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Musical Chairs (Game): 20 Fun Facts (Trivia, World Record, Lawsuits,…) 

Last Updated on January 25, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

Group of children playing Musical Chair Game
SAI PUNYO / Shutterstock.com

How much do you know about the game of Musical Chairs? If you really put your mind to it, how many Musical Chairs facts can you come up with? Sadly, not many people know a lot about this fun game. Today that is going to change!

If you’re an avid Musical Chairs enthusiast, it would serve you well to have a few fun facts up your sleeve when trying to entice your friends and family into a game of Musical Chairs. As you’ll see, the game of musical chairs has a whole host of facts attached to it that you have probably never even thought of.

These are 20 facts about Musical Chairs: 

1. Some people know Musical Chairs as “Trip to Jerusalem”.

In Germany, the game was known as this. It is said to refer to the migration of Jews from the diaspora to the Land of Israel. Apparently, space was very limited on the ships used to take people to Israel, and so it is seen to be depicted in a game of Musical Chairs where there is one less chair than the number of players.

2. The game is described as an “elimination” game.

If asked to describe the actual gameplay, anyone will tell you that it is a game based on elimination. This is because players are eliminated from the game round by round. 

3. “Extreme Musical Chairs” is a version of the game that demands more of the players.

If you’re lucky enough to play a game of Extreme Musical Chairs, be ready for a treat. The game is more upbeat and demanding, making people grow tired of it far less quickly. Extreme Musical Chairs involves players completing a task when the music stops, before they secure themselves a chair. 

4. The game can be used to teach children how to deal with disappointment in life.

Let’s face it; Musical Chairs can be a disappointing game, especially for the player who is out in the first round. For younger kids, this is a great opportunity to learn how to deal with the disappointments and frustrations in life. 

5. Both kids and adults love to play Musical Chairs.

Any party planner will tell you that when a game is needed for entertainment at a party (for both kids and adults), Musical Chairs is a firm favorite. 

6. The name of the game is often used as a metaphor.

Musical Chairs is also used as a metaphor to describe people’s behavior. It indicates where people are shuffled around aimlessly in their roles, with no foreseeable useful outcome. 

7. There are non-competitive versions of the game.

This version of the game focuses on being fun and all-inclusive. No one is considered “out”. When the chairs are removed in each round, those without a chair must sit on another player’s lap. This continues until everyone is trying to pile on top of each other on one chair!

8. The game features in the musical Evita and delivers a powerful underlying message.

The game is played in a scene where the underlying message indicates the rise of political figures. When Perón wins the game, it is symbolic of his rise to power. 

9. There are several variants of the game.

There seems to be a variant of the game for everyone. There is even a variant of Musical Chairs that is played without chairs!

flying chairs
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10. People play Musical Chairs on video calls.

Many people trying to overcome boredom have decided to play Musical Chairs online. For the game to be played on a video call, players must turn up their music and walk around their own chair, at least an arm’s length away from it. When the music stops, the last one standing is out. 

11. One of the earliest references of Musical Chairs dates all the way back to 1877.

According to the Merriam-Webster English Dictionary, the first reference to Musical Chairs was in 1877. Sadly, the resource doesn’t provide more information on this, and finding out where the actual origin of the game comes from is quite challenging. 

12. Musical Chairs can be used to teach children to listen carefully.

If you are trying to teach a child to listen more carefully and pay attention, playing a few rounds of musical chairs can help. If a player doesn’t listen, they will miss when the music stops playing and may lose out on a chair. This seems to spur on the development of better listening skills. 

13. Some believe that you can learn a lot about a person by playing Musical Chairs with them. 

By simply observing how someone responds to other players and how they behave if they end up without a chair, you can tell a lot about a player’s personality and temperament. Want to know more about your friends? Watch them play a few rounds of Musical Chairs. 

14. Musical Chairs made a Guinness World Record in 1989.

One of the largest games of musical chairs, which included 8238 players, was held on the 5th of August 1989. It was played at an Anglo-Chinese school in Singapore and took 3.5 hours to complete. 

15. Competitive Musical Chairs is played in New York.

If you’re looking for a fun contact sport in New York, why not Musical Chairs? Once there was even a game played in green space in Manhattan that had over 720 participants! Anything is possible in New York!

16. Some schools have baned Musical Chairs.

What was once considered a fun game for kids turned into a game that’s banned in many schools! Some people have claimed that Musical Chairs teaches aggression to children.

17. The game is not as serene as you think; sometimes, people get hurt!

Yup, as already mentioned, the game can get quite rough. If you are playing for the first time, you better be careful! You may just get hurt. 

18. Several schools have been sued for injuries sustained during Musical Chairs.

School building - brick school in North America
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For instance, a student sued their college for an injury that occurred during a game of Musical Chairs, when a fellow student pulled a chair out from under her.

19. There are apps available to help play Musical Chairs.

There are several Musical Chairs apps that can manage the starting and stopping of music for the game.

20. Urban Dictionary offers interesting definitions of the term “Musical Chairs”.

Urban Dictionary is known for defining terms as they are known and used by the common public. When it comes to Musical Chairs, you will find the following definition listed: 

“When within the remaining few minutes of the last period of a school day (specifically a high school class) a student deliberately rattles his or her chair around to spark the process of the entire class picking up their things and leaving.”

Last Word

There you have it; 20 fun facts about the game of Musical Chairs. Now the next time you’re trying to convince people that it’s a cool game, you have a few fun facts to back that claim up!

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who enjoy sharing their knowledge about their favorite games with others!

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.