Sat . 19 Apr 2019

Figure It Out

figure it out, figure it out season 1
Figure It Out is an American children's panel game show that aired on Nickelodeon The original series, hosted by Summer Sanders, ran for four seasons from July 7, 1997 to December 12, 1999 The show was revived in 2012, with Jeff Sutphen as host The revival aired from June 11, 2012 to July 16, 2013 The series was originally recorded at Nickelodeon Studios at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida The revival episodes were filmed on stage 19 at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles

Children with special skills or unique achievements compete as contestants on the show while a panel of four Nickelodeon celebrities try to guess the predetermined phrase that describes the contestant's talent The series is a loose adaptation of What's My Line and I've Got a Secret, both established panel shows created by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman

Shortly after the series aired its last first-run episode, Figure It Out began airing repeats on Nick GAS until the network ceased at the end of 2007 2009 on Dish Network Several episodes of the Sanders-hosted series also aired in 2012 as part of The '90s Are All That, a 1990s-oriented rerun block that aired on TeenNick

In 2013, Sutphen confirmed via Twitter that no new episodes of the revival of Figure It Out would be produced


  • 1 Gameplay
    • 11 Secret Slime Action
      • 111 Word of Honor
  • 2 Panelists
  • 3 List of panelists
    • 31 Regular
    • 32 Guest
  • 4 Format changes
  • 5 Famous contestants
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links


Each episode has two sets of three timed rounds originally all 60 seconds in length; for the revival series, rounds two and three were played for 45 seconds, in which the panel takes turns asking yes-or-no questions to try to guess the contestant's talent For every "yes" answer, the panelist's turn continues Once a panelist asks a question with a "no" answer, their turn ends and the next panelist's turn starts If at any time a panelist cannot think of a question on their turn, they may pass their turn to the next panelist Each time a panelist mentions a word that is part of the phrase that describes the secret talent, the word is turned over on a game board displaying the puzzle This game board was referred to as Billy the Answer Head during the original series run and is known simply as the "It" Board in the show's later adaptation

This game board shows which words of the phrase are guessed, along with blanks denoting words that the panel did not solve Prepositions and articles, such as "of" and "an," are provided automatically During the very early episodes of the show, synonyms of words that were on the board were accepted by the judges eg: A panelist revealing the word "song" by saying the word "carol" and another episode featured a panelist revealing the word "tossing" by saying the word "throw" This was later changed to a panelist having to say the exact word in a contestant's talent in order for that word to be revealed on the board

The contestant wins a prize after each round that their talent remains unguessed The prize for winning the third round is a trip In Season 1, prizes consisted mainly of leftover props from then-defunct Nickelodeon shows such as Double Dare, Legends of the Hidden Temple and Global Guts Merchandise prizes such as a Nintendo 64 and gift cards for stores including Kids Foot Locker, Toys "R" Us, and Loew's began to appear as prizes during later seasons If Round 3 ends with at least one word left unrevealed, each panelist takes one final guess as to what the contestant's talent is any correct words given during the final guess are revealed, as during the game The game ends when a panelist guesses the secret talent or if no panelist guesses the secret talent correctly after the "last guess" stage

During each Round, the panelists receive one clue as a hint to one of the words of the secret phrase The clue usually takes the form of physical objects – such as dates to indicate a clue about calendars – sounds rarely used, the clue-cano seasons 4-6, featured messy clues erupting out of the clue boxes all over the panel, making them just as messy as a sliming, especially in the Sutphen era which made the panel cautious when opening the clue boxes or pantomime the "Charade Brigade" Season 1-4, "Clue Force 3" Seasons 5-6, usually two or three cast members that act out a word from the phrase during Round 3 with "Clue Force 3" pictionary was sometimes used instead of pantomime

At the end of the game, after the secret talent is revealed, the contestant demonstrates or displays their skill and discusses it with the host and panel

Secret Slime Action

In each game, from the start of round 2, a randomly selected member of the studio audience plays for a prize a merchandise prize, such as a Nintendo 64 or a mountain bike in season 1 or a Figure It Out-branded article of clothing in seasons 2-6 If at least one or more panelists perform the Secret Slime Action, those panelists will be slimed by the end of round 3 especially when one of the panelist tries to break the rules and get a second chance during season 1, the secret slime action could be triggered anytime after the end of round 1, including between rounds and when the contestant is performing their secret "J", the regular announcer for the original show, would disclose what the Secret Slime Action was for each episode in which he appeared

