How To Play True American [From New Girl]

I’m watching New Girl again with my roommates, and we’re so into it that we’ve designated ourselves as each of the four roommates- I’m Winston, if you were wondering.


Episode 20 of season 1, entitled “Normal,” contains the first game of True American that is featured on the series.

“So, it’s 50% drinking game, 50% life-size Candy Land.” – Jess

“Well, it’s more like 75 drinking, 20 Candy Land, and by the way the floor is molten lava.” – Schmidt

“It’s actually 90% drinking and then it’s got a loose Candy Land-like structure to it.”       – Winston




Pro Tip: Play with root beer for a better tomorrow.

First things first, your board room. Your floor is lava, and the center of the room is the castle. Set up an “X” with furniture and pillows to be your playing spaces. There isn’t a limit on how many people can be on each space at one time, so be creative with the sizes of your spaces and how much room is between each one. The Castle houses the king and pawns. Traditionally, the king is liquor, and the pawns are beers. You, of course, don’t have to play with alcohol. Oh yeah, and the players are called knights.



How To Play

  • Answer questions as you follow the path
  • Get another drink every time you get to the castle
  • You can hold no more than three drinks at a time
  • If you’re already holding three drinks and you get to the castle, you have to drink one before you can move on.
  • Once all the pawns are gone, the next person to get to the table, finish all their drinks, and drink the king is the winner.

How To Start

To start off, pick a first knight to start off the game [roll dice, go alphabetical order, nose goes, shotgun a pawn, etc…]  Whoever gets to start begins the game by yelling, “One, two, three, JFK!” Everyone has to grab a pawn from the castle and retreat to a space on the board off the lava.

Getting To The Castle

There are three ways to advance.

  1. “The Count.” The knight counts to three, and on three everyone places a number on their forehead. If you pick the same number as the knight, you move ahead one space and the knight moves back one space for every player that guessed correctly. If no one chooses the same number as the knight, the knight moves backwards the same number of spaces as the number of people that are playing.
  2. Quotes. The knight says the beginning of a famous quote, and the first person to complete it correctly moves forward one space. If you complete it incorrectly, you move back one space.
  3. Commonalities. The knight list two things that have something in common, [ex. “Marilyn Monroe” and “Jackie Kennedy” would be “JFK!”] The first person to guess what it advances two spaces, and anyone who misses it goes back two.

Winning. The first person to make it to the castle, finish all their drinks, and drink the King is the winner.


Losing. If you fall into the lava, you die. But you can drink a pawn and start from the beginning to rejoin.


Extra Rules. Whenever someone finishes a drink, they say, “All trash belongs…” and everyone replies “…in the junkyard.” Then they throw their drink into a designated trashcan. They advance one space if they make it, and they go back one space if they miss.

Have Fun!




P.S.: Sources: main image


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