November 22, 2003

What words rhyme with “buried alive”?

Filed under: Uncategorized — tomemos @ 11:31 am

I’m in paper hell right now, so I don’t really have time for a real entry. However, I do want to get you guys started on this one so it can be ready for the holiday season. From the creator of “That’s Not Cholera!” (new friends: ask me later) comes a new game that will change the way you look at movies: the Universal Drinking Game!

The problem with traditional drinking games, as I see it, is twofold. First of all, in an effort to be hilarious, such games tend to suffer from sprawl–more and more rules proliferate, getting more and more specific, until each participant has to be responsible for twelve rules each (the Star Wars drinking game, running some 6 pages, is the worst example of this). Second of all, at least with movies, drinking games are (pardon the pun) one-shot dealies. Once you’ve played the Labyrinth drinking game, that’s it. You’ve already drunk for every David Bowie crotch shot; playing it again doesn’t lead to any variety.

The Universal Drinking Game, on the other hand, is infinitely re-playable. As long as there are mediocre movies, there’s fodder for the Universal Drinking Game. The Universal Drinking Game will consist of a small number of drinking prompts–ten or less–that can be found in a wide range of movies. You don’t get a bunch of friends together to play the UDG; you’re playing whenever you’re watching a movie and you have a drink handy. (Theoretically this means an alcoholic drink, although if you watch a movie with a soda in your hand you may want to practice.)

In order for this new sensation to sweep the nation, I need some help from you all. I’m asking everyone to submit possible rules for the first edition of the game. Post them here; after I’ve gotten a few good ones (I’m going to keep it small for ease of memory), I’ll decide on the final list. You’re welcome to play your own variants, but the ones I pick will be the official terms of the game. Here are two to get you started (these aren’t definites yet, they’re just examples):
1. Drink whenever someone is bitten by a snake (or stung by a scorpion, etc.) in an embarrassing part of the body and needs someone else to suck out the poison.
2. Drink when one character says he or she has something to tell another character, but is prevented from doing so (by the other character saying, “Tell me later,” say, or by the sounding of the Emergency Alert).

Submission guidelines:
–The rule can be specific to one genre, but the more universal it is, the better.

–The rule has to be a moment–something taking a minute or less to develop. “Drink whenever two people who initially didn’t like each other fall in love” doesn’t work.

–The rules should be specific, and it should make fun of illogical or ridiculous conventions. “Drink for every car chase” is pretty banal. “Drink every time a car jumps off a ramp that for some reason is on an ordinary city street” could work.

Get to it!



  1. Ahhh, That’s Not Cholera…those were the days!

    Of course, I can say that; I’m trapped in paper hell, too.

    Can we apply these rules to Grand Theft Auto? That’d be great if we use the last one!

    Comment by Fae — November 22, 2003 @ 12:09 pm

  2. How about “every time the camera lingers
    for a second on a pointy piece of the
    environment (broken window, steel rod,
    inexplicable spike) that someone will later
    conveniently fall/be thrown on”?

    Comment by Pat — November 22, 2003 @ 2:14 pm

  3. Okay, here’s a drinking game to keep you sober:
    Open FW, start reading, and take a drink every time something actually makes sense to you. I’d never get drunk!

    Comment by Pat — November 22, 2003 @ 4:53 pm

  4. Every time a hero makes some moronic but supposedly witty statement either before or after the villian is defeated.

    Every time there is blatantly obvious foreshadowing (T2 has some good examples: “I never have to worry about anything bad happening to you, sweetie.”

    Pancha invented a great movie game but it didn’t involve drinking. Although I’m sure it could be adapted. I’ll find the rules and score shets (!) for it sometime. =)

    Comment by kindle — November 22, 2003 @ 6:36 pm

  5. Roger Ebert came up with the ultimate one of these: drink when (especially in the course of a chase sequence) a fruit cart is overturned, and an angry vendor shakes his fist.

    Comment by Sonia — November 23, 2003 @ 9:07 pm

  6. To work from the first one kindle suggested:
    Every time the hero doesn’t ‘check the body’ and should have.

    Comment by Pat — November 23, 2003 @ 9:41 pm

  7. ha! i love sonia’s (or rather robert ebert’s). here are my suggestions. A: drink whenever someone goes to a a strange computer and can immediatly access all the important information they need without any knowledge of the software or the passwords. B: drink whenever a movie actually succeeds in malking you jump, scream, or flinch. C: drink whenever you see a scene and think “i saw this in the previews!” or (my dad’s pet peave) “i know what happens after this because i saw it in the previews!”

    Comment by ariela — November 24, 2003 @ 7:07 am

  8. or how about whenever you see something in the previews that never actually appears in the movie. (Kill Bill had one of these)

    Comment by kindle — November 24, 2003 @ 9:40 am

  9. I agree with Roger Ebert (for once), but would alter it to- every time a car crashes through a fruit stand and sends oranges flying. Oranges.

    Drink every time you hear the Wilhelm (that eeeeAAAHHHH scream that’s in dozens of movies, notably all Star Wars films and Indiana Jones because Lucas thought it was funny).

    Every time one character says “You believe me, don’t you?” and the other character says “To tell you the truth (unnecessarily dramatic pause) I don’t know what to believe anymore.” FINISH THE BOTTLE. I hate that line.


    Comment by Brian — November 24, 2003 @ 12:27 pm

  10. “do you trust me?”

    Comment by alex — November 24, 2003 @ 5:43 pm

  11. You must drink every time a character does not say “goodbye” before hanging up the phone.

    You must drink when a character has to go to the bathroom (note: may never happen).

    Comment by Bret — December 2, 2003 @ 3:49 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: