- Date unknown: A contestant picks the last clue on the board and gives a correct response. Alex says, "Correct. Select again." without realizing it. Cue the confused contestant saying, "I can't, the board's empty."
- In general, any category where announcer Johnny Gilbert reads off lines from a work (usually songs) in a deliberate tone. Examples include Johnny Gilbert Does Shakespeare (January 13, 1999, with a rare Daily Double on the top row), Johnny Gilbert Rocks (November 29, 1999), Johnny Gilbert Raps & Rocks On (October 7, 2008), and The Musical Stylings of Johnny Gilbert (December 20, 2016). You haven't lived until you've heard a man in his 80s deadpan his way through the likes of "Livin' la Vida Loca", "Hollaback Girl", and "I'm Too Sexy" with that Tidewater accent of his.
- From the show's debut on March 30, 1964 through July 18, 2003, a player could only win five times before they retired undefeated. On January 4, 2000, the champion Jack Archey had a locked-up win in his fifth game, so for Final Jeopardy! he wrote as his response "What is Woo Hoo Yee Haw Yeah Baby". Alex read the answer in a deadpan tone, with a "WTF?" face the whole time.
- September 10, 1984: To say that the current version had a funny moment on the first episode, would be an understatement. Greg Hopkins, an energy demonstrator from Ohio, and the first winner on the show, with a total of $8,400, showed off such skills during the contestant interview. He took out a balloon to use as a Uranium atom, split it into two separate atoms, and flew them up in the air. Alex responded to this by saying "Greg, try and relax."
- September 14, 1984: Alex and a contestant named Lorrie get tripped up in a Double Entendre.
Alex: You're fast on that button; good going!
Lorrie: I wish I were that fast at other things, thanks.
Alex: Whoops, hello! Wait a minute, don't tell us too much now, Lorrie! Just select a category.
- September 20, 1984: A contestant rings in on the clue, "Number of blank tiles in a Scrabble set." He guesses 36, not even in the form of a question, causing the audience to go wild. Alex tells him, "I'm glad you haven't been playing Scrabble, I'm glad you've been playing Jeopardy!"note
- October 2, 1984: The Final Jeopardy! clue asks for the country that draws the most American tourists per year. All three contestants write "What is Mexico?" instead of the correct response: Canada.
- November 29, 1984: Alex explaining what happens when contestants don't pay attention to clues.
Make sure you pay attention to the categories, to what the answer says, and be sure you phrase it in the form of a question. Otherwise, I will become nasty
- March 25, 1985: The $500 clue in Quote, Unquote: a category about completing famous sayings. Alex says, "Completes the saying 'The trouble with a kitten is that...'" and one contestant, without the proper phrasing, guesses "it's female".note
- November 15, 1985: The writers couldn't help but slip this clue in the first Tournament of Champions: "Alice thought the White Rabbit was normal until he whipped this out."note
- November 21, 1985: During the finals of that year's Tournament of Champions, Steve Rogitz accidentally reads the category "The U.N." as "The Un," causing the entire studio to laugh. Alex corrects him with mock anger and proceeds to read the clue while trying not to crack up. Bruce Fauman also laughs while responding.
- Mid-1980s: This "Mythology" clue.
Alex: He gave his name to a class of snakes.
Contestant: Who was Herpes?note
- January 14, 1986: Alex has to address the audience after this $100 clue in Business & Industry: "This spaghetti 'Chef' 'pasta way' June 22, 1985."note
Alex: By the way, I just want to make one point here that I have made on a number of occasions this season. I do not write the answers; I just read them.
- April 4, 1986: Two moments in the Jeopardy! round.
The desexed, more edible version of a rooster. Tom:
) What is a hen? Alex: No
. (audience laughs
) Whoa! Phil:
) What is a cock
Pardon? No, I don't think so. (more laughter
) Andrea, you don't want to try it? Andrea:
My uncle's gonna kill me, he raises them. (Correct response: Capon
- Later, Andrea hits an Audio Daily Double in the category "Can" It (each correct response must include the letters "can"). A sound clip of Johann Pachelbel's "Canon in D" plays.
Alex: The following by Pachelbel is an example of this polyphonic form.
Andrea: What is I "cannot" answer this question?
Alex: Well, you got the "can" in there.
- October 13, 1986: This $600 in Double Meanings: "A mounted member of a bullfighting team, or what you do on 'Let's Make a Deal.'" Alex again has to say "I just read them!" when someone gets the correct response: "Picador/pick a door".
- October 31, 1986: No one rings in on this clue: "Its chemical name is p-aminobenzoyl-diethylamino-ethanol hydrochloride". Before the time's up signal sounded, Alex says, "And I will not say it again." He then gives the correct response (Novocain) and quips "I might need some soon."
- November 6, 1986: A funny answer that Trebek liked.
Alex: By the 4th century A.D., Rome had 28 public ones stacked with rolls of papyrus.
Gary: What are public, uh... toilets?
Alex: (through suppressed laughter) No. Sorry.
Harvey: What are libraries?
Alex: Yes. I kinda like Gary's line for humor, though.
- November 11, 1986: An unorthodox response to this clue.
Alex: 4th class mail, including merchandise, printed matter, & mailable live animals, is better known as this.
Jared: What is junk mail?
Alex: Those poor animals. Being referred to as "junk mail".note
- November 19, 1986: This clue during the second Tournament of Champions: "We don't know if Lois ever complained about him being 'faster than a speeding bullet.'"note
- November 21, 1986: Alex asks Tournament of Champions finalist Marvin Shinkman how he plans to unwind when the tournament is over.
Marvin: I think I'll lock myself in a vault with a large, large box of stamps, take off all of my clothes and roll around in 'em.
(audience laughter, Alex smirks)
Alex: Marvin... Marvin you're cute (singsong) but you're kinky!
- December 19, 1986: An early example of a sports category being given the That One Level treatment. The category is "Bowling", which all three contestants have avoided for as long as possible, and with good reason: No one rings in on the only two clues that are played.
- January 2, 1987: The Final Jeopardy! category is American Literature, and the clue is "Inspirational 19th century song from which John Steinbeck got the title 'The Grapes of Wrath'." One contestant writes "What is his eye is on the sparrow?" which results in this exchange.
- February 2, 1987: One contestant tries to explain an incorrect response he gave in Final Jeopardy!. The clue is "It's believed elephants rarely lived beyond 60, about the age the last of these wear out" and the contestant writes "What is feet?"
Their feet wear out? Contestant:
They're very heavy animals. Alex: (as the audience starts laughing)
Yeah, see? They die when they get to be about 4 feet high. (audience continues laughing)
Those short elephants. We should give you points just for the comedy in that response. Contestant: I think my grammar's wrong
- February 16, 1987: The first-ever Teen Tournament game featured an answer that Alex seemed to agree with.
Alex: Ben Franklin said, "There was never a good war or a bad" 1 of these.
Contestant: What is a woman?
Alex: No, sorry. I like your thinking, though.note
- February 23, 1987: Alex inhales helium for an Audio Daily Double and asks the contestant to identify said gas that makes his voice rise.
- March 17, 1987: "Of 'Him', 'Her', 'You', & 'Me', the one never a top 40 hit." All three manage to ring in with the wrong three choices (Me, You, and Him, respectively).
- May 14, 1987: One contestant goes a different route in this Rhyme Time clue.
The hens of a great English author. Contestant:
Who are Pepys
' cheeps? Alex:
I gotta tell you something. We had "Dickens' chickens", but that qualifies.
- June 18, 1987: Two moments from Bob Verini's first day.
- Hilarity Ensues in the $500 clue about South Africa which reads "Of go in or go elsewhere, what to do when you see a restroom marked 'HERE'." A male contestant, Marty, loses money for responding with "What is go elsewhere?" A female contestant named Kathleen says "What is go in?" and is also ruled incorrect. Bob lays off his signaling button, leading to this...
Bob doesn't want to try it. Bob:
Let me tell you something, I'm not
going to try it. Alex:
Let me give it to you. We caught you on that one
. "HERE" means "MEN". Bob: I'd
go in. Alex:
You'd go in and if Kathleen went in, there'd be a lot of trouble.
- Later on in Double Jeopardy!, Bob signals on this $1,000 Presidential Trivia clue:
Alex: Its lyrics include the line "Roderigh vich alpine dhu, Ho! Ieroe!"
Bob: (after ringing in) What is Ronald Reagan's... uh... family song?
Alex: Bob, not only are you wrong, but you went a long way for a very small payoff!note
- September 29, 1987: One contestant has a lock after Double Jeopardy! and provides some accidental humor for Final. The category is Animals and the clue reads "William Russell bought over 400 horses for this business & branded them 'XP'." She hides her face when her incomplete response "What is food con" is revealed (her pen went off in the middle of writing the "n").
- October 15, 1987: The board goes haywire and turns all the $800 boxes into $400s, so Alex fixes it via Percussive Maintenance. Even funnier, the $800 clue turns out to be the Daily Double.
