Home > Uncategorized > Cowboy, Ninja, Bear and Octopus, Sea Lion, Shark

Cowboy, Ninja, Bear and Octopus, Sea Lion, Shark

After a recent post, I found, to my horror, that no one I know had ever heard of Cowboy, Ninja, Bear, much less knew the rules for it. This made my reference to it absolutely worthless. While I don’t have any problem with a reference that few people get, I do feel rather bad for making a reference that no one gets. Therefore, I will take it upon myself to reveal the sacred rules to you. As an extra added bonus, you will be the first to know the rules, in fact the very existence, of the newfangled version of Cowboy Ninja, Bear called Octopus, Sea Lion, Shark.

If you’ve ever played Rock, Paper, Scissors then you know how to play C/N/B and O/SL/S. However, instead of just using your hands like in R/P/S these games involve using your full body. Anyone who has done the Hokey Pokey will realize that using your whole body instantly equates to more fun. In order to set up, you need a bit of space, the players should stand five feet away from each other with their backs towards each other. Their should be a good bubble of space around each person. It’s like playing Wii. You don’t want to end up poking some one’s eye out because you got a bit too rambunctious, and excitement rides high in games of C/N/B. It’s easy for things to get out of hand.

Once people are in position, one or both counts to three. On three, both players jump up, turn around, and assume a position. Here are the three stances you can take.




It helps if you add sound effects to the stances, since a bear can very easily turn into a ninja.

Now that you  know the stances, you need to know what beats what. Bear beats ninja. Ninja beats cowboy. Cowboy beats bear. The number one complaint that I get when telling people the rules is that in all likelihood,  a ninja would not be beaten by a bear. It’s safe to assume that the bear beating the ninja exists in the same parallel universe where paper can beat rock.

The rules for O/SL/S are the same except the stances are different.


Sea Lion:


According to SCIENCE! we know that shark beats sea lion, sea lion beats octopus, and octopus beats shark. You can also use sound effects for this game, though it’s less necessary. I like to insert a loud “Bloop!” noise for the octopus, a “Grrr” sound for the shark, and an “Arr! Arr! Arr!” sound for the sea lion. I’m not sure if sharks actually grrr, in fact I’m fairly certain that they don’t, but it certainly seems like they should.

  1. April 17, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Put me in the “bear will never defeat ninja” pile.

    Also, a sea lion would never be able to beat an octopus. Eight tentacles>>>>> flippers.

  2. DJ
    April 17, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Actually, octopi make up a big chunk of a sea lions diet. This post actually started after watching this video. http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/player/news/animals-news/crittercam-sealion-vs-octopus-vin.html

    Also, also octopi don’t have tentacles, they have arms. Tentacles have suckers only at the tip while arms have suckers along their whole length.

    I’ll stop sounding pompous now.

  3. shelly
    April 17, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    um ya played o/sl/s AWESOME love the picuters tooo

  4. shelly
    April 17, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    so was this a shelf timer or did you make samantha take part

    • DJ
      April 17, 2010 at 8:24 pm

      She got a good laugh out of it. I think she’s a good photog, but it may be that I’m such a great model.

  5. Newby
    April 17, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    I am in the “Bear WILL defeat ninja” camp. Bears have survived much worse than multiple stab wounds, and can climb faster, run faster, and run longer than a human can. They also have better night vision and sense of smell than a human (a bear can detect a ninja by his smell!). Bears have also been known to move quite silently. If the ninja wants a fighting chance, he’d better use poison, and hope it works fast. 🙂

    A real-world example of a bear terrorizing a Japanese village (which is almost a bunch of ninjas, right?) 🙂


  6. shelly
    April 22, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    but bear does beat ninja….cowboy shoots bear ….bear mawls ninja and ninja dodges bullets and kills cowboys…

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