[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Jeopardy_intertitle_2299.png]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[PunctuatedForEmphasis "This...is...JEOPARDY!"]]]]

GameShow created by Creator/MervGriffin in 1963 when his wife, Julann, suggested (in a reaction to [[Series/TwentyOne the quiz]] [[Series/{{Dotto}} show scandals]] still in recent memory) that he reverse the trivia format — give the contestants the answers and have them provide the questions. Merv pitched it to Creator/{{NBC}} as ''What's the Question?'', but was told that the game needed "[[EurekaMoment more jeopardies]]" [[note]](which was resolved with the Daily Double)[[/note]]. ''Jeopardy!'' debuted on NBC in 1964 with Art Fleming as host and [[Series/SaturdayNightLive Don Pardo]] as announcer. It ran until January 1975, with a brief revival in 1978/79 (also hosted by Fleming, but announced by John Harlan) that had somewhat different rules.

After two pilots, ''Jeopardy!'' came back in 1984 with host Creator/AlexTrebek, announcer Johnny Gilbert (both LongRunners on the show) and much higher cash awards. This version has far outlasted the original, starting its 32nd season in September 2015. Other than a few cosmetic changes, the doubling of dollar amounts, and the five-day championship limit becoming a "sky's the limit" policy, the format is almost entirely unchanged.

Three {{Spin Off}}s have aired over time. In summer 1990, Creator/{{ABC}} aired a 13-episode tournament of champions titled ''Super Jeopardy!'', which was paired with another of Griffin's creations, a game show version of ''Series/{{Monopoly}}''. Creator/{{GSN}} also ran a children's version called ''Jep!'' from 1998 to 2000, and Creator/VH1 created a rock music-themed version called ''Rock & Roll Jeopardy!'' which aired from 1998 to 2001. A number of countries produce local versions of the show with few changes, including keeping the title [[ArtifactTitle even if it makes no sense in their language]].

A fourth spinoff, ''Sports Jeopardy!'' (hosted by Dan Patrick, a former {{ESPN}}/current NBC Sports Network and radio sportscaster), debuted on the online video portal Crackle in fall 2014.

Often aired in an hour block with sister show ''Series/WheelOfFortune''.

Interestingly, the answer-and-question concept is OlderThanTheyThink, as it had previously been used for Gil Fates' ''Series/CBSTelevisionQuiz'' (1941/42).

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!!Here are your categories:

* BonusRound: Two were used.
** The Jackpot Board: Used for the first half of the 1974-1975 syndicated version, the winner selected a number off the board from 1-30, revealing a bonus prize (car, trip, more cash), or half of "$25,000" (which earned one more pick to find the other half).
** Super Jeopardy!: Not to be confused with the 1990 tournament, this was basically J! Bingo; five categories, must make a line across/up and down/diagonally before getting three wrong. $100/pop, a win earns a ProgressiveJackpot.
* BonusSpace: The Daily Doubles. Also the very short-lived Bonus categories listed below.
* ComplacentGamingSyndrome:[[invoked]]
** Sometimes present in the Fleming era, which paid full winnings to all contestants, win or lose; some contestants intentionally stopped ringing in if they felt that they had earned enough money, or if an opponent had picked up an insurmountable lead. The Trebek era gave this an ObviousRulePatch by offering the full winnings only to the winner, to create more of an incentive to compete. Losing contestants initially got parting gifts, but starting on May 16, 2002 second and third place win a flat $2,000 and $1,000 respectively.
** The vast majority of contestants pick clues from top to bottom within each category, even in cases where it might be advisable to do otherwise (for example, if Alex has said "Less than a minute" and several high-value clues are still on the board and/or a Daily Double hasn't yet been uncovered — the Daily Doubles are almost never in the top two rows).
** 9 times out of 10, the leader going into Final Jeopardy will wager $xx01, so if both he and the second-place player get it right and second place wagers everything, he wins by a dollar--for example, if second place has $7,000 and first place has $12,400, you can expect the leader to wager $1,601.
* ConsolationPrize:
** In the original Fleming era, all contestants received their cash earnings win or lose; however, contestants who finished with $0 or a negative score received parting gifts.
** In the Trebek era, only the winning contestant received his or her cash winnings. Initially, departing contestants received non-monetary prizes, usually a vacation package for second and merchandise for third; however, starting in 2002, second and third place received a flat $2,000 and $1,000, respectively.
* DoubleTheDollars: Double Jeopardy! and, of course, the Daily Double.
** Also when the clue values doubled in 2001.
* GameShowAppearance:
** [[Series/{{Cheers}} Cliff Clavin]], [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Marge Simpson]], [[Series/TheCarolBurnettShow Thelma]] [[Series/MamasFamily Harper]], [[Series/TheNanny Fran Fine]], [[Film/WhiteMenCantJump Gloria Clemente]], and [[WesternAnmation/PinkyAndTheBrain Brain]] all played on ''Jeopardy!'', [[Series/TheGoldenGirls Dorothy Zbornak]] tried out for it, [[Series/{{Ellen}} Ellen DeGeneres]] and Jamie Lee Curtis played in dream sequences in Epcot's Universe of Energy, and [[Series/TheGoldenGirls Rose Nylund]] also in a dream sequence. Heck, even ''[[Series/TheLateLateShow Craig Ferguson]]'' did a sketch!
** Also the premise of Music/WeirdAlYankovic's "I Lost on Jeopardy", which took place during the original Art Fleming era. The music video not only had a pretty accurate reproduction of that set, but both Fleming and announcer Don Pardo came along for the ride, 14 weeks before the Trebek era launched.
*** Al later appeared on a celebrity edition of ''Rock & Roll Jeopardy!''...[[SelfFulfillingProphecy and lost]]. Guess what song was played over the end credits?
*** Art Fleming and the ''Jeopardy!'' board make a cameo in ''Film/AirplaneIITheSequel''.
* GameShowWinningsCap:
** Until 2003, contestants could only stay on for five days and win up to $75,000 (later $100,000), with the excess donated to a charity of the contestant's choice. Since then, a contestant can stay on so long as s/he keeps winning, and keep ''all'' winnings. Shortly after the cap was removed, Ken Jennings ran for 75 games (74 wins and then his defeat by Nancy Zerg).
** ''Jeopardy!'' is far more lenient than ''Series/WheelOfFortune'' when it comes to making a repeat appearance (as in, they'll actually '''let you play again''') — if you've already appeared on a version hosted by Alex Trebek, you're ineligible (except for tournaments, of course, and the occasional re-invite for special circumstances like a clue error that affected the outcome, or the games with IBM's Watson). Otherwise, you're good to go!
** ''Sports Jeopardy!'' had no returning champions for its first season. Like its parent show did in 2004, winning limits were abolished for its second season, and like Ken a decade prior, Vinny Varadarajan capitalized on the new rule for a 15 day reign as champion.
* GoldenSnitch: Played with. In theory, Final Jeopardy can result in people doubling their money or losing everything. It is, however, rather common for Double Jeopardy! to end with second place having less than half of the leader's score. The leader can simply bet nothing and be guaranteed a victory.
* HomeGame:
** Several board games, video game versions as early as the NES (an Atari 2600 version was planned shortly before [[TheGreatVideogameCrashOf1983 the market crashed]]), and several PC versions as well. {{THQ}} released Wii versions of ''Jeopardy!'' and ''Wheel of Fortune'' in 2010, and again for multiple systems in 2012. There's also a school version that uses a dedicated console and allows custom answers and images to be used. Modified scoring calculators are also sold which allow playing along with the actual show.
** Milton Bradley's home game merely reused the plastic board from its ''Series/{{Concentration}}'' home games and tinted the window red. As such, only five categories could be played per round and one window in Double Jeopardy! had to be reserved for Final.
** Around 1990, there was also a premium-rate HomeParticipationSweepstakes phone-in version known as "Phone ''Jeopardy!''" (''Wheel'' had one, too).
** For many years, ''Jeopardy!'' advertised on-air and sold the Jeopardy! Challenger Scorekeeper, a handheld LCD device that allowed contestants to keep score at home as they played along, as well as wager on Daily Doubles and Final Jeopardy! While often mistaken for a game, it's basically a modified calculator. Though it's obsolete for modern episodes (as it was made for games before dollar amounts were doubled), equivalent scorekeepers are available online and on mobile devices that feature the current values.
** Tiger Electronics released two handheld LCD ''Jeopardy!'' games in the late 1990s. Due to technical limitations, the first version merely listed numbers for each clue that you'd have to read in a companion book that came with the game or its expansion cartridges, while the second version allowed for a scrolling clue display, and is better received as a result.
* Personnel:
** TheAnnouncer: Noted game show announcer Don Pardo announced the first two Fleming versions, with John Harlan behind the mic on the 1978-79 revival. Jay Stewart of ''Series/LetsMakeADeal'' fame announced the 1983 pilot, and Johnny Gilbert both the second pilot and every Trebek episode. [[note]](On the very rare instance that Johnny misses a taping, he's dubbed in post.)[[/note]] Loretta Fox announced the first two seasons of ''Rock & Roll Jeopardy!'', with Stew Herrera taking over for the last two. Clue Crew member Kelly Miyahara announces ''Sports Jeopardy!''
** GameShowHost: Art Fleming's biggest role, without a doubt, was this. This is also Trebek's biggest role, but unlike Fleming, Alex has several other shows to his name (''The Wizard of Odds'', ''Series/HighRollers'', ''[[Series/DoubleDare1976 Double Dare]]'', ''Series/{{Battlestars}}'', ''[[Series/{{Concentration}} Classic Concentration]]''). Voice actor Creator/BobBergen (the voice of Porky Pig since Creator/MelBlanc's death) hosted ''Jep!'', Jeff Probst hosted ''Rock & Roll Jeopardy!'' before he would become known for ''Series/{{Survivor}}'', and sportscaster Dan Patrick hosts ''Sports Jeopardy!''
** LovelyAssistant: Sort of. The show (as well as ''Sports Jeopardy!'' on occasion) makes frequent use of the Clue Crew, three assistants (down from five) who provide pre-recorded visuals related to the clue.
** StudioAudience
* RetiredGameShowElement: During Season 14 (1997-1998), the show briefly tried "bonus" categories — clues with two correct responses. If a contestant gave one response, s/he could try for the second response for the same amount of money, or leave the second one free for another contestant to ring in. It only lasted from December 1997 to February 1998, and even then was used in only ''three'' games.
* ThinkMusic: The 30-second melody used during Final Jeopardy (which is actually called "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXGhvoekY44 Think!]]") may be the best known example in the genre. ''TV Guide'' called it "the ''Beethoven's Fifth'' of game show music."

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!!I'll take Trope Examples for $200, Alex:

* AffectionateParody: ''Series/SesameStreet'', of all things, did one, complete with a SuspiciouslySimilarSong of "Think!", Alex Trebek played host of "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzJgs-XAcPo Special of the Day]]", with Telly Monster as the contestant.
* AlwaysSecondBest:
** Despite his immense ''Jeopardy!'' success in his original reign, Ken Jennings has finished in second place in all three of his return events, finishing in second to Brad Rutter in the Ultimate Tournament of Champions and Battle of the Decades, and to Watson in the IBM Challenge. However, Ken did outrank Brad in the latter.
** A handful of other ''Jeopardy!'' champions have made it to the finals of two tournaments, only to lose in both, including Dave Traini (the 1987 TOC and ''Super Jeopardy!''), David Javerbaum (the 1988 Teen Tournament and 1998 Teen Reunion tournament), and Jerome Vered (the 1992 TOC and the Ultimate TOC). Similarly, Elliot Shteir was a losing finalist in both the 1969 Tournament of Champions in the Art Fleming era, then a losing finalist during the July 1995 Seniors Tournament.
* AprilFoolsDay:
** In 1997, Pat Sajak hosted that day's ''Jeopardy!'' while Alex hosted the day's ''Series/WheelOfFortune'' (which also had Pat and Vanna as contestants, and Pat's wife at the puzzle board). ''Jeopardy!'' [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] the switch by including ''Wheel''-themed category names in Round 1, and "Trinidadian Amateur Ichthyologists" as the Final Jeopardy! category.
** Years after shaving his mustache, Alex wore a phony one for the Jeopardy! round on April Fools Day, 2008.
** On April Fools Day, 2016 (4 day champion Todd Giese's final win), ten easter eggs were inserted throughout the episode in post-production, including clips from archival episodes, cameos by Ken Jennings and Watson in gameplay, Wheel of Fortune sound effects, on-screen graphic errors, and even a clip from the ''Estonian'' version of Jeopardy!
* ArtificialStupidity: In the IBM Challenge (February 2011), Watson had a few cases where its imposing intelligence faltered:
** In one instance, Ken Jennings got an answer wrong. Immediately afterward, Watson buzzed in with the same answer. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that Watson was technically blind and deaf — the programmers didn't bother with visual or voice recognition. It was merely an analytical machine based on information through text received electronically.
** The programmers had Watson put very low weight on categories as a clue to the answer itself. As a result...
*** In the category regarding decades in history, part of the clue mentioned a flight at Kitty Hawk. Watson guessed 1920. [[spoiler:The answer was 1900s]].
*** In the first day Final Jeopardy round, the category was U.S. Cities. The clue was a city with an airport named after a famous World War II battle and combatant. Watson guessed Toronto ([[spoiler:The answer was Chicago, Midway International Airport is the one named for the battle; O'Hare International Airport is named for a pilot]]). However, the programmers suggested that there were so many contextual ambiguities that Watson simply was confused, as there are cities in the US named Toronto, and Toronto in Canada has a US Baseball team (The Blue Jays). In light of this, Trebek (a Canadian native) jokingly remarked that he learned that Toronto is now a U.S. city and one of the producers wore a Blue Jays jersey.
*** Watson also placed a large number of question marks after this answer, which is apparently a gauge of how "unsure" it was about the answer. So the computer knew the answer was probably wrong, it just couldn't come up with anything better.
*** In the "Literary APB[[note]]All Points Bulletin[[/note]]" category, the clue made it very obvious that it was looking for the main villain of the ''Harry Potter'' franchise ([[spoiler:who is Voldemort]]?). Watson was stumped — it figured out that it was being asked for a ''Harry Potter'' character, but because it wasn't putting much weight on category name and didn't seem to make the connection that the police only issues [=APBs=] for criminals, it couldn't figure out ''which'' character it was being asked for.
*** The "Also on your computer keys" category tripped Watson up really badly. In fact, it was the only category where Watson got the wrong answer for ''every single question''.
* AscendedExtra:
** During a Fleming-era celebrity week in April 1974, one of the guests was a young Canadian named Alex Trebek.
** Merv Griffin tapped Mike Reilly, a losing contestant from a November 1989 episode, to host his 1990 game show adaptation of ''Series/{{Monopoly}}''. [[OneBookAuthor It remains, to date, Reilly's only TV gig.]]
** Over three years after competing on ''Celebrity Jeopardy!'', ''Wheel of Fortune'' host Pat Sajak took over for Alex Trebek for the April Fools Day episode in 1997 (with Alex hosting ''Wheel'' that same day.) Pat has since provided a few video clues, and he came full circle in 2010 by competing in two more celebrity games, winning the first with ''$55,300''!
** In 2011, sports anchor and radio host Dan Patrick introduced the clues for two full sports-centric categories, and has also provided scattered video clues as early as 2005. He'd later take this on full time as the host of ''Sports Jeopardy!'' on Crackle in 2014.
** Despite only being a 3 day champion during her December 1996 run on Jeopardy! (and not qualifying for the next Tournament of Champions), Gay Mollette was invited as the American representative during the next year's International Jeopardy! tournament, surprisingly instead of 1996 TOC winner Michael Dupee (possibly averted if he couldn't make the trip to Sweden for the event, but Gay could.) She didn't advance to the finals though, which were won by Canada's Michael Daunt, a 1996 TOC finalist.
** After 5 day champion Barbara Lowe's removal from the 1986 Tournament of Champions field for violating contestant eligibility requirements, 4 day champion Gary Palmer made the tournament in her place, despite winning just $18,400, a record low for a TOC qualifier (even when adjusted for inflation.) He had a good run though, giving eventual finalist Marvin Shinkman a late challenge in the semifinals.
