CollegePartyFilter: Give me party theme ideas
January 22, 2006 9:16 PM   Subscribe

I'm a 22 year old college student in a fraternity and have just been elected social chair, which pretty much means setting up parties with other organizations. To spice things up, we usually set some kind of theme for each bender. So far, we've been given ideas like: * tour de franzia (drink just franzia wine) * ultimate flip cup championship * country club aka golf pros, tennis hoes * walk of shame * trends gone bad * anything but clothes party * gi joes and barbie hoes * white trash trailer bash GIMME SOME MORE IDEAS!!!!!!

Make sure you describe your idea in detail...
posted by deeman to Society & Culture (53 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Why is your fraternity electing a social chair during the middle of the school year?
posted by ChasFile at 9:18 PM on January 22, 2006

Tarts and Vickers--girls dress like priests, the men like hookers. For more information--Google it.
posted by 6:1 at 9:20 PM on January 22, 2006

must it rhyme?
posted by hyperfascinated at 9:22 PM on January 22, 2006

"School Dance" in which the guys wear shirts and ties and the girls do their hair and don makeup. They then stand on opposite sides of the room as popular music is played, moving from their places only to drink punch served from plastic basins by school cafeteria personnel.
posted by The White Hat at 9:22 PM on January 22, 2006

Pimps & Hoes (freeform) is always a classic.
What kind of frat? I know the business one loves to host Cheese and Wine nights, where everyone brings a bottle of wine. Helluva better than franzia, and w/o the maddening hangover.
Back to the [insert random era here].
Toga night.
Sports theme- usually chicks wear cheerleading outfits.
Naughty school-girl & the teacher.
Rock star/glam rock/hair metal theme.
posted by jmd82 at 9:26 PM on January 22, 2006

By your use of the term "hoes," I take it that you're already not concerned about offending women, but might I suggest that you reconsider that as a piece of marketing (if you want to maximize the number of women at the parties, that is). Please, no "pimps and hoes" theme. Your university administrators and local women's groups may not think parties about abusive, exploitative relationships are funny. My college had one of these and it was shut down.

It can be risky to pick any party theme that can be construed as racially or ethnically insensitive. The white trash party is close to the line. Any "ghetto" theme is bound to get you into hot water. Again, protests do not make for a fun time.

That said: foam party. International party (drinks from lots of countries -- maybe the ancestral homes of the men in the frat?). Disco and 80s parties are easy for people to dress for.
posted by amber_dale at 9:30 PM on January 22, 2006

I hear zombie gatherings are in these days.
posted by mediareport at 9:34 PM on January 22, 2006

gender bender party
posted by jouke at 9:45 PM on January 22, 2006

golf pros, tennis hoes
gi joes and barbie hoes
white trash trailer bash

My recommendation would be to seek out things that doesn't risk offending people. I have a few regrets about participating in things like this when I was younger without really understanding what I was doing. I don't mean to come off as a killjoy here, sorry. But I respectfully suggest you find things that don't involve possibly sexist or otherwise bigoted themes. Think of it this way: let's say 100 people are invited to your average Greek bash. Don't you think it's likely that at least a few folks in a group of 100 are going to be annoyed by "hos" and "white trash?"

Enough tip-toeing the wet-blanket line.

I really hope not to come off as lecturing here, as I'm honestly trying to be helpful. In the spirit of what I'm suggesting, there are plenty of options. Try googling "party themes." This link has some options, including ones to get your guests dressed all sexy-like. One of my favorite college theme parties ever was simply a "P-party." Everyone had to come in some way dressed as something starting with the letter P. Leads to lots of ice-breaking conservation as folks try to guess what your costume is. Twenty-six letters of the alphabet; 52 weeks in a year, right? Start with A and work your way to Z with a bash every other Saturday.
posted by donpedro at 9:51 PM on January 22, 2006

On postview, jinx.
posted by donpedro at 9:52 PM on January 22, 2006

I would recommend against "ultimate flip cup championship." My experience is mostly with beer pong at parties, but I think it would be similar - drinking games at a big party (i.e. bigger than everyone can play a game like Kings together or everyone can play beer pong in the space of a few rounds) hold it back. The more attention paid to the drinking game, the more the party is held back.

