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General trivia:

  • On March 6, 1986, Wheel of Fortune became the first Game Show to have Closed Captioning.
  • The Wheel used since 1974 was designed by Ed Flesh and was originally built from cardboard, paint, and light bulbs. The current Wheel weighs 2,400 pounds, is made of stainless steel, and is framed with Plexiglas. (The 1973 Wheel, along with the rest of the Shopper's Bazaar set, was designed by Spencer Davies.)
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  • The puzzle board of the 1973 pilot originally consisted of 60 pull cards, only 45 of which were used for gameplay (the last set acted as a "Wrong Letter Board"). In 1974, this changed to 39 trilons on three rows and no "wrong letter" spaces. The board changed on December 21, 1981 to 48 trilons on four rows as part of the set's overhaul; four more trilons were added to the corners in 1982, which served as little more than decoration (the board's border blocked them from being turned). On February 24, 1997, the board changed to 52 touch-activated monitors, which themselves became flat-screen LCDs on September 10, 2007.
  • The original game played with a blank Bonus Round puzzle that was usually simple and limited to one word, and contestants could call five consonants and a vowel, and had 15 seconds to solve the puzzle. However, a Metagame strategy emerged to call the letters "R", "S", "T", "L", "N", and "E", which soon took over almost every single Bonus Round and made the game feel broken. Finally, the producers intervened and grandfathered these letters into the Bonus Round as freebies, then modified the round, so that as a handicap, the puzzles would be more complicated and contestants only got ten seconds to solve the puzzles and a choice of three consonants and one vowel (which ironically tends to be "CDMA" a lot of the time, giving rise to another metagame), with the addition of the Wild Card mechanic allowing for a fourth consonant call.
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Specific trivia:

  • Absentee Wedge:
    • The Million Dollar Wedge on May 2, 2011, the first episode of the season's New Orleans remote tapings. Amazingly, this error caused a contestant to win the game, as the $800 wedge it normally sat on remained in play for the whole game and a correct letter was called on it in Round 2. That player won by only $400. The wedge appeared as normal for the rest of the remote.
    • The $5,000 wedge during two episodes of the 1997 Ohio State Fair remote tapings due to the game ending after only three rounds. Also, one episode of Wheel 2000 ended after only two rounds, also resulting in that version's 5,000 point wedge never appearing.
      • The $5,000 wedge was also not used on any of the five episodes of "Wheel 6000" week in 2014 due to being replaced with a special $6,000 wedge. $5,000 did appear on the sixth episode filmed that same day, however.
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    • The Surprise Wedge during a few 1997-98 episodes.
    • The $2,500 wedge on a November 2002 episode due to $3,500 accidentally being used in Round 1. Also, some special episodes during the mid-90s skipped the Round 2 Wheel layout (with $2,500 as top dollar) entirely due to time constraints, resulting in the Rounds 3 and 4 layouts (with $3,500 and $5,000) being in play in Rounds 2 and 3, respectively.
    • Season 29 saw the permanent debut of the ½ Car (then ½ Kia) tags. However, the tags are not used on team episodes unless all teams are married couples. While their absence is never acknowledged, this is very likely done because a married couple is essentially guaranteed to share a residence, therefore making it easy to share one car, unlike if, say, two best friends had to share it. However, a week taped in Hawaii in Season 32 didn't use the tags, despite being an otherwise-normal three-player match with nothing precluding their use, and even weeks with married couples stopped using them for a while before finally showing up again in Season 36.
  • Blooper:
    • At least twice, a puzzle was thrown out but the blanks for said puzzle were still visible for a few seconds. One was a Season 6 episode where the editors forgot to remove the reveal of the old, thrown-out puzzle, which was easy to tell since the replacement puzzle was a different category and length.
    • Back when each round had its own Wheel template, the first episode of Season 7 accidentally kept the Round 3 template for Round 4, albeit with the Round 4 top dollar amount of $5,000 replacing $3,500.
    • The prize wedges (including the $10,000/Million-Dollar Wedge) and/or Free Spin have often been in the wrong spots. This is a pretty major mistake to make, particularly with the Million-Dollar Wedge, as it has skinny Bankrupts on itnote . At least twice, one was on the top dollar amount; the Surprise wedge on October 26, 1992, and the Free Spin on May 1, 1995 (which was picked up, but no cash was given with it as per the rules at the time).
      • On a November 2008 episode, the $3,500 wedge and the Bankrupt next to it (at the time, both were add-ons that were put on the Wheel during the commercial break before Round 2) were each placed one wedge clockwise, putting the Bankrupt where $3,500 should go. In Round 3, a contestant picks up the Million-Dollar Wedge...and on the next spin, lands on that Bankrupt that should have been the big money. Thankfully, he had a Free Spin, which he used...and hit Lose a Turn (meaning he could have eventually used the Free Spin on that had the wedges been placed correctly). This was ultimately subverted, as he won anyway.
      • On a November 2009 episode, the Million-Dollar Wedge was accidentally placed on the red $800 space next to Lose A Turn. This resulted in a contestant losing $11,350 and the prize wedge to Bankrupt in Round 1. In Round 2, another contestant landed on the edge of the orange $800, meaning she would have lost $27,600 to Bankrupt.
      • On January 9, 1997, they had the $10,000 Wedge's reverse used for Round 2. A contestant lands on the edge and calls a correct letter for $10,000 (treated as a cash wedge instead of a prize). However, the contestant does not solve the puzzle.
      • On a May 2011 episode, they somehow forgot to use the Million-Dollar Wedge. In Round 2, a contestant lands on the orange $800 and later fills in the puzzle entirely...and wins the game by $400, meaning that this error technically caused the wrong player to win.
      • On January 13, 2014, the Mystery Wedge came loose from the blue $300, leaving 2/3 of that and only 1/3 of the red $700 exposed. A contestant landed on the blue $300 but did not land on the Mystery Wedge and thus could not flip it. Pat even noticed and went on to "correct" things by placing the wedge on the red $700.
      • On a November 2014 episode, the Gift Tag and Prize Wedge were accidentally switched. One contestant ended up winning the Gift Tag and finishing in second place. Despite the potential difference of several thousand dollars, the contestant still would have finished second had she won the Prize instead.
      • On October 12, 2017, the staff forgot to remove the Prize wedge after Round 2, so it stayed on for Round 3. It was actually won, and ended up affecting the outcome, as the contestant with it won by less than $10,000 (its value).
    • On a few occasions, the outer edge of the Wheel went out of alignment, leading to at least one spin that Pat incorrectly identified.
    • In the '80s and early '90s, a contestant in the Bonus Round might accidentally call a letter twice (or in the case of RSTLNE, call one of those six letters), but the chyron would display the letter again as part of their choices. Other times, the chyron would display a different letter from the one they called.
    • At least two Bonus Rounds where a letter was revealed that shouldn't have been: in 1996, a contestant called H G K I but the A in the answer THE KING AND I was also revealed; and in March 2005, the B was revealed in SUBWAY depsite the contestant calling M P D A (which was even shown correctly on the chyron). Both contestants solved their puzzles and were later told that they would retain their prizes due to the errors.