** As 2001 College Champion Vinita Kailasanath was unable to attend the next Tournament of Champions in 2003, her spot instead went to 4 day champion Kathy Cassity, making her the first ever TOC qualifier from Hawaii (Vinita would eventually compete in the 2004 TOC, making the semifinals.)
** With four invited champions (Michael Block, Amanda Goad, Larry Mcknight, and Leslie Shannon) not able to compete in 2005's massive Ultimate Tournament of Champions, the next four highest earning 5 day champions gained their spots in the 145-person field, those being Jay Rosenberg, Dan Katz, Steve Berman, and Bill Dickenson, who all earned between $48,000 and $49,000 in their unadjusted reigns. Of those four, only Berman won his first round game, though he eventually lost in the next round.
** As 74 day champion Ken Jennings gave up his place in the 2006 Tournament of Champions in lieu of the finals bye in 2005's Ultimate Tournament of Champions, his spot in the 2006 TOC went to 3 day champion Aaron Thompson, who won just $57,899 in his reign. He had a good run, leading for long stretches of Double Jeopardy! in his two games, and advancing to the semifinals as a wild card, but he was eliminated there by eventual finalist Vik Vaz.
** Similarly to Vinita Kailasanath a few years prior, 2008 College Champion Joey Beachum couldn't attend 2009's TOC, with his spot going to 4 day champion Deborah Fitzgerald in what would be the first Tournament of Champions with ''no'' regular annual tournament winners since the show introduced them in 1987. Joey would compete in 2010's TOC, which uniquely featured ''three'' College Champions.
** Due to 5 day champion Jerry Slowik's legal issues, he was replaced in the 2014 Tournament of Champions by 4 day champion Mark Japinga, becoming the only regular play competitor in the field who hadn't won at least 5 games. He too performed well, leading through all of Double Jeopardy! in his quarterfinal game, and advancing to the semifinals as a wild card, though he met his end there via finalist Arthur Chu.
* AscendedMeme:
** One Double Jeopardy! round had categories that all referred to the Celebrity Jeopardy! sketch on ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'', including "Creator/SeanConnery", "Surprise Me, Trebek", "Therapists"[[labelnote:Alex's aside]]Not "The Rapists"[[/labelnote]], "The Number After 2", and "Rhymes With 'Dog'". Other categories from the sketch (including "Japan-U.S. Relations" and "Things You Shouldn't Put in Your Mouth" (a category about poisons)) have made appearances on the show as well.
** "Who are three people that have never been in my kitchen?", from the ''Series/{{Cheers}}'' episode where Cliff Clavin competes on the show and writes that down as his Final Jeopardy! response, became a popular joke answer on the actual show.
* AsianAndNerdy:
** Kelly Miyahara of the Clue Crew, also the announcer of ''Sports Jeopardy!''
** 2011 9 day champion and Tournament of Champions semifinalist Joon Pahk, a regular poster to the show's unofficial forums, and one of the 10 highest earning ''Jeopardy!'' contestants ever in regular games.
** 2014 11 day champion and Tournament of Champions finalst Arthur Chu, who is one of only five contestants to win that many games in their regular run, and attracted a great deal of notoriety among fans for his gameplay strategy and on-camera demeanor.
** Bruce Ikawa, whose $80,699 total as a 5 day champion in November 1990 was the third highest in ''Jeopardy!'' regular play history at that time, and is 10th under the show's original dollar amounts.
** 2001 5 day champion and Tournament of Champions semifinalist Lan Djang, who later made the quarterfinals in 2005's Ultimate Tournament of Champions, and was the last 4 or 5 day champion from Canada for ''fourteen years''.
* AudienceParticipation: Averted during the brief return of Alex Trebek's mustache in the fall of 2014, where he mentioned during opening remarks on episodes that fans could vote online as to whether he should keep the mustache or shave it again. Though Alex indicated on air that the response was about 50/50 in favour of keeping or shaving it, these episodes were ''pre-taped'', and many of the mustache's return episodes aired ''after'' he chose to shave it again (partially at the wishes of his wife.)
* AutoTune: PlayedForLaughs on the June 23, 2010 show, which had the category "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Te4E1cx2J44 Alex Meets Auto-Tune]]".
* BadassBoast: In commercials advertising his 2000s Week game in 2014's Battle of the Decades, Ken Jennings said of his opponents in a commercial, "They actually think they can win." He backed it up with a lock-win, helped by wagering over $12,000 on two correct Daily Doubles.
* BadassBookworm: Let's just say you have to be one to win big on Jeopardy.
* BadassMustache:
** Alex Trebek had one of these until 2001. [[WordOfGod He later said]] that he shaved it off on a whim, and decided to leave it off because nobody noticed. But possibly because it's so iconic and recognizable, most modern depictions in media (such as a ''ComicStrip/PearlsBeforeSwine'' arc in late 2010, where one of the crocs plays ''Jeopardy!'') still show him with the 'stache. On yet another whim, he [[http://mashable.com/2014/09/10/alex-trebek-mustache/?utm_cid=mash-com-Tw-main-link grew back the 'stache]] for season 31, to a mixed reception. Many fans welcomed it back wholeheartedly, but others commented that his 'stache made Trebek look a ''lot'' older than he should've. He kept it for 20 episodes (among them, 2015 TOC semifinalist Catherine Hardee's 4 day reign) before shaving it again.
** And [[RuleOfFunny as a joke]], one of the categories on the episode he first appeared shaven in 2001 was a visual clue category with pictures of his iconic mustache in places that the contestants had to guess.
** 1990 5-time champion [[http://www.j-archive.com/showplayer.php?player_id=262 Frank Spangenberg]], who was the show's top regular-games winner, and at one point, the biggest 1-day winner, in the pre-doubled era (1984-2001).[[note]]Even adjusted into present values, his score still stands among 5-time champions.[[/note]]
** 1992 5-time champion Jerome Vered, who was the second-biggest regular games winner after Spangenberg in the pre-doubled era, shattering the aforementioned 1-day record set by Frank, as well as finishing 3rd in both the 1992 Tournament of Champions and the 2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions.
** 1987 4-time champion Roger Storm, who later made the semifinals of that year's Tournament of Champions and 1990's Super Jeopardy! event. He sported a handlebar mustache as he portrayed Orville Wright of The Wright Brothers for educational events, and said mustache actually helped contestant coordinators pick him to be on the show.
* BadassNormal:
** Ken Jennings. To some, he's a shy, nerdy Mormon who just happened to know ''every''thing (including quite a bit about alcohol). Well, everything except [[spoiler:H&R Block]].
** 2015-16 ''Sports Jeopardy!'' 15-day champion Vinny Varadarajan has proven to be this for sports knowledge (particularly when it came to baseball.)
* BashBrothers: Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings, the two super-champions who have each won over $3,000,000 on ''Jeopardy!'' In contrast, no other human contestant has ever won even $1,000,000. Elite though they may be at trivia, the real skill comes from their reaction times and wagering skills. The IBM Challenge proved they were both [[WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}} equally inferior to computers]], and while this was an exhibition event, Watson is the only opponent to ever defeat Brad.
* BattleCouple: Justin and Kristin Sausville, the only known married couple to have each won 5 games on ''Jeopardy!'' Justin was a 6 day champion in July and September 2011 and was a wild card semifinalist in that year's Tournament of Champions, while Kristin followed as a 5 day champion in March 2015 (complete with a rare one-person Final Jeopardy! in her second win) and competed in that year's TOC as well.
* BlackAndNerdy:
** Colby Burnett, the winner of the November 2012 Teacher's Tournament and the 2013 Tournament of Champions (the only person to win both), as well as a semifinalist in 2014's Battle of the Decades.
** Leonard Cooper, the 2013 Teen Tournament winner and the only tournament finalist in ''Jeopardy!'' history to make a tournament final after losing in the semifinals.
** Matt Jackson, who won 13 games and $411,612 in the fall of 2015, both good for fourth place in all-time regular play championship reigns, and was a finalist in that year's Tournament of Champions.
** Claudia Perry, a 4 day champion in 1997 and 1998 Tournament of Champions semifinalist, who later was invited as a favourite contestant for 2002's Million Dollar Masters, and more than held her own with no less than Bob Verini and Chuck Forrest in the semifinals.
* BootstrappedTheme: This show has quite possibly the most well-known game show theme ever, the "Think!" music was originally just used for the Final Jeopardy question rather than the opening of the show itself. (In a lesser example of this trope, the 1978-79 version's opening theme was used as a prize cue on ''Wheel'' for several seasons.)
* BowChickaWowWow: This was used to set the mood for "The Sexiest Potpourri Category Ever".
* BrickJoke: Some RuleOfFunny categories will have counterparts in the Double Jeopardy! round; for instance, on the January 18th, 2011 show, the sixth category in the first round was "[[Literature/{{Twilight}} Team Jacob]]" and the sixth category of Double Jeopardy! was titled "[[ShipToShipCombat Team Edward]]".
* BriefAccentImitation: 2015-16 ''Sports Jeopardy!'' superchamp Vinny Varadarajan liked to give certain category names and questions in the voice of sports announcers (or at least, an attempt of them) for comic effect.
* TheCameo: It's not uncommon to see sitting and former Presidents, Vice Presidents, First Ladies, and other notable members of the White House participating via giving clues for a category at least a couple of times a year, as well as other high-profile celebrities and figures like Oprah Winfrey. Often, ''Celebrity Jeopardy!'' contestants will record clues for future episodes during their taping.
* CanadaEh: Alex still has a bit of a Canadian accent, most notably in how he says "sorry" and "dollar" with long O sounds, and pronounces "produce" as "praw-duce". This can be more common with Canadian contestants, of which there have been many over the years.
* CanonDiscontinuity:
** 1990's ''Super Jeopardy!'' tournament on ABC is not considered canon when Jeopardy! tabulates contestant winnings and records, though whether it's due to its special rules and scoring, its overall success, or not taking place during the regular syndicated run is up for debate. Notably, Bruce Seymour (who won the $250,000 ''Super Jeopardy!'' top prize) wasn't considered the modern show's all-time winnings leader (Chuck Forrest, Bob Blake, and Robin Carroll instead led in winnings before Brad Rutter took the record on any level in 2002), and as Seymour was only a four day champion and Tournament of Champions quarterfinalist in regular play, he has never been invited back for later reunion tournaments.
** 1998's "Battle of the Bay Area Brains" episode is also not canon for past contestant winnings, likely as it was a charity game that only aired in the San Francisco market. Notably, the $7,700 prize package won by Michael Rankins for that game is not counted among his official winnings.
** Infamous 1986 5-day champion Barbara Lowe is nowhere to be seen on official ''Jeopardy!'' records, was not invited to that year's Tournament of Champions, and her games never re-aired after the fact.
* CatchPhrase:
** "Let's make this a true Daily Double"
** "I'll take [category] for [dollar amount], Alex".
* CelebrityEdition: One of the most famous in the game show industry. The concept is well-known through ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'''s "Celebrity Jeopardy!" sketches, with Creator/WillFerrell as Trebek. Four variants featuring politicians and newsmakers have also been held under the "Power Players Week" branding, all as taped at D.A.R. Constiturion Hall in Washington, D.C. during U.S. election years, while a Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational tournament was held from 2010-2011.
** ''Rock & Roll Jeopardy!'' had a number of celebrity games as well, typically featuring popular musicians, though episodes also took place featuring recent ''Survivor'' castmates, as Jeff Probst hosted both shows. Similarly, ''Sports Jeopardy!'' featured two celebrity editions in its second season, including one with "The Danettes" (on-air personalities from host Dan Patrick's radio show) and a Super Bowl-week episode featuring NFL Network personalities, with a Danettes rematch opening season 3 as well.
* ClipShow: Fleming #2,753, plus Trebek #3,000 and #4,000. The first two had the clips interspersed amongst the gameplay, while #4,000 was purely a clip show.
* ClosetGeek:
** Often seen when a high winning or earning contestant comes on that doesn't look the part of a trivia aficionado, or is in a profession that doesn't seem like an obvious source for a ''Jeopardy!'' champion (one notable example: New York transit cop Frank Spangenberg)
** ''Celebrity Jeopardy!'' is often a source for this, too. If you weren't familiar with their prior ''Jeopardy!'' games, would you have predicted that the standouts of 2011's Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational Tournament would be comedic actors like winner Michael [=McKean=] and ''$68,000'' one game-winner Andy Richter?
* CompoundTitle: Sometimes, the categories for each show may be related to each other (for example, in episode 4456, Genesis, In the Big Inning, God, Created, The Heavens, and The "Earth") even if the actual questions aren't.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard: Averted with IBM computer Watson, who is not connected to the internet (or the outside world in any way) when competing, relying on his data in memory[[note]]Although considering his data memory [[NoExceptYes consisted largely of Wikipedia]]...[[/note]]. It still turned into a CurbStompBattle in short order, however, largely because ComputersAreFast. Ken Jennings himself later [[http://ken-jennings.com/blog/archives/2554 made some suggestions to level the playing field]].
* CrosswordPuzzle: A recurring category is "Crossword Clues [letter]", where the clues are phrased as crossword puzzle clues (e.g. Object that you might find hanging around TV Tropes (9).[[labelnote:Response]]What is a lampshade?[[/labelnote]]).
* CurbStompBattle:
** The opening game of season 26's Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational Tournament episode with Andy Richter and Wolf Blitzer from September 2009. The score as they were going into Final Jeopardy! - Andy, $39,000; Wolf, '''[[EpicFail negative $4,600]]'''. (In celebrity games, any contestant with a negative score is automatically given $1,000 to participate in Final Jeopardy!) Andy would end up with ''$68,000'', among the best one day scores on ''any'' episode of ''Jeopardy'' This is perhaps even more awesome when you consider that the ''comedian'' is beating the living crap out of the ''journalist'', but it could be expected if you remember that he won a lock Celebrity Jeopardy game in 1999 as well.
** The majority of Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter's games were these, which helps explain why they've won millions of dollars through the show and related tournaments. Good examples for each would include Ken's 38th win from July 2004 (where he won a then record ''$75,000''), and Brad's 2001 TOC quarterfinal game (which he dominated from beginning to end, finishing with $18,000, or $36,000 in today's values)
** Thanks to jumping across categories, hunting for Daily Doubles in the higher dollar amounts from the bottom up, and often going all in on Daily Doubles, notable Jeopardy! contestants like Roger Craig, Alex Jacob, and Arthur Chu made a habit of curb stomping contestants during their runs on the show. However, the high risk of this gameplay strategy backfired on Craig and Chu in later tournaments.
** Mark [=McGrath=]'s (of Music/SugarRay) appearances on ''Rock & Roll Jeopardy!'', where it became less of a game and more of "How much will he win by?" (even voiced by his opponents themselves). Say what you will about Sugar Ray, but the man knows his rock and roll inside and out.
** Dave Mustaine of Music/{{Megadeth}}. The first video is [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnEeltcdnns here.]]. Like Mark above, he has an ''incredible'' knowledge of music (fellow contestant Moon Unit Zappa even comments at one point "How do you even ''know'' that?"). Any fan of Megadeth would know Dave is an incredibly intelligent person, but anyone who just saw him as some kind of dumb metal guy would probably be surprised how he runs away with the game.
** The first game of the two-game IBM Challenge (February 14-15, 2011) saw IBM's Watson computer finish with $35,734 (even after a wrong Final Jeopardy answer). Ken Jennings ($4,800) and Brad Rutter ($10,400), Jeopardy's two most successful players, weren't even as close as the score made it seem -- they both doubled up in Final Jeopardy.
** In the [[http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=3599 March 16, 2011]] game, eventual 5 day champion Tom Kunzen absolutely ''owned'' his opponents who struggled to even remain on the plus side: the scores at the end of DJ! were $29,200 for Tom and -$3,600 and -$1,400 for his opponents respectively, leading to only the fifth (at least) single-player Final Jeopardy! in the Trebek era.
** The 2015 Tournament Of Champions turned into this for 6 day champion Alex Jacob at every stage. He doubled up his opponents in all four games, largely prevented 5 day champ Brennan Bushee from ringing in ''at all'' in the ''Jeopardy!'' round in the semifinals, and pulled off 3 all-in Daily Doubles in the finals to help lock out no less than Matt Jackson and Kerry Greene. When all was said and done, he was guaranteed to win by over $30,000 in the finals no matter what either opponent wagered, and Alex Trebek referred to Jacob's performance as "the most dominant performance by anyone in any of our tournaments."
