Figure It Out TV Poster Image

Figure It Out

Zany, star-studded game show spotlights kids' wacky talents.

What parents need to know

Educational value

The show's goal is to entertain, but the game's format does encourage some puzzle-solving and reasoning skills among those playing along.

Positive messages

This game show is non-competitive, forcing the panelists to work indirectly as a team to figure out the contestant's unique quality or skill. This is one venue in which being a little odd pays off, since the more off-the-wall the contestant's trait is, the more likely he is to win the game.

Positive role models

Kids take part in the game to show off a special talent, and their self-pride is evident when they perform to the praise of the celebrities on the panel.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable

Occasionally "butt."


Company sponsors like Toys "R" Us, Busch Gardens, Nintendo, and VTech get multiple mentions when their product prizes are announced.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Figure It Out is a funny, fast-paced, "20 questions"-style game show that's appropriate for all ages. Viewers can play along as the celebrity panelists race the clock to guess the contestants' special talents or traits. The show puts regular kids and their notable skills in the spotlight, letting them be the star just for being themselves. Of course, it wouldn't be a game show without prizes, and sponsoring toy, game, and apparel companies as well as vacation locales get some air time for their involvement with the show.

What's the story?

FIGURE IT OUT is a kids' game show that challenges a panel of four celebrities (typically Nickelodeon stars like Victoria Justice) to guess a young contestant's special talent or unique trait by asking yes-or-no questions in rapid-fire succession through three minute-long rounds. Gleaning clues from the kids' responses and from visual hints from the studio audience and the "Charade Brigade," the panelists race to solve the puzzle before time runs out. With each round that passes without a correct answer, the contestant racks up prizes. This show originally aired in the '90s, hosted by Summer Sanders, and was revived in 2012 with Jeff Sutphen at the helm.

Is it any good?


Like most game shows in the Nickelodeon family, Figure It Out is off-the-wall zany and iced by the channel's trademark green slime, which douses the celebs at various times during the show. For kids, the only thing better than watching their favorite TV stars in an unrehearsed setting like a game show is seeing them caught unawares by buckets of green goo, so this is sure to be a hit feature. Plus, the fact that the contestants are selected for the strangeness of their talents or traits (a boy with a Big Dipper of freckles on his back, or one who can milk a goat with his feet, for instance) helps with the silly factor, too.

As for the game itself, it's hardly a cerebral workout, but it does encourage players and viewers at home to think outside of the box and imagine scenarios beyond what they're used to. What's more, it's good, clean fun (well, except for the slime), and its basic premise can be replicated at home with family and friends when you host your own screen-free game night. Of course, the show's best quality just might be the fact that it celebrates kids' uniqueness in a very fun way.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about sportsmanship. What does it mean to be a good sport? Are there any displays of sportsmanship among the players in this game? Does wanting to win automatically mean you're not a good sport?

  • What games does your family enjoy together? What qualities does competing with others teach us? Families can use this game show as inspiration to stage your own game night with your family.

TV details

Premiere date:July 7, 1997
Cast:Jeff Sutphen, Summer Sanders
Genre:Game Shows
Topics:Great boy role models, Great girl role models
TV rating:TV-Y
Available on:Streaming

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Parent of a 7 year old Written bycaribbeandream July 7, 2012

Great wholesome game show the entire family will enjoy

My son discovered this show purely by chance and now my family watches on a regular basis. Even if your kids/family have no idea who the judges are they will still enjoy this wholesome game show. I also love the fact that the contestants are kids who have actually done something, no matter how wacky. In this age in which self-esteem seems to trump the confidence that comes from hard work and achievement I think this sends a really great message to kids.
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 14 years old Written byDesk05 June 18, 2012

Figure it out- a replacement for Brainsurge

It's a decent show, even if some of the talents aren't all that spectacular. If you need something to pass 30 minutes here's your show. It's also pretty cool for the kiddies who haves crushes on Nick actors to see them up close and personal.
What other families should know
Great role models
Kid, 9 years old July 10, 2012

Very good

This show is very funny and there is no inappropriate content. Very cool.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models