How to Make Mad Libs

games image by Ewe Degiampietro from

A Mad Lib is a story that has been strategically edited so that designated words are replaced with random words during a game with two or more people. How fun or funny it can be is as limited only as the imagination of your group, which makes it a fun party game. It can also be used as a learning tool in the classroom because the different missing words break down the eight parts of basic sentence structure. Flex your creative muscle by writing your own or use one of several online Mad Lib generators.

Create a story. Whether you use your own word processing program or an online blank format, a great game starts with a great story. (See Resources for online formats.) You can choose those already written and available online, or write your own. It doesn't have to be particularly wacky because the missing words can often be funnier in a more ordinary setting.

Gear your story toward your audience. If you are writing your own, use this opportunity to personalize it, which will make it even funnier for your audience. If you are planning a game night with your friends or family, incorporate experiences you've had with them. This applies if you are a teacher creating a Mad Lib for your classroom, where you can include students and the classroom into your story as well, or even parts of other lesson plans.

Edit your story. Replace a few of the original words in your sentences with blank spaces asking for a particular part of speech. For instance, the sentence "The ball was flung high into the air before it crashed right into Jane's car" could be edited to "The (noun) was flung high into the (noun) before it (verb) right into Jane's (noun)." How risque you make it depends entirely upon your particular group.

Print your stories. Whether you used a Web generator or your own word processor, you will need to print your stories in order to share them with your audience. You can use a stapler to bind your mini booklet or insert the pages into plastic-coated sheet protectors and use grease pencils so you can use your Mad Libs more than once per session.