** Harking back to the original NBC version, one of the era's most biggest winners was Burns Cameron, who won a record $11,000 during his five-day romp. In one game, he played against two contestants who were said to be inebriated during their show; they were so drunk they struggled to even press the lock-out buzzer (leading Cameron to at times intentionally delay ringing in to give his opponents a chance to answer). Unsurprisingly, he was the only one around for "Final Jeopardy!"
* DarkHorseVictory:
** December 1984 5 day champion Jerry Frankel was the second lowest earner in the inaugural 1985 TOC field, and only advanced to the semifinals as a wild card after finishing in third place in his opening game. Then, he beat two of season 1's top four earners (Ron Black and the top-ranked Paul Boymel) in a runaway in the semifinals, and won a competitive final round to become the show's first ever TOC winner, and the show's biggest overall cash winner at the time.
** Going into the finals of 1990's ''Super Jeopardy!'' tournament, Bob Verini was the understandable favourite, having won the 1987 Tournament of Champions, and having defeated fellow ''Super Jeopardy!'' finalist Dave Traini in the 1987 finals too. However, both were upset by Bruce Seymour, a ''4'' day champion who didn't make it out of the 1988 TOC quarterfinals, and who hasn't been invited to any reunion tournaments since.
** 1994's Tournament of Champions' top three earners were Steve Chernicoff and John Cuthbertson (future standouts of 2005's Ultimate TOC) and Amy Fine (the winningest woman in regular play of the pre-doubled era), but Fine was eliminated in the quarterfinals, and Cuthbertson and Chernicoff were upset in the semifinals by College Champion Jeff Stewart. The finals that year would see Stewart square off with 4 day champions Rachael Schwartz and David Hillinck, the lowest earners to qualify for that TOC, and who had both lost to Cuthbertson in the quarterfinals. When all was said and done, Schwartz edged out Stewart by $1 to become the first woman and 4 day champ to win a TOC.
** The obvious favourite in the 2004 Tournament of Champions was Tom Walsh, the show's first ever 7 day champion, but he fell in a finals upset to Russ Schumacher, who was the lowest earning 4 day champion in the field, had only gotten seven clues right in his quarterfinal loss, and was in a $10,100 hole going into the second game of the finals. However, he proved his TOC win was no fluke by making the Battle of the Decades semifinals a decade later.
*** In the same tournament, Tom Baker became the first 3 day champion to ever win a Tournament of Champions game when he defeated the aforementioned Russ Schumacher and eventual Ultimate TOC semifinalist Chris Miller in a quarterfinal runaway. Arguably, any 3-time champion that wins in a TOC can be seen in this light, especially given that they didn't run as long or win as much as their opponents in the field, as later seen with Michael Falk, Vik Vaz, and Doug Hicton's TOC final runs.
** The 2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions was littered with upsets and dark horse victories in the early rounds. Of the "Nifty Nine" champions that were byed to the second round following their record setting and accomplished prior runs on the show, ''seven'' of them lost their opening game, with only Brad Rutter and Frank Spangenberg advancing to the quarterfinals (and only one other TOC winner, Dan Melia, joining them there.) On the flip side, the UTOC was a great showcase for John Cuthbertson, Chris Miller, and Pam Mueller, who won their own share of upsets on their route to the semifinals, after ending their previous ''Jeopardy!'' runs as semifinalists in their regular [=TOCs=].
** In the 2006 Tournament of Champions, 6+ day champions David Madden, Tom Kavanaugh, and Kevin Marshall were understandable favorites to take the $250,000 top prize, only for all to fall in the opening rounds at the hands of 4 day champion Bill Macdonald... and all in runaway fashion, no less! However, Bill's Cinderella run met its end in the finals at the hands of two even bigger underdogs: 3 day champions Vik Vaz (who had ended Bill's regular reign the previous year) and eventual winner Michael Falk, who rallied from Vik's $13,400 lead after the first day to become the only 3 day champion to win a TOC.
** Much of the chatter surrounding the 2014 Tournament of Champions finals revolved around who'd win between 20 day champion Julia Collins and 11 day champion Arthur Chu (far and away the top winners of season 30), but both lost in the finals to 8 day champion Ben Ingram after he opened up a $10,000 lead going into day 2. Ben was the biggest winner of season 29, and the fourth highest earning qualifier in the field, but anyone in that TOC would have been a dark horse against the Julia/Arthur pairing.
** As hard to believe as it is, Brad Rutter was once a dark horse. He was only the 9th highest earner in the 2001 TOC field, but he proved himself on the big stage by defeating the field's biggest winner (Doug Lach, who won over $30,000 more than Brad) in a runaway in the quarterfinals. The rest is history.
** Any defeat of a lengthy, seemingly unstoppable ''Jeopardy!'' champion could be considered this, particularly Nancy Zerg's defeat of Ken Jennings in his 75th game in November 2004. Averted when said champion loses to someone who goes on a long reign of their own, like when 9 day champion Jason Keller lost to eventual 6 day champion Dave Leach in December 2011.
* DeadpanSnarker: Who is Alex Trebek?
* DeathOrGloryAttack: A True Daily Double (or close to it) in Double Jeopardy!, which was Roger Craig's signature strategy. Get it right, and you double your score, potentially securing victory or denying an opponent a lock-win. Miss, and you drop to $0 with little to no time to recover.
** 1988 3 day champion Bob Beers wagered $6,000 on the first Daily Double in Double Jeopardy! from his first game, then followed up six clues later with a a whopping ''$10,000'' wager, which remains a ''Jeopardy!'' record when adjusted for inflation. A miss on either would have likely cost him the game, especially as he missed ''Final''.
** During a semifinal in 2001's last International Tournament, Swedish champion Fredrik Gildea wagered all of his $9,500 on the last Daily Double, in what is the biggest ''true'' Daily Double in recorded ''Jeopardy!'' history when adjusted for inflation. However, he couldn't repeat the same magic in the finals, as eventual winner Robin Carroll landed ''five'' of the Daily Doubles in the two day affair, and Fredrik didn't find the other.
** 2011 7 day champion Joon Pahk made expert use of this during his run, becoming the only recorded ''Jeopardy!'' contestant to wager at least $14,000 on Daily Doubles ''twice''. Both of the wagers were in math categories, and Joon is a college physics teacher, hence his eagerness to go big when the opportunity arose.
** In arguably the costliest true Daily Double in ''Jeopardy!'' history, June 2012 contestant Terry Kent (who was in second place by $400) wagered ''all'' of his then-$13,600 in an attempt to take the lead in Double Jeopardy. However, he misunderstood the clue (which asked for a Mohs scale-listed element that ''ended'' in Z; he responded with "zirconia"), dropping him to $0 and knocking him out of Final. He made up for it though as a ''Sports Jeopardy!'' contestant in September 2016, becoming a 2 day champion, winning both games in runaways, and thankfully not wagering everything on his Daily Doubles.
** Though overshadowed by his Final response ("What is someone in Normandy, but I just won $75,000!"), 2013 Teen Tournament champion Leonard Cooper employed this in the deciding second game of the finals, wagering ''$18,000'' of his then-$18,200 on the last Daily Double to take a huge (though, despite his Final response, not insurmountable) lead.
** 2016 3 day champion Philip Tiu relied on this during his reign, especially as he visibly struggled with the buzzer and was often slow to ring in and respond. Bold Daily Double wagers, including a non-inflated ''Jeopardy!'' record bet of ''$19,000'' in his second game, helped net Philip over $96,000 in just three days, but a wrong response on an all-in wager in his fourth game helped end his run.
** A death-or-glory attack may also appear in Final Jeopardy!, particularly if a contestant with a comfortable or runaway lead wagers an excessively large amount, which would net them a huge score if they're right, and cost them the win if they're wrong. 2015 5 day champion and TOC semifinalist Dan Feitel (who often wagered all but $1 if he led going into Final without a lock) is a notable recent example, but other examples include 2012 Teen Tournament winner Elyse Mancuso and 2013 Kids Week standout Skyler Hornbeck, who each wagered almost everything in Final despite having first place locked up, and would have needlessly gave the victory away had they missed.
** Occasionally, a Celebrity Jeopardy! player in first place will bet it all in Final Jeopardy!, which would obviously net them more money for their charities, and put them at $0 if they're wrong, but you could justify the unsafe wager as they'll still get at least $10,000 for their charity. Andy Richter and Jon Stewart both gambled their whole $11,000+ winnings in 1999 (on consecutive days, no less) despite each having locks. The same didn't work out for author Tom Clancy, who only needed a $1,401 wager or an incorrect reply from Catherine Crier to win his Power Players Week game in 1997, and while she was wrong, he wagered everything, handing the game to Tim Russert (who had been in a distant third place.)
* DefeatEqualsFriendship: Many champions and contestants who have played against each other have become friends over the years. Further reinforced by games in reunion tournaments, where Alex and the contestants - most well acquainted from prior events - chat on old times.
* DelayedReaction: The doubling of cash amounts in November 2001 would in theory mean that most cash records on ''Jeopardy!'' would be toppled quickly, but it took 4 months for Jerome Vered's then-one day record of $34,000 to be toppled, and Frank Spangenberg's then-5 day winnings record of $102,597 actually held up until April ''2003'' during Brian Weikle's 5 day reign.
** The removal of 5 game winning limits would seemingly have ensured that 6+ day superchampions would become routine Tournament of Champions winners, but not so. It took until 2009 for a superchamp to win it all (9 day champion Dan Pawson), and it wasn't until 2014 that all three TOC finalists were 6+ game winners. Of 9 TOC finals since 2004, only 13 of 27 finalists won more than 5 games, and only four of them (Pawson, Roger Craig, Ben Ingram, and Alex Jacob) won first place.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment:
** The name of a category on [[http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=3495 November 3, 2010]], where each correct response contained or completed a phrase with the same word twice.
** July 17, 2013: Jimmy [=McGuire=] of the clue crew announced "Vietnamese Water Puppets--The Water Puppets of Vietnam" as one of the category titles.
* DesperationAttack:
** The Daily Doubles and Final Jeopardy! can turn into this if a contestant is trailing first place by a large amount, forcing them into a huge wager to attempt to at least get back in contention. Much like a DeathOrGloryAttack, this can also obliterate any chance at victory if a contestant is wrong.
** Some trailing contestants will also get more trigger happy on the buzzer late in Double Jeopardy! in an attempt to get first dibs on answers, but this leaves the risk of ringing in before figuring out (or knowing the answer), and falling even further behind as a result.
* DoItYourselfThemeTune: On the original version, Merv Griffin composed both the theme tune and the think music. When the revival was made in 1984, the think music ''became'' the theme tune, and is still in use to this day.
* DownToTheLastPlay: Unless there's a runaway leader that can't be caught, Final Jeopardy! is this by design.
* DownerEnding:
** If no contestant on Jeopardy! finishes with a positive total, three new contestants compete on the next show. Overall, this has happened in the Trebek era at least eight times (most recently in January 2016.) It's uncertain how many times this occurred in the Fleming era but on one episode he hosted, all three contestants were ''disqualified'' before Final Jeopardy! There was no Final Jeopardy! clue so Fleming spent the rest of the show chatting with the contestants.
** In the inaugural season of the current version, all three players ended Final Jeopady! with scores of $0 in ''two'' different games after giving an incorrect answer and wagering everything. The first time was on the Trebek version's ''second episode'', with all three giving the same incorrect day the 20th Century began — all three responded with "January 1, 1900"... but the correct response was January 1, 190''1''. It happened again in January 1985 when all three contestants missed a ''Final'' response on the date that college football bowl games took place.
** It happened for the first time in a tournament setting during the 1991 Seniors Tournament. During the second quarterfinal game, all 3 players were incorrect in Final Jeopardy!, with all 3 wagering everything. As a result, a fifth wild card position was added to round out the semifinals, the only time to date that there were only 4 automatic semifinalists in a ''Jeopardy!'' tournament.
*** More famously, during the second semifinal game of the 2013 Teen Tournament, all 3 players had the same incorrect response on all-in wagers in Final, thus no player won. As the tournament finals needed three contestants, the third spot went to the highest scoring runner-up in the semifinals (Leonard Cooper, who ended up winning the tournament), though that rule has since been changed.
** Triple-zero finishes have occurred in at two Celebrity Jeopardy! games when each missed Final Jeopardy! and went all in. The first was a 1996 game between Jon Lovitz, Carl Lewis, and Matthew Fox, while a 1998 "Ladies Night" game between Jane Curtin, Teri Garr, and Naomi Judd saw the same finish. For the former, all three contestants received the $10,000 runner-up prize for their charity, but producers changed the rules afterward so the leader after Double Jeopardy! would win the game if a triple-zero happened again in a celebrity game. As a result, Jane Curtin was the credited winner of the 1998 game, winning the $15,000 top prize for her charity.
** A rare PlayedForLaughs example on June 3, 2002. Four-time champion Jill Bunzendahl Chimka said that if she won five games, she'd give the car she won to her son, Cory. Unfortunately, she finished Double Jeopardy! dead last and didn't know the answer to the Final Jeopardy! clue. She wrote "What is Sorry Cory, No Jag?" to the amusement of Alex and the audience.
** In a tournament wide variant, the 2003 Tournament of Champions saw ''eight'' of the ten losing quarterfinalists finish with no money (six wagered everything in Final Jeopardy! and were incorrect, while two finished Double Jeopardy! in the red.) As four wild cards are needed for the semifinals, the six-way tie at $0 was broken by which two contestants had the highest post-Double Jeopardy! scores in their games, with Eric Floyd (an eventual finalist that year) and Max Levaren advancing as a result. This was especially unlucky for Mark Lee, whose score after Double Jeopardy! was just ''$200'' less than Max's score. As well, Travis Troyer's quarterfinal score of $2,599 was good for the third lowest by a wild card semifinalist in TOC history if adjusted for inflation, behind only Floyd and Levaren.
** If a challenger wins the game with a score less than $1,000, he/she ends up taking home the least money of all three contestants for that day's game, but at least they get to come back for a second episode.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness:
** The first episodes in 1964 had a slightly different board (with the category titles located above ''and below'' the dollar amounts) and different contestant podiums (the score displays were directly in the middle, while the nameplates were on top). By mid-1965, the lower category displays had been removed and the contestant podiums reworked into the form used for the rest of the run. See also ObviousRulePatch, below.
** The first Trebek season, for that matter. Contestants could ring in as soon as the clue was revealed; Alex would often add chatter about each clue; there was applause after nearly every right answer and "ooh"s after wrong ones; and of course, a RulesSpiel before each round. Small wonder that they never once cleared the board in the first season. As well, there were no on screen graphics listing contestant names during the introduction.
** Early on, the Daily Double sound effect on the Trebek version was a "sweeping" sound on a synthesizer, somewhat like a baby version of the THX "deep note". After about a month, the sound effect was changed to the electronic "trill" still used to this day.
** The shots of the clues would rotate between the now-familiar full-screen zoom of the text and an actual shot of the monitor where the text was displayed. Eventually the latter was phased out. Relatedly, Daily Doubles would originally show a still shot of the monitor with the Daily Double logo flashing within, cut to the contestant as he or she wagered, then cut back to the monitor to show the clue. By Season 2, the clue text began to be superimposed on a shot of the contestant after the wager, and by 1986, the Daily Double logo began "flying" out of the monitor as the clues do.
** Season 2 began in September 1985 by placing the defending champions in the ''third'' podium at the far right, and introducing them first in an episode. This experiment only lasted one week before moving back to the first podium at the left.
** The original 1985 Tournament of Champions quarterfinals saw contestants grouped together in games in chronological order by when their original run on the show was (resulting in one game featuring two contestants named Paul.) Starting the next year, ''Jeopardy!'' ignored chronological order when selecting quarterfinal matchups.
** Competition wise, ''Jeopardy!'''s first two seasons are seen by many fans as lacking in "great" champions and the common gameplay strategies and preparation that most notable champions have since utilized. No one from the inaugural 1984-85 season has ''ever'' won a game in a later reunion tournament, and from season 2, the only contestant to do so is 1986 TOC winner Chuck Forrest (who is often considered the modern show's first great player.) In fact, six of the nine lowest earning TOC qualifiers in history came from season 2.
