The Root’s State of the Union Drinking Game


If you’re like me, it’s hard to watch a man who looks like a microwaved circus peanut stand in front of a microphone and string together lies for an hour. It has been a decade since we last heard a white State of the Union, so you’re probably going to need something to help you get through the pimp Don “Magic” Con’s address to the nation.


I suggest alcohol.

The Root’s IT staff has entered every speech Donald Trump has ever made into our proprietary software that analyzes mumble rap and D’Angelo songs (stop acting like you know what he’s saying), including Trump’s speech for the 1982 Nobel Prize for racism. The predictive technology produces an algorithm that created 10 rules based on what the president is most likely to say.


Whenever anything on this list happens, simply take the assigned number of shots. If you pay close attention to the SOTU, you will get so drunk during the drinking game that you won’t actually remember the speech. That’s how you win.

1. Trump goes off teleprompter. Take two shots.

The reason y’all’s president eschews teleprompters has nothing to do with authenticity or his ability to speak off the cuff. The truth is, Donald Trump reads on a fifth-grade level. And not even a smart fifth-grader. I’m talking about the guy in the fifth grade who still uses the thick pencils and writes on the beige paper with the dotted lines that can only be used in landscape orientation.

I know it might seem far-fetched, but when you think about it, it makes more sense. That’s why he believes Puerto Rico has its own president and thought Andrew Jackson sang during the Civil War with Tito, Jermaine, Michael and Marlon.


2. Mike Pence creeps you out. Take one shot.

The vice president is always seated behind the chief executive during the SOTU and usually sits stone-faced. Mike Pence, on the other hand, alway has a look on his face like Roy Moore at a quinceañera. Never before has anyone’s resting face resembled this combination of placid earnestness and “I’d love to bury my nose in the crack of your buttocks.”


Pence will probably lead fewer standing ovations than previous veeps because staring at all that junk in Trump’s trunk might make Pence’s flaccid man meat slightly tumescent. I’m not saying Pence is gay, but the last politician who opposed homosexual relationships as much as Pence does was discovered in a Minneapolis airport bathroom stall displaying his “wide stance.”

3. Trump says something that actually makes sense. Take 10 shots.

I’m pretty sure this won’t happen.

4. They cut to a sympathetic figure in the audience. Three shots.

This always happens. During President Barack Obama’s addresses, they would cut to someone who received cancer treatments because of the Affordable Care Act or an immigrant student who was accepted to Harvard. They’ll do the same for Trump.


With Trump, it will likely be an entrepreneur who was helped by the tax bill—probably one of those small-business men like the president of Exxon Mobil or the CEO of Walmart. Perhaps the Trump administration will invite the parents of someone who was stabbed by an illegal immigrant.

Speaking of immigration ...

5. Trump vilifies a group of Americans. Shots vary.

Use this handy guide:

Mexicans criminals—one shot.

Muslim terrorists—two shots.

Anyone from Chicago—three shots.

White supremacists—1,202 shots (don’t worry; this is unlikely to happen).

6. He takes credit for something he did not do. One shot.

He might say something that is patently false, like how he passed more legislation than any other president or how he had the largest electoral victory in the history of elections. But this category also applies to him taking credit for things that he has nothing to do with.


If he explains how black unemployment is at its lowest of all time, how he defeated ISIS or how he knows how to do the Wobble, we know Obama did those things. But fuck it—this tequila isn’t going to drink itself.

7. He mentions someone who isn’t even there. Two shots.

Every time he mentions Hillary Clinton or Obama, drink up. I know Clinton is basically just a private citizen, but Trump brings up that old shit more than Ja Rule brings up 50 Cent.


And he won’t give Obama credit for anything. If Obama cured cancer tomorrow, Trump would tweet:

NOT an actual tweet (Michael Harriot/The Root)
NOT an actual tweet (Michael Harriot/The Root)

8. Melania’s face has the total opposite expression of Trump’s kids. Take one shot.

During every SOTU, the cameras show the family of the president smiling as they watch the speech. But Melania Trump always looks like the woman in the movie who answers the door when the police come to check on a disturbance call and she’s desperately trying to signal to the officers that there’s trouble but the kidnapper is hiding behind the door with a gun pointed at the heroine’s head so she pretends everything’s just fine but you can see the fear and distress in her eyes. I know that’s a very specific analogy, but it is also correct.


Trump’s kids, on the other hand, think their father can walk on water and actually believe that he is 6 feet 3 inches, 239 pounds. They look at him with pride and awe, except for Baron. Baron always looks like he left a game of “Mario Kart” on pause and he has the Wii controller in his pocket.

9. You cuss. Take one shot.

There will be a point in the speech where Trump either goes off script (two shots) or reads the teleprompter incorrectly. When he speaks like this, Trump often descends into a word salad that doesn’t make sense, prompting you to say, “I don’t know what the fuck that means.” Or he might say something so racist, you may not believe it (No. 5—shots vary), and you say, “Damn, that was racist.”


Take one shot for each cussword. If you’re watching with friends, take a shot for each time they cuss.

10. You cry. Take two shots.

Because you wish you had a president who spoke in complete sentences again. Because you know we’re going to have a nuclear war. Because the Republicans are going to sit there and cheer so hard that you realize Trump will never be impeached. Because you know he might be re-elected. Because a third of the country thinks he’s doing a good job.


Because you’re drunk as fuck and you’re thinking about drunk-texting Obama: “WYD?”

Because you realize the actual state of our union ...


World-renowned wypipologist. Getter and doer of "it." Never reneged, never will. Last real negus alive.

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How many shots if you just aren’t going to watch it? I got better things to do like watch Black Lightning. Yall will inform me tomorrow and Twitter will give me all I need to know during the commercials of Black Lightning.