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Idiotic answers aren't all that rare on game shows. Wheel of Fortune has aired five days a week since January 6, 1975 (as two different versions from 1983-91 and 1997-98), so it has amassed quite a few.

Note: As with the other Game Show pages in What an Idiot!, some of the following contestants may very well have given these stupid answers on purpose, while others earnestly are stumped or give an obviously incorrect answer on what many viewers would think is an easy question (more than once, host Pat Sajak has told the audience that playing the game at home or from the studio audience is far different than it is for the contestants, who are under stress to do well and sometimes just say the wrong answer {if they provide a guess at all} or crack under pressure). That doesn't make them any less stupid, mind you, but instead become far more worthy of being here.



Main Game (United States)

  • June 7, 1976: The puzzle board is showing K_LL THE _MP_RE, and Chuck has informed the contestants that only vowels remain.
    • You'd Expect: A contestant to solve KILL THE UMPIRE, or buy the U and/or I if they're not certain.
    • Instead: The contestant says KILL THE VAMPIRE.
  • December 1981: During Pat Sajak's first week as host, the puzzle ABRAHAM LINCOLN was mostly filled in.
    • You'd Expect: A solve of ABRAHAM LINCOLN at some point.
    • Instead: The contestant says ABRAHAM BINCOLN. Pat joked that Bincoln would be the guy who delivered the Bettysburg address.
  • Another one of Pat's favorites, date unknown: The puzzle board reads ST_R____M ___.
    • You'd Expect: A solve of STYROFOAM CUP. Alternatively, the contestant could've let time run out since it was a Speed-Up round.
    • Instead: The contestant says STYROFOAM HAT.
  • Vanna's favorite, date unknown: The answer is MORE FUN THAN A BARREL OF MONKEYS.
    • You'd Expect: That exact answer as the solve.
    • Instead: Contestant says MORE FUN THAN A BARREL OF VIKINGS.
  • On at least seven occasions, the puzzle was entirely filled in but incorrectly solved. This happened with the following puzzles:
    • SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS on the daytime version when Rolf Benirschke hosted.
    • GLORIA ESTEFAN AND MIAMI SOUND MACHINE had "Estefan" mispronounced with a V.
    • DOUBLE INDEMNITY was mispronounced without the N in "indemnity".
    • A Megaword of PRISTINELY in the 1994-95 season (mispronounced as "prist-a-nell-y").
    • FRANCIS FORD AND SOFIA COPPOLA on January 2, 2004 (COPPOLA was read "cu-POH-la").
    • A Clue puzzle of OVERHAND SQUARE & SHEEPSHANK ARE TYPES on April 1, 2004 (SHEEPSHANK was read "sheep's hank").
    • The seventh and most recent (REGIS PHILBIN & KELLY RIPA) is listed further below.
  • 1984: The puzzle board reads THE EAR__ __R_ _AT_HES THE W_RM.
    • You'd Expect: THE EARLY BIRD CATCHES THE WORM, or maybe one more spin to claim the Cs since there are two of them.
    • Instead: The contestant says THE EARTH BIRD CATCHES THE WORM. The audience moaned soon as she said EARTH.
  • Mid-1980s: IT'S A _OST UNUSUAL DAY is revealed.
    • You'd Expect: A solve on IT'S A MOST UNUSUAL DAY, or one last spin to call the M.
    • Instead: Contestant calls a C.
  • December 5, 1985 (nighttime): The puzzle board reads THE THRI__ OF _I_TORY AND THE AGONY OF DEFEAT. The contestant has racked up $62,400 thanks to hitting the $5,000 space multiple times.
    • You'd Expect: A solve on THE THRILL OF VICTORY AND THE AGONY OF DEFEAT, or at least the call of an L first.
    • Instead: She calls an S. Next contestant calls the L for $1,100, then solves. To say this puzzle was painful poetic justice would be putting it lightly.
    • To Make Matters Worse: She could've set a record that would remain today, as the biggest one-round total won was $54,000. (She suffered again when she couldn't claim $10,000 in the next round.) Further, this was during the shopping era; she could've bought everything on the turntable quite easily, along with several bonus prizes and – depending on how many of the bonus prizes she would've also purchased – probably would've ended up with a rather sizable Service Merchandise gift certificate and the pleasure of hearing announcer Jack Clark read copy for at least five minutes.
  • Fall 1988: The puzzle board reads WHICH __D WITCH THE WICKED WITCH.
    • You'd Expect: A solve on WHICH OLD WITCH THE WICKED WITCH. Maybe a call of the L or buying of the O, just to be sure.
    • Instead: Wrong guesses of B (which was almost a buzz-out), R, M, A (which had already been called earlier), and G.
  • January/February 1989: a speedup round where the board is currently reading: RA__MATA__.
    • You'd expect: Although a bit more difficult of a puzzle, at least one of the contestants to recognize the title of the Quincy Jones song "RAZZMATAZZ".
