Drunk twister is a classic drinking game, developed by (I assume) a bunch of adult drinkers gathered in someone’s living room, when one of the group spotted a twister set in their child’s board game pile. One thing led to another, and the ultimate, slightly promiscuous drinking game of drunk twister was invented!
How To Play (Standard) Twister
If you’ve never played it before (seriously?!), Twister is a game developed in 1966 and produced by the ‘Milton Bradley Company’.
You play it on a large plastic mat spread on ground and the mat has four rows of large colored circles on it with a different color in each row. You use the included spinner board to determine where the players have to put their hands or feet (a ‘turn’ or spin might determine that all players have to move “right hand to yellow,” for example).
After spinning, the combination it lands on is called out and each player must move that body part to a circle of the corresponding color, without falling over in a massive (hilarious) heap.
The Twisted History of Twister
A sure fire way to break the ice at parties for decades now, Twister is a modern update to social activities designed to bring people together like waltzes and minuets in the 19th century. It’s essentially a socially-acceptable way to get physically closer to the opposite sex! Giggity.
This slightly sexual undertone of Twister has caused quite a bit of controversy, previously accused by its competitors of being “sex in a box“, most likely because Twister was the first popular American game to use human bodies as playing pieces.
The explosive, fad-phenomena type growth of the Twister game in the second half of the 20th century can be traced back to a Tonight Show TV appearance on May 3, 1966, hosted by Johnny Carson. Before that, Twister was barely sold at all on store shelves. Sears, as a typical example, was reluctant to put the game in its catalog.
“Sears didn’t think it was appropriate for their catalog,” recalls Twister inventor Reyn Guyer. Sears, the American multinational department store, had concerns that the game was not suitable for their family-friendly demographic. Guyer’s company Milton-Bradley was ready to give up on the product and call it a day, but the PR firm they had employed to promote Twister tried a last-ditch idea: getting featured on the Tonight Show.
The Tonight Show & Twister’s Big Moment
Carson and his guest on the Tonight Show that evening, the beautiful and buxom Eva Gabor, took a few minutes to demonstrate the charms of the unknown game. After a few ‘right foot reds’ and ‘left hand blues’, interspersed with Eva’s heavy Hungarian accent and Johnny’s priceless facial expressions, the duo were playfully entangled and the studio audience was in hysterics.
Of the days and weeks following the TV spectacle, Reyn Guyer says “people were lined up fifty deep at Abercrombie & Fitch [in New York], and Twister was born.”
The rest was history and Twister’s popularity exploded – three million units of the game were sold in that year alone. Twister was awarded the title of “Game of the Year” in 1967, and became one of THE iconic toys of the decade, surpassed in sales only by the Hula Hoop.
“The game that ties you up in knots”
Inventor Reyn Guyer attributes a large part of Twister’s success to timing;
“Ideas that become iconic tend to break rules or norms. Twister broke the rules in a social setting. People had not up to that point been granted the possibility of being that close and enjoying it in a group setting.”
Over 65 million people are said to have now played Twister, and it’s safe to say the game is now a part of modern pop culture (confirmed once the characters on Friends played it during an episode).
The first world record involving twister was set in 1987 when 4160 students at the University of Massachusetts laid out their Twister mats for one huge, tangled marathon game!
Where Are They Now?
Charles F. Foley & Neil Rabens, who designed Twister alongside Guyer after he presented the initial idea to 3M and they passed on it, went on to invent a few now-defunct games such as Grab a Loop & Bing-Bang-Boing.
In 1969, Reyn Guyer helped pioneer another landmark toy – the Nerf Ball. He remains an active designer, with his latest invention a new backyard game called King’s Court.
~ Nirvana playing twister with Smashing Pumpkins
Found this gem on Tumblr:
“Back in ‘91, before all the glitz and graphics and manipulatively salacious voiceovers, all we had at MTV were great bands, board games and a huge amount of lard—and that’s no clever wordplay. I literally mean that we had a ton of Crisco on hand. Or so it would seem from the very lo-fi production below, in which Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic strips down to briefs and gets a full body Crisco massage from Kurt Cobain and Dave Grohl, before playing slippery Twister with the Smashing Pumpkins.
