Fortunately, Unfortunately

Fortunately, Unfortunately is a word game first played at conventions of the National Puzzlers' League in the late 1980s. It was invented and introduced by one-time NPL president David Scott Marley. The game is best played in groups with an odd number of people.


  • One person begins with a sentence (e.g. One day Little Johnny walked to the local shoe shop).
  • The next person tells of something unfortunate that happens (e.g. Unfortunately, Little Johnny was hit by a refrigerator.).
  • The following person contributes a fortunate event (e.g. Fortunately, the refrigerator was made entirely of marshmallows), and the process is repeated.

The game does not have any specified ending point.


There is a children's book named "Fortunately" by Remy Charlip that follows this same pattern.

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