The Worst Jeopardy! Answers Of All Time

We've all done it. Misspoken. The parent who calls one child by another child's name. (The partner who refers to a significant other by the name of a previous significant other. Oh, boy.) A completely random, less-than-thought-through statement or question in the moment that elicits an immediate self-inflicted face palm, literally or figuratively. Stories that become family legends, destined to be resurrected every Thanksgiving ("Remember that time you said, 'What means car?' That was hilarious!"), for good or ill. And while we might be teased more or less personally and privately about our verbal misstep for the rest of our lives, mostly it's just that: more or less personal and private. Unless, of course, you're on national television.

Pity the poor broadcasting professionals who have messed up something really obvious, their gaffe preserved for all eternity thanks to the gift that is digital archives. So the stakes are even higher for the rank amateurs whose flawed humanity is revealed for all to marvel at — or remember with perhaps a touch of schadenfreude. Especially during game shows that rely on displays of knowledge more than luck. Shows like, say, Jeopardy!

Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek has heard a lot of answers in the form of a question

Jeopardy! debuted back in the 1960s as a daytime game show. Created by Merv Griffin, it moved well and truly into syndication in 1984, helmed by Alex Trebek, and there it has remained. That's a lot of answers in the form of a question. And some of them are bound to be verbal missteps. "Worst" might be putting it too strongly. Unintentional, or just plain wrong? We don't judge. Here are some nominations for the list.

There was this moment in 2008, reported by Screen Rant. The clue: "It made zoological news in 2008 when Asian mouse deer," tiny mammals with hooves, "were seen escaping predators by this means of locomotion." The contestant who buzzed in first responded, "What is a train?" An entertaining vision, but incorrect. Best Life gives us this example: "By the 4th Century A.D., Rome had 28 public ones stacked with rolls of papyrus." The contestant offered, "What are toilets?" The correct answer: "What are libraries." (The ancient Romans actually used a sponge on a stick, not papyrus, in their public lavatories.)

One competitor on the teen version of the show had locked down his win even before the Final Jeopardy round. Given "On June 6, 1944, [this person] said, 'The eyes of the world are upon you." The correct response: "Who is Dwight D. Eisenhower?" The contestant answered, "Who is some guy in Normandy. But I just won $75,000!" Because priorities.