** For the first 11 seasons, ''Jeopardy!'' rigidly scheduled their annual tournaments in the same sweeps period month each year, with the Tournament of Champions in November (later preceded by a week of Celebrity games), the Teen Tournament in February, the College Championship in May, and the Seniors Tournament ending the season in July (and previously airing in May before the College Championship was introduced.) Starting in season 12, tournaments were moved to a fluid scheduling pattern, though with the exception of the December 1995 Seniors Tournament, and the September 2004 and March 2009 [=ToCs=], they are still held at least partially in the aforementioned sweeps periods.
*** As well, the Tournament of Champions ran for its first 9 installments (1985-1993) as an annual November event with the entire previous season being the qualifying period for it. Starting in the 1993-1994 season, the qualifying periods changed to all games between tournaments.
** From January 1998 until April 1999, ''Jeopardy!'' held nine one-off Celebrity Jeopardy! games that weren't scheduled as part of a week of celebrity episodes, though the last four were scheduled on consecutive Mondays. These episodes featured themed contestant groupings and names (i.e. Sitcom Stars Night, Olympians Night, and so on.) One-off celebrity episodes were largely retired afterwards, save for one in March 2009 (as a precursor to that year's Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas) and the quarterfinals of the next season's Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational Tournament (which were scattered throughout the season before the final rounds aired in May.)
** Though ''Celebrity Jeopardy!'' and Power Players Week contestants typically get $1,000 to play with in ''Final Jeopardy!'' if they finish with no money, the amounts varied prior to 2009 for scores below $0. Many celebrities with negative totals basically had the minus removed from their negative post-Double score (effectively multiplying it by -1), but there are recorded games prior to 2009 where celebrities with negative money were spotted even less (i.e. $500, $100), possibly depending on how the game itself went.
** Though only in its second season, ''Sports Jeopardy!'' differed in its first season by not having returning champions. As a result, the chase to get into the season-ending two day championships saw contestants making high and risky wagers to rack up points in order to try and qualify. Now, returning champions are in full effect, with victories gaining precedence over accumulated points.
* EpicFail:
** February 27, 1986: ''Thirteen'' of the clues in Double Jeopardy! stumped all three players. Between that and a lot of wrong answers, two of the three players are in the red, resulting in the only player with money flying solo in Final Jeopardy!
** November 19, 1986: During a Tournament of Champions semifinal match, 4 day champion Lionel Goldbart found the last Daily Double with two other clues left in play. In third place at the time, he wagered everything and provided the correct response...[[NegatedMomentOfAwesome but forgot to phrase it in the form of a question.]] To make matters worse, his opponents snagged the other two clues, knocking him out of the tournament.
** October 30, 1992: The last day of the first ''Celebrity Jeopardy!'' week saw arguably the worst Celebrity game in ''Jeopardy'' history. Only 43 clues were revealed, and ''10'' of them were triple stumpers. Both Robert Guillaume and Ed Begley Jr. finished Double Jeopardy! with ''8'' incorrect responses each, with Begley Jr. only exceeding $500 ''once'', and finishing with -$1,100. Rosie O'Donnell held the lead going into Final Jeopardy! with a whopping ''$2,000'' (largely as she didn't guess as freely as her opponents), though she didn't ring in for most of Double Jeopardy!, and told Alex that she didn't know the question on four occasions where she didn't ring in. At least everyone got ''Final'' right, and 2 of the 3 Daily Doubles were successfully converted.
** November 14, 1996: A ''Celebrity Jeopardy!'' game saw just just ''35'' correct responses, with astronaut Buzz Aldrin entering Final Jeopardy! with just $4,200, Brett Butler with nothing after losing all of her money on two incorrect True Daily Doubles in Double Jeopardy!, and Eartha Kitt ending with ''-$2,500'', never getting above ''$300'' during the entire game. Brett managed to come back to win in Final Jeopardy! with a single get (as contestants with no money typically get $1,000 for Final, Eartha missed, and Buzz wagered all but $1,200 of his winnings on an incorrect response), though all three contestants won the then-minimum prize for celebrity games of $10,000 for their charities.
** June 12, 1998: A two-player Final Jeopardy! with the players both tied at $7,600 showed the pitfalls of the "PrisonersDilemma". Neither of them trusted the other to wager $0 and tie, so they both wagered everything… and both got it wrong.
** [[http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=1626 October 12, 1999]] had 15 out of 28 clues in Double Jeopardy! stump the players, ''three'' of which are in the top boxes.
** May 9th, 2002: Going into Final Jeopardy! in the semifinals of the Million Dollar Masters tournament, Leslie Frates held an $800 lead over Brad Rutter, largely after wagering $9,000 of her then-$9,400 on her correct Daily Double. Everyone got Final right, with Brad wagering all of his $19,600, but despite her near-true Daily Double, Leslie wagered ''nothing'', likely gambling that Brad would miss (Leslie immediately lampshaded her wager by asking Alex "Can I change it?") Standing pat rather than going for the $18,801 lockout wager cost Leslie a shot at the $1,000,000 top prize and a second reunion tournament finals slot, while Brad went on to win his first of three reunion tournaments a few days later.
** [[http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=1361 May 16, 2003]]: The second day of the 2003 Tournament of Champions finals saw all three finalists answer Final Jeopardy! correctly. Brian Weikle (who led going into Final) wagered $19,601 to cover Mark Dawson's score if he doubled up (which Mark did.) The problem? Brian needed to wager $19,''801'' to cover Mark, a $200 math error that cost him first place and over $193,000.
** [[http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=163 February 23, 2005.]] To elaborate:
*** 24 clues stumped all three players: 8 in the Jeopardy! Round and 16 in Double Jeopardy!, including the entire "Quotable Oscar Hosts" category. All three Daily Doubles were bombed as well. That's ''45% of the entire game''.
*** 2002 Teen Tournament winner Bernard Holloway managed to get only five right answers, and four ''wrong'' answers (including two of the Daily Doubles). He finished the Jeopardy! Round with $200, but fell back into the red on the fourth clue of Double Jeopardy! and never got back out.
*** The game became a ForegoneConclusion with one whole category left: the middle contestant also knocked himself out with two straight wrong answers, and nobody gave a right response for the next ''five'' clues.
*** The last clue on the board was a Daily Double, which went to the only contestant who still had money, 1988 5 day champion Jeff Richmond; he wagered $1,000 and got it wrong. Since he was the only one with money, he was also the only one around for Final Jeopardy! Luckily, he gave a right answer there and all but $300 of his $11,800. Keep in mind this was the ''Ultimate Tournament of Champions''. Then again, by virtue of winning, he was assured the minimum for the game and a spot in the next round. No contestant who made it to the second round left with less than $25,000.
** The [[http://j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=1001 October 15, 2001]] show, which turned into such a bloodbath in Double Jeopardy! that all three players emerged with lower scores than they started — from $1,000/$2,800/$1,900 to $800/$2,000/-$100. (Even worse, all three Daily Doubles were answered correctly.)
** On the aforementioned episode from the NBC era, where all three contestants were disqualified from Final Jeopardy! due to their negative scores. One history of game shows claims that a three-way loss this way happened more than once, although -- since most of the NBC run has been erased from memory -- this can never be verified.
** In one episode, they had an "Oops!" category in which all five clues were related to facts that the show had gotten wrong on previous episodes. One such clue referenced a clue that called the St. Louis ''Globe-Democrat'' a defunct newspaper, saying that the paper was re-established by the time the episode aired. However, by the time they aired the episode with the correction, the paper went under again!
** Anytime an entire category goes without a correct response. Besides the Oscar Hosts one mentioned above:
*** [[http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=2476 November 5, 1999]] (a quarterfinal game in the Teen Tournament): "''Series/StarTrekVoyager''".
*** [[http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=103 January 10, 2005]]: "Old Names on the Map". ''Ten'' other stumpers in the round, to boot.
*** [[http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=3442 July 21, 2010]]: "British Art & Artists".
*** [[http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=3758 November 10, 2011]] (a semifinal game in the Tournament of Champions): "Give the Order"
*** [[http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=3835 February 23, 2012]]: "Potpourri"
*** [[http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=3855 March 22, 2012]] (in a round that also had at least seven other clues that stumped all three players[[note]]Three clues went unrevealed even though Alex never gave the "less than a minute" warning, so it's possible that the last three were edited out due to no one ringing in, as there is precedent for this being done.[[/note]]): "Historians"
*** [[http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=4048 January 2, 2013]]: "Broadway Lyrics". This one is even worse since, unlike all the other examples, no one even rang in with a guess!
*** November 3, 2014: "CIA Directors". 15 triple-stumpers altogether in the round.
*** November 21, 2014 (final episode of the Tournament of Champions): "[=McWriters=]".
*** June 1, 2015: "Canadian Cities".
*** April 13, 2016: "Central American Capitals". Again, ''no one even rang in'' for the entire category!
*** However, it should be noted that the "British Art & Artists", "Give the Order", "CIA Directors", "[=McWriters=]", "Canadian Cities", and "Central American Capitals" categories each included a Daily Double, so one of the other two contestants could have given a correct response in any case. Still...
** [[http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=3883 April 26, 2012]]. Start in the Jeopardy! round, where three of the clues in "Great Lakes" were triple-stumpers. Then add ''eleven'' triple-stumpers in Double Jeopardy!
** July 9-10, 2012: A contestant finishes with -$6,400 on the former episode, and another contestant briefly drops to '''-$6,600''' on the latter (but finishes with -$2,600).
** On [[http://j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=4074 February 7, 2013]] in the second of three semifinal matches in the Teen Tournament, not only did all three contestants give ''the same'' incorrect response in Final Jeopardy!, but all three contestants bet their ''entire earnings'' as well, meaning none of the three contestants advanced to the finals. Jeopardy! actually changed the rules regarding finishes in tournaments to prevent this from happening again, as it's unfair to other contestants who wouldn't know there'd be a triple zero finish in the round.
** On [[http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=4847 March 12, 2015]]; two contestants finished in the red and were disqualified from Final Jeopardy!; with Stephanie Hull finishing with a possible record low of '''-$6,800.'''
** On January 18, 2016, two contestants finished Double Jeopardy! with $13,800 while the third finished with $6,000. All three contestants missed Final Jeopardy!, wagered their entire earnings and finished the game with $0, even more surprising when you realize that this game had ''two'' returning champions.
* EveryYearTheyFizzleOut:
** After becoming the biggest cash winner of season 17, 2001 Tournament of Champions semifinalist Babu Srinivasan was invited to all three of Jeopardy!'s most recent reunion tournaments (the Million Dollar Masters Tournament in 2002, the Ultimate Tournament of Champions in 2005, and the Battle of the Decades in 2014), but was eliminated in the opening round each time. If you count the 2001 Tournament of Champions, he's ''0-5'' in tournament play (he was a wild card semifinalist in 2001.) Coincidentally, all four tournaments that he was in were won by all-time money winner Brad Rutter, but they oddly have never been drawn into the same match.
** Similarly, two early 4 day champions (Lionel Goldbart in 1986 and Kate Waits in 1987) were favourite invitees to later tournaments, but they also finished their ''Jeopardy!'' runs with 5 straight losses. Both lost their 5th and final regular play game, both games in their respective TOC (they were each wild card semifinalists), the ''Super Jeopardy!'' quarterfinals, and their opening game in a later reunion tournament each (Lionel in 1993's 10th Anniversary Tournament and Kate in 2002's Million Dollar Masters tournament.) If you count ''Sports Jeopardy!'', Kate has lost ''six'' straight, having lost on the Crackle spinoff in February 2015.
* {{Expy}}: ''Series/TheChallengers'' (1990-91), which was really an updated version of ''The Who, What Or Where Game'' (NBC, 1969-74).
* FateDrivesUsTogether:
** The last quarterfinal of the May 2010 Tournament of Champions saw Vijay Balse defeat Jason Zollinger and Stefan Goodreau to advance to the semifinals, though Jason and Stefan both also advanced as wild cards. As fate would have it, the finalists in that year's TOC were... Vijay Balse, Jason Zollinger, and Stefan Goodreau, who each won their separate semifinal games (Balse won the two-day final rematch.)
** 1987 Tournament of Champions winner Bob Verini seemed fated to rematch many of his tournament opponents. In 1990's ''Super Jeopardy!'' tournament, he faced both of the other 1987 finalists (Eugene Finerman and Dave Traini) in the last two rounds, and while he did defeat Finerman (and 1989 Teen Tournament winner Eric Newhouse) in their rematch, he and Traini both were upset by Bruce Seymour in the finals. Then, in 2002, Verini rematched Eric Newhouse in the finals of the Million Dollar Masters tournament, though both lost to Brad Rutter.
** In tournament play on the syndicated version, ''Jeopardy!'' producers traditionally avert booking rematches from prior rounds or tournaments unless it's the finals when you can't get around it, and fate has seen a number of rematches from quarterfinal opponents there. TOC rematches from regular play games, however, have occurred on two rare occasions. After eventual 3 day champion Vik Vaz defeated 4 day champion Bill Macdonald in November 2005, they both managed to advance to the finals of the May 2006 Tournament of Champions, where Vaz outplayed Macdonald again, only for both to lose to Michael Falk. 7 years later, eventual 5 day champion Paul Nelson dethroned 7 day champion Keith Whitener in November 2012, only for them to surprisingly be booked against each other in the semifinals of the February 2013 TOC. Despite the presence of 9 day champion Jason Keller in the same match, Whitener avenged his original loss to advance to the finals.
** Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter have competed against each other in a record eight episodes of ''Jeopardy!'', with Brad defeating Ken in the finals of both the Ultimate Tournament of Champions and the Battle of the Decades, while both lost to the Watson supercomputer in The IBM Challenge. However, as both are elite level ''Jeopardy! contestants, their own knowledge bases and buzzer skills are arguably more to blame than fate.
* FifteenMinutesOfFame: Often experienced by contestants who attract viral attention for winning a lot of games, a funny answer, their speech pattern, or their appearance. There have been inversions from notable contestants who used their ''Jeopardy!'' fame to further their public career, arguably none moreso than Ken Jennings, who parlayed his ''Jeopardy!'' success into a career as a best-selling author.
* ForegoneConclusion:
** If the player in the lead has more than twice as much as the second-place player going into Final Jeopardy!, no one can catch them. This is known as a "lock" game, assuring the first-place contestant of winning given that he does not do something amazingly stupid as [[PersonAsVerb pull a]] [[Series/{{Cheers}} Cliff Clavin]].
** And then there's the 2011 Tournament of Champions, for which "lock" was an understatement. Champion Roger Craig finished the first day of the final with a $31,200 lead over 2nd place opponent Tom Nissley, who finished Double Jeopardy! with $14,600 on the second day; Roger was therefore guaranteed to win the tournament by $2,000 or more no matter what everybody wagered.
** A 2004 Power Players Week game featuring Al Franken had a category entitled "[[Series/SaturdayNightLive SNL]] Presidential Players". Needless to say, Al swept the category. Then he apologized to his opponents (Keith Olbermann and Gretchen Carlson), saying he wrote ''four of the five sketches featured in the category.''
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: The set pieces for road shows in the 2000s often included oversized replicas of books, most of which had funny titles that were only seen for a couple seconds as the camera panned the set going in and out of commercial breaks.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar:
** One early example from November 1985 had Johnny Gilbert reading the prize plugs (the last of which was a carpet from Joy Carpets, Inc.) shortly before Final Jeopardy; followed by Alex making a joke about how the 3rd place finisher (a Roman Catholic priest who finished in the red and was eliminated from Final Jeopardy) might be "having fun with that carpet".
** For a show that's rated TV-G, they've gotten lots of "damn"s and "hell"s past the censors. On November 17, 2006, during the interviews of a CelebrityEdition, Alex mentioned that Joely Fisher "played Felicity Huffman's bitchy boss" on ''Series/DesperateHousewives'' without getting censored.
** In the season 25 finale from July 2009, contestant John Munson wrote his first name on the podium in the shape of a penis, which somehow escaped producers until the episode aired. The gag attracted viral attention, but Munson was stuck in third place for the whole game, losing to eventual 2010 Tournament of Champions finalist Stefan Goodreau in his 5th and final victory.