    • Instead: The contestants go through the entire list of consonants, toward the end in order, before finally the last contestant calls the last remaining letter: "Z"!
  • May 1992: The puzzle reads THE SO__ OF __T. It's a Clue puzzle.
    • You'd Expect: THE SOUL OF WIT, followed by a response of "Brevity", since the Clue is referring to the well-known William Shakespeare quote.
    • Instead: After several wrong turns, the board finally reads THE SOUL OF __T. One contestant takes a wild guess of W, then says the answer in a "that can't possibly be right" tone.
    • To Make Matters Worse: None of them can answer the clue. The contestant who solved guessed Pat Sajak, next contestant guessed Bill Cosby, and the third guessed laughter. After Pat says that the right answer is "brevity", the first contestant asks "What is brevity?". Cue Pat's Deadpan Snarker response: "Neil Brevity. He works in Vegas a lot."
  • February 26, 1993: During a Speed-Up round, the category is Slang.
    • You'd Expect: Someone to solve BUTTINSKY with no trouble.
    • Instead: Nine, count 'em, nine screw-ups.
      • With B_TT_NS__ showing, Gordon calls K. He then says "button-sky" then "button-ski".
      • Larry calls Y, says "button-sky" also.
      • Greg, told that only vowels are left, says "but-TIN-sky". Pat asks the producer if they'll take it, and she says no. He then says "buttansky" twice.
      • Gordon calls the I, says "battinsky".
      • By this point, Pat begins prompting the contestants to call vowels (since they're free in a Speed-Up). Larry declines since he doesn't know the missing vowel(?!), and guesses "boo-tinsky".
      • Greg calls A.
      • Gordon says "bittinsky".
      • Pat prompts Larry to call a vowel. He calls E.
      • Greg calls the U and, with the whole puzzle now filled in, mispronounces it "but-TIN-sky". Luckily, he redeems himself with the correct pronunciation immediately afterward.
  • May 15, 1995: The puzzle is PORTRA_T ON THE _ S D_ME in the category Clue. Pat has just told the players that only vowels are left.
    • You'd expect: PORTRAIT ON THE U S DIME, followed by recognizing the person in question as Franklin Roosevelt.
    • Instead: The contestant hesitantly opts to buy the I. It's clear that he still doesn't know, although he does have more than $250 left to get the only possible remaining vowel (U). Instead, he asks to solve and gets as far as PORTRAIT ON THE… before getting buzzed out.
    • To Make Matters Worse: After the next contestant solves for the house minimum, none of them can identify who it is!
  • Another time, the puzzle board read ALL Y_U CAN EAT TAC_ BAR.
    • You'd Expect: The contestants to solve ALL YOU CAN EAT TACO BAR, or maybe call the O since Pat has informed them that only vowels remain.
    • Instead: The paired contestants say ALL YOU CAN EAT TABL...TAKE BAR.
  • The puzzle is a Clue. Part of it has THE B_C_EYE STATE revealed.
    • You'd Expect: THE BUCKEYE STATE.
    • Instead: THE BICYCLE STATE.
  • November 1, 1997: A rare example from Wheel 2000; the puzzle is _NT_ST_N_, in the category Every Body.
    • You'd Expect: A solve on INTESTINE, possibly a purchase of the E's and/or I's just to make sure.
    • Instead: Blue player buys an A. The red player has no points and gets buzzed out. The yellow contestant buys the E's and says ANTESTONE. Back to the blue contestant, who solves INTESTINE for 2,000 points.
  • November 11, 1999: The puzzle answer is A GROUP OF WELL-WISHERS.
    • You'd Expect: A fairly normal Speed-Up round, maybe one that takes a little while since this isn't a common phrase.
    • Instead: Hoo boy. First, the blue contestant (Joe) calls a B only two turns after someone else does, then exclaims "Oh, Jesus!" when he realizes his mistake. A few turns later, he calls a P and guesses A GROUP OF PILL-PUSHERS, prompting a What the Hell, Player? response from Pat while the audience erupts with laughter. Later on, the red contestant says A GROUP OF WILL-WISHERS with only the I's and U missing. Finally, the yellow contestant just goes for the solve.
  • On one episode, the puzzle read _RI_ _E_ CHICKEN SKEWERS WITH PEANUT SAUCE.
    • You'd Expect: Someone to figure out that the incomplete word is GRILLED.
    • Instead: The first contestant says TERIYAKI for the first word, and the second spins again to hit Lose A Turn.
  • February 6, 2001: A simple Toss-Up with the category of Phrase.
    • You'd Expect: Someone to ring in and say SHE ACED IT at some point.
    • Instead: The first contestant to ring in has SHE A_ED IT revealed and guesses SHE ASKED IT. Immediately after, another contestant rings in, but also gives a incorrect guess of SHE AXED IT. The third contestant doesn't ring in at all.
