How to Play Bananagrams Party Edition - Instructions
Need printable instructions? Download the free pdf here.
Setting it up
There are 14 Bananagrams party tiles with icons. Put them to one side for now (we’ll look at them shortly). Meanwhile, place all 144 letter tiles face down in the middle of the table. These form the BUNCH.
Each player now takes their starting tiles from the BUNCH.
Next, make sure everyone’s familiar with the party tiles by holding each one up and explaining its special power! Then add the party tiles (face down) to the BUNCH, and mix them in thoroughly. We suggest playing with ALL of the party tiles, but you can use as many or as few as you like.
Playing Bananagrams Party Edition
Object: Be the first to use all your letters.
To start, any player calls out “SPLIT!” Everyone now turns over their tiles and races to arrange them in their own connecting, intersecting word grid. No one takes turns; play is simultaneous and independent. You can make words horizontally or vertically so that they read left to right or top to bottom. You can rearrange your grid as often as you like.
Whenever a player uses the last of their letters, that person calls out “PEEL!” Everyone—including the one saying “PEEL”—now takes another tile from the BUNCH to fit into their grid.
Any time you get stuck with a tricky letter, you can say “DUMP!” and put it back, face down,in the BUNCH. However, you MUST take three more tiles in exchange! You may DUMP as often as you like; it has no effect on other players. You can’t DUMP if there are fewer than three letters left in the BUNCH.
When you draw a party tile from the BUNCH, you MUST use it immediately. Some tiles have one-off actions, while others continue until the end of the hand. When an action is complete, put the tile to the side of your grid, out of play. Party tiles are described in detail on the back.
Winning Bananagrams Party Edition
If the BUNCH has fewer tiles than there are players when you put the last letter in your grid, you don’t say “PEEL”, you say “BANANAS!” Other players now inspect your grid. If it contains a misspelled word, proper noun, abbreviation or other unacceptable word, the others call out “ROTTEN BANANA!” and you’re out of the game. ALL of a Rotten Banana’s letters and party tiles are returned to the BUNCH face down.
Play now continues for everyone else until the BUNCH again depletes, and someone else calls out “BANANAS!” When someone says “BANANAS!”, and has an acceptable grid, they become TOP BANANA, and win!
The Special Party Tiles
This video shows the special tiles in use!
Starting with the effects that continue for the entire hand, here’s how the party tiles work. With all but two party tiles, you pick another player to carry out the action. Place the party tiles in front of them and announce the action; they must respond to its power immediately. If two or more players draw party tiles at the same time—act quickly—whoever calls it first goes first.
SPELL IT Place this in front of someone and, instead of saying “PEEL!”, they spend the rest of the hand spelling it out loud, “P-E-E-L”, one letter at a time.
FLAMINGO Pick a player to stand on one foot for the remainder of the hand.
SINGLE-HANDED This slows your opponent right down! The recipient uses only one hand to arrange their tiles.
ANNOUNCER The person to whom you give this tile subsequently announces—out loud —every word that they place in their grid!
POUCH HEAD The player you choose wears the banana pouch on their head for the rest of the hand.
THUMBLESS Choose a player. They can’t use their thumbs for the rest of the game.
THE RE-GIFTER This is the first party tile with a one-off action. If you draw it, pick any three letters—either from your grid, or from your loose tiles—and give them to another player.
THE THIEF This lets you steal almost any tile from another player! Pick a letter that holds together their entire grid, or take one that you really need! You can take one tile from their grid or from their pile, or you can steal the SHIELD, or a BOMB. If you have a letter stolen from your grid, you MUST repair your grid before peeling.
TIMEOUT When you give your opponent this tile, they must take a 10-second timeout! They must count, out loud—“One banana, two banana…”, and so on—right up to ten. A timed-out player continues to take new letters when others call “PEEL!”, even though they cannot build on their grid.
SWITCHEROO Leaving your tiles exactly as they are, choose another player and immediately switch seats with them! You don’t just swap places and grids though. If the other player’s obeying a party tile, you now inherit their action, and vice versa.
TAKE A LAP Whoever gets this handed to them must take a lap round the table! But hurry, lap takers still need to pick up new tiles if anyone calls “PEEL!”
BOMBASTIC Okay, so there are two bomb tiles! If you draw just one, nothing happens and you simply set it down in front of you. If you ALSO draw the second bomb tile though, the power immediately activates! You may completely demolish another player’s grid so that they need to build a brand-new one! Be careful though, payback is inevitable!
THE SHIELD If you get this tile, place it in front of you. This tile protects you from ALL party tiles—except BOMBASTIC—and remains active throughout the hand. Unfortunately, it’s a small shield so it can be stolen with the THIEF!
PARTY POOPER PENALTY If you catch a player not following a rule, or see that they aren’t playing a party tile when they should be, then you can call out “PARTY POOPER!” That player must immediately take two letters from the BUNCH. If there’s only one left, they take that one. If no tiles are left in the BUNCH, lucky them!