Mystery Date (game)

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Mystery Date, 1965.

Mystery Date is a board game from the Milton Bradley Company released in 1965, designed by Marvin Glass. It was marketed to girls 6 to 14 years of age, and was reissued in 1970, 1999, and in 2005.


Mystery Date can be played with 2, 3, or 4 players. The object of the game is to be ready for a date by acquiring three matching color-coded cards to assemble an outfit. The outfit must then match the outfit of the date at the "mystery door". The date is revealed by spinning the door handle and opening the plastic door on the game board. The five possible dates are:

  • the "formal dance" date
  • the "bowling" date
  • the "beach" date
  • the "skiing" date
  • the "dud"

The date to be avoided is the poorly dressed "dud." He is wearing slovenly attire, his hair is tousled and his face sports a beard shadow. There was also a figure made out to represent a construction worker.

In the 1970s game, a "picnic" date replaced the "bowling" date.

If the player's outfit does not match the date behind the door, the door is closed and play continues.

Mystery Date game board, 1965.

In popular culture[edit]

The game was mentioned in the 1994 Disney film The Santa Clause, and parodied several times, including in the classic 1996 episode of The Simpsons, "Summer of 4 Ft. 2."

In 2012 it was the inspiration for the TV series Mad Men episode "Mystery Date". The plot used the game's themes of dating, masculine desirability, and Russian roulette approach to opening a door as a metaphor.

In the Ren and Stimpy episode "Sven Hoek", the game Mystery Date was parodied as Misery Date.

The game was sometimes played on screen in the bookshop "Buy-the-book" on the 1990s sitcom Ellen and referred to there as "the chick game".

The game is also presented in Pretty Little Liars ("Season Five, Season Finale")


  • The New York Times: "Online Shopper: Ouija Boards To Motherboards In Online Bazaar." November 16, 2000.
  • The New York Times: "Online Shopper: Out for V-I-C-T-O-R-Y, but Missing Tiles." September 9, 2004.

External links[edit]