The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Dysfunctional Family Fun: Bad Behavior Bingo

Well here we are, Thanksgiving Day.

A few more hours and we’ll be sitting down for the most anticipated meal of the year. Hopefully your extensive Turkey Day preparations are paying off and you aren’t too stressed out. Maybe you even have a minute to relax before your crazy Uncle Boom-Boom arrives and that’s why you’re scanning the Internetz for a last minute chuckle to pull you through.

You’re in the right place, darlin’.

I just have one thing to say about your crazy relatives: if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Seriously, this much I know. Life is so much easier if you can just laugh at the situations that used to frustrate the hell out of you. We have NO control over anyone else, and if you’re like me, only somewhat limited control over yourself; so pour a drink and yuck it up, Amigo.

One of the readers of my weekly column In the Powder Room gave me this great idea a couple weeks ago: Bad Behavior Bingo. I thought it was BRILLIANT. After 41 years of Thanksgiving shenanigans, I can pretty safely predict some of the egregious behavior we’ll be seeing here today…why not turn it into a fun game?

The link below is a free printable I created so my Aunt and I could giggle about all our guests today and not let the crazy get us down. It’s a Google document…hopefully you can open it and print it out. This is my first time doing a printable, so cut me a frickin’ break if it doesn’t work, m’kay?

Just mark off the squares as you witness any of the listed bad behaviors. Don’t cheat and tell any of your guests about the game in advance! It’s a secret! You certainly don’t want Cousin Jeb purposefully starting a fist fight just to help you get an extra square marked off.

Bad Behavior Bingo

Quick disclaimer so my husband’s family doesn’t disown me, I have never seen, nor do I ever expect to see, a member of his family ignite their farts. That one came from one of my kin. Fine, several of my kin. We’re classy like that.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris. All rights reserved.


  1. Hmmm, now what would one of your relatives do to me to be considered “animal cruelty?” I am a very sweet goat and no one would dare be cruel to me. Abby yes but she has horns.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours and I am very glad you are my friend even if you are not a goat.
    Oooops. I guess you get to check one off already.

  2. This may call for some fake poo on the toilet.

    • Hey, Rootietoot! Hope you survived your MIL today and all her shenanigans. Thank you so much for the Bad Behavior Bingo idea! My cousins and I have been having a blast with it. You are a genius!

      Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂

  3. I’m surprised I didn’t see ‘turkey slap’ in your Bingo game. LOL Happy Thanksgiving Iris. I’m keeping your bingo game for Christmas. Even though we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in Australia, one thing I know for sure. We have the same ‘problems’ at Christmas time with family.

    Anne @ Domesblissity xx

    • Oh Lord, with all that penal colony blood in your family trees, your Aussie bad behaviors probably make my family look like a bunch of nuns! Hahahaha! Just kidding, Anne. Happy Thanksgiving honey!

  4. You forgot the Drunken Re-telling of Family Skeleton in the Closet. That’s always my favorite. Or Drunken Re-telling of Your Family Member’s Secret, that you swore you’d never reveal.

    You should do a wedding version. 🙂

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  5. Going to check out the game now even though we’re already home. Nothing bad happened, sometimes I hate my family. I do hope there’s some sort of extra credit if the cops show up…

  6. Bingo! I got a Bingo! (Before anyone even showed up, with just me in the kitchen…wait, what?)

  7. We hosted Thanksgiving yesterday, of course, not being born and (in) bred American, I don’t think it was probably nearly as much fun as yours 😉

    • Well, I guess that depends on your definition of “fun.” It would probably be way more fun if it wasn’t so frightening to be genetically related to these people.

  8. Well darn, I saw this a day late and it’s too bad because I think I would have won! Okay, so we’re *refined* enough that we don’t throw (physical) punches or do pull-the-finger, but we scored super high in other areas. Thanks, Iris, for once again making a silk purse from a sow’s ear!

    • Darn Liza – that is my fault. I was having all kinds of technical difficulties and couldn’t post this earlier. But maybe you can use it for Christmas. We didn’t have any fist fights or farts this year either, but we definitely made up for it in other areas. Happy Thanksgiving, dearie!

  9. If your grid had included:
    “Completely neglects to monitor/modulate feral children” and “Neglects to notify host of end of toilet paper roll”
    then I probably would have wrangled me a bingo this year.

    Unfortunately us Tribe members don’t have X-mas to look forward to for a bingo rematch, so I’ll have to wait until Passover for another shot at the title. Typically though, most of those faux-pas revolve around constipation from eating Matzoh all week and drinking wine with enough sugar in it to put down a bull rhino…

    • Ha!!! That gives me a great idea for whole series of other posts about feral children and hosting dos/don’ts. I have a lot to say about fully stocking guest bathrooms before you invite people over!!

      Oh, and sorry about the feral children. I was cooking! Does that count as a good excuse?

  10. Would it be wrong to play this with my exceptionally perceptive 14-year-old daughter who shares my sense of humor at the Christmas gathering? It’s not like she doesn’t observe most of these behaviours year after year anyway, so we might as well have a little secret fun with it, right?

    Also, thank you so much for sharing Carla’s Corn Casserole. Made it yesterday to take to a family gathering and it smelled so delicious when I took it out of the oven (like popcorn) that we had to sneak a little piece (which turned into a whole row). Son wasn’t crazy about it but daughter described it as a perfect comfort food. Which it is! So much so that we were tempted to serve ourselves up some big bowls full and plant ourselves in front of the TV (NCIS marathon) and skip the family dinner.

    • Absolutely not wrong, Trace! I let my 12 year old in on the fun. He didn’t understand some of the items in the game, but he definitely understands the ones about manners and bodily functions and punctuality, etc. I think kids love to feel like they are in on some of our secrets. And this game could be the basis for some great parenting: “don’t do these things!”

      So glad you enjoyed Carla’s Corn Casserole! It was the only thing my little Bucket Head ate that night. Love the idea of a big bowl of it with a TV marathon! 🙂

  11. hahaha This would be useful at my family holiday gatherings. I’m pretty sure I would have BINGO within 10 minutes.
    Unfortunately, my in-laws are supremely polite people, so Thanksgiving was not a shit-show this year. How disappointing 😉

  12. 14.
    So it was a quiet dinner as usual.

  13. Just now seeing this. Lord I think I scored a blackout bingo with the exception of an ignited fart!

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