Ants in the Pants is a children's tabletop game for two to four players. The object of the game is to spring as many of your 'ants' as possible into the 'pants'. The game shares similarities with Tiddlywinks.
Components consist of a free-standing pair of miniature, usually plastic, pants and four sets of plastic ants, colored red, yellow, green, and blue. Each player uses one color of ants. The ants are designed so that pressing the tail stores elastic potential energy. When the tail is pressed and released, the ants spring into the air. Some versions include cardboard characters which serve as backboards deflecting the ants into the pants. Plastic suspenders (or braces) are another common element, which serve as obstacles.
Created by insect-theme game designer William H. Schaper, Ants in the Pants was originally published by his W.H. Schaper Mfg. Co., Inc. in 1969. In 1986, what was then known as Schaper Toys of Kusan Inc. was acquired by Tyco Toys, and, in the deal, Tyco sold the rights to four Schaper games (including Cootie and Ants in the Pants) to Hasbro's Milton Bradley division which currently manufactures the game.
The name derives from an idiomatic English metaphor which asserts that nervous, fidgety people must have "ants in their pants". The English word "antsy" (meaning nervous) also derives from this metaphor.
This game appeared in the South Park episode "Damien", in which Cartman receives the game as a gift instead of the toy he wanted, and throws a tantrum.