The action designated as the Secret Slime Action is typically simple and almost guaranteed: touching a clue; looking to the left, which was reflexive, as clues were commonly wheeled out on a small track from a tunnel to the panel's left; using the phrase "Are you" or "Is it;" looking to the audience behind the panel, who was sometimes used for clues; saying "I don't know," which panelist Danny Tamberelli was notable for saying at the top of his lungs on the show; having a certain name; and even being a panelist For example, Steve Burns from Blue's Clues was slimed because the Secret Slime Action was "having a blue dog," Alex Heartman from Power Rangers Samurai was slimed because the Secret Slime Action was "wearing a red unitard to work", Jade Ramsey from House of Anubis was slimed because the Secret Slime Action was "having an identical twin sister", and Ryan Potter from Supah Ninjas was slimed because the Secret Slime Action was "being a supah ninja"

Some Actions are logically not able to be forced, such as "thinking about coconuts" or "thinking about mushroom soup" Especially in the latter seasons, a successful Action has mostly been a foregone conclusion – the variables have only been when it will be triggered, and by whom not necessarily a panelist

When the Secret Slime Action is triggered, all play stops including the clock while the panelist is slimed and the action revealed, after which gameplay resumes The host knows of the action and sometimes tricks the panelists into performing it by making them say or touch something in one episode, the action was "touching your head" Sanders touched her head and said, "Have you done something with your hair," which caused the panel to touch their heads in reaction

Word of Honor

In the 2012 revival, prior to each game, one word of either the first or second contestant's secrets may be designated as the "Word of Honor" Should the panel guess this word, the contestant is slimed As the contestant is slimed, gameplay and the clock are paused If the Word of Honor was unguessed, it would be out of play for the rest of the show eg if it was unguessed in game 1, it would not carry over to game 2 If a player got slimed by the Word of Honor, Elle Young, the announcer for the revival, would tell the player that they got slimed when she recaps the prizes that player won


Either three or all four panelists are taken from Nickelodeon shows airing at the time Regulars during the original run included All That cast members Amanda Bynes, Lori Beth Denberg, Kevin Kopelow and Danny Tamberelli who also starred in the Nickelodeon program The Adventures of Pete & Pete Kopelow and Tamberelli were notorious for frequently asking silly questions and acting goofy, while Denberg was the serious panelist, who asked well-thought out questions, and frequently was the one to guess the secret phrase, during the final guesses

The first seat on the panel was usually reserved for an adult panelist, either an adult actor from a Nickelodeon program usually Kopelow or a non-Nickelodeon celebrity such as Taran Noah Smith of Home Improvement In several episodes, Cat and Dog from CatDog, rendered in CGI, and Cousin Skeeter, a puppet character, were panelists, but never at the same time In Seasons 5 and 6, the first seat was not reserved for an adult, but Matt Bennett from Victorious and Ciara Bravo from Big Time Rush regularly appeared in the first position Other guest panelists included Coolio, Mike O'Malley host of Nick's Get the Picture and GUTS from 1991–95, Colin Mochrie regular on Whose Line Is It Anyway, and professional wrestlers Chris Jericho, The Giant and "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan

List of panelists


Name Episodes Seasons
Danny Tamberelli 96 episodes Main
Kevin Kopelow 56 episodes Main
Amanda Bynes 52 episodes Main
Lori Beth Denberg 115 episodes Main
Ciara Bravo 21 episodes Main
Matt Bennett 18 episodes Main


