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F_NNY

M_M_NTS

...I'd like to buy a vowel.



Daytime Version (1975-91)

  • December 28, 1981: A couple of moments from Pat's first day.
    • After introducing himself for the first time and giving a heartwarming thanks to original host Chuck Woolery, he quipped "And now, I'd like to announce that I'm leaving the show..."
    • Round 2 had a contestant with $2,650 decide not to pick an expensive hot tub, instead purchasing the other 10 prizes in the showcase, which led to a two-minute marathon voiceover for announcer Jack Clark. Pat had fun ribbing the contestant for this decision.


Syndicated Version (1983-Present)

  • On several occasions during the shopping era, Pat would play with various prizes on the turntable during the intro, which often sent then-announcer Jack Clark into fits of laughter.
  • October 1984: Pat runs up to the board to reveal the apostrophe in a Round 3 puzzle.
  • December 23, 1988: Pat's Christmas gift to the viewers: "singing" "White Christmas" in an intentionally off-key manner while Vanna accompanied him on the piano.
  • January 1989:
Cquote1

 Pat: What would you like to play for [in the bonus round]?

Contestant: Vanna White!

Cquote2
    • The contestant then added that he actually wanted to play for $25,000 cash, prompting then-announcer M.G. Kelly to say "I was getting ready to tell him about Vanna!"
  • September 8, 1989: The yellow contestant has won Rounds 1 through 3, so Pat consoles the other contestants by saying, "Things can change around here in a hurry." One of them replies, "We gotta get rid of him, though." while pointing to the yellow contestant.
  • October 17, 1989: The puzzle DESE DEM AND DOSE GUYS (supposed to be a thickly-accented "these, them and those guys") is completely filled-in. The contestant reads the first word as "Desi", and Pat turns to then-producer Nancy Jones for a reading, adding "I know it's a crummy puzzle." She has the contestant say it again, which he does (with the same mistake), and Pat just says "Listen, he's got all the letters up, I'm taking it."
  • October 30, 1989: The puzzle reads _AR_EC_E S_IT...contestant calls an "H". Pat's response? "Happily, no." (It was BARBECUE SPIT, which the next contestant filled in entirely before solving.)
  • May 31, 1990: Pat's final spin lands on Bankrupt...three times in a row! His fourth spin? $5,000.
  • December 28, 1992: The puzzle is BATHTUB GIN & FLAPPERS. As was sometimes done at the time, the contestant is given a bonus question asked by Charlie O'Donnell — specifically, what the most popular dance was in the 1920s. The contestant couldn't come up with the name Charleston, so he said "the one that goes like this" and started dancing the Charleston. They took it as a right answer.
  • Early 1994: Raymond Taylor, an undefeated champion who on his first day acted like he was a stoner the show pulled in when a contestant didn't show up. He ended up being a lot better than he looked and acted, which he proved by winning all three of his appearances with a total of over $80,000; indeed, he was so popular that he came back for Some of the Greats! the following year.
    • Harsher in Hindsight: Raymond ended up getting obsessed with the show, and in 1997 was banned from even so much as being in the audience via court order.
  • May 3, 1994: "Weird Al" Yankovic plays during a celebrity week. He's clearly having a blast up there, and being the Weird Al we all know and love. Among his humorous moves are asking to buy an umlaut, trying to buy prizes after solving a puzzle, and saying the Bonus Round answer very slowly so it takes up the entire 10 seconds...then proceeding to run around a lot in victory.
  • February/March 1995 (week of February 27): A contestant solves the Megaword puzzle BOMBASTIC and uses it in a sentence — "Being on Wheel of Fortune is a bombastic experience."
Cquote1

 Pat: Let's turn to that part of the Wheel of Fortune rulebook called "The Giant Gray Area", and see what our Producer says.

Nancy: If she really feels that way.

(Pat laughs for a few seconds) Our Producer — Nancy Jones, by the way — has said "If she really feels that way", so we're accepting this? (applause; Pat picks up the contestant's prize wedge) ...Yeah.