    • The 1996-97 season had many errors in placing the Wheel templates. For the first two weeks, they managed to have an entire round where the only Bankrupts on the Wheel were those on the $10,000 Wedge. (It should be noted that three weeks into the season, they gave up on the extra templates and just used the Round 3 template for the entire game, changing only the top dollar amount and adding a second Bankrupt in Round 2.)
    • After they changed the Wheel templates, the aforementioned second Bankrupt was Off-Model for about a month afterward. This was likely because Bankrupt had not previously been an add-on.
    • Relatedly, when the Wheel wedges were redesigned halfway through Season 20, the second Bankrupt had smaller text than the permanent one, and Lose a Turn had the word "Lose" nearly touching the Wheel's rim. While the latter was fixed after a week, the former was not fixed until Season 24.
    • From about Season 30 onward, score miscalculations have been frequent. Sometimes, these are caught and corrected later in the show, but other times, they go unnoticed. Usually, this is due to the contestant being credited with the wrong number of consonants at some point, or the $250 for a vowel not being deducted. Thankfully, unnoticed miscalculations have never affected who won the game.
      • A 2003 episode somehow gave a contestant a $3,000 head start, and she was able to buy a vowel after earning the Prize Wedge (which did not award cash at the time) on her first correct letter. This one also ended up not mattering, as she later hit Bankrupt.
      • One 2014 episode had a round thrown out due a contestant being credited with the $1,000 Same Letter bonus after finding the $10,000 Mystery Wedge (which, despite being cash, is a bonus and cannot be spent on vowels, though the Same Letter bonus can) then buying a vowel, even though the letter she called was not the Same Letter. The error was not noticed until after the vowel had been lit up. Since she should not have been able to buy a vowel at that point in the first place, the round had to be discarded.
    • Several graphic errors. These include:
      • A Prize Puzzle bug showing up in a round that wasn't a Prize Puzzle.
      • The "fireworks" effect (used for Jackpot wins) being used when the Jackpot wasn't won.
      • The Jackpot being totaled incorrectly. One 1996 episode strangely added an extra $20 mid-round. A 2012 episode added $300 when $350 was hit and $0 on another spin.
      • Spins from wrong rounds or even different episodes being dubbed in (most likely because the Wheel camera didn't catch the actual spin). In some particularly obvious cases, these dubbed-in spins give the impression of, say, a Prize Wedge suddenly reappearing on the Wheel. On one episode, the post-production "over the Wheel" shot was obviously a different Mystery Wedge than the one the contestant had just landed on; another post-production shot showed the red arrow despite the yellow contestant being in control at the time.
      • The puzzle category graphic disappearing, or the wrong one being put up. This even happened in a Bonus Round once.
      • There was a "Get Out of Town" week in October 2010. Except for the title card, it used the same opening animation as a later "Road Trip" week in April 2011. Two of the "Road Trip" episodes had the "Get Out of Town" title cards left in by mistake.
    • Sometimes, the electronic board has its problems:
      • On many occasions, a letter will fail to reveal after Vanna touches it. Sometimes it takes her a few tries to get it right. On an April 2017 episode, she had to run across the board to quickly reveal an unresponsive letter as the contestant took his next spin.
      • On an episode not long after its introduction, Vanna had trouble lighting up a letter in the puzzle, and even resorted to hitting it with her fist before it cooperated. Later on, the unsolved Bonus Round answer filled in very slowly.
      • Unsolved bonus puzzles light up one letter at a time, whereas any puzzle that is solved will have the whole answer fill in at once and the board's border will flash. On several occasions, the opposite of both has happened.
      • On at least one episode, after a bonus puzzle was solved, one of the letters did not fill in until about two seconds after the others.
    • The lights went out after the Bonus Round on April 20, 2012. Surprisingly, this was left in.
    • Several sound effect errors. These include:
      • Sounding the buzzer on a correct letter.
      • Failing to sound the buzzer on a wrong letter.
      • Sounding both the buzzer and "ding" on a correct letter.
      • Sounding the "ding" in the Speed-Up, which normally does not use any sounds other than the time's-up buzzer (except for Think Music from the early 2000s onward).
      • On a 1978 episode, the "ding" sounded on a wrong letter, and later a buzzer sounded just as a contestant began to spin.
      • On a 1988 episode, with a puzzle where only vowels remained, the Bankrupt slide whistle accidentally sounded instead of the four beeps used to indicate that only vowels are left.
      • On several occasions in the late 90s and early noughties, the Think Music and cues for solving puzzles went through multiple changes, resulting in several occasions where one of the older cues would be played by mistake.
      • Something similar happened in a 2017 episode: the show had changed music cues mid-season, but the week was taped before the changes were enacted, all of the music was edited in post-production. However, the editing was often very sloppy and obvious, and on at least one episode, one Toss-Up retained the old music entirely.
      • On a 2002 episode, the "ding" for a correct letter sounded when a contestant picked an envelope from the bonus wheel, instead of the separate ding normally used there.
      • On March 3, 2014, a contestant landed on a ½ car tag, but the Bankrupt slide whistle sounded instead of the car horn sound.
    • There are at two known occasions where a letter call was misheard while the game proceeded as normal:
      • 1974 Pilot #2: Gary says "Edd, I'd like an F". Edd Byrnes echoes, "An F... Yes, there is an F", but two S's are revealed on the board instead.
      • February 14, 2014: The red team lands on $3,500 and they clearly call M (of which the puzzle had two), but Pat echoes "N, and there are three of them". Even the Closed Captioning displayed the call as M.
    • November 21, 2013: Rebecca buys I, which is in the puzzle, but all of a sudden, Jessica is spinning on the very next turn. Going by Rebecca's scoreboard later in the round, it appears that they accidentally edited out Rebecca losing her turn to a wrong vowel right after the I.
  • April 8, 2020: This episode was moved up over a month from its originally-scheduled air date of May 27 to replace a cruise-themed episode that would have aired at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The episode featured a $10,000 Mystery Wedge win, but it was not realized until the last minute that the SPIN ID had not yet been inserted into the episode.note  Although Wheel did send out a print with the SPIN ID added, several stations did not receive it in time and aired the unfinished version instead, resulting in a long shot of Pat and the contestants standing idly while Jim went through the SPIN ID spiel with a pause where the SPIN ID would go and no graphics on the screen.
  • On a July 2020 rerun of a May 2016 episode, a contestant buys an incorrect E shortly into Round 2. As Pat says that there are none, due to an editing error, the shot of the board jump cuts to a future shot of Vanna revealing a G (at which point more than half the puzzle is revealed) while the audio remains correct. The puzzle returns to normal after the next spin.
    • The trilon board was prone to light errors:
      • On a 1985 episode, the first F in the puzzle FRANKFURTERS AND SAUERKRAUT lit up despite no one having called F yet, and it refused to turn off. Pat repeatedly told the contestants to ignore it until F was called later in the round. (It apparently was not fixed in time for the Bonus Round, as the one-word bonus puzzle displayed on the third row instead of the second.)
      • A few 1980s episodes would have the letters fail to light up for a few seconds, and then all light up in rapid succession, usually very out of sync with the dings.
