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How To Play The True American Drinking Game From New Girl

For the uninitiated the True American drinking game is a fictional game that’s played on the TV series New Girl. Since the game itself in the show doesn’t make a lick of sense (and it was never meant to) we decided to come up with our own drinking game that’s as close to the original as possible while keeping it as functional as possible. But we made sure to include the perceived rules from the original game from the show as well.

How The Original New Girl Drinking Game Worked

The show describes the game as somewhere between drinking game and Candy Land. How that factors into the rest of the game we have no idea but here are the rules we could figure out.

  • Step 1 – The game opens with everyone putting a random number of fingers against their head at the count of 3.
  • Step 2 – Set up the center table of drinks. The beers are the pawn and the bottle of booze in the center is the King of the Castle.
  • Step 3 – Rearrange furniture. Remember the floor is lava!
  • Step 4 – You’re ready to begin. Everyone playing shotgun a beer in preparation.
  • Step 5 – The leader of the game chants “1-2-3-4 JFK” and then everyone else must yell “FDR!”. Get off the floor!
  • Step 6 -… uhh… we don’t really know. But somewhere between shouting presidents and climbing on furniture the participants get pretty hammered. There’s chants, moving furniture and even some wacky variants. But we’re not going to pretend we understand any of it.

How To Play Our Custom True American Drinking Game

We’re going to stray from the path a bit here to attempt to make a cohesive drinking game from this one.

Setting It Up

First thing you’re going to want to do is set your head table. Grab yourself a bottle a booze, some shot glasses, and a bunch of beers. Large bottle goes in the middle, shot glasses around it, then the beers are used to make a star on the table.

Second task is to set up the furniture. Take whatever you got and arrange it around the room. Chairs, Tables, Couches, Whatever. Just make sure none of the furniture is within close proximity of the head table; it needs to be a challenge to reach it! Once that begins everyone meet up in the middle of the room and prepare to start.

The Starting Ritual

Before you can even think of starting the game everyone needs to shotgun a beer. Everyone grab one can off the head table and shotgun it.

Whoever suggested playing this game in the first place is the leader. The leader needs to kick off the chant. It goes like this “1-2-3-4 JFK!”. After which every other player says “FDR!” then grabs a beer off the table and runs to a piece of furniture to stand on.

Last one on a piece of furniture must chug their drink. No two players can occupy the same piece of furniture. First come first serve.

Playing The Game

The purpose of this game is to clear off all the booze on the head table and make your friends look like fools in the process. Whenever someone finishes their beer they need to play one of a few American mini games to choose who has to get them a new one from the table. And getting a new beer involves making your way to the head table without touching the ground and rearranging furniture in the process.

As soon as anyone finishes their beer (including the one that was chugged at the start of the game by the loser of the starting ritual) they can now try and play one of the all-american mini games. They must never play the same game 2 times in a row.

Game 1 – All American Finger Game

The empty beer holder puts anywhere from 1 to 5 fingers on their head. Quick! Everyone else do the same with a random number of fingers. Once everyone has their fingers planted on their foreheads take a look around the room. Whoever is holding up a number that doesn’t match anyone else’s loses the game. If it’s a tie then whoever had the lower number loses. Loser must now figure out a way to head table to grab a new beer for the person who started up the game.

Game 2 – The Presidential Initial Game

This game is a little more tricky. Whoever initiates it quickly yells out the initials of any president. Middle initials must be included so it’s best if you did your homework before the game started. Last person to yell out presidential initials loses the game. No repeating initials that others have said. Loser must now hobble over to the table and grab a new beer for whoever started the game.

Game 3 – Presidential Pardon

This one is less of a mini game and more of a personal attack. Someone with an empty beer can choose not to tell anyone and instead they try to use it to tag someone else. Remember no sharing furniture so you might have to do some suspicious leaning in order to tap someone with your empty can. If you can successfully do this then you have nominated them to go get you your next beer.

Reaching The Table

Once someone successfully gets to the table everyone cheers and drink to their glory. They now must toss someone a beer. If they want to help out the team they can also take a shot of the hard alcohol bottle in the center but they can choose not to if they want. Now the person who got the drink gets 30 seconds of floor-lava immunity to run around the room and rearrange all the furniture that nobody is on. Keeping in mind not to leave anything too close to the center table. Then they must hop back on a the farthest piece of furniture available and resume the game.

Ending The Game

This New Girl drinking game is done when the center table is cleared. So it’s up to the team to decide how many beers they want to play with and how intense the evening is going to be.

Other Rules

Remember the key rule – THE FLOOR IS LAVA. If anyone is caught touching the floor (other than during lava-immunity) they need to be punished. This is to be decided by the group. But typically it should involve something equal parts drinking and candyland.


The True American Drinking Game is a real challenge. Don’t go into this expecting a walk in the park. We hope we did the game justice in our interpretation. If there is anything we missed that you were hoping to see in these rules feel free to contact us and let us know.