Cquote2
  • March 24, 1995: In the Speed-Up round, SCR__ is showing on a Slang puzzle. An old lady calls W. (The answer was SCRAM.)
  • Fall 1995: Pat kills a fly on the Wheel by swatting it with the Surprise wedge.
  • December 1, 1995: Pat has been teasing Vanna about her decision to cut her hair. He pulls out a huge pair of scissors and turns Vanna around, much to her shock. She's obviously nervous, making comments like "He's really gonna do it, isn't he?" He does. During the credits, he passes out clippings to members of the audience.
  • September 12, 1996: Pat and Vanna are talking about the Jackpot wedge that will debut on the next Monday's show. He holds it upside-down and says "Beginning next week we have our Topkcaj..." before Vanna smirks, takes the wedge and turns it right-side up.
  • April 1, 1997: The April Fools' Day episode mentioned in the main page. Pat said "I'd like to take a P", for which Alex scolded him. Pat responded with "I've been saving that one for 15 years."
  • May 8, 1997: A special charity episode featuring celebrities and their moms playing together. Bonnie Hunt accidentally spins before her letter can be revealed, so she abruptly stops the wheel and proceeds to spend a great deal of time Chewing the Scenery before re-spinning. Pat could barely contain his demeanor, finally telling her to "spin the damn wheel!"
  • September 11, 1997: Sandy lands on $250, but she's looking at the wrong arrow, so she thinks she's landed on Bankrupt and says "Damn!" Pat then quips "A little editing and no one will know." After she calls a letter then asks to solve, he says, "We wish the hell you would!"
  • Season 15 (1997-98): "Put down that ____, Charlie, it's time for our Jackpot round!"
  • One contestant had a Bonus Round puzzle of ____ER. His letter choices yielded nothing, yet he somehow managed to solve it with a wild guess of GOPHER. Cue Pat staring at the solved puzzle, at the contestant now shrieking with joy, and then doing a pat-down search of the contestant's body.
    • He previously did the same thing on September 7, 1992 (when someone solved FROG with only the R showing), and did it again years later, on May 11, 2011 (when someone solved the obscure Phrase INGENIOUS DEVICE with very little help).
  • "Now do Forrest Gump as the Roadrunner."
  • After showing a clip of an excited female contestant who jumped on her husband after she won a car...
Cquote1

 Pat: 16 years on the show and you've never jumped on me like that.

Vanna: Well, you've never given me a car.

Pat: Well, there you go.

Cquote2
  • February 1999: During a Hawaii episode with pairs of family members playing, Pat asks one contestant "What was that noise you made?" The contestant looks behind himself and says "...Noise?", prompting Pat to say "Good night, everyone!" and start walking away.
  • November 11, 1999: The goofball who thought A GROUP OF PILL-PUSHERS was the answer to the puzzle even though he just said the letter P. A stunned Pat stayed silent for a few seconds, then screamed "This is Wheel of Fortune, Joe!!!" Later, with nearly the entirely puzzle revealed, another contestant mis-solved as A GROUP OF WILL-WISHERS before the third contestant finally solved A GROUP OF WELL-WISHERS. Finally, after congratulating the winner, Pat walked over to Joe and pretended to punch him while remarking "Don't make me come over there!"
    • In a lesser example from earlier in the same round, Joe called a B and blurted out "Oh, Jesus!" when he realized it'd already been called. Pat then quipped that Joe was an "extremely religious man".
  • November 2, 2000: In honor of Halloween week, celebrities play the game in Halloween costumes. Alex Trebek, of all people, hilariously plays a temperamental gnome. Richard Simmons as William Shakespeare is quite funny as well.
  • April 2, 2001: A Toss-Up puzzle is WHEEL OF FORTUNE, leading Pat to quip that the show has officially run out of puzzles.
  • April 25, 2002: A contestant fails to solve the bonus puzzle HOCKEY FANS with __C_E_ _ANS showing, making a bunch of humorous guesses beginning with "uncle". After time expires, he says "I wasn't even sniffing it!"...and then misreads the now-revealed answer as HOKEY FANS.
  • Week of April 29, 2002: During a Teen Best Friends Week, one contestant solved a Toss-Up as CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE. Her partner then added an S to COOKIE to form the correct answer. They giggled like crazy, and the answer was accepted. Pat was quick to lampshade their Ass Pull:
Cquote1

 Pat: That's a great display of teamwork. Chocolate Chip Cookie-zuh!