- October 16, 1987: Another incorrect response Trebek seemed to agree with.
Alex: Restaurants are "hopping" on the bandwagon to offer this mammal, the latest trend in lean meat.
Neil: What is the kangaroo?
Barbara: What is the rabbit?
Alex: Yes, but I like Neil's choice. That'd be fun.
- October 21, 1987: "Despite rumors, the female of this arachnid species doesn't always kill its mate after sex." After one contestant provides the correct response of black widow, Alex adds "Sometimes they'll have a cigarette."
- December 4, 1987: Alex holds up painted Ukrainian Easter eggs for a Daily Double... and then pretends to drop them.
- December 30, 1987: A clue about Vanna White's then-new exercise tape: "Her fitness video is 'Eat Slim/Stay Slim' & you don't have to pay extra for the 'A', "E', & 2 'I's. After two contestants get it wrong, Alex explains what the clue meant: "You don't have to pay for the vowels on her video."
- Season 4 (1987-88): A contestant comes up with lyrics to the theme song: "If you think your brain is strong/Jeopardy! will prove you wrong". Alex could only muster an unsure "Okay..."
- March 16, 1988: The first and last clues of a Crime & Punishment category.
Alex: After marrying at least 82 times for money, Giovanni Vigliotto was finally convicted of this.
Ron: (rings in) What is bigamy?
Alex: Yes—82 times? Giovanni! Naughty, naughty, Giovanni... or lucky, lucky Giovanni.
Alex: A prison program in Colorado uses inmates (starts laughing) to tame these animals.
Scooter: (rings in) What is lions or tigers?
Alex: No. (audience laughs)
Ron: (rings in) What are wild horses?
Alex: Yes. I was thinking of lions and tigers, and that's why I thought it was so funny. You throw the convicts in there and say, "Tame those, the lions and tigers!"
- April 25, 1988: Returning champion Jeff Brown won only $200 on his first game. Feeling adventurous, he picks a $500 clue to start his second. He and another contestant get it wrong, at which point Alex suggests he try a smaller amount since those are easier. Jeff picks the same category... for $400.
- April 26, 1988: A contestant takes so long to answer a Daily Double that Alex initially rules her incorrect. He says he nearly fell asleep waiting for her to respond.
- April 29, 1988: Alex catches onto the writing of this clue too little, too late: "Ads for Tabu show a man holding a woman while a woman touches this instrument."note
- May 11, 1988: Alex and a Seniors Tournament contestant have a little fun over phrasing.
Alex: Since this has happened over 500 times, Washington State ferry crews receive obstetrical training.
Fran: (rings in) When are babies born?
Alex: When are babies born, or what is babies born?
Fran: Why are babies born? How are babies born? (audience laughs) Where are babies born? High & Dry for $600.
Alex: You're gonna get yourself out of it by going to another category?
- May 24, 1988: Alex makes sure Mark Lowenthal earns his fifth and final win on this clue.
This 1937 film won Oscars for Best Picture, Screenplay, and Supporting Actor, but not for Paul Muni. Mark:
) What is Zola
Be more specific. Mark:
What is Émile Zola
Be even more
What is The Life of Émile Zola
It took a lot of life out of me!
- June 21, 1988: Contestant Tom attempts Loophole Abuse in the New Yorkers category. He finds the Daily Double in the $300 spot and says, "I'm detecting a pattern here."note before getting the correct response. He then picks the $400 clue...
Alex: Barry Goldwater said he chose this man as his running mate because "He drives Johnson nuts"
Steve: (rings in) Who is Nelson Rockefeller?
Tom: (rings in) Who is Miller?
Alex: Be more specific.
Tom: Who is, um... James Miller?
Alex: No. (time's up signal) William E. Miller. See? I might have let you get away with it, Tom, if you had not said that you detected the pattern.
- October 10, 1988: One contestant gets Beetlejuice as a correct response, then says his name twice more. Alex reminds him that they don't give him more money if he keeps saying it.
- October 18, 1988: "The longest word ever in a London Times crossword, 27 letters, was from his Love's Labor's Lost." After one contestant says "Who is William Shakespeare?", Alex holds up a sign with the word "honorificabilitudinitatibus" written out. He then quips "I don't know what it means and I don't care."
- November 2, 1988: Two moments.
For an upper GI you drink this; for a lower GI... well, we won't talk about that. Eileen:
) What's a barium enema? Alex:
(Beat, followed by uncomfortable gibberish
) Hmm. No, we can't give you that, I'm sorry. Alison:
) What is barium? Alex:
Barium, yes. Uh, "For an upper GI, you drink" it. And uh, no matter how you (all three contestants laugh
) I don't even want to explain it.
- Later, no one gives a correct response to a clue about the lyrics to "Red River Valley":
Alex: "Come and sit by my side if you love me." Phil, then we can do other things, of course.
Phil: Right, not with you, thank you.
- November 3, 1988: Alex issues a Take That! at Joan Crawford when she is the subject to a clue.
Alex: Somehow I cannot imagine anyone calling, particularly a child friend, "Stinky" to Miss Crawford.
- November 23, 1988: The writers again have fun at Alex's expense with this clue: "In his campaign for president, this comedian said, I've upped my standards—now up yours!"note
- December 12, 1988: Alex misreads the last word in a clue as "tavern" instead of cavern. Regardless, the first contestant to ring in gets it right.
- December 20, 1988: The $1,000 clue in Thingumajigs.
If the typewriter keys strike this, you forgot to put the paper in. Richard:
) What is a carriage? Alex:
) What is that rolling bar? Alex:
Be more specific. Tom:
What is that black rolling bar that moves around that supports the two sheets of paper? Alex:
(amidst audience laughter
) These are the moments we dread
- December 22, 1988: "The most unforgettable women in the world wear" this. After Alex announces that Revlon is the correct response, he adds "Or they wear nothing at all."
- January 12, 1989: One clue asked for Ronald Reagan's star sign. Cue laughter and groans when no one rang in with Aquarius.
- March 29, 1989: "In 1814 British officers ate in this famous residence—then burned it." After the correct reponse of the White House is given, Alex comments "Guess they didn't like the food."
- July 1989: During the Seniors Tournament, Ouida Rellstab, the eventual winner, tells Alex in an interview segment that she raises turtles, but with her thick Louisiana accent, Alex mistakenly thinks she races turtles.
- October 10, 1989: One contestant takes some terminology too literally.
Alex: Nyctophobia isn't an abnormal fear of smoking but of this.
Kerry: (rings in) What is shaving?
Alex: No! (laughs) I love the humor. I wish you could get points for that.note
- November 29, 1989: This response in the category of "Driving".
Alex: To get to Wallace, Idaho from Boston, get on I-90 West, & the 1st one of these you "hit", you're there.
Susan: (after ringing in) What is a buffalo?
Alex: (laughs) I love your response, but it's incorrect.note
- March 30, 1990: This interesting response.
Alex: It can be a spokesman, part of your phone or a protective rubber device worn by a boxer.
Contestant: What is a cup?note
- May 7, 1990: "Peter the Great" is a correct response. Alex accidentally addresses a contestant who rang in as "Peter" which gets the clue thrown out.
- May 18, 1990: Michael Thayer from Rutgers University wins the 1990 College Tournament, writing "Who is someone I have never met?" in Final Jeopardy, possibly the earliest reference to the Cheers episode "What is Cliff Clavin?" on Jeopardy.
Alex: Michael, it looks like you've been watching that episode of Cheers!
- June 16, 1990: On the first Super Jeopardy! episode, Steve Rogitz is asked to name the 1861 song that inspired the Elvis Presley hit "Love Me Tender"."Aura Lee"
Steve: What is "Inka Dinka Doo"
Alex: (laughs) Well, I appreciate your sense of humor.
- June 18, 1990: This montage of Trebek swearing like a sailor and drinking what appears to be alcohol (but is actually Diet Coke and a glass of water) while trying to shoot some Phone Jeopardy! promos.
"So keep watching Jeopardy! 24 hours a day, and call this number... Ya dumb son of a bitch, you don't watch it 24 hours a day!"
"There's a daily cash prize of $1,000 aaand fuck!
- June 20, 1990: Every response in the Jeopardy! round has "John" in it.
- November 14, 1990: "In this 1990 film, a couple dies of spider bites while watching 'Wheel of Fortune'."note
- January 30, 1991: "From the Latin for 'how many times', it's the answer to a division problem." Contestant Adelaide gives an incorrect response... and something else comes to her when the time's up signal sounds.
Alex: Adelaide wishes she had said what?
Adelaide: The dividend.
Alex: So, you'd have been wrong twice. Aren't you glad you can only ring in once?note
- September 20, 1991: This Daily Double clue in the category of Gambling: "Racetrack combination in which you pick the winners of 2 races, usually the first 2." Correct response? a Daily Double!
- November 5, 1991: During the Tournament of Champions quarterfinal games, Teen Tournament winner Andy Westney gets stumped by this Daily Double.
Alex: On Dec. 4, 1783 George Washington bade his officers farewell at this New York City tavern.