      • Sometimes, a letter would fail to light up at all, and given Vanna's insistence on not turning letters before they lit up, she would often wait for several seconds only to be prompted by Pat to turn it anyway. This was especially noticeable on a November 1996 episode in San Francisco, where the lights on the board completely froze; she turned the called letters anyway, and then when the contestant solved the puzzle one turn later, none of the lights (including the chase lights on the edge of the board, which would usually flash when the puzzle was solved) lit up at all.
  • California Doubling:
    • The show is often themed after a major city or place (e.g., "Salute to New York", "Hawaii Week"), even if they're still filming in Culver City. Not that the show doesn't do, say, a Chicago week in Chicago; the show travels often. Trips to the theme city are often among the prizes during those weeks where they're still in their regular studios.
      • This became more prominent starting in Season 33 with "Great American Cities" weeks, replacing the show's formerly-annual remote tapings. These weeks are accompanied by locally-themed sets, all local contestants, and several on-location shoots of Pat and Vanna showing what the appropriate cities have to offer. Many casual viewers assume that these weeks are actually taped in said cities, though this is never the case.
    • Several times during the original NBC run, theme weeks (always [City] Week, including Portland and Philadelphia) were used, with contestants from the appropriate city flown to Burbank.
  • The Cast Showoff:
    • Vanna can sing, and she's shown off her chops several times (most notably a week in December 1996 where she promoted her Christmas album Santa's Last Ride and sang a song from it every day).
    • Pat Double Subverted this on the December 23, 1988 nighttime show, where he gave an intentionally off-key rendition of "White Christmas" with Vanna accompanying him on piano.
    • ...But he played it straight on a December 1994 episode where, after a contestant failed to solve the bonus puzzle ZORRO, he gave a somewhat hammy (if perfectly in-key) rendition of the 1957 Zorro TV theme, even writing a "Z" in the air with the Bonus Round envelope.
    • A promotional video for Christmas 2015 had Jim Thornton sing a "12 Days of Christmas" takeoff themed after the show. Turns out that he is a pretty good singer too.
  • Channel Hop: The daytime version went from NBC to CBS and back again in just under 18 months. There was a time when both versions taped at CBS but didn't (necessarily) air on it.
    • The current one has hopped around a lot in Canada too, having been on channels such as CBC, A-Channel (now CTV Two), and now the smaller Yes TV.
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer: The Million-Dollar Wedge led to a couple of instances in Season 31.
    • On September 17, 2013, a contestant was penalized for improperly pronouncing the puzzle CORNER CURIO CABINET and could not keep the Million-Dollar Wedge. In the media firestorm that ensued, many news sources claimed that he was denied a million dollars since he had the Million-Dollar Wedge when he tried to solve although claiming said wedge is only the first step of many in getting that prize. Even The Today Show got this rule wrong when covering the round, even though they previously got it right when they did a story on the last million-dollar win.
    • Then on April 11, 2014, another contestant with the Million-Dollar Wedge was penalized for mispronouncing the fully revealed puzzle MYTHOLOGICAL HERO ACHILLES. Again the media still went on about how he "lost a million dollars" (some even stating he lost $4 million because he called four L's on the wedge), or made a big deal about losing the wedge despite it technically having no value at that point (he also lost out on the ½ Car and over $12,000 in another round, plus two trips). This did not affect the outcome, as the same contestant won the game anyway but did not solve the bonus puzzle, and he landed on a $30,000 envelope, meaning that he would not have had the million had he taken the Million-Dollar Wedge to the Bonus Round.
  • Creator Backlash: Pat hated the "Megaword" category, and made this known when a 2014 contestant mentioned it in his interview. Even Vanna and Charlie snarked about Megaword on at least one occasion each.
  • Creator's Favorite: According to Alex Trebek, Wheel was Merv Griffin's "baby" out of the two game shows he's known for creating. Merv rarely visited the Jeopardy! set and never wrote clues for the show despite writing puzzles for Wheel.
    • In the 2010s, fans of both shows notice the opposite with executive producer Harry Friedman mostly getting recognized for his efforts on Jeopardy! rather than Wheel.
  • Edited for Syndication: Game Show Network's reruns of the show remove almost all promotional plugs, and in episodes from Seasons 30 and 31, the "Retro Bonus Round", a play-at-home feature shown after Round 2 on some episodes, is edited out, as well as the SPIN ID drawings and any throws to them from Pat. Anything related to home viewer sweepstakes are excised as well; one episode even removed an entire montage of an event featuring winners of a previous sweepstakes. The Secret Santa episodes in particular were very choppy, with abrupt cuts to commercial before Pat even finished bidding the losing contestants goodbye.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • NBC president and CEO Fred Silverman rejected Pat Sajak's hiring. Although he was already employed by NBC as chief meteorologist for their Los Angeles station, KNBC-TV, Silverman was against it because he was "too local." In response, Merv Griffin imposed a moratorium on new episode tapings until Sajak was allowed to host, but Silverman refused to budge. Later on, however, Silverman was abruptly ousted at NBC for repeated instances of mismanaging the network and was replaced by Grant Tinker, who promptly permitted Sajak to host. Amusingly, Tinker previously knew Griffin when he worked at NBC as a junior programming executive in the mid-1960s and, in fact, had previously persuaded Mort Werner, NBC's then-senior vice president for programming and talent, to greenlight Jeopardy! in the first place.
    • Apparently, Rolf wanted to keep hosting after NBC cancelled Wheel and Merv fought for his best interests. CBS executives overruled them both; they wanted and got a new host, firing Rolf during the hiatus.
  • Fan Community Nicknames: "Wheel Watchers". The term was coined in 1987 to go along with an ad campaign that Sajak supposedly disliked ("I'm a Wheel watcher!"), and the show created a "Wheel Watchers Club" in 2003 to make prizes and cash available to home viewers.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • The Prize Puzzle is often referred to as the Trip Puzzle because with only three known exceptions, the Prize Puzzle has always offered trips. It has also been referred to as such on the show by at least one contestant.
    • The minimum cash prize for appearing on the show, $1,000, has been called "the pity thousand" by fans after a contestant referred to it as "pity money" on one episode.
      • Similarly, the house minimum and first Toss-Up values (also $1,000) are referred to as "the false dignity thousand" if that's all a contestant wins.
    • "Free Vowel" for the Free Play wedge since almost everyone calls a vowel whenever it's landed on - though the players only really do so because the contestant coordinators heavily and repeatedly suggest it. note 
    • The categories "What Are You Doing?" and "What Are You Wearing?" have commonly been shortened to their acronyms WAYD? and WAYW?, respectively.
    • If a week has all five Bonus Rounds lost, it is said to be "skunked". This term is borrowed from The Price Is Right fan community, where the same term is used if an episode has all six pricing games completely lost.
  • He Also Did: Just about everyone associated with the show:
    • Chuck Woolery was originally one-half of a psychedelic rock duo called The Avant-Garde, who hit Top 40 with "Naturally Stoned". He had a couple entries on the country music charts during his Wheel tenure, and in the 2000s, has started a popular conservative video series on YouTube.
    • Pat Sajak, also a conservative, frequently contributes to pro-Reublican blogs. He also owns two AM radio stations in Maryland. Sajak is also a fan of the NHL's Washington Capitals.
    • Vanna White also has her own line of yarn, and recorded a CD titled Santa's Last Ride.
