Theme parties serve many essential purposes, adding an element of the theatrical to drinking in your backyard, allowing your inner creativity and Cher wig to flow, and providing an excuse to wear spandex pants (or no pants' no one judges at a theme party).
Looking to go beyond the Ugly Sweater Party? Here are five ideas, in honor of this fifth day of May, to rock the house:
Cinco de Drinko While many Mexican-Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo, it is also popular with young white people who really enjoy appropriating other cultures as an excuse to get their freak on. The very best Cinco de Drinko parties feature a live mariachi band, dancing Chihuahuas, and beer bongs made out of Saguaro cactuses. But if you lack those features, all that's really needed is a cases of Corona and a piñata that looks like your boss.
Required Costume Elements: Sombreros (preferably on dogs), ponchos. For the ladies it's a great excuse to grow out the uni-brow in a hip nod to Frida Kahlo.
Key Ingredients: Tequila, piñatas stuffed with mini bottles of tequila, tequila-filled sopapillas, tequila-flavored salsa, tequila and lime chips.
Helpful Party Hint: Anything can be a last-minute centerpiece for the buffet; a bowl of limes, a basket of chili peppers, or an up-side-down sombrero filled with coke!
Faux Prom Who says prom is only for adolescents? What about those of us who physically look a lot better now but have mentally regressed to being seventeen? Where's our "Night To Remember" or "Virgin Bustin' Wunderland" theme? The answer is right in your own backyard. Put up an archway, hand out some free condoms, drink peach schnapps out of a flask and it's like you never left the Knights of Columbus Hall.
Required Costume Elements: Formal wear. The older and poofier the better for the ladies, and if the gentlemen need any help, please just look at the fellow above in the tan suit and purple shirt.
Key Ingredients: Punch (spiked- classic!), really bad finger food, all in cube form, Rice Krispie Treats, and Mad Dog 20-20.
Helpful Party Hint: Corsages die anyway, you might as well make one out of Twizzlers.
Jersey Shore Quick, grasp onto this excuse to dress like a Chilean hooker before we all blink and it's culturally irrelevant!
Required Costume Elements: Any t-shirt that looks like a bedazzler puked on it, tight shirts run through a paper shredder, poufs in the hair, painted-on six packs, bronzer, giant sunglasses, vats of DEP gel, hoop earrings the size of steering wheels, extraneous hats, extra fists for pumping.
Key Ingredients: Coney Island hot dogs, lasagna, pickles, Long Island Ice Teas, boxes of wine, gonorrhea filled hot tub if at all possible.
Helpful Party Hint: Bring a small gift for the host, sometimes called a "hostess gift," but also known as a "Pre-apology for throwing up on your bed gift."
Super Heroes vs. Villains Super Heroes need spandex. Villains need prop weapons. Mix them together and it makes for some more memorable pictures than your crew holding up brewskies in a bar booth.
Required Costume Elements: For heroes; Anything-Man, Lionel from the Thundercats, FryLock, Trojan Man, Rambo, George of the Jungle, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, R2D2, Wonder Woman. For Villains; Medusa, Poison Ivy, Gargamel, Dr. Evil, Mum-Rah, Dick Cheney, Skeletor.
Key Ingredients: Hero Subs, foot-long hot dogs, Superman ice cream, enough keg beer for The Final Showdown: Good v. Evil Flip Cup Tournament.
Helpful Party Hint: If someone asks if they can bring something, say, "How thoughtful! How about a donkey?"
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Anchorman Think '70s Party meets Anchorman. Roll in with your own news team and keep your head on a swivel, because it's going to be a vicious cock fight. Feel free to tape news segments throughout the evening, "This just in -- someone totally blew out the bathroom and the suspect has fled the scene!"
Required Costume Elements: Mustaches (of course) '70s suits, fake microphones, big hair, turtlenecks, suit jackets with no pants, nylons, video camera.
Key Ingredients: "I'll have three fingers of Glenlivet, with a little bit of pepper... and some cheese."
Helpful Party Hint: If you don't know a guest, ask them how they know the host. And then punch them when they look around.