Like almost any other long-running Game Show, Family Feud and its foreign counterparts have had their share of highly-amusing moments.
See also Funny.Family Fortunes for funny moments from the British equivalent. And in general, for any particularly stupid answer, see the What An Idiot subpage.
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Richard Dawson (1976-85, 1994-95)
Mid-1977: For the first year-plus, the Face-Off Podium used much thinner buzzers that, if a contestant wasn't careful, could be broken. This was inevitable. By September 2 (the "Alligator" episode), the normal buzzers were in place. note (The first syndicated episodes still used the original buzzers, which created a brief inconsistency.)
1978 (daytime): On this episode, neither contestant could come up with an answer for "Living or dead, name a famous religious woman", so Dawson asked for the question to be thrown out. He then asked the contestants "How much is one and one?" After the female contestant rang in (and the male contestant yelled out "two"), Dawson stopped them and said "Just checking" before reading the actual second question.
1978 (daytime): One contestant stopped Dawson during a Face-Off and asked whether she could go to the bathroom. He said that she could, but they'd have to stop tape... so she asked "Do you just have a can?" — Dawson, presumably trying to offset the Squick factor, replied "No, you store film in cans. We keep our videotape in boxes."
Taped September 25, 1980 (daytime), in what is probably the most infamous Family Feud moment period:
The kicker is when he has to ask it to the second contestant, he absolutely struggles to get back on-topic and ends up having to explain away why he was suddenly laughing about "September". Then she proceeded to respond to "Name a noisy bird" with "Cuckoo", causing Dawson to lose it again, and then give up entirely when time expired ("To hell with that!")
1981 (nighttime): One episode had the Fast Money question "Name something people take with them into the bathtub". The contestant said "a duck", which was met by Dawson with derision. And then it turned that it was one of the answers given (as in "rubber duckie")... and Dawson literallydropped on his face.
Dawson (after getting back up): I get to retire after this show.
Dawson and the Strike operator have some fun.
Dawson: Name someone past or present famous for his or her wiggle. Contestant: Gypsy Rose Lee. (Dawson turns around, but the Strike beats him to the punch) Dawson: Gyp- Ro- Lee. (buzzer) Dawson: Lee. Ros- (buzzer) Dawson: Gypsy! (buzzer) Dawson: Rose! (buzzer) Dawson: Gypsy! (buzzer) Dawson: Lee! (buzzer, followed by it sounding over 20 times more) Dawson (over buzzers): Lee!-Oh... yeah-no, I can take a hint. (buzzers stop) Alright... (turns to contestant who gave the response) you were that close, though.
During the face-off for the question "Name a fruit with an edible peel", the woman who rang in said "Banana". Later in the round, Dawson called her bluff by eating a banana, peel and all.
Early 1985 (daytime): While the question and dumb answer have been seen before on various blooper specials ("Something you make conversation about when you meet a stranger." "Mutual friends."), the subsequent Face-Off isn't — and it's a shame, because Dawson couldn't stop laughing.
1994-95: Dawson pulled a Combs once when the first contestant got 200 points in Fast Money. Dawson asked the joke question of "Besides giving birth to Adolf, name a reason for hating Mrs. Hitler" for the second contestant.
Everyone misunderstood a question once.
Dawson: Name a question such as 'how old are you-' Contestant 1: (gasps) EIGHTEEN! Dawson: (chuckles) Eighteen? (buzzer sounds) Dawson: No! Contestant 1: I'm not eighteen. Dawson: No? You certainly fooled me, just the same. I'm gonna read the question: "Name a question such as 'How old are you?' that you might answer with a lie." Contestant 2: Uh...I would say fifty. (buzzer sounds) Did I get that right? Dawson: No, sweet Elizabeth. (later) Dawson: Give me another sort of question you might lie about. Contestant 1's Husband: I would say I'm thirty-nine. (Dawson Face Palms as audience laughs)
Possibly one of the funniest intentional answers:
Dawson: Give me a slang name for a policeman. Contestant:DIIIIICK! Dawson: Pardon? What did you say? Contestant: Dick. Dawson: Oh, okay. May we see what he said? (buzzer sounds)
Dawson: Name something a hostess does to let her guests know it's time to leave. (contestant buzzes in) Contestant: (shrugs her shoulders) She goes to bed... Dawson: Well, that'd certainly tip me off... (pointing at board) She hits the sack? (strike sound) Dawson: No!
