Can you solve these real ‘Jeopardy’ clues about the ’80s?

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October 23, 2020
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Can you solve these real Jeopardy! clues about the 1980s?

Readers who grew up in the 1980s will score well in this quiz. Stacker dug into the "Jeopardy!" Archive to take a trip down memory lane and revisit the 1980s, a decade defined by big hair, the wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles, MTV, AIDS, the election and assassination attempt of President Ronald Reagan, the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, Black Monday, and so many iconic television shows, music bands, moments, milestones, and trends.

Stacker researchers dug through decades of "Jeopardy!" to curate this list of 50 clues spanning a wide range of topics, including music, film, politics, world news, and pop culture trends. We had a grand time recollecting seminal moments like finding out who shot J.R. in "Dallas" and belting out ’80s songs from legendary bands like The Bangles and Run-D.M.C.

The Stacker team also delved a little deeper in the 1980s and added a couple of nuggets of information to each slide that illuminated fun facts about the answers. Who knew that the original name of the "Dynasty" was "Oil" or that if you visit Middlebury, Vermont, you can stay at the inn from "Newhart"?

Baby boomers, millennials, or readers who adore the era of mobile phones and MTV are likely to have an enjoyable time clicking through this slideshow and testing their knowledge of the 1980s. While some readers may know which TV cop show Don Johnson won a Golden Globe for or be able to remember which first lady famously said, "Just say no to drugs," everyone will have fun traveling back to the 1980s. We've come a long way from the days of Pac-Man, but we still love playing the game of "Jeopardy!"

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Clue #1:

- Clue: The song "Kiss" says, "You don't have to watch" this ABC drama "to have an attitude," but many did watch those Carringtons.
- Category: Totally Awesome '80s TV
- Value: $1,200
- Date episode aired: April 30, 2020

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Aaron Spelling Productions

Answer #1: What is "Dynasty"?

"Dynasty" fans will never forget the cliffhanger of the fifth season featuring the infamous wedding massacre. This was the final episode of the season, and it was part of the only season to earn a #1 spot in the Nielsen ratings. No one, not even the cast, knew who survived.

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Kris Connor // Getty Images

Clue #2

- Clue: "I'm ten years burning down the road."
- Category: '80s Pop Lyrics
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: Feb. 6, 2020

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Columbia

Answer #2: What is "Born in the USA"?

The prolific song is frequently interpreted to be about patriotism, but it is really about the struggle of Vietnam veterans trying to find work and support in America. President Ronald Reagan referred to the song in his campaign speech.

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Kris Connor // Getty Images

Clue #3

- Clue: Duuuude! You were a massive Spicoli wearing this brand's checkered slip-on sneakers!
- Category: The Totally RAD ’80s
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Jan. 7, 2020

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Pixabay

Answer #3: What are Vans?

Vans recently launched a line of sneakers called Kids of Immigrants. The sneakers celebrate immigrants, the working class, and the underrepresented.

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Kris Connor // Getty Images

Clue #4

- Clue: This 1980s trio rapped, "It's Christmastime in Hollis, Queens, mom's cooking chicken and collard greens."
- Category: Christmas Rapping
- Value: $1,000
- Date episode aired: Dec. 16, 2019

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Photoshot // Getty Images

Answer #4: Who are Run-D.M.C.?

The group has sold 230 million records worldwide. Run-D.M.C. was the first rap group to have a gold-certified album with its 1984 self-titled album.

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Kris Connor // Getty Images

Clue #5

- Clue: Introduced in the 1980s, this Ferrari has a name that means "redhead."
- Category: Car Talk
- Value: $1,000
- Date episode aired: April 24, 2019

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Answer #5: What is the Testarossa?

The car was priced at $181,000 in 1989, with an additional tax of $2,700 for gas-guzzling. Today fans can find one for between $95,000 and $200,000.

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Clue #6

- Clue: A V-kick & head spins are moves in this type of dancing popular in the 1980s
- Category: Get Your Kicks
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: April 8, 2019

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Answer #6: What is breakdancing?

Breakdancing is also called breaking and B-boying. It started in the 1960s and 1970s in New York City.

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Clue #7

- Clue: On a "Manic Monday," this group taught us to "Walk Like an Egyptian."
- Category: 1980s Music
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: May 2, 2008

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Suzie Gibbons // Getty Images

Answer #7: Who were The Bangles?