Andy: What is the uh... Whisky A Go Go?note
- From Season 8 (1991-92), another one of Trebek's favorite answers.
Alex: George Bernard Shaw called this condition "the greatest of evils and the worst of crimes."
Contestant: What is marriage?note
- Jonathan Loeb, a contestant from Season 8 (1991-92), playing the William Tell Overture by tapping his teeth during his interview segment.
- Season 8 (1991-92): A contestant who is stumped by a clue asks, "Can I get back to you on that?"
- January 24, 1992: Contestant Bill gets a vocabulary lesson while giving a response.
Alex: The Edmunds Act of 1882 tried to supress [sic] this practice in the territories & especially in Utah.
Bill: (rings in) What is uh... having extra wives?
Alex: It's called polygamy.
Bill: Thank you.
- March 4, 1992: Alex has fun with a Teen Tournament contestant who forgets the hang of the "T" Time category.
A quisling isn't a little quiz show, it's a synonym for this. Pat:
(after ringing in
) What's a baby goose?
(cue Oh, Crap! reaction from Pat who starts laughing; the other contestants and the audience join in
That's funny, Pat. But remember it's "T" Time; "baby goose" does not begin with the letter T. (time's up signal
) Traitor. Vidkun Quisling was a traitor in the second World War. Pat, can you regain your composure enough to select again?
- May 7, 1992: Alex imitates Dr. Ruth Westheimer when she is the subject to a clue.
- May 15, 1992: Billy Baxter is so excited to see his schoolThe College of William and Maryis the correct response that he shouts it upon ringing in.
- May 20, 1992: Jerome Vered is baffled that there's a whole category about Elizabeth Taylor's 1991 wedding to Larry Fortensky, so he starts there, saying "Well, someone must have worked very hard for this...".
- October 26, 1992: On the first ever Celebrity Jeopardy! game, Alex interrupts the Jeopardy! round after eight clues to ask Regis Philbin to jump in on the game since he hasn't gotten a chance to ring in yet. Regis holds up his signaling button and yells, "Is this thing working!?" Regis finally gets a correct response after the first commercial break, resulting in cheers from the audience.
- October 30, 1992:
It's the appearance of a performer after the play in response to applause. Ed Begley Jr.:
) What is an encore? Alex:
No. Robert Guillaume:
) What is a bow? Alex:
No. Rosie O'Donnell:
) What is, uh, the last call? Another call? Call me later? Call me crazy! Alex:
Oh! A curtain call! Rosie:
A curtain call! I gotta call it in. Alex:
All of you forgot that "call" must be in the correct response Rosie: You've never had one, anyhow
) After this show, you may not get one either
- Later on, Ed picks the first three clues of The Environment in Double Jeopardy! Rosie gives a correct response to the third, and she defects to another category. Ed gets a correct response on the next clue, so he goes back to The Environment.
Rosie: Damn you!
- November 11, 1992: During Double Jeopardy in the Tournament of Champions quarterfinals, Teen Tournament winner April McManus discovers one of the Daily Doubles, but not feeling comfortable about the category (Historic Homes), wagers only $100, but gets it right to her surprise. So, she picks the next clue in Shakespeare, which is the other Daily Double, and feeling confident, wagers $1,000, only to get it wrong.
- November 20, 1992: For the final game in the Tournament of Champions, finalists Bruce Simmons, Leszek Pawlowicz, and Jerome Vered laugh, shrug and mouth (respectively) while their pitiful first day totals are announced ($0-$4000-$700, respectively) due to an anti-climatic ending in Final Jeopardy the day before.
- Johnny Gilbert gets two moments here. The fact that Johnny Gilbert actually announced that $0 score.note The second is after announcing Jerome's score, he almost cracks up before introducing Alex.
- November 23, 1992: For Tom Nosek's fifth game, the Final Jeopardy clue is "He retired after the only woman he ever loved, opera singer Irene Adler, passed away". Tom, stumped, writes "Who is Smith?".note
Tom: I thought all else being equal...
Alex: All else being equal, go for Smith!
- May 7, 1993: Alex falling victim to a Delicious Distraction.
Who is Wee Willie Wonka
Winkie! (audience laughter
) Boy, when you're a chocoholic at my age it does things to your brain.
- May 14, 1993: When no one rings in on a clue concerning the subtitle of En Vogue's "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)", Alex adds, "and you didn't get it."
- July 16, 1993: Eccentricities for $300.
C. Vanderbilt reportedly kept dishes of this common seasoning under his bed to scare away evil spirits. Don:
) What is pepper? Alex:
) What is salt? Alex:
Yes. Pepper never works; I tried it
- September 27, 1993: Alex doesn't skip a beat when one response is off by one letter.
The Impressionists took their name from this French painter's "Impression: Sunrise". Tom:
) Who is Manet? Alex:
) Who is Monet? Alex:
Yes. (to Tom
) The wrong one there, but for a vowel. You should be on Wheel of Fortune
- September 30, 1993: Another amusing response.
Alex: In autumn feathers fly in Spring Hill, Florida for the world championship of this.
Contestant: What is pillow fighting?note
- November 9, 1993: When Edward Asner fails to ring in on a clue before Pat Sajak.
I think my buzzer's not working. Alex:
My standard line in this kind of a situation is, "No, it's not the buzzer." Pat:
(amidst audience laughter
) Oh, jeez, the tension developing here!
- November 12, 1993: Tim Daly and Alex test the judges and the rule book with this response.
The thinnest of all pastas is the one with this "heavenly" name. Tim:
) What is angelini? Alex:
Angelini or angel hair? Can we accept that? Tim:
Angel hair? Alex:
Angelini, is that good enough? Tim:
It's the Italian word. Alex:
Angelini is the Italian word Tim says. Tim:
You mean I have to give all the answers in English!? Alex: One of the new rules
- January 18, 1994: A contestant misunderstands the meaning of this clue about the Inventors' Hall of Fame.
Alex: Frank B. Coulton is included for developing this birth control method introduced in 1960.
David: What is natural childbirth?note
- November 8, 1994: Alex warns Larry King that he'd better get a correct response when Ted Turner is the subject of a clue, which he does.
- November 9, 1994: Jason Alexanderbest known at the time as George on Seinfeldpicks the bottom clue on Nuclear Physics, drawing laughter from the audience. He then stuns the studio when he rings in and gets it right.
- July 6, 1995: The answer: "Cape May, at the end of the Garden State Parkway in this state, is the USA's oldest seashore resort." The correct response (New Jersey) happens to be the home state of two of the contestants but the third player beats both of them to it.
- The Final Jeopardy answer is about the play The Seagull, but nobody gets it right, including champion Isaac Segal (sounds like "seagull")note . Alex lampshades this the next day.
- July 7, 1995: The answer: "The proceeds from some of her souvenir hatchets helped fund a home for wives of alcoholics."
Isaac: Who is Carrie Nation?
Alex: Carrie Nation, yes. But I like Robert's thought.
- November 6, 1995: This exchange on a celebrity episode:
Why am I minus? Tell me, give me a good reason! I've been answering, I've been beeping. These beastly people [David Duchovny and Stephen King
] next to me are not helping. They don't say, "After you, Lynn," like real gentlemen. What's the matter? Alex:
Does the word "stupid" mean anything?
- November 8, 1995: Charles Shaughnessy's response to this "Pigs on Film" clue.
The 1973 cartoon adaptation of this E.B. White book featured the number "Zuckerman's Famous Pig". Charles:
What was Fritz the Cat
- April 26, 1996: One clue referenced the George McGovern term "three-martini lunch", and Alex comments that it's "not a bad idea".
- September 6, 1996: Similar to the example from Season 8.
Alex: "Elbert Hubbard defined this as 'a monotonous interval between fights.'"
Contestant: What is marriage? The correct response is "peace."
- October 1, 1996: A contestant almost wagers $25,000 instead of $2,500 on a Daily Double.
- December 12, 1996: One contestant takes Alex too literally.
- April 1, 1997: For April Fool's Day, Pat Sajak replaces Alex as host of Jeopardy, with the first round categories derived from WoF.
- May 9, 1997: One particularly funny slip-up from the International Tournament:
Alex: If a Japanese isha (doctor) asks you to stick out your shita, he means this. (Per-Gunnar rings in) Per-Gunnar?
Per-Gunnar Hillesoy (NOR): What's your... behind?
Alex: Oh, no! (audience loses it; Boris rings in) Boris?
Boris Levitt (ISR): What is your tongue!?
Alex: Your tongue, yes! A long way from your behind!
- Similar to the 1992 College Tournament example listed above, there's a clue about Canada, with Canadian player Michael Daunt almost yelling "What is Canada!?" when he responds.
- October 16, 1997: Johnny has just finished reading the consolation prize copies, and throws back to Alex. This exchange ensues:
Alex: Thank you, Johnner. (beat) Johnner? Johnny.
Alex: My tongue is not working today. However, let's see if I can get it to say what the Final Jeopardy! category is.
