Webster’s Dictionary defines "graduation ceremony" as a springtime ordeal in which you’re crowded onto uncomfortable bleacher seats in an overheated gymnasium or stadium and forced to listen to a series of speakers drone on about Webster’s Dictionary’s definition of "character" or "courage" or "cliché."

In fact, graduation speakers these days so often acknowledge that commencement addresses will be little noted nor long remembered that the meta "I hate commencement speeches" speech is actually a bit of a cliché itself.

Which is why we offer you our Graduation Bingo Card to help you pass the time at any commencement you’re forced to attend this spring. Instead of checking your Twitter feed or playing Bejeweled on your phone while waiting for a loved one to get her diploma, just keep track of how many graduation ceremony chestnuts you spot amid all the pomp and circumstance.

Feel free to jump up and shout "Bingo!" if you manage to check off a row or column. Or just blow your air horn.

See the bingo card below, or print out this PDF and take it with you to commencement


And if you want a closer look at the categories, here's the list that appears in our bingo game with the (sorta) cliches you might hear at commencement.


When you hear speakers quote ...

Maya Angelou

Dr. Seuss

Lady Gaga

Ann Coulter

Kim Jong Un


You see graduates ...

Cartwheeling on the stage

Tripping on the stage

With decorated mortar boards

With acceptance letters from eight Ivy League schools

With a job

Parents are crying because their child ...

Is all grown up

Is the first in the family to graduate from college

Is moving out of town

Is moving back home

Now wants to go to graduate school — to be an artist

In the stands you see ...

Grandparents trying to take a selfie

Students batting a beach ball around

People doing the wave

Parents blowing off air horns

People waiting until the end to applaud

Advice for new graduates ...

“Dream big.”

“Follow your passion.”

“Don’t be afraid to fail.”

“Pretend your degree isn’t in Renaissance Studies.”