    • Longtime announcer Charlie O'Donnell had previously been a sidekick to Dick Clark on American Bandstand during its early years as a local series in Philadelphia and later worked in L.A. as a disc jockey and for a time was also a news anchor for KCOP-TV 13.
  • Hey, It's That Sound!:
    • The original Bonus Round timer beeps had previously been used on several unsold pilots (Big Spenders in 1974, a Beat the Odds revival in '75, and Spell Binders in '78) and at least one series (the short-lived Give-n-Take, also in '75). Of note, Spenders, Odds and Take were all produced by Bill Carruthers (Binders was instead a Goodson-Todman pilot).
    • The original Final Spin bells were previously used as a time's-up bell on the Art Fleming version of Jeopardy!.
    • The current "wrong letter" buzzer was recycled from Bumper Stumpers.
    • Any category that came with a bonus question (such as Clue, where the puzzle described an object that the contestant could then identify for a bonus) was accompanied by a set of chimes. This chime was previously used on the Wink Martindale version of High Rollers when someone rolled doubles.
  • Hide Your Pregnancy:
    • Averted with Vanna's two pregnancies. As there was simply no way to conceal it due to all the walking around that she does, she just wore maternity clothes throughout.
    • A more tragic straight example occured when a round with the puzzle VANNA'S PREGNANT had to be edited out of a 1992 episode due to her miscarriage shortly before the episode aired.
  • In Memoriam: At the end of the November 5, 2010 show, Pat and Vanna paid tribute to announcer Charlie O'Donnell, who had died four days earlier.
    • Sadly not extended to the 40 episodes that Charlie had taped but which had yet to air, as he was overdubbed on all of them. The first of these shows aired the very next Monday after the tribute.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes:
    • Almost all daytime episodes until sometime in 1985 were recorded over as per company policy, with GSN holding everything afterward. All three pilots and the premiere exist, as do various episodes in private collections, although Benirschke's and Goen's daytime runs haven't been rerun and are very rarely seen otherwise. An extensive, but likely not comprehensive, list of what's known to exist (and what's known to circulate from 1986-91) can be found here.
    • As of now, this is no easy place to view reruns of older episodes, nighttime or otherwise. It's clear the whole back catalog of nighttime shows remains in the hands of the producers given they show classic clips quite often, but if you actually want to watch the full episodes, your best choice tends to just be finding them on video-sharing sites, which has become increasingly difficult due to Sony taking action against such postings.
  • Long-Runners: Wheel, counting daytime and nighttime as one series, has run for over 40 years without interruption, placing it second behind only The Price Is Right for the longest-running game show currently on the air. Even counting only the nighttime seasons, it's still second only to Price.
    • The Wheel itself has racked up quite a lot of mileage: with 4,215 daytime shows and 6,000+ nighttime shows, this comes out to a shade over 10,000 episodes.
  • Missing Episode: At least three episodes had entire puzzles edited out.
    • On November 2, 1992, they edited out the Round 2 puzzle VANNA'S PREGNANT because she miscarried between taping and airing. Viewers instead saw a three-minute spiel on San Francisco (where they were taping at the time) narrated by Charlie. It ended with a post-production shot of Pat standing at the puzzle board, announcing that a contestant won $1,350 that round.
    • After Hurricane Katrina hit, two episodes that taped in New Orleans and aired in November 2005 each had one puzzle edited out because it was thought that the answers might be insensitive to hurricane survivors. In their place were clips of Pat and Vanna asking for Red Cross donations. When the episodes reran the next summer, one puzzle was restored, but the other was replaced with a clip of Pat and Vanna thanking those who donated.
    • Katrina also caused another type of missing episode. They were supposed to tape a family week in New Orleans, but had to cancel it because of the hurricane. The contestants who were supposed to show up on that week ended up appearing on a week of episodes taped in Culver City later in the season.
    • There are possibly other episodes where puzzles were edited out and replaced. These were usually due to technical glitches that happen during gameplay of that particular puzzle or an inadvertently revealed solution (partial or full). The announcer will give a disclaimer at the show's end if said incident occurred.
    • In The New '10s, there are usually two giveaways as to a puzzle being replaced: 1.) if the first Toss-Up does not follow the pattern of matching the week's theme (for instance, THE SKY'S THE LIMIT was the first Toss-Up on an episode with the traveling theme of Wheel Across America in March 2014; this was because the original puzzle REST AREA, which more closely fit the theme, was thrown out due to none of the contestants ringing in before the last letter came up), or 2.) if a category is used twice within the main game.
    • At the end of Season 29, the show taped a series of "Lottery Experience" episodes for people who had won the chance to be on the show through a special Wheel-themed lottery ticket in certain states. Although never intended to air, DVD copies were given to the contestants, and one episode was uploaded on YouTube in April 2014 by one of the contestants' relatives (although it was later taken down). Four more lottery episodes were taped during Season 34, and all of them were quietly leaked online as well (though only recaps plus a highlight reel can be viewed publicly).
    • On November 12, 2016, for the only time in show history, a new episode, the last of Season 34's Veterans Week, aired on a Saturday due to widespread Election Day pre-emptions sliding back the rest of the week's episodes. This episode was not seen in much of the country due to most affiliates scheduling the episode to air immediately after College Football, which ran long and fully pre-empted Wheel. Several other affiliates do not air Wheel on weekends at all during the College Football season. The episode was never rerun, but one contestant managed to record most of it and uploaded it to You Tube.
    • Game Show Network's package of Season 31 reruns skipped six episodes for unknown reasons. The first of these six was an "America's Game"-themed episode with a Halloween set (despite the actual Halloween week having rerun), while the latter five consisted of the entire Beaches Resorts Family Week (even though its "America's Game" episode did rerun, as did all other sponsored weeks and now-outdated sweepstakes weeks with editing when necessary). The latter's exclusion is even more jarring considering that two weeks sponsored by Beaches' parent company, Sandals Resorts, aired on GSN without incident. To replace these six episodes, GSN's package included the last six episodes of Season 30.
    • Two weeks from Season 37 were pulled due to the COVID-19 outbreak and replaced with reruns from Season 36. The first was the week of March 30, designated "Carnival Week of Fun!", and the second was the week of April 13: "UK Getaway". The former aired the week of August 31 despite Carnival ceasing operations through at least September 30, and the latter aired on the week of August 3.
  • Name's the Same: There were two different categories called Fill In the Blank, the second debuting around January 1994. The two overlapped until December 9, when the original version was effectively renamed Next Line Please. While Fill In the Blank was retired around 2001, Next Line Please continued until April 17, 2008.
  • No Budget: Both daytime Wheel and the syndicated version have shown signs of budget problems.
    • Daytime Wheel became very cheap after moving to CBS in July 1989, abandoning shopping in favor of the "play for cash" format of the syndicated version. Rounds 1-2 had $50 and $75 return to the Wheel, and the top value in Round 4 was $1,250; the cost of vowels was lowered to $200 and then $100 to compensate. Bonus round prizes included subcompact cars and $5,000 cash, compared to nighttime prizes that rarely dipped below $20,000. To be fair, they got better: $50 and $75 were gone between August 24 and September 18, and larger prizes began to be offered.