(the board reveals "Famous Pairs")
Alex: Famous Pores. We'll be back with the clue in a moment.
- November 21, 1997: During the first Power Players week, Bill Maher hits an Audio Daily Double. He hears a snippet from The Melvins and can't identify the band's genre of grunge.
- February 13, 1998: The Tournament of Champions finals included professional humorist Bob Harris. Starting the second heat of the Finals with $0 because he missed the previous day's Final Jeopardy!, Harris was a target of mockery for the rest of the show including at the very start. When Trebek tried to suggest a possible comeback and Harris replied "I don't need your pity!", Trebek countered by stating that while the other two players would have their scores from the day before cleared, Harris was already at $0 so they didn't need to clear his. "So much for pity."
- March 23, 1998: This clue in a category about punchlines: "It explains why music played backwards is coming from Beethoven's grave." The correct response? He's decomposing.
- April 2, 1998: There is an actual category called "Um" which leads to this.
Pat: "Um" for $200.
Alex: Which one?
Pat: "Um" for $200.
Alex: Oh! "Um"! All right.
Alex: And a moment ago, I was confused, because I thought you were just pausing and throwing in an "um" trying to figure out what you were going to do!
- April 2, 1998: One contestant gives a correct response in Latin. Alex reminds the players that responses must be given in English "because we're going to be in deep trouble."
- December 2, 1998: The Final Jeopardy clue: "Spurned in love, he joined the Light Dragoons in 1793 under the alias Silas Tomkyn Comberbache", the correct response being "Who is Samuel Taylor Coleridge", though one player, had an interesting answer.
Alex: (reading) "Who is my dad?" Your dad is old, Rebecca—you'd better go visit him more often in the home!
- December 21, 1998: During the contestant interviews, one of the contestants talks about a tough job he had cutting fish in Alaska, and says that he didn't think it was a lot of fun and decided to "hop on the next boat back to the States." Alex informs him that Alaska is actually part of the United States, and the contestant tells him "Wait til you've been there." Alex, while laughing, says that he has.
- January 18, 1999: "Readings From Homer." Dan Castellaneta reading Homer in his Homer Simpson voice.
- When one contestant gets a Daily Double correct, Homer shouts "Lucky!"
- The first contestant to have a correct Final Jeopardy! response revealed is greeted by Homer saying, "Wow, you're smart!" Alex responds by telling Homer to shut up.
- May 31, 1999: A contestant pretends to walk off the set after giving a bad response. Alex jokingly pleads with him to come back.
- November 5, 1999: A Teen Tournament quarterfinal category about Star Trek: Voyager goes unplayed until all the other clues have been selected. No one rings in for the first four amounts, and the audience starts to laugh the third time this happens. Someone does ring in for the bottom clue only to give an incorrect response. After the time's up signal, Alex quips "Aren't you glad we have abandoned Star Trek: Voyager?"
- January 13, 2000: A contestant during Double Jeopardy!
Lewis: Um, Nymph-O-Mania for $200.
Alex: No, no, it's 'Nymph-O-Rama'. [audience loses it] note
- February 15, 2000: From the first College Championship that year, there was a "Tricky Questions" category. This such clue nearly drove Alex to conniptions.
Total cubic feet of earth in a hole 1 yard wide, 1 yard long & 1 yard deep. Michael:
) What is three cubic feet? Alex:
) What is one cubic foot? Alex:
) What is nine cubic feet? Alex:
No! There is no earth
in a hole! (angry aside glance
- March 30, 2000: A Final Jeopardy! clue about Actresses has this clue: She's the granddaughter of an Oscar winner, the niece of a 2-time Oscar winner, & the daughter of a 1997 nominee." The third place contestant writes "Who is my mom?"note .
Alex: Your mom is Henry Fonda's granddaughter? Well, you have some solid acting genes in your household!
- May 16, 2000: During the Tournament of Champions, famous blind contestant Eddie Timanus responded "What are suckers?" to an answer of "P.T. Barnum's victims (7 letters)". The way he said it drew a ton of laughs from the audience, and Alex replied with "You didn't have to say it like that!"
- May 29, 2000: This exchange on a clue and about Songs' Opening Lines.
Alex: Aretha Franklin: "Looking out on the morning rain, I used to feel uninspired".
Ginny: (rings in) What is "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman"?
Alex: Thank you. I'm glad I do.
- June 6, 2000: A contestant who gets stumped by a Daily Double responds with, "Who are three people who have never been in my kitchen?"
- November 7, 2000: A contestant named Bruce freezes with a dumbfounded expression on a Daily Double. During the 4,000th episode Clip Show, his frozen face was interspersed between other contestants struggling to come up with responses.
Alex: Say something, Bruce.
- February 9, 2001: A celebrity episode had the category "Children's Literature" with this clue: "First line of the poem thought to be based on Mary Sawyer's experience at a Massachusetts school-house around 1815." Steven Page runs out of time to write "What is 'There once was a man from Nantucket'?", getting as far as the first two letters of the last wordnote .
Steven: Alex, my self-esteem is at an all-time low right now. Can I leave now?
Alex: No, but it's obvious that children's literature has a different meaning for you than for anybody else!
- February 15, 2001: In the International Tournament, no one identifies a mandrill by its picture. After Alex announces what it is, Swedish language teacher Fredrik Gildea says "Looks like you, Alex!"
Alex: The man traveled 6,000 miles to insult me!
- May 28, 2001: Alex reads &*$%! in a clue as "Blankety, blankety, blankety, blank."
- July 5, 2001: Alex sometimes slips an extra hint in Final Jeopardy! after time runs out. In this such case, the clue itself deals with a statue of a late actor unveiled at New York City's Port Authority Terminal. A contestant slaps her podium after Alex reminds everyone about someone associated with buses on television on film. After her wager is revealed, she shouts "To the moon!"note
- July 6, 2001: Alex gives a pronunciation lesson.
Alex: Don't use French pronunciation for this, a restaurant's fee for serving wine that you bring in.
Contestant: (rings in) What is corkage?
Alex: Yes, don't say, "Cor-kahge."
- July 13, 2001: A contestant gets tongue-tied while giving a correct response. He blows a raspberry and says, Try saying that with a straight face."
- September 13, 2001: Colorful Geography for $600:
"Of the North" usually follows the name of this river that forms the border between Minnesota and North Dakota. Bethany:
) What is Nanook? Alex:
No. Nanook of the North
? The name of the...
(audience starts laughing
) What is the Red River? Alex:
Yes, the Red River of the North!
- October 26, 2001: Sarah of the Clue Crew stands on the edge of a pool and delivers this clue.
, it's what I'm about to do here.
(Sarah leaps into the pool on her stomach
You couldn't pay me enough to do that!note
- November 7, 2001: Alex announces the fifth and sixth categories in the first College Championship quarterfinal match which takes place at UCLA.
Jane Pauley Pavilon; now we know who this place is named for.
And Beating the Trojans
(cheers and applause
Hey! We don't want to start anything bad here!
- November 12, 2001: Two moments during the first College Championship semifinal match:
- The $200 clue in Chemistry 101 reads "You don't need any super powers to know that Kr is the chemical symbol for this noble gas." The first contestant says, "What is kryptonite?" The second contestant gives the correct response of "krypton".
- Famous Names for $800: "'Father of the Supercomputer' who once said, 'I was one of those nerds before the name was popular.'" The same contestant who gave the kryptonite answer responds with "Who is Bill Gates?"note
- December 14, 2001: The last clue in Double Jeopardy! under Historic People.
Alex: England's King Charles II was given this jovial sobriquet, maybe because he had at least 13 mistresses.
Tracy: (rings in) What is Lucky Chucky?
Alex: No. Whoa!
(audience erupts in laughter)
Alex: Lucky Chucky? Okay. (time's up signal) No, he was known as the Merry Monarch, but Lucky Chucky sounds pretty good to me!
- January 8, 2002: Returning champion David Bell finds the second Daily Double near the end of Double Jeopardy!. He makes it a True Daily Double, takes a total guess... and gets it right. Alex then says, "You can breathe now."
- January 10, 2002: No one rings in on a clue about what a sailor does when he "splices the main brace". To reveal the correct response of "getting into the sauce", Alex pantomimes drinking beer.
- Janaury 24, 2002: A contestant wagers $1,430 on a Daily Double and explains that it's a secret between him and his wife. Alex: "There are no secrets on Jeopardy!." When the contestant gives no responses, Alex reassures him that the secret is still safe for the time being.
- Janaury 25, 2002: Alex misspeaks when giving the number of letters to a crossword clue category. The first contestant to ring in still gets it. Alex wonders if he missed something in school when counting the letters.
- February 21, 2002: Alex accidentally says a correct response is kittens instead of mittens.
Alex: Every year, folks, I do it once or twice. Okay?
- February 22, 2002: One contestant makes her hatred of the Baltimore Ravens clear, adding "Yuck!" after she writes it for her Final Jeopardy! response. Alex quips, "Please, no editorializing when you come up with a correct response."
