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Jeopardy! Thinking Music

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Thinking, Thinking, Thinking hard.
I know what the answer is; I got it.
No, that can't be, I'm so wrong,
I guessed Mao, but it's B.D. Wong.

"Think!" is the title of the Think Music played on the game show Jeopardy! while contestants write their questions in its final round, "Final Jeopardy!", and was at one point universally recognizable. For readers who've never heard it here's the original (and most famous) version, used on all incarnations of the show until 1997. Note the Truck Driver's Gear Change at the halfway mark.

Merv Griffin, the creator of Jeopardy! (and sister show Wheel of Fortune), composed the well-known "Think" music. He self-plagiarized it from "A Time for Tony", which he wrote as a lullaby for his son; the original "A Time for Tony" later became a prize cue on Wheel in the 1980s.

Using the Jeopardy Thinking Music, or a Musical Pastiche of it, is common when stupid characters are stumped by a simple question. Briefly replaced by the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? stings.

The version of "Think!" in Final Jeopardy! is played at 136 beats per minute and is 17 measures long, including the "bum-bum" at the end. This makes it exactly 30 seconds long. This is one reason it's used on Jeopardy!: it's good for timing the round while sounding slightly more relaxing than a bare ticking clock.

For examples of "think" music in general, see Think Music.

Older shows, or those who can't afford to license "Think!", may substitute Leroy Anderson's "The Syncopated Clock" (which, coincidentally, predates Jeopardy! by roughly twenty years). In the United Kingdom, the iconic theme from Countdown will usually be substituted. In Japan, the music from Time Shock is a common choice for timing 60 seconds.


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    Films — Animated 
  • The Road to El Dorado used a sort of variant of the theme: When Tulio asks Miguel to think carefully about what Chel meant to both of them, a little bell can be heard as if symbolizing Miguel's thought process. When he comes to his conclusion ("Chel is... off-limits?"), a bell goes off like a game-show timer.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Santa Clause, the theme plays while Scott Calvin's co-workers wait for him to finish eating.
  • In Music and Lyrics, Alex Fletcher plays the tune on the piano in hope of inspiring Sophie to write. It only makes her more nervous.
  • In Inspector Gadget (1999), when Gadget is being taught how to use his new abilities, one scenario is that he's supposed to stop a jewelry-store robbery by giving the robbers the slip. While he's thinking, a lightbulb rises from his hat and the first eight notes of "Think!" plays. When he gets an idea, the bulb lights up, and his next line: "Go, go, gadget oil slick." (buzzer sound) Toothpaste comes out.
  • Used at one point in the feature film adaptation of The Beverly Hillbillies, when Elly May mentions that Beverly Hills has smog. Granny asks, "What's a smog?", and as the Clampetts ponder the matter, a truncated version of the original "Think!" cue plays, after which Jethro deduces: "I reckon it's a small hog."
  • Used multiple times in Message in a Cell Phone.
    • The opening play when Jeremy asks the guy claiming to be Felix Reiser why he needs the cell phone when he already has one. It happens again when the kids ask him who the guy from the pool is.
    • It also plays when Mac asks a woman claiming to be Felix's wife if Felix had any birthmarks, scars, or tattoos on his body.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Jeopardy! itself capitalized on this by changing its own theme tune to an upbeat remix of "Think!" in 1984. Various other themes had been used during the Art Fleming-hosted versions of the show (the original 1964-75 theme was called "Take Ten" and was written by Merv Griffin's wife at the time, Julann). One year's college tournament was hosted at Yale University and had Final Jeopardy for the tournament's finale accompanied by an a cappella performance of the song by Yale's a cappella ensemble, the Whiffenpoofs.
  • Mork & Mindy: Mork insisted on humming or singing it on several occasions while waiting for answers to questions.
  • The very last episode of ALF used this.
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun. At one point it even had several cast members mentally singing a little ditty along to the music. "Thinking, thinking, thinking hard..."
  • In an episode of Family Matters, Steve Urkel hums this aloud, in a very annoying fashion, while waiting for Carl to make up his mind about something.
  • When Jon Stewart interviewed Betsy McCaughey regarding her opposition to President Obama's health care proposals, she trotted out a huge binder containing half of the proposed bill. Jon challenged her to show him the passage that she cited to prove her (made-up) points against the bill, and as she thumbed through the pages of the binder, he started humming the Jeopardy! theme. Later, when she searched for another passage, he started singing "Yakety Sax."
  • Used at least once in America's Funniest Home Videos:
    • It was dubbed into a home video of a man at the altar taking his sweet time thinking over the "Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?" question.
    • Another episode had a man performing the music with a bicycle pump and hand farts.
  • On The Big Bang Theory, it was one of the features of Raj's sound effect shirt.
    Leonard: I can't decide if I want Stan Lee to sign my Journey into Mystery 83, first appearances of Thor, or my Fantastic Four number 5, first appearance of Doctor Doom.
    Raj: [Plays Jeopardy! music]
    Leonard: Hmm... Alex, I'm going to go with: What is you're a dumb ass?
    • Sheldon plays it on the recorder in "the Cruciferous Vegetable Amplification".
  • In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode "How I Spent My Summer Vacation", Will hums this after he goads a talking car into sounding its alarm, believing that it wouldn't.

