Family Feud Strike Indicator

A Strike Indicator (or Strike for short) is a penalty marker usually seen on the popular game show Family Feud at any time when an incorrect guess fails to make one of the top answers on the board.


Usually in the main round, when a contestant is giving a wrong answer at any time earned a strike, however, if a team fails to get any survey answers on the board three times, then the other family will have a chance to steal the points/dollars from the other team and quite possibly get more than their opponents. However, it could work against them, for the other team can keep the points/dollars all while building a better lead than their opponents. Occasionally, if any family members takes way too long to give his or her answer, then the host would say to them "three seconds" for which they immediately need to give their answer right away quickly or they'll get buzzed for which in turn it means that the team will also get a strike as well. The "strike" is used as a big red "X" inside a rectangular-shaped box (seen on the right side of the page for example) that's mixed along with an often loud buzzer.

Occasionally, in the Face-Off, after a contestant buzzes in and gives his or her answer that was not on the board or takes way too long to give their answer to the host immediately, then they would also get a strike while another contestant from the opposing team gets a chance to answer for control of the question.

Also, the Strike Indicator is seen during the Bullseye Round/Bankroll Game (and later the "Sudden Death" round since 2003) during the Combs, Dawson ('94) and O'Hurley ('09) eras of the series, but unlike the main game, it can only be seen once during the round.

Smut ShowcaseEdit

On a June 24, 2008 episode of the all-star primetime spinoff called Celebrity Family Feud[1]on NBC, rapper/actor Ice-T was up against late comedienne Joan Rivers in the face-off with Al Roker reading a "Harvey-like" question "Name Something That's Slippery and Hard to Hold Onto". Ice-T then buzzes in and says "P*nis" luckily for the viewers at home, a small strike indicator was taped over his mouth. In response to that disturbing answer, Roker (in shock) said "I need this job. I don't know how to present it on the board but show me, captain winky". "Thankfully" it was not one of the "top five answers" on the board at all.


  • In the later years of Ray Combs' era (during 1992, to be exact), whichever team member caused the family to get a strike had to hold a small paddle which consisted of a black stick with a white card with the strike indicator on it. The paddles were discontinued before the changeover to the hour-long format, The Family Feud Challenge, in June 1992.

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  1. Ice-T and Al Roker Turn 'Celebrity Family Feud' Into Their Own Primetime Smut Showcase