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Stuffy Adult Party
A ridiculously formal and bland party held by a group of jaded and uncool adults.


(permanent link) added: 2013-02-04 10:02:50 sponsor: MartyD82 edited by: Arivne (last reply: 2014-11-20 12:01:00)

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In a typical Sitcom, just as teenagers have the Wild Teen Party, adults have the Stuffy Adult Party. This is essentially the most boring and needlessly dressy (usually dinner) party imaginable. At such a party, you can usually expect to see:

  1. Everybody dressed in a suit and tie, as if they were going to a fancy restaurant or funeral.
  2. Smarmy fiddle or piano music in the background.
  3. Nary a single drop of alcohol.
  4. Everybody behaving in the most responsible and "mature" manner possible. This includes the most perfectly-appropriate discussion topics imaginable and zero conflict between the party's guests.
  5. In some instances, the monotony will be broken up with perfectly clean and safe jokes among the guests.

This trope is especially common in sitcoms aimed at kids or teens. In many instances, the adults will attend this kind of party while the kids throw a Wild Teen Party. Generally, this is done to create an obvious contrast between the two plots and lead into the inevitable conclusion, where the adults come home from their "boring" party and are immediately shocked to find their home completely trashed.


Examples

Commercials
  • A 1995 commercial for Hi-C plays this straight in its depiction of "an adult's idea of a party."

Film
  • Averted in Superbad, where the adult party Seth and Evan briefly attend turns out to be much more wild and raunchy than the Wild Teen Party they're supposed to attend.

Live-Action TV
  • Family Matters has done this on many occasions. Most notably, in the episode where the perfectly-groomed Carl, Harriet and Estelle attend a relative's 40th birthday, leaving Eddie, Laura and Judy alone for the night. Eddie's friend Rodney comes over, and a Wild Teen Party gradually breaks out.
  • Freaks and Geeks has this in the episode "Noshing And Moshing", where the Weirs attend Neil's dad's annual dinner party (with the Freaks at a wild punk club being the obvious contrast). Needless to say, the only thing Lindsay finds even remotely interesting about it is the presence of Neil's Cool Loser brother Barry. In an ironic twist, the Weir parents themselves are bored to tears by the party.
  • Girls mocks this trope by having an episode where Hannah, Jessa, Marnie and Shoshanna attend a wild (mostly young adult) party, only for Jessa's jaded middle aged boyfriend Jeff to come with bottle of wine in hand, under the assumption that it's this kind of party.
  • My So-Called Life
    • The show has this in an episode where Angela ditches a dull family get-together for Rayanne's Wild Teen Party. Lampshaded when Patti visits the unconscious-from-overdose Rayanne in the hospital and openly admits that her party is incredibly boring.
    • Averted, however, in the episode where Patti, Graham and Neil attend a getaway at a ski resort. The party results in Patti getting ridiculously drunk. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Literally subverted in the Friends episode The One Where The Stripper Cries. Monica and Rachel attempt to throw such a bachelorette party for Phoebe. Phoebe is bored and