It's a subtle thing, and its not like you won't enjoy the party if there's drinking games, but maybe think about the best big parties you've been to and I'll bet the focus wasn't on drinking games.

I noticed this but others agree with me - when my group of friends has a big party there's usually specifically no beer pong table.

It might be different though - I'm not in a real frat, just a fake one (our duty: more and better parties than any of the real frats, with no school support.)

A non-theme related suggestion - consider buying kegs of GOOD beer instead of shit. My friends and I are beer drinkers; when we got kegs from a local brewery for our party we were surprised how much EVERYONE appreciated it, not just the beer drinkers.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:54 PM on January 22, 2006

Slumber Party: get everyone to come dressed in their underwear, serve Bloody Marys
posted by 23skidoo at 9:58 PM on January 22, 2006

Hold public tug-of-war practices in front of the frat house, competing against other frats. Preferably shirtless.
posted by Rothko at 10:00 PM on January 22, 2006

My partner was in a frat a long time ago, so here are mrCarabiner's suggestions:

* Zombie
* Heaven & Hell (usually run in 2 rooms, people dress as angels and demons)
* Sewer (decorated as pipes, people dress as mole people)
* Indiana Jones
* Hallowe'en
* Nintendo Party (dress as Nintendo characters)
* Pirate Party
* Oasis/Beach Party (He said to mention that their beach party was done by actually building a beach with real sand. Aparently pledges are great at carrying buckets of sand. He also recommended calling the building of the beach a "work party". The best beach parties had a wall painted up with a sunset mural and palm trees around the other walls.)
posted by carabiner at 10:05 PM on January 22, 2006

Somebody already touched on this, but I thought I'd expand on it a bit. International theme (we had the party on October 24 - United Nations Day). Each room is a different country, different types of drinks in each room. Although most drinks were from the country itself (e.g., tequila shots in "Mexico," vodka shots in "Russia") in some cases they weren't (e.g., in "France" we served French Connections, in "Ireland" we served Nutty Irishmen, you get the picture...skim through a bartender's guide and you'll get lots of ideas). We also served beer from the applicable country in each room. One of the rooms (a porch actually) was good ol' US of A... lots and lots of red, white, and blue jello shots in the shape of a flag. We had a pretty international crowd and that was by far the big hit of the night.
posted by zharptitsa at 10:06 PM on January 22, 2006

Argh. Accidentally closed the tab.


Upsidedown Margaritas - person sits in a (sturdy) chair, two attendants at their sides. Attendants tip chair back, "bartender," one hand on a bottle of cheep tequila, the other on a bottle of cheep mixer pours each into the mouth of the person. Attentdents then toss the person across the room. The theory is that the horizontal acceleration facilitates the entry of the mix down the esophagus of the person. Make sure that there's a mattress at the point of (expected) landing and that the attendents know their strength. I've accidentally caved in a (probably water-rotten) cinder-block wall with a person.

Fern party - borrow or otherwise acquire ferns and other tropical plants from the biology greenhouse. Acquire and cover table lamps with green and blue cellophane - distribute these to tactically light isolate groves created by creatively places plants. You don't state which part of the country you're in, but in some places, there are a *lot* of humidifiers in the dorms/storage (depending on the season). Temporarily sauna up the frat house with humidifiers set to max. This would probably work best after an inter-frat/sor formal. Couldn't see this being worth doing for an open party.

The obvious - if anyone knows of an out-of-the-way site, or someone owns a farm, or knows of a part of a park where the local cops all used to be part of the frat - invite a few local/school bands, rent a tent, encourage people to bring barbeques/briquettes & grills, and build a BIGASSED fire in the middle of the whole thing. Old furniture from the frathouse, gasoline, and random incindiaries will present obvious uses. Empty bottles and shotguns seemed to be popular.

