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Parlour Games for Modern Families: Consequences

Consequences is a very old game, already well established in the 16th century. It continues to be handed down, generation after generation. Some things just never change: when boy meets girl, the world is bound to talk.  A good one for teenagers, in our opinion.


AGE 6 and up

YOU WILL NEED Pen and paper

PLAYING TIME 10 minutes per round


To make up a communal, nonsensical, and amusing boy-meets-girl story.


Each player starts by writing an adjective at the top of their piece of paper (for example, ‘stern’, ‘lovable’, ‘cute’). Then, they fold the paper down over itself, and pass it to the player on their left. A man’s name is added (say, ‘Mr Biggles’, ‘Mr Groovy’, ‘Sir Table’), and then the paper is folded over and passed on again.

In this way, each player adds a piece of information, which is duly covered and passed on. While it can vary, the following information is usually included:

  1. Adjective
  2. Man’s name
  3. An adjective describing the woman he met
  4. Woman’s name
  5. Where they met
  6. What he gave her
  7. What he said to her
  8. What she said to him in reply
  9. What the consequence was
  10. And what the world said (the outcome)

PArlour Games ConsequencesAt the end of the round, all the pieces of paper are opened up and read out. For example, the story might read as follows: ‘Stern Sir Table met vivacious Suzy at the park. He gave her a box, and said to her, “I love you.” She said, “You are a nerd.” The consequence was that he kissed her, and the world said, “Oh dear.”’

To make the story even more silly and convoluted, you can add information after you state their name, like what each was wearing and doing, and what each was thinking just before they spoke. Play a few times and really get into the swing of things; the possibilities are endless.


Consequences using poetry

The same concept applies here but, instead of a story, poetry is used. This makes it considerably harder, though the rewards are worth it: Everyone has a pen and a sheet of paper on which they write the name of a potential poem. Players pass their sheet of paper to the player on their left, who proceeds to write the first line of the poem. They then fold over the sheet so that the title is covered but the first line is still visible. These are passed on to the left again, and play continues until all players have written a line of poetry inspired by the last line visible on the paper.

These are unfolded at the end of play (it is best to decide at the outset how many lines will be written) and read out, usually to great amusement. If you get really good at this, you can try limericks or rhyming formats.

Book Reviews

Yet another variation of this game, for those with literary leanings, involves players writing a book review. Players state the made-up name of a book (the more ridiculous, the better), the author’s name, their opinion on the merits of the book, and (usually in complete contrast) their critique of the book.

For example:

~Murder in Maroochydore

~by Shyster Sly

~is an epic drama of mind-boggling proportions.

~Both finely executed and ridiculously stupid,

~this is the first time we have seen such extraordinary drivel!

Parlour_Games_coverThis is an edited extract from Parlour Games for Modern Families  by Myfanwy Jones and Spiri Tsintziras, published by Scribe, RRP$24.99, out now.

A very handy book to have on your bookshelf for times such as our current ‘stay in place’. Available here.