Little Green Door

Main Piece

DR learned this question-and-answer riddle game from camp. The participants repeatedly ask if arbitrary items can “pass through the Little Green Door” until the participants figure out the pattern of what can and cannot pass through.

Some selections from our rounds:

CT: “Can I pass through the Little Green Door?”

DR: “No.”

BM: “Can my beer pass through the Little Green Door?”

DR: “Yes.”

After about 20 rounds, the answer was deduced: anything with a double letter in it can pass through, anything else cannot.

Informant background

DR is a student at the University of Southern California. He is from Sudbury, MA.

Performance context

This story was told during a folklore collection event that I set up with a diversity of members from the USC men’s Ultimate Frisbee team. We were in a classic folklore collection setting: sharing drinks around a campfire, in a free flowing conversation.


These interactive riddle games are often constructed so that the answer appears more complicated than it actually is. They often involve pointing out concrete objects, people, or places, so that the guesser’s attention is diverted to those specifics, while the real answer is something more abstract about the words used or delivery of the speaker. This paradigm shows up across almost all of the question-and-answer riddle games I have experienced.