Tupperware party - frat members bring "female maritial aids," and sorority members bring "male maritial aids." Saturated jello shots may help lubricate things.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 10:07 PM on January 22, 2006

I went to a "Red Wine and White Suit" party once. That was fun. The poor guy's carpet never looked the same...
posted by web-goddess at 10:29 PM on January 22, 2006

One more thing... give the women a reason to dress up and they will come in droves. (I am female, so I'm allowed to say this.) Not the everyday, wear a nice top and slim-fitting black pants type of dressing up. I mean, sequined dresses and boas. That said, here are some more ideas: 1920s Speakeasy, James Bond night (with martinis, of course), a jazz night (live music is non-negotiable), an auction or silent auction with fake or real money (frats are actually supposed to do stuff for the community right?). Granted, these ideas are a little more "fancy" than the average frat would go for... but I gurantee you will get both the girls who normally go to frat parties as well as the ones who normally don't. (This is coming from a woman who used to roll her eyes at sterotypical frat guys, but ended up marrying one several years after meeting him at one of those "fancy" frat parties).
posted by zharptitsa at 10:30 PM on January 22, 2006

Don't limit yourself to Saturday night pimps and hoes parties. Ain't nothing wrong with a Sunday brunch -- champagne, Bloody Marys and damn good food. Impress the ladies by acting like gentlemen. Even better when the brunch is coming after they've all woken up after the usual big Saturday night bacchanal.
posted by frogan at 10:37 PM on January 22, 2006

I have always wanted to have one of two different theme parties: Dress like your favorite movie character or dress like a 007 character. I can just see guys in ascots and Ray Bans and I, personally, would wear a mod-ish leather catsuit, befitting of any true Bond girl. Martinis are a must.
posted by Brittanie at 10:49 PM on January 22, 2006

Boxer Rebellion-- leave your pants at the door.
posted by spartacusroosevelt at 10:49 PM on January 22, 2006

Brokeback Mountain Epsilon: guys come as cowboys and ignore the girls all night long while they secretly make out with one another.
posted by Falconetti at 11:06 PM on January 22, 2006

Also known as a Cowboy Emo Party.
posted by Falconetti at 11:07 PM on January 22, 2006

In the early years of the twenty-first century, young and affluent men found it humorous to dress like poor people.
posted by ori at 1:14 AM on January 23, 2006

Why is your fraternity electing a social chair during the middle of the school year?

Because it's normal to elect year-long positions in the middle of the year.
posted by oaf at 2:11 AM on January 23, 2006

"We're All Lemmings"?

I take it that you're already not concerned about offending women, but might I suggest that you reconsider that as a piece of marketing (if you want to maximize the number of women at the parties, that is).

Have you been to a frat party in the last 20 years? Not saying it's right, but those style parties go over very well in college, and it will in fact maximize the number of women. They get into it far more than the guys.

Honestly, with all the mr. rogers advice in this thread (p party? p party? Seriously? Why not pin the tail on the donkey?) frats today (not pc) would scare the hell out of much of mefi.
posted by justgary at 3:04 AM on January 23, 2006

Which house are you in?
posted by astruc at 3:09 AM on January 23, 2006

Carbiner: Sounds like your friend was in my fraternity.

Heaven and Hell was a very good party, decorated on levels, hell in the basement with a shooters bar. Purgatory with a punch bowl and beer trough (couldn't have kegs for public parties), and heaven had mattresses and sheets everywhere and there was a campagne fountain.

This was an SAE tradition so if they are on your campus, you may have some problems doing this.
posted by mic stand at 4:56 AM on January 23, 2006

If you aren't afraid of broken glass and lost charters, go with the Mad Dog (MD 20/20) Social. About a dozen cases should get you started.
posted by mrmojoflying at 5:07 AM on January 23, 2006

justgary: I graduated in 2002. Parties with a "hoes"-oriented theme do attract a fair number of women, even today. Ditto dubious racial/ethnic themes. But why not pick one of these other ideas, which will both attract women and prevent the party from being the source of negative attention from administrators and other groups? There's no reason to be a lightning rod. Parties are about having a good time.

