figure it out
tv shows

Can you Figure it Out (1997)


Imagine a show where kids bring their secrets, and kids show celebrities are trying to guess their secrets. Oh, and there’s slime! Put that all together and you have Figure It Out. This was a game show presented by Nickelodeon in Nickelodeon Studios, Florida. At first glance, the show’s premise is excellent. Kids get to go on and be kids, and viewers get to see their favorite Nick stars. 

 Figure it Out is an adapted version of What’s My Line and I’ve Got a Secret, tv shows from the 60s and 70s. Kids would bring a talent, or secret, that a panel of “celebrities” would have to try to figure out. The panel could ask yes or no questions only. They would have the phrase on Billy the Answer Head. Throughout the three rounds, the panel would get clues to help them. At the end of the three rounds, the panel would guess from what words they figure out. The show only ran from 1997 to 1999 but had a distinct presence in most millennials’ memories. This was one of the first shows to include slime, which would be a mainstay at Nickelodeon for years to come. 

Most of the panelists were Nickelodeon stars, most from the tv show All That. Danny Tamberelli would be the cast member on the most, with 96 episodes. Tamberelli was known for flipping his hair back when he got slimed to get on the studio audience. 

The host Summer Sanders helped the kids on the show. She would help them answer the yes or no questions asked by the cast members. Most of the time, the cast member’s questions were silly, so it would be hard for kids to know how to answer. It seemed most of the time that cast members didn’t really care about the game and were just there to have fun. The kids would come home with amazingly average prizes, which have been discussed in Legends of the Hidden Temple. They were not magnificent prizes, like trips to weird places or Space Camp.  

The show would have 3 iterations; regular Figure it Out, Wild Style (with animals), and Family Style, (family talents or secrets). These iterations are fun and bring a new life to the show.

figure it out


I could only find Figure it Out: Wild Style for free, so I watched that. It was terribly cringy. I found a few big issues with the show that just made it difficult to watch. I am interested to know how they cast the kids on the show. The first child on the show did not know what his secret was and also did not know how to answer the questions. This made the show really hard to watch. Summer Sanders, as great as she is, was trying to prompt the kid as best as possible. 

Also, it made it difficult for the celebrities to have any clue what was going on. The celebrities did not know if it was a yes or a no. This kid won the game and got a trip to Colorado, and he did not know what was going on. 

The next kid was great. She knew exactly what she was doing and knew what her clue was. The issue with this episode was the wording of the secret. The celebrities got the secret right, but it didn’t count because they used the wrong word. They used “doo doo” instead of “waste” for dog poop. Since this happened, they didn’t win. This should be right and the celebrities should win.

Both of the kids showed their talents. That was fun. There was also a lot of slime. Each episode has a secret slime action, and Steve from Blue’s Clues got slimed twice. The secret slime action is always something silly, but the point of the show is to show celebrities getting slimed. 

Overall, it was a trip down memory lane that I enjoyed. Though it was cringe ‌and I didn’t know any of the celebrities except Steve from Blue’s Clues, I thought it was great.

figure it out

Final Thoughts:

Does it hold up?


It is a flawed show, and even though it is funny can be hard to watch. 

Nostalgia Rating?


This show was so great! I remember it fondly and it was amazing. 

Do you remember this tv show? Post your thoughts in the comments below!

Check out: Nickelodeon Guts Review

As always, Creating Nostalgia Millennial Style!

Leave a Reply