Wandering Frog People: The Rules So Far

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Overview

The Wandering Frog People is a game-turned-worldwide-phenomenon invented by Princess Ann Matthews Martin, Saint of Princeton, in 1986. As of the most recent count, the game is being actively played by a staggering 7,468,645,919 people in every single country on the planet. 

As far as can be ascertained by scholars, the game will continue until the last photon from the long-dead sun reaches our frozen planet and the dreams of humanity are consigned to the fading memories of an indifferent cosmos, or until everyone gets fed up with playing, whichever comes first. 

Current Losers of Wandering Frog People

At present, there are 7,468,645,905 people tied in a dead heat for first place in The Wandering Frog People game, and 14 losers. Those losers are: Jack "Jazz" Shepherd, Sweet Baby Boy Colin, Dave, Baby Bee Ashley, @Hayffiedaugher's brother, @UndercoverArtichoke, Rebecca Kepley, Hallie, Michael John Scott Jr., Emily Tartanella, Trent Bankert, Jill Connors, Jean Marie, and Heidi W. This could change at any time, so watch this space. 

Known Rules

The vast and arcane ruleset of Wandering Frog People is known only to the game’s creator, Saint Annabelle M. Martin, Stormborn of New Jersey, but students of the game are able to derive many of its properties from clues in the many texts Ms. Martin created expressly for the purpose of revealing the game to its adherents. These texts are known collectively as “The Baby-Sitters Club Series,” or more popularly, “The Sitters Cycle.” 

At present, the known rules are as follows. Watch this space for updates as more rules are revealed. 

  • Everyone is playing Wandering Frog People at all times.
  • The game is best played in the dark.
  • Any human person who does not possess a Wandering Frog Person at any given time is winning the game.
  • Any human person who possesses a Wandering Frog Person at any given time is losing the game.
  • Any frog figurine officially designated as a Wandering Frog Person is in play, in perpetuity.
  • To win the game, give a Wandering Frog Person to another player who is not expecting it. This is called “frogging.”
  • To obtain a temporary reprieve from the game, you may send your Wandering Frog Person to your grandmother, the person who loves you most in the world, and she will take on the burden of your failure. This is called “Packing Your Grandmother’s Trunk,” and it is considered by players to be a VERY COWARDLY ACT.
  • To obtain maximum satisfaction from a truly hated opponent in the game, you may send your Wandering Frog Person to their grandmother, the person who loves them most in the world, thereby Packing Their Grandmother’s Trunk. This is considered to be a VERY DASTARDLY ACT.
  • If a player suspects that he or she is being given a Wandering Frog Person, that player may invoke a "Flamingo Fight" before being given the frog.
  • To invoke a "Flamingo Fight," a player must stand like a flamingo and demand that their opponent reveal the frog in the act of being presented. If a frog was indeed being presented, the frog is effectively blocked and remains with the original player. If a frog was in fact not being presented, the player who invoked the "Flamingo Fight" must accept a frog from their opponent.

Known References

There are many clues to the rules of Wandering Frog People scattered throughout the texts of The Sitters Cycle. At present, these are the known references. Some of these references outline clear game mechanics. Others are as yet undeciphered. Watch this space for updates. 

BOOK: # 3, “Dawn and the Impossible Three"

“Mrs. Porter gestured toward the front door with a wave of her cape. “Yipes,” said Kristy, heart pounding. “I wonder what she wants.” “Probably frogs’ noses or the hair from a mole or something. I bet she’s cooking,” Karen offered.”

GAME MECHANIC: Unknown. 


BOOK: #8, “Boy Crazy Stacey"

“An hour later, Byron had ridden the Ferris wheel twice; Vanessa had bought a little pink deer from the glassblower; Claire, Nicky, and Margo had tried the bumper cars; Mallory had bought a frog made out of seashells; and Jordan and Adam had been through the haunted house, and were mad at Byron, who had refused to go with them.”

GAME MECHANIC: Any frog figurine, whether of seashells, plastic, or whatever material, can be designated an official Wandering Frog Person.


BOOK: #9, “The Ghost at Dawn’s House"

“What are you guys doing in the dark?” I asked. “Playing with our glow-in-the-dark space creatures,” whispered Byron. “They’re about to be attacked by the Wandering Frog People,” added Jordan. “Oh,” I said. “Well, I just wanted you to know I’m —” “Shoof-shoof-shoof-shoof-BLAM!” Adam shouted suddenly. He thumped a Frog Person down on one of the space creatures.”

GAME MECHANIC: The game is afoot!


BOOK: #9, “The Ghost at Dawn’s House"

“Jamie was jumping up and down, up and down, like a yo-yo in blue jeans. “I learned a new song!” he exclaimed. “Listen to this: I’m in love with a big blue frog. A big blue frog loves me. It’s not as bad as it may seem. He wears glasses and he’s six foot three. Oh —” Jamie’s song was interrupted by his father. Mr. Newton rolled his eyes. “I’m sorry I taught him that,” he said. “He’s been singing it all day. And there are several more verses.”

