“Rollin’ With My Homies”: The best house parties in film and TV history
So apparently it’s 1996 again and bands are totally playing house parties because the Smashing Pumpkins played a Los Angeles house party last year, giving us major flashbacks to their music video for “1979”. Before you go and get yourself over excited and start believing you can relive your youth, it’s worth adding that the “party” was sponsored by Live Nation and was a well-behaved corporate event with fancy catering and a legit proper keg.
The show was held in the same house featured in the “1979” video and at least claws a little bit of credibility back when you hear that the cops were reportedly called to shut it down after the neighbors complained about the noise and riff raff blocking the damn street with their cars. Because this is the whitest, most middle-class, middle-aged “punk rock” story you’ll read today, the police happily allowed Billy Corgan to finish his set.
If you need a reminder of what an actual house party should look like, here’s our ranking of the fourteen best from movie & TV history, along with a lovingly compiled Spotify playlist of some of the most raging tracks from said parties. Tap the keg and let’s do this!
14. This is the End (2013)
In general, we’d suspect any party at James Franco’s house of being in some way apocalyptic (if just for the hangover alone) and in Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg’s meta comedy that point is literally driven home when the rapture ends such a party. Before the end of the world hits, it’s a great time with Craig Robinson (Hot Tub Time Machine) trying to serenade Rihanna and Michael Cera (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) acting like a drugged-up dick.
13. Project X (2012)
Nima Nourizadeh’s comedy about three high school seniors so determined to make their mark they decide to throw the most epic party they possibly can showcases exactly that: a full-throttle tilt-a-whirl of hedonistic abandon. There’s a bottomless supply of booze, a DIY skate park set up, kids jumping off the roof, and ecstasy pinatas being smashed. This never happened at our high school! (We swear.)
12. Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990 – 2000)
“What’s the deal with this girl? I mean does she have parents?” a puzzled Brandon (Jason Priestley) asks Steve (Ian Ziering) as they approach a house party so loud and gigantic it could rival the vibe of most high-end nightclubs. The party offers the perfect introduction to the ludicrous excess of Beverly Hills where teenagers are too busy discussing rhinoplasty around a swimming pool to actually, you know, party.
11. Freaks and Geeks (1999 – 2000)
The Judd Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin) series provides a sterling reminder that not all high school parties are crazy ragers with swimming pools and an endless supply of beer. In fact, most of them are awkward AF, slightly depressing, and usually end with a humiliating vomit sesh.
10. The Rules of Attraction (2002)
There are many amazing parties to be found in Roger Avary’s black comedy adaptation of the Bret Easton Ellis novel. But “The End of the World” party (which starts and ends the film) is the one that truly stands out for highlighting the messy complications that can come with the kaleidoscopic consumption of all the sex, drugs, music, and mayhem of an endless party.
Everything goes to sh** for Lauren (Shannyn Sossamon), Paul (Ian Somerhalder), and Sean (James Van Der Beek) – it truly is the end of their world.
9. Superbad (2007)
Jules’s (Emma Stone) party is a bit of a bust, but only because so many people don’t get what they want out of it and the cops (played by Bill Hader & Seth Rogen) show up to ruin everyone’s fun. But you know you’ve thrown a good party when the cops show up, right?
8. Marie Antoinette (2006)
When you call the Palace of Versailles your home, of course a standard house party for your birthday becomes a stunningly lavish affair on just about every possible level. Perfectly soundtracked by New Order’s “Ceremony”, the scene is abundant with hedonistic indulgences, beautiful people, and gambling follies with Kirsten Dunst’s controversial French Queen still the center of attention regardless.
7. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
A junior yuppie is startled to discover that “Nigel with the brie” isn’t the only one at the door as an entire high school party bursts in to trash his parents’ highly respectable mansion. It’s basically a party in box with DJ decks and kegs set up almost immediately, providing the setting for where Kat (Julia Stiles) gets horrifically drunk and dances to Biggie Small’s “Hypnotize” on a table before puking up all over Patrick (Heath Ledger).
6. Romeo + Juliet (1996)
Firstly, it’s a party in a damn mansion. Secondly, it’s a costume party but everyone looks like they’ve hired Jeremy Scott to fashion their creations for them.
Thirdly, Romeo + Juliet features plenty of drugs (courtesy of “Queen Mab”), an impromptu drag performance from Mercutio (Harold Perrineau) to Kym Mazelle’s cover of “Young Hearts Run Free”, and love at first sight between the eponymous star-crossed lovers of legend (Leonardo DiCaprio & Claire Danes). What more could you possibly want from a house party?
5. House Party (1990)
Iconic if just for the dance off scene where Kid ‘n’ Play (Christopher Reid & Christopher Martin) take down two bodacious ladies with their synced moves to “Ain’t My Type of Hype” by Full Force.
4. Old School (2003)
Vince Vaughn (Wedding Crashers) plays a bro trying to help another bro (Luke Wilson) out of a bad time by starting a fraternity with some other bros and throwing the wildest parties imaginable. At the very first rager we witness Frank (Will Ferrell) transform from timid family man to fiendish alter-ego Frank the Tank with just a single taste of beer: “Once it hits your lips it’s so good!”
Frank the Tank eventually storms the stage totally naked while Snoop Dogg is performing and horrifies the rest of the partygoers before continuing on to humiliate himself by storming the entire neighborhood.
3. Clueless (1995)
It all goes down at the Val Party of Clueless. Elton (Jeremy Sisto) tricks Cher (Alicia Silverstone) into kissing him during a game of suck ‘n’ blow, Tai (Brittany Murphy) regains consciousness while dancing to Coolio’s “Rollin’ With My Homies”, and Dionne (Stacey Dash) threatens to call Murray’s (Donald Faison) mom after she finds him shaving his head in the bathroom. He was just “keeping it real”!
2. Neighbors (2014)
Zac Efron (The Greatest Showman) & Dave Franco prove to be the most insufferable neighbors imaginable by throwing endless frat parties to torture the family who live next door. At “The Hot House” party, weed is tossed into open flames just casually burning around the house and kids throw themselves down the stairs while hopping on exercise balls. It’s the best kind of carnage.
1. National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)
The toga party of Animal House is so legendary that it might never be beaten on screen or in real life. Not only are the antics of John Belushi (The Blues Brothers) the stuff that party dreams are made of, but the live music performed there (by the fictional band Otis Day and the Knights) tips it over into absolutely epic rager.