The hit soared to top the charts for the all-female band. Their other #1 title was "Eternal Flame."

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Clue #8

- Clue: Introduced by Nintendo in 1989, this handheld device was for playing cartridge-loaded amusements.
- Category: The 1980s
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: Oct. 19, 2018

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Pixabay

Answer #8: What is a Game Boy?

Game Boy and Game Boy Color revolutionized the way people played games. Today you can find many emulators you can play on your device.

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Kris Connor // Getty Images

Clue #9

- Clue: A safari-wearing craze was inspired in part by this movie starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford.
- Category: We Love the '80s
- Value: $600
- Date episode aired: April 26, 2018

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Answer #9: What is "Out of Africa"?

The movie was based on a book written in 1937 by Karen Blixen-Finecke, who wrote under the name Isak Dinesen. It won seven Oscars, including one for Best Picture.

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Clue #10

- Clue: A feminist: "Some of us are becoming the men we wanted to marry."
- Category: The '80s: Who Said It?
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Jan. 2, 2018

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Answer #10: Who is Gloria Steinem

Steinem co-founded Ms. magazine in 1972 and served as one of its editors for a decade and a half. Among her myriad accomplishments, she co-produced "Multiple Personalities: The Search for Deadly Memories" for HBO. The documentary won an Emmy award.

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Clue #11

- Clue: "Maniac" starring Jennifer Beals
- Category: What '80s movie is that song from?
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: April 14, 2017

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Paramount Pictures

Answer #11: What is "Flashdance"?

The film was loosely based on the life of Maureen Marder. She received a check from Paramount for $2,300 for the story. "Flashdance" later grossed more than $150 million.

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Clue #12

- Clue: His 1987 novel "Texasville" reintroduced the characters of "The Last Picture Show," all 30 years older.
- Category: 1980s Bestsellers
- Value: $1,600
- Date episode aired: Feb. 28, 2017

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Answer #12: Who is Larry McMurtry?

McMurtry is the author of 28 other novels. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for "Lonesome Dove."

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Clue #13

- Clue: Back in the '80s, Billy Idol was doing this on the floors of Tokyo and down in London town to go-go.
- Category: Songs of "Myself"
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: Jan. 19, 2017

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Answer #13: What is "Dancing with Myself"?

Billy Idol was born Nov. 30, 1955. The name Billy Idol was inspired by one of his teachers, who described him as "idle."

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Clue #14

- Clue: This first lady set the record straight with her memoir, "My Turn."
- Category: 1980s Books
- Value: $1,200
- Date episode aired: March 14, 2016

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Answer #14:: Who is Nancy Reagan?

Reagan's birth name is Anne Frances Robbins. Her childhood nickname was Nancy, and her stepfather, Dr. Loyal Davis, adopted her when she was 16. She attended Smith College, where she obtained her BA in 1943.

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Clue #15

- Clue: Like TV mom Henderson
- Category: Popular 1980s female baby names
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: March 4, 2016

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Answer #15: What is Florence?

Florence Henderson was the first female guest host to be on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson." The youngest of 10 children, at age 2, she could sing 50 songs by heart.

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Clue #16

- Clue: Secretary Melanie Griffith tells Harrison Ford, "I have a head for business and a bod for sin," in this film.
- Category: Remember the ’80s?
- Value: $1,200
- Date episode aired: May 13, 2015

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Twentieth Century Fox

Answer #16: What is "Working Girl"?

The film was a big break for actress Melanie Griffith casting her in the spotlight and helping her get sober. Griffith received an Oscar nomination for her role as Tess McGill in the 1988 film directed by Mike Nichols.

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Clue #17

- Clue: Tanya Roberts looked "heavenly" when she joined the cast of this series in November 1980.
- Category: 1980s TV
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Oct. 28, 2008

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Spelling-Goldberg Productions

Answer #17: What is "Charlie's Angels"?

The show was slated to be named "Alley Cats" before Kate Jackson suggested a better moniker. The cast wore $20,000 worth of heavenly clothing each week.

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Clue #18

- Clue: This group had 26 #1 country hits in the ’80s, including "Feels So Right."
- Category: Musical States
- Value: $1,600
- Date episode aired: Jan. 1, 2009

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Answer #18: Who was Alabama?

The cousins sold 73 million albums, were inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame, and cemented their spot on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The trio began their career at a bar in Myrtle Beach called The Bowery.

