Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?

Ages: 6 - 14Producer: Nickelodeon Rating: TV G - General Audience

Whether it’s a Trivia Night or TV favorite Jeopardy!, we enjoy testing our knowledge. Here, wrestling star John Cena hosts this Nickelodeon game show (a revival of a Fox network show) pitting adults against a group of 10-year-olds. “Grown-ups” can win $100,000 by answering a series of questions deemed to be fifth-grade level. As in many Nickelodeon high energy shows, there’s a lot of cheering from the audience.

In one episode, Alfred, an assistant dean at Yale, reminisced about the great time he had in fifth grade and then started to answer questions. He had no problem with this one: “According to classic Mother Goose rhyme, Hey Diddle Diddle, who ran away with the spoon?” He didn’t need help from the panel of fifth-graders to nail the answer. But Alfred did need help with this question: PB is the symbol for what chemical element? After getting an assist from a student who was confident the answer was Lead, Alfred went on to correctly answer all the questions and win $100,000. It gave the assistant dean the right to look in the camera and say, “I am smarter than a 5th grader.” (Phew!)

In another episode, this question stumped Phil, the “grown-up” player: If Mia is the fifth tallest kid in the class and the fifth shortest kid in the class, how many kids are in the class? Phil, incorrectly answered “10.” One of the fifth-graders, Patrick, knew it was 9. Phil wound up leaving with $12,500 and, according to game rules, had to look in the camera and say, “I am not smarter than a fifth grader.” (Poor Phil.)


Ann Oldenburg ©2020 Parents’ Choice

Ann Oldenburg, lecturer and assistant director of the journalism program at Georgetown University, writes about television, food, workplace issues and other pop culture topics. A University of Florida Gator with a degree in journalism, she began her career at The Washington Post and spent more than two decades with USA TODAY. She and her husband have three sons and live in McLean, Virginia.