Jeopardy Clip Goes Viral For Baffling Clue That Everyone Got Wrong

A new viral TikTok video shows Alex Trebek and Jeopardy stumping everyone with a calendar date question that no one got right.

By Jessica Scott | Updated

Alex Trebek Jeopardy!

Beloved Jeopardy host Alex Trebek may not be with us anymore, but he is still going viral on TikTok. A clip from a 1984 episode of the game show just surfaced this week for completely stumping all three of the featured contestants – not to mention the audience. The clue was “Calendar date with which the 20th century began,” to which every contestant incorrectly responded, “What was January 1, 1900?”

The Jeopardy contestants grew increasingly flummoxed as one after the other responded with what everyone believed to be the logical answer (question). Incredibly, each of the three contestants bet all of their money on the final clue, hoping to win the game by taking advantage of the simple-sounding category of “The Calendar.” In the end, though, they all wound up with nothing.

It was only Trebek’s second episode as the host of the timeless quiz show, Jeopardy, and he was looking dapper in a gray suit and what would become his trademark mustache. He was also looking a little savage as he told everyone they were wrong. In an “oh, well” sort of voice, he informed everyone that, since everyone lost, there would be a new batch of contestants on the next episode and no returning champion.


“I’m at a loss for words,” he said. “But in a situation like this… easy come, easy go.” He then tried to close out the show by mentioning the contestants’ consolation prizes, but the audience wasn’t satisfied with that. In something you don’t see on Jeopardy today, the crowd began to interrupt as he was closing the show, shouting “What’s the answer?”

Trebek, who knew that on Jeopardy the “answers” are really “questions,” looked a bit confused as he replied: “What’s the question [you mean?]? January 1, 1901.” There was a lot of groaning and face-palming all around as the show ended in an unusual state of mild chaos. Jeopardy is not known for its chaos, so this isolated incident is something to behold.

This was the first episode of Jeopardy in which all three contestants got the answer wrong and were left with no prize money. It has only happened six other times in the history of the show, the most recent being in 2016.

Trebek was the host of Jeopardy for an impressive 38 seasons, from 1984 until his death from pancreatic cancer in 2020. He was not the first host of the show, but he was certainly the most memorable and most well-loved, in part for the dry humor he showed in episodes like the one that is making the rounds on social media now.

Jeopardy is the “thinking man’s” game show and has resonated with audiences for an incredible 58 years in one form or another. According to Insider, it is also the winningest game show on television, having earned 43 Emmy Awards in its time. It also won the prestigious Peabody Award in 2011.

The show’s ability to make people think – and perhaps to rethink their confidence that they know everything about certain topics – has made it a hit with older and younger audiences alike. Not many other game shows that began in the 1960s could go viral on TikTok today!