Screenshot via Netflix

The True American Rules: How to Play the Drinking Game of 'New Girl'

Even if you've never watched New Girl, chances are you've heard of True American. The nonsensical drinking game, True American is hard to follow just by watching and is described as a mix of Candy Land and a lava floor. If you've been curious as to how the True American rules work, we have you covered with this breakdown of the True American drinking game.

The game was designed to be fun and all over the place. The only official rule is that there are no rules, but we've broken it down pretty simply. Follow along, and soon you'll have this big drinking game memorized. Kind of.

How To Play True American From New Girl

In True American, the purpose of the game is to get as drunk as possible by making up as many rules as you want while playing. That's all well and good, but for those who like a little structure, let's start with the basics.

Players in True American try to win moves so they can navigate anything except for the floor, including but not limited to, chairs, cushions, tables, and blankets. The floor is molten lava so you'll die if you step on it. Sorry, but that's the True American rules.

The Castle is in the center of the game area and holds a bottle of alcohol, along with a number of beers that can be easily divided by the number of players. Players will move around the real-life game board, grabbing beers from the center table Castle as they go.

When all of the beers have been finished, the winner is the person who makes it to the Castle's prize bottle of alcohol and takes a swig straight from the bottle.

The Castle

The Castle contains one bottle of liquor directly in the middle of the set-up and beers that can be evenly distributed among the players nestled around it. If there are six players (just like Schmidt, Jess, Winston, Cece, Coach, and Nick), 30 beers would be a fun number to sit around the Castle (just give the few extras to ones who can handle it). For a milder version, go for 24 beers, but don't be a wuss, okay?

So the bottle of liquor is the King. The beers are the Prawns and Soldiers of the Secret Order. The beers are lined up in four lines moving outward from the King. These lines also signify the barriers between the zones of the game (stay with me). The winner is the first person to reach the King (the liquor) once all of the Prawns and Soldiers have been removed.

The Zones


Wide Open Eats

There are four zones and inside of those zones are five spaces where each player can stand. The center of each zone is where Pawns can be grabbed and is the closest space to the Castle. There are only four center spaces, one per zone. Does this sound like life-size Candy Land yet?

Teams are optional for True American, but before the game starts, it should be determined how many beers will be consumed.

Strategically placed cushions, chairs, and tables are the purple dots, signifying the places you can step.

Playing the Game

True American Game Rules

Players must always have a beer in their hand but may not have more than three beers on them at once.

Players may only take a Pawn (a beer) from the Castle only if they are on any of the four centered spaces (highlighted in red in the layout above).

Shotgun Tip-Off

new girl drinking game


If you're playing in teams, now is a good time to pick teams. You want quick drinkers, guzzlers, and those who would be at Jeopardy as unmatched players on your team.

To begin, players will shotgun a beer to determine who will go first. Alternatively, you can play rock-paper-scissors, but c'mon guys.

Once the winner has been determined, they'll shout, "One, two, three, JFK!" and the rest of the players answer, "FDR!" Everyone grabs a Pawn (a beer) and retreats to any space.

Players move around the game in a clockwise direction and the player whose turn it is always moves one space. The rest of the players can "win" spaces when it is not their turn, but it's at the choice of the player whose turn it is.

There are three ways that players can win moves when it's not their turn, listed below.

The Count

The player whose turn it rightfully is will move one space.

After, all players can choose to yell, "One, two three," and hold up a random number of fingers between 1 and 5 on their foreheads. Anyone that is holding a number not duplicated among the players wins a turn. Winners move one spot.

Complete a Quote

new girl good american


The player whose turn it rightfully is will move one space, and slowly speak a quote from history or pop culture.

The player that is able to jump in and complete the quote with the speaker wins. Winners move two spots.

Something in Common

The player whose turn it rightfully is will move one space and may choose to yell out two people, places, or things.

The player that can reply with what these things have in common wins. Winners move three spots.

Example: Zooey Deschanel, Max Greenfield.

Answer: New Girl!


A winner can only be declared once all of the Pawns (beers) have been removed.

The first player to land on one of the center spaces and reach the King (the liquor), behead him (remove the cap), and finish the job (take a swig) is the winner.

Losing True American

If you are caught without a beer or with an empty beer, you lose.

If you step in molten lava (on the floor), you lose.

However, losers can re-enter the game if they drink one full beer and start on a space the other players decide.

Disclaimer: This is a fictional drinking game. Consuming alcohol can be dangerous. Drink responsibly, legally, and don't be that person who forces everyone to drink more than they can handle. 

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