Series / Figure It Out
A Nickelodeon Game Show
that aired in the late 1990s, that was hosted by former Olympic swimmer Summer Sanders, where four panelists
guessed the contestant's secret talent, ranging from collecting items to performing cool and unique stunts.
The panel was given three one-minute rounds to guess that talent in the form of asking yes-or-no questions; hints were given through props, charades, a giant game board called "Billy the Answer Head" (which listed the player's talent, with words revealed if the panel said them), and a "clue monitor" that would be read off just before Rounds 2 and 3. The contestant received a nice prize for each round the panel was stumped, and a grand prize if they stumped through Round 3.
But unlike I've Got A Secret
and most other panel shows, Figure
added the Secret Slime Action, in which any panelists that performed it would be Covered in Gunge
in true Nickelodeon fashion... although very rarely, there was no Secret Slime Action (as in 'rarely', if they weren't teased by Summer to perform it).
The show went for four seasons from 1997 through 1999, where the third season went Family Style
in 1998, with families as the contestants, and for the final season, when the show theme was altered again to Wild Style
, with the abilities being limited to animal themes. Reruns then started airing on Nick GAS until its disestablishment in 2007.
A revival of the show was premiered in June 2012, now hosted by Jeff Sutphen. It counted with 2 seasons, following the original formula of it, where the panelists are guests and stars of some of their current Nick shows (like iCarly
) in which they tried to figure the talent or special skill of the contestant. However, two major changes done were the replacement of "Billy the Answer Head" with "The IT Board", which serves the same purpose (and makes the show's title quite literal in the present), and the added potential for the contestant
to get slimed (see Covered in Gunge
- Bonus Space: The Secret Slime Action, which awarded a prize to a member of the audience if at least one panelist was slimed by performing said action. Such actions included...
- "Looking to your left", which is where some clues appeared (through a tunnel on a set of tracks); invariably, one clue in that round would be given in that method.
- "Looking behind you", where part of the audience sat (and occasionally gave clues); again, one clue would invariably be presented that way.
- "Being [name]", who would be slimed at some point during the round.
- In at least one episode, "Being a panelist".note
- Having a certain color hair, or clothes.
- "Thinking about [bizarre thing]", which was of course impossible to validate.
- Saying certain words. Asking silly questions. Or even receiving a No or a Yes answer.
- One episode had the action be "sitting in front of The Dog Pound" (the name for the area behind the panel where the audience sat), ensuring that all the members of the panel were slimed.
- Sometimes the action would be activated by who the panelists themselves were or what they do like, "Being on All That", "Being on iCarly", "Being on Victorious", etc.
- Meanwhile Summer Sanders liked to tease the panelists to do a certain Secret Slime Action (with Danny Tamberelli or any of the adult guests usually falling over it), Jeff Sutphen will ensure that at least one panelist will perform the secret slime action. In one episode when the secret slime action was "do a high five," he ran to the panel and gave Lulu Antariska a high-five. And yes, she actually was aware it was the secret slime action (the entire panel actually figured it out long before).
- Covered in Gunge: The Nickelodeon staple, used in the Secret Slime Action. Also, some of the clues that were thrown at the panel, especially coming from above.
- In the original version, there were moments that, if one of the panelists were slimed thanks to the SSA, well... one of the others would get slimed too out of pure revenge and/or annoyance. The same happened when they played with some of the clues with the other panelists.
- The original version didn't have the contestant not the audience get slimed... if it wasn't for Danny (and sometimes Lori Beth), when he flipped his hair (once covered in slime) to the audience. Something that changed in the 2012 revival, where almost all panelists tossed slime to the crowd.
- Incorporated in part of the first and part of the second season, there would be some segments were the contestant would have the pleasure to slime one of the panelists at Summer's choice (if the panelist guessed the final word of the secret talent) or at random (The Last Laugh segment).
- Now, the whole trope was taken Up to Eleven in the 2012 revival, where most of the clues leave the panelists completely covered, either being dropped on their head or squirted out of the box in front of them.
- Not to mention that practically the slime came out from EVERYWHERE rather than from above as in the original version, the panelist wouldn't leave the panel clean.
- Also differing from the original, the 2012 revival, the word on the IT Board that deemed most critical to guess the contestant's secret is designated as the "Word of Honor"; if guessed during normal gameplay, the contestant is slimed.
- Ocassionally, the slimings get so intense Jeff Sutphen himself can be collaterally slimed (in the case of the contestant being slimed) or even the studio audience (as mentioned above).
- Home Game: One was released in 1998.
- Show The Folks At Home: The contestant's
secret special talent.
- Undesirable Prize: Inverted in Season 1, in that prizes for Round 1 involved sets from other (no longer in production) Nickelodeon shows that were based and filmed in Nickelodeon Studios. Played straight with the other prizes that weren't the Grand Prize, though. Averted completely in the 2012 revival.
This show provides examples of the following:
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Zigzagged with the Clue Recap Board. It either displays answers the panel got to their questions, tries to help them figure out the meaning of that round's clue, or makes fun of them.
- Butt Monkey / The Chew Toy: Danny, natch. To the point that every time he felt he was on the verge of being covered in the stuff, he hammed it up or went along with Summer's urging to get slimed.
- Catch Phrase: Danny's over-the-top "I DON'T KNOW!!"
- A Day in the Limelight: As mentioned in the YMMV page, Summer and Lori Beth swapped roles for part of an episode. Not to mention Summer was also covered in slime once as the host.