  • 2000s: TEN-G_LLON __T is revealed during a Speed-Up round.
    • You'd Expect: TEN GALLON HAT right away.
    • Instead: The first contestant calls a G and says TEN-GALLON POT. The next contestant calls the A's and makes multiple guesses not knowing the last word. Finally, the last contestant calls the H and solves.
  • During a College Week episode, gameplay is the same as always. College students should be just as competent as "normal" contestants, if not moreso due to being a bit younger.
    • You'd Expect: Maybe one accidental repeated letter at best; it's happened often enough that a contestant shouldn't kick himself for doing it.
    • Instead: All three contestants call repeated letters in the same round, failing to realize a rule that's been in place since the show's very beginning — calling the same letter twice in the same puzzle will make you lose your turn, and the reason why there's a "used letter board" offscreen to help contestants.
  • Early 2000s: __STARD-FILLED _H___LATE E_LAIR is revealed.
    • You'd Expect: CUSTARD-FILLED CHOCOLATE ECLAIR, probably a pick of C since there's four of them.
    • Instead: The contestant says MUSTARD-FILLED CHOCOLATE ECLAIR, which sounds rather gross. (The audience laughed.)
  • Early 2000s: A_AR_LL_ & LARED_ TEXAS is revealed.
    • You'd Expect: AMARILLO & LAREDO TEXAS.
    • Instead: ARMADILLO & LAREDO TEXAS.
  • Sometime around 2002, there was a Toss-Up of WHAT A RELIEF.
    • You'd Expect: Someone to ring in.
    • Instead: No one even rings in! It's not like it's some obscure phrase or anything.
  • Also early in the Toss-Up era: "AN __LY CHILD".
    • You'd expect: AN ONLY CHILD.
    • Instead: "AN UGLY CHILD." Pat rebukes the contestant, a school counselor: "Now, you ARE a school counselor."
  • February 14, 2002: The Toss-Up reads STRAW__R_Y L_P G___S.
    • You'd Expect: STRAWBERRY LIP GLOSS.
    • Instead: STRAWBERRY LIP GIRLS.
  • October 23, 2002: QUIET PLEASE STAC_S DEWEY DECIMAL SYSTEM is shown.
    • You'd Expect: Either a solve or a K, since the third word is STACKS.
    • Instead: Contestant calls an F.
  • November 11, 2002: THE _ARTHEN_N IN ATHENS is shown.
    • You'd Expect: Either a solve, a purchase of the O, or one last spin to call a P since the word is PARTHENON.
    • Instead: The contestant calls an L. She turns in her Free Spin to buy the O, then spins again...and calls an M.
  • April 15, 2003: MAPLE WOOD CREDEN_A is revealed.
    • You'd Expect: Either a solve or a Z, since the word is CREDENZA.
    • Instead: First contestant calls H, the next calls Y.
  • March 15, 2004: A Clue puzzle reads A ROMAN _OD OR THE PLANET NEAREST THE SUN.
    • You'd Expect: The contestant to figure out ROMAN GOD right away, and then offer Mercury as the answer to the very easy Clue. Even if she doesn't know her ancient gods, the second half of the Clue is elementary school stuff.
    • Instead: She hesitates on GOD to the point of nearly getting buzzed out, then takes a whopping five guesses before saying Mercury. (The second through fifth don't count.)
  • January 24, 2006: The puzzle is On the Menu, with A _LATTER _F S___L_N_ STEA_ FA__TAS showing.
    • You'd Expect: A PLATTER OF SIZZLING STEAK FAJITAS.
    • Instead: A PLATTER OF STEAMING HOT FAJITAS. "Steaming" might be somewhat forgivable if the L weren't up there, but saying HOT when you have STEA_ showing indicates that you're 1) clearly not looking at the board or 2) not paying attention to what you're saying.
  • May 18, 2006: A Prize Puzzle with E_CLUSI_E NIGHTCLUB revealed.
    • You'd Expect: EXCLUSIVE NIGHTCLUB, maybe a call of X and/or V just to be sure (or just to be cool; after all, who calls an X?).
    • Instead: Contestant blanks out and calls a K. Next contestant just goes straight for the solve.
  • November 8, 2006: SETTING __ BEACH CHAIRS is revealed. A contestant had the gift tag, the prize wedge (a trip to New York), $1,100 cash, and it was a Prize Puzzle. She had just spun the Jackpot, which was at $11,500, and filled in a couple of letters.
    • You'd Expect: That she would immediately solve SETTING UP BEACH CHAIRS.
    • Instead: She spins again, missing out on the Jackpot, and calls an F.
  • May 16, 2007: E__LAMATION & _EST _OINT is revealed. The category is Same Name.
    • You'd Expect: EXCLAMATION & WEST POINT — the trick of Same Name is that it's two names or objects put together because they end with the same word (in this case, "exclamation point" and "West Point").