On zharptitsa's theme: our Monte Carlo night with black ties, spangly dresses, and fake gambling was always popular. You can rent roulette wheels, tables, and the like.
posted by amber_dale at 5:46 AM on January 23, 2006

Movie characters costume party. Spoiler: No Sandler.
posted by craniac at 6:28 AM on January 23, 2006

At new year's eve we had a farmyard themed party with challenges and points.

Examples of tasks (typical student fodder!)

• Bet a man to beat him downing a lager and win A
• Tell a child a story A
• Steal from a shop B
• Steal from a sheep B
• Honk the horn of a Brighton bus B
• “Leave your mark on Brighton” C
• “Be French” C
• Create a song with instruments about Seagulls and perform it to one A
• Either kiss or cuddle a policeman B
• Recreate scene from any film in a boat B
• Play volleyball A
• Play we will rock you on the drums A
• Eat some whelks A
• £2.50 pizza, eat 8 slices in 8 mouthfulls A
• Pretend its your birthday and have a shot A
• Draw a picture of Pavilion and sell it B
• Buy a tramp some dinner A
• “Dance with wolves” C
• Make some money A
• Buy a fake rasta hat with dreads A
• Interrupt a game of football A
• Seduce a stranger A
Deliver the following line to at least two fittys in a bar
”We are doing the Farmyard fun challenge for new year’s eve
We have had to lots of funny/weird shit s to do so far
This is our last!!
We picked on you, as it says “Choose a pretty girl etc etc”
We think you should come to the hoedown, happening at 4, Mid Way ave. etc 8pm
• Baywatch opening titles – here are the lyrics A
• Play the balloon crotch game in A
• Make a friend A
• Blindfold piggy back race down Pier A
• Share some Rock with a Brightonian A
• Dance Agadoo outside WHSMITHs (tape player and instructions provided) B
• “Ride it like Seabiscuit” C
• Skip gayily down the promenade A
• Shake hands with a man for 45 seconds A
• Perform a magic trick A
• Fake an orgasm in Boots the chemist B
• Have a (bizarre cocktail from some bar) A
• Make an enemy A
• Dance to “|Christmas tune” by “to be decided” and impress old people (tape player provided) A
• Perform a rap – lyrics provided A
• Order a pint of beer without pointing or using the words “Beer, pint, glass, liquid, drink, drunk, hops, beverage, alcohol, alcoholic, pitcher, bitter, lager, BRAND NAMES” and without blatant cheating. B
• Hold a seagull B
• “Fellatio” C
• Trespass A
• Take someone’s innocence B
• Kiss a woman’s wrist A
• Juggle with fruit for more than 45 seconds and ask a man for approval A
• Interview a woman for “Badger TV Southeast” about her NYE plans A
• Buy condoms only using sign language. B
• Touch a man 8 times A
• Skinny dip B
• Sing loudly brightons burning next to the old pier (in tune of londons burning) A
• Dance under the fountain (if you do this in nothing but your wellies and have proof you will get a special prize) B
• Interview 5 people outside the brighton taj and ask them what they think of brighton stealing from India A
• Get a taxi for nothing back to the party B
• Find a busker and dance to his tunes getting as many people from the street involved as possible B
• Get 5 STRANGERS to hold your hand whilst you claim seriously that you are god B
• Go into starbucks and steal as many wooden stirrers as possible (must be over 100) A
• Find a cat and take it for a drive C
• Persuade a tramp to give you 20p A

posted by jwhittlestone at 6:52 AM on January 23, 2006

You could go crazy and try for something classy. Course, I think the behavior exhibited by most fraternities to be in contradiction to that promoted by the original founders. Gentlemen, ha.

