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  • 200 Horrible situation cards
  • Instructions

Object of the Game

Be the best at ranking bad events from "eh" to the absolute worst.

The Misery Index

Each card could depict a bad event that has happened or COULD happen.

As you'll see, some of the situations on the cards are pretty minor (like a bee sting), and some of them are more problematic (like getting fired).

Each card has been ranked on our Misery Index. The Misery Index is our ranking system that runs from 1 to 100.

You may be wondering: how did we rank the cards? Well, we didn't. We asked a panel of serious, highly qualified grown-ups to do it for us. Our panel includes marriage counselors, therapists, career counselors and social workers; collectively representing over 150 YEARS of clinical psychiatric experience. Trust us-they know their stuff.

They carefully evaluated each event (even the moronic ones) considering such factors as:

  • Anxiety level
  • Emotional trauma
  • Long-term psychological damage

After these were reviewed, we averaged their scores to create our Misery Index.

Card Anatomy

The cards for Stuff HappensTM aren't complicated.


First, shuffle the deck and deal three cards to each player. We don't care who deals - you decide. The remaining cards form a draw pile.

Place your cards face up on the table in front of you, ranked by the numerical order of the Misery Index.

Game Play

You are building a scale-a scale of woe. We like to call it the LANE OF PAIN.

The same player who was man enough to deal the cards gets to go first. When it's your turn, the player to your right draws a card from the draw pile. S/he reads the horrible situation aloud but doesn't reveal the misery index number.

To win the card, you don't have to guess the exact index number (which would be, like, impossible).

All you have to do is guess its proper place in your lane of pain. In other words, put it in order with the rest of your cards.

Let's say you have these 3 cards:

You are trying to win this card:

Hmm...that's a tough one. Where does it belong in your LANE OF PAIN?

If you think pepper spray in eyes is LESS AWFUL than a disastrous haircut, indicate area A.

If you think it falls BETWEEN disastrous haircut and root canal, indicate B.

If you think it is WORSE than a root canal, but NOT AS BAD as being locked out of your house while naked, indicate C.

If you think it is WORSE than all three, indicate D.

Drumroll please.

Pepper spray in eyes has a Misery Rating of 26, so the answer is:

B: between disastrous haircut and root canal

  • If you guessed correctly, you win the card. It remains, face up, in your lane of pain and your turn is then over.

  • If you guessed incorrectly, the player to your left can "steal" the card by guessing where it fits in his/ her LANE OF PAIN. If that player misses, play proceeds clockwise around the table with each player guessing until someone guesses correctly and wins the card.

If you make it all the way around the table, and back to the person who originally read the card, and none of the players guessed correctly, well then... you guys obviously suck. Place the card in the discard pile.

As additional cards are won, the gaps between the cards in your LANE OF PAIN narrow and the game becomes more challenging.

Assume the Worst

When considering a bad situation, you should assume the worst possible, yet still plausible, scenario.

If a card says "Phone falls in toilet", don't assume that you fished it out, did the whole rice thing, and miraculously it still works. No. Your phone is ruined, all your data is lost, and you don't have insurance. Way to go.

End of the Game

The first player to accumulate 10 bad event cards wins. Congratulations!

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