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25th Feb 2019

It turns out Tetris blocks actually have names and they’re incredibly weird

Orange Ricky. WTF.

Tetris, the thinking man’s lego 

What’s the name for that long Tetris block? Or the square one? Or the T-shaped lad? Simon,Timothy and Mortimer, right? Wrong.

Twitter user @vecchitto has unearthed a goldmine in the form of a very old Tetris instruction booklet, presumably produced for morons that cannot grasp basic logic.

What we’re witnessing here is a thing of beauty. An insight into the inner workings of a madman.

According to this wonderful booklet, the seven types of Tetris block all have their own individual names, each more batshit than the last.

Do any of the names make sense? Absolutely not. But are they a joy to behold, some 35 years after the game’s initial release? Yes, extremely.

Let’s try to work out the inspiration behind these utterly insane Tetris block names, while also determining whether there are any better options.

Why? For journalism.

Orange Ricky

Question 1: Why Ricky?

Question 2: Why Orange Ricky?

This is very clearly the ‘L’ shape Tetris block, also known as the loser block, the corner piece, the corridor, the ‘looking kind of dumb with her finger and her thumb in the shape of an L on her forehead’ block. To call it ‘Orange Ricky’ is to insult a man named Richard who has just returned from his first ever foray into the world of spray tanning.

The name makes no sense. The block comes in a multitude of colours, not just orange. Also, if you’re giving it a British man’s name, it’s obviously going to be Dean or Joshua. The block doesn’t look like a Ricky. It is not a man who forgets to get a round in. It is not a Ricky. We must rename it ‘L’.



Question 1: Why Hero?

Question 2: Actually, fuck it, why not?

You know what, Hero isn’t a terrible name for this piece. Sure, it’s frequently referred to as ‘the long one’, Lanky Larry, underscore, line, poor crop yield, accurate representation of my eyebrows when I was 14, hyphen, graph showing the general public’s interest in Brexit, etc. But let’s entertain them.

Hero is actually kind of wholesome. It conjures up the intended effect of this Tetris block on the game. You’ve lined up a big stack of bois, but you need this guy to come along and get things moving. Truly, he is a hero. He will save the day, if you let him. *Enrique Iglesias voice* let him be your hero.


Blue Ricky

Question 1: This is the same as Orange Ricky though, isn’t it?

Question 2: Was a very dim child tasked with coming up with these names?

If they wanted logic to prevail, the Tetris creators could’ve just named this block a Reverse Orange Ricky, given that that is precisely what it is. But no, they instead went for a stupid name for a stupid block. It should be called a rich person’s couch, or two thirds of an uppercase ‘L’. I don’t know. I don’t really have a better option right now. It’s just very silly and nobody would ever remember that it’s called Blue Ricky. That is the name of a very spicy sex position, probably.



Question 1: Is a Teewee the teacher’s version of a Shewee?

Question 2: Is this all just a practical joke at this point?

That is a ‘T’, or a cross, or a boner. It is not a teewee, whatever that is. This Tetris piece is three quarters of a plus sign. It usually fucks up the game because you can’t get it turned around in time to have the intended outcome. It is a jester of a Tetris block. Teewee is a prick. I hate him with my life.


Cleveland Z

Question 1: What?

Question 2: Do you pronounce it ‘zee’ or ‘zed’?

Of course! The Cleveland Z! Also known as the ‘Z’. Perhaps it originated in Cleveland, this little guy. Worked hard at school, got into a good college, came away with a good degree and then fulfilled its dreams of being a Tetris puzzle piece. Rather than using its birth name (Ricky), it has opted for its hometown to finally put it on the map.

When you think about it, do Tetris pieces even need names? We all just call them what we want anyway, like every member of the Nolan Sisters. You follow your heart, going with what feels right. Tetris doesn’t need to be formalised. I hate this.



Question 1: What is a Smashboy?

Question 2: Did a square name this?

Smashboy – a boy who smashes, or a smash that is a boy? Smash is a type of instant mashed potato, which means this block is made of mashed potato, logically. It is also a boy, not that gender matters when you’re playing Tetris. Out of curiosity, what gender do you assign to the other Tetris pieces? Submit your answers at the bottom, please.

Regardless of its stupid-as-heck name, Smashboy is arguably the best Tetris block you can receive. He fits into most places and gives you a fully-rounded outcome. Other names for this guy are square, block, accurate depiction of The Rock’s body type, wombat droppings (they poop cubes) and / or fudge. NO further questions on this matter, thank you.


Rhode Island Z

Question 1: This is definitely all just a joke, isn’t it?

Question 2: Is Tetris playing us now?

It’s not even a ‘Z’, it’s backwards. It’s a ‘Z’ looking in the mirror, checking out its form after another gruelling gym session, frustrated by the lack of any immediate progress in its body, trying to be patient but struggling to stay focussed with such a lack of visible results.

Why does Rhode Island even come into it? I looked up Cleveland and Rhode Island maps and neither areas are shaped like these Tetris blocks. Someone is having a laugh. This is a scam. I am never playing Tetris again. I hate the internet. Goodbye.



Images via Twitter