A Candidate Gives a Clear, Concise Answer to the Question Asked...or Hell actually freezes over. Either way, take a drink.
Awkward Mitt MomentAt your party's discretion, but choose carefully, and drink responsibly. Small sips. This is the only time in this list that we'll say this, and there's a reason for it.
(He's very good at making things awkward...)
Obama Tries to Sound CoolDid you guys know that Barry likes to drink beer? Or that he knows Jay-Z? If Obama mentions something that's clearly pandering to the youth of America, take a drink.
A Candidate Answers a Different Question Than Was AskedIt's hard to answer very specific questions with prepared answers.
Drink if either candidate does this.
A Seemingly Irrelevant Anecdote That Takes Up Valuable Time"I recently met a disabled 1st generation immigrant doctor who was the first in her family to go to college and now owns her very own small business..." and the like.
A Candidate Thanks Someone Not in the StudioLike our men & women in the armed forces, small business owners, or God.
Bonus: This can be combined with almost any other item on this list for a double drink!
This Moment Will Be a Meme TomorrowGet your Photoshop toolbars ready. If someone makes a wonderful face, repeats something over and over again, or makes a small part of television / Internet history during this debate, then take a drink.
(This is a favorite Romney meme. Let's hope for more.)
Either Candidate Cracks a Joke...(even better) or tries to and fails. This can be combined with Awkward Mitt Moment and Obama Tries to Sound Cool.
Bonus: If the audience actually Ls OL, then take another drink.
Inappropriate or Politically Incorrect Cutaway to Audience MemberA candidate says something vaguely related to a friend in the audience or a particular ethnic/interest group, then someone in the audience is singled out by the TV producer - who then tells his crew to close up on them before the candidate finishes his sentence.
Bonus: The same non-white audience-member is on screen more than once
A Candidate Mentions a Former President of the United StatesReagan, Bush, Clinton, Nixon, Hayes...
A Candidate Shoehorns in a Buzzword (or Term)Any of the greatest hits: "Terrorism," "Obamacare," "Romneycare," "The Real America," "Bin Laden," "Better Off Four Years Ago"
Clarification: The shoehorned buzzword may not be relevant to the question asked.
Actually Inspiring RhetoricIf a candidate says something you truly believe in (and think he will actually stand behind if elected), then you must take a drink.
Bonus: If this restores your faith in American politics, take a drink and 'cheers' the nearest American flag.
A Candidate Cites a Statistic That Sounds Made-UpFact: 73% of all things said in debates are pure hogwash. Drink if you hear a number that doesn't seem quite right.
A Candidate Forgets SomethingLike the technical term for "tip-of-the-tongue syndrome" (and now you're going to Google that).
BURNGet that guy some ointment.
If a candidate turns a mean phrase or clearly owns their opponent verbally, then drink. You'll know when this happens.
Romney Tries to Seem HumanThis does not apply when he mentions his car elevator, but when he tries to make it seem like he had any trouble gaining wealth and success. Or when he mentions his hardworking wife.
Bonus: This may be combined with A Candidate Mentions a Member of His Family for a double drink!
A Candidate Mentions a Member of His FamilyBonus: If it's one of his own parents, drink twice.
Either Candidate Blatantly Dodges a QuestionAbsolutely no effort is put toward answering the question asked.
Bonus: This can be combined with A Candidate Answers a Different Question That Was Asked and A Seemingly Irrelevant Anecdote That Takes Up Valuable Time for a triple drink!
Euphemism for a Controversial TopicYou know, so nobody thinks too much about icky things like abortion or gay rights.
Wardrobe Malfunction - Finish Your Drink...and then head straight for the Internet. Enjoy the debates!