Click. Click. Pass. Exhale.

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Memorial Day weekend for many means a trip to the beach and a fun game to get everyone in a party mode is “Catchphrase.” It’s played in teams of two and you pass around a disc with digital text seen below:

Catchphrase is for people who enjoy charades but can do without that “getting off your behind and moving” part and have just about had it with the limitations that come with a game of Taboo.


For Catchphrase, you press the gray start button and a random word or phrase will appear on the screen from categories such as “History Buff” and “Entertainment.” You have to get the people on your team to guess it as quickly as possible without saying the word or a word in the phrase. Meanwhile a beeping timer speeds up and suddenly the thing becomes a hot potato–if you’re the last person left holding the disk when the buzzer goes off then one point goes to the opposing team. First team to 7 points wins.

I think the ad execs at Wal-Mart and Target are missing out on a prime opportunity to package Catchphrase with a prescription dosage of Xanax. I’m about to have an anxiety attack by the time the disc is handed to me because the beeping sound is at a full sprint and the buzzer is just about to go off. And of course by the time it’s handed to you all the easy answers are gone and you’re left with something like the clue below:
There is a “Skip” button if you absolutely cannot answer but skipping it only makes the beeping go faster. Plus there is no guarantee you’ll get anything easier to work with and you’ll more than likely wind up with this:

^Wtf. Is this a children’s movie? A popular phrase? THEY STILL MAKE FIDDLE FADDLE? CAN I GET SOME NOW?

By the time you feign a horrible impression of a cat disinterested in a bowl of Fancy Feast the buzzer goes off. The other team gets a point and you look like a bumbling stumbling idiot. Then after you pass it to the opposition for the next round this is the clue he or she gets:

Opposing Team Member: “We breathe this”
Opposing Team Members (+you because you’re an idiot and forgot whose team you’re on): “Air”

It finally comes back to you again. This time life cuts you a break and you get a pretty easy one:

It looks easy enough except instead of you being the bumbling stumbling idiot you have now reversed roles with your teammates:

You: This is a character on Sesame Street
Teammate #1: Elmo!
You: He’s blue. He likes to eat baked goods
Teammate #2: Grover!
You: No Grover is like navy blue. This one’s lighter.
Teammate #3: Big Bird!
You: Big Bird is yellow. This one is blue.
Teammate #1: Sam The Eagle!

Most of the time you’re too busy laughing at each other to properly keep score.

Hmm I guess if I were to have a panic attack over something I’d rather it be this than a PowerPoint presentation due the next day at work.

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