We all construct fantasies about our futures based on cinematic experiences at the ripe, world-beating age of 12. I walked out of American Pie – the first movie my friends and I had the balls to sneak into – thinking, “That’s going to be us in five years. We are going to be prematurely ejaculating into Shannon Elizabeth’s trembling hands and banging so-and-so’s hot mom on the reg some day (side note: if you’re not sure who the token hot mom is among your friends, that’s probably because it’s yours). Above all, we thought we’d be throwing parties as epic, handcuffs-free and orgiastic as the one we’d seen portrayed on screen that day.
Well you know what? Fantasy doesn’t always match up with reality. No one ever banged the hot mom (except for our friend Dale’s now-estranged father), premature ejaculation was always thwarted by whiskey intake, and I have still never attended a party to rival the Snoop-emceed backyard bash in Old School. But that doesn’t mean you can’t try. Will you succeed? Probably not. But then again, I bet 12 year-old Shaun White – gangly and pale and covered in ginger – never thought he’d be laying pipe to an SI swimsuit-issue cover model someday.
So here’s everything you need to know about hosting a party as epic as those you’ve seen in theaters:
As Seen In: Can’t Hardly Wait (1998), American Pie (1999), Superbad (2007), Project X (2012); every raunchy teen comedy since Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
What You’ll Need: A rich kid whose parents are dumb enough to leave him home alone for the weekend, someone with a quality fake ID (or no fear of that whole “distributing to minors” clause written into this country’s pesky bylaws), lazy and/or incompetent cops, girls with loose morals.
Obstacles: Grouchy neighbors, girls who period all over the dancefloor, braces.
The Larger-than-Life Frat Blowout
As Seen In: Animal House (1978), Revenge of the Nerds (1984), Van Wilder (2002 ... and yes, we know it’s not technically a frat party), Old School (2003)
What You’ll Need: A frat palace (preferably with large backyard), a theme (Toga? Anything But Clothes?), a catchy name (think Mitch-a-Palooza), a ragtag group of misfits skilled at physical comedy, a kiddie-pool full of lube, girls with loose morals.
Obstacles: The overtures of a malevolent Greek Council and/or Dean with a stick up his ass, freshman overflow, fire hazards, the moment you realize she qualifies as “statutory.”
The Blackout Bachelor Weekend
As Seen In: The Hangover (2009), The Hangover Part II (2011)
What You’ll Need: A sacrificial lamb (in the form of an engaged-to-be-married friend), mislabeled drugs, Vegas (or a foreign equivalent), abundant, improbable fiascos, girls with loose morals (here, hookers will suffice).
Obstacles: (Partial) Memory loss, animal control liaisons, accidental shotgun weddings (perhaps involving said hookers), sunburn, the onset of a mind-numbing hangover.
As Seen In: Dazed and Confused (1993), Wet Hot American Summer (2001), Happy Campers (2001), scary movies aplenty
What You’ll Need: A remote location, trees for chopping, excessive quantities of kerosene, a collective enthusiasm for skinnydipping, charges who stay in their cabins when told.
Obstacles: Charges who don’t stay in their cabins when told, limited access to liquor stores, psychokillers running wild.
As Seen In: Jaws (1975), Blue Crush (2002), Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
What You’ll Need: A beach, a bonfire, Pacific Islanders with tribal tats, a pig in the ground, Cali bros with tribal tats.
Obstacles: Sandy vaginal canals, agro surfer dudes with beef for that wave you stole earlier, maneating sea creatures.
The Block Party
As Seen In: Dave Chappelle’s Block Party (2006)
What You’ll Need: Friendly terms with all your neighbors, a handful of big-name musical acts and comedians, hoodlums who know how to wrench a fire extinguisher into action, in-depth logistical planning – depending on the size of your neighborhood.
Obstacles: Acquisition of a public-spaces permit from the city council, open container laws, scarcity of sanitary boom-boom rooms.
The Pool Party
As Seen In: Caddyshack (1980), Boogie Nights (1997), Anchorman (2004)
What You’ll Need: A swimming pool, frozen drinks with little umbrellas, a grill, a diving board, competitive assholes drunk enough to challenge one another to feats of acrobatics utilizing that diving board.
Obstacles: Slippery pooldeck, shrinkage, grisly accidents stemming from drunken springboard escapades.
The In-Home Brothel
As Seen In: Risky Business (1983)
What You’ll Need: Parents dumb enough to leave you home alone for the weekend, friends with deep pockets, your hooker friend, a certain diminutive Scientologist.
Obstacles: Acquiring a hooker friend, persuading her to run a brothel out of your parents’ house for a night, the moment when your Ivy League interviewer knocks on the door.
The Ritualized Orgy
As Seen In: Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
What You’ll Need: Masks, passwords, and that same diminutive Scientologist.
Obstacles: Breaching Scientology HQ, locating the password, trying not to fall on a dick.
The End of the World Bonanza
As Seen In: The Matrix: Reloaded (2003)
What You’ll Need: A subterranean colony existing in a post-apocalyptic world under the dominion of a race of sinister machines, a futuristic hybrid of grunge and techno blaring out the speakers, potato sacks, girls with that special brand of loose morals that attends end of the world bonanzas.
Obstacles: Actualizing the conditions listed above.