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Clue #19

- Clue: "Brass Monkey" and "No Sleep Till Brooklyn" were songs on their hit 1986 debut album.
- Category: 1980s Rock
- Value: $600
- Date episode aired: July 21, 2008

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Answer #19: Who are the Beastie Boys?

Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, aka MCA, died of cancer in 2012. Band members Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz, aka Mike D and Ad-Rock, wrote "Beastie Boys Book" in 2018.

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Clue #20

- Clue: "So hurry up and bring your jukebox money," this "is a little old place where we can get together."
- Category: '80s Song Lyrics
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: April 17, 2008

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Answer #20: What is "Love Shack"?

The B-52's hit "Love Shack" is from their album "Cosmic Thing." "Love Shack" was the most recycled and reissued single from the B-52's.

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Clue #21

- Clue: This ’80s band's hit "Love Plus One" was a welcome addition to the Billboard charts.
- Category: Math Rock
- Value: $1,000
- Date episode aired: Jan. 11, 2008

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Answer #21: Who is Haircut 100?

The song was the first of four top 10 hits in the U.K. from the debut album of Haircut 100. American MTV fans loved the tribal motif of the song's video.

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Clue #22

- Clue: In 1981, Sheena Easton sang, "My baby takes" this, "he works from 9 till 5, and then he takes another home again."
- Category: Yeah, it was the ’80s
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: Dec. 27, 2007

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Answer #22: What is the "Morning Train"?

Songbird Sheena Easton had many hits and earned two Grammys. She also pursued acting and adopted two children.

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Clue #23

- Clue: In 1986, he played Seth Brundle, whose teleportation experiment is set awry by a fly.
- Category: '80s Movies Memories
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: May 24, 2007

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Answer #23: Who is Jeff Goldblum?

"Saturday Night Live" fans are clamoring for Goldblum to return to the show to play the fly on Vice President Pence's head. Among his many talents, Goldblum can wiggle his ears one at a time. He demonstrated this knack on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien."

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Clue #24

- Clue: This pop star who passed away in 2020 had his first #1 hit in 1980 with "Lady," written by Lionel Richie
- Category: '80s and '90s Hit Parade
- Value: $1,200
- Date episode aired: Oct. 14, 2020

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Answer #24: Who is Kenny Rogers?

Rogers recorded 24 #1 hits, including favorites like "Lady," "Lucille," "The Gambler," and "She Believes In Me." Kenny Rogers sold more than 120 million albums globally.

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Clue #25

- Clue: This term became popular in the late '80s to describe products that aren't harmful to the environment
- Category: It's Hyphenated
- Value: $600
- Date episode aired: March 10, 2016

 

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NASA // WIkimedia Commons

Answer #25: What is eco-friendly?

Along with not harming the environment, eco-friendly products don't add to air, land, and water pollution. People who develop eco-friendly habits tend to use fewer resources and make the most of what they have.

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Clue #26

- Clue: Name shared by a 1980s secretary of the interior and a Scottish inventor who improved upon the steam engine.
- Category: James: The First or Last Name
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: Jan. 7, 2016

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National Galleries Of Scotland // Getty Images, Shepard Sherbell // Getty Images

Answer #26: What is James Watt?

The inventor who improved upon the steam engine was born in 1736. James Watt served under President Ronald Reagan and was born in 1938.

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Clue #27

- Clue: They won 5 NBA titles in the 1980s
- Category: Sports Dynasties
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Nov. 16, 2015

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Answer #27: Who are The Lakers?

The Lakers nabbed the NBA title in 2020. LeBron Jackson sent a meaningful message to former Laker and legend Kobe Bryant, who died earlier in 2020 in a tragic plane accident.

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Clue #28

- Clue: In "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," it's the two-word name of Indy's tiny sidekick played by Ke Huy Quan.
- Category: 1980s Movie Characters
- Value: $2,000
- Date episode aired: March 30, 2009

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Paramount Pictures

Answer #28: Who is Short Round?

He called George Lucas and Steven Spielberg bearded man one and bearded man two in a phone call to his mother. Huy Quan's brother was auditioning for the role, but the casting team picked him instead.

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Clue #29

- Clue: Too bad you didn't buy a Birkin one of these in the '80s; now the waiting list can take years.
- Category: Fashion Forward and Backward
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: March 23, 2009

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Arina March // Shutterstock

Answer #29: What is a handbag?