    • An early Season 1 syndicated episode had a very paltry (announced) $55,000 prize budget, which was about in the upper range of normal for the daytime show in late Summer 1983. A puzzle solver named Cindy took the show for $25,100 after she landed on $5,000 three times and solved "THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA" with still a good portion of the puzzle unrevealed … and given her luck, had she continued (by landing on $5,000 again) she could easily have won virtually every prize available on that day's show. Although there was at least one llate- show that had just $66,000 available, the prize budget was never that low again, with – by early in Season 2 – a majority of shows topping $100,000, and just about every one of the rest topping $90,000.
    • In the syndicated version, the top-dollar value has been made harder to access over time.
      • In Season 20, the second Bankrupt wedge was placed beside $3,500 in Round 3 while room was made for the Mystery wedges.
      • In Season 25, the same applies to Round 2, although this was no longer the case for the Jackpot wedge, which was retired in Season 31. An inversion occurred where it was swapped out for the new Express wedge, which allows contestants to keep calling letters in rapid-fire sequence without spinning again to rack up a quick amount of money and accelerate gameplay.
      • In Season 27, the second Bankrupt became permanent, making the $2,500 and $5,000 wedges harder to access.
    • For roughly half its life, the Jackpot Wedge was adjacent to Bankrupt. In Season 27, the wedge was moved to Round 1, further reducing the value of potential wins. The Jackpot Round was finally retired in Season 31 after its high win rate the previous season.
    • The decline in road shows. Themed episodes, such as Vegas and Disney, were at one point taped on location but since the early 2010s, they have been produced at home base with stripped down sets. Wheel had produced road shows at least once a year since Season 9 but stopped after Season 32.
    • In Season 33, the ½ Car tags were removed from Round 1 after the ½ Car had a high win rate the previous season. They also stopped appearing on weeks with married couples until Season 36. The tags were removed permanently in Season 37.
    • The show stopped giving out the $50,000 cash award to Sony Rewards card holders in Season 29. In Season 30, they switched to awarding a flat $5,000 to SPIN ID members, referred to as "$5K Every Day".
    • From about the mid-2000s onward, the bonus round has become increasingly contrived and often seems set up with an obscure answer that would be nearly impossible for anyone to figure out. Many have speculated that the tougher bonus puzzles are a means of budget control.
    • In Season 34, $5K Every Day was dropped, leaving SPIN ID drawings only for special occasions such as the annual Secret Santa Sweepstakes until Season 35 when the drawings were used for when the $10,000 Mystery Wedge is flipped during the Mystery Round.
    • Also in Season 34, the number of car envelopes in the Bonus Wheel majorly increased to counter the overabundance of the cash minimum envelopes. To balance this, the cars were much cheaper than previous seasons, most being lower in value than the cash minimum. Some of them were even less than $30,000, which was the cash minimum from Seasons 28-31, after which they began the "season number times $1,000" tradition.
    • Overall, it seems these budget problems go through cycles depending on how much money they give away prior. Interestingly, despite this, the Prize Puzzle is still a regular element on the show, and the minimum value of the prizes continues to increase every few seasons. Currently, the bare minimum is $7,000, although the trips offered through the Prize Puzzle are rarely this low.
    • Season 37 has several cases of budget-shaving measures, including:
      • The aforementioned removal of the 1/2 Car prize tags.
      • Non-crossword puzzles rarely using more than the two center rows.
      • The Triple Tossup round played before Round 4, a measure responsible for greatly reducing the likelihood $5,000 spins.
  • Old Shame: A special case. The show seems to forget its roots as each anniversary or episode milestone reflects the syndicated version with no reference to the daytime version. Justified since the syndicated version is more familiar to viewers.
    • Played straight with the Megaword category. When a contestant brought it up on April 30, 2014, Pat was none too pleased to hear about it.
    • For some reason, Wheel refuses to re-air any vintage full episodes on television or release them on DVD or streaming services, despite Jeopardy! airing several vintage episodes in Summer 2020 and featuring various episodes through the years on DVD, Netflix, and Hulu. The furthest they went back in syndication during the extended hiatus was 2016, and the oldest episodes that GSN has most recently aired were from 2013. The last time any episode prior to the 21st century aired on television was when GSN aired the 1994-95 season from 2008-10. The last time anything from the 1980's (or 70's) was seen was during GSN's Merv Griffin tribute marathon in 2007. In addition, the vintage clips that occasionally get replayed on the show are usually the same selection of clips, the most frequent of which are Pat and Vanna having a pie fight (1991), Pat and Vanna in a hot tub (early 90's), Pat cutting Vanna's hair (1995), a college contestant solving GOPHER with only the last two letters (2001), and a shocked Vanna revealing a bald Pat (April Fools' Day 2008).
  • One-Book Author: It isn't Susan Stafford's only TV role, but it's her most notable. It was also Vanna's only real TV role until she got some others thanks to her Wheel fame. For that matter, this was also the only real TV role for Rolf Benirschke.
  • Orphaned Reference: Typically, the producers will edit out a cycle of turns if it had no effect on the score or puzzle (e.g., a cycle consisting of only wrong consonants, Lose A Turn, and/or Bankrupt if it doesn't take away any money or cardboard). These are usually termed "null cycles" by the fandom. However, reference to edited-out turns often stay in the episode, usually by Pat sounding annoyed after further aired lost turns or saying "There you go" when someone finally lights up a letter. After the fandom began to notice these edits, the show began occasionally leaving them intact if time permits. While many fans of the show have expressed desire of having an onscreen Used Letter Board to make playing at home easier, this practice makes it impractical.
    • This is more obvious when such a cycle starts off the round. In this case, the contestant will give the first actual spin of the round where they lost their cut turn and the overhead shot will Jump Cut to a different part of the Wheel being landed on, where they will call their first aired letter, similar to the edits done when Pat lands on Bankrupt, Lose A Turn, or Free Play on the Final Spin.
    • Cycles also become evident if the puzzle does not contain popular consonants such as T, N, S, or R and most of said letters were not shown being called, hence why it seemed like the contestants were calling less popular consonants such as H, L, or C earlier than usual.
    • There have also been cases in which a cycles of turns was edited out despite it affecting the score (such as an incorrect vowel or a Bankrupt resulting in a loss). In both cases, Pat has made reference to such edited-out turns.
    • On at least one occasion, the turns were spliced incorrectly, resulting in the contestant spinning a regular cash wedge, then suddenly picking up the Wild Card after calling a letter on that same turn as aired.
    • On at least two occasions, a correct letter call was edited out, either by mistake or with hope that viewers wouldn't notice:
      • September 6, 2004: In the puzzle LATHER RINSE REPEAT, a contestant calls the P on one of the Gift Tags. This one was more obvious in that she ended up solving the puzzle, and was clearly seen holding both of the Gift Tags when she solved.
      • October 14, 2008: In the puzzle TORONTO'S SPECTACULAR SKYLINE, a contestant buys the U. The letter randomly appeared in the puzzle despite not being there on the previously-aired turn, and the contestant's score was $250 less than the aired turns would have indicated when control passed to the next contestant.
    • Sometimes, a cut cycle included a wrong letter that would be repeated in an aired turn, leading to Pat saying it was called even though by broadcast it was not:
      • September 11, 1997: A contestant's bad vowel purchase is edited out, resulting in a $250 discrepancy in her score. Later in the same round, she is said to have repeated an A despite it not being called on-air.
