Hold on tight: "101 Ways" contestants await their fate (ABC)
But suffering a complete brain-lapse on national television can be plenty humiliating on its own. So in honor of "101 Ways ...," we dug up a six-pack of cringe-worthy (and hilarious) game show exits that make being shot out of a cannon look not so bad by comparison.
"Deal or No Deal": There's Brave, and Then There's Just Dumb
We're a bit conservative when it comes to "Deal or No Deal"; we'd snap up any decent banker's offer in a heartbeat. But some players won't settle for anything less than the million-dollar prize — and some, like this contestant, end up with a whole lotta nothing. The guy was lucky enough to end up with just three suitcases left: two containing a cool million, and one with a single dollar. The banker offered him $603,000 to walk away, but the contestant went for broke… and ended up broke. Well, not broke, exactly — but a measly dollar isn't much of a consolation prize, is it?
"Jeopardy!": Wolf Blitzer Gets Blitzed
We expect our news anchors to be honest, impeccably groomed, and above all, well-informed. So what does it say about CNN that their top anchor, Wolf Blitzer, bombed so horrifically on "Celebrity Jeopardy"? The bearded journalist stammered and flubbed his way to a shameful negative-$4,600 total. (Yes, he would've been better off not ringing in at all.) Meanwhile, "Conan" co-host Andy Richter rolled up an impressive total of $68,000. Maybe they should switch jobs and let Andy anchor "The Situation Room" for a while, huh? Better start practicing your fake laugh, Wolf.
"Wheel of Fortune": A Woman "Self-Potatoes" Before Our Very Eyes
Unlike "Jeopardy!," it doesn't take a rocket scientist to win at "Wheel of Fortune." But it does take at least a basic grasp of the English language — something poor Lolita here seemed to lack on this fateful day. Faced with a speed-round puzzle, Lolita volunteered the now-immortal response: "Self-potato?" Now set aside for a moment the question of what the heck a "self-potato" even is; that answer doesn't even fit in the puzzle! Pat Sajak got a good laugh out of it, although he said that doesn't even rank in the Top 10 of "Wheel" flubs. If that's true, we'd love to see the ten that top it, because this is pure YouTube gold.
"The Price Is Right": No, This Price Is Really, Really Wrong
Now we should probably give this guy a break for his way-way-way-way-WAY off showcase bid; he's in the military, so maybe he's lost touch with how things cost. But he had to be at sea for a loooong time to come up with this calculation: Living room set + carpet + HDTV + two motorcycles = $250,000! Did he think that those motorcycles each had 100 grand in cash hidden under the seat? Good ol' Bob Barker was so nice to let him bid again… or maybe he just knew that a bid that large wouldn't even fit on the display.
"Who Wants to Be a Millionaire": A College Student Flunks Out
We can't understand how people lose on the first question on "Millionaire." You have three lifelines, people! Use 'em or lose 'em. Unfortunately, this college student from Tennessee definitely lost 'em, blowing a painfully simple $100 question about surge protectors. We think his college may have been justified in revoking his admission after seeing this; let's just hope he wasn't studying for an electrician's degree.
"Hole in the Wall": We're Gonna Need a Bigger Hole
Now this clip doesn't involve a lapse in intelligence, but it definitely qualifies as an embarrassing game show exit. (Plus, it's so hilarious, we had to include it.) If you don't remember "Hole in the Wall," it challenged contestants to fit through oddly-shaped gaps in an approaching wall. We don't know what we love most about this clip: Portia's plus-sized dance moves; her endearingly earnest "Oh crap!" as the wall approaches; her smashing through a huge chunk in the wall in an effort to survive; or her genial good spirit about the whole endeavor. She may have lost, but Portia will always be a big winner in our eyes.