Tabletop Game: Cards Against Humanity
A party game for horrible people.Cards Against Humanity
is what happens when you make a party game out of an unholy union of Apples To Apples
, Mad Libs
, and Refuge in Audacity
Players start with 10 white cards, each with a different noun or gerund verb (one that ends in -ing) on them. The judge—officially known as the "Card Czar"—plays a black card, which has a question or a statement with at least one blank. The players then play a white card (or cards) for the judge to evaluate, and the judge gets to choose who is the winner. Players draw back up to 10 cards, and the next person in rotation judges.
Much like Apples To Apples
, there is a theoretical win condition, but it's frequently played as an exercise to see who can be the most hilariously inappropriate.The cards can be downloaded for free to print yourself
, and are also available for purchase on actual card stock. There's also a web version that's free to play,
which includes the expansions.
At Gen Con 2013, the CAH creators hosted a competition reality show called Tabletop Deathmatch
for up-and-coming dev teams, with a first printing of their game as a reward. The show was judged by a panel of industry professionals and produced by LoadingReadyRun
, and airs here
Funnily enough, Apples To Apples has its own competitor - Rotten Apples.
- Black Comedy: Much of the appeal of the game. In fact, some of the white cards are perfectly innocuous things (like Heartwarming Orphans) just to bring how terrible some of the other cards are into sharp relief, as well as to highlight how off-color some players' senses of humor are.
- Body Horror: Some cards are rather gruesome.
- Bribing Your Way to Victory: Like Apples To Apples, "playing to the judge" is highly encouraged.
- Butt Monkey: Two of the biggest and most consistent ones are Glenn Beck and Henry Goto.
- Canada, Eh?: Has a whole pack of its own.
- Crosses the Line Twice: The entire point. If you're easily offended, this is not the game for you.
- Department of Redundancy Department: It's possible to do this, and depending on the Card Czar, can sometimes lead to an automatic win once played.
- Double Entendre: The bigger, blacker box, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin and also comes with a small expansion pack about boxes.
- Easter Egg: Believe it or not, one exists. If you have "The Bigger, Blacker Box", tear away at the top of the lid. There is a white card that says "The biggest, blackest dick."
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The "Bullshit" pack distributed in late 2014 contained literal bull excrement. Lots of people bought it thinking it was an ExpansionPack, allowing the company to make $180,000.
- Expansion Pack: Five so far, not including the 2012 Holiday Pack, the bonus cards that come with The Bigger Blacker Box, a handful of limited-edition cards given away at events like PAX or as part of the 2013 "12 Days of Bullshit" promotion, and a third-party expansion called Crabs Adjust Humidity which has three packs. Various browser-based online clones have their own expansion packs custom-tailored to specific fandoms.
- House Rules: The instructions feature a list of house rules for the players to potentially include.
- Game Mod: The base set and expansions include blanks for making up new cards.
- God Is Dead: This is the name for one of the suggested house rules.
Play without a Card Czar. Each player picks his or her favorite card each round. The card with the most points wins the round.
- House Rules: The ability to pass on a turn and instead discard as many cards as you like and then draw back up to a full hand is a common one.
- I'm Going to Hell for This: A very common player reaction.
- Inherently Funny Words: Hilariously deconstructed. While the words are inherently funny, the situation they are involved in is not.
White Card: Helplessly giggling at the mention of Hutus and Tutsis.
- Large Ham: It's almost mandatory for the Card Czar to read certain cards in a hammy manner. Famous hams Nicolas Cage, William Shatner, and Christopher Walken each have a white card as well.
- Minimalism: From purely a design standpoint—the cards are either white with black Helvetica letters, or black with white Helvetica letters. This is to bring the game's focus sharply on the content of the cards themselves, which are frequently anything but minimalist.
- The Nineties: The theme of one card pack.
- Nobody Poops: Averted in the official rules. Players decide who is the first Card Czar based on who pooped the most recently.
- Random Number God: Called "Rando Cardrissian" in this game. Should you choose to have Rando as a "player", "he" gets a pile of cards that only "he" can draw from. Quoth the rules:
[I]f [Rando] wins the game, all players go home in a state of everlasting shame.
- Refuge in Audacity: If there is anything that someone will not want insulted, it'll be put on a white card so that folks can come up with terrible ways to discuss it.
- Refuge in Vulgarity: Several of the cards are very scatological and/or contain sexual themes that can be disgusting or horrific. The "Bullshit" pack was literally bull excrement, too.
- Serious Business: This is the name for one of the suggested house rules. It's also an example, in the sense that it adds what some people would consider an unneeded layer of complexity to the game.
Instead of picking a favorite card each round, the Card Czar ranks the top three in order. The best card gets 3 Awesome Points, the second-best gets 2, and the third gets 1. Keep a running tally of the score, and at the end of the game, the winner is declared the funniest, mathematically speaking.
Tropes referenced by card text
open/close all folders
- Abusive Parents: "Abusive Fathers", "Daddy's Belt".
- Action Girl: "Strong female characters".
- All of the Other Reindeer: "Public ridicule".
- Amazon Brigade: "A tribe of warrior women".
- Asian Airhead: "Asians who aren't good at math".
- Bears Are Bad News: "BEARS!"
