Gripes about “Bananagrams”

Perhaps you have heard about the game Bananagrams.  If you have not, I will explain it to you (I will actually explain it to you regardless of whether or not you have heard about it).

Bananagrams is a word game.  It involves having players place letter tiles together to make words faster than their opponents.  Its name is a portmanteau of the words “banana” and “anagrams,” and the tiles come in a bag that is shaped and colored like a banana.  It is at this point where virtually any relatedness to bananas ends.  There is literally no connection between any game mechanic and the yellow, elongate fruit after which it is named (the “anagrams” part isn’t completely accurate either).  Sure, their are arbitrarily-named commands such as “Peel!” that players must yell to denote the fact that they have run out of letters and must make everyone draw another, or “Split!” which is when they, I don’t know, cut something in half.

That is IT.  There is absolutely nothing left in this game that has anything to do with bananas.  This wouldn’t be such a big deal if it wasn’t being sold for $14.99.  You know what this game should be called?  “Letters.”  It should be called “Letters” because that’s all this game is.  They’re selling the fucking alphabet for $15.  What a crime.  “Want some tiles with letters on them?  Don’t even bother to get your old Scrabble game out of the closet and recycle those, just send us your $15 and we will deliver some to you in a banana shaped vessel.”  Good job America.


What a bunch of bull shit.  Please don’t be conned into buying this.  You could easily make your own, which would involve, I don’t know, writing some letters on a piece of paper, cutting them up, and then placing them in a bag.  You could even make it into a fun arts and crafts project for your kids.  That’s my Martha Stewart Home Living Tip for the day.  At least Scrabble had a scoring system.

People tell me I should love this game.  “Oh Mike, you’re such an English person, you should play Bananagrams.”  Yes, this is true, I like the English language.  I also like not being a dumbass and allowing borderline con-artists to keep taking money from poor saps.  (Actually I kind of do like that.  Maybe I should reconsider my stance on all this.)

I’ve been told that the creators have started making spinoff games involving other fruits to mooch off the success of their potassium-filled counterpart.  After doing some research, I’ve found out that there also exists “Appletters” and “Pairs in Pears.”  Both are generally the same concept; it’s a bunch of letter tiles packed in a fruit.  Pairs in Pears is actually somewhat justifiable, with there being four types of letters, something like solids, stripes, dots, and something else.  Whatever.  You could still make that on your own if you were dedicated, but we’ll let this one pass.  Appletters, on the other hand, is the same exact shit as Bananagrams with different rules.  They should just go ahead and sell you an instruction manual, because that’s all you’re getting if you already had Bananagrams.

If anyone has bought both Bananagrams and Appletters, shame on you.

Shame on you.