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Board Game Retro: The One With The Super Cringe “Friends” Board Game

4 Minute Read
Jun 24 2020

Board games don’t often elicit such a negative response, but come join me on this horrible journey and you’ll understand where I’m coming from.

Far be it from me to talk down anything. I like to think I’m a pretty upbeat and lighthearted person. I don’t really like putting anyone down for anything. ….But sometimes it’s warranted.

Remember Friends? If you were cognizant of American culture during the 90’s, it was impossible to miss. Friends was everywhere and infiltrated everything. Not to say I didn’t enjoy it. Of course I did. Everyone did. Anyone who says they didn’t is lying to try to seem cool. But they’re not. None of us were. Because we were watching Friends; the least cool show ever produced.

The point right now is not here to discuss the shortcomings of Friends. We’re here to discuss Season 4, Episode 12; entitled “The One With The Embryos”. All the episodes were titled like that, just like the title of this article. That was the joke. I just want to make sure everyone understood my great referential joke.

In this episode, Joey and Monica are arguing over who knows the other better, then suddenly they’re playing an impromptu trivia game about who knows the other ones better. Ross, the largest friend, creates the trivia game for the other four. And because it’s the 90’s, it’s men versus women. Because of course it is. Then yadda, yadda, yadda, (…wait, wrong show) the women forfeit their apartment to the men.

Okay, so we all know where this is going. There’s a board game based on Friends, and it’s a trivia game about the show. Yeah. That would make sense. But rather than doing that, the designers really wanted to immerse the players into the Friends experience. So, the game is as much of a copy of the one in the show as possible. How do I know this?


Because the full title of the game is Friends Game: The One Ross Invented That Lost The Girls Their Apartment. It’s funny how we can just ignore how words have meaning and just say someone “invented” something, when the game is nothing but a bunch of questions sorted into vague categories. But again, not the point right now.

In FG:TORITLTGTA, teams take turns picking a card from the board and asking it to the other team. That team places their “Yes” and “No” cards, in response to the question, then the asking team says how they believe the other team would respond. If they get it correct…. actually, I’m not sure what happens. Let’s check the rule book.


This is painful to read! Did you know it was possible to have a typeface worse than Comic Sans? I was happier before seeing this monstrosity. I didn’t want to be in this pit alone. I’m sorry I had to drag you down with me.

So what exactly are the questions we’ll be asking?

This is less embarrassing and more just boring. Have I ever made a pros and cons list? I mean…. Sure, I guess so? I don’t remember exactly, but I’m sure I have.


I take it back. It is embarrassing.

The game comes with general questions to play with the kids and family, like “Do you think you’re overweight?”, but it also comes with 18+ adults only questions, like “Have you ever betrayed your friends trust by dating their partner?”. You can tell the General audience questions are marked with a G, while the rest are for adult only.

What is this game?! Who came up with these?!

If you can manage to pretend to have fun while your friends ask how conceited and insecure you are, you might make it to the final round: the lightning round. This is actually a trivia section, but it has to be boys versus girls because boys don’t know anything about body care and girls don’t know anything about sports!

I don’t know if my editor would be alright with me having the next two paragraphs be just eyeroll emoji, but I absolutely would.

Final Thoughts

Could I BE any more upset with this game?!

This is just a cringe fueled box of embarrassment. I’m sorry to rip so hard on it. Genuinely I am, but reading through the rules with that awful typeface, the questions just a mix of boring and way too personal for a light-hearted party game and the outdated mindset of “women just can’t understand sports” is just too much for me.

Did you ever watch Friends? I did used to love it but it’s just boring now.


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