Pre-peroxide James Iha looks so nervous. Watch as a very lively Kurt Cobain playfully launches globs of Crisco across the room as a quiet audience inexplicably barely looks up from their beers and cigarettes. It looks like it’s about one in the afternoon. What?! The nineties officially made absolutely no sense.”
Drunk Twister Variations & Rules
There are 3 versions of Twister that we’re going to cover here:
- Standard Twister drinking game
- Strip Twister (sometimes called “Naked Twister”)
- Drunk + Strip Twister – a combination of the two games above!
Here’s what you need for all of the above mentioned adult party games. Best to prepare these items before the booze starts flowing:
- Twister Game Mat (or if you want to DIY it – use some simple paint & paper plates or spray paint on your grass lawn!)
- Twister Spinner Device (or playing dice, again you can DIY this if on a budget)
- At least 2 players (More players means a tighter fit on the game mat, but some would say that’s what makes it fun!)
- A game moderator to spin the spinner Wheel and egg the players on/take pictures! ~ the role of moderator passes in each game
Quick… Someone Prepare The Alcohol!
We seriously recommend using small shot glasses when playing the Twister drinking game. Disposable cups are easier to clear up afterwards and means less broken mugs preventing you from enjoying a cup of tea while nursing your hangover the next morning.
Beer, wine or wine coolers/alcopops are recommended for drunken Twister; hard liquors will get you drunk a bit too quick to really enjoy this game, and the excessive movement might have your players throwing up where they shouldn’t. Ignore this advice at your own peril
To set up the alcohol, simply put 1 shot glass or cup on each spot on the game mat. You can either fill each cup to the brim or pour in just enough for a sip – it depends what your intentions are!
Standard Twister Drinking Game Rules:
- The first player to occupy a spot on the Twister game mat claims the drink.
- That player has to drink before proceeding to position his/her limb on the spot.
- If a player slips, he or she has to take 2 drinks in order to recover. Recovering means the player resumes the old position and spins again.
- Optional: You can introduce a ‘Drink Counter‘. Each time a player slips and recovers, the number of drinks that he/she has to take increases (or to get really hardcore: the rule could apply to all players. Watch out for people slipping on purpose with this one). You can use any progression you like, but we recommend 1>2>3, 1>3>5 or 2>4>6… you get the idea.
- Keep playing until somebody passes out or can’t go on! Simple, but so much fun!
How To Play Strip Twister
Strip Twister/Naked Twister follows the general rules described above, except that the player is required to remove clothes instead of taking drinks. Here are the rules:
- The first time that a spot on the Twister mat is occupied, the occupant has to remove an article of clothing.
- That player removes an item of clothing before assuming the new position.
- To keep track of the spots, you can place a marker on it such as a coin/penny or poker chip.
- If a player slips, they remove an item of clothing and return to their old position. They then spin a new colour and move accordingly. The player repeats this process until he/she gets it right. Interesting note: the player can end up losing all clothes if they can’t get this right!
- Optional: Whenever somebody slips, the other player(s) reclaim the last item they removed. This optional rule makes the game last longer.
- Keep playing until somebody gets completely naked!
Drunk Strip Twister
As you can imagine, this game simply takes the rules above and mixes them up! The rules:
- Follow the rules outlined above.
- Keep playing until somebody passes out/can’t go on, or somebody is completely naked
- Optional: Allow body shots once somebody is suitably attired (in other words: the body part in question is exposed). The player who drinks chooses his/her partner. The partner must consent. To sweeten the deal, the partner gets to reclaim the article of clothing that covers up the body part in question.
If you’re still looking for fun drinking games to play, check out our jenga drinking game, choose a Netflix drinking game or choose from one of our movie drinking games for the 101 best films of all time.
Finally, after all the fun, drinking and games is done – you’re very likely to be left with a killer hangover! To make sure that doesn’t happen, check out Sobur hangover cure pills, which use dihydromyricetin (featured in Wired & The New Scientist magazine) to banish your hangovers for life!