The hilarity is only amplified further through Trebek, who was either A) completely oblivious to what they planted in there or B) knew and delivered it straight.
"The more horizontal this thing is kept while in action, the more you'll get what you're after."
"To use one properly, grip it firmly with three fingers at the curve near the tip."
- This clue for "Toilet":
"When members of the French Resistance used this in World War II, they'd say, 'I'm off to telephone Hitler.'"
- Recycled Soundtrack / Hey, It's That Sound: Quite a few sound effects were re-used here, mainly the buzzers and bells from other CBS game shows, a slot-machine lever sound from The Jokers Wild, and even a truncated version of the infamous "losing horns" from The Price Is Right for losses in the Beat the Spoilers round.
- Incidentally, for all the stuff the show recycled, its theme music and intro would be re-purposed for Card Sharks a year later.
- Sophisticated As Hell: Trebek.