Shiritori (jp. しりとり) is a Japanese word game that can be played by two or more people and is often used to pass the time. The rules of the game are as follows:

#The players take turns coming up with words beginning with the final syllable of the previous word;
#Words may not be repeated;
#Whoever uses a word ending in "N" loses, [[ObviousRulePatch since there are no words in Japanese beginning with the "N" syllable]].

Additional rules may be added, such as restricting the words to a specific theme (e.g.: trees, cars, names of cities...).

In China it is known as 接龍 ''jiēlóng'' or 文字接龍 ''wénzì jiēlóng'' while in Korean it is known as 끝말잇기 ''kkeutmal-isgi''.

This game is also played in many other countries, although since most languages are encoded in phonemes instead of syllables the "syllable rule" is replaced with a "letter rule" (i.e.: the next word has to begin with the last letter of the previous word), and eliminating the "N rule". A common English variant is "Alphabet," where they think up words in alphabetical order (i.e.: "Apple," "board," "cart," etc until Z).

The Soviet Union had a specific variant most commonly referred to as "The Game of Cities", where the words had to be names of existing cities and towns. A relaxed version of the rules also allowed countries.

[[AC:Anime and Manga]]
* A version with catch phrases, one-liners, and assorted strange sentences is used for the {{Eye Catch}}es for ''Manga/HayateTheCombatButler'''s first season and ''Manga/ZettaiKarenChildren''. It's one of the quirks of director Keiichiro Kawaguchi.
* The first episode's Post-Episode Trailer for ''Manga/{{Sola}}'', where Yorito keeps coming up with names of clouds.
* Happens in an episode of ''Manga/HidamariSketch'', when the group are sitting around watching Miyako's apartment leak.
* This happens in ''VisualNovel/{{Kanon}}'' (both the game and the anime), with Yuuichi and Mai. Since Mai keeps adding "[[{{Honorifics}} -san]]" to animal names, she always loses.
* In the final episode of ''Anime/{{Planetes}}'', [[spoiler:Hachimaki proposes to Tanabe ("Kekkon shiou")]] during a Shiritori game. [[spoiler:She accepts ("Un!"), losing the game in the process.]]
* The titular club plays this in the BeachEpisode of ''Manga/{{Genshiken}}'', and it swiftly derails into a fight because Madarame refuses to refer to a ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' character (Sayla Mass) without the suffix "-san".
** Shiritori [-[[RecycledInSpace WITH GUNDAM]]-]!
* In ''Manga/SgtFrog'', Keroro, Tamama, and Giroro play this in the episode where they visit Grandma Hinata at her house in the country.
* This also happens in an early episode of ''Anime/ExcelSaga''. Since Excel and the person she's playing with are both hungry, all the items they name are food.
* Played at the Deimon Devil Bats' party to celebrate [[spoiler:their victory over the Hakushuu Dinosaurs and th efact that they made it to the Christmas Bowl]] in ''Manga/{{Eyeshield 21}}''.
* In ''Manga/XxxHolic'', Shiritori is revealed as a method for warding off evil spirits, but only after Watanuki is "tricked" into playing it while being chased by said evil spirits, making this a sort of reverse ChekhovsGun example.
* In the ''Manga/DotHackLegendOfTheTwilight'' manga, Shogo plays this with an AI. You cannot beat someone who can instantly look up every word that exists.
* One episode of ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'' has the characters split into teams and play the game with song lyrics.
* ''Manga/ImoutoWaShishunki'': Kanami starts a [[ game with her kindergarten class]] and their teacher starts to say reezun (raisin) but then she realises that means she would lose and changes it mid-word to rezubian (lesbian). The other teacher is shocked but Kanami just cheerfully points out that she loses.
* In ''Ray'', Ray's mentor is immune to mind reading - he constantly plays shiritori in his head whenever a telepath is in range.
* Spontaneously happens in an episode of ''Manga/{{Gintama}}'' when the Yorozuya trio are [[ItMakesSenseInContext playing hot potato with a time bomb.]]
* In ''Anime/FutariWaPrettyCure'', Nagisa and Mepple end up playing ''shiritori'' while hiding from the goon squad on a subway station after the villains manage to separate them from Honoka. Due to Mepple's VerbalTic ("mepo") Nagisa has to come up with words that start with "po", until Mepple tells her that "ho" is okay too. Of course, the only word Nagisa can think of is [[TearJerker "Honoka"]]... which leads to [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome major ass-kicking]].
* As with the ''Kanon'' and ''Genshiken'' examples above, in the ''Manga/AhMyGoddess'' TV series, Belldandy loses against Keiichi when she calls eggs "Tamago-san".
* In ''Manga/{{Nichijou}}'', Yuuko is particularly bad at shiritori, often falling afoul of the N rule. In a drawing-based variant while passing notes to Mio during class, she draws Franchise/{{Superman}} and notices that she will lose since it ends with N. She tries to correct this by changing it to Superman''s'', but Mio doesn't buy it and crosses out the "s" and the extra Supermen she drew in a hurry.
** A few episodes later, while the girls are trapped inside an elevator, they start playing shiritori to pass the time: Yuuko's ''first'' word is ''Mika'''n''''' (Orange). It takes their isolation-addled minds several seconds to realise that there's a problem.
* The third episode of ''Manga/DailyLivesOfHighSchoolBoys'' had this. Tadakuni, who hated that, eventually passed on several times ''completely by accident''.
* Kane, Millie and Canal play this in the ''Anime/LostUniverse'' episode "The Bathroom Disappears". After a while, they reach a point where any word Canal suggests causes the other two to come up with a word that reminds them of the fact that the bathroom has disappeared.
* The main cast of ''LightNovel/{{Toradora}}'' is playing this on the bus to the ski resort, at least until Minorin drags it way off track with yet another non sequitur.
* ''NoGameNoLife'' has ''materialization'' shiratori, where any word said materializes if it isn't there. If it is already there, then it disappears.
* One episode of ''Manga/ChroniclesOfTheGoingHomeClub'' has a very intense game between Sakura and Natsuki.
* In ''Manga/SamuraiDeeperKyo'', the last [[EliteMook Berserker]] [[FatIdiot Haira]] starts his "fight" against [[UsefulNotes/DateMasamune Bontenmaru]] with a game of Shiritori using the words as names for his attacks. At first Bontenmaru can't think names fast enough to attack himself and is at Haira's mercy, but eventually he cheats and starts using whole idioms instead of words, which ends up confusing Haira so much that he repeats himself, losing the game and receiving a MegatonPunch for his trouble.
* Various gadgets of ''Anime/Doraemon'' are based Shiritori, such as しりとり変身卵 ''shiritori henshin tamago'' allowing a user to change into various objects through the game (for example,ねこ ''neko'' Cat->こい''koi'' Koi Fish->イド''ido'' Well->ドラえもん''doraemon'').
** There's also the しりとりテレポーテーション ''shiritori terepōtēshon'' which teleports the player to various locations instead of changing forms.
* In ''Manga/ShirokumaCafe'', Panda tries to pass his time at the zoo by ringing up Polar Bear to play shiritori over the phone, starting with ''ringo'' (apple). Polar Bear, who actually works for a living, replies with ''goukon'' (group blind date) and immediately hangs up.