    • Instead: ELIMINATION & BEST POINT.
  • October 1, 2007: The blue contestant fills in the puzzle SKIMMING THROUGH A GUIDEBOOK...but she's sitting on a Mystery Wedge.
    • You'd Expect: That she'd remember this is a Prize Puzzle, solving for $2,000 and a trip to Scotland ($5,000). Further, since she's already in the lead by almost $5,000, it's just not worth the risk.
    • Instead: She opts to flip it over, revealing the Bankrupt. The red contestant solves for $1,100 and the trip, which puts him in the lead.
  • LIN_UINE _ITH RED CLA_ SAUCE is shown.
    • You'd Expect: LINGUINE WITH RED CLAM SAUCE.
    • Instead: ...CLAW SAUCE.
  • May 13, 2008: Three puzzles that seem fairly easy during a Chicago week — ELE_ATE_ TRAIN _LAT__R_ (Place), DAN_ING ON AIR _ORDAN (Before & After; two phrases joined by a word that ends the first phrase and starts the second), and B_TTERSC_TCH C____ES (Food & Drink).
    • You'd Expect: ELEVATED TRAIN PLATFORM, DANCING ON AIR JORDAN, and BUTTERSCOTCH COOKIES.
    • Instead: ELEVATOR TRAIN PLATFORM, DANGLING ON AIR JORDAN, and BUTTERSCOTCH CANDIES. (While the third one fits, the N had already been called.)
  • October 16, 2008: The Speed-Up puzzle WOOD-BURNING STOVE.
    • You'd Expect: That even someone who's never seen one would at least have heard of one.
    • Instead: A comedy of errors.
    1. With ____-__RN_NG ST___ on the board, the blue contestant says HIGH-BURNING STOVE, then FAST-BURNING STOVE after the buzzer.
    2. Red contestant calls B and says FAST-BURNING STOVE again, then COAL-BURNING STOVE on the buzzer.
    3. Yellow contestant calls G and says COLD-BURNING STOVE.
    4. Blue contestant calls V, says nothing.
    5. Red and yellow contestants both call wrong letters.
    6. Blue contestant calls E, says nothing.
    7. Red contestant calls a wrong letter.
    8. Yellow contestant calls D, says FOOD-BURNING STOVE to the laughter of the other two contestants.
    9. Blue contestant calls O and also says FOOD-BURNING STOVE, but "corrects" it to HOOD-BURNING STOVE. She finally says WOOD-BURNING STOVE, but gets beaten by the buzzer.
    10. Finally, the red contestant calls W and solves.
  • February 6, 2009: GRILLED AL_ACORE TUNA WITH LEMON is revealed.
    • You'd Expect: Either a solve on ALBACORE or one last spin for the B.
    • Instead: Contestant calls an F.
  • May 28, 2009: _I_ING AM_NG E__TI_ PLANTS AND ANIMALS is revealed. It's a Prize Puzzle.
    • You'd Expect: HIKING AMONG EXOTIC PLANTS AND ANIMALS.
    • Instead: Another comedy of errors.
    1. Having just gotten a Free Spin, the red contestant guesses LIVING AMONG EXOTIC PLANTS AND ANIMALS.
    2. He turns in the Free Spin to call the X, but after buying the O he hits Lose A Turn.
    3. Yellow player spins for the C, then hits Bankrupt.
    4. Blue player spins and hits Lose A Turn.
    5. Back to the red player, who makes another wrong guess of RIDING AMONG EXOTIC PLANTS AND ANIMALS.
    6. Back to the yellow player, who hits Bankrupt again. Pat comments, "Good night, everyone!"
    7. The blue player hits the Million-Dollar Wedge and calls the H.
    8. With HI_ING AMONG EXOTIC PLANTS AND ANIMALS showing, the blue player guesses...W.
    9. Finally, the red contestant takes a wild guess on what turns out to be the right answer.
  • December 15, 2008: A toss-up puzzle, _ISH L___
    • You'd Expect: A contestant to wait for the "I" to appear and buzz in with "WISH LIST"
    • Instead: A contestant guesses FISH LOVE. The contestant responsible for that flub did manage to make it to, and win the bonus round. And then, they actually put "FISH LOVE" up on the board.
  • September 16, 2009: A road show from Las Vegas, and all three contestants live in Las Vegas. The first Toss-Up is categorized as What Are You Doing?
    • You'd Expect: One contestant to recognize the phrase CUTTING THE CARDS, even if none of them happen to be gamblers.
    • Instead: The first contestant says CUTTING THE WOODS, the second blanks out, and the third doesn't even try to ring in.
  • September 22, 2009: Before & After; __EN ___ __S_ ___N _ ST_R TRE_ is revealed. The contestant has just hit $3,500 and called N, and she has a Wild Card.
    • You'd Expect: Either turning in the Wild Card to call the W or H for $7,000, or playing it a little safer in hopes of taking the Wild Card to the bonus round.
