TMZ is home to the last good video game

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So much about TMZ exudes horrible energy. Anyone who has ever watched TMZ on TV could tell you. Since its launch in 2005, it’s become one of the biggest names in tabloid news, but it’s now primarily a website I visit when someone has passed away. But there’s one thing about TMZ that’s pure bliss: Celebrity jamming.

While it’s not something TMZ is particularly known for, it’s spot-on — a weird little recurring feature that serves no purpose other than to boost traffic. Celebrity Scramble is part puzzle, part joke, and part way to humiliate the rich and famous.

Here’s how it works: TMZ takes a photo of a celebrity, zooms in and out of their features until they’re no longer recognizable, then asks you to guess who it is. It’s not really a game you can win, because winning only means you consume enough celebrity content to know what Justin Timberlake looks like when his face has been distorted in such a way that he looks like a rat.


It makes me laugh every time. It’s so disrespectful, and yet it’s not even the rudest celebrity scrimmage I’ve ever seen. This honor belongs to this woman. Can you guess who it is?


It’s Kate Bosworth, of course. Even if the evil geniuses in TMZ’s graphics department turned her into some kind of Guillermo Del Toro monster, heterochromia reveals it. That’s the trick to getting really good at Celebrity Scramble, you have to get really good at knowing what famous people’s eyes look like. That’s how I immediately knew it was Rihanna:


You can spend hours playing this game. It’s best enjoyed with a larger group, like a group chat or a Slack channel full of people who have other things to do. As you can see from the screenshots, there are hundreds of jams just waiting for you. You don’t even have to be competitive to enjoy it, sometimes it’s fun just looking at goofy photos of celebrities. Look at this picture and tell me you’re not laughing:

It’s Usher, by the way.

TMZ has hate in its heart, I know that. But Celebrity Scramble is one of the few things on the website that doesn’t look malicious in any way. They didn’t harass anyone for these images, they don’t make fun of the celebrity’s true face, and no one is hurt in the process of having their faces blurred.

Celebrity Scramble has been a mainstay of TMZ since 2019when they first scrambled Kerry Washington to look like this:

(I guess Mindy Kaling, you can’t win them all!)

Three years later, the game is still going strong and I hope they never stop. It’s the perfect way to kill 10 minutes of the workday. You’ll laugh, you’ll squint, you’ll ask your fellow designer if he can blur your own face (he won’t, because he has other things to do and you’ll understand), what more could you ask for from a site gossip?

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