When the “True American” drinking game was first played on FOX’s “New Girl,” viewers initially scratched their heads in confusion. It was first featured in the episode titled “Normal” by Jess, played by Zooey Deschanel: “So, it’s 50 percent drinking game, 50 percent life-size Candy Land.”
This game was actually devised by the characters on the show; at first it looked like they were just doing randomly fun stuff, but now, it is finally here: the rules to the “True America” drinking game are within your grasp — just in time for the weekend!
Set up: The first, and most important, step in “True American” is setting up the game. Although there are quite a few takes on how you can set it up, the picture to the left is a great first-time set up to get you familiar with the game. As you become more familiar with the game, you can rearrange your set up as you see fit (or what will fit in your living room).
The important thing to keep in mind is that you have four zones, each with at least five spaces where a player can stand. The center space in each zone is the only space where the Pawns can be taken, thus it is the closest space to the Castle. There are a total of four of these spaces. The spaces at the beginning and end of the zones are the farthest away from the Castle.
Keep in mind that the floor is Molten Lava, and you cannot step on it! Make sure the furniture is close enough together that you can actually jump from one piece to another, and try not to use any furniture that can easily slip, as that could be quite a hazard.
The Castle: The most important element in the set up is a center table/tower of alcohol that is called the Castle. The Castle is made up of one bottle of liquor and many cans of beer (you decide how many based on the number of players). The liquor is the King and sits in the middle of the Castle. The cans of beer are the Pawns and the Soldiers of the Secret Order. The Pawns are lined up in four lines radiating outward from the King. These lines of Pawns also signify the barriers between each zone. The game ends when all of the Pawns have been removed and a player drinks from the King.
Starting the game: After setup is complete, players may have a shotgun contest to determine who has the first turn. If no player wishes to shotgun a beer, play rock-paper-scissors instead. To start the game, the winner of this contest yells, “one, two three, JFK!” — at which point all other players yell “FDR!” and proceed to grab a Pawn from the Castle, then retreat to any space.
Gameplay: Players move around the game area in a clockwise direction. The player whose turn it is always moves one space; however, the other players must “win” their moves. This player has three ways to provide the other players with a way to win their move.
- The Count: All players yell, “one, two, three” and then hold any number of fingers against their foreheads. Anyone holding a number that no one else has chosen wins. Winners may move one spot.
- Complete a Quote: The player may slowly speak a quote from history or pop culture. Any other player that is able to jump in and complete the quote in tandem wins. Winners may move two spots.
- Something in Common: The player may yell out two people, places, or things. Any other player that can reply with what these two things have in common wins. Winners may move three spots.
Players must always have a beer in their hand and may not have more than three at any one time. Players may only take a Pawn from the Castle when they are in one of the four center spaces.
You always need at least one beer in your hand, and you must drink from it. A good rule of thumb is a sip or two from the can for each new knight. Anytime someone finishes a beer, the player yells, “all trash belongs…,” and everyone else answers, “in the junkyard!” before tossing her can into the nearest receptacle. If you miss the trash can, you move back a space. If you make it, you move forward.
How to Win: To win, the first person to make it to the Castle, finish the beer in their hands and then take a swig from the King is the winner.
How to Lose: If you fall into the Molten Lava, you are dead. If you are caught with no beer or an empty beer, you are out until you chug a beer, then you can enter at the beginning again.
Have you played this game before? What do you think of it? Comment below or tweet me pictures of your gameplay @kateeb790!
Supplies Needed: Unwavering Self Confidence and Drinks
In my college-aged sister’s words, “most likely is basically like paranoia but A LOT MORE AGGRESSIVE” (please note that the caps we’re, in fact, included in her quote). In short, going around in a circle, each participant will ask a “most likely” question, something along the lines of “who is most likely to rob a bank but then get caught?” On the count of three, everyone in the circle will point to the person in the circle they think is most likely to rob a bank and then get caught. Each person will then take as many drinks as there are people point at them.
So, if say, 8 people thought I would get caught robbing a bank, I would drink 8 times.
Supplies Needed: A Whole Bunch a Cups, Beer, Two Pin Pong Balls, Skill and Resilience
Also known as Rage Cage or Boom, Stack Cup is a variation on party favorite Slap Cup. The set up is simple: fill up around 20 plastic cups with a small amount of beer and place them in the center of the table. Fill one cup up to the brim and place it in the middle of the partially filled cups.
Taking the cups closest to them, two players will chug the beer and then attempt to bounce a ping pong ball into the cup. Once they do so, they will pass their cup clockwise, at which point the next person will chug their beer and stack their cup on top of the previously used cup. If someone manages to bounce their ball into their stack of cups before the person directly to the left of them does so, that person will stack their cup on top of the loser’s stack and force them to pick up another beer and start chugging. This continues until all the cups are gone, at which point the last player must chug the full cup of beer.
Supplies Needed: Beer, a Pizzas Box, a Marker, a Quarter, Probably an Actual Pizza
Lay the pizza box flat on the table. Everyone playing will choose a spot on the box, write their name and then circle it. Moving in a circle, each player is given 2 chances to bounce the quarter into the pizza box. If the quarter lands on someone’s name, that person has to drink. If the quarter lands where there’s no one’s name written, the quarter thrower gets to make a new rule and write it in. If the quarter thrower misses entirely, they have to drink. Simple.
Supplies Needed: Literally Just Drinking
This one’s easy. Basically, everyone starts with their heads down. On the count of three, everyone snaps their head up to look at someone. If you’re looking at someone who is looking back at you, you drink.
Supplies Needed: Cup, Beer, Shot Glass, Liquor
Also known as Sink the Ship or Titanic.
Fill the cup up with beer and place it in the center of the table. Very carefully, float the shot glass on top of the beer. Going around in a circle, each participant will pour a little liquor into the shot glass. The person who sinks the shot glass drinks the full glass.
Supplies Needed: Cans of Beer, Duck Tape, Secret Desire To Become a Wizard
Also known as Wisest Wizard or Wizard’s Staff, Beer Wizard asks that all participants build a staff out of their empty cans, stacking each one on top of the other and duck taping them together. The larger your staff gets, the more power (and the drunker) you become. Once you have a certain number of cans in your staff – some sources say around 4 – you can start performing “spells”. Popular spells include “Accio Beer”, in which someone with a shorter staff must get you a beer and other variations there upon.
There are many, many different versions of Beer Wizard (with just as many rules) but we recommend trying to make up some of your own.
Supplies Needed: Paper, Tape, Drinks, a TV
Mustaches makes any movie, TV show, or sports game into a drinking game in no time flat. Just cut out a mustache, tape it to the TV screen, and drink every time it lines up with someone’s face. Bam, instant drinking game.
Supplies Needed: Beer, Friends, a Quarter, Iron Resolve
Place an empty pint glass – or let’s be real, a cup – in the center of the table. Going around in a circle, each person pours the amount they would be confident drinking, and then flips a coin. If the coin lands on the side they declared, they pass the cup to the next person. If it lands on the other side, they have to chug the full cup.
Supplies Needed: Cards, Beer, Elephantine Memory
Think King’s Cup but just a biiiiiit simpler. The cards of the deck are spread out on a table, face down. Each card has a rule associated with it, which you can find here. That’s really about it.
Supplies Needed: Beer, a Handle of Liquor, Pillows?, Knowledge of American Pop Culture
Made popular by the show New Girl, True American is a notoriously complicated game. And while, yes, I’m sure you’ve probably heard of it, I doubt you’ve ever played it. You can find the rules here.
*Side Bar: Please, please drink responsibly. Fun, but responsibly