    • Instead: She tries the latter but goofs on the last word, saying WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR TREE instead of TREK.
  • October 2, 2009: It's a Place, _TAL_AN RE_TA_RANT
    • You'd Expect: ITALIAN RESTAURANT.
    • Instead: ITALIAN REMBRANDT.
  • November 13, 2009: A contestant rings in on the first Toss-Up. The category is Proper Name, and _R__ PI_T is revealed.
    • You'd Expect: BRAD PITT at best; at worst, a wild guess that at least resembles someone's name.
    • Instead: FREE PASS. No, seriously. You can't get much worse than that.
  • November 13, 2009: On the same episode with the FREE PASS missolve, the Speed-Up puzzle, a Phrase, has _N ___ ___N_ __ AN ___ revealed.
    • You'd Expect: Seeing as though it's early in the round, and rarely does anybody solve that early, for the contestant to simply let time run out.
    • Instead: IN DAY LAND WITH AN DOG. Yes, you can get worse than FREE PASS, and this came from the same contestant who made the FREE PASS missolve in the first place!
  • December 29, 2009: A contestant rings in on the first Toss-Up, which is showing S_LF-PO_T___T.
    • You'd Expect: SELF-PORTRAIT.
    • Instead: SELF-POTATO.
  • January 4, 2010: Perhaps the biggest example of stupidity on Wheel involved the puzzle REGIS PHILBIN & KELLY RIPA.
    • You'd Expect: That even three military servicemen, who maybe don't get to watch TV that much while on active duty, would still recognize two people who have long since become household names.
    • Instead: Oy.
    1. With REG_S P__L__N & _ELL_ R_P_ revealed, the yellow player says REGIS PHILBRIN & KELLY RIPA. Pat says they can't accept it.
    2. Blue player calls the Y, then hits Bankrupt.
    3. Red player buys the I and A, then guesses REGIS PHILMIN & KELLY RIPA, pronouncing "Ripa" as "Ree-pa". It's also ruled incorrect.
    4. Yellow player gets a chance to redeem himself, but also says REGIS PHILMIN & KELLY RIPA.
    5. Blue player calls H, B, and K to fill in the puzzle entirely...but still manages to screw up the completely-revealed puzzle by pronouncing "Ripa" with a long I sound.
    6. Back to the red player again, who finally says their names properly.
  • January 8, 2010: COUNTRY SINGER BRAD _AISLEY is showing.
  • May 31, 2010: A simple Toss-Up with a category of Thing.
    • You'd Expect: Someone to ring in and say TREASURE MAP at some point.
    • Instead: Two contestants ring in and can only spit out TREASURE before time runs out. The third has TREASURE _A_ revealed and guesses TREASURE BAY.
  • October 21, 2010: The puzzle is Same Letter. FI_ING FRANKFURTERS & FRENCH FRIES is revealed.
    • You'd Expect: Someone to call the X right away, or just solve.
    • Instead: Two dud letters and a Bankrupt.
  • November 16, 2010: The puzzle reads SEEING THE SIGHTS OF SOUTH _EA_H, and the contestant has just landed on a Mystery Wedge.
    • You'd Expect: Calling the B or C, opting not to flip over the Mystery Wedge lest he put the Prize Puzzle at risk, and then solving the puzzle SEEING THE SIGHTS OF SOUTH BEACH.
    • Instead: He calls a D.
  • November 16, 2010: The Speed-Up Round is a Phrase. After a few turns, E_ER_THING IS SHI_SH__E is revealed.
    • You'd Expect: EVERYTHING IS SHIPSHAPE.
    • Instead: The contestant who screwed up earlier tries a guess of EVERYTHING IS SUNSHINE without calling a letter first. He then tries to call a D, but since he's already made an attempt at solving, it isn't taken (not like it would have mattered, anyway).
    • To Make Matters Worse: The next contestant calls the V and says EVERYTHING IS SHIPSHORE.
  • December 2, 2010: Fun & Games is the category, and _I__ING DOWN THE WATER SLIDE is showing.
    • You'd Expect: ZIPPING DOWN THE WATER SLIDE.
    • Instead: Several goofs:
    1. Yellow contestant calls M.
    2. Blue contestant calls C.
    3. Red contestant lands on Free Play and calls a P.
    4. She spins again and lands on $3,500. Looking like a deer in the headlights, she agonizes over her choices and calls... Y.
    5. Yellow contestant solves.
  • December 6, 2010: __ISTINE MOUNTAIN LAKE is revealed.
    • You'd Expect: Maybe an R since it's a common letter, perhaps a solve of PRISTINE MOUNTAIN LAKE.
    • Instead: First contestant calls C. Next calls R, then...chokes and calls a B.
  • February 8, 2011: __TT___ ____ __ TH_ _________ is showing, quite early in the round. The category is What Are You Doing?