- June 3, 2002: Four-time champ Jill Bunzendahl Chimka said that if she won five games, she'd give the car she won to her son, Cory. When she didn't know the answer to Final Jeopardy!, she wrote "What is Sorry Cory No Jag?"
- June 28, 2002: After nobody rang in to a clue asking for the first game show Trebek hosted in the U.S., he lampshaded the show's obscurity by saying "...and that's why it only lasted for one year" before stating that the correct response was The Wizard of Oz. When they came back from commercial, he corrected himself and said that it was actually titled The Wizard of Odds.
Was it me, or was it the show? (Beat
) It was the show.
- November 8, 2002 (The last show to use the 1996-2002 set): After the time runs out for the Final Jeopardy! clue: "In the continental United States, this city is the southernmost state capital."
- July 3, 2003: One contestant writes "Who is someone not in my kitchen?" for his Final Jeopardy! response.
- September 26, 2003: "Tricky Questions" for $400 reads, "It's the technical reason you can't take a photograph of a man with a wooden leg." After no one gives the correct response, Alex says the correct response: it's because wooden legs can't take photographs. Cue loud groans from the audience, followed by Alex quipping "I just read 'em!"
- January 28, 2004: The Final Jeopardy! clue under Latin Lingo is "This 3-word phrase familiar in the U.S. originated in an ancient poem & described assembling foods to make salad."note One contestant writes, "What is Grabbus Vegetablus?"
- May 13, 2004: Keith Olbermann leaves out the second A in "Niagara" as part of the Final Jeopardy! correct response "Niagara Falls". When Al Franken points this out, he also notices Keith detached his N, making his response say "Viagra".
- July 19, 2004: A video clue from Cheryl of the Clue Crew "Introduced in 1990, it's the program I'm using [here] to create an unusual image." Cue her using Photoshop to put a mustache on an image of Alex.
Alex: Not so unusual.
- July 22, 2004: After Ken Jennings sweeps the Stupid Answers category, Alex scolds the audience for applauding a Stupid Answers sweep.
- October 8, 2004: A well-known moment from Ken, made so by the particular colloquialism he and Alex lampshade. What makes the moment even more funny is that it takes Alex a split-second to catch up to Ken's wisecrack.
) This term for a long-handled gardening tool can also mean an immoral pleasure seeker. Ken:
) What's a hoe? Alex:
) No. (Beat; laughs
) Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! They teach you that in school in Utah, huh?
(the correct answer was "Rake"
- October 6, 2004: Another one from Ken. The Final Jeopardy! category was 2004, and the clue was "On Monday, December 13, 3 people designated these will meet in Cheyenne, Wyoming to help decide the world's future." Ken wrote "What are The Three Stooges?" note
- November 10, 2004: In the College Tournament, computer science major Kermin Fleming wagers $1,337 in Final Jeopardy! and wins. He then goes on to explain his wager later. (He eventually won the tournament.)
- May 2005 (unaired): During the final taping session of the Ultimate Tournament of Champions, Trebek walked out without pants on after hearing the final three contestants (one of whom was Ken) say that they had considered playing the game without pants themselves. As a camera behind the podiums showed, they still had their pants on.
- May 6, 2005: In Round 2 of the Ultimate Tournament of Champions, the Final Jeopardy answer: "The name of this character, introduced in 1894, is from the Hindi for 'bear'.note Jonathan Groff (no, not him) guesses "What is Pooh?", saying to Alex "At least I got to say 'What is Pooh?' on national television."
- July 12, 2005: When the clue asks what direction the figures are facing on an old quarter, contestant Charles rings in:
Charles: What is left?
Alex: Right. No, I'm sorry. Left is correct. Right... Oh, forget it.
- September 14, 2005: Unable to come up with a correct Final Jeopardy! response, John writes "Who is Jimmy McGuire?", one of the members of the Clue Crew. When Alex questions him on it, John replies that he's getting back at Jimmy for getting his name wrong during a contestant search.
- November 10, 2005: The Final Jeopardy! category "Billboard Magazine" had this clue: "Launched in 2004, Billboard's first Top 20 chart for these included 'My Boo', the 'Halloween' theme & 'Ice Ice Baby.'" One contestant wrote down "What is the Worst Songs Ever?"note
- November 14, 2005: Alex deadpanned rap lyrics in a category called "MC Trebek in da Hizzouse". Four years later, somebody made a beat mix of it.
- January 4, 2006: Four-day champ Tom Cavanaugh's response to Final Jeopardy! - "What is I have no freaking clue?"
- November 6, 2006: A contestant writes "What is Homer?" for his response to the Final Jeopardy! clue: "John Dryden in 1683 was the first to use the term "biography"—appropriately, while writing about this Greek." When Alex says he is incorrect, he replies with, "D'oh!"note
- June 15, 2007: A losing contestant used "Who is Kebert Xela?" as his Final Jeopardy! response. Also, said contestant had the bare minimum $1 to participate in Final Jeopardy.
- The Obligatory Joke (unintentional or not) on May 1, 2007: The Final Jeopardy! answer was, "This character was mentioned in the first line of Atlas Shrugged." Fortunately, one of the contestants correctly gave the question as, "Who is John Galt?", and Ayn Rand fans around the country sighed, "I Always Wanted to Say That..."
- September 13, 2007: Dave hits a Daily Double.
Boy, Alex, I've always wanted to say this - I'd like to solve the puzzle
(laughter; cut to Alex
) Come here. Come here. You want a piece of me?
- Cue the Brick Joke when Dave hits the other Daily Double later in the round. After he wagers $5,000, Alex quips "that'll buy a lot of vowels."
- September 27, 2007: The Jeopardy! round features a category about the U.S. Air Force taped at Kadena Air Force Base in Japan. After the round is over, a 30-second clip plays of Alex briefly discussing the Lockheed-Martin F-22 Rapton (aka the F-22A).
A key part of stealth technology is the [bleep with a Censor Box
over his mouth]. That makes the plane harder to detect with enemy technology like [bleep]. [slight laughter]
Now this F-22A also uses a revolutionary new [bleep] [increased laughter]
that makes the deadly air craft resemble [bleep], and allows the pilot to [bleep, bleep] with no possibility of detection. Now, this F-22A Raptor, in addition—and this is very, very important; I want you to pay attention... [the word "CLASSIFIED" is stamped onto the screen as two SPs pick up and cart Alex off-screen] Trebek:
What are you doing? Hey!
- October 25, 2007: The Final Jeopardy! clue read "Paul III roared at him, 'I have waited 30 years for your services. Now I'm Pope, can't I satisfy my desire?'" One contestant responded "Lady Godiva". Alex cracked up and remarked that he'd give it to him just for the humor! (Correct response: Who is Michelangelo?)
- December 17, 2007: The returning champ gives a wrong response in the Most Populous Nation category, followed by the second contestant ringing-in to give the correct one. Four times in a row. You can hear the audience beginning to crack up by the third time this happens.
- January 28, 2008: The Final Jeopardy! clue was "Not an actor, he is the highest-paid foreign-born personality on the 2007 Forbes list of top television earners." Two of the contestants wrote down "Who is Trebek?" as their answers, to which Trebek laughed and said, "I wish!" (The correct answer was Simon Cowell, which the third contestant got right.)
- May 2, 2008: With two returning champ (due to a technical difficulty during the previous episode's Final Jeopardy!), the new contestant told a very long story with Alex getting noticeably less and less interested as she rambled on. When she finished, Trebek turned to the co-champs and said "We heard from you yesterday."
- September 23, 2008: The "My Off-Show Wardrobe" category, with images of Alex in crazy pieces of attire from back in the day. But mostly the $1000 clue:
I think this '50s fashion seen here◊
looks good on me—Hey, who are you
to judge? What is...
- June 26, 2009: The categories for Double Jeopardy! are "My Bologna", "I Lost on Jeopardy!", "Like a Surgeon", "White & Nerdy", "Eat It", and "Weird 'Al'".
- October 15, 2009: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar got his own line from Airplane! wrong on a celebrity game.
- April 7, 2010: Upon getting a Daily Double, one contestant said "I've always wanted to say this, Alex I'd like to buy a vowel. Err, I'd like to make it a True Daily Double." Cue the Death Glare from Trebek. Then the contestant misses the Daily Double ("The past tense of a word meaning 'to strike', from The Bible"; he said "smat" instead of "smote"), which Trebek attributed to divine retribution.
- April 16, 2010: The semifinal of Celebrity Jeopardy! had Jane Curtin and Isaac Mizrahi trading hilarious quip after quip.
- May 21, 2010: Stefan Goodreau, a finalist in the Tournament of Champions, had not given a single correct response in Final Jeopardy! during the Tournament. His response for the last clue of the Tournament? "What is I got none right?"
- Stefan was also the reigning champ in the "Liederkranz" episode, and still won despite an insane bet of $20,065 (from his $22,800). His opponents each finished Double Jeopardy! with $200.