Cquote2
  • Another contestant thought a Toss-Up answer was AN UGLY CHILD, causing Pat to reply with "Now you do realize you are a school counselor." [1]
  • 2002: Pat's response to a mother-daughter team who won: "The only reason I'm smiling is because your mother is patting my rear-end!"
  • November 7, 2003: After a very enthusiastic contestant yells out the Speed-Up answer DOUBLE-DECKER BUS (with only the B's and S showing!), Pat placidly remarks "The answer was 'DOUBLE-DECKER BUS'." Said contestant later goes to the bonus round, solving the bonus puzzle in a similarly exuberant fashion...leading to Pat pretending to wrestle the contestant to the ground.
  • January 2, 2004: A contestant had a little trouble picking her letters in the Bonus Round.
Cquote1

 Contestant: C, D, I...I'm sorry.

Pat: That's okay. Is I the vowel you're going with?

Contestant: Yeah. C...did I already say C?

Pat: You did. Usually this is one of the easier parts of the show...

Cquote2
    • She went on to pick B as her final consonant, then solved the puzzle GOLDIE HAWN right away.
  • September 17, 2004: Part of the puzzle ASSEMBLY & THE DOTTED LINE is filled in, leaving ASS_____ on the top row. After the E is called, Pat remarks "Praise the Lord!"
  • November 5, 2004: Pat asks a contestant if they have any family members or friends in the audience. The contestant says that he doesn't, and Pat realizes that he already asked that same question right before they came back from commercial. He then decides to blame his gaffe on "that damn ventriloquist" who was one of the other contestants that day.
  • April 1, 2008: The second April Fool's Day episode, also mentioned on the main page.
  • November 5, 2008: When showing the contestant's relatives who are in the audience (as is often done before the bonus round), one of said relatives gives the contestant a thumbs-up. The bonus puzzle? THUMBS UP, which he solved.
  • December 15, 2008: A contestant mis-solved the Toss-Up WISH LIST as FISH LOVE, immediately causing everyone to think that he was playing What an Idiot! straight. He proved them wrong by proceeding to the bonus round and winning it; after the victory celebration, Pat tells the contestant to look at the puzzle board, which reads FISH LOVE. Watch the incident here.
  • March 5, 2009: A Before & After puzzle reads _A___ ____ SHI_T. After an incorrect letter and a Bankrupt, a contestant finally calls the R, to which Pat says "Thank you!" (The answer was MARCO POLO SHIRT.)
  • January 4, 2010: REGIS PHILBIN AND KELLY RIPA.
  • April 7, 2010: During a "Going Green" week, Pat and Vanna chowed down on the Wild Card. That thing's got some fiber...
  • Season 28 (2010-11): Many of the opening animations with the Pat and Vanna avatars. For instance, one shows Pat repeatedly touching a letter on the board and hearing only the buzzer, until Vanna leans in and touches it for him.
  • September 21, 2010: Following the solve of a Prize Puzzle of a vacation to Maui (in Hawaii), the prize was awarded to a Wheel Watchers Club winner. Nothing unusual there, but guess where that winner lives?
  • October 1, 2010: A contestant who had been getting Bankrupt every single time he spun finally lands on a money space...and it's $5,000. He asks for a T...and Pat just shakes his head as the buzzer sounds. At the end of the game, after that same contestant won (thanks to a $6,000 speed-up) and the audience applauded him loudly, Pat told them they should be applauding him instead as he was the one who spun the Wheel!
  • November 9, 2010: A contestant rings in to solve a Toss-Up and says the right answer of MILLIONS & BILLIONS, but Pat rules it wrong. After a few seconds, they take the answer. Cue Pat looking at his cards and realizing that he was looking at the wrong puzzle (which is why he accidentally ruled her wrong), then promptly entering Self-Deprecation mode.