So beyond the cynical, again, go crazy and have a five course meal, candlelight social, etc..etc. Maybe something that doesn't involve people being intoxicated at the end.
posted by Atreides at 6:53 AM on January 23, 2006

Wear a bikini (or don't).
posted by furtive at 7:03 AM on January 23, 2006

Naughty school-girl & the teacher.
posted by jmd82

This is incredibly insensitive in a college environment where the possibility that the "naughty school-girls" have been sexually harassed by their professors is very real. Why don't you try something that isn't offensive and doesn't promote sexist power dynamics?
posted by youarenothere at 7:11 AM on January 23, 2006

In response, where I came from, fraternities weren't particularly sensitive to, well, much of anything. They're all the same ones which also drape Confederate flags from their balconies and windows. The controversal themes I mentioned were never that big of a deal. They said it, got dressed up, got drunk, and all was well the next morning. Hell, most the girls enjoyed dressing up in these outfits with their fraternity boyfriends and they'd go show off downtown. It was/is part of the culture. That was just my experience in the dirty south.
posted by jmd82 at 7:34 AM on January 23, 2006

quit it with your outlandishly sexist suggestions, jmd82, and let's get back to the respectable world of tennis and/or barbie hoes.
posted by soma lkzx at 7:50 AM on January 23, 2006

Gangland, or Mafia Mixer. Some are going to go OG, others will think Al Capone.
posted by atchafalaya at 7:52 AM on January 23, 2006

Why don't you try something that isn't offensive and doesn't promote sexist power dynamics?

You sound like a barrel of laughs. Something tells me some people in this thread didn't get invited to many parties in college. Why don't you folks lighten the fuck up and answer the guy's question instead of using this to bash fraternities, drinking, parties, or whatever your personal axe to grind might be?

My fraternity experience was that the best parties have themes that initiate physical contact, get people mingling, or at the very least get you talking to someone.

Girls seem to dig it when they get to dress up in costumes (I suspect that it's not just because it's fun, but also because for that night the usual rules of conduct are suspended). But if you're going to have some kind of costume requirement, pick a theme and make it simple. Here are some examples:

Caveman party - Everyone dresses up like they're in One Million Years B.C. Clubs, loinclothes, bones in the hair, etc.

Christmas in July - Off-season, Christmas party in the summer. White beards, Christmas hats, mistletoe, etc.

Graffiti - Everyone wears a white t-shirt, you provide a bunch of colored markers, and people write messages/pictures/phone numbers on other people's shirts.

Vampire Luau - Everything decorated in tropical motif. People wear Hawaiian outfits and candy necklaces (like leis) and every so often, the DJ says "Vampire Luau!" and you have to grab the person next to you and bite the candy of their neck. High concept, I know, but believe me, it's fun.
posted by Gamblor at 8:02 AM on January 23, 2006

Why is your fraternity electing a social chair during the middle of the school year?

Maybe offices are only held for one semester. I know that's the way we did it in my chapter (Alpha Phi Omega - coed national service fraternity...I have nothing to hide. ; ))
posted by SisterHavana at 8:06 AM on January 23, 2006

Great party idea that I never got off the ground. I'm a southerner (don't fly the stars and bars though) and I was stuck in Chicago. Here's what I wanted: An outdoor "Hawaiian" themed party in the middle of January / February. Here's what to do:

1. Rent 10 or 12 construction site heaters. These are basically really big space heaters, and have pretty large fans behind them. Strategically place them in the front yard, or on the porch or whatever. Shovel out the snow (as much as you're able), and then fire them up an hour or two early to melt the rest of the snow and make sure you're getting it warm.

2. Throw the usual Hawaiian party. Have a kiddie pool filled with warmish water. Have everybody wear beachwear. Make pineapple / mango / tropical drinks.

