PSB "appearances" on the U.S. TV game show Jeopardy! ®

Based on the frequency in which they turn up in its clues, I sometimes wondered whether one or more of the writers on the popular U.S. television game show Jeopardy! (which has spun off various international versions as well) have been particular fans of the Pet Shop Boys. But then I conducted some test searches on the marvelous website J! Archive and found that PSB actually figure into clues no more often than many other pop bands and musicians. Nevertheless, here's a chronological list of "appearances" by the Boys in clues on the U.S. edition of the show.

Original air date Category Value Clue Correct Response Outcome
12 June 1997 Singers
Singer Neil Tennant and keyboardist Chris Lowe form this duo Who are the Pet Shop Boys? Answered correctly on first attempt
03 December 1997 Before & After*
Instructor's favorite "West End Girls" group Who are the teacher's Pet Shop Boys?* Answered correctly on first attempt
08 July 2004 Neil Down
Neil Tennant is half of this British duo whose '80s hits include "West End Girls" Who are the Pet Shop Boys? Answered correctly on first attempt
12 March 2013 2 Tones
This duo came up with "West End Girls" because nobody else was rapping in an English accent Who are the Pet Shop Boys? Answered correctly on first attempt
09 December 2013 Which Direction?
Pet Shop Boys No. 1 hit: "____ End Girls" What is "West"? Answered correctly on first attempt
14 January 2014 Let's Put Our Band Name in the Song!
"We're" this English synth-pop dance band known for "West End Girls" / "Suburbia's a slipstream to a memory" Who are the Pet Shop Boys? Answered correctly on first attempt
07 November 2014 A Top 10 Hit Twice
"Always on My Mind": Willie Nelson in 1982 and this British synth-pop dance duo in 1988 Who are the Pet Shop Boys? Answered correctly on first attempt
06 November 2015 "Boy" Bands
This British duo revived the career of Dusty Springfield when she joined them on "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" Who are the Pet Shop Boys? Stumped all three contestants
06 March 2019 This Is "My" Song
The Pet Shop Boys covered this Willie Nelson hit that begins, "Maybe I didn't love you quite as often as I should have" What is "Always on My Mind"? Answered correctly on first attempt

*"Before & After" is a playful (and, in my opinion, rather difficult) recurring category in which the clue suggests a run-on phrase in which the last word of one phrase becomes the first word of a second phrase. In this case, the two phrases are "teacher's pet" and "Pet Shop Boys."

Because it didn't appear on the air and occurred only as a result of a mistake, this list doesn't include the notorious February 2010 incident (well, notorious among PSB fans) in which the supercomputer Watson erroneously responded to a clue in the category 19th-Century Literature: "In Chapter 10, 'the whole mystery of the handkerchiefs, and the watches, and the jewels… rushed upon' this title boy's 'mind.'" The correct response was "What is Oliver Twist?" but Watson instead responded, "What is the Pet Shop Boys?" I describe this occurrence in more detail on my page devoted to "Strange But True Incidents Involving the Pet Shop Boys."

Incidentally, it seems pretty obvious from these clues that, at least among the general populace here in the United States, the Pet Shop Boys are remembered overwhelmingly—though, fortunately, not exclusively—for "West End Girls."

I'm indebted to the J! Archive website for the information presented in this list. The Jeopardy! game show and all elements thereof, including but not limited to copyright and trademark thereto, are the property of Jeopardy Productions, Inc.