From a Fast Money round:
Dawson: One of the three bears. Contestant:Yogi. Dawson: Name... (everybody laughs) Dawson: This man's flying airplanes for us... (contestant is an airline pilot) Dawson: (tries to read the next question, but laughs more)
Dawson: Name something you buy and then have to be careful about how you carry it home. Contestant: An infant. Dawson: (puzzled) An infant... Something you buy. (audience begins to laugh)
1994-1995: "What is the perfect, ideal, everyday temperature?" As in weather. The contestant answered 98.6 Degrees.
Dawson: What would be the ideal, everyday temperature? Everybody... disrobe! (answer is revealed, audience is in hysterics) 98.6! Survey said... (buzzer) Ze-oh! (Jamaican accent) It's like living on de equa-taah!
"Name a piece of clothing wives buy for their husbands." "Halter tops."
Dawson: I remember when my wife bought me my very first halter top, and looking back on it all, I would say that was the point where we began to drift apart...
Richard's reaction to that is priceless. He actually does a Double Take.
Ray Combs (1988-94)
A few times during Combs' run, the first player in Fast Money got more than 200 points alone. As a joke, Combs hushed the audience and brought out the second player, then said that the first player had only gotten a ridiculously-small number of points. He then asked the second player gag questions such as "Name a number between three and five" before revealing the first player's score and saying that the family had won the jackpot.
One family managed to do this twice during their reign. The second time, Ray tried to pull the same stunt twice on the same Fast Money contestant, but she looked at the board and ruined his prank.
Circa 1993: During the Bullseye Round, a Playboy playmate (who was playing for charity) was presented with a bouquet of flowers by her opponent. While leaning over the buzzers to kiss him for the wonderful gesture, she accidentally hit her buzzer with her boobs.
Ray (looking at her, a smile on his face): That's the first time anyone's slapped that buzzer and didn't use their hands!
"Aside from a house or a car specifically, what is the most expensive thing you own?" The first buzz-in answer? "A car." The staff didn't even wait for Ray to prompt them — as soon as that response came out of her mouth, the buzzer went off.
"Name something you wear to bed." Quoth the little old lady, "A condom!"
Someone else gave that same answer to "Name something a husband might ask his wife to carry in her purse."
Ray: Name something that falls from trees. Contestant: How about bird shit? (laughter) Contestant: Well, it happens, Ray! It does happen! Ray: Boy, I'm glad cows don't fly.
And this one:
Ray: A slang term that means "wife". Contestant: Bitch. (audience boos) Ray: (sarcastically) Good answer!
To clarify, this was a game between divorcees, with ex-husbands playing against their ex-wives.
One rowdy contestant was waving her arms around right when Ray walked back to her spot. The result, an accidental whack in the head, which Ray oversold by crumpling to the ground. When he gets back up, he says, "I think she broke my hair, judge..."
Combs: Name something on an elephant that is huge. Contestant: I'm gonna have to say a big butt. (audience laughs) Combs: No, No not that it's a bad thing. Contestant: No, not at all, I like big butts. (audience laughs even more)
"Describe the weather with a word or phrase that you would also use to describe your wife." "Wet!"
Fall 2002: After Karn asked one question, the contestants tried to buzz-in... only to find that the podium didn't work (no sounds). Karn proceeded to alternate smacking the buzzers, to no avail.
2000s (unaired): "Name an animal whose legs are on a restaurant menu." No buzz-in response. Karn tried (and epically failed) to hold in his laughter as he slowly HeadDesked the podium. To which the Strike sound played, meaning the question was skipped, and Karn added "I don't even wanna know!" and tossed the index card with the question written on it away.
2000s: "Name something dogs can do better than humans." "Pee."
2000s: "Name an animal with spots". The #2 answer was Tigers. In a reversal of the usual "moronic answers" formula, nobody even thought to guess this one. And then while returning from the next commercial break, Richard says "We're still looking for that spotted tiger."
2000s (possibly unaired): One contestant instinctively rang in before Richard even asked the question, prompting him to snark "Ooh, ooh, call on me, call on me!"
