Knife game

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Knife game (representation of motion)
Simple order for playing the knife game.
More complex order for playing the knife game.
More complex order for playing the knife game.

The knife game, pinfinger, nerve, bishop, stabscotch, or five finger fillet (FFF), is a game wherein, placing the palm of one's hand down on a table with fingers apart, using a knife, or sharp object, one attempts to stab back and forth between one's fingers, moving the object back and forth, trying to not hit one's fingers. The game may be safely played with the eraser side of a pencil. The order in which the spaces between the fingers are stabbed varies. In North America[dubious ], the most popular version is to simply stab all the spaces in order, starting from behind the thumb to after the little finger, and back again:

 1-2-3-4-5-6-5-4-3-2 (repeat).

In Australia this order is used.

 1-2-1-3-1-4-1-5-1-6 (repeats).

In Europe, a more complex order is used. With the spaces numbered 1 (behind the thumb) through 6 (after the little finger), the order would be as follows:

 1-2-1-3-1-4-1-5-1-6-1-5-1-4-1-3-1-2 (repeats)

or an even more complex order:

 1-2-1-3-1-4-1-5-1-6-2-6-3-6-4-6-5-6-4-6-3-6-2-6 (etc.)

Popular culture[edit]


A similar knife game appeared in the 1962 Polish film Knife in the Water.

The knife game briefly appears in the 1973 film Dark Star.

In the 1981 film My Bloody Valentine, the characters Axel and Hollis play the knife game in the bar.

In the 1986 film Aliens, the android character, Bishop, begins a knife game in the mess room. The character's name is the origin of one of the alternate names for the game.

In Season 1 Episode 6 of Boardwalk_Empire, Jimmy Darmody plays the game in a Chicago brothel.

The game also makes an appearance in the credits of the 2011 comedy The Hangover Part 2

The knife game also appears in the 2012 comedy Ted where the character Ted attempts to play the knife game on a guy, but ends up stabbing his hand.

A variation of the game is seen briefly being played during the 5th Episode of the anime One Piece.

Video games[edit]

The knife game appears in the 1995 PC game Full Throttle when a trucker is seen playing it in a bar. If Ben (the protagonist) persuades the trucker, the game becomes playable as an Easter egg. The player must complete two passes in order to win, or lose if Ben accidentally stabs his hand too many times.

Five finger fillet is a mini-game in Red Dead Redemption.[1]

In the Stasis Interrupted DLC for Aliens: Colonial Marines, a interquel between Aliens and Alien 3, an audio recording left by Bishop mentions PFC Hudson being impressed by his knife trick, which he performed in the film.

A knife game also appears in Assassin's Creed III and Rage; in Rage, the player character plays the game with each of the orders listed above as the challenge increases.

The knife game appears as an unlockable in Sega's Aliens Infestation for the Nintendo DS, in which players try to poke highlighted sections between a hand's fingers with the stylus while they race against time, along with their "stabbing" speed being marked.

Based on the knife game, Knife.Hand.Chop.Bot (2007), by the Svoltcore group, is an, "interactive installation that plays with the recipient's concern about [his or her] own physical integrity."[2]

Knife game song[edit]

In early 2013, the knife game became a trend on the internet after the release of a YouTube video entitled "The Knife Game Song" created by songwriter Rusty Cage.[3] Several internet users uploaded videos of them singing a song while playing the knife game.[4] A new version of the song with additional lyrics was later released on March 29, 2013.[5]

Knife game song videos were a topic on the Fine Brothers' series, YouTubers React.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Five Finger Filet". IGN. Retrieved April 11, 2013. 
  2. ^ Kwastek, Katja (2013). Aesthetics of Interaction in Digital Art, p.86. ISBN 9780262019323.
  3. ^ "'Knife Song': Hanna Ellingseter, Norwegian Girl, Sings The Most Dangerous Song Ever (VIDEO)". Huffington Post. March 4, 2013. Retrieved April 11, 2013. 
  4. ^ Yetta Gibson (March 6, 2013). "Dangerous Internet trend: 'Knife Game Song'". AZ Family. Retrieved April 11, 2013. 
  5. ^ Rusty Cage (March 29, 2013). The NEW Knife Game Song! Full Version!.