Seasons 1–4 1997–1999
  • Aaron Carter 3 1 episode
  • Adam Busch 1 6 episodes
  • Alisa Reyes 1 2 episodes
  • Arjay Smith 2, 4 9 episodes
  • Bob Sanders Summer's father 3 1 episode
  • Boris Cabrera 4 3 episodes
  • Brian Knobbs 4 1 episode
  • Carla Overbeck 4 1 episode
  • Carrot Top 3 1 episode
  • CatDog 4 2 episodes
  • Cedric Ceballos 3 1 episode
  • Chris Jericho 3 1 episode
  • Christy Knowings 2-4 23 episodes
  • Colin Mochrie 4 1 episode
  • Coolio 3 1 episode
  • Cousin Skeeter 3 2 episodes
  • Curtis Williams, Jr 3 1 episode
  • Dave Aizer 4 3 episodes
  • Dennis Haskins 3 1 episode
  • Doug E Doug 4 2 episodes
  • Eleanor Noble 3 4 episodes
  • Ellen David 3 3 episodes
  • Erin J Dean 2-4 21 episodes
  • Evander Holyfield 4 2 episodes
  • The Giant 2 2 episodes
  • "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan 4 2 episodes
  • Hardy Rawls 3 1 episode
  • Irene Ng 1-4 13 episodes
  • Jack Hanna 4 3 episodes
  • Jenna Leigh Green 1 4 episodes
  • Jesse Camp 4 2 episodes
  • Joe Namath 2 1 episode
  • Josh Server 1-2 15 episodes
  • Judy Grafe 3 1 episode
  • Julius Erving 4 1 episode
  • Kareem Blackwell 4 10 episodes
  • Kel Mitchell 2-3 9 episodes
  • Kenan Thompson 2-3 16 episodes
  • Kordell Stewart 2 1 episode
  • Leon Frierson 2 3 episodes
  • Lindsay Felton 4 2 episodes
  • Marc Weiner 1 10 episodes
  • Mark Saul 4 14 episodes
  • Meagan Good 3 4 episodes
  • Michelle Trachtenberg 2-3 12 episodes
  • Mike Maronna 3 1 episode
  • Mike O'Malley 1-2 12 episodes
  • Moira Quirk 1-2 7 episodes
  • Mýa 4 1 episode
  • Neil Smith 2 2 episodes
  • Penny Hardaway 2 1 episode
  • Phil Moore 1-3 22 episodes
  • Preslaysa Edwards 1 8 episodes
  • Richard Simmons 4 1 episode
  • Robert Ri'chard 3 4 episodes
  • Rondell Sheridan 4 7 episodes
  • Schuyler Fisk 4 1 episode
  • Shane Sweet 2, 4 12 episodes
  • Shannon Miller 3 1 episode
  • Sherman Hemsley 4 1 episode
  • Steve Burns 4 5 episodes
  • Steve Purnick 2 5 episodes
  • Summer Sanders 2 1 episode
  • Tara Lipinski 4 9 episodes
  • Taran Noah Smith 1-2 7 episodes
  • Tiffany Roberts 4 1 episode
  • Travis White 3 5 episodes
  • Vanessa Baden 1 1 episode

Seasons 5–6 2012–2013
  • A J DeLaGarza 1 episode
  • Alex Heartman 3 episodes
  • Ana Mulvoy-Ten 11 episodes
  • Ariana Grande 4 episodes
  • Ashley Argota 7 episodes
  • Avan Jogia 4 episodes
  • Bryan Jordan 1 episode
  • Camille Spirlin 1 episode
  • Candace Parker 1 episode
  • Carlos Knight 4 episodes
  • Carlos Pena Jr 4 episodes
  • Challen Cates 4 episodes
  • Chris Rene 1 episode
  • Chris O'Neal 12 episodes
  • Cody Simpson 1 episode
  • Cymphonique Miller 5 episodes
  • Daniella Monet 5 episodes
  • Drake Bell 4 episodes
  • Elizabeth Gillies 7 episodes
  • Eric Lange 2 episodes
  • Gracie Dzienny 5 episodes
  • Halston Sage 12 episodes
  • Héctor Jiménez 1 episode
  • Jackson Brundage 1 episode
  • Jacob Bertrand 1 episode
  • Jade Ramsey 6 episodes
  • Jake Weary 2 episodes
  • James Maslow 3 episodes
  • Jaylen Barron 1 episode
  • Jennette McCurdy 4 episodes
  • Kendall Schmidt 1 episode
  • Kirk Fox 3 episodes
  • Leon Thomas III 5 episodes
  • Logan Henderson 1 episode
  • Louie Vito 1 episode
  • Lucas Cruikshank 4 episodes
  • Lulu Antariksa 13 episodes
  • Marcus Canty 1 episode
  • Max Schneider 12 episodes
  • Metta World Peace 1 episode
  • Michael Eric Reid 7 episodes
  • Nathan Kress 2 episodes
  • Noah Crawford 12 episodes
  • Noah Munck 11 episodes
  • Nolan Gould 1 episode
  • Rachel Crow 9 episodes
  • Ramy Youssef 2 episodes
  • Ryan Newman 1 episode
  • Ryan Potter 9 episodes
  • Samantha Boscarino 8 episodes
  • Sean Franklin 1 episode
  • Stephen Kramer Glickman 3 episodes
  • Tanya Chisholm 3 episodes
  • Tony Hawk 1 episode
  • Victoria Justice 2 episodes
  • Victory Van Tuyl 2 episodes

