Apples to Apples

There’s a whole lot I like about Twitter. There’s a whole lot I don’t like, but that’s another post altogether. One of my favorite things about Twitter is that people on there are so helpful. Last week, when I tweeted that I was looking for some family friendly games, folks were very generous with their suggestions. Many suggested Apples to Apples, and since both of my kids have played this game with friends, I decided to purchase it.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the game, here’s a brief description via the fine folks at Wikipedia:


Each player is dealt seven “red apple” cards; on each card is printed a noun or noun phrase, or possibly a gerund.
The judge (a chosen player) draws a “green apple” card on which is printed an adjective (“scary”, “frivolous”, “patriotic”, etc.), and places it face-up on the table for everybody to see. Then each player (except the judge) chooses a card that they think is the best match for the green apple card, and places it face-down. The judge shuffles the red apple cards, reads them (often aloud), and decides which noun is the best match for the adjective. This decision is subjective; the official rules encourage the judge to pick the match that is “most creative, humorous or interesting”.

The player who submitted the chosen red apple card wins the round, and takes the green apple card to signify the win. All players then draw red cards until they have seven again, and the role of “judge” may pass to another person (generally going to the next player in line, though some rules have the round’s winner becoming “judge”). Some editions of the game suggest discounting the last red-apple card played, to encourage players to place their cards down more quickly.

The winner is the first player to accumulate a pre-designated number of green apple cards; the more players, the lower the total.

I had never played this game before, but it only took me a couple of hands to figure out that the key to this game is understanding how the person holding the green card (the judge) thinks.

For example, if, as judge, a person were to play this card:

you would have to know what that person might consider vile. My daughter might choose one of these cards:

Actually, my daughter played "Oil Companies" when this card was selected at which point we reminded her what her dad did for a living.

while my son would most likely choose one of these:

my husband would probably choose any one of these cards:

whereas I would most likely choose one of these:

Note: I should clarify. I don't think all Reality TV Shows are vile. Just the ones where people are shown at their worst in order to make the viewer feel superior by comparison. Deadliest Catch and pretty much any show Mike Rowe has anything to do with are excluded from this list.

The object of the game is to guess what the judge will consider the closest match, not what you think it is. I’ve only played it with my immediate family, but I have to think it would be the ultimate ice breaker game. What better way to get to know other people than playing a game where knowing what a person cares about and what he doesn’t means a better chance of winning in the end? Where letting others know what you think is less important than paying attention to what others think?

There’s a life lesson in there somewhere.

What do you think?

Ever played Apples to Apples?

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26 Responses to “Apples to Apples”

  1. Candy July 17, 2011 at 11:55 pm #

    And your husband would know how vile leftovers are…how?? I mean, don’t you have to START with something? Don’t get me started on another game, please. OK, maybe.

    • katdish July 17, 2011 at 11:59 pm #

      We start with something. My husband’s a great cook!

  2. Kathleen July 18, 2011 at 12:22 am #

    Just read this to the family. They laughed cuz you’re so sly. My daughter thinks you shouldn’t give this top secret away so easily. Charge for it. Put a pay pal button on.

    • katdish July 18, 2011 at 9:41 am #

      I hate Paypal. Also another completely different post…

      • Marni July 18, 2011 at 11:17 am #

        I have intense feelings of dislike towards Paypal myself. I’ll be waiting to read that one…

  3. Wendy July 18, 2011 at 7:25 am #

    It’s one of my favorites and I’ve found it to be quite handy in bringing together people of all different backgrounds.

    I’ve laughed to the point of tears playing this game.
    ~ Wendy

  4. Louise July 18, 2011 at 7:43 am #

    Sounds like something I’d like to play!

  5. Jim H July 18, 2011 at 8:43 am #

    We love Apples to Apples! Another great game in the same vein is “Oh, Really” by the people that make Find-It games

    • katdish July 18, 2011 at 9:20 am #

      Thanks, Jim. Just checked that game on Amazon. Looks like one I’ll have to pick up.

  6. kelybreez July 18, 2011 at 9:08 am #

    Played it too many times to count. Always good for laughing!

    Stop with the ABBA hater attitude. Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you (with their music).

  7. Jason July 18, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    Never played Apples to Apples but you’re correct about ABBA.

    Just sayin’. 🙂

  8. Heather Sunseri July 18, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    This is a brilliant post, Katdish!!! And so, so true. Love me some Apples to Apples!

  9. jasonS July 18, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    Yeah, I figured out this secret when we played it too, but there were times when I couldn’t resist being funny with some off-the-wall card instead of winning. 🙂 Great game though. Thanks Kat!

  10. Marni July 18, 2011 at 11:16 am #

    The first time I played this game with my then-seven year old, I thought I was going to pee my pants. This game is awesome played through the eyes of a child. The word would be “tragedy” and she’d throw down “Bill Clinton”, I would snort, we’d play again.

  11. Shelley July 18, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    I’ve never played it. Sounds like a great game!

  12. Billy Coffey July 18, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    My kids love this game. Though strangely enough, the deck we have doesn’t include Al Gore, hybrid cars, or knee surgery cards. I need me that set.

    • katdish July 18, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

      And my version doesn’t have Buzz Lightyear or Snow White. Go figure.

  13. Sweetzel July 18, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    It’s fun Game my son he always play this after school he even forget do his home work i always remind him to do school stuff before play,i even love apples to apples!

  14. Hazel Moon July 18, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

    Sounds like a fun game I need to get when grandkids come to visit.

  15. Dancing Queen July 19, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

    You don’t like Abba? Say it isn’t so!!!!!!

    • Candy July 19, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

      That was Marni or my name is Mamma Mia. Dead giveaway.

      • katdish July 19, 2011 at 9:55 pm #

        Not unless she has an email account for her rabbit alter ego.

        • Candy July 19, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

          Oh dang. I should have known they were related.

          • katdish July 19, 2011 at 10:36 pm #

            Dang it, Candy. It’s 10:30 pm, I’m tired, and now I’m afraid to go to sleep. Also? I don’t like bunnies anymore.

  16. Helen July 19, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    I have never played this game. It sounds like a lot of fun!

  17. Larry Hehn July 21, 2011 at 1:54 am #

    Along with The Game of Things, Apples to Apples is one of my favorites. Even though I always lose. I can’t help but go for the laugh factor with every response. Yep, there’s definitely a life lesson in there!

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