2000s: During the final round: "Name an animal with a long tail." "Giraffe!" It got two points. And then when the second person came up, she said "giraffe" too.
"Name something you wouldn't want the police to find in the trunk of your car." "Pickles."
John O'Hurley (2006-10)
2007-08: One answer remained unrevealed for "Name a reason why a man would want to marry Martha Stewart." — "He's gay."
"Name something that shrinks." One person answered "The Incredible Shrinking Man," which was accepted as "People." Later...
Contestant: Um...your wiener? (audience laughs) O'Hurley: In Seinfeld terms, show me..."shrinkage"! (beat) That's the same as "people"? Like hell it is!
2006: One of the very first videos uploaded to the show's YouTube account, before the season had even premiered, was a clip featuring the question "Name a way to make bathing a sexy experience." This one got met with two funny answers, "In the nude", and "401(k) jelly" (presumably, he was wanting to say "KY Jelly", a brand of lubricant.)
O'Hurley: I remember 401(k) being a retirement plan, not a jelly! But in a troubled economy, you go anywhere you can.
The primary source of funny is Steve basically saying what the audience is thinking and berating contestants for giving stupid answers, generally being shocked if the answer is actually on the board. Thanks to the show's official YouTube page, he got major points with the fanbase before Season 12 even began. He's also responsible for the show's ratings being better than they have in quite some time.
Steve: ..."Family"! "Family"! I just got this job! What are you trying to do?!
During a question asking for a word or phrase that starts with "Pot", a contestant responded with "Potato". Steve, after being shocked for a few seconds (and can be seen mouthing "Potato?"), responded to both the family and audience with "Why y'all clapping?" After explaining the problem with the contestant's answer, he stated that "I'm gonna just... start walking towards the [other] family." As it turned out, "Potato" was on the board, shocking Steve again and prompting him to beg for the contestant's forgiveness.
"In this bad economy, what might Santa Claus have to do to one of his reindeer?" "Eat one." Steve then proceeded to tear into the guy and his family ("You stop high-fivin' him!"), taking said response to its logical extreme. And then it was on the board, stunning Steve to the point where he could only muster a small "Wow."
Not on the show's YouTube page but still unaired, this exchange where Steve celebrates the birthday of the cue card lady. He then points out her husband "Woodstock" (so named because he's "been a hippie his entire life"), only to discover that Don (the man standing to Steve's right who gives him each question card) was the cue card lady's first husband.
Steve: Well, welcome to Family Feud everybody. ... Right after the show, outside, Don and Woodstock are gonna be kicking each other's ass.
During a question asking for something someone with long legs may not be able to fit into, a contestant responded with "Long Pants." Steve responded by walking over to the contestant and basically lecturing her as a father would to his daughter over her choice. Steve's next reaction says it all.
It's not uncommon for a family to reveal all the answers on the board, and it has happened many times with no Strikes. A pastor's family doing a Strikeless Sweep on this question is... well, it probably hasn't happened before or since.
"Name a reason why someone may leave a house through the window." Vanessa gives an answer ("They lock themselves in the house, with the bolt lock-the extra lock on top.") which Steve notes has already been given ("Lost Key / Locked In") by literally walking up to the board and pointing at it... but she says it's different ("Maybe you spell 'lock' with two Ks"). She re-phrases her answer as "the deadbolt is stuck", to which Steve just says "Okay, I tell you what, let's just go with this one right here." It's accepted as "Broken Door". Steve, shocked by the discovery, ends up hugging and kneeling down to her.
Steve: Forgive me, I'm sorry. I thought that was the stupidest answer...
Contrary to what Steve heard at first, this contestant did not say "my black-ass parents".
Steve: (mocking her) "We're goin' for the money, so that makes it alright! It doesn't matter I'm a pastor's wife, a ticket to Hell is worth $20,000! You know it's up there, Steve-" (normal) No, I don't know a damn thing that's up there! What you ain't gonna do is drag me into your little nasty world! I don't know nothin' that's up there! "Oh, Steve, you know what's up there-" The hell I know what's up there!.... I have kids. Now... sp-spe... (Strike sound plays; Steve goes into Happy Dance mode as the contestant looks shocked)
Made even funnier by the fact that Steve anticipates the answer, and prefaces all of this with a "Think of the Censors" spiel.