Watch & Win Special 2012
  • Marley Priest 1 episode
  • Cristian Puente-Ortiz 1 episode
  • Hannah Doughty 1 episode
  • Allyson McGuire 1 episode

Format changes

1997-1999 logo
  • Season 3 fall 1998 — The series became Figure It Out: Family Style, featuring two or three contestants who were related, typically parent-child or siblings Sometimes on the 2nd half, the panel can have a family member of the contestant Sometimes, the Charade Brigade can have family members of the panelists and the host Figure It Out: Family Style also features Little Billy If the panelists figured out the contestants' secret, then Little Billy a miniature version of Billy the Answer Head with hair and on wheels would come out Summer reads a question about the family's talent and then each panelist will try to guess one impossible answer If they cannot figure it out no panel ever did since they simply treated it as a free-for-all most times by guessing answers intended for comedic response, then the answer in Little Billy would reveal and which gives the family another chance to win a prize usually the Figure It Out apparel used for the Secret Slime Action Rounds For certain episodes, J's mother, Joanne Dumas filled in as the show's announcer
  • Season 4 fall 1999 — The show was retitled Figure It Out: Wild Style and focused solely on talents involving animals; in addition, Billy the Answer Head was reshaped into various animals During these episodes, the panelists went wild with hair, wigs and make-up, sporting a different, distinctive look Sometimes, instead of J himself doing the narration work, some episodes would instead be narrated by J's dog This is the only Figure It Out season that does not include Lori Beth Denberg, as she had moved on to work on The Steve Harvey Show During these episodes, seven different panelists such as Steve Burns, Shane Sweet, Erin J Dean, Christy Knowings, Irene Ng, Kevin Kopelow and Kareem Blackwell permanently replaced Denberg in the chair she always sat in
  • Season 5 summer 2012 — The show reverted back to its original title and Jeff Sutphen took over as host Elle Young took over as the announcer The set, host, panelists, theme music and logo were all modified to serve Nickelodeon's contemporary audience Gameplay was also slightly modified to include the Word of Honor component and to shorten the lengths of rounds two and three originally, all rounds were 60 seconds; in the newer version, rounds two and three are 45 seconds Also, Billy the Answer Head was changed to the "It Board," the Clue Express was renamed the "Clue Coaster" and the Charade Brigade was changed to "Clue Force III" featuring Lorenz Arnell, Gevorg Manoukian and Julia Srednicki
  • Season 6 fall 2012 and summer 2013 — The show was brought back after the long gap in the summer The style of the show stays the same, but with some changes, such as a fifth seat and slime spewer added to the panel desk for the child panelist who won a summer contest to appear for one entire episode the fifth panel desk was gone before and after the winning child's episode

Famous contestants

On April 7, 1998, future country music singer/songwriter Hunter Hayes was a contestant on Figure It Out when he was six years old His talent was playing the accordion and singing

Sam Roberts, host of Jim Norton & Sam Roberts on Sirius XM, appeared on an episode in Season 2 His talent was flipping quarters off his ankle

Marcus Stroman of the Toronto Blue Jays was a prize winner in episode 13 of Season 1


  1. ^ Lesley Goldberg March 7, 2012 "Nickelodeon Revives 1990s Game Show 'Figure It Out'" The Hollywood Reporter Retrieved 2016-01-23 
  2. ^ "Nickelodeon Figure It Out: Figure This Out" cattlecallauditionscom Retrieved 2012-06-06 
  3. ^ Jeff Sutphen October 1, 2013 "@jeffreydobson unless your secrete talent is bringing canceled shows back we will not be shooting any more episodes of #FIO #sadface" Tweet Retrieved 2016-01-23 – via Twitter 
  4. ^ "Ready, Set, Slime! Nickelodeon Premieres Figure It Out on Monday, June 11, at 7 PM ET/PT" Press release Nickelodeon May 18, 2012 Retrieved 2016-01-23 – via The Futon Critic 
  5. ^ Video on YouTube
  6. ^ Video on YouTube

External links

  • Official website
  • Figure It Out on IMDb
  • Figure It Out at TVcom

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