The ultimate Birkin is the Hermès Birkin. The uber-expensive handbag is spotted on celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga, Victoria Beckham, and Naomi Campbell.

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Kris Connor // Getty Images

Clue #30

- Clue: Nastassja Kinski unleashes the animal within: "C____ P____"
- Category: _____ In’ ’80s Movies
- Value: $1,600
- Date episode aired: March 13, 2009

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RKO Pictures

Answer #30: What is "Cat People?"

Bo Derek was originally slated to play the lead role. Cougars were dyed black for the film because leopards were not able to be trained.

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Clue #31

- Clue: Gnarled Nun
- Category: '80s Bands in other Words
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: Dec. 7, 2006

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Answer #31: Who is Twisted Sister?

Their hit "We're Not Gonna Take It" enraged parents, who brought their concerns to Congress in the 1980s. The song was used by Donald Trump (who stopped using it when asked) and striking teachers.

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Clue #32

- Clue: Bette Midler's 1989 hit "Wind Beneath My Wings" was featured in this film co-starring Barbara Hershey.
- Category: The Musical ’80s
- Value: $1,200
- Date episode aired: May 19, 2009

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All Girl Productions

Answer #32: What is "Beaches"?

The original script was called "Remember Me." The storyline where Cece's husband is a pedophile was cut from the movie.

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Clue #33

- Clue: In early 1981, assassination attempts were made on these two men, a U.S. president and a religious leader.
- Category: Ancient History: 1980s
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: Feb. 12, 2007

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Rob Croes // Wikimedia Commons, Unknown // Wikimedia Commons

Answer #33: Who were Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II?

Drifter John Hinckley Jr. tried to assassinate President Reagan after he had addressed a labor meeting at the Washington Hilton. Mehmet Ali Agca shot Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City.

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Kris Connor // Getty Images

Clue #34

- Clue: William Hurt and Marlee Matlin had a real-life romance when they co-starred in this drama.
- Category: '80s Movies
- Value: $1,200
- Date episode aired: June 14, 2006

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Paramount Pictures

Answer #34: What was "Children of a Lesser God"?

The estimated budget for the movie was $10.5 million. The film grossed more than $31.8 million.

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Clue #35

- Clue: When Linda Evans decided to leave this series, her character Krystle Carrington slipped into a coma.
- Category: 1980's TV
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: April 28, 2006

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Aaron Spelling Productions

Answer #35: What was "Dynasty"?

The original name of the show was "Oil.” The show was one of the first television outlets that featured a gay character, Steven Carrington.

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Clue #36

- Clue: Bailiff Bull Shannon's real first name on this ’80s NBC sitcom was Nostradamus.
- Category: Order in the TV Courtroom
- Value: $1,600
- Date episode aired: April 18, 2006

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Starry Night Productions

Answer #36: What was "Night Court"?

The show was inspired by authentic New York judges. The series did not take on heavy issues intentionally.

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Clue #37

- Clue: This Colombian author of "One Hundred Years of Solitude" won the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature.
- Category: The 1980s
- Value: $500
- Date episode aired: Nov. 20, 1985

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Jose Lara // Wikimedia Commons

Answer #37: Who was Gabriel Garcia Marquez?

Before penning novels, he studied law. The famous author died less than eight months before his wife, Mercedes Barcha Pardo.

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Clue #38

- Clue: His autobiography was the bestselling hardcover book of the 1980s.
- Category: Non-fiction
- Value: Final Jeopardy!
- Date episode aired: Nov. 24, 1993

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The World of the Ford Mustang // Wikimedia Commons

Answer #38: Who was Lee Iacocca?

His parents immigrated to America from Italy, and in the 1980s, he saved Chrysler from bankruptcy.

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Kris Connor // Getty Images

Clue #39

- Clue: On Dec. 20, 1989, President Bush sent about 10,000 troops into this country as part of Operation Just Cause.
- Category: The 1980s
- Value: Final Jeopardy!
- Date episode aired: Sept. 30, 1988

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Haakon S. Krohn // Wikimedia Commons

Answer #39: What was Panama?

Operation Just Cause ended on Jan. 3, 1990. Not since the Vietnam War was such a massive military invasion deployed.

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Clue #40

- Clue: Of "Rad," "Rag," "Ram," "Ran," "Rap," and "Rat," the two that were theatrical releases of the ’80s.
- Category: Potpourri
- Value: $500 Daily Double
- Date episode aired: Jan. 9, 1987

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TaliaFilm II Productions

Answer #40: What were Ran and Rad?