"You know you've entered dangerous waters when even a Marine refuses to answer a question."
"Name something that gets passed around" "A Joint". Despite Steve's reaction, it's on the board. What makes this moment even better is the other contestant's answer, "a church collection plate" was worth less, and it was the only answer on the board worth less than "a joint"
Steve: We'll be right back! ...If we still have a show!
Name something a man might have in his pants when he's going on a hot date. One contestant knows her answer's going to be inappropriate and tries to be as PG as possible by saying "He's excited to go on his date." Steve knew what she was talking about but wanted her to be more specific. Her new answer? Boner. Steve's reaction was priceless: "You can say that on TV? What are y'all clappin' for? YOU SAID BONER! YOU SAID IT, YOU DIDN'T ASK ME IF YOU COULD SAY THAT!"
Number 5 answer, phrased as "a pitched tent", worth 5 points.
"Name something that follows the word 'pork'" Firstly, Steve misunderstands a contestant's accented "Loin" as "Lawn" (who then proceeds to blurt out "Loin! L-I-O-N"). But then, another member of the family took it further by guessing "-cupine" (as in porcupine, with the same logic as the "Pot-ato" incident). Steve's reaction says it all
And then Steve devotes a whole segment of his stand-up finale to it here.
"Name something that has white balls." The number 6 answer was "White Dudes".
"A wife can really cut her husband down to size by making fun of his what?" His manhood. (Which is the number 1 answer, labeled as Shrinky Dinky)
Steve: All you women that's out there clapping, listen to me... Don't call it your man's Shrinky Dinky, okay, you'll wind up in a real situation, I can tell you that right now. You got a lot of stuff, but what I ain't 'bout to be is Shrinky Dinky.
"Name something that comes in 6-inch and 12-inch sizes." One contestant answers "condoms", which isn't on the board. Cue the shocked audience when they learn that no one gave the answer you were all waiting for: the number 4 answer was "Guy's 'Soul Pole'"
Later during Fast Money, the contestants give "Titties" (4 points!) and "Tush" (2 points!) as body parts starting with the letter "T". In the case of the former, Steve is shocked and amazed that the contestant said it without an ounce of hesitation
For the win: "If Santa Claus was sick on Christmas Eve, who might he ask to deliver the presents?" "The Easter Bunny." She was right.
While a contestant introduced himself, Steve was fixing his tie. Then this happened:
Contestant: I'm a product development consultant, and Steve Harvey is touching me!
Steve: *jumps back, startled* ...Did that sound like a lawsuit to y'all?
Steve: Name a place people like to escape to.
Contestant: A drunken state!
Steve: *looks up with a 'what the hell' expression*
The contestant has to clarify what she meant, for a moment Steve thought she was talking about an actual state. He mentions he was thinking of Alabama or Georgia or something similar.
One Fast Money question was, "Name a reasonable curfew for a sixteen-year-old." The contestant answered...
Contestant: Six o'clock!
Steve: Six o'clock? GET IN THE HOUSE, IT'S SIX O'CLOCK!
The inevitable answer to this question:
Steve: Name something a man has that he likes to polish.
Contestant: His man part! *audience laughs while Steve gives him his I'm-losing-faith-in-humanity look* ...Not that I know from experience -
Steve: Shut up.
"Name something you pull out." "Your penis!"
Steve met a contestant named Khanh, who was a heavy set man. When he asked Khanh what he did for a living, he responded, "I'm a recovering vegetarian." Cue Steve losing it.
1980s: Once, host Tony Barber accidentally asked a male contestant if he had a boyfriend, then realized his slip and corrected it to "girlfriend". The contestant's response? "No, I'm gay."
During Bert Newton's stint, there was a special with two teams of past TV Week Logie winners playing against each other. The women's team included Denise Drysdale, Jane Allsop, Jeanne Little, and Patricia "Little Pattie" Thompson. At one point, Bert very casually slips in that he's slept with two of them.
Another one from Bert's run—"Name a gift that's hard to return". When the Massa family is given a chance to steal, the lady at the end says "a vibrator". Cue dramatic music, Bert saying that he doesn't know what it is, followed by him saying "uh..." like said device.
Bert: You know, sometimes I do miss morning television.