* GrandFinale: The last NBC episode of the original Fleming era featured some clips of notable moments — the end of the 1967 College Tourney (with Fleming as the most excited guy in the room), Mel Brooks on the 2,000th episode (1972) and Gene Shalit amusingly tackling a Daily Double. At the end, Fleming thanked the viewers and left the now-darkened set to Charlie Chaplin's "Smile".
* GratuitousForeignLanguage: Ken Jennings would occasionally give his responses in foreign languages (e.g. "¿Qué es nada?"). Sometimes, entire categories focus on foreign languages, and the answer usually must be a translation, or the word itself. Trebek is rather good at accents. He also likes to throw foreign phrases at contestants who mention that they are fluent in another language.
* HalloweenEpisode: Rarely occurs, especially in recent seasons, though it's not uncommon to see a Halloween-themed category or two each year, like "Day of the Dead" in 2015, or the entire Jeopardy! round in 2007. One notable exception: Halloween 1997 (eventual TOC finalist Bob Harris' debut game), where Alex Trebek dressed as the Statue of Liberty.
* HammerspaceHair: Leonard Cooper, champion of the 2013 Teen Tournament, revealed in an anecdote that a fellow student hid a highlighter in his afro, and it remained undiscovered for several days.
* HandicappedBadass:
** Eddie Timanus, the first blind contestant on the show and quite the high winner, becoming a retired 5 day champion and a 2000 Tournament of Champions semifinalist. Although he proved that it's not that difficult for ''Jeopardy!'' to accommodate blind contestants, only one or two others have ever appeared after him.
** The changes that were made to accommodate Timanus were: no visual clues or Video Daily Doubles; a card with the categories printed in Braille (handed to him at the start of each round), a tone that would denote when the contestants could buzz in (usually, the contestants would see a light around the board when Alex was finished speaking and they could buzz in without a small time penalty) and a Braille keyboard to type in his wagers and responses in Final Jeopardy!
** Also, though not related to Timanus's blindness, it is notable that starting with his shows, contestants began the show already standing at their podiums when Johnny Gilbert introduced them, instead of the old practice of them walking up to the podiums as they were being introduced. The practice became permanent starting in September 2000.
* HollywoodToneDeaf: Averted. Instead of singing, Alex (or occasionally [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MsRw2x-NCg Johnny Gilbert]]) reads the lyrics in a hilariously deadpan manner. One category even had pre-recorded clues where Trebek performed five songs with the help of AutoTune.
* HomeFieldAdvantage:
** Robin Carroll definitely used this to her advantage in her victory in the 2000 Tournament of Champions, as that year's event was held in Atlanta, Georgia (she's from nearby Marietta.) On a wider scale, she also had the home field advantage for her victory in the next year's International Tournament (held in Las Vegas) as the only representative of the American ''Jeopardy!'' in the field.
** A pair of College Champions have won that event near their alma maters during the years when it took road trips away from the main studio. 1999 College Champion Carolyn Cracraft (a then-junior at The University of Chicago) won that year's tournament in nearby Rosemont, Illinois, while 2007 College Champion Cliff Galiher (a then-sophomore at UCLA) won his tournament while on the campus of the nearby University of Southern California.
** In a sense, any Los Angeles-area contestants will have home field advantage as they will have less travel and work commitments to worry about, but then again, most ''Jeopardy!'' contestants are from California for a reason, and none are guaranteed to win when they do make the show.
** Arguably, any returning champion will have home field advantage simply from their recent experience on the show and familiarity with the buzzer compared to the new challengers.
* HurricaneOfPuns: Variations on "[[GettingCrapPastTheRadar The 'L' You Say]]" to indicate that correct responses will begin with L, are just one example of these.
* INeedAFreakingDrink:
** If a contestant mentions alcohol in any way during their interviews, Alex seems to take great notice.
** Subverted in a notorious clip that shows Trebek swearing like a sailor and supposedly drinking while trying to shoot a "Phone Jeopardy!" promo. Although the {{Cluster F Bomb}}s are real, Trebek was actually alternating between Diet Coke and a glass of water.
* InSeriesNickname: Occasionally, ''Jeopardy!'' contestants will play under a nickname rather than their first name, even if they're billed under their first name in the introductions. Notable examples include 1995 Tournament of Champions winner Ryan Holznagel (who played under his long-time nickname Fritz in 2014's Battle of the Decades), 2004 4 day champion Scott Renzoni (who played as "Renzo" for his appearances), and 2008 Teen Tournament finalist Rachel Cooke, who played as "Steve" for the whole tournament, luckily so when she faced Rachel Horn in the finals.
** Similarly, some ''Jeopardy!'' champions have made return appearances under a different variation of the first name they originally played under. Some examples include Dan Green (Danny in the 1986 TOC), Sandra Gore (Sandy in ''Super Jeopardy!''), Mike Day (Michael in the 1985 & Ultimate [=TOCs=]), Michael Dupee (Mike in the 1996 TOC and Battle of the Decades), Michael Thayer (Mike in the Ultimate TOC), Dave Traini (David in the Ultimate TOC), and Andy Westney (Andrew in the Ultimate TOC & Battle of the Decades.)
* InflationNegation: The minimum allowed wager on a Daily Double is still $5, which was half the value of the lowest valued clue on the board in the Fleming years. Nowadays, you only see a wager that small if a contestant isn't certain that they'll get it right, and don't want to risk any money on it. One notable example was when Arthur Chu found a Daily Double in a sports category during his second game in January 2014.
* {{Irony}}:
** In the 2006 Teen Tournament semifinals, high school sophomore Papa Chakravarthy (who is of Indian descent) lost $1,000 on the first Daily Double in a clue about an Asian 2 word capital constructed in the 1910s and 1920s. He guessed Phnom Penh, Cambodia, but the correct question was "What is ''New Dehli''?" Despite the ironic miss, he only lost $1,000, and still won both the game & the tournament.
** On April 27, 2012, a contestant missed the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6w7-UA46gQ0 last clue of the game]], a Daily Double which presented lyrics to "I Lost on Jeopardy" by Music/WeirdAlYankovic ("My hope of winning sank, 'cause I got the Daily Double now, and then my mind went blank"). She didn't recognize the song and ended up losing in Final Jeopardy!
* ItIsPronouncedTroPAY: If a contestant dares to mispronounce something, expect Trebek to [[InsufferableGenius casually correct]] them while awarding them the money.
* ItRunsInTheFamily: With ''Jeopardy!'' being such a LongRunner, there have been a few contestants to be parents, siblings, and/or offspring to other contestants. For example, 1986 TOC finalist Marvin Shinkman's son Ron was a one day champion in 2001, while 2010 TOC finalist Stefan Goodreau competed on ''Jeopardy!'' just one season after his father John, who won $30,600 in his only win.
* JeopardyIntelligenceTest: What is a TropeNamer?[[note]](Correct. Pick again.)[[/note]]
** IBM's Watson computer, an AI experiment, was a contestant February 14-16, 2011. If Watson managed to win, IBM would continue developing its artificial intelligence algorithms and sell them as a knowledge management platform. Watson won spectacularly, and thanks to this successful test it has branched out into an entire new product line from IBM.
* JeopardyThinkingMusic: {{Trope Namer}}s for $600, Alex.
* JustAKid: Played literally with the Kids/Back To School weeks from seasons 16-29 and 31, where 11-12 year old kids play standalone ''Jeopardy!'' games against each other. The clue difficulties are obviously easier than in regular games, but the performance of some can make fans wonder how they'd have done in regular games had they waited until they were older.
** When Teen Tournament winners were invited to the Tournament of Champions, this was often averted when said teenagers held their own against adults in their matches. Many Teen Tournament champs made TOC semifinals, with Eric Newhouse, Matt Zielenski, Sahir Islam, and Chacko George winning TOC quarterfinal games to get there (Chacko even defeated eventual finalist Steve Fried in their opening game), and The Final Wager's Keith Williams noted that Teen Tournament winners performed better on average than College Champions in the TOC. However, no Teen champions ever made the finals in their own right, a possible contributing factor to why they're no longer in the TOC field.
* LaserGuidedKarma:
** 1986 contestant Barbara Lowe was said by many eyewitnesses to be a total {{Jerkass}}--she quibbled with Trebek on-camera when one of her answers was ruled wrong, and, according to ex-writer Harry Eisenberg, drew irate letters from fans for her behavior. Nonetheless, she retired undefeated. However, she had previously appeared on several game shows, most by using aliases, and had lied to ''Jeopardy!'' about how many she'd been on (at the time, you could only be on two in a five-year span). She was barred from appearing in the Tournament of Champions, and her winnings were withheld until she threatened them with a lawsuit.
** On [[http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=3171 October 12, 2009]], one of the contestants was Jeff Kirby, who originally appeared on the show in December 1999. As stated at GameShowWinningsCap, Trebek-era contestants are not allowed to appear again, but Jeff somehow got through the audition process. He didn't get caught until someone on the show's message board pointed out that he was wearing ''the same tie'' he had worn in his 1999 appearance. (Either he has a spectacularly limited wardrobe, or he was thumbing his nose at the powers that be.) What makes him fit into this trope? He finished in third place on both shows (and of course, was denied the $1,000 third-place winnings from his 2009 episode).
* LighterAndSofter:
** The clues were initially far more straightforward, as compared to the show's current affinity for puns, {{Shout Out}}s, and GettingCrapPastTheRadar. Whether or not this has dumbed down the show is up to the viewer.
** Alex Trebek himself. During the early seasons, Trebek was more akin to a very strict teacher: he would snap at the contestants if they forgot a rule (most commonly, phrasing with "What is ...?") or giving an answer that was inappropriate to the category (such as in a category about numbers, anything other than a numerical answer), and treated the show very seriously. Once the writers began loosening up with more esoteric and humorous categories, Trebek's hosting style became less formal with it. Particularly in the 2000s, it's now become very common for him to laugh, smile and joke around with the contestants.
* LongRunner:
** Trebek's version began its 30th season in September 2013, placing it third behind only ''Wheel of Fortune'' (nighttime version started in 1983; daytime in 1975) and ''Series/ThePriceIsRight'' (CBS version started in 1972; the show itself started in 1956).
** Even the classic 1964-75 Art Fleming version counts in its own right — it ran for nearly 11 years, and was practically a tradition for businessmen and college students on their lunch break (which is how the show got mega-popular in the first place).
* LoopholeAbuse:
** Any time a contestant bends the "form of a question" rules by saying something like "Could that be ____?" or "Is that an ____?". The judges aren't terribly picky on what constitutes a question.
*** One contestant actually got credit for answering "Time Magazine. ''[{{beat}}]'' What's that?", and another got credit for just saying "Who?" when the correct response was "Who are Music/TheWho?"
** If the response itself is a question, nothing more needs to be done.
** Ken Jennings had fun with this in his 46th game from September 2004, questioning an answer with "What be ebonics?", which was accepted.
** Picking clues out of order (known as the "Forrest Bounce") can be seen as this by many, although in many cases it may be strategically advantageous. It also seemed to become more commonplace after Arthur Chu used it to his advantage.
** One Final Jeopardy! had the correct response of "What is oxygen?" A contestant only got as far as writing "What is O?" before time ran out, but the judges accepted it because "O" is the periodic symbol for oxygen.
** Countless contestants have given an incorrect response, and quickly corrected themselves before Alex or the judges can rule them correct. As long as the correction is made before the ruling is given, then the response is valid.
** When tie games were allowed in regular play, a handful of contestants in the lead after ''Double Jeopardy!'' were known to play to tie games on purpose. Some would do so out of kindness (such as to allow a challenger to come back after the reigning champion's 5th and final win), but others like Arthur Chu used it as strategy, to allow a trailing contestant (that was perceived to be weaker) to tie them, come back the next day, and be outperformed again.
* LoopingLines: If Alex stumbles when reading a clue, he usually re-records it in post. This is easy to do, since his reading is usually done over a shot of the clue's text.
** Taken to its logical extreme during the final week of the 2014-15 season (including 5 day champion Scott Lord's loss), where ''all'' of the clues were re-recorded in post, due to Alex having a cold that left his voice really hoarse during that taping day. He addressed it on air for the first game, and disclaimers aired to notify viewers afterward.
* ManipulativeEditing: If a round ends with multiple clues on which no one rings in, then they are typically edited out. So to home viewers, it merely appears that they ran out of time instead.
* MoonLogicPuzzle: Commonly used, usually by putting a key word in quotes to hint at the right response, or wording the clue so that it mentions something else of an identical name. Referred to as the "[[http://www.j-archive.com/help.php#teaseoutmetric Tease-Out Metric]]" by the fandom, and lampshaded by the show with "Stupid Answers".
* MusicalGag: The fanfare at the end of the 2008-present theme is the same melody as the Daily Double jingle.
* MustMakeAmends:
** If a contestant is found to have lost a game via an unfair ruling on a question that impacted the outcome, or via a flaw in game mechanics, they're often brought back on later episodes as a concession. Contestants like India Cooper, Paul Croshier, Bob Mesko, Tom Nichols, and Claudia Perry have benefited from such re-invites to later secure Tournament of Champions slots.
*** Averted if a contestant is brought back after an aforementioned error, only to lose worse than they did originally. For example, October 2002 4 day champion Phillip Steele was brought back for a second shot at his 5th win (and a 2003 TOC berth) the following April after a technical error in his original 5th game, only for his return episode to be the day that Brian Weikle won a then-record ''$52,000'' in an absolute runaway.
** In a unique example from tournaments, high school senior Milo Dochow was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the February 1999 Teen Tournament, but after a questionable judges ruling was found to have possibly cost him a semifinal spot, he was brought back for the February 2000 College Championship (though he didn't make it any further there.)
* ObligatoryJoke: The May 1, 2007 Final Jeopardy! answer of, "This character was mentioned in the first line of ''Literature/AtlasShrugged''" led to one contestant correctly asking, "[[CatchPhrase Who is John Galt?]]"
* ObviousBeta: Compared to the circulating 1964-75 Fleming episodes, the clips shown from the March 5, 1964 "test" episode look like one. The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4o3E_SHmPo September 18, 1983 pilot]] is basically Alex Trebek in the Fleming era with a "personal computer"-themed set and [[Series/LetsMakeADeal Jay Stewart]] announcing.
* ObviousRulePatch:
** Very early in the original Fleming run, only the ''proper'' phrasing was ruled as correct — contestants phrasing a question incorrectly (e.g., "What is Abraham Lincoln?") were asked by Fleming to use the "proper" phrasing. After Merv Griffin discovered that this was slowing down gameplay, the rule was slightly altered to give credit for a correct response so long as it was phrased in the form of a question. As mentioned above, this rule often gets exploited to its limits.
** Early on, the Final Jeopardy! board was located to the ''left'' of the contestants; such a viewpoint not only hurt some necks, but also gave the contestants the ability to see their opponent jotting down their response during the 30-second writing time.
** For the first season of the Trebek era, contestants could ring in as soon as the clue was revealed, which was also true of the Fleming era. This often led to more than one podium lighting up at the same time, or contestants buzzing in so quickly that their time limit expired before Alex finished reading the clue. In addition, Alex himself said that he found the original buzzer system annoying and distracting to home viewers. From season 2 onward, the buzzers activate after the clue is finished, and premature ring-ins are locked out for 1/8 of a second.
** After a contestant lost because he forgot to phrase his Final Jeopardy! response as a question, they changed the rules so that the contestants write the "What is" part on their screens during the commercial break along with their wager, as opposed to writing it concurrently with the response.
** ''Celebrity Jeopardy!'' games originally saw each contestant guaranteed $10,000 for their charity, unless they won more during the game, with the week's biggest winner having their cash total doubled. As a result, if a low-scoring game resulted in no one surpassing $10,000 after Final Jeopardy!, everyone left with the same amount of money no matter who won. After ''three'' of the five Celebrity games from November 1996 resulted in sub-$10,000 scores for winning contestants (including a triple zero finish when all three contestants went all-in on Final), the first place minimum was increased to $15,000 for future installments, later jumping to $50,000 after clue values were doubled in 2002, and the doubled cash bonus was also eliminated after 1996. As well, after the triple-zero game, the rules were changed so that the leader after Double Jeopardy! would be named the winner if everyone went all-in and lost on Final, as seen with the 1998 "Ladies Night" celebrity game. This rule was changed at some point between May 2009 and April 2003, initially giving celebrities in the red a flat $500 for ''Final''
** Money equal to their score was awarded to all contestants in the Art Fleming era, but that changed to a "winner-take-all" format for the Trebek version, which promotes more risk taking for a more exciting show, and prevents contestants from ending participation if they've reached some needed goal amount.