      • May 8, 2008: On the fourth aired turn of Round 1, the red team is said to have repeated a T with the only aired calls being N and M.
      • March 28, 2013: On the fifth aired turn of Round 1, the red contestant is said to have repeated an S with the only aired calls being A, T, and E. This led to several posts from confused viewers on the show's Facebook page.
      • October 15, 2013: A contestant's bad vowel purchase is edited out, as first seen by her scoreboard reading $950 after finding two consonants on $600. Later on, said contestant loses her turn by buying O at a point when I was the only vowel that was not revealed in the puzzle CRISP CHILLED CUCUMBERS. Pat references the lost turn indirectly by saying that the contestant had "two choices" upon buying O, even though home viewers never saw A get bought.
      • May 13, 2015: A contestant calls D in the Speed-Up. Pat tells her that it has already been called, even though the first call was edited out.
      • December 2, 2015: Two contestants in a row lose their turn by calling letters that were already called (L and N), even though the original calls were edited out. Bizarrely, the next turn was also an incorrect letter, meaning that this string of turns could itself have been edited out but was not.
    • Back when the Jackpot Wedge was around, sometimes sudden jumps in the Jackpot's total from cut spins would give away cycles, though most of the time, the total was adjusted in post-production to disregard any unaired turns, though if it ended up being won, the cycle was left in.
    • October 21, 2013: At the end of one round, Pat tells the contestants, "We'd like to make the Bankrupts disappear, right?" even though no one actually hit Bankrupt on-air. This is because the round started with three consecutive Bankrupts which were edited out as they did not affect the outcome. (However, the round did still end up with Lose A Turn being hit four times…)
    • March 6, 2014: Six consecutive wrong letters are called in Round 4, and all of them are edited out. However, two of them are wrong vowels from the same player. As a result, his scoreboard displays $500 less than what he should have from the aired turns. Also, another contestant says "Third time's the charm" even though it is only her first aired turn.
    • March 23, 2016: Round 2 is a stingy Same Letter puzzle of MOVIE & MUSIC MOGULS; of the seven unique consonants, only one is popular. The first spin looks like it's about to land on one of the Bankrupts on the Million Dollar Wedge, but lands elsewhere, and the contestant gasps in shock when the S she calls is in the puzzle. As aired, the only lost turn of the round was an incorrect A. In reality, there were six lost turns in a row before said S call.
  • The Other Marty:
    • 40 episodes of Charlie announcing aired after his death. They were dubbed over in favor of the rotating pool of guest announcers note  because "it would have been too sad to hear Charlie's voice so close to his death".
    • Then it happened again when Jim Thornton was chosen as the permanent announcer. All reruns with the other guest announcers were dubbed over with his voice.
    • Throughout Season 30, most of the episodes opened with clips from previous episodes. One such outtake came from the opening of a March 2011 episode, done while John Cramer was still the guest announcer... but the clip overdubbed him with Jim, presumably to avoid paying royalties to him and/or to cover up the fact that the show had other announcers.
  • Out of Holiday Episode:
    • When the show does Halloween week, the Halloween celebrations do not necessarily end after October 31. The theme will often continue through to Friday even if crossing into November. In Season 31, the sixth episode (see below) of the Halloween taping aired Monday, November 4, with Pat joking about the out-of-date decorations throughout the episode.
    • Season 31 had several weeks themed after holidays: Halloween week, several Christmas weeks, New Year's week, two Valentine's Day weeks, Mother's Day week, and Father's Day week. When Game Show Network acquired reruns of the majority of the season (which they aired from 2016-19), these weeks were often held to air during the appropriate holidays. By mid-2018, all of these weeks began airing out of season mixed in with the other episodes.
    • In Season 35, the week of December 25-29 reran the following summer due to its Hawaiian theme, despite several comments and puzzles about Christmas on the Monday show.
    • Season 36 did not have a Halloween week, but Vanna still donned an orange dress on the October 31 episode and wished viewers a Happy Halloween at the end of the show. This episode reran in September 2019, still with the Halloween references.
  • Out of Order: Done since at least 1983.
    • Starting in 2001, the show extended taping sessions to six episodes, and compiled the sixth episodes into various weeks throughout the season. This often means that sixth-episode weeks will have different set pieces every day, and it formerly led to such oddities as a Teen Best Friends episode airing in the middle of the week.
    • The "sixth episode" variant became particularly obvious in Season 29 because the ½ Kia tags were introduced one week into the season, and the Mystery Round moved from Round 3 to Round 2 on the fifth week. However, a few episodes throughout the season were taped before one or both changes, resulting in a few episodes (including all six Halloween shows) where the Mystery Round reverted to Round 3, and a stray episode on December 5, 2011 without the ½ Kia tags. The Halloween week (the first taping session of the season) opted for ½ Car tags offering a Ford Fiesta, despite being taped only a day before the first aired week with the ½ Kia tags. Even more strangely, the first two episodes of the latter week didn't offer $500 per consonant along with the tag, even though Halloween Week did.
    • It was in full effect with Wheel 2000 but in comparison to fellow "Think CBS Kids" series The Weird Al Show, it was a lot less noticeable.
  • Outlived Its Creator: The show has continued to run long after Merv Griffin's death in 2007 from prostate cancer.
  • The Pete Best: Unless you're an older fan, you probably don't know that the show was originally hosted by Chuck Woolery and Susan Stafford. Chuck is a strange zig-zag of this trope, as he is well-known by even younger fans for hosting Scrabble, Love Connection, and Lingo among other shows, but his Wheel tenure is comparatively lesser-known.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Vanna White was a huge fan of Wheel and, before being chosen to replace Susan Stafford, wrote in to be a contestant.
  • Prop Recycling:
    • The Jackpot design introduced in Season 26 was recycled from the previous season's later Big Money Wedge.
    • In 2005, some shows taped on location in Las Vegas had a giant slot machine prop behind the contestants, with video walls for each tumbler. The prop was recycled in 2006 for an unsold revival pilot of The Joker's Wild.
  • Real Song Theme Tune:
    • The 1973 pilot used an instrumental version of "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", while the 1974 pilots used "Give It One" by Maynard Ferguson.
    • The Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games specials used pieces from John Williams' "Summon the Heroes", the official theme of the Games (and later one of NBC's sub-themes).
  • Screwed by the Network:
    • Very nearly happened twice during Chuck's era alone, both in 1980.
      • The first ousting nearly came when NBC was trying to figure out what three games would be canned to make way for The David Letterman Show. Mock schedules were drawn up, including ones which had Wheel ousted after six-and-a-half years. Slightly smarter heads prevailed, and the victims ended up being Chain Reaction, High Rollers, and The Hollywood Squares. Chuck and Susan went so far as to address the rumors on May 7, stating that the show was not canned.
      • The second (more info here) was even worse because NBC head honcho Fred Silverman had actually issued the order — this time to make room for an Another World spinoff named Texas. The intended farewell, featuring an appearance by Chuck's then-wife Jo Ann Pflug, was taped for air on August 1... but during the interim, Silverman took another look at the ratings and realized that the last third of The David Letterman Show was struggling, so he cut it to an hour and Wheel managed to progress unharmed (although Chuck had some fun about the situation on August 4). Charlie O'Donnell, by this point committed to the soon-to-debut Toni Tennille Show, was replaced by Don Morrow for the following week and Jack Clark on August 11.