    • You'd Expect: The couples (this was a Sweethearts week, with three husband-wife teams playing) to keep going for at least a few more letters to solve GETTING COZY BY THE FIREPLACE, since rarely does anyone solve that early in the round (Caitlin Burke being a noted exception).
    • Instead: The couple decides to solve, and the husband blurts out BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC.
  • February 21, 2011: The first Toss-Up is a Place. As usual, the first Toss-Up is themed to the week, and today is Sand & Sea Week.
    • You'd Expect: Someone to at least guess STARBOARD SIDE.
    • Instead: Nobody rings in until only the S in SIDE is missing, and they still blow it by saying STARBOARD TIDE. As a result, nobody else gets a chance to ring in before the second S is put up.
  • February 23, 2011: A___LAND NEW ZEALAND is revealed during a Speed-Up round.
    • You'd Expect: A fairly easy solve on AUCKLAND NEW ZEALAND.
    • Instead: One contestant guesses ARCHLAND and a long string of incorrect letters follows. Eventually the C and K are in place, but the same contestant says ACKLAND. Next contestant calls the U (again, vowels are free in Speed-Up)...and says the right answer with about zero confidence. He then says that he's never heard of Auckland.
  • February 5, 2011: The $2,000 Toss-Up reads _R__NDLY _A_ES.
    • You'd Expect: FRIENDLY FACES.
    • Instead: The first contestant rings in and says FRIENDLY WAVES.
    • To Make Matters Worse: By the time the second contestant rings in, FRIENDLY FA_ES is showing, and he still doesn't know that it's FRIENDLY FACES (he actually said it after time ran out, but it was edited out). As a result, the third contestant doesn't get a chance to ring in before the C shows up.
  • June 8, 2011: A Same Name puzzle of SU_ER AND CEREAL BO_L is showing (yes, with "AND" instead of an ampersand). A contestant askes to solve the puzzle.
    • You'd Expect: SUPER AND CEREAL BOWL.
    • Instead: SUPPER AND CEREAL BOWL.
  • February 2, 2012: _OU_H POTATO PEELER (a Before & After puzzle). Also, at this point, the contestant had just landed on the $3500 space and called the H, and can use a Wild Card to guess another letter, which can count for $3500 each without having to spin the wheel again.
    • You'd Expect: The contestant to turn in the Wild Card without hesitation, call the C for an extra $7,000, and go for the automatic solve.
    • Instead: He takes a long time just to decide to use the Wild Card in the first place, then after he hands it in, he just stands in silence and doesn't call the C until after the "took too long" buzzer sounds.
  • March 14, 2012: The puzzle board is showing _ILLI__AI_E _ILL GATES (Proper Name).
    • You'd Expect: The contestant to have a sense of current events and people in the news and easily solve "BILLIONAIRE BILL GATES"...or at least take one more spin and call a B to seal the easy solve.
    • Instead: "MILLIONAIRE BILL GATES", which the founder of Microsoft hasn't been for some time
  • September 17, 2013: The puzzle board is showing CORNER CURIO CA_INET (Thing).
    • You'd Expect: The contestant to know the word Curio and at least take one more spin and call a B to seal the easy solve.
    • Instead: CORNO CURRO CABINET
    • To Make Matters Worse: Video of the contestant's mistake goes viral and sparks controversy across the media due to him picking up the Million-Dollar Wedge one turn prior. Many outlets incorrectly state or imply that he would have won $1,000,000 had he solved correctly, which causes some to suggest that the show intentionally penalized him in order to avoid such a payout. The ruling becomes the subject of several news and talk programs, some of which he appears on. Regardless, this ruling does not affect the outcome as he would not have made it to the Bonus Round.
  • November 10, 2015: It's Speed-Up time which means contestants call letters and have three seconds to solve the puzzle:
    • You'd Expect: The blue contestant to call logical letters.
    • Instead: She deliberately calls wrong letters or gets buzzed out on each of her turns.

Main Game (Other Versions)

  • The puzzle board on a UK episode: _ M_RKS TH_ SP_T.
    • You'd Expect: An easy solve on X MARKS THE SPOT, maybe a bold spin for the X.
    • Instead: J MARKS THE SPOT.
  • Also the UK version: the category is Star & Role, the puzzle is T_M HANKS/THE GREEN M_LE.
    • You'd Expect: TOM HANKS/THE GREEN MILE, possibly buying the O and/or I just to be 100% sure.
    • Instead: TOM HANKS/THE GREEN MOLE.
  • On the Australian version, one contestant asked for "C for Rabbit." C. For RABBIT. This was used as part of their ad campaign for a year.
  • In Finland. one contestant truly proved that no round is too easy. He reveals the entire puzzle, namely PANDAT ASUVAT KIINASSA ("Pandas live in China"), all by himself. He then says "Pandat asuvat Kiimassa" ("Pandas live in heat"). Yes, he misread the phrase he filled in alone. To add insult to injury, the next player solved for 0 points.