** After the above-mentioned EpicFail in the 2013 Teen Tournament semifinals where all three contestants finished with no money, the the tiebreaker rules in tournament play were changed so that every game would have a declared winner, as the previous method was unfair to other semifinalists who wouldn't know about an extra wild card spot. If a triple zero finish happens again in a tournament, the leader after Double Jeopardy! will be named the winner, similarly to the mid-1990s rule change for celebrity games.
** After a barrage of ties at the start of Season 31, the long-standing rule that ties for first place during regular play result in the tied players becoming co-champions was eliminated in November 2014. As is the case during tournaments, ties for first during regular play are now broken by a tiebreaker clue, though this scenario has yet to occur.
** Averted with the 2004 addition of extra rehearsal time before games taped in season 21, which followed Ken Jennings' then-48 game winning streak to end season 20 (his first 38 games, plus the first two weeks of season 21, taped during season 20 as a precaution against a potential strike-related work stoppage.) With Ken's streak in full force, producers realized that new challengers might not have as much rehearsal time to effectively compete, hence the added rehearsal time. As a result, Ken ''only'' won 26 more games once season 21 tapings resumed that summer.
* OffTheRails:
** A contestant who obviously doesn't know the right Final Jeopardy! sometimes draws a picture, makes {{Shout Out}}s, or openly writes "I don't know." On other occasions, a contestant knows the answer, but just because the game has become a ForegoneConclusion in their favor (or, in some cases, it's to their advantage to bet $0 [[ViolationOfCommonSense even though they're not in the lead]]), just puts down something silly like "Hot Pastrami Sandwiches" or "Woo Hoo Yee Haw Yeah Baby".
** At least twice during Ken's run, a contestant wrote some variation on "What is Whatever Ken Wrote Down?", which also occurred during ''Sports Jeopardy!'' champion Vinny Varadarajan's ninth win. A couple others have written variants of "What is I have no idea?"
*** Double subverted on Ken's 64th game. The middle contestant wrote "See next podium" with an arrow, only to point to the one on the right from the audience's point of view. It turned out that the contestant on the right gave a correct response while Ken did not, although Ken won anyway in a runaway.
** At least once, a contestant has proposed to his girlfriend in the audience via Final Jeopardy!
** And of course, if there's a list of things in the answer, giving a response of "[[Series/{{Cheers}} What are X things that have never been in my kitchen?]]"
** On June 15th, 2007, 2 day champion Jared Cohen (who finished ''Double Jeopardy!'' with just $1) jokingly responded in ''Final'' with "What Is Kebert Xela", referencing the ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' cutaway gag where Alex Trebek reciting his name backwards sent him back to his home dimension (though Alex amusingly forgot the reference, despite doing his own voice.)
** 2015 ''Sports Jeopardy!'' 15-day champion Vinny Varadarajan made a habit of this on his ''Final'' responses during may of his runaway wins, especially as he was playing for points and had already sewn up the $5,000 winners prize in these games. Among the highlights:
*** "What is Kcirtap Nad?" (trying to send host Dan Patrick to another dimension, though he too didn't get the reference), "Who are two people who have never been in my kitchen?" (referencing Cliff Clavin's ''Final'' response on ''Cheers''), "Who is the freeway I got stuck on today I really hate!" (he used ''Final'' as a platform to vent over being stuck on California's Interstate 405 that day, fittingly wagering $405), "What is IDK my BFF Jill?" (referencing a popular 2007 Cingular Wireless commercial), and "What is I award you this # of points, & may Dan have mercy on my soul" (referencing a line from the principal during the game show climax of ''BillyMadison''.)
** In the final episode of the IBM challenge, Ken Jennings wrote "I for one welcome our new computer overlords" with his answer and bet. This got a ShoutOut on [[http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=3716 September 21, 2011]].
** In the 2015 Tournament of Champions semifinals, Alex Jacob responded to ''Final'' with "[[ProductPlacement What is Aleve]]", in reference their long-running sponsorship of the show, with "What is Aleve" often used in the plugs. As he was leading in a runaway, he wagered nothing. In that same tournament, he wagered $143 in his quarterfinal win, a common shorthand number for "I love you" popularized by Mr. Rogers. His Final Jeopardy! responses were tamer, complimenting his challengers and the show itself rather than answering (again, wagering nothing on both due to having massive leads.)
** Leonard Cooper on the Final Jeopardy! at the end of the Teen Tournament in 2013: "Who is some guy in Normandy? But I just won $75,000!"
** 2004 College Champion Kermin Fleming memorably wagered $1,337 (in leetspeak) during his quarterfinal victory, which he won in a runaway.
** 2016 9 day champion Buzzy Cohen, obviously inspired by the ''Celebrity Jeopardy!'' sketches on ''Saturday Night Live'', turned into Sean Connery for his ''Final Jeopardy!'' responses in his three runwaway victories, answering with "See you tomorrow, Trebek!", "You aren't rid of me yet, Trebek!", and "Once more, Trebek... once more!" (the latter was particularly accurate, as he did lose his next game.)
* OlderThanHeLooks: Alex is in his 70s, but hardly looks it. Similarly, Johnny Gilbert (for the few times he's been seen on-camera) looks pretty good for a 90-year old. See them both [[http://gameshows.about.com/od/gameshowsaz/ss/2011-Readers-Choice-Awards-Best-Game-Show-Announcer-Finalists_4.htm here]].
* OldMaster: Any winner of Jeopardy!'s 10 Seniors Tournaments from 1987-1995 for contestants 50 and older, including two Tournament of Champions finalists (Lou Pryor and Marilyn Kneeland.) Also applies to any older contestants in regular play that have long championship reigns on the show, and any past champions who do well in later Jeopardy! reunion tournaments, some over 20 years after their original runs.
* OneSteveLimit:
** Definitely utilized in regular play games to avoid confusion between contestants (hence why no one named Ken ever faced Ken Jennings.) For example, after 13 day champion Matt Jackson's loss in October 2015, he was followed a few games later (on the same taping day) by a contestant named Matt Akridge, whose game would presumably have been postponed had Matt Jackson continued his reign that week.
** In tournament play, mostly instituted after the inaugural 1985 Tournament of Champions, which grouped contestants together chronologically via when their original reign on the show was. As a result, 5 day champions Paul Boymel and Paul Croshier were seeded together in the ''quarterfinals'', so Paul Croshier went by "SSGT Paul" for that game, referencing his post as a United States Marine Staff Sergeant. Paul Boymel won and advanced, and ''Jeopardy!'' has since seeded quarterfinal matchups without considering the contestants' chronological order. Now, producers avoid having same or similarly-named contestants in the same match where possible, hence why such conflicts only occur in tournament finals.
** In the 1996 Tournament of Champions, there were two contestants ''each'' named Michael (Dupee and Daunt), Bill (Sloan & Dickenson), and David (Sampugnaro and Cuneo), with Michael Dupee going as "Mike" for the tournament to avoid confusion. Both of the Davids went out in the quarterfinals, and ditto for the Bills in the semifinals, but both Michaels made the finals, where Dupee won the tournament. He played as Michael again for 2005's Ultimate Tournament of Champions, and then flipped back to Mike in 2014's Battle of the Decades.
*** In an earlier example, the 1988 Tournament of Champions had two contestants ''each'' named Bruce (Naegeli and Seymour) and Michael (Rankins and Block), as well as Steven Popper and Stephen Lebowitz, with their first names pronounced the same. In each case, one of the same-named pairs was eliminated in the quarterfinals, and the other made the semifinals (or in Bruce Naegeli's case, the finals.)
** Two Teen Tournament finals have seen same-named contestants. The 1988 Teen Tournament finals featured finalists David Javerbaum and David Cook, with Javerbaum going by "DJ" for the finals (both lost to Michael Block). 20 years later, two of the competitors in the 2008 Teen Tournament, who both made the finals, were Rachel Horn (the eventual winner) and Rachel Cooke. In this case, Rachel Cooke was introduced as Rachel "[[GenderBlenderName Steve]]" Cooke, and played as Steve, which was a nickname she was referred to at school.
** This trope was especially needed in the 2003 Tournament of Champions, which had ''three'' contestants named Mark (Brown, Dawson, and Lee), and as they weren't seeded together, only three of that year's 10 TOC games didn't feature a contestant named Mark. Luckily, the scenario of a final round with three Marks didn't occur, as Mark Lee didn't make the semifinals, and Mark Brown didn't make the finals, while Mark Dawson eventually claimed first place in the tournament.
*** On a far bigger scale, 2005's Ultimate Tournament of Champions featured ''nine'' players that played as Michael during prior runs on the show, with only 1990 College Champion Michael Thayer opting to play as Mike this time around. Of the nine, both Michael Daunt and Michael Rooney advanced to the quarterfinals. Also, had Michael Block accepted his invite, there would have been ''ten'' Michaels in the field.
** Averted when there are contestants named Alex, as Alex Trebek has posed answers to a number of contestants with the same first name, most notably 2015 Tournament of Champions winner and 6 day champion Alex Jacob. Johnny Gilbert has announced contestants that went by the name Johnny (as opposed to John or Jonathan) on the show as well.
** In the 1995 Tournament of Champions, two of the finalists were David Siegel and Isaac Segal, both last names pronounced the same way. Interestingly, David Siegel was Isaac Segal's immediate predecessor as champion, which Alex lampshaded in the latter's first 2 games.
** In 2013, contestants named Tim Anderson and Stuart Anderson each became 3 day champions with winnings in the $50,000 range. Ironically, both lost their fourth game after missing Final Jeopardy! and wagering big in the process. The next time a 3 day champion with the last name Anderson competed on Jeopardy! (Sean Anderson in October 2015), he too lost after missing Final and wagering most of his money.
* OpeningNarration:
-->'''Johnny Gilbert''': "This... is... ''Jeopardy!'' Introducing today's contestants: ''[lists off the two challengers and their occupations and city]'', AND our returning champion, ''[gives occupation, city, and name]'', whose [X] day ''cash'' winnings total [amount] dollars. And now, here is the host of ''Jeopardy!'', Alex Trebek!"
** In the 2000s, the original "now entering the studio are today's contestants" is replaced with one of five slightly different intros, depending on the day. This coincided with the contestants no longer actually entering the studio, not coincidentally around the time Eddie Timanus, a blind man, was on the show.
* OutOfOrder: A variant. Due to 2009's Tournament of Champions being taped during that January's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (and having firm taping dates outside of regular taping schedules), as well as that year's February sweeps period being postponed to March to accommodate the transition from analog to digital TV signals in the United States, the first few games of the 2010 TOC qualifying period actually aired ''before'' the 2009 TOC aired that March. However, no contestants during this period won 3 games.
** Three ''Jeopardy!'' champions competed in reunion tournaments before they competed in their Tournament of Champions. Season 6's top winners Frank Spangenberg and Bob Blake were both invited to the ''Super Jeopardy!'' tournament in the summer of 1990, before their TOC aired that November (Blake was a semifinalist in the former and winner of the latter, Spangenberg lost in the prior round of each.) As well, 2004 College Champion Kermin Fleming was invited to 2005's Ultimate Tournament of Champions, a year before his TOC actually took place in May 2006, though he lost his only game in both events.
** Due to the Battle of the Decades tournament in season 30, the 2014 Tournament of Champions was not held that season (despite there already being 6 confirmed contestants for that event from the prior season.) It instead took place in November 2014, early in season 31. As a result of the delay, the qualifying period for that TOC concluded at the end of season 30 in July 2014, meaning that the first two months of season 31 were the beginning of the qualifying period for the season ''32'' TOC, not unlike how [=TOCs=] were scheduled in the first 9 seasons. During this stretch, the only qualifier for the November 2015 TOC was 4 day champion Catherine Hardee (who wouldn't have made the 2014 field had the qualifying period not ended early.)
* PaintingTheMedium: A clue from March 9, 2005, about fonts read "Bauhaus or Arial, for example", with the words "Bauhaus" and "Arial" written in those respective fonts.
* PantsFree: Alex Trebek, at the beginning of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zWagEnd9Xs this Tournament of Champions show]].
* {{Pilot}}: There have been several over time.
** 1963-64: The original run-through used a board with ''ten'' categories containing ''ten'' clues each, which filled nearly all of the stage and jutted into the audience area. Seeing how problematic such a board was (and could be), Merv Griffin cut it down to the far more manageable six-by-five for each round.
** March 6, 1977: Used a revolving gameboard and a timed Super Jeopardy!, but otherwise faithful to the eventual series. This pilot was originally prepared for CBS.
** September 18, 1983: Alex Trebek with the 1978-79 set layout and music, now themed like a personal computer. Final Jeopardy! was reinstated, and Jay Stewart was the announcer.
** Early 1984: Similar to the eventual series, except 1) the dollar amounts were halved ($50-$250/$100-$500), 2) the contestant podiums had nameplates along with each contestant's personal signature, 3) the ''Jeopardy!'' logo on the board was very basic, 4) the theme music was a slightly different arrangement of what it would eventually become, and 5) Alex's podium looked remarkably like the "clicker podiums" (with the ''Jeopardy!'' logo on top) seen in various HomeGame adaptations.
* PersonAsVerb: In the ''Cheers'' episode "What Is... Cliff Clavin?", postman Cliff Clavin appears on the show and racks up an insurmountable lead, but loses after he gets Final Jeopardy! wrong and wagers everything. Making such a wager is often called "pulling a Clavin".
* PlayerNudge:
** If a contestant hits a Daily Double, Alex will sometimes remind them of their score in comparison to their opponents — for instance, "You have exactly half of X's total", which pretty much translates to "you really should make it a true Daily Double". He sometimes gives similar score-related nudges going into Final Jeopardy!
** Sometimes subverted for laughs if a player with a significant lead hits a Daily Double, and Alex jokingly suggests that they make it a true Daily Double.
* PoliticianGuestStar: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director (and former Ohio Attorney General) Richard Cordray returned to ''Jeopardy!'' 27 years after his original 5 day championship reign and 1987 TOC semifinal run to compete in the Battle of the Decades tournament in 2014. However, he couldn't accept the opening round's $5,000 runner-up prize after losing his game, due to his appointment to the CFPB director post by President Obama.
** A handful of politicians have competed on ''Jeopardy!'' during their four Power Players Weeks, including former New Jersey Governor Christie Whitman, Minnesota Senator Al Franken, former RNC chairman Michael Steele, and multiple Congress members and White House Press Secretaries. As well, then-Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings competed during a regular Celebrity Jeopardy! week in 2006.
** During the Washington, D.C. tapings in season 32, ''Jeopardy!'' had two political figures read Final Jeopardy! clues live in studio: Dr. Jill Biden (wife of Vice President Joe Biden) in the first Teachers Tournament semifinal, and Washington, D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser in the last Power Players Week game.
* PopculturalOsmosis: You know this has happened when your once-niche favorite is a subject on ''Jeopardy!''
** [[WebVideo/LeeroyJenkinsVideo Leeroy Jenkins]]!
** On November 22, 2006, [[http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=1390 there was a category featuring words from UrbanDictionary]].
** "I Can Has Cheezburger?" was a category on [[http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=3219 November 18, 2009]], but the category had to do with cheeseburgers, not WebOriginal/LOLCats.
** In a category about {{MMORPG}}s, ''VideoGame/EveOnline'', of all games, was one of them.
** The College Tournament Quarterfinal game on [[http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=3305 February 4, 2010]], featured the category "Internet Favorites" with clues about The Evolution of Dance, Keyboard Cat, [[TheLonelyIsland "I'm On A Boat"]], and CharlieTheUnicorn.
** '''[[{{Imageboards}} 4chan]]''' was part of a clue on February 23, 2010. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNaUiAVT0Ls No, seriously.]]
** There was also an episode where all the categories were named after "Weird Al" Yankovic songs.
** VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas was the subject of a clue on February 24, 2011.
** Failblog was the subject of a clue on March 14, 2011. Ironically, nobody got it right... [[DrosteImage and a video of the clue appeared on Failblog the very next day.]]
