The Pfefferman family plays sardines in ‘Transparent’

The Pfefferman family plays a game of sardines in the “To Sardines and Back” episode of the Amazon series Transparent (Season 3, Episode 3).

While the after birthday dinner game gives the show an opportunity to put characters together in an intimate setting as they work through their myriad of issues, it’s also a subtle nod to Jewish summer camp, which the show has yet to really show in its flashback scenes beyond the flashback to Camp Camellia, a cross-dressing camp Maura attended in 1994 back in Season 1.

Though not exclusively a summer camp game, Sardines (the object of which is to find other people hiding and hide with them) was a camper favorite at the camp where I grew up. I also played it at sleepovers and youth group events, but never with my entire family as the Pfeffermans do in this episode.

That they end up finding a long lost childhood pet only adds to the textured layers of emotion the show does such a good job of capturing at times and in ways you least expect.

Watch Transparent Season 3 online on Amazon >>

Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at and I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.

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