Sometimes in work or life you need a good distraction. TV can be a great source of ideas, and I have found four examples of great ways to waste time, resolve fights, get drunk or just argue with your friends over a trivial matter.

Here are four fun TV games to keep you occupied all day long.

Penny Can from Cougar Town

ennycancan.jpgThe Rules: The wine-loving Cul de Sac Crew from Cougar Town has invented many games, but none is better than Penny Can. Simply take an empty coffee can, place it 10-20 feet away and then throw pennies into it. Every time you sink a penny you get to sing “Penny can!” in a high falsetto. If you learn to take it seriously, you can construct your own official competition Penny Can can, just like Bobby Cobb did.

Variations: You can turn Penny Can into a drinking game by taking a sip of wine every time you make a shot, and taking two sips every time you miss one. Another popular version is Truth or Penny Can, where a missed shot results in having to answer a personal question.

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock from The Big Bang Theory

rpsls.JPGThe Rules: To resolve disputes, Sheldon Cooper uses this five-weapon version of the classic Rock, Paper, Scissors. This game adds in Spock, the Vulcan from Star Trek, and a lizard. Here are the operations to describe what beats what.

Rock crushes Scissors
Rock crushes Lizard
Paper covers rock
Paper disproves Spock
Scissors cuts Paper
Scissors decapitates Lizard
Lizard eats Paper
Lizard poisons Spock
Spock smashes Scissors
Spock vaporizes Rock

Variations: The basic mathematical principles at work allow for any odd number of possible weapons to work, provided each weapon can beat exactly half the others. If you think you’re as smart as Sheldon Cooper, you could try to memorize all possible outcomes of a special 101-weapon version which you can find here.

The Robin Scherbotsky Drinking Game from How I Met Your Mother

himym.jpgThe Rules: Robin was happy to learn that Ted’s students watched her show, but disappointed to find out it was only to play a drinking game where they take a shot every time she says “But, umm” while unaware of what else to say on live TV. Unfortunately for them, when she learned about the game she repeatedly used the phrase on purpose to mess with the students.

Variations: The “but, umm” can be easily replaced by any other phrase a reporter might use to stall for time if they lose their train of thought. The word “like” is a perfect substitute.

Hot or Not? from The Office

swank.jpgThe Rules: In an epic debate that divided the workers of Dunder-Mifflin, the employees discussed whether actress Hilary Swank is hot or not. Evidence on both sides was presented and the basic rule was that a majority vote would prevail.

Variations: The person doesn’t have to be Hilary Swank, it can be any borderline-hot celebrity. In addition, the game can be changed to be about any insignificant point of debate, though it’s best to avoid serious subjects. I suggest choosing something like the best flavor of M&M.

Now that you know the rules, pick a game and start playing.

(Images courtesy of CBS, ABC and NBC)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.