Who's in the Hat?

3 Jan 2014, 10:24 p.m.
This New Year, David and I went to a party hosted by Crystal and Gary, friends of Hayley and Miguel who very kindly invited us along too. It was a small gathering of family and friends, with mulled cider over a fire in the back garden, karaoke games and lots of delicious food, and we had a brilliant time. This is a party game we learned there. We played in one team of five and one of six, with players aged between about 10 and 60.

Who's in the Hat?

Everyone gets four slips of paper on which to write four names — of celebrities, cartoon/film/book characters, or anyone else the group will recognise. These are folded up and placed in a hat. The group divides into two teams and nominates a scorer and a timekeeper.

Round 1

  • One member of the first team has one minute to pull out slips from the hat, describe the people they name, and have the answers guessed correctly by the rest of the team.
  • They may use as many words as they like to describe each person, but can't say anything that's part of their name.
  • Score one point per correctly-guessed name, and keep those slips aside.
  • Keep going, alternating teams, until the hat is empty.

Round 2

  • All the names go back into the hat.
  • Play as before, except this time you may only use one word to describe each person.

Round 3

  • All the names go back into the hat.
  • Play as before, except this time you may only use gestures to describe each person.
  • The team with the most points wins!
  • The team with the least points loses, and must drink shots!
  • Or is it the winning team who gets the shots? And what do underage players and designated drivers do? Can you have a shot of tea? (We didn't find out, since the losing team were all drinkers.)

Who's in the Hat? worked really well for a quite varied group. With eleven players, it was non-trivial to remember all the names between rounds (although we had three Madonnas and two Johnny Depps). Everyone could join in, no matter what their specialist subject. Dave guessed Captain Ahab and Frankenstein's monster; Eden brought down DVDs from her room to show the rest of her team who Hilary Duff is; and Jackie guessed Dr Who for everything for everything in round one, so the single-word code for him was just 'Jackie'.