"I Never..." or "Never Have I Ever..." is a Drinking Game
played frequently by college students.
The premise is simple: Everyone has a drink. Going around in a circle, players begin, "I never..." and finish the statement with an action or behavior. Everyone who has
done so must drink.
In Real Life
, this is a way for friends to get to know each other better, although it has a tendency to turn nasty, becoming spiteful and a way to embarrass "friends." It is also probably that someone will be playing only to learn new gossip about the other players. They will probably react badly if called on this.
It is also sometimes known as "ten fingers," because it can be played by putting down a finger instead of taking a drink, if you're in a setting where alcohol is unavailable. It gets raunchy.
In fiction, it's just mild teasing, and it's great for character exposition.
Live Action Television
- Appears (unsurprisingly) in Beerfest, where we find out that tough-guy Landfill made out with a (presumably male) coach at the local high school.
- Appears in American Reunion, where Oz's girlfriend Mia admits to having had an orgy and sex in public, much to the dismay of Oz's ex Heather, who is also playing.
- In The Boat That Rocked, the lesbian cook of the ship (the only woman on board) says, "I've never had sex with a man." One crew member sheepishly swigs.
- Features in Loving Annabelle. Annabelle uses it to come out.
- Sawyer and Kate play "I Never..." on LOST. The scene establishes that each has killed a man and that Kate has been married.
- "I Never..." was played on an episode of Medium where it became a clue that a man was possessed by his murderer ancestor. He was playing with his girlfriend and she asks whether he has dreamt of menstrual blood running down a virgin's leg and then slitting her throat. He had to take a drink.
- There was one episode of Frasier wherein the characters played "I Never..." during a blackout, using pennies.
- An episode in the first season of Veronica Mars had flashbacks featuring the main character and her former friends ditching going to homecoming and drinking champagne in a limo while playing "I Never."
- Played in a bar on Fastlane between Van Ray, Deaqon Hayes and Simone.
- Used in The L Word episode "Lifecycle." The question of whether anyone playing has ever cheated on anyone ends up causing a serious mess.
- In the series finale of ER a girl shows up in an alcohol-induced coma after "winning" a game that was actually supervised by another girl's parents.
- Done by the Greek ZBZ's (without drinking), and ends up with a fight between Casey and Frannie.
- Discussed on Top Gear during a news segment, in which Clarkson notes that an easy turn for a guy is to say "I've never used a tampon". Hammond notes this for future reference, but May says he has used one (for "you know, spillage") then goes on with an innuendo-laden discussion of two legitimate uses a man might find for a tampon.
- Given that all three hosts did use tampons in the Bolivia special (to help seal their cars for a river crossing), this becomes Hilarious in Hindsight.
- In Game of Thrones, Tyrion, Bronn, and Shae play a similar game where they ask each other questions about their pasts. Despite his confidence that he will win, Tyrion ends up revealing more than his companions.
- Another non-alcoholic version of "I Never..." occurs in the lonelygirl15 episode "Backyard Bikini Patrol". The point was obviously not to get drunk (they were playing with M&M's), but to learn "something juicy" about the participants. Served as a means of delivering exposition because we found out how different the lives of trait positives were from those of normal girls.
- On Family Guy, the guys play this on a boating trip. Quagmire ends up taking a drink for everything the other characters think of, and eventually they're actively trying to come up with something he hasn't done, getting progressively more ridiculous (for some reason, it never occurs to them to say something non-sexual). It doesn't work, and he ends up passing out.
Peter: God, let's see, what else is there, um... I never gave a reach-around to a spider monkey while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Quagmire: Oh, God.
(Quagmire takes a drink.)