Rules mnemonics for the FRCP

Here’s a running list of mnemonics I use in class for various Rules of the FRCP. Some of them I got years ago from my friend Elizabeth Pendo (now at SLU Law). Others I’ve developed and revised through the years. If you have any suggestions for changes or additions, please let me know.


  • 8(a)(2) – Formerly K.I.S.S. (Conley), now SHOW ME THE MONEY! (Twiqbal)? (claim for relief)
  • 9(b)(2) – GIMME MORE! (pleading circumstances of fraud and mistake)
  • 11(b) – THE GOLDEN RULE (reasonable investigation, non-harassment, truthfulness, and non-frivolity in papers presented to court)
  • 12(b)(6) – SO WHAT? (failure to state a claim, ties into 8(a)(2))
  • 12(e) – SAY WHAT? (motion for more definite statement)
  • 12(f) – HOW DARE YOU! (regarding redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter)
  • 15(a) – DO-OVER or MULLIGAN (amended pleadings) [Perhaps 12(h)(1)(B)(2) + 15(a)(1) = PRESIDENTIAL MULLIGAN] (rescuing a disfavored 12(b) defense through an amendment as a matter of course)
  • 15(c) – BACK TO THE FUTURE (relation-back)
  • 41(a) – UNCLE! (voluntary dismissal)
  • 41(a) – LUCY VAN PELT’S FOOTBALL (two-shot rule)
  • 41(b) – YOU’RE OUT! (involuntary dismissal)
  • 55 – FORFEIT! (default judgment)


  • 13(a), (b) – BACK AT YOU! (counterclaims)
  • 13(g) – ET TU, BRUTE? (crossclaims)
  • 13(h) – AND YOUR LITTLE DOG, TOO! (joining additional parties to counterclaim/crossclaim)
  • 14 – BRING A DATE (impleader a/k/a third-party practice)
  • 17 – Any suggestions???? (real party in interest; competency)
  • 18(a) – PILE IT ON or the CLARK KENT rule (joinder of additional claims)
  • 20(a) – BE MY GUEST (permissive joinder of parties)
  • 19(a) – INVITE A VIP? (compulsory joinder of necessary parties, if feasible)
  • 19(b) – CANCEL THE PARTY? (whether to proceed or dismiss if necessary party cannot be joined)
  • 20(a) – BE MY GUEST (permissive joinder of parties)
  • 22, 1335 – COME AND GET IT (aka “I, ME, MINE,” or simply “MINE!”) (interpleader)
  • 24 – PARTY-CRASHER (intervention)
  • 42 – BREAK IT UP! (consolidation and separate trials)


  • 50(a): DO NOT PASS GO! (judgment as a matter of law) (credit: Edgar Gonzalez, 2016)
  • 50(b): NO SOUP FOR YOU! (renewed judgment as a matter of law) (credit: Edgar Gonzalez, 2016)


  • 56 – PUT UP OR SHUT UP!

Revised Sept. 1, 2016