Chicken Lists

In Chicken Lists, players create McSweeney’s-style comedy-lists.

What You Need

  • Many sheets of note-paper.
  • One pencil per player.
  • A four-minute timer.


Write down a number of “templates”, one per piece of note-paper. Shuffle these templates into a face-down pile. Now each player writes down one “category” on a piece of note-paper. Shuffle these categories into another face-down pile. Give each player a healthy supply of note-paper.

Generating the Prompt

At the beginning of each round, the current Judge draws one template, and then draws however many categories that template requires, putting them all together to form the title of a list. The Judge is allowed to modify the generated title, or to invent a new one from scratch.

Writing the Entries

You now have four minutes to create as many entries as you’d like. Each of your entries should be an entire list, not just a single line-item. (You’ll probably only have time to create one entry.) You may want to write your line-items on small scraps of paper first, so that you can play with the ordering and then copy the lines to a single sheet of note-paper. When the timer runs out, you’re allowed to edit what you’ve written, but you aren’t allowed to add new line-items or start new lists. Shuffle everyone’s entries into a face-down pile.

Judging the Entries

The Judge selects one player to read all the entries aloud. After hearing them all, the Judge picks two favorites, and the respective creators receive one point each. If the same player created both of the chosen entries, that player gets both points. Use the two entries to track the points. After each player has been the Judge once, the game ends, and the player with the most points wins.


  • Game Design—Chris Welsh
  • Playtesting—John Cooper, Gina Mai Denn, Kory Heath