Drinking Game

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A drinking game is when a group of people sit around and rapidly consume alcohol. The fannish version is usually tied into taking a drink when their favorite TV characters or shows engage in repeated acts or too familiar dialog (ex: the classic line from Star Trek, spoken by Dr McCoy: "He's dead Jim.")

There are no set rules for drinking games and in fact there can be multiple simultaneous drinking games across fandom. Some drinking games are based on community affiliation.

Some social functions of fannish drinking games:

  • to reinforce community
  • recognition of the tropes and cliches in shows, and how fans are "in the know" and not just passive consumers of content
  • meta commentary
the first page of a 1993 Quantum Leap drinking game, printed in Chain Reactions

Some Examples

Early 1990s






In later years fans would make video versions of their favorite drinking game as in Lsketch42's The Official Supernatural Drinking Game (Hardcore Edition) created in 2007. The video edited all the 'drinkable" moments together to create an 4 minute 30 second orgy of drinking set to polka music. The vid's creator said: "Okay, normally when you play a TV drinking game, you have to watch an ENTIRE episode looking for scenes to drink to. But we Supernatural fans are tougher than that, right? So we're going to play the whole game in under five minutes." [2]

Examples of Usage


Fans would sit around the TV, watching the show, glasses in hand, each one trying to be the first one to notice stereotypical behavior that called for a drink. The rationale was always that a good episodes would have few drinks, and a bad (3rd season?) show could put you on your lips in an hour. The game was always half pre-made rules, half on-the-fly consensus, so calling out a drink for something not on the list would be agreed with if it fit the profile. (I have noticed the amount of drinking going down in fandom, so this can be played with non-alcoholic liquids; this just cuts down on the difficulty level nearer the end of the episode.) [3]


  1. ^ X-Files Drinking Game... post to alt.tv.x-files on June 21, 1996.
  2. ^ Lsketch42's post to Youtube
  3. ^ Sandy Herrold's post to the Virgule-L mailing list in June 1993, quoted with permission.