  • Also on that version this. The board shows __RN_K_ITTO ON LASKIAIS_N __RKK_, the answer being HERNEKEITTO ON LASKIAISEN HERKKU ("Pea soup is treat on Laskiainen"). The contestant tries to solve, but has trouble guessing the last word and finally says "purkka" (chewing gum) despite this being both nonsensical and impossible as "A" was already present elsewhere.


Bonus Round (United States)

  • November 9, 1983 (daytime): During a Couples Week episode, the winning pair had T__ SE_RET showing.
    • You'd Expect: At least one of the two to recognize the common phrase TOP SECRET.
    • Instead: TEA SECRET, TWO/TOO SECRET, THE SECRET.
  • Fall 1988: On the aforementioned "WHICH OLD WITCH" episode, the winner had CANAD_AN __RDER showing and a category of Place.
    • You'd Expect: CANADIAN BORDER.
    • Instead: CANADIAN MURDER is her only guess. Even when Vanna revealed the B, she still seemed confused.
  • January/February 1989: A contestant has M_LAN _TAL_ showing and the category of Place.
    • You'd Expect: MILAN ITALY — which, for the record, is pronounced "mi-LAHN".
    • Instead: The contestant pronounces the first word "MILL-in", then "MY-lun", and is dumbfounded when it's not accepted. She lets the time run out, and her expression after the answer is revealed amounts to "but that's what I said!"
    • To Be Fair: Pat took her side and consulted with the judge during the commercial break. Unfortunately for her, they decided not to accept either pronunciation.
  • 1988-89: CAM_A__N MANA_ER. Category is Person.
    • You'd Expect: A pretty quick solve on CAMPAIGN MANAGER.
    • Instead: The contestant can't suss out the first word.
  • April/May 1989: A Landmark. T_E __R_P_LIS is shown.
    • You'd Expect: THE ACROPOLIS.
    • Instead: Somehow, the contestant gets ACROPOLIS, but guesses only TOE, TIE and TEE for the first word.
  • September 23, 1992: COR_ is revealed; the category is Thing.
    • You'd Expect: CORK, even if it takes a few guesses to get there.
    • Instead: CORN, CORP, CORT, etc. N and T were already given.
  • March 1993: The category is Things, and EYE_RO_S is showing.
    • You'd Expect: EYEBROWS.
    • Instead: Nothing.
  • April 21, 1994: The category is Slang, and the contestant has NI_TY.
    • You'd Expect: NIFTY.
    • Instead: No such luck.
  • October 31, 1994: It's a Thing, and A_ARD is revealed.
    • You'd Expect: An instantaneous solve on AWARD.
    • Instead: 10 seconds of dead silence.
  • June 9, 1995: MEN_ is revealed. It's a Thing.
    • You'd Expect: MENU.
    • Instead: The only guess is MEND.
  • 2002: __MIDIT_ is revealed.
    • You'd Expect: At least 10 seconds of trying to solve, maybe the right answer of HUMIDITY.
    • Instead: 10 seconds of non-word guesses like HUMDITTY and other gibberish words ending in -DITTY. After time runs out, the answer of HUMIDITY is revealed and the contestant asks "Didn't I say 'HUMDITTY'?"...to which Pat replies "Yes, but the answer was 'HUMIDITY'."
  • January 21, 2003: Category is On the Map; _INNIPE_ is revealed.
    • You'd Expect: A pretty quick solve of WINNIPEG.
    • Instead: The contestant remains silent for the entire 10 seconds.
  • May 15, 2003: The contestant's letters are quite helpful, revealing EN_O_ THE SHOW on the Phrase he's working with.
    • You'd Expect: An instantaneous solve of ENJOY THE SHOW.
    • Instead: Numerous non-word guesses on the first word, such as ENMOG, ENJOG, ENTOG, etc.
  • September 24, 2003: Another Phrase, with I'M B_S_ filled in.
    • You'd Expect: I'M BUSY.
    • Instead: I'M BUSH.
  • November 6, 2003: _A_ FARE is showing as a Thing.
    • You'd Expect: An extremely easy solve on CAB FARE, particularly since the contestant's a New York City native.
    • Instead: Not even a guess on the first word.
  • February 18, 2004: A contestant has made it to the Bonus Round. As has been the case since 1988, she's given RSTLNE automatically, which reveals ____RE__ under the category of Event. She's then asked for the typical "three more consonants and a vowel".
    • You'd Expect: Three consonants and a vowel that are among the other 20 letters of the alphabet. At the very worst, the common picks of C, D, M and A would've given her a decent shot at figuring out DAYBREAK from DA__REA_.
    • Instead: The contestant really doesn't get it. First, she calls T, N and S, each time being told that it's "part of the original package". Next, she picks K and W...and follows up with R, which besides being "part of the original package" is already on the board. After a while, she finally calls D and then O as her vowel, revealing D___RE_K. Unsurprisingly, she does not solve.
