No Sir, Not I Sir (Prince of Paris)

An active, memory game for junior youth and small groups

How To Play No Sir, Not I Sir (Prince of Paris)

Materials Needed


This is a high paced game of concentration and reaction time. The goal of the game is to become #1 by tripping up the people ahead of you. WARNING: This game gets loud.

You'll need to set up the chairs (one per student) in a fashion that they can be easily counted off but still faces a central location (like a half/whole circle, two inward facing lines... etc.) Then have all the students take a seat and then number the seats from 1 to the last chair being the highest number (IE if you have 14 chairs right to left it will be 1 -14). Make sure the students remember the number their chair has.

You (the leader) starts the game by announcing "The Prince of Paris has lost his hat and number '__' has it!", you then start counting to 5. The person in the seat with the number accused has to stand up and say "No sir not I sir, number '__' has it!" you then start counting to 5 again and the newly accused repeats the process.

If a person does not stand up by the count of five then they must take the last seat and everyone behind them moves up (example: if #3 gets booted then #4 becomes the new #3 and #5 becomes the new #4 and so on. #1 & 2 don't move). Once everyone has moved a new round begins. Remember that it is the seats that are numbered so when everyone moves up a seat their number drops by 1. The goal is to trip up the people with lower numbers than you so that you can make your way to number 1.

Other things that can knock a player back:

1. Standing up when their number isn't called (if 6 is called and 5 stands up, 5 is booted)

2. Calling a number that doesn't exist (Calling 17 when there's only 15 chairs)

3. Calling their own number (self explanatory).

As you go through a few rounds and your students get the hang of it here are some things to keep it fun:

1. Speed up your calling/counting (Start out very clear and understood and work your way toward sounding like an auctioneer with a caffeine overdose)

2. When calling out the number of the accused point at someone else ("...& Number 3 has it!!!!" while pointing at number 10)

3. When counting to 5 walk toward a person who is not the accused as if you are waiting for them to stand up (pretty much slight variation of the last one)

4. Change the piece of clothing that is being stolen, mention how naked the prince feels

5. Give one of your older students/other leaders a tern as the caller because you are going to lose your voice if this goes on for to long

6. You can boot for tripping up/stuttering on their "no sir not I sir" but the extent it takes to be booted would be at the callers descression


Added by
Nathaniel Van Patten
on 24 February 2015


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I played “the Prince of Paris has lost his head” version. Mostly the same as above… but if the moderator really wanted to single you out they could opt to surprise you:

“Who sir me sir?”
“Yes sir you sir”
“No sir not I sir”
“Then who sir?”
“Number X sir”

“HOW sir?!”

And without skipping a beat you had to say
“He/she climbed the rope, they jumped the wall, they saw the prince at the end of the hall”


Posted by Petra 2 years ago

I learned it from a Christian acting troupe when I was a kid. For them it was:
"King Leonardo has lost his hat and doesn't know where to find it. Number three, number three, go to the end of the line."
Response (before the caller finishes:
"Who Sir, me Sir?"
"Yes Sir, you Sir."
"No Sir, not I Sir."
"Then who Sir?"
"Number four Sir."
"Number four, number four, go to the end of the line."

Thanks for the variations given in the comments here. I tried this with my Boy Scout Troop last night and it worked great. They loved it. One variation: When someone seemed entrenched at #1, I "promoted" them to Caller.

Posted by Jim 4 years ago

I played this in High Sch.from about 1954 to 57. We(guys) gathered in the hall between classes without chairs. I just turned 80.
We called it Prince Pat; I've talked to others who called it Whales Tales.

Posted by Paul Kirmmse 4 years ago

We played this game at camp! Only we were in teams of two sitting next to each other on benches. And we said: “School ma’am has lost her sticks. Some say yes, some say no, but I say number.....” and the team members had to agree on a number, and if you called out different ones or missed your turn, you both had to go to the back of the line and everyone behind you would move up.
It was so much fun! I remember playing it for so long and we got more and more people playing with us. Ugh! Such good memories

Posted by Haley 5 years ago

we say
"Sargent Major lost his hat, some say this, some say that, i think its team number__"

and they are in rows and there are at least 3 people and theyt have to link arms and if they dont stand up at the same time or say different numbers they're out

Posted by chloe41917 5 years ago

At my camp, we call it "Prince of Persia". Instead of saying the Prince has lost his hat, he's lost his head. The rules are the same, but if the accused smiles, laughs, or makes eye contact, they’re out. It’ll basically go,
"The Prince of Persia has lost his head, and number _ is to blame"
"Who, sir me, sir?"
"Yes, sir you, sir"
"No, sir not I, sir"
"Then who, sir?"
"Number _, sir"

Posted by MarshmallowWitch 6 years ago

Our version in drama class was, "The Prince of Paris has lost his hat, somebody here knows where it's at. Number __ to the end of the line" and that number has to say, "Who sir me sir?" before to the end of the line is said.

Teacher: The Prince of Paris has lost his hat, somebody here knows where it's at. Number 3 to the end of--
Number 3: Who sir me sir?
Teacher: Yes sir you sir
Number 3: No sir not I sir
Teacher: Then who sir?
Number 3: Number 10
Teacher: Number 10, to the end of the line and so on

Posted by Dan Q 6 years ago

i LOVE this game its lit

Posted by joff 6 years ago

The game refered to as "The Prince of Paris" was a game we played in drama class to learn different character expression. The most important part of the game was to respond back to the captain with the same tone and character of voice and expression weather happy or sad mean or glad gentle or harsh plus you would have to respond in time or be told by the captain "number _ go to the end of the line. Lots of fun when reenacting the kind of voice character the captain uses.
Captain says, The Prince of Paris has lost his hat and number _ knows where it's at. Response is Who sir me sir Captain says yes sir you sir Response is No sir not I sir Captain say "Then who? Response says a new number and that person starts the response all over again before the captain can say that number go to the end of the line before the realize they are supposed to respond there by changing some or all of the assigned numbers. Fun fun fun!!!

Posted by Stevie-d 6 years ago

Played this 35 years ago and everyone loved it but now I can't remember how the game ends? Please! Can Someone help me out?

Posted by Theresa 7 years ago

This game sounds great! I can't wait to play it with my group. I hope it works for 5-8 kids!

Posted by Alyssa 7 years ago

Where I'm from, we call this "King Caractacus"
King Caractacus has lost his considering cap. Some say this, and some say that, but I say it was team number "-"!
No sir, not I sir!
Then who sir?
Team number "-" sir!
We also play in teams, where each team of 3 or more have to sit on a row of chairs, and every time it is their turn to say a line (every individual line, not just the whole turn) they have to stand up, say the line, and sit down again, all in unison: if they can't work together, then they look like a rag-tag bunch of considering cap thieves, so they must be the criminals, and they are sent to the bottom position.

Posted by Claire 8 years ago

This game is SO fun. Can't wait to try it out with my friends :P Thanks for introducing this game to us. I bet there'll be more people who would totally LOVE this game!

Posted by Punk 9 years ago

This game is SO fun. Can't wait to try it out :P

Posted by Punk 9 years ago
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