    • The syndicated version constantly gets pre-empted by sporting events, pregame shows, and local news specials, mostly due to its rule that it can only be aired in the hour before primetime (7-8 PM in the Eastern and Pacific Time Zones, 6-7 PM in the Central and Mountain Time Zones). With most affiliates airing local news at 6:00 PM local time, 7:30 Eastern/6:30 Central is the most popular choice (and in many cases, the only choice). Sister program Jeopardy! is allowed to air in any time slot the affiliate chooses if the half hour before Wheel is occupied by news (which is virtually the entire Central Time Zone). Whichever of the "Big Four" networks Wheel airs on in your city, chances are it is going to be pre-empted by one of the following events:
      • ABC: Wheel generally does not air on Christmas Day due to the traditional NBA games throughout the day and evening. In recent years, the episode that airs the day of the CMA Awards gets pre-empted on the owned-and-operated and Nexstar-owned affiliates by a red carpet special. Since 2019, it also gets pre-empted by the NFL Draft in late April; West Coast markets lose the shows for Thursday and Friday of that week, while the East Coast loses just Friday. West Coast ABC affiliates are also forced to reschedule or skip Wheel on days with NBA Finals games, usually conflicting with the season finale week. Until 2005, some West Coast markets would air Wheel a day behind (from Tuesday to Saturday, with no weekend rerun) due to Monday Night Football (which later moved to ESPN, not counting local broadcasts). This still happens today a handful of times per season in the Los Angeles market, due to KABC-TV locally broadcasting all such games that involve the LA teams.
      • CBS: Wheel gets pre-empted for two Thursdays and Fridays in March due to NCAA March Madness. It also usually does not air on Thanksgiving due to NFL, with the traditional games airing on CBS in most years.
      • FOX: Arguably the worst network to watch Wheel on. During football and baseball season, most FOX affiliates that carry Wheel pre-empt it most every Thursday due to pregame usually starting at 7:30 PM Eastern (allowing Jeopardy! to air at its normal time in most cases). When the World Series comes around, Wheel only airs one day a week in these markets (and in 2020, it didn't air at all for the week due to an NFL game being postponed to that Monday), which includes cities such as Baltimore, Kansas City, New Orleans, and Denver. On the day of the season premiere of WWE SmackDown, a live kickoff show at 7:30/6:30 Central also pre-empts Wheel in most of these markets. In Hawaii, Wheel is carried on FOX (KHON-TV), but is generally not impacted by sporting events due to the large time difference. However, episodes scheduled after World Series games usually end up not airing due to the games running much longer than the three-hour time slot, sliding back their 6:00 newscast afterwards in place of some or all of Wheel.
      • NBC: When the Summer or Winter Olympics arrive, Wheel gets pre-empted on most NBC affiliates for over two weeks, mainly due to an optional localized program titled The Olympic Zone that airs at 7:30 PM Eastern/6:30 Central, showcasing Olympic athletes in that station's local market if they choose to carry it. On the West Coast, Wheel is impacted on days with Stanley Cup Final games. On one Thursday in early September, Wheel does not air on most NBC affiliates due to the NFL season kickoff game, which usually begins at 7:30 PM Eastern. In 2020, the game's coverage began at 7:00, affecting Wheel on all NBC affiliates, and on a day where it had a new episode instead of a rerun like most years.
    • In many pre-emption situations, Wheel takes a back seat to ''Jeopardy!'' due to the latter often having higher ratings as well as champion continuity. In some cases, if Jeopardy!'s time slot is pre-empted but Wheel's is not, stations will move Jeopardy! to replace Wheel for the day, even if one or both shows are in repeats. Similarly, if Jeopardy! is scheduled after an event that runs long and cuts into its time slot, some stations will ensure airing the episode in its entirety, thereby cutting off part of Wheel or covering it up entirely and skipping straight to the next show (most West Coast markets that schedule Jeopardy! first do this during the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, which often run long). Also, when a station pre-empts both game shows, some will make up Jeopardy! by re-airing the episode overnight or over the weekend for the sake of keeping with continuity, while Wheel's episode gets outright skipped.
    • In March and April 2020, during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, ABC pre-empted Wheel for two full weeks on its owned-and-operated affiliates (serving top markets such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia) in favor of rebroadcasts of ABC World News Tonight with David Muir. This was done specifically because Wheel scheduled reruns for these two weeks to replace shelved episodes sponsored by Collette Vacations and Carnival Cruise Line, both of which suspended their trips for several months. Most fans found this pointless since it was merely repeating the exact same program that aired only one hour prior. For the second week, likely due to viewer backlash, the affiliates in Los Angeles and San Francisco relented and aired the Wheel reruns instead of the World News repeats. Jeopardy!, which had new episodes during these weeks, was not pre-empted.
    • Wheel's Saturday repeats are often scheduled immediately following College Football games (or local newscasts that run for 30 minutes regardless of time) during the season. This often results in them getting joined in progress or not airing at all, due to the fact that College Football almost-always runs long as a result of more clock stoppages than in regulation football. This even affected a new episode that aired (in few markets) on Saturday, November 12, 2016 (see Missing Episode above).
    • Boston affiliate WBZ-TV (owned and operated by CBS) pre-empts Wheel dozens of times each year, far more than any other affiliate that carries the show. This is mostly because WBZ-TV has an agreement with the New England Patriots to produce a local program on the team titled Patriots All Access. This program airs every Friday night at 7:00 PM during NFL season (or until the Patriots are no longer eligible for the Super Bowl), as well as roughly once a month during the offseason, moving Wheel to 2:07 AM. Jeopardy! gets pre-empted as well by the NFL season episodes, which are an hour long, but not by the offseason ones, which are only half an hour. Also, any tournament episodes of Jeopardy! pre-empted by the program are aired on sister station WSBK-TV at its regular time, instead of being relegated to overnight like Wheel. Ironically, a 2020 repeat of a 2017 episode from "Great American Cities: Boston" week, which was made in partnership with the station, was pre-empted by an offseason episode of Patriots All Access. WBZ also airs various specials and local events such as the annual Faneuil Hall Christmas tree lighting and addresses from the Mayor of Boston, most often at 7:30 PM, the time slot for Jeopardy!, meaning that show moves to 7:00 to replace Wheel, which airs overnight. The station also pulled this move whenever the 7:30 time slot was pre-empted by Thursday Night Football pregame back when it was carried on CBS. WBZ's programming department has stated that this is done due to Jeopardy! having "significantly higher ratings" than Wheel in the Boston market.
      • On two occasions in December 2017, WBZ-TV, along with the other two CBS O&O's that carry Wheel—WCCO-TV in Minneapolis and KTVT in Dallas—unexpectedly pre-empted Wheel (but not any other programs) with an infomercial for Operation Smile, a nonprofit organization that provides surgeries to children with facial deformities. Coincidentally, one of the two affected episodes had a $1,000,000 loss.
  • Scully Box: Contestants are placed on risers that may be raised or lowered in order to make reaching the Wheel easier relative to their height.