- Early Installment Weirdness: On one of the first taped episodes, a contestant's secret was "Burps a Christmas Song." With the final word unrevealed, Lori Beth Denberg asked, "Do you burp a Christmas carol?" which was accepted.
- Also, the panelists of the first few taped episodes, before the recurrent regular ones.
- Flanderization: The show got slightly wackier as time went on. Originally, the secret slime actions were a little more complicated, and the panelists were given somewhat-helpful pith helmets to use. However, once they remembered they were on Nickelodeon, the Slime Actions got much easier and even sillier (hence, the "Being a panelist" type events) and the slime helmets were replaced with borderline useless plastic party hats. They were doing too because of the kids, of course.
- The same can be applied once the revival was done. It got severely wacky compared to what the original show once it was ended 13 years ago.
- Follow the Leader: The format borrows elements from several panel games, but most closely resembles I've Got A Secret.
- Foregone Victory: Some of the Secret Slime Actions, including such trivial things as "Sitting in your chair."
- Freak Out: Every panelist got a helmet to put on to protect themselves from the green slime. Probably due to all the times he got slimed, the Secret Slime warning made Danny Tamberelli go through one of these as he scrambled to get his helmet on.
- Gender Flip: The announcer and the host between both versions. In the revival, the host is a guy, and the announcer is a girl.
- Genre Savvy: Pretty notorious in the revival. Though, there were times that the panelists of the original show also suspected at times what were the Slime Actions, and simply went with it (depending in varying degrees). If not, it was simply Tempting Fate. However, it is notorious to remember that all of them were doing it for one of the kids of the audience to get a prize too, so...
- Summer would tease at times to the panelists of her choice to do a certain action without any suspicion from then just to take the bait... of course until the exact moment they ALREADY knew what was her plan along (and even they went along with it too).
- And then, THERE IS Jeff. It was no joke he would ensure that no one would escape through this, becoming more obvious their own hesistance to perform certain actions. For example, in an episode he told the panel to give a round of applause. Everyone except James Maslow did it because he suspected it was the Secret Slime Action, and he was right. In another, Jeff reminded everyone that it might be a good idea to wear their helmets and goggles. But only Rachel (who was the only one slimed in the previous round) was hesitant to do so thinking it was the Secret Slime Action. Guess who was right all along?
- Large Ham: In the original, Danny, no doubt (definitely the reason he was nicknamed by J as the 'King of Slime' in one of the 2nd season intros). Matt Bennett from the revival definitely counts too.
- And from the cycling panelists of the first series, we also have Josh Server.
- My Rules Are Not Your Rules: Non-Video Game example. On some Wild Style episodes, the clock would disappear from the screen during some rounds and reappear with less time remaining, making some one-minute rounds last only 45-50 seconds.
- Oh Crap!: An impending sliming was indicated by a loud alarm, which lead to panelists scrambling to put on their slime helmets before the slime came down. Way too often, the panelists were too late.
- This is applied to the regulars and the guest panelists of the first series, from when the hint alarm went off, some were confused if they did the SSA or, well, if the clue was coming from above, so they had to cover their heads on (especially from 2nd season onwards), given that Summer wouldn't tell them anymore to put their helmets on.
- An in the revival, too. As stated above, some clues would leave the panel Covered in Gunge much more than the original version. If Jeff would subtly tell the panel to put on their safety goggles before a round, this was their common reaction.
- Panel Show
- Roger Rabbit Effect: The titular duo from CatDog appeared (in CGI form) in a few episodes of the original version as a panelist, and even got slimed.
- Sequel Escalation: Compare some slimings from the original version to the 2012 revival. Yes, that's slime being spurted out in front of the panelists, as well as coming down from above. Not to mention some of the clues leave the contests being Covered in Gunge and the contestant themselves being slimed.
- Shout-Out: Danny's catch phrase was "I don't know!" At one point, it was used as the Secret Slime Action. Danny kept his mouth shut once he started suspecting he was getting baited to say it.
- One revival contestant's secret was that he'd created a monster-catching machine. The monster he caught during the demonstration? Krumm.
- A contestant's secret was "Double Crowned Karate Champion." With the word "Crowned" concealed, Danny guessed "Double Dare Karate Champion."
- Also, some of the shout-outs of the original show were relevant to what the panelists were doing (in the past and at the time), since it wasn't constantly reminded of, such as several mentions to Danny's Little Pete role in The Adventures of Pete & Pete, or the several personifications of some of the other All That cast members that were often regular or cycling panelists.
- Spiritual Successor: As explained above, it's I've Got A Secret for kids. So close, it's probably why the Oxygen version didn't begin until after Nickelodeon had canned Figure it Out.
- Straight Woman: Often, Lori Beth was the only panelist who took it seriously. Nine times out of ten, she would be the one to guess the secret correctly.
- Tempting Fate: In one episode with Ciara, Chris, Lulu, and Carlos, one of the slime actions was "being a boy". Almost instantly, Chris and Carlos got slimed. When the action was revealed, Lulu asked why this was. Well, needless to say Jeff didn't want to disappoint her...
- In another example from the 2012 revival, after everyone has gotten slimed, including the contestant, Jeff notes he is the only one right now who hasn't gotten slimed. He does as well, also getting a second dose for the contestant.
- Undesirable Prize: In the first season, the Secret Slime Action prize was a merchandise item. That prize starting in the second season became a Figure it Out article of clothing, a far cry from say a $100 Toys"R"Us gift card or a mountain bike.