** Tumblr was the answer to a clue on December 16, 2011.
** A clue about planking was on February 2, 2012.
** A "Viral Videos" category was on February 13, 2012's episode (the first game of the 2012 Teen Tournament finals). There were clues about [[Creator/ChrisCrocker "Leave Britney Alone"]], "Double Rainbow", "Charlie Bit My Finger", and "Numa Numa".
** The categories in the Jeopardy! Round on [[http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=4073 February 6, 2013]] (a Teen Tournament episode) were as follows:
*** Hey, I Just Met You
*** This is Crazy
*** But Here's My Number
*** So Call Me...
*** May "B"
*** [[LampshadeHanging Yeah, We Went There]]
** Minecraft was the subject of a clue on February 5, 2013 (5th quarterfinal game of the 2013 Teen Tournament).
* PrisonersDilemma: Formerly invoked if contestants were tied for first going into Final Jeopardy! -- their only logical bets are AllOrNothing, depending on how much each trusts the other to bet $0. In the best-case scenario, both bet $0 and are declared co-champions regardless of whether they get Final Jeopardy! right or wrong; worst-case scenario is that they both zero out on an incorrect response and the third contestant wins (unless they too bet everything). However, since ties for first place were abolished at the start of Season 31, this can no longer be done without leading to a tiebreaker clue.
* ProgressiveJackpot: Used in the 1978 endgame, $5,000 plus $2,500 per trip, up to $15,000 for the fifth (total of $50,000).
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: "This! Is! ''Jeopardy!''" Also qualifies as a TitleScream.
** Amusingly, this came full-circle on [[http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=3834 the February 22, 2012 episode]], which had a category where Johnny Gilbert delivered various "This is X" phrases in the style of the intro. Naturally, one of them was "[[LampshadeHanging This! Is! SPARTA!]]"
* PyrrhicVictory: Since consolation prizes were eliminated, a challenger who beats the champion with a final score of less than $1,000 actually ends up taking home the ''least'' money for the day (second place gets $2,000, third gets $1,000, and the champ keeps whatever he/she has already won). However, they do get to come back for another game to try and win more. One notable example was 9 day champion Dan Pawson's 7th game from January 2008, where he won with just ''$200'' after everyone wagered big and missed Final Jeopardy! (which he made up with back to back $7,000 Daily Doubles the next day).
** This also happened to Christine Black and Anna Rodriguez, who had very low winning totals on their first games ($600 and $799, respectively), then finished third on their second games, thus meaning they won ''less'' money than the second-placers they defeated.
* RatingsStunt:
** The {{Celebrity Edition}}s and the "IBM Challenge" (Ken Jennings vs. Brad Rutter vs. the IBM Watson supercomputer, the first-ever nonhuman to play a live game of ''Jeopardy!''). Truth be told, it's a legitimate method of research testing.
** Arguably, any of ''Jeopardy!'s'' reunion tournaments could be considered this, given the big cash prizes and popular past champions involved in them.
* ReactionShot: First used on Nancy Zerg when Ken Jennings came down to earth, it was dubbed the "Zerg Cam" by fans, and referred to as such by Trebek during a repeat showing of Ken's losing game.
* RearrangeTheSong: Though they kept the original 1964 "Think!" recording for Final Jeopardy!, that same melody was used as the main theme once the 1984 version started up. At first, the main theme was performed on synthesizer and saxophone. The intro was truncated by 1990, and in 1991, bongos were dubbed in. Starting in 1997, both the main theme and the "Think!" music have received multiple orchestral re-arrangements. ''Rock & Roll Jeopardy!'' used an electric guitar remix of the theme, which the parent show has since appropriated for teen and college tournaments.
* RougeAnglesOfSatin: On [[http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=3842 March 14, 2012]], the category "They Go by Their First Initial" had "Their" misspelled as "Thier".
* RuleOfThree: This is used in closed captioning to distinguish between when time runs out to answer a question ("(Beep)") and when time runs out to complete the Jeopardy or Double Jeopardy rounds ("(Beep beep beep)").
* TheRunnerUpTakesItAll: Though Brad Rutter defeated Ken Jennings in both of the final rounds of their million dollar reunion tournaments, Ken is still far more recognizable from both his ''Jeopardy!'' run (74 wins > 5 wins) and from his post-show career, with Brad's acting and producing credits not as recognizable as Ken's work as a best-selling author.
** Though not out-earned in later events, 1990 ''Super Jeopardy!'' winner Bruce Seymour has absolutely been overshadowed since, as he's never returned for later reunion tournaments, whereas numerous losing competitors in that tournament have returned, with Bob Blake, Frank Spangenberg, and Eric Newhouse all winning later ''Jeopardy!'' tournaments despite not even making the ''Super Jeopardy!'' finals.
** 1990 Tournament of Champions winner Bob Blake was the winningest ''Jeopardy!'' contestant in career earnings throughout the 1990s, but fan favourite champion Frank Spangenberg (a losing semifinalist that year) has been far more recognizable since, with the transit cop appearing in all 5 of the show's reunion tournaments compared to just 2 for Bob.
** Jim Scott won 1991's Tournament of Champions, but Leslie Frates (who he defeated in the semifinals) has proven to be the favourite contestant from season 7, appearing in all of the show's later reunion tournaments, where she became the only woman to make the finals of one during 1993's Tenth Anniversary Tournament.
** Leszek Pawlowicz handily defeated Jerome Vered in 1992's Tournament of Champions, and made it two rounds further than him in 2014's Battle of the Decades, but Jerome leads for career earnings, having won well over $300,000 during his finals run in 2005's massive Ultimate Tournament of Champions (where Leszek didn't advance out of the first round.)
** Despite Dan Melia's impressive Tournament of Champions run in 1998, losing finalists Bob Harris and Kim Worth (coincidentally, both comedians) stole the show with their witty and self-deprecating remarks during the finals, especially in game 2 after Bob's all-in Final response didn't work out. By the time of 2002's Million Dollar Masters tournament, Bob and fellow 1998 TOC fan favourite Claudia Perry both made the field, even though Dan defeated both in 1998.
** Michael Falk may have won 2006's Tournament of Champions, but it's hard to overshadow 19 day champion David Madden, who defeated Falk in the quarterfinals. When David declined his Battle of the Decades invite due to conflict of interest concerns, it warranted an acknowledgement on-air by Alex Trebek, which definitely says something.
* RunningGag: There are several recurring categories, but the various names given to the opera categories ("Uh-Oh, Opera"; "The Dreaded Opera Category") would count.
** "Potent Potables", until the aforementioned ''SNL'' skits turned it into their own running gag. On the original series, Fleming regularly said it was announcer Don Pardo's favorite category.
** "Those Darn Etruscans" was another early recurring category on the Trebek version.
** "The Dreaded Spelling Category" for Teen Tournaments, wherein you had to spell the response.
** "Stupid Answers": The correct response is ''in the clue'', although sometimes not as obviously as you might think (e.g., "Now named for James Brady, this room in the White House is where the briefing of the press takes place." [[spoiler:What is the Briefing Room?]]).
** "Before and After" and "Before, During, and After"; see "ShoutOut", below.
* SchmuckBait:
** Frequently, a clue is written so that it may hint at one answer but then throws in a key word at the last second to negate what would seem like the more sensible answer. For example, "His efforts to hold the Union together were ineffectual; 7 states seceded on his watch." Luckily, the contestant avoided the SchmuckBait response and gave the correct one (James Buchanan, ''not'' Abe Lincoln).
** There's no way the writers didn't expect someone to say it, but there's almost no way they expected ''Ken Jennings'' to say "What's a ho[e]?" to "This term for a long-handled gardening tool can also mean an immoral pleasure seeker." (The correct response, "rake", was given by another contestant.) Judging by Ken's [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJO7hcinS-U massive grin]] and how ridiculously far ahead he was at the time, he likely threw the question intentionally just to be funny.
** An example from [[http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=455 July 20, 2005]] had eventual 19 day champion David Madden win after trailing $200 at the end of Double Jeopardy! because he didn't fall for the SchmuckBait in Final Jeopardy. The clue alluded to the "Ode to Joy" in Beethoven's 9th Symphony, but the use of "70-minute work" meant that the correct response specifically meant the entire symphony. The player in the lead put "Ode to Joy" and wagered to cover if David doubled up, costing her the game.
** Another example was used on [[http://j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=4255 July 12, 2013]]: "The title princess of this '''game''', which launched a best-selling franchise, was named for F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife." It was used in the ''Final Jeopardy!'' round, meaning Alex could not remind the contestants to be more specific if they provided a response. The end result started a debate on Kotaku. (Only eventual 4 day champion and 2014 TOC semifinalist Mark Japinga gave the correct response of "The Legend Of Zelda", but the other two contestants simply wrote "Zelda" and were judged incorrect.)
** An excellent one on June 18, 1987 that happened entirely by accident. The clue in "South Africa" for $500 read, "Of go in or go elsewhere, what to do when you see a restroom marked 'Here'." Marty rings in and says "What is go elsewhere?" which is ruled wrong. Kathleen then rings in and says "What is go in?", which is also ruled wrong. A confused Bob Verini doesn't ring in, at which point Alex reveals that "Here" means "men", so either Bob or Marty would've been ruled right for saying "go in", and Kathleen right for "go elsewhere". Former clue-writer Carlo Panno later [[http://ken-jennings.com/blog/archives/776 revealed]] in an interview with Ken Jennings that this was one of his favorite clues.
* SeasonFinale: Very literally taken for the first nine seasons, as the last game of each season (in June until 1986, July afterward) was also the last game to qualify for that year's Tournament of Champions in November of the next season (which later recurred in season 30 due to the 2014 TOC's scheduling delay.) With qualifying periods now running between [=TOCs=], new seasons just continue the existing timeline in the lead-up to the next event.
** The last games of a ''Jeopardy!'' season are usually regular games, but from 1989-1995, the season always ended with the annual Seniors Tournament, before being moved to December for its last installment. Since then, the only season-ending special events have been two Teen Tournaments, two Kids Weeks, and 1996's Olympic Games Tournament (though its four episode run time meant that season 12 ended with a regular Friday episode.)
* SeriousBusiness:
** Many fans who play from home use a scoring system developed by former 3 day champion Karl Coryat, which eliminates wagering, scores Daily Doubles by their clue value only, and doesn't penalize wrong answers on Daily Doubles due to it being a forced guess. What's more, there is a [[http://www.j-archive.com/help.php large lexicon]] of terminology used by the fanbase, including several terms coined by (and named after) former contestants.
** 2003 College Champion Keith Williams keeps the serious business going on his website [[http://thefinalwager.co The Final Wager]], which applies game theory and mathematics to wagering strategy on Final Jeopardy!, breaking down numerous scenarios that contestants should and shouldn't take, and giving colour grades (from green to grey) based on how well they wagered.
** Averted in most of the CelebrityEdition games. Celebs often insist on ChewingTheScenery, ringing in on clues they obviously didn't know with an "Oh, I know this! What is it?" attitude, and otherwise clowning around. It didn't help that the game threw in unnecessary diversions (such as having a [[http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=1382 singer perform before a Daily Double!]]) which led to as few as ''14'' clues being revealed in each round. Fortunately, the Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational Tournament of the 2009–10 season was taken far more seriously, with more focused (and generally sharper) celebs who treated their games with respect.
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: Some categories use long words to obfuscate what would be otherwise be a simple clue. In fact, it's the whole point of any category that ends with "In Other Words".
** Arguably taken to its extreme on the April 1st, 1997 episode (guest hosted by ''Wheel of Fortune'''s Pat Sajak), where the Final Jeopardy! category was "Trinidadian Amateur Ichthyologists". Pat added after the category reveal "Don't let it throw you, folks!", but none of the contestants got it right anyway.
* ShoutOut:
** One recurring category is "Before & After", which works the same way as its ''Wheel of Fortune'' counterpart. This category debuted on the AprilFoolsDay 1997 episode of ''Jeopardy!'', when Pat Sajak hosted.
** They have further lampshaded this Trope on rare instances since October 2001 with a category called "Before, During, and After", which fuses three ideas together with two linking words. ''Wheel'' has yet to adopt this category, even as a joke.
** [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] in the late 1990s, when ''Wheel'' introduced a category called Rhyme Time based on the ''Jeopardy!'' category of the same name.
** On April 1, 2010, the reigning champion mentioned during his interview, that he considered ''Series/{{Pitfall}}'' (another Trebek-hosted game) "the best thing ever" when he was young. Alex [[OldShame couldn't disagree more,]] pointing out that it was the only time he was ever "stiffed" for his salary.
** ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': At the end of his match against IBM's Watson, Ken Jennings paraphrased Kent Brockman by writing under his Final Jeopardy question "I for one welcome our new Computer Overlords".
** And continuing in that same vein, 2011 9 day champion Jason Keller copied Watson's "What is Toronto?" in his ninth game.
** The "[[XMeetsY Wheel of Jeopardy!]]" category. They show a partially-solved ''WheelOfFortune'' puzzle and give a clue about the answer on the board.
*** And in April 2013, the category "I'd like to solve the puzzle... fast!" had more detailed clues but very few letters revealed in each more difficult puzzle (such as Q[[spoiler:UET]]Z[[spoiler:ALCOATL]]).
** Some of the categories on the Celebrity Jeopardy! segments of ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' have later been used as actual categories on the show, such as [[http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=1071 "Japan-US Relations" on the June 27, 2006 episode]] or [[http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=1872 "I'm Not Wearing Any Pants" on the May 25, 2007 episode]].
** One contestant is obviously a ''Family Guy'' fan, as he wrote down "Who is Kebert Xela?" for his Final ''Jeopardy!'' response. (Also an example of OffTheRails, since he went into Final Jeopardy! with only $1 thanks to a Daily Double gone wrong.)
*** One category during the 2015 Teacher's Tournament was "Two D's and an F".
** Likewise, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubklvxNtdDw&t=1m22s this contestant]] knows his ''Cheers.''
** ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'': As Jane Curtin builds up a big lead during a Celebrity Jeopardy episode in 1998, Naomi Judd refers to an old SNL CatchPhrase of Dan Aykroyd [[PhraseCatcher towards Jane]]...
---> '''Naomi Judd''': Well, Jane, I guess you're NOT such an ignorant slut, after all!
** Several references have been made to the ''Series/{{Cheers}}'' crossover episode.
** March 13, 1991: In the category "Reference Books", "''Beat the Odds'', ''Music Bingo'' & ''Fast Draw'' are entries in an ency. of these by Schwartz, Ryan & Wostbrock."[[note]]What are game shows?[[/note]] As a double example, all three of these were hosted by Johnny Gilbert!
* TheShowMustGoOn: In one episode, a contestant fainted during Final Jeopardy! Alex roused the contestant and asked him to write down his Final Jeopardy! response. Apparently, the contestant was on a crash diet and had not eaten in almost two days. This did not affect the final outcome, as another contestant already had a "lock" game and gave a correct response.
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent:
** The IBM Challenge in 2011, which was taped at an IBM lab in New York, with the first match was split between two episodes, allowing room for lots of behind-the-scenes footage (Also, the whole conceit of a ''computer'' facing off with real ''Jeopardy!'' contestants.)
** While the Art Fleming-era Tournaments of Champions were generally one week events similar in structure to the second half of most modern-era tournaments, the 1969 TOC featured ''eighteen'' contestants in a unique 2 week format (6 quarterinals, 2 semifinals, and a final round with a losing semifinalist as a wild card.) The next year, the TOC reverted to a week, but dropped the two day final for two one-day finals with separate groups of contestants. The regular TOC format returned in 1971.
** 1990's ''Super Jeopardy!'' tournament, which was held weekly on ABC rather than during episodes of the syndicated version, and featured a number of elements not repeated in later events, like playing for points instead of dollars, inflated clue values of 200-1,000 and ''500-2,500'', semifinal games spread out during the season, the inclusion of two Seniors Tournament winners, and most uniquely of all, quarterfinal games with ''four'' contestants, leading to much more crowded gameplay. Not to mention, the invitation of a player solely based on his performance on the Art Fleming version (Burns Cameron) was unique to this event.
** 1993's Tenth Anniversary Tournament uniquely saw contestants randomly drawn on air during season 10 episodes, one from each of the show's first 8 seasons (season 9 was automatically represented by that year's TOC winner.) As a result, the contestant range was more unpredictable than ''Jeopardy!'''s other reunion tournaments. Another difference: the tournament winner earned what was won in the two day final, plus a $25,000 bonus, rather than a flat grand prize.