- June 23, 2010: The category "Alex Trebek Meets Auto-Tune", which had him sing five traditional songs via said Auto-Tune. A few days later, Jimmy Kimmel made fun of it.
- December 16, 2010: "Alex, I'll take 'Your Momma' for $400."
- Even better. The other categories categories for that round were "Off Limits", "X-Rated", "Race-y Humor", "The Birds & the Bees", and "Curse Words".
Alex: We're going to go off the air.
- One episode had this exchange:
Contestant: (about an Algerian mother-in-law) She was excited that I was going to be on Jeopardy! We had to explain it to her, though, they don't have Jeopardy! in Algeria.
Alex: Well, they probably do, but the stakes are much higher. (audience laughter; Alex looks into camera) I'm probably going to get mail for that one.
- February 14-16, 2011: Watson's appearance on the show (against Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, the show's two biggest winners) was about research more than anything, but he still managed to generate a couple.
Alex: [The decade when] the first modern crossword puzzle is published & Oreo cookies are introduced.
Ken: What are the '20s?
Alex: No. Watson?
Watson: What is 1920s?
Alex: No. Ken said that.note
- March 3, 2011: An epic exchange in the category "Starts with a Body Part":
Alex: The fur of this rodent, seen here, is said to be 30 times softer than human hair.
Contestant: What is a titmouse? (looks offstage and laughs) I'm sorry!
- June 15, 2011: "Ruta Lee and Elaine Stewart rolled the giant dice on this game show. Whatever happened to that debonair fellow?" Cue pic of Trebek on the set of High Rollers, audience laughter at Alex's ad-lib, then groans when nobody rings in.
- One contestant wagered an even amount plus $20 on the Daily Double. Alex asked why, to which the player responded that he had lost $20 during the trip to California and promised his wife that he would get it back during the game. He lost the Daily Double, but going into Final Jeopardy! had the correct response with a wager of... $20.
- July 8, 2011: Twelve-year old Maddie Harrington rings in with an incorrect response to a clue and mumbles, "Crap!" loud enough for Alex to hear. He quips, "Yeah, I get upset too, Maddie. Believe me. Same reaction."
- November 3, 2011:
Clue: If Andy yearns for Brenda & Brenda cares about Charlene who pines for Andy, the 3 of them form one of these.
Kara: What is a threesome? (immediately cringes and the audience erupts into laughter)
Alex: (trying not to laugh) No. Roger?
Roger: What is a love triangle?
Alex: Yes, that's it. (turns to address the camera) Kara has obviously had much more experience than I.
- November 4, 2011: Early in a Tournament of Champions, after two rounds of being curb-stomped by Joon Pahk, all John Krizel could write down for Final Jeopardy! was "What is I have no idea?" while Tom Kunzen's answer consisted of just a rage face (and he even made a strip about it!). (Joon, of course, gave the right answer.)
- January 2, 2012: After nobody rings in on the final answer of Jeopardy! Round, Alex unknowingly says "Pick again," leading to this:
) We're out... Alex:
Oh, we're out? Okay.
I'll go more Super Bowl
(audience laughs harder
You want more Super Bowl clues? All right. (audience continues laughing
) We'll take a break. We'll come back to start Double Jeopardy! after this. It went too fast.
- January 16, 2012: One question in the category "Punch" dealt with the name of the animal used in the name of a punch to the back of the neck. The correct answer was a "Rabbit" punch, but the first contestant answered..."Donkey".
- February 21, 2012: Unable to come up with the correct response on a Daily Double regarding an act of Congress, the contestant says "What is the I Just Lost $3,000 Act?"
- February 22, 2012: One category involved Johnny Gilbert reciting famous phrases beginning with "This is...", all in the style of the show's iconic "This... is... Jeopardy!" intro. Of course, one of them was "This! IS! SPARTA!"
- February 28, 2012: From a contestant, "You better check yourself before you Trebek yourself."
- March 7, 2012: A category is "Lyrics of the Artist", so we get to hear Alex read Umbrella and Sexy Back.
- April 3, 2012: The first two interviews. Joey says that he was in a rock band whose name he "can't even say on television", and that the "holes we cut strategically in our pants" ensured that the band only lasted one day. Then Tamara says that while in high school, she would sometimes dress as the school's panther mascot: "One of the seniors noticed, 'oh my God, she has boobs!' and yelled it to everyone..." (Insert Furry Fandom joke of your choice here.)
- April 17, 2012: After a Clue Crew clue involving an inflatable shark, said shark makes a surprise appearance.
- May 11, 2012: Finals of the Teen Tournament: One of the contestants answers "Who is Bella" with NOTICABLE disdain in her voice.
- May 15, 2012: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar strikes again. "The 5 movie ratings in the U.S. are NC-17, R, PG, PG-13 & this one." "What is X?" Cue so much audience laughter that nobody else gets a chance to ring in, followed by Alex quipping "This is a family show!" note
- July 12, 2012: Alex interviews a contestant who said that she once had a pygmy goat who met his demise by eating a bag of Quikcrete, which got the audience laughing. Alex asked whether it was a 60 or 80 pound bag. She replied sarcastically, "You're being insensitive!" Cue Alex cracking up and declining to interview the champion, saying "I don't wanna talk to you!"
- July 13, 2012: Alex has too much fun using a bullhorn to deliver a clue.
- October 2, 2012: Final Jeopardy! is "OED's earliest citation of this 5-word phrase is 'Now, Monsieur Poirot, you would without doubt like to visit' this place." Contestant Daniel's response? "What is the bathroom?"note
- November 2, 2012: After giving a correct response of "What is love?", Paul Nelson sneaks in "baby, don't hurt me."
- December 7, 2012: Alex tries Nelson Muntz's "Haw haw!" and fails spectacularly.
- December 11, 2012: A Daily Double asks what profession St. Andrew is the patron saint of. The contestant, clueless about the subject, jokingly said golfing (the correct answer is fisherman).
- The June 13, 2013 episode made this joke an Ascended Meme with the clue "No word on his putting skills, but he is the patron saint of Scotland." during Double Jeopardy.
- February 6, 2013: The categories for the Jeopardy! round are "Hey, I Just Met You", "This Is Crazy", "But Here's My Number", "So Call Me", "May "B"", and "Yeah, We Went There".
- February 12, 2013: After an incredibly gutsy Daily Double, Leonard Cooper is leading going into Final Jeopardy! at the end of the Teen Tournament. The clue: "On June 6, 1944, he said, 'The eyes of the world are upon you.'" Leonard wrote down "Who is some guy in Normandy? But I just won $75,000!"
- February 21, 2013: A contestant in the Tournament of Champions, who had previously called Trebek "the Devil" on account of his tempting her to risk everything on a Daily Double, announced that she brought him a pitchfork "in case you don't have one already." Cue humorous Aside Glance from Trebek.
- February 25, 2013: Clue has something to do with cheese. Colby answers. Alex: "also a Colby cheese!" Colby: "Never heard that before, Alex!"
- March 7, 2013: A category about horse coat colors includes a question about the "'strawberry' type of this horse". A contestant guesses "strawberry blonde?" (Try roan.)
- April 29, 2013: "The Sexiest Potpurri Ever" was in the Jeopardy! round. It had Alex talking in a very suggestive tone as he read the clues, while soft porny music was played in the background of each clue.
- May 14, 2013: Contestant is talking about James Bond, and mentions that her favorite is Sean Connery. Alex: "I don't like Sean, for reasons that should be obvious to many of you who watch television on Saturday nights."
- September 2013: The promo for the show's "Battle of the Decades", with Alex's 1980s, 1990s, and current selves. Among the many fun moments:
- November 28, 2013: "Show Biz Stupid Answers" for $200:
Alex: Julie Chen & Sara Gilbert give their view as 2 of the co-hosts of this talk show. (Whitney rings in) Whitney?
Whitney: What is The View?
Alex: No. (John rings in) John?
John: Uh... I will also say, what is The View? (all three contestants and Alex laugh) 'Cause that was my answer!
(beep beep beep)
Alex: No, it's called The Talk.
- December 18, 2013: Craig answers a question regarding The Dark Knight Rises by doing his best Bane impression.
- January 6, 2014: Alex Trebek raps (well, tries to anyway).
- January 13, 2014: "What Are You Afraid Of?" for $1,000. It's a Daily Double, and the contestant is asked to name what "Selenophobia" is the fear of. She doesn't know, so she guesses, "What is the fear of Mexican music stars?" Cue laughter from Alex and the audience as he tells her that was a great response. (The correct answer was the Moon)
- January 31, 2014: Two categories in the Jeopardy! round are "I Have the Wine" and "By Johnny Cash", in reference to a hilarious missolve on Wheel of Fortune about a year prior.
- February 10th, 2014: The College Tournament bears witness to bare feet. Sarah Stevens, University of Delaware student, plays the entire game without any shoes on because she's superstitious about footwear when she decided to remove a pair of heels to make it easier to sing and won a contest. She ended the game with $1,400 and placed second- better rethink that strategy!!
