Film and TV

A Downton Abbey Drinking Game, In Honor of Sunday's Season Four U.S. Premiere

Editor's note: The author is British, so this thing is, like, authentic. And you might be saying "Hey, didn't you run an almost identical drinking game last season?" Actually, yes! We considered writing a new one, then remembered how enraged we were by the Season Three finale and just posted this again. You're welcome.

Downton Abbey returns Sunday, so to celebrate, buy the finest wine you can afford to drink in large quantities, send the staff away for the weekend, become horrified by the smallest social faux pas, and sip gently and politely along using our well-mannered and extravagant drinking game.

There will be no chugging here. That sort of thing is what common folk do.

Every time Carson's eyebrows distract you from a scene, drink. Two drinks if you miss what actually happened in a scene because you were too focused on them.

Look at them. They're magnificent.

Every time you can insert the word "burn" after yet another polite smackdown, drink. Practice it; you'll get the hang of it. You should drink two or three times depending on the quality and depth of the burn, which means when Maggie Smith does it you should definitely drink at least twice.

Drink every time Maggie Smith is so much better at acting than the other cast members that it's just off-putting.

Every time a character references how much the world's changed since The War, drink.

Every time there's confusion about who actually controls the estate's finances, drink.

Every time no one gives a solitary crap about anything Edith does, drink.

Whenever the Crawleys remember there are babies in the house, drink.

Every time there's a panning shot of a large building you couldn't afford unless you inherited land and a title, drink.

Every time someone moans at Daisy when it's not really her fault, drink.

Now for some gender-biased drinking rules!

Men: Whenever there is a totally kickass old car, drink.

Women: Drink whenever there is a simply stunning interior.

Drink every time Mary looks horrified. Drink twice every time she displays behavior unbecoming of an upper-class British lady.

Drink every time Thomas is an absolute dick. Two drinks if he's being a dick and trying to get someone fired.

And, finally, take a drink for every single archaic British word you don't understand. If it's a phrase, one drink for every word of the phrase.

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Gavin Cleaver
Contact: Gavin Cleaver