Wheel of Fortune fails/viral moments

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Viral moments that defined ‘Wheel of Fortune’ in honor of Pat Sajak’s retirement

Buy a vowel or go home.


Angela Andaloro

Pop Culture

Wheel of Fortune fails have been aplenty in the game show’s nearly 50-year run. The opportunity for things to go horribly wrong when people solve simple letter puzzles is part of its charm.

With Pat Sajak bidding audiences farewell on his last show as the host, here’s a look back at some of the funniest fails and viral moments throughout his run on the series.


The best Wheel of Fortune fails come from puzzles where the answer is entirely obvious.

What also becomes obvious in many of these moments is just how crucial good spelling is. In this blunder, the contestant guessed “self-potato” for a puzzle, which is clearly solved by “self-portrait.”

“Right in the butt”

Despite the fact that the game show airs in primetime, a lot of Wheel of Fortune fails can be attributed to contestants guessing something less than family-friendly. Lest Pat Sajak depart the show without one more blunder, a recent contestant solved a puzzle by suggesting the phrase was “Right in the butt!”

@dailymail Wheel of Fortune got explicit when a contestant guessed a hilariously wrong answer that left the audience and other contestants stunned! 🎥 Wheel of Fortune #wheeloffortune #fail #viral #patsajak #tv #entertainment ♬ original sound – Daily Mail

Not only was it the wrong guess, but the puzzle didn’t even have enough letters for this to be plausible. The contestant looked embarrassed as his cohorts eventually worked the puzzle down. When solved, it read, “This is the best!”

Looking away goes wrong

After one contestant guesses the puzzle and says “Don’t look away,” Sajak says, “No.” The other contestants start congratulating the first on guessing the puzzle while Sajak continues to say no.

@dailymail No, no, no! This is the embarrassing moment Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak had to interrupt a victory celebration after contestants incorrectly answered a puzzle. 🎥 ABC/Wheel of Fortune #wheeloffortune #tv #fail #embarrassing #patsajak #vannawhite ♬ original sound – Daily Mail

The puzzle expires before they realize the guess was actually incorrect, with the correct answer reading, “Can’t look away.”

Without a paddle

After one contestant incorrectly guessed “paddle boat” in a puzzle, the next had a surprisingly hard time solving the puzzle.


Where’s my blood pressure medication? #wheeloffortune

♬ original sound – Josh Gates

The Wheel of Fortune puzzle read, “Renting a pedal boat.” Not realizing until it was too late, the second contestant guessed the same phrase, to the slight frustration of the host.

Annunciation is important

One woman is told she didn’t solve the puzzle correctly because of a technicality.


Because of her accent, the woman allegedly left the “g” off of “seven swans a-swimming.” When the next player confusedly added letters to the board and guessed the same, everyone looked confused. Sajak provided an explanation that seemed bogus to many.

Celebrity Wheel of Fortune practically leans into fails

In an episode of Wheel of Fortune featuring celebrity contestants Paul Scheer, Luenell and Mary Lynn Rajskub, the contestants had an embarrassingly hard time solving an almost-complete puzzle.


the best answer EVER! #wheeloffortune #wronganswers #wheeloffortune #viral #wheeloffortunefail #fyp @wheeloffortune @abcnetwork @paulscheer @luenellofficial @marylynnrajskub

♬ original sound – Ashlee Rae

Despite the fact that the solution was “thrilling waterslides,” each contestant tried to solve the puzzle, but left off the “S,” making their answer technically incorrect. Scheer was the first to realize the error of his ways and white-knuckled it until he could right the wrong.

Ad-libbing gone wrong

In another episode with celebrity contestants, Michael Rapaport is excited to solve a puzzle that reads, “Eating horseradish with Tiffany Haddish.”

@Michael Rapaport/TikTok

Unfortunately, in his excitement, he added in the words “my girl,” which invalidated his answer, leaving the gates open for June Diane Raphael to solve it.

You can’t miss any words either

While adding words makes a puzzle solution incorrect, so too does missing them.

As one woman goes to solve “Taking some time for myself,” she says, “Taking time for myself” instead. Sajak tells her she’s wrong and she looks confused for a beat until she realizes what happened. It’s one of the Wheel of Fortune fails where you can see a contestant kicking themselves seconds after the words come out of their mouths.

It’s every contestant for themselves

You can make it to the final round thanks to the mess-ups of others, but once you get there, it’s all you.

@laughhard__ Oh no ! The biggest fail we habe ever seen 😂😂😂 #fypusa #QuakerPregrain #fyppppppppppppppppppp #loveconquersall #blowthisuptiktok #xybca #viralmoments #blowthisup #fypppppppppppppp #leadbyexample #lovemoment #happymoment #lovemelovemenot #wheeloffortune #wheeloffortunefail #sleepingbeauty #rap #baseball #whatwouldyouhavedone #lilmabu #bestproposal #disney100 #rizz #disney #memes #rizzler ♬ Epic Music(863502) – Draganov89

Some of Wheel of Fortune fails that really stick out are the ones that come from a contestant blanking as the clock ticks down. One contestant seemed horrified to have guessed “magic hand” and “magic band” before the correct answer, “magic wand.”

Wheel of Fortune‘s finest solve

Not all of the best moments from the show were Wheel of Fortune fails.


Some were incredible solves, like this one where a woman solves the prize puzzle, a phrase, after guessing just a single letter. It reads, “I’ve got a good feeling about this,” which she said she did!

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