The original title for "Rad" was "Balls Out." It took two years to complete the making of several hundred costumes for "Ran."

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Clue #41

- Clue: On "Newhart," it's the inn in which Dick and Joanna live.
- Category: ’80s TV
- Value: $1,000
- Date episode aired: June 22, 1988

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MTM Enterprises

Answer #41: What is Stratford?

If you visit Middlebury, Vermont, you can actually stay at the inn called Waybury Inn. Bob Newhart's keen people-watching skills inspired the show.

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Kris Connor // Getty Images

Clue #42

- Clue: Divorce after which couples continue living together, it's named for an Aborigine's weapon.
- Category: Words of the ’80s
- Value: $100
- Date episode aired: July 16, 1987

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MarTata // Shutterstock

Answer #42: What is boomerang?

Statistics show divorce rates have been on the decline since the 1980s. However, divorce rates have not declined among baby boomers.

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Clue #43

- Clue: Mary Wilson's autobiography "Dreamgirl" exposed the dark side of her life in this trio.
- Category: Books of the 1980s
- Value: $600
- Date episode aired: March 3, 1987

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Jac. de Nijs / Anefo // Shutterstock

Answer #43: Who were the Supremes?

In 1988, Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, and Florence Ballard were elected to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. You can find their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in California.

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Clue #44

- Clue: In 1984 films, Robert Ginty was "The Exterminator," and he was "The Terminator."
- Category: Films of the ’80s
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: Oct. 29, 1982

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Gage Skidmore // Wikimedia Commons

Answer #44: Who is Arnold Schwarzenegger?

He was also a bodybuilder known as the Styrian Oak or Austrian Oak. He was crowned amateur Mr. Universe in 1967.

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Clue #45

- Clue: 1989's "The Russia House" was written by this master of spy fiction.
- Category: '80s Lit
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: Dec. 2, 1996

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German Embassy London // Wikimedia Commons

Answer #45: Who is John le Carré?

His real name is David Cornwell. He pens all his works by hand, and his wife subsequently types them.

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Clue #46

- Clue: Sonny Crockett in the ’80s, he became Nash Bridges in 1996.
- Category: TV Cops
- Value: $100
- Date episode aired: Oct. 21, 1996

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Michael Mann Productions

Answer #46: Who is Don Johnson?

Don Johnson won a Golden Globe for his role as Sonny Crockett in "Miami Vice." The actor has been married four times.

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Clue #47

- Clue: This '86 Whitney Houston hit was a remake of a ’77 George Benson, not Muhammad Ali, hit.
- Category: Hits of the 1980s
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: April 20, 1988

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Lisa Erspamer Entertainment

Answer #47: What was "The Greatest Love of All?"

The iconic song was written by Linda Creed and Michael Masser. Whitney Houston's version skyrocketed to #1 in the first three weeks.

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Clue #48

- Clue: This '80s first lady said, "A woman is like a teabag. It's only when she's in hot water that you realize how strong she is."
- Category: Quotations
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: Feb. 26, 1997

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Official White House photographer // WIkimedia Commons

Answer #48: Who is Nancy Reagan?

One of Nancy Reagan's most famous quotes was, "Just say no to drugs." She also said, "Feminism is the ability to choose what you want to do."

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Kris Connor // Getty Images

Clue #49

- Clue: It's the 2-word "clear barrier" keeping women from promotion into upper management
- Category: ’80s Words and Phrases
- Value: $700 Daily Double
- Date episode aired: Jan. 30, 1997

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marvent // Shutterstock

Answer #49: What is the glass ceiling?

The same barriers that held women from higher positions in the ’80s exist today, and the definition has been expanded to include minorities as well as women. Reasons for the glass ceiling include sexism and racism, the "second shift" of child care and house work that falls disproportionately on women, lack of good parental leave, and the social forces that encourage men into higher-paying fields while pushing women into lower-paying ones. 

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Clue #50

- Clue: Daryl Hannah played the title character in this Steve Martin film based on "Cyrano de Bergerac."
- Category: Films of the ’80s
- Value: $300
- Date episode aired: Sept. 17, 1996

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Columbia Pictures Industries

Answer #50: What is "Roxanne?"

Steve Martin commented that the film was the first time he felt respected for his movie role rather than his signature stand-up comedy. The film was the debut of actor Kevin Nealon.

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