* One of the ''Comic/ScottPilgrim'' volumes includes a short game of this played between Scott, Ramona and Wallace. Scott is praised when he transitions VideoGame/DonkeyKong into Literature/DonQuixote, until Wallace points out there's nowhere to go from there.

* The game shows up a few times in ''Series/GoGoSentaiBoukenger'', the first and most notable instance being when four of the five team members are trapped in a snowfall in their mecha. They were so confident Satoru was going to rescue them that they figured they may as well pass the time with a game.
* ''Series/MarriedWithChildren'' has an example of the game being played with the "letter rule" in English, using place names. It gets derailed when Kelly thinks Alabama ends with R ("Alabammer").

* Mentioned in one of [[Music/{{Vocaloid}} Kagamine Rin]]'s popular songs, ''Su-su-su-suki, daaisuki":
-->''Let's play shiritori--"Shiritori", "Rin"--\\
Sorry... I really suck at this...''
** Used in the song ''[[ The Magic Word is "KDCL"]]'', where ''the lyrics themselves'' are a variation of the game. The acronym "KDCL" stands for ''kendo chōrai'' (lit. renewed efforts) as a "magic word" in the game to bypass a round.

* In one of the Houses of Salvation in ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'', a kid plays this with your onscreen character. After a few rounds, the kid gets pissy because you 'cheated' by always picking words that end with L, unless your avatar is Colette during her time as TheVoiceless, in which case the kid gets mad because she isn't playing at all.
* ''VisualNovel/{{CLANNAD}}'' (VisualNovel): Kotomi and Tomoya spontaneously break out into a game of shiritori. Tomoya loses with "rujinen" (anthropoid), but Kotomi recovers without skipping a beat with "N'Djamena" (capital of the Republic of Chad).
-->'''Tomoya:''' Anyway, you can't use N'Djamena.\\
'''Kotomi:''' ...Are you a bully?
* ''Wagyan Land'' has shiritori boss battles.
* The 7th boss song in ''{{beatmania}} IIDX 19: Lincle'' is unlocked with looped shiritori; playing sets of songs with titles that qualify (alphabet-style, according to the song's title on the machine marquee, and linking the last and first songs) gradually unlocks the song "[[ The Limbo]]".
* A ''Pokemon'' CD featuring the oddball Imakuni was a song featuring a Pokemon themed version of this game, only called "Pokemon Sandwich".
* You can sometimes eavesdrop on a pair of villagers playing this in the ''VideoGame/AnimalCrossing'' series.
* ''VisualNovel/YuminaTheEthereal'' has Yumina suggest that another party member play it with her. It never starts, likely because Yumina is infamous for being an idiot.
* In the ''VisualNovel/LittleBusters'' drama CD, Kurugaya suggests to Masato and Kengo that they play a version of shiritori revolving around names for muscles. They eagerly agree, so she invites them to begin. They try a few times to come up with something, only to embarrasedly remember that in Japanese, all muscle names end with 'n'.
* ''Videogame/SupaRoboGakuen'' sees the protagonist playing the game in English to tutor a classmate as part of a sidequest.