  • Similarly Named Works: CBS had a game show in 1952-53 also called Wheel of Fortune, but it awarded prizes to people who had done good deeds.
  • Technology Marches On: Even though Wheel switched to an electronic puzzle board in February 1997, people still refer to the letters being "turned" as if they were still trilons.
  • Throw It In!:
    • The mere presence of a letter-turner on the show. While Ed Flesh and Marty Pasetta were designing the 1974 set, they didn't have time to finish motorizing the puzzle board, so the finished parts were gutted out and Susan was hired to turn the letters.
    • On several occasions, a letter has refused to reveal after being lit up, leading to Vanna repeatedly touching it until it finally lights up. This rarely gets edited out.
    • On January 29, 2007, the paired contestants playing hit Bankrupt with a Wild Card in tow. Hitting Bankrupt means forfeiting the Wild Card, but Pat often forgot this rule for most of the card's first season. Somehow, nobody realized this team still had an undeserved Wild Card, and they even went to the Bonus Round with it...but then failed to solve the bonus puzzle even with the help of the fifth letter that the Wild Card gave.
    • In a November 2018 episode, a contestant mispronounced the $3,000 Toss-Up puzzle PROVINCETOWN as "PROVINCETON", but this was not noticed at the time. Before the Bonus Round, Pat acknowledged the situation, and since the $3,000 wouldn't have changed who won the game, the game proceeded as normal and Pat announced that an extra $3,000 would be awarded to the other two contestants.
  • Un-Canceled: The daytime version, three times.
  • Urban Legend of Zelda: Fans have circulated rumors about the old trilon-based puzzle board finding a home at the Smithsonian Institution. The board was actually rejected due to its size and is now "gone" according to Pat.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The letters on the puzzle board were originally planned to be mechanically turned for the 1974 pilots, but time ran out before the board could be motorized and Susan Stafford was hired to turn the letters. Would we have seen Susan or Vanna if the show was given extra time to complete the puzzle board's mechanisms?
    • If Wheel were indeed canceled (remember, it had escaped at least three attempts to cancel the show, in favor of a daytime talk show by David Letterman and an expanded one-hour Another World) ... would the show have even been proposed for syndication? The show's closest brush with death came in the Another World expansion, where Fred Silverman – stemming already hemorrhaging ratings of Letterman - cut back the overly long show to 60 minutes (from the original 90).
    • If Chuck Woolery had accepted the modest raise Merv Griffin offered him in 1981, he likely would have presided over the syndicated version as well. Speculation abounds as to whether Susan Stafford would have stayed as well.
    • Pat Sajak almost didn't get the host's position. See Executive Meddling for why he did.
    • If contestant Terri had been able to solve "THE THRILL OF VICTORY AND THE AGONY OF DEFEAT" for no less than a $63,000-plus jackpot, not only would she hold what would be still a one-round record, but would have led to the purchase of several large prizes (cars, trips, and so forth) and perhaps an entire showcase in addition, plus (along with hearing at least two prize cues in full) a six- or seven-minute prize copy. More than likely the episode would've had some very heavy editing. Furthermore, it is very unlikely that any player will ever reach that amount in one round again, especially without the help of a $6,000 Final Spin (the one-round record is $54,000, which was achieved through such a round), because the show currently has an unwritten rule that all puzzles from Round 4 onward (also all rounds with the $5,000 wedge on the Wheel) must fit on only two rows of the board (the above puzzle used all four rows), a total of only 28 monitors.
      • Several recollections (on various game show discussion boards) have also claimed a similar incident happened earlier in Fall 1985, when a contestant mis-solved "STAR LIGHT STAR BRIGHT FIRST STAR I SEE TONIGHT" - by forgetting the "I" - for another $60,000 jackpot in a nearly filled in puzzle. After the loud gasps and moans from the audience (and Pat explaining that the solution was incorrect), the next contestant immediately solved for the $200 house minimum, getting only polite applause.
    • The "Big Month of Cash" would lead to the play-for-cash format used today, but what if it never happened?
    • Among those who tried out for host after Pat left were tennis players Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe, actor John Gabriel, sportscaster Roger Twibell, and ESPN sports reporter Tim Brando (who reportedly did so well that Merv stated, "[Tim] could host the show tomorrow.") Then-announcer M.G. Kelly also auditioned, and Vanna herself was reportedly offered the job only to turn it down.
    • Rolf Benirschke was dismissed when the daytime version moved to CBS. John Davidson, Bob Eubanks, Pat Finn, Bob Goen, Chuck Henry, and Marc Summers auditioned to replace him before Goen was chosen.
    • Two episodes have had the Million-Dollar Wedge lost (one through a wrong letter, the other through a Bankrupt), only for the player(s) who had it to win the $100,000 in the Bonus Round, which is replaced with the $1,000,000 if the wedge survives the game after being claimed. Conversely, other contestants have lost the $100,000 after losing the wedge.
    • Sometime in the late 2010's, a special episode with a rematch between the three million-dollar winners was considered. This would have been the first time in nearly two decades that a contestant returned for any reason besides a technicality. The idea was ultimately scrapped after one of the winners refused to return.
    • In late 1982, The Great Game Company (which would later become GameTek) announced plans to adapt seven game shows into video games for the Atari 2600, Wheel among them. Unfortunately, they were being developed just as The Great Video Game Crash of 1983 started and the plans were put to an abrupt end. No prototypes of any of these games are known to exist.
    • Much later, GameTek planned on releasing adaptations for the Sega Saturn and Panasonic 3DO in 1996 despite being in deep financial ruin by this time. They were officially canceled in early 1997, and GameTek folded a year later.
  • The Wiki Rule: (ding)
  • Word of God:
    • Edd Byrnes said in his memoir Kookie No More that he was drunk when he hosted the 1974 pilots. It shows. note 
    • Pat's (now-defunct) website once had a Q&A section in which he explained several things about the show, including the reason they stopped having the Wheel spin automatically during the open and close in early 1997 (because he thought that it could give the false impression that they could rig the Wheel, even though the automatic spinning had been done for the past 22 years without incident).
  • Written-In Infirmity:
    • Pat and Vanna traded places for one Bonus Round due to Pat having laryngitis. The next day, Pat used hand signals throughout a round as a further means of resting his voice.
    • When announcer Jack Clark became too ill from bone cancer to do any more announcing, Pat and Vanna read the updated fee plugs for the Summer reruns and weekend feed.
    • On many occasions, contestants who are unable to spin due to a physical handicap (most commonly those with dwarfism, or those who are wheelchair-bound) have been allowed to bring a friend or family member to spin on their behalf. The "designated spinner" may only touch the wheel and may not otherwise assist in gameplay, unless the episode is part of a team week (e.g. Best Friends), although there are only two known instances where a "designated spinner" appeared during such a week. This is also averted should such a contestant make it to the Bonus Round, as the smaller bonus wheel is more accessible to contestants with disabilities.
    • On a 2018 episode, a contestant in a wheelchair had her husband spin for her throughout the game. She made it to the Bonus Round, and while she was otherwise able to handle the bonus wheel by herself, he was still present to push the chair.
    • On at least two team weeks (one in 1997 and one in 2019), a deaf contestant competed during a team week, with their teammate doubling as a interpreter.

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