- Bestiality Is Depraved: "Firing a rifle into the air while balls deep in a squealing hog."
- Black Is Bigger in Bed: "A big black dick", "A bigger blacker dick", "The biggest blackest dick."
- But We Used a Condom: "A defective condom".
- Church of Happyology: One white card consists only of the religion's name.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Most cards that aren't vulgar or offensive are just plain bizarre. Examples include "The mere concept of Applebee's.", "A good sniff.", "Synergistic management solutions.", "Stephen Hawking talking dirty." and "A monkey smoking a cigar."
- Compensating for Something: "Overcompensation".
- Cure Your Gays: "Praying the gay away."
- Cyborg: "Cybernetic enhancements", "RoboCop"
- Deep South: "The South."
- Everything's Worse with Bees: "Bees?"
- Fanservice Faux Fight: "Sexy pillow fights."
- God: "God."
- Godwin's Law: Four separate cards: "Nazis.", "MechaHitler.", "Auschwitz.", and "Poorly-timed Holocaust jokes."
- Groin Attack: Some cards invoke this.
- I Love the Dead: "Necrophilia."
- Incendiary Exponent: "Being on fire."
- The Klan: "The KKK"
- The Loins Sleep Tonight: "Erectile dysfunction."
- Magical Negro: "Advice from a wise, old black man. "
- Master Race: "The Master Race."
- Nocturnal Emission: "Wet dreams."
- Noodle Implements: Beyond the illogic behind some possible plays, some white cards suggest these even without further contextualization, such as "An oversized lollipop.", "A stray pube.", "A bag of magic beans.", "A really cool hat.", and "That thing that electrocutes your abs."
- Noodle Incident: ... and by extension, some of these as well.
- Nose Nuggets: "Boogers."
- Nuclear Option: "A thermonuclear detonation."
- Oedipus Complex: "An Oedipus complex."
- Pants-Free: "Not wearing pants."
- Parental Abandonment: "Dead parents."
- Police Brutality: "Police brutality."
- Product Placement: "The Tempur Pedic® Swedish Sleep System™.", "Five-Dollar Footlongs™.", "Go-Gurt®.", "Lunchables™.", "Adderall™.", "A Bop It™.", "Fancy Feast®.", "Domino's™ Oreo™ Dessert Pizza.", "Viagra®.", "Pabst Blue Ribbon.", "Cards Against Humanity."
- Raging Stiffie: "An erection that lasts longer than four hours."
- Riding into the Sunset: "Riding off into the sunset."
- Running Gag: The core cardset includes "A Big, Black Dick" and one of the expansions follows up with "A Bigger, Blacker Dick." Of course when the Bigger Blacker Box came out it included a (foil-embossed) card for "The Biggest, Blackest Dick."
- Satan: "The Devil himself."
- Self-Deprecation: "Cards Against Humanity." and "A bunch of idiots playing a card game instead of interacting like normal humans."
- Sideboob: "Tasteful sideboob."
- Slipping a Mickey: "Roofies."
- Stupid Jetpack Hitler: "Mecha-Hitler."
- Teen Pregnancy: "Teenage pregnancy."
- Teeny Weenie: "A micropenis."
- Temporal Paradox: "A time travel paradox."
- Thanks for the Mammary: "Copping a feel."
- Too Smart for Strangers: "Stranger danger."
- Weight Woe: "Bingeing and purging."
- What an Idiot: "Unfathomable stupidity."
- You Have to Have Jews: "Jews." and "Jew-fros."
- Your Mom: "My mom."
- Apocalypse How: "This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but with _____."
- Applied Mathematics: "_____ + _____ = _____."
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: "When I'm a billionaire, I will erect a 50-foot statue to commemorate _____."
- Fallen States of America: "In the distant future, historians will agree that _____ marked the beginning of America's decline."
- Haiku: "Make a haiku."
- You must play three white cards, with each white card forming one line of your haiku.
- One house rule suggested by the official rules is to save this card for the very last round. This is generally a good idea, partly because it makes for a nice climax to the game, and partly because it's much easier to make a haiku in this game when you can plan for it in advance.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: "I drink to forget ________."
- In a World: "In a world ravaged by _____, our only solace is _____."
- Lifetime Movie of the Week: "Lifetime® presents _____, the story of _____."
- Mandatory Twist Ending: "In M. Night Shyamalan's new movie, Bruce Willis discovers that _____ had really been _____ all along."
- Missing Steps Plan: "Step 1: ________. Step 2: ________. Step 3: Profit!"
- Mushroom Samba: "When I was tripping on acid, _____ turned into _____."
- No Indoor Voice: "BILLY MAYS HERE FOR _____."
- Slippery Slope Fallacy: "_____ is a slippery slope that leads to _____."
- They Fight Crime: "What's the next superhero/sidekick duo?" Given the very random nature of this game, answers to this card will almost certainly result in this.
- Villain Ball: "But before I kill you, Mr. Bond, I must show you _____."
- We Will Spend Credits in the Future: "In 1,000 years, when paper money is a distant memory, how will we pay for goods and services?"
- World War Whatever: "I don't know with what weapons World War III will be fought with, but World War IV will be fought with ______."
Both black and white cards