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Odd Man Out

one light bulb on, three off

No. of Players: 2+
Type of Game: written or spoken
What you need: pen & paper or nothing


To identify the word that does not belong in a group of words.

How to play

The gamemaster prepares a list of four words. This list can either be written down, with copies distributed to all the players. Or it can be spoken. The players attempt to identify the word that is different from the others. They must also be able to explain why the word does not belong with the others. The first player to correctly identify the word with a valid explanation wins the round and becomes the next gamemaster to prepare a list. The grand champion will be the player who wins the most rounds overall.


Round 1:

Angel says the words APPLE, POTATO, PEAR, and CHERRY.

Buster is the first to say POTATO and explains that it is a vegetable while the other three are fruits. He wins the round and becomes the next gamemaster.

Round 2:

Buster says the words WISCONSIN, ALASKA, VIRGINIA, and ALABAMA.

Chandra says WISCONSIN, because that is the only state that does not share a border with an ocean. Buster says that is true, but it is not what he was thinking of when making the list.

Dania says ALASKA because it is not part of the contiguous United States like the others. Again Buster says that is true, but it is not the reason why he made this list.

After a few more wrong guesses, Buster sees his puzzle is too hard. He explains that WISCONSIN is the odd man out because it is the only state name that is not a place name in another state (cf. Alaska, NM; Virginia, MN; Alabama, NY).

So Buster gives an easier list: ALL ABOUT EVE, JEZEBEL, THE STAR, and MILDRED PIERCE.

Dania says MILDRED PIERCE, recognizing it is the only movie that does not star Bette Davis.

Round 3:

Dania says CATTLE, CAT, OSTRICH, and DOG.

Chandra says OSTRICH because it is a bird while the others are mammals. It also only has two legs while the others have four.

And so on.

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Did you know?

All About Eve (1950) is remembered as the film that staged the spectacular comeback of Hollywood icon Bette Davis. By the late-1940s, Davis had long been cast in ingénue roles, where she played an endearingly innocent young woman, and audiences were now demanding something different. The role of Margo Channing seemed a perfect fit and she arguably stole the show from her fellow Oscar nominee, Anne Baxter, who played the titular role of Eve.

movie clapboard with words ALL ABOUT EVE

But the role of Margo was actually meant to be played by Claudette Colbert, the leading lady in It Happened One Night (1934). Apparently producer Joseph L. Mankiewicz felt Colbert was the best fit, style-wise. Yet as fate would have it, Colbert suffered a severe back injury on the set of Three Came Home (1950). This forced Colbert to drop out of the project. Davis was then brought on for what many argue was her career best performance.

old style movie camera

However, this role wasn't Davis' personal favorite. According to biographer Charlotte Chandler, when Bette Davis reflected back on her long career, she cited playing the character of Judith Traherne in the film Dark Victory (1939) as her best performance.

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