Why are these red plastic cups so common in teensploitation movies and TV series?
August 16, 2004 3:01 PM   Subscribe

PartyCupFilter. In teensplotation movies and TV series, these party cups often feature predominantly
whenever there's a party situation going on. Why is that? Are they a generic low budget brand, do they come free with kegs or are they the choice of a cool generation?

...and yeah, I realize this probably isn't Ask Metafilter's finest moment, but I really want to know.
posted by soundofsuburbia to Grab Bag (29 answers total)
Best answer: Those are Solo cups. Also in blue and yellow, and they just are usually the most popular cups of that size.
posted by ALongDecember at 3:04 PM on August 16, 2004

um, I have a bag of those in my cupboard. several companies make them. dixie, for example. I think the brand I have is 'jack frost'.
posted by angry modem at 3:04 PM on August 16, 2004

yeah solo
posted by angry modem at 3:05 PM on August 16, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks a lot, I feel as if a weight has been lifted from my heart!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 3:10 PM on August 16, 2004

In addition to them being everywhere and cheap, they have the advantage for film/tv of bearing no logo meaning nothing has to be cleared, legally, to show them. They also don't break when the unruly extras hurl them when they realize how boring "the movie business" is.
posted by dobbs at 3:11 PM on August 16, 2004

Also, in real life, these are solid cups, perfect for keg drinking. They last all night, unlike wax or paper cups. Don't forget to mark yours with a Sharpie.
posted by sixpack at 3:18 PM on August 16, 2004

soundsofsuburbia: I knew the answer and was prepared to help, but even though I was too late, my hat is off to you for inspiring me to find the answer to a question I've always had: why are all the disposable coffee cups in NYC Greek art themed? And as a bonus I even found out that the cups were recently updated for the Olympics.
posted by Stoatfarm at 3:24 PM on August 16, 2004

Could there possibly be something to fact that the cups are opaque--meaning viewers can't actually tell what's inside the cup, thus protecting the studio from any silly liability stuff? For instance, perhaps they can't actually show teens drinking alcoholic stuff on TV, so they put whatever in the solo cup.

All the frat parties I went to in college used the mega-cheap clear versions, so I think their use in visual media may be as much due to legal issues as to the cup's general popularity.
posted by LionIndex at 3:29 PM on August 16, 2004

Response by poster: Stoatfarm: Lovely! I've been pondering that question as well! Thank you!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 3:30 PM on August 16, 2004

do they come free with kegs
Yes, or did.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:43 PM on August 16, 2004

Stoat, sounds: I believe the Greek theme reflects the once mighty empire of Greek diners that blanketed our fair land from coast to Costas, but which were as thick in the City as Original Ray's Famous Pizza.

I think, anyway.

posted by mwhybark at 4:12 PM on August 16, 2004

Ha! This has incidentally answered one of my long-standing puzzles when reading American books, namely what the hell a "Dixie cup" is.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 4:28 PM on August 16, 2004

My opnion (as if it matters):

- No brand name on the cup means no royalties or lawsuits.
- A clear cup might be tough to capture on film clearly (ha ha).
- When the actors are pretending they're drinking beer, the fact that it's apple juice or some other not particularly beer looking drink doesn't stand out.
- If the scene has to be shot too many times and the actors don't drink anything from the cups, it doesn't show.
- It looks "normal".

Just my guesses. I don't film things.
posted by shepd at 4:31 PM on August 16, 2004

- If the scene has to be shot too many times and the actors don't drink anything from the cups, it doesn't show.

Related to that, the continuity folks don't have to worry about the level of liquid in cups in multiple takes of a scene.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:34 PM on August 16, 2004

i_am_joe's_spleen: a "Dixie cup" reference is probably implying a really small cup, maybe 3 oz., like you'd rinse out with at a dentist office.
posted by msacheson at 4:46 PM on August 16, 2004

also: the cups opacity make them perfect for camping in state parks where alcohol is prohibited.

i_am_joe's_spleen: as well as what msacheson said, Dixie brand cups were widely promoted in the US back in the 50's and 60's as a sanitary measure. they sold millions of dispensers and billions of refills in ad campaigns aimed at eliminating the ubiquitous glass tumbler found at the bathroom sink.
posted by quonsar at 5:05 PM on August 16, 2004

and they often had riddles or jokes or pop culture stuff printed on them (but most often were daisies in my family's bathroom)
posted by amberglow at 5:27 PM on August 16, 2004

or I call them..."whooo" cups.
as in drunk frat boys, holding them aloft and screaming "WHOOOO!"
posted by ShawnString at 5:39 PM on August 16, 2004

aren't they also called "go-cups" in some places? (The big ones--i'm thinking New Orleans, but it's been a while since i was there)
posted by amberglow at 5:45 PM on August 16, 2004

They called them "keg cups" in my neighborhood. And, yes, they are ubiquitous at parties -- until you get to the higher class parties that have real dishes.
posted by litlnemo at 5:55 PM on August 16, 2004

They can also make wonderful signs on overpasses that either support the USA or ask Sharon for her hand in marriage.

Beyond being cups, I think those are the only uses they were designed for.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:58 PM on August 16, 2004

do they come free with kegs

Every time I've bought a half-barrel, they get thrown in for free.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:08 PM on August 16, 2004

Are they called Dixie cups outside of the South? Where do those coffee cups with the poker hand come from? Vending machines? I've never had vending machine coffee.
posted by Frank Grimes at 7:11 PM on August 16, 2004

They're called Dixie cups in southern California.
posted by kenko at 7:12 PM on August 16, 2004

Ah sweet memories of misspent youth. Those cups were my companions at many happy moments.

One time, right after me and pips started dating, we were parked outside a public park shooting the breeze around midnight. Some kids were talking nearby, but we didn't pay them no mind. After a while one kid knocked on our window. He had a solo cup full of beer in one hand and two empty ones dangling from the other's fingers.

"We got a keg in the woods behind the park. 3 bucks a cup?"

We looked at eachother and said what the hell, sidled up to the keg and had a good old time with a bunch of sodden teens.

That kid's probably a captain of industry today.
posted by jonmc at 7:17 PM on August 16, 2004

Dixie Cups is a brand name that for a long time (still?) was ubiquitous, like Kleenex or Jell-O.
posted by dobbs at 9:50 PM on August 16, 2004

I never understood people who mark their cups with a Sharpie, or put a wine charm on their wine glass. This implies they are setting their drink DOWN at some point. I just don't get it.

I can't believe you've never encountered Solo cups! I've rarely been to a kegger (not that I go to those anymore) that wasn't using them. That's what your three bucks gets you.
posted by agregoli at 7:15 AM on August 17, 2004

Response by poster: agregoli: I'm from Sweden, we don't have kegs over here...
posted by soundofsuburbia at 9:10 AM on August 17, 2004

posted by agregoli at 9:37 AM on August 17, 2004

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