“Guess Who?” isn’t just for kids. The trick to Adult Guess Who? is in the questions. “Does he have facial hair?” “Does she have brown eyes?” No. That’s kid stuff. Adult Guess Who is all about the character traits: “Does he look like he’d work in I.T.?” “Does she Facebook-stalk her ex kind of a lot?” “Is he really into Jesus, but probably doesn’t feel great about Catholics?” That’s how you play it as an adult.
To help you out, here are my unofficial character bios for our favorite Hasbro characters:
Occupation: children’s’ basketball league coordinator
Character traits: Considers himself rebellious (for instance, he is growing out a Mohawk that he had cut during his 2-week vacation to a “Sandals” resort).
Fun Fact: Recipient of the first-ever mustache transplant, his facial hair used to be the eyebrows of a 43-year-old single mother.
Occupation: “Odd Jobs” (read: sometimes helps his friend cook meth)
Fun Fact: Not allowed to live within 200 yards of an elementary school.
Occupation: Owns a start-up business putting on “princess parties” for 3-8 year-old girls
Skills: Cheerily diffusing awkward and heated situations; good with glitter and tulle
Character traits: Occasional crippling depression
Fun Fact: Yes, her name is Anita. No, she’s not Hispanic.
Occupation: Small-law attorney (mostly transactional stuff)
Skills: Can always correctly “Guess Who” in three or fewer questions.
Character traits: So organized that you kind of hate her.
Fun Fact: Yes, her name is Anne, yes, Anita would be the Spanish diminutive, Yes, Anne IS Hispanic, No, she and Anita don’t think it’s THAT funny.
Skills: Military strategy; driving in snow.
Character traits: Funniest character on the board.
Occupation: “The Wind” in the corner of an antique map
Character traits: blustery; long-winded.
Fun Fact: Met Anita, Philip, Robert, and Susan at a Rosacea support group. It’s a real problem.
Occupation: Your Uncle
Skills: Encyclopedic knowledge of whatever your nearest NFL team is
Character traits: None, really.
Fun Fact: If he tries to smile too big, he has to really work to push it past his mustache.
Occupation: Runs a scrapbooking blog
Skills: Scrapbooking, mostly.
Character traits: Is “scrapbooking” a trait? Then that.
Fun Fact: A real bitch.
Occupation: Captain of a Revolutionary War reenactment regiment
Skills: Proficient in late-18th century military slang.
Fun Fact: Not a cop.
Occupation: Former child actor, when he went by “Frankie Jake Bartlett” because Frans Johann Schumacher was reading too “ethnic.”
Skills: Managing his residuals
Character traits: Just really, really charming.
Fun Fact: Best buds with Susan, who sings “Frans a-make her dance!” whenever she sees him. It’s sort of their thing.
Skills: Well, nothing marketable in our post-recession economy, that’s for certain.
Character traits: Downtrodden, with a streak of almost heartbreaking optimism.
Fun Fact: There hasn’t been a “fun” fact about George for the past 22-months, I’m afraid (that’s when the layoff happened).
Occupation: I don’t know, probably something in finance
Skills: Amateur boxing
Fun Fact: Has broken his nose 3 or 4 times.
Occupation: Software design
Skills: Computer stuff
Character traits: Gentle. I’d say gentle.
Fun Fact: Really hates when people ask “Does he have a butt chin?” or “Does he have Sally Jessie Raphael glasses?”
Occupation: High school French teacher.
Skills: Verb conjugations.
Character traits: Romantic (has been chasing Philip since 1982)
Fun Fact: Has never been to France.
Occupation: Flag waver at roadside construction sites
Character traits: Very self-conscious (he grew his mustache to draw attention from his truly gigantic mouth, only to find that it came in lopsided)
Fun Fact: envies Charles and Alfred for their full, symmetrical mustaches.
Occupation: Family therapist
Skills: Reframing Guess Who? questions as “I feel” statements.
Fun Fact: has worn the same pair of glasses since kindergarten
Skills: Classical pianist
Character traits: More oblivious than seems probable (he likes Maria back, since ’87 or so).
Fun Fact: Prematurely bald. Had beard hair transplanted to his head, resulting in an entirely seamless head hair-facial hair experience
Occupation: Plays in a children’s folk group with his wife and sister-in-law
Skills: Writing songs about such varied topics as healthy snacks, bath time, and sharing
Character traits: Slyly passive-aggressive, so that you can never quite come up with a concrete reason to dislike him.
Fun Fact: has had a serious falling out with Sharon, Lois, and Bram, who “stole his sound”
Occupation: Funeral director
Skills: Funeral planning, lifting (subs in as a pall bearer in a pinch)
Character traits: Empathy
Fun Fact: That’s just his empathy face. He’s actually pretty happy.
Occupation: Amateur painter, but really living off some savvy real estate investments
Skills: Can really read the market
Character traits: Judicious and detail-oriented
Fun Fact: Made entirely out of circles.
Occupation: Studio musician
Skills: Anarchy, zines (early member of the Riot Grrrl movement during her college days)
Character traits: Pretty quiet until you get to know her
Fun Fact: There is a fairly heated debate among the other characters (“board members,” they call themselves) as to whether Susan has white or platinum blonde hair.
Occupation: Sociology professor
Skills: Can calculate any standard deviation in his head in under 2 minutes.
Character traits: Clear and helpful, according to the scale on Rate My Professors (no chili pepper.. yet).
Fun Fact: He and Paul have been together since grad school.
Occupation: Retired Dentist
Skills: Has taken up balloon animal-making in his retirement (always a hit at family parties!)
Character traits: Pretty genial and even-tempered, on the whole.
Fun Fact: Flips. The fuck. Out. if you call him “Pete”
Occupation: Ikea instruction writer
Skills: Not writing clear instructions.
Character traits: Swedish
Fun Fact: Looks exactly the same right-side-up and upside-down.