  • An issue of MAD in the late 1990s featured lyrics for the theme, in an article entitled "11 ways to piss off Alex Trebek":
    This is Final Jeopardy!
    Having trouble with this category
    Today's champion won't be me
    Don't know Greek mythology
    Hope my friends don't watch the show
    Then they'll say there's nothing that I know and
    I'll look like a total heel
    Wish instead I'd gone... on... Wheel!

  • This shows up in a live rendition of Ray Stevens' "It's Me Again, Margaret". As the character in the song starts to dial the phone, he spends way too long doing so, and the first two bars of "Think!" play.
  • Faith No More would play it in concert as a joke.

    Video Games 

  • In Avalon, Mr. Corner the chemistry teacher once played this during a test until Joe told him to knock it off.

    Web Original 
  • Used in The Nostalgia Critic's review of North, when the Critic was searching for the apparent "joke" when the Texan family lamented their "big loss". It was used again in the Rover Dangerfield review.
  • Misteroo's Flash Animation Arfenhouse uses the Think Music briefly.
  • This was used in the wileyk209zback poop "Caillou's Biggest Temper Tantrum!" right before Daddy reveals that the circus isn't until tommorow.
  • YouTube creator NerdECrafter uses the Think Music when she is puzzling over something, particularly if she has to do math calculations.

    Western Animation 
  • Ren and Stimpy episode "Out West" uses a Suspiciously Similar Song of the tune twice.
  • In the Beavis and Butt-Head episode "Closing Time", Beavis and Butthead imitate the theme in a "rock" style while the health inspector checks on Burger World.
  • Edited in, hilariously, to this portion of the Mega Man (Ruby-Spears) cartoon.
  • Appears in several episodes of Phineas and Ferb.
  • A Tom Terrific story arc had Tom and Mighty Manfred trying to find Sindbad the Sailor and get him to use his last wish so the genie that granted the wishes can return to his lamp. Tom and Manfred encounter a sorcerer in a flying booth, and they ask him where Sindbad could be. The sorcerer, like a contestant on the quiz show 21, thinks and gestures like a contestant with think music playing in the background. Manfred even says, "Take all the time you need."
  • The Rocky and Bullwinkle spin-off film Boris and Natasha features the theme at one point after the title duo has been questioned by authorities.
  • The Bakshi Mighty Mouse episode "See You In The Funny Papers" had the hero bound by a villain, and his only means of escape is by solving a rebus. As he tries to, the music from the "Cover Up" game on The Price Is Right is used. (Both shows had their music furnished from Score Productions.)


"You have 30 seconds. Good luck."