What Does “Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes” Mean?

8 shares, 55 points

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links for which we may make a small commission at no extra cost to you should you make a purchase.

The phrase “Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes” means that if you do something stupid, then you are going to face negative consequences. Generally, these are outcomes that could have been easily avoided, if you only acted with a bit of common sense.

Where did the phrase play stupid games win stupid prizes come from?

People have a habit of taking up phrases that they find from all over, without ever having known where it began. That said, one is really sure who exactly created the phrase “Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes”. The earliest written example that we know of comes from before the internet. It can be found in Tom Clancy’s novels from the ’80s and ’90s. However, if he is the one who made up the phrase, or found it from somewhere else, remains a mystery.

Examples of ‘Play stupid games, win stupid prizes

There are many examples of “Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes.” Here are just a few, which can range from cringe-worthy to outright dangerous.

Petting Dangerous Animals

There are many animals that you would not want as a pet and even fewer that you should pet even once. Take average gorilla. Because they seem to resemble people so much, some people will try and pet them, or take selfies with them when they see them, not realizing that they can be anywhere from 4 to 9 times stronger than your average human.

This means that they can snap your neck with very little effort. Yet there are still people who see them as more human than animals and try to take selfies with them at the worst times. And if that person or person happens to get mauled by an animal while trying to take a selfie, hey, you win stupid games, you win stupid prizes.

Horrendous Driving

Cars can be an excellent way for people to get from point A to point B. They can also be a way to do some extremely stupid things, and I’ll leave that up to your imagination!

Taunting People Stronger than You

It generally is not a good idea to taunt someone. It is even less of a good idea to taunt someone stronger than you. Not only could this person know how to fight, but they are stronger than you, which gives them even more leverage. This means that picking a fight with them may be the last thing you ever do!


There is an old saying that if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is. this goes for investing in this as well as buying something. Don’t go making silly bets on your life savings!

Ignoring Science

There is an old saying that curiosity killed the cat, and it could even potentially kill you too if you do not follow the rules of science. Messing with chemicals. for example, would be a very bad idea. Ignoring the safety warnings on labels of chemicals can be dangerous for you and others. If you drink something that specifically says “Do not drink!” then you only have yourself to blame.

Shouting at Strangers

Another bad idea would be to shout rude things at strangers. True, you may be protecting your ego, or you may be trying to tell someone that they are doing something annoying, but that does not mean that they will take to it kindly. they could want to fight you, which is a bad idea (See “Taunting People Stronger than You”). The person could also harm others around you, or even call the police. This just leads to a whole host of issues that you would not have had to do without had you just kept your mouth shut.


It should go without saying that being unfaithful to your significant other is always an absolutely terrible idea. Yet, there are those people out there who insist on doing it, and then get a surprised look on their face when their partner finds out and is angry at them, and wants to break up with them. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

If you want more then check out the Win Stupid Prizes Subreddit for some hilarious and cringe-worthy examples:


Like it? Share with your friends!

8 shares, 55 points