- February 21, 2014: Johnny Gilbert deadpanned another set of song lyrics. It never fails to please, but this time around, Alex predicted that Johnny would become a Twitter sensation. Cut to a very amused and flattered Johnny.
- April 4, 2014: On the Friday episode of the 2000s "Battle of the Decades" week...
- Maria Weglinsky sees that "Celebrity Reality TV" is the last category, and says "Do I have to?" before selecting a clue from it. A couple clues later, opponent Dan Pawson rings in on a clue about the Kardashians and prefaces his response with "Do I have to?"
- Final Jeopardy! category: 20th Century Literature. Clue: "'It was one of those pictures... so contrived that the eyes follow you.... Beneath' the picture was this 5-word quote." Pawson's response: "What is 'Don't get undressed near here?'" (Correct response: "What is 'Big Brother is watching you?'")
- May 14, 2014: Before the third semifinal of the Battle of the Decades, with Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter having already advanced to the finals, Alex makes an opening prediction: The third finalist would not be IBM's Watson.
- September 29, 2014: In an unaired outtake, Alex interviews contestant Alisa, whom he accidentally calls "Catherine" because he is looking at the wrong card. He prompts Alisa about spending a night in the Tower of London (a fact from Catherine's card), after which Alisa makes up on the spot a story about paying off a beefeater. Upon realizing his mistake, Alex walks off-set, no doubt mentally Face Palms, and explains to the audience:
Alex: You were asking, uh, how much of the material I know? I don't even know where the hell I am today. Uh, Catherine what you should've said was, "Isn't that interesting? Alisa slept in the Tower of London too! Damn!"
That's never happened before.
- December 9, 2014: "What's Killing You?" for $600. The category is about lethal weapons.
Ann: (rings in) What is a robot?
Alex: Be more specific.
Ann: A robot that turns into things that kill you?
Ann: An Autobot?
- The second contestant to ring in gives the correct response of Decepticon
- March 12, 2015: Due to an impressive Epic Fail by her opponents, Kristin Sausville is the only one left to play Final Jeopardy! Naturally, Alex has fun with this:
Alex: ...so it's you all by yourself, Kristin. I think you're gonna win the game!
Alex: (after the Think music has ended) Kristin, we're gonna start with you. You were in third place, and in the lead. (audience laughter)
- April 13th, 2015: The final 3 categories in the Jeopardy! round read "'99", "Bottles of Beer", and "On the Wall" from left to right.
- May 15, 2015: Penn Jillette selects the first clue in the category "'Bull' ____" (where every correct response will have "Bull" in it) by asking for "Bullshit for $200." Naturally, the word was bleeped out.
- May 25, 2015: "A Christian hymn and a Jewish holiday hymn are both titled this, also the name of a 2009 Tony-nominated musical." Everyone was else was stumped, and Choyon Manjrekar (who had pretty much won at this point) decided to have some fun and guess "What is Kinky Boots?" (correct response was Rock of Ages)
Alex: Yes, indeed. Whenever people go to temple or go to church, they sing "Kinky Boots"!
- September 16, 2015: In another Saturday Night Live reference, a stumped Final Jeopardy! contestant gets Alex to say "Turd Ferguson", and bless his heart, he does so with a straight face. He's not so steadfast that the actual answer is "Blame Canada"...
- ...and he, after revealing the correct answer, says to the audience, "Don't they always do that?"
- October 23, 2015: The final Jeopardy has the two remaining contestants try to guess a derogatory term for liberal that's also a (pictured) flower. One contestant gets the answer wrong, but Alex winds up unable to keep from laughing at it.
- November 17, 2015: On this Tournament of Champions semi-finals game, everyone got stumped on Final Jeopardy. While two of the contestants tried to answer, Alex Jacob said, "What is Aleve", a reference to the Aleve ads that always run before Final Jeopardy which, to add to the humor, do not run during tournaments.
- May 2016: Buzzy Cohen taunting Alex by taking advantage of three lock scenarios in Final Jeopardy!.
- On his sixth game, he wrote "What is See you tomorrow Trebek?!" as his response.
- He kept the theme going the next day with "Who is You Aren't Rid of Me Yet, Trebek!"
- For his ninth game, he wrote "Who is once more Trebek... once more?". Perhaps fittingly, he lost the next game.
- September 30, 2016: On a clue in the "'Oot' & About" category, a contestant rings in, figuring she can work through the list of marsupials to the correct one in time, but can't. Rather than stay silent, she gamely guesses "What is kangaroot?" (Correct answer: bandicoot.)
- February 20, 2017: Alex raps his way through several rap songs, including Panda and Famous.
- May 31st, 2017: Alex Trebek did a double take as part of a clue for the Filmmaking Techniques category. At the end, however, Alex did a double take for real when he realized he was about to declare Lisette the winner, due to her Final Jeopardy! answer being shown last and revealed as correct, when Joe actually had the slightly higher score. Joe wound up even more astonished, believing he had lost, doing what looked like a triple or quadruple take.
- June 23rd, 2017: The contestant in the middle writes for his Final Jeopardy!, "What is 'I've Been Sucking'." When asked to explain himself, he meant he was sucking in his stomach throughout the whole show. Even funnier, his opponents also gave incorrect answers but bet much more than he did, making him the winner.
- October 2017: We are blessed with Austin Rogers, perhaps the quirkiest and sassiest contestant ever to grace the floor of Jeopardy!, compared to a real-life Kramer, with a mess of Einstein Hair. And he is a startlingly good player. A New York bartender with a ton of showmanship and a love for Chewing the Scenery. Almost every time he fouls up a question, he says, "Yeah, whatever." Or if he gets a question right, he makes a big triumphant "nailed it" gesture, goes, "Mic drop." (performs the actual gesture), or even a Happy Dance. Every show starts with him miming something, like mixing a drink in the bar, being on the telephone, or playing with a Rubik's cube. He also managed to get on The Tonight Show, and told Jimmy Fallon he thinks Alex Trebek is a hologram and managed to charm the heart of James Corden on The Late Late Show. And just to prove he wasn't adverse to a haircut, he went and trimmed down his hair during the weekend after his tenth consecutive day on the show (for his late night appearance).
- October 30th, 2017: The clue for Final Jeopardy!: "This 1870 novel has a ship whose name is from the Greek for 'sailor' & a captain whose name is Latin for 'no one'." One contestant writes down "What is The Ballad of Cap'n Crunch?" Alex's mellow reading of this response adds to the funny factor.
- November 7th, 2017: And when he makes it into the Tournament of Champions as its latest champion, he gives Alex a hard time because he hasn't been handed off the check for his winnings yet!! As the episode ends, Alex gives him the check.
- November 6th, 2017: Buzzy Cohen is at it again with the deadpan when he gets an answer wrong and remembers the right one too late- "A lot of good that did me..."
- November 15th, 2017: The final Jeopardy response from an older champion left in the dust by two "buzzsaws", as Alex put it: "Who was just too old and slow?"
- November 16th, 2017: We end up with three notoriously zany contestants in the finals- Austin Rogers, Alan Lin (mostly just following the lead of the other two), and Buzzy Cohen, who decide to synchronize their clowning around by all performing the robot dance... then Alex Trebex emerges on stage doing the robot and jokes it's contagious.
- November 17th, 2017: Now all three contestants are miming the "See no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil" Monkey Morality Poses. Alex enters and has possibly single-most glorious moment of Deadpan Snarker and Lampshade Hanging in years: "...I'm dealing with three monkeys on this show. This is pathetic." Then notes this is the Tournament of Champions he's had the most fun in thanks to these contestants.
- Interwoven with heartwarming, Buzzy's final response at the end of the tournament when all three contestants blow the question. "Love You"- directed at Trebek. Buzzy had a come-from-behind victory from ending the first night with nothing after winning enough this night to surpass both his opponents.
- November 20th, 2017: The returning champion says she has shared a bathtub with Churchill. Alex gets hung up on how this is possible when Churchill used the bathtub in 1929, predating the contestant's birth. Then she clarifies that she sat in the bathtub in an exhibit many years after Churchill used it.
- January 18th, 2018: For whatever reason, all three of the contestants were incredibly hesitant to answer any of the clues in "Homophonic Animals," that round's wordplay category in which they are to name well-known animals pronounced like some other word described in the clue's latter half.example This caused Alex to keep having to provide the answer, while being increasingly blunt with what the category is about. Left contestant Lee did eventually figure it out, albeit through much struggling, and when he requested the last clue, he described it as "ending the misery."
- January 31, 2018: "In 2013 Katy Perry was 'coming atcha like a' this, perhaps James K. Polk." The first contestant to ring in says, "What's an ex-president?" Correct response: What is a dark horse?
- February 1, 2018: The category "Talkin' Football" goes completely awry, as no one manages to even ring in for the entire category. Alex quips "You think we should go to commercial?" before the third clue. Before the last clue, he says "Let's look at the $1,000 clue. Just for the fun of it!" On the last one, he adds "If you guys ring in and get this one, I will die."
