Simon says is a game for three or more players (most often children). One of the people is "it" – i.e., Simon. The others must do what Simon tells them to do when asked with a phrase beginning with "Simon says". If Simon says "Simon says jump", the players must jump (players that do not jump are out). However, if Simon says simply "jump", without first saying "Simon says", players do not jump; those that do jump are out. In general, it is the spirit of the command, not the actions that matters; if Simon says "Simon says touch your toes", players only have to show that they are trying to touch their toes. It is the ability to distinguish between valid and invalid commands, rather than physical ability, that matters here.
It is Simon's task to try to get everyone out as quickly as possible, and it is every one else's job to stay "in" for as long as possible. The last of Simon's followers to stay in wins (although the game is not always played all the way through).
It is considered cheating to give impossible commands ("Simon says 'lift your left leg'. Simon says 'lift your right leg'. Simon did not say 'put your left leg down'!") or phrase the commands in such a way that the other player has no option but to 'go out' ("Simon says 'jump up'. Come down."). However, at least in some versions, it is allowed for Simon to eliminate players by asking them to do something seemingly unrelated to the game (example: "Anyone remaining join me up here.")
A recent psychological study found that the game can be a healthy way to help children to improve self-control and restraint of impulsive behavior.
The name of the game also inspired a classic 1980s electronic toy named Simon by computer games inventor Ralph H. Baer. It is a circular electronic game featuring four colored quadrants. The game will flash quadrants in turn and expect you to repeat the sequence. If you get the sequence correct, the game will respond with a longer sequence. There is also a classic Simon Says-like mode called Tricky Mickey in the 1989 Milton Bradley game of physical skill Mickey Says, which features Mickey Mouse as its host.
The bubblegum pop band 1910 Fruitgum Company had a hit in 1967 with the song "Simon Says". The lyrics explained the rules of the game. However, the lyrics contain the phrase "do what Simple Simon says", which confuses the game with the Simple Simon nursery rhyme.
The rapper Pharoahe Monch also made a famous song called "Simon Says".
The villain Simon Phoenix in the film Demolition Man often used the phrase, and other characters occasionally mentioned it.
Was an alternate title for the Movie Die Hard: With a Vengeance.
Simon Says is a character in Shrek 2.
Simon Says is a cheat in the PC game "Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds". You get the special unit "Simon the killer ewok", who makes plenty of damage, by typing this cheat into the game's chat-box.
A character named Simon appears in the theme park show "Let's Have a Ball," in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom theme park. The show officially opened October 1, 2006. During the show, guests are invited to play fun, themed party games, as instructed by the hostess Lady Lucinda. Her assistant, Simon, ultimately persuades his boss to let him teach the guests how to play his new game: Simon Says. The game is a success and is added to the official list of "Happily Ever After Party Games".
A song by Swedish crossover band Clawfinger.
Simon Says is the name of a Swedish progressive-rock band that released three albums: "Ceinwen" (1998), "Paradise Square" (2002) and "Tardigrade" (2008). It is also the name of a Californian Metal band featured on the Beerfest and Varsity Blues soundtracks, for which they received a gold record from the RIAA. It is as well the name of a dance music Moroccan act that had a local smash hit entitled "Karima".
One of the highlights of the 1970s version of the made-for-TV athletic competition called Superstars as well as the late 1970s and early 1980s TV show called "Battle of the Network Stars" was a round of "Simon Says" conducted by the legendary Lou Goldstein of Grossinger's Hotel. TV host Sonny Fox played "Simon Says" with the audiences on the children's television show "Wonderama" from 1959–1967. Modern day "Simon Says" master Steve Max has led the game for the TV show "Battle of the Network Reality TV Stars" which aired in 2006 on Bravo Network. Steve Max also conducts "Simon Says" at NBA Halftime shows.
In the game Terranigma (SNES) there is a dungeon in Sylvain Castle, just before the boss, in which voice says "Simon says walk" and "Simon says stop". If you don't obey, you'll be teleported to the start of this dungeon.