3. If possible fire up the BBQ and do burgers, too. Imagine a BBQ where you can throw snowballs!

3. This was called "July in Christmas" or just "Cancun."

You should do this in as public of a space as possible: The best thing in the world is sitting in the kiddie pool in a bathing suit, outside, in february, and watching the regular foot traffic (mere feet away) trudging to the library all bundled up. You'll be famous.
posted by zpousman at 8:06 AM on January 23, 2006

Right, Gamblor, it's impossible to have fun without objectifying women. I like drinking. Sometimes I even like getting shitfaced. I also like a lot of your ideas - the frats at my school did the graffiti thing once. The Vampire Luau sounds great too - and it doesn't necessarily involve the girls traipsing around pretending to be sex workers. Frats already have a bad rap when it comes to the treatment of women - why further that idea?
posted by youarenothere at 8:28 AM on January 23, 2006

I can't believe so many people are hung up on the "don't do something offensive" hook here. Did you all not read that this is a FRATERNITY party? Have you seen college students these days? You think pimps and hoes is offensive? Pimps and hoes is a classroom discussion in college these days lol! I mean really, I've seen video of fraternity parties where the guys hired porn stars to come in and start going at it in the middle of the room with everyone gathered around (guys and girls) watching.

How about dead celebrities or Love Boat? Always a good time fighting over who gets to be Gopher!
posted by Chuck Cheeze at 9:06 AM on January 23, 2006

Whatever you think of, make sure that the male role ryhmes with "hoes" so that the female role can be some sort of hoe. You're on the right track with tennis hoes and barbie hoes. fucker.
posted by nomad at 9:32 AM on January 23, 2006

My frat in college (waaaay back when) had a beach party in the middle of winter. Cover the first floor of the house with plastic, dump in a few truckloads of sand, spread it around evenly and crank up the heat - presto, Beta Beach. A U.Va. classic.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:40 AM on January 23, 2006

Right, Gamblor, it's impossible to have fun without objectifying women.

None of the suggestions I made objectify anyone, they're simply fun ideas. Every "frat" is different, and only as good as the people who are in it. Unless you know for a fact that deeman's chapter has a bad reputation, you're unjustly disparaging people you don't know based on a stereotype.

And even if the party themes did, in your opinion, objectify someone? I've been to many frat parties, and I never once saw someone hold a gun to anyone's head to force them to attend.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that college kids like having sex. I know this is a scary and worrisome topic for some people, but sometimes those same students will willingly dress up in provocative ways and/or do provocative things. Maybe even do things that you wouldn't approve of and would make your grandmother blush. That's college.
posted by Gamblor at 9:41 AM on January 23, 2006

80s night or 40s night, where 40s night involves dressing in 40s attire and drinking 40s and 80s night involves dressing in 80s attire and drinking two 40s.
posted by ludwig_van at 9:54 AM on January 23, 2006

"Get the Guest" - the person/group that bring the most "interesting" guest wins.
posted by plinth at 10:07 AM on January 23, 2006

Existential Dread Party - Hotbox the whole house with cigarette smoke and pound shots of espresso. No drinking, just ennui.

Love Boat Murder Mystery - Hire actors to portray all the cast members of the Love Boat and then enact the murder mystery you always wanted to be a part of.

H.R. GigerPuff - Decorate the whole house in a nightmarish mix of PuffNStuff and Giger, get amazingly high and help each other survive the night.
posted by rabbitsnake at 10:46 AM on January 23, 2006

tour de franzia (drink just franzia wine)

dear god, don't do this.

I vote for zharptitsa - the best ideas involve a different member of the frat making a different drink or having a different theme in their own dorm rooms. It's like an expression of individuality in an otherwise conformist dynamic.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 10:46 AM on January 23, 2006

I like the Rat Pack Parties. A bunch of frats here did that back in the day.
posted by oflinkey at 11:26 AM on January 23, 2006

i don't think a "tour de franzia" would work well as a party, but it works really well as something to just go out and do with a few friends if your campus or town authorities are relaxed with their alcohol policies.

last year we removed the franzia plastic pouches from their boxes, strapped them to our backs (like CamelBaks), and wandered the campus offering people drinks from our pouches and asking them to join us. our group of 4 turned into a group of around 15. it was a fun way to make new friends. extra points if you do it on bikes.
posted by adamk at 1:05 PM on January 23, 2006

I don't know if this will work for a frat party, but I threw a "mania/phobia" party once that worked quite well.

Watch out for the wiseasses who decide to be kleptomanias, though.
posted by snickerdoodle at 8:13 PM on January 23, 2006

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