** The 1996 Olympic Games Tournament (the first of three International tournaments) featured a one-day final, leading to the shortest ever ''Jeopardy!'' tournament at just four games long. Only this event, ''Super Jeopardy!'', and 1998's Teen Reunion Tournament used a one-day final among modern-era tournaments.
** When ''Jeopardy!'' travelled to Berkley, California to tape the 1998 College Championship, they also taped a special episode called "The Battle of the Bay Area Brains" that aired only in the San Francisco market, rather than among that season's national syndicated run. It featured three notable champions from the area competing for charity, with 1988 TOC semifinalist Michael Rankins defeating 10th Anniversary Tournament finalist Leslie Frates and 1996 TOC semifinalst Beverly Spurs to win a $7,700 prize package.
** In November 1998, ''Jeopardy!'' taped two weeks of shows in Boston, Massachusetts, starting with 5 regular games, the only time (to date) that they've taped regular games outside of Sony Pictures Studios. The second week played host to their Teen Reunion Tournament, featuring twelve contestants who competed in the inaugural Teen Tournaments from 1987-1989 competing for $50,000, which was won by 1989 champion Eric Newhouse. This event uniquely featured ''four'' semifinal games and a one day final, with the lowest earning semifinal winner missing the finals (but receiving an extra cash bonus.) Though unique to this tournament on ''Jeopardy!'', it is similar to ''Wheel of Fortune'''s then Friday Finals format. As well, this is the only ''Jeopardy!'' tournament to ever invite back losing contestants from prior annual tournaments, as the only prior Teen Tournament winner in the field was Eric Newhouse.
** ''Jeopardy!'' hosted a one-off Armed Forces Week in 1999 featuring active military personnel as contestants. The games were stand-alone matches with the biggest winner's cash total being doubled, similarly to early Celebrity weeks (Navy lieutenant Jeff Krause led the week, and won a doubled cash haul of $36,000.) This is also the only special ''Jeopardy!'' event (other than a 1998 Celebrity Jeopardy! game) to primarily take place in the month of June. Though an Armed Forces Week was once advertised to return in July 2013, it hasn't been held since the original week, but armed forces veterans have always been welcome to compete on regular games.
** In many respects, 2005's Ultimate Tournament of Champions. With 145 contestants total, the use of byes for notable past contestants, no wild cards, game winners receiving their end-of-game scores, two-day ''semifinal'' games, the use of a ''three day'' final, and a ''$2,000,000'' top prize definitely all set this apart from other special events. It's also the only reunion tournament to date that invited Teen Tournament winners after their 2000 removal from TOC fields, and the only ''Jeopardy!'' tournament of any kind to move contestants to different podiums after the first game of a 2 or 3 day (semi)final.
** The Battle of the Decades, held in 2014, differed from some prior tournaments by grouping contestants by which "decade" (1984-93, 1994-2003, and 2004-13) their runs on the show took place under, with decades separated for the first round, and a contestant from each in all 5 quarterfinal games. It also uniquely featured fan voting to select three competitors in the field as "fan favourites".
* SophisticatedAsHell: Trebek can seamlessly jump from a sophisticated, professional tone to offbeat, wry, and often [[SelfDeprecation self-deprecating]] humor, then throw in a timely pop-culture reference just for fun. The announcer also does much the same, in categories that require him to speak the category questions... or sing.
* SpinOff: The 1970s syndicated version, ''Super Jeopardy!'', ''Jep!'', ''Rock & Roll Jeopardy!'' and ''Sports Jeopardy!''
* StatusQuoGameShow: A few games have ended in a three-way tie at $0, due to all three players wagering everything on Final Jeopardy! and getting it wrong. The first time it happened in Trebek's tenure was his second episode.
* StoppedNumberingSequels: A variant. Partway through Ken Jennings' run, Johnny Gilbert stopped declaring how many days he had been champion at the start of each episode, believed to be a result of the date of Ken's last game being leaked online, so that viewers would have a harder time knowing that day's result. For his 75th and last game, they announced his 74 day reign again like normal at the show's beginning.
* SublimeRhyme: The June 12, 1998 show had 12 of the 13 categories ending in "-ation(s)". The only exception was the Double Jeopardy! category "Crustaceans", though that is still a homonym of the other clues. The pattern may have cursed the contestants though, as it was a rare game with no contestants finishing Final Jeopardy! with money.
* SubvertedCatchPhrase: A few contestants have said "I'd like to solve the puzzle" or "I'd like to buy a vowel" on a Daily Double, often to Trebek's amusement and mock derision.
* TalkAboutTheWeather: Was the name of a category on weather phenomena on the June 17, 2013 show.
* TemptingFate: Averted in the Teen Tournament finals on February 12, 2013. Wild card finalist Leonard Cooper wrote "Who is some guy in Normandy, but I just won $75,000!" despite ''not'' having a "lock" tournament. [[note]]Similar to a "lock" game in that neither trailing contestant can cover a wager of $0 by the leading contestant. In this case, finalist Nilai Sarda made a $7,000 wager, and a correct response would have given Nilai a higher 2-day total than Leonard.[[/note]] Because finalist Nilai Sarda gave an incorrect response, Leonard did win the $75,000.
** In a reverse example from the deciding game of the 2007 Teen Tournament, finalist Ben Schenkel noted in his Final Jeopardy! response "Who is ATLAS (congrats, David!!)", essentially conceding the tournament to David Walter, who gave the same response and won the tournament. However, Ben actually ''led'' going into Final after finishing with $40,000 the previous game, and would still have won the tournament had David missed Final.
* ThoseTwoGuys: Alex Trebek and Ken Jennings regularly played off each other, with several recurring "bits".
** The two trying to figure out what to discuss in Ken's interview. By about the 25th or so episode they were getting into more obscure facets of Ken's life; by the end, the two just had small, random conversations.
** Whenever Ken Jennings hit a Daily Double, Alex would try to "read Ken's mind" and anticipate what he would wager; Ken would sometimes switch it up and bid a few dollars more or less.
** Alex's various monologues at the top of each show referred to Ken's winning streak; once, he walked out and stated that, since Ken had been returning champion for so long, he was essentially working at the show — and held up one of the show's timecards with Ken's name written on it.
** Ken himself [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] this in his book, where he said that the end of his streak surely broke the hearts of countless [[HoYay Alex/Ken]] [[{{Shipping}} Shippers]].
** Also seen with Dan Patrick and 2015-16 superchamp Vinny Varadarajan, who increasingly bantered during the interview portion, joked about how long Vinny's been on, held a staring contest, and by his thirteenth win, traded places so Vinny could ask Dan questions. Dan's opening monologues also saw gentle ribbing of Vinny for his shirts and his replies cutting into Dan's airtime.
* ThatsWhatSheSaid: A category on the March 16, 2011 game.
* TickTockTune: The Final Jeopardy! music.
* TitleDrop: In the first season, Alex would "caution [the players] about the Jeopardy!" — i.e., that they would lose money on an incorrect response.
* TournamentArc: Seen annually (more or less) with the Tournament of Champions, College Championship, and the Teen, Teachers, and (formerly) Seniors Tournaments. Regular gameplay stops while these tournaments occur, with contestants competing for big cash prizes, and utilizing strategies not seen in regular games in order to secure wild card semifinal berths, and stockpile cash in the two-day, total point finals.
* TransatlanticEquivalent:
** Numerous, which led the American version to host three one-week International Jeopardy! tournaments in 1996, 1997, and 2001, and even travel to Sweden to tape the second on that version's set. Each featured English-fluent champions from 8 or 9 different international versions of the show. Swedish champion Ulf Jensen won the first international tournament in 1996 (defeating American champ Ryan Holznagel along the way), while the other two were won by champions of the American version: Canada's Michael Daunt and the U.S.A.'s Robin Carroll.
** Among other countries, the UK had three different versions between 1983 and 1996, none lasting more than three seasons. Though the last version produced the 1996 international tournament's runner up (Mandi Hale), none of them really caught on domestically. In contrast to GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff[[invoked]], Britons are ''aware'' of ''Jeopardy!'', but are mostly nonplussed by how mainstream its influence is on American culture and stock phrases.
** Averted in Canada, aside from a short lived French-language version filmed in Quebec in the early 1990s. Though there's no English language domestic version of ''Jeopardy!'', Canadian viewers can easily watch the US version on American over-the-air channels and on some local Canadian networks. With the exception of the 2016 exclusion of Canadians from the online test due to new domestic internet privacy laws, Canadians are welcome to compete on the American ''Jeopardy!'', with notable examples including 1990 Tournament of Champions winner Bob Blake, TOC finalists Bruce Fauman, Michael Daunt, and Doug Hicton, and 5 day champions Barbara-Anne Eddy, Robert Slaven, Lan Djang, and Andrew Haringer.
* {{Troll}}: The writers sometimes like to troll the contestants with misleading clues or gimmicks, such as a category where every clue except the last has the same response (e.g., "Treaties" on [[http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=1310 October 25, 2006]]).
* TruckDriversGearChange: The "Think!" music used in Final Jeopardy! has always gone up a minor third in the second verse. Also, every variation of the current version's theme tune has used several key changes; the 1984 version was all over the place in particular.
* UnPerson:
** Not only do players who finish Double Jeopardy! with no money not stick around for Final Jeopardy!, they don't always get to participate in the credits sequence of the players chatting with Alex.
** 5 day champions Barbara Lowe and Jerry Slowik became these, the former for being a JerkAss who violated contestant eligibility requirements, and the latter for being arrested on sexual abuse charges. Neither was invited to their respective Tournament of Champions, and in Lowe's case, her games have never been reran (Even GSN skipped them when they aired season 2.) Lowe's winnings and reign aren't even listed on official ''Jeopardy!'' records, and with tapes of her games not known to circulate, fan sites aren't able to include them yet either.
* UpToEleven: Before and After is a pretty tricky category; There are two clues and you need to come up with an answer that bridges them together. Near the end of a particularly long tournament, there was a category "Before, '''During''', and After", where every correct response involved three answers with two bridges.
* UranusIsShowing: Stealth example by contestant Lawrence "Indy" Indyk on the May 28, 2012 show (6 day champion Joel Pool's last victory) in the category "It'll End with 'Us'":
-->'''Alex''': It takes 84 earth years for it to go around the sun.
-->'''Indy''': What is Uranus?
-->'''Alex''': Yes, the planet.
* UrbanLegend: The 1978-79 version was supposedly canned because Merv, returning from a vacation in Europe, saw the format changes and demanded that NBC cancel the show '''immediately''' (and only hastened its demise, as NBC was already planning to cancel it). The legend falls apart because the first pilot for this version, with a slightly different format, was taped on March 6, 1977... followed by ''another'' in mid-1978.
* VacationEpisode: From seasons 13-25, ''Jeopardy!'' held at least one week of shows a year on the road, starting with the 1997 International Tournament in Sweden, though all later road tapings were within the United States. With the exception of a 1998 week of regular shows from Boston and a 2004 Kids Week in Washington, all of the road trip shows were tied with celebrity games and/or a tournament (including the Million Dollar Masters and the 2000 and 2009 Tournaments of Champions), while all but one College Championship from 1998-2008 was held on the road, typically at college campuses. Though no longer an annual occurrence, ''Jeopardy'' has hosted road games on a quadrennial basis since 2004, all at D.A.R. Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. during election years, and always including a Power Players Week and at least one week of tournament play.
* ViewersAreGeniuses: One of the main reasons that game shows are popular is because they allow people to "play along" from home. But considering the vast amount of sometimes-obscure clues that are given every day...
* ViolationOfCommonSense: Some wagering situations in Final Jeopardy! are not immediately intuitive. There are situations where it's actually advantageous for a player who's behind to bet nothing[[note]]If the second-place player has between 2/3 and 3/4 of the first-place player's dollar amount; the J-Archive fan site explains the logic.[[/note]] or, in a related situation, the first-place player does ''not'' bet to cover the second-place player's largest possible wager.
* VisualPun:
** July 13, 2012: [[http://i.imgur.com/8kFP4.jpg A clue about the Luxor pyramid]] has a pyramidal shape.
** October 22, 2012: The entire category "They Drive On The Left In..." had all of its clues formatted left-justified.
* VoiceOfDramatic: Johnny Gilbert; see TitleScream above. Often tends to be parodied in later seasons.
* WeAreExperiencingTechnicalDifficulties:
** Happened during the 2012 Teen Tournament semifinals on a video clue about the MVP of the Super Bowl XLVI. The home audience saw the picture of the MVP [[note]] Who was Eli Manning?[[/note]], but there was a technical glitch during the game which resulted with the contestants not seeing the picture of the MVP. Contestant Kevin Yang got it wrong, but after the break, Alex decided that it wasn't his fault, seeing how there was technical glitches, and the penalty was redacted.
** Another glitch interfered with a playing of Final Jeopardy!; the light pen of one of the contestants wasn't writing properly. The contestant held up the pen to indicate this, and he was granted a card to write his answer in with a regular pen. The contestant won the game (and the partially-written answer on the light board seemed to indicate that he knew the correct answer all along, and that there actually ''was'' a problem with the pen), but because of the special treatment, both he ''and'' the second-place contestant for that game appeared in the next game. The marker and card are now standard equipment for all players.
** Averted in the 2015 Tournament of Champions quarterfinals, where 5 day champion (and eventual wild card semifinalist) John Schultz accidentally ''broke'' his signaling device early in the ''Jeopardy!'' round (a tale he recounted on Twitter.) Once brought to attention, his signaling device was replaced, the clues where John couldn't ring in were re-shot, and the final episode aired as if nothing happened.
* YeahShot: One promo for the Teacher's Tournanent ended with a shot of the contestants raising their hands.
* YouAnsweredYourOwnQuestion: The occasional ''Stupid Answers'' category.
* YouGoGirl: Male contestants tend to outnumber women on ''Jeopardy!'', especially in earlier seasons, but there have been a number of high profile female contestants, such as Tournament of Champions winners Rachael Schwartz, Robin Carroll, and Celeste Dinucci, 10th Anniversary Tournament finalist Leslie Frates, high-earning regular play contestants like Julia Collins, Larissa Kelly, and Amy Fine, ''four-time'' Jeopardy! tournament semifinalist Pam Mueller, and Ken Jennings-dethroner Nancy Zerg, among others.
** Only once has the Tournament of Champions featured two female finalists, and surprisingly, it was back in ''1993'', courtesy of Bev Schwartzberg and Seniors Tournament winner Marilyn Kneeland. However, both lost to Tom Nosek, and ''Jeopardy!'' had to wait another year for a woman (Rachael Schwartz) to win the whole thing.
* YouMakeMeSic: On the October 14, 2013 episode, the defending champion was penalized for misspelling [[spoiler: Kazakhstan]] for his Final Jeopardy! response (he misspelled it as [[spoiler:Kazkhistan]]). This led to backlash from angry viewers on Jeopardy!'s {{Facebook}} page who thought the judges were being too harsh on spelling, even though the rules for Final Jeopardy! clearly state that "the clue is correct so long as the spelling does not affect the pronunciation". Since then, after episodes where contestants misspelled Final Jeopardy! responses but they were correct under this rule, backlash on the Facebook page has not been uncommon.
* YoungerAndHipper:
** ''Jep!'', the 1997-1998 GSN spinoff of ''Jeopardy!'' for kids, and a companion to ''Wheel 2000'' (though that show also aired on CBS and is better remembered today.) Elements including randomized clue amounts, stuff falling on contestants missing three questions, and "radical" category names like "Super Jep!" and "Hyper Jep!" didn't add up to a long running hit series in this case.
** Averted with Jeopardy!'s annual Kids Weeks (a.k.a. Back to School Weeks) from 1999-2014, which featured contestants of the same age range and clue difficulty, but otherwise doing so on the regular set with the regular rules and staff. It may not be "radical" or "hip", but it had a lot more success and staying power than ''Jep!'' had.
** ''Rock & Roll Jeopardy!'' and ''Sports Jeopardy!'' can also be seen as this, given their more informal and casual nature and generally less-serious clue content.
* YourMom: "Your Momma" was a category on December 16, 2010. Of ''course'', the first thing out of the contestant's mouth was "I'll take Your Momma for $400, Alex."
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