If you have ever watched New Girl with Zooey Deschanel you might have noticed a drinking game that makes an appearance in several episodes.

I have been completely thrown by how they play this game. Every time they play the game in the show the characters rush through the explanation on how to play. Which is so frustrating! So Sunday night when I was re-watching some of the episodes for the 100th time. I decided I was going to learn how to play. Surely, someone on the internet has figured out the rules and can explain it better than Nick and Jess do!

I was right! Thanks to Odyssey for taking the time to figure out True American, so I can share it with you here.

 How to Play True American (as explained by Odyssey)

  • Step One: Build The Castle and the Kingdom
    • In the center of the room where you intend on playing. Use a table to create the castle. In the center of the table is the king (liquor bottle of your choosing).
    • Then align 4 lines coming off of the king towards the edge of the table with the pawns (beer cans) which are the soldiers to the secret order. Think of the design as a big "X" connected to the king. The amount of beer is determined by the amount of players in the game.
    • Then around the Castle you will build the kingdom which is a series of chairs and couch cushions placed in line with the 4 rows of pawns. Think of it like a giant game of Sorry. The reason for the chairs and the cushions is because you can't touch the ground. The ground is lava.
  • Step Two: Set Up Teams
    • According to Odyssey, "All of the players will place a certain number (1-5) of fingers against their forehead on the count of three."
  • Step Three: Start the Game
    • You have to kick off the game with a shotgun. Not an actual shot gun. Everyone must shotgun a beer to start the game. The winner of the shotgun contest will have the honors of shouting "JFK" which everyone will return with a "FDR". The winner will also have the first move in the game (See step 4).
    • Then everyone grabs one of the pawns from the table and rush to their starting positions which can be any seat or cushion in the game space- except for a space that is directly next to the castle.
  • Step Four: Making Moves and Mini Games
    • After the winner of the shotgun contest starts the game and makes the first move. The following moves will be made in a clockwise manner.
    • The way you are able to move from space to space is through mini games.
      • Mini Game #1: The player in turn counts to three then all players will place a certain number (1-5) of fingers on their forehead. Similar to how you select your teams, but this time any player who selects a number no one else selected can move ONE space.
      • Mini-game #2: the player whose turn it is will recite the beginning of a famous American quote. The first player to complete the quote can move TWO spaces.
      • Mini-game #3: the player whose turn it is will name two famous American people, places or things. The first player to identify what the two have in common can move THREE spaces.
  • Step Five: Determining the Winner
    • When you move to a space next to the castle you grab a pawn (beer). Then you turn and make your way to the next spot that connect to the castle. In time the pawns will disappear and the king becomes vulnerable. As stated by the Odyssey, the king can not be opened until all of the pawns are gone. The first person to drink from the king wins.

"Just remember that everything is a lie and the floor is lava!"