GAME MECHANIC: Unknown.


BOOK: #14, “Hello Mallory"

“Monday morning at last! Sunday had seemed like the longest day of my life. I had finished Freaky Friday, read three more chapters of The Incredible Journey, and written a story about a frog in a rainstorm called “Rainy Days and Froggy Nights.”

GAME MECHANIC: Unknown. 


BOOK: #14, “Hello Mallory"

“Her questions were answered not long after when she was getting more juice for Marnie. She opened the refrigerator and for the first time noticed something tacked to the door with a magnet shaped like a frog. It was one of our fliers for Kids Incorporated.”

GAME MECHANIC: A Wandering Frog Person can be passed from one player to another by any means, provided it is a surprise to the player being “frogged."


BOOK: #14, “Hello Mallory"

“My brother and sister separated, shooting looks at each other that were as lethal as darts. “You know,” I said quietly, taking the toy out of Margo’s hand. “This thing is one of the triplets’ Wandering Frog People. It doesn’t belong to either of you.” “But —” began Margo. “But —” began Nicky. I silenced them by holding up one hand. “I am now going to put this in the triplets’ room. Then I order you to go downstairs and catch a dinosaur.”

GAME MECHANIC: A Wandering Frog Person may ONLY be passed to a player by a player who has obtained the Wandering Frog Person by official means (either officially designating a figurine, or being surprised with an officially designated figurine by another player), and NOT by a third party, UNLESS that third party is being directly used as a means of "frogging" by an active player (i.e., has been suborned into passing the Wandering Frog Person from one party to the other). 


BOOK: #30, “Mary Anne and the Great Romance” 

“She passed Andrew and David Michael, who were in the living room with the curtains closed, playing a game in the dark called The Wandering Frog People. The Pike boys made the game up.”

GAME MECHANIC: Wandering Frog People is best played in the dark. 


BOOK: #32, “Kristy and the Secret of Susan”  

“Mom appeared in the doorway. “You can only watch until Dorothy leaves Munchkinland,” she said. “Then the TV goes off.” “Darn,” said David Michael. “Bullfrogs,” said Karen.”

GAME MECHANIC: When presented with a Wandering Frog Person and thereby losing the game, express your dismay with the curse, “Bullfrogs.” This is also a good way to swear in general. 


BOOK: #36, “Jessi’s Baby-Sitter”

“The boys were playing their endless imaginary game about the Wandering Frog People. That has been going on for about two years now, which is one year and 364 days longer than Mal had hoped it would last. At any rate, the triplets were occupied.” 

GAME MECHANIC: Wandering Frog People never ends. 


BOOK: #36, “Jessi’s Baby-Sitter”

“Well, let’s go upstairs and look at the books in our rooms,” suggested Mallory. “We have some science books.” “Maybe we’ll find the Wandering Frog People while we’re at it,” said Dawn, with a little smile. Mallory looked up. The boys were gone. That wasn’t much of a surprise, since Wandering Frog People is a very quiet game.”

GAME MECHANIC: Wandering Frog People is a game of stealth and silence. 


BOOK: #36, “Jessi’s Baby-Sitter”

“What was a surprise, though, was finding Nicky and the triplets in their room, poring over a set of encyclopedias. “What are you doing?” Mal asked her brothers as she and Margo stopped in the doorway. “Looking up frog stuff,” replied Jordan.”

GAME MECHANIC: The rules of Wandering Frog People are discoverable by researching the relevant texts. When not actively playing, serious players should be researching the rules. 


BOOK: #37, “Dawn and the Older Boy” 

“Let’s have a rehearsal,” Myriah suggested. “That’s my favorite thing to do in the whole world.” “A rehearsal?” Jessi said blankly. “I was thinking of playing ‘I Packed My Grandmother’s Trunk’ —” She was immediately outvoted.”

GAME MECHANIC: To obtain a temporary reprieve from the game, you may send your Wandering Frog Person to your grandmother, the person who loves you most in the world, and she will take on the burden of your failure. This is called “Packing Your Grandmother’s Trunk,” and it is often voted down by other players, many of whom consider it unseemly and unsporting.  


BOOK: #41, “Mary Anne Vs. Logan” 

“It’s called Flamingo Fight.” Jenny giggled. “Okay,” she said. ... You need a soft, dry outdoor place that’s not too near the street to play Flamingo Fight, because you fall down a lot.
... If I make you fall down, I’m the winner. If you make me fall down, you’re the winner. One important thing, though. We can’t use our hands. We just hop and bump around in the darkness.”

GAME MECHANIC: If a player suspects that he or she is being given a Wandering Frog Person, that player may invoke a "Flamingo Fight" before being given the frog. To invoke a "Flamingo Fight," a player must stand like a flamingo and demand that their opponent reveal the frog in the act of being presented. If a frog was indeed being presented, the frog is effectively blocked and remains with the original player. If a frog was in fact not being presented, the player who invoked the "Flamingo Fight" must accept a frog from their opponent.