Yes, it’s true, that us 90s kids like to go on our fair share of nostalgia trips. 

But that’s because our childhood was truly made up of some of the most amazing innovations ever – like the ultimate game to pass time, bring out our competitive spirits, and ‘sharpen’ our vocab skills, Name Place Animal Thing. 


If you think about it, Name Place Animal Thing was actually a pretty simple game. But somehow, from the second we thought of a letter to the frantic rush to be the first one to write all categories down, this game turned us into the fiercest of competitors ever. 


It was the perfect way to while away time in class – especially if you did not want to pay attention to what the teacher was saying (which was me pretty much my whole school life). 

And the best part was, any time you thought the teacher was checking up on you, you could pretend to be scribbling notes. 


Also, how easy was it to begin a game of Name Place Animal Thing! You could forget cards, mess up the remote console for 99999 in 1 video game, lose the dice to Snakes & Ladder, or break the pawns for Ludo. 


But there will always be a piece of paper and a pen at home. And that’s literally all it took to start a game of Name Place Animal Thing. 


Plus, my nerdy self really relished in learning and showing off new words in the game. So yes, I was one of those kids who’d purposely select Y and write ‘Yemen’ under ‘Place’ with a smirk (thanks Chandler!). 


*Yugoslavia was for novices.*

This was also the game where I first tested my creativity – by making up ‘names’. 


(Pretty sure they came up with the name Oleksander, in the movie Queen, after someone could not come up with a ‘name’ under the letter O.)

My friends and I even used Name Place Animal Thing for ‘signaling’ our crushes. You know where we’d purposely select the letter from which our crushes’ name started because hormonal teenager brains have zero swag!


*I don’t think ‘K’ ever got how special he was to me. Sigh!*

Whether it was a long train ride, a too-hot-to-go-out-and-play day during the summer vacations, a forced meeting with ‘family friends’ kids’ or a free school period, Name Place Animal Thing always came to the rescue. 


And even today, I’d not say no to a quick game. I have way more words in my vocabulary now!