  • December 2, 2010: A contestant calls a 7 as his vowel in the Bonus Round.
  • January 7, 2011: The contestant fails to solve the Bonus Round puzzle and asks Pat, about to open the prize envelope, to "show me something small". Cue audience laughter and Pat dropping the prize envelope and walking offstage with a "Goodnight, everybody!"-type gesture. (Followed by Mood Whiplash when the contestant picks up the envelope, opens it himself, and sees that he lost out on $100,000.)
  • January 13, 2011: After a contestant solves a "What Are You Doing?" puzzle (TUNING IN TO MY FAVORITE SHOW), Pat asked the contestant what show that would be. She replies "I dunno, I like 'em all...American Idol." The crowd starts laughing, and it takes her a few seconds to realize that Wheel Of Fortune was the answer Pat was looking for. (He asked her again just before they went to the bonus round {which she didn't qualify for}, and she gave the "right" answer.)
  • April 19, 2011: A contestant spins the wheel but lands on a Bankrupt. Not paying attention, she immediately calls out a letter, only to look down and exclaim "OH, I'M BANKRUPT!" Control did eventually go back to her, and she solved the puzzle.
  • May 20, 2011: At the end of a three-week stint in New Orleans, Pat and Vanna can't wait to try some beignets.
  • June 2, 2011: The contestant asks Pat who he has in the audience.
  • June 3, 2011: Kristina's interview.
  • November 17, 2011: Pat and director Mark Corwin have some fun with each other.
  • December 9, 2011: Tina solves a puzzle for $600 (bumped to $1,000), then during the break admits that she wanted to avoid getting the "pity thousand". No, seriously, a contestant referred to the $1,000 consolation prize as "pity money".
  • December 30, 2011: During her interview, the middle contestant says, "I'm married to a wonderful husband and I have two great chil—oh, no, that's somebody else's life. I'm single…" Even Pat was fooled.
  • January 19, 2012: Felix lands on the Free Play space five times in a row.
  • January 25, 2012: A contestant named Precious makes it to the Bonus Round. Her bonus puzzle? PRECIOUS CARGO.
  • March 16, 2012: Contestant Taylor accidentally calls R even though it's already in the puzzle. He promptly grunts and slumps over the railing before patting one of his opponents on the back, saying "have fun, man." Pat then walks over and consoles Taylor, telling him to be an American and man up, to the applause of the audience.


Australian Version

  • On one episode, host John Burgess ran out excitedly at the open...and promptly fell on his rear end.
Cquote1

 Burgo: "Alright, who polished the floor?!"

Cquote2


British Version

  • The show briefly used a quiz round to aid in gaining points. After the host ran through several questions that nobody could answer, he finally asked "What's the first letter of the alphabet?"
  • One contestant spun the Wheel the wrong way. While this doesn't seem like a big deal, it actually ruined the mechanism and forced taping to be suspended for several hours while studio technicians tried to get it working again.
  • An Episode that had two funny moments.
    • Before facing the puzzle "Star/Movie", when Bradley asks the contestants a question, the contestants conferring, Bradley told them not to confer and said that they’re all wrong and asks a new question.
    • And the most funniest one, a contestant solved the puzzle with only the L on the puzzle, saying "THE LEANING TOWER OF PISA", leaving Bradley completely gobsmacked, running to the board and then to the contestant putting her up, then to the board again, and then into the car waving, and then goes "HOW DID YOU GET THAT!!!!"

Notes

  1. (The answer was AN ONLY CHILD.)
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