  • April 28, 2004: PROOF POS_T__E is showing.
    • You'd Expect: PROOF POSITIVE to be a very easy solve, particularly with one whole word filled in and most of the other.
    • Instead: The contestant can't figure out the second word, and is unfazed when Pat explains the phrase.
  • November 16, 2004: On a Family Week episode, a pair of contestants has THE _IE_ showing.
    • You'd Expect: THE VIEW.
    • Instead: Neither of them get the second word, making obviously non-fitting guesses such as THE FIRE and THE WIRE.
  • December 5, 2005: HOR__ON. It's a Thing.
    • You'd Expect: HORIZON.
    • Instead: Nothing.
  • April 9, 2008: _IND _FFER is revealed.
    • You'd Expect: KIND OFFER.
    • Instead: The contestant can't get the first word.
  • December 29, 2008: Category is Person. The contestant's letters reveal ___BLE AGENT.
    • You'd Expect: A quick solve on DOUBLE AGENT.
    • Instead: The contestant remains silent...and loses $100,000.
  • September 21, 2009: _AR__ET _L__R.
    • You'd Expect: A solve on PARQUET FLOOR, or at least a few valiant guesses. If you manage to get PARQUET into your head, then PARQUET FLOOR should be an easy jump.
    • Instead: Somehow, the contestant gets PARQUET right away, but never says FLOOR.
  • December 24, 2009: It's a Thing, _PPO_NTMENT _OO_.
    • You'd Expect: APPOINTMENT BOOK.
    • Instead: The second word stumps the player.
  • January 20, 2010: It's a Person, _OL_ HERO.
    • You'd Expect: FOLK HERO.
    • Instead: Nothing.
  • March 15, 2010: P_NC_ ___L is revealed.
    • You'd Expect: PUNCH BOWL.
    • Instead: GOAL, POLE, and MOLE are guessed on the second word. The contestant realizes just after the buzzer what the answer is, and blurts out "Oh, mother of pearl!"
    • What Makes It Worse: Is that she claimed to have been talking to someone about punch bowls in the green room right before her episode began taping.
  • November 1, 2010: It's a Phrase, _N_ARD AND _P_ARD.
    • You'd Expect: ONWARD AND UPWARD.
    • Instead: Nothing.
  • January 4, 2011: ___ERED BR_D_E is showing.
    • You'd Expect: COVERED BRIDGE.
    • Instead: She gets COVERED but not BRIDGE.
  • November 28, 2011: GLO_E.
    • You'd Expect: GLOBE, even if it takes guessing GLOVE to get there first (since that can still fit).
    • Instead: The contestant guesses GLOVE before the time starts, and is told that it's wrong. She then spends the entire 10 seconds in silence.
  • December 21, 2011: _OME HEL_ O_T.
    • You'd Expect: COME HELP OUT.
    • Instead: It takes her nearly 8 seconds just to figure out that HEL_ is HELP and not HELD (since she called the D), and she makes non-word guesses like FOME on the first word. The answer finally comes to her about two seconds after the buzzer.
  • May 15, 2012: MAG_C _AND.
    • You'd Expect: MAGIC WAND.
    • Instead: The contestant enters the bonus round with a wild card, allowing him to choose one extra consonant. After receiving the given "N", he guesses the letters D, C, M, A and G, all of which are in the puzzle. Pat and the audience expect an easy solve--except the contestant guesses magic "hand", "band", "sand" and even "yand" before he starts on a random guessing spree through the alphabet, finally culminating in "wand" right after the time runs out. He comments afterwards: "That 'and' looks so... 'and-y.'"

Bonus Round (Other Versions)

  • July 22, 2003 (Australian version, Celebrity Week): _ S_CCESS ST_R_
    • You'd Expect: A SUCCESS STORY. [1]
    • Instead: First, the celebrity guesses "A SUCCESS START", and then she tries asking the host for help, which he obviously cannot do, and she ends up guessing "A SUCCESS STARTK" before she runs out of time. [2]
  • July 23, 2003 (Australian version, Celebrity Week): _ P_T O_ T__ B___
    • You'd Expect: A PAT ON THE BACK
    • Instead: A PART OF THE BIRD, and then A PAT OF THE BACK, which wasn't accepted.
    • What Makes it Worse: This was the second consecutive time that a home viewer screwed out of a car by an inept celebrity. [3]

Notes

  1. (When all the letters were revealed, Rob Elliott (the host) said that the home partner of Sophie Ward (the "celebrity") should be going berserk, because he/she would most likely win an automobile.)
  2. (Also, Sophie's home partner would indeed go berserk...at her for not solving an obviously easy puzzle and screwing him out of a car.)
  3. (True, another home viewer was randomly selected to win the car, but still...)
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