- This incident got a Call-Back during the June 22, 2018 game with "Uh Oh, Talkin' More Football," although only the hardest clue saw no one ring in, and all the other clues were answered correctly. It also may have gotten a Call-Back during the June 12, 2019 game with "Don't Be Afraid, It's Only Football." Ironically, that one had someone run the category. Additionally, the March 10, 2010 game had a category in which Trebek gave hand signals used by referees, and Trebek prefaced it by noting that "last year we had some difficulty with the football category." It seems this one will live on in infamy.
- February 21, 2018: Most contestants, according to Alex, says that most people use a pen to practice with pressing the handheld button. Rob, instead, uses a toilet roll holder, and even brought one onto the set to demonstrate its similarity in size to the actual button.
- March 21, 2018: Not-So-Serious Laws for $200:
Clue: Betteridge's law states that any headline ending in a question mark can be answered safely by this word.
Rebecca: What is yes?
Chris: What is no?
- March 28, 2018: Alex announces the topic of the Final Jeopardy clue as "Musical Theater," to which you could hear an un-micced and frightened Dmitri emit a Little "No". Alex, being the Deadpan Snarker he is, replies back with "Oh, yes." He got it right anyway, though he didn't win.
- April 20, 2018: The contestants and Alex do the "YMCA" dance during the intro.
- May 17, 2018: It's the first round of the finals for 2018's Teacher's Tournament, and the Final Jeopardy! clue asks contestants to put the letter "P" in front of the name of a back problem to get an alternate name for graphite, or pencil lead. None of the contestants have any idea, and they throw out blind and really bizarre guesses that happen to be Inherently Funny Words: "What is Pache?," "What is Pain?," and "What is Pscoliosis?" Correct response: What is Plumbago?
- July 3, 2018: Alex reads the clue in "First Thing in the Morning" for $200: "Suggested benefits of a cold one include improving your circulation & that nothing worse can happen the rest of the day." Contestant rings in and says "What is a beer?" to the laughter of the audience and Alex. (Correct response: "What is a shower?")
- July 13, 2018: A misfire on "The Social Network" for $1,200:
Alex: (reading clue) To law enforcement, KA's are known these, potential accomplices the suspected bad guys hang out with.
) What are known? (beat
) Oh, what are known... shit!
(covers his mouth as the audience erupts in laughter
Alex: Michelle or Bryan? (beep beep beep) What are known associates? The other four-letter word was not acceptable. (all three contestants laugh) Michelle, back to you.
Michelle: I thought it was gonna be me.
- October 22, 2018: When stumped on Final Jeopardy, returning champion Erik Agard writes "What is you doing, baby?" as a filler answer. Even better, he manages to win.
- December 14, 2018: Jackie hits a Daily Double and asks to make it a "False Daily Double" for $3,000, and then tells Alex that "I Always Wanted to Say That". Alex laughs and calls her a troublemaker.
- February 27, 2019: From the 2019 All-Star Games, Roger Craig gives a Final Jeopardy! response of "Who is Alex Trebek" with "RSTLNE" and "XBKA" below it. (It didn't matter what he wrote, as he wagered $0 anyway.)
- March 4, 2019: In the first match of the All-Star Games finals, Alan Lin gives a big smile after writing down his Final Jeopardy! response, prompting the audience to laugh.
Alex: Oh Alan, I'll give you some advice: Never go to Las Vegas and play poker.
- Even in the otherwise Tear Jerker nature of the video where Alex announces his pancreatic cancer diagnosis, he still manages to find humor in the situation:
Alex: And with the love and support of my family and friends, and with the help of your prayers, also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease. Truth told, I have to. Because under the terms of my contract, I have to host Jeopardy! for three more years.
- March 20, 2019: A contestant responds to a clue about a Vincent van Gogh biopic with "What is My Left Ear?"
- March 27, 2019: One category, "Irish People?", involves Punny Names, such as a bulletproof Irishman being named "Rick O'Shea". Alex's utterly deadpan reactions to the answers are hilarious.
- April or May 2019 (exact date unknown): One of the contestants was voted "Most Likely to Take Over the World" in high school. She acts very gleefully sinister in her interview about it, and Alex remarks that she's scaring him.
- May 30, 2019: One of the challengers shares a story about being in a roller skating team that dressed as various incarnations of Prince. When Alex gets to James Holzhauer for his interview, he replies, "Can we skip me? I'm not topping that."
- June 11, 2019: As Alex interviews contestant Dan he says he has an 18-month-old who loves Jeopardy but only for the first couple of minutes. Why?
Well, we've been watching since birth with my daughter Ray Linn and she loves the music, she dances, she's enthralled by Johnny's introductions, but then you come out Alex and I guess the show's just not as good. [Entire audience bursts out laughing as Alex shoots the camera a Death Glare]
- September 9, 2019: Final Jeopardy! asks for the name of the city Goliath was from. Nobody knows it, but Holly takes a humorous stab at it with "Goliathtown".
- October 7, 2019: It seems that even Alex is not immune to the fact-checkers—after none of the contestants respond correctly from the clue about the Ghosts in Pac-Man and Alex lists the four of them, they correct Alex a few minutes later when he mistakenly called Pinky as "Dinky."
- November 6, 2019: James Holzhauer, well-known for his high Daily Double wagering, tells Alex after finding a Daily Double during the Tournament of Champions, "Let's make it a Tru...ly disappointing $1,109." Alex laughs and replies, "You toy with me, sir!"
- November 11, 2019: "A Generic Category" has each correct response containing a genre somewhere in the title (such as "The King of Comedy"). When introducing the category, Alex lampshades his distinctive way of pronouncing the word "genre" as highlighted in this viral video.
- December 9, 2019: All of the categories were Pokémon puns, including "Peek a Choo-Choo", "Geo, Dude", "Odd-ish", "Slowpoke", "Nine Tales", and "Pokémon". The "Geo, Dude" category ends up being geography-related clues written in a Totally Radical manner.
- January 1, 2020: The Final Jeopardy! clue asks contestants to name the one-worded performer who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for "Precious" (Mo'Nique). When time is up, Alex notes that the contestants might have thought of Cher, but that she wasn't the actress. Guess what the third-place contestant guessed?
- January 7, 2020: While Alex interviews Brad Rutter, Ken Jennings, and James Holzhauer in the first night of Jeopardy's Greatest of All Time tournament, Ken references his history of coming in second place to Brad in reunion tournaments, with James bringing up that he's also "looking forward to always losing to Brad Rutter." Becomes Hilarious in Hindsight as Brad is uncharacteristically out of his depth during most of the tournament, finishing back in a far third place in all but one of the games.
- January 8, 2020: Ken Jennings decides to follow James Holzhauer's example in betting everything on a Daily Double and Alex suggests that he imitate James's trademark "pushing all chips in" gesture. While doing it, Ken asks if James has copyrighted his gesture and James replies that he'll allow Ken a "one-time use". Brad then quips to Ken, "He now owns 10% of whatever you get."
- On the clue about where the Fox River ends, James correctly responds with "What is Green Bay?", then boos and makes a thumbs-down gesture.
- January 9, 2020: Ken gets a clue about a New York Times article mentioning a 2 word phrase that "marks the end of friendly generational relations", which got him excited because he got to say "OK Boomer" to Alex. Bonus points for Alex proudly accepting the remark, despite not actually being a Boomer.note
- A subtle Running Gag occurring throughout the entire Greatest of All Time tournament involves Brad Rutter starting off the Double Jeopardy round by immediately finding one of the Daily Double spaces, betting everything, and getting the question wrong, occurring at least once a night the entire tournament.
- January 14, 2020: In one of the clues in the final night of the Greatest of All Time tournament, Conan O'Brien mentions the time Andy Richter threw the Watson supercomputer off the Late Night building, noting that "two of the contestants are probably pleased about it."
- Brad had finished the first game with 0; when they clear the scores for the second game, James quips that "Brad's score is still on there".
- February 3, 2020: Alex completely cracks up on this clue in "P"otpourri (each correct response has to begin with "P"): "A club for these people who always put things off has protested the War of 1812 & published 'Last Month's Newsletter'." (Correct response: What are procrastinators?)
- February 21, 2020: The categories for the Jeopardy! round are "Familiar Phrases", "Ooo, Sorry", "You're Out Of The Hole", "Make A Selection", "& Finally..." and "The Writers Are Trying To Be Clever"
- March 12, 2020: Alex accidentally refers to the winner, Jessica Babbitt, as Jessica Rabbit. He corrects himself a moment later.
- April, 22, 2020: A 2011 Measurement says this part of the Pacific Ocean reaches 36,070 feet down.
What is the deepest part? Alex:
(beat as the audience laughs and he himself starts to chuckle) Nope, interesting though. The correct answer what is the Challenger Deep? Sharon:
I was sorta right. Alex:
Sorta don't count.
- November 6, 2020: During the contestant interviews, champion Burt Thakur talks about how he learned English by watching Jeopardy! with his grandfather. Alex follows it up by saying his grandfather taught him how to swear.