Figure It Out (partially lost episode of Nickelodeon game show; 1998)
Figure It Out was a children's game show that aired on Nickelodeon from July 1997 through December 1999. The original run was hosted by Summer Sanders, and a revival in 2012 brought back the format and was hosted by Jeff Sutphen.
The original run of the show (1997-1999) was shot in front of a live audience at the old Nickelodeon Studios at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Throughout this time, the format of the show also included a chance for an audience member to win a prize; in season one it was a often a bike or a video game system, in later seasons it was a Figure It Out tee-shirt. The audience member would win if if a celebrity panelist was slimed. A panelist would be slimed if they completed a secret action that they were unaware of, such as looking in a specific direction or saying the contestant's name. In later episodes, the secret slime action might also be completely arbitrary, such as "thinking about peas," guaranteeing the audience member would take home the prize. Many episodes of the show have been made available from various users on YouTube and on the Internet Archives, as well as on various official Nickelodeon TV stations and on Viacom-owned products with the exception of a few episodes in the circuit that have not been seen since about 2014 when the original uploads were removed.
The premise of the show was similar to the classic panel shows like I've Got A Secret and What's My Line?. Children (and in later iterations, whole families) would have a secret talent that a panel of celebrities would try to guess based on asking the contestant yes or no questions. The celebrity panel was made up predominantly of cast members from other Nickelodeon shows such as All That and often featured actors Danny Tamberelli, Laurie Beth Denberg, Amanda Bynes, and Kevin Kopelow.
One specific episode that is lost amidst the bunch is Season 2, Episode 40, wherein the contest's secret talent was "leaks inhaled milk from eye." The talent, as performed by a teenager from New Hampshire named Anthony, was to effectively snort milk through his nose and then push the liquid out through his eyes. The contestant's secret was not guessed by the panel, and he was awarded the grand prize, which included a trip back to Universal Studios.
The episode aired only once in April 1998 before being pulled from repeat airings. Reportedly, a mother contacted Nickelodeon to complain about the episode after her child tried to emulate the talent. This is somewhat strange considering that they had several bodily secrets prior to this episode that are equally or possibly even more repugnant, most notably a girl whose dog drank milk out of the girl's mouth. Weirder still, a reported disclaimer was put on the show on its initial airing to further warn viewers not to follow the contestant. The talent itself has at least been confirmed to exist by panelist Danny Tamberelli, who appeared in a Reddit AMA in 2018 and answered a question regarding this specific episode. "I remember that talent and it was gross." The episode is mentioned in multiple online message boards and in Reddit comments despite not being included in many popular online episode guides. A brief clip of the episode was shown in the Best of NSF video in June 2000. Although the episode has never been reran on Nick GaS, NickRewind or Pluto TV, recordings of shows from that era of Nickelodeon are common to find on the internet, making it very likely someone recorded the episode during its only airing.
- Wikipedia page for Figure It Out.
- IMDB page for Figure It Out.
- Figure It Out season two on Internet Archive.
- Figure It Out Wiki episode guide of the series.
- Danny Tamberelli Reddit AMA that mentions the episode. Retrieved 15 Jan '21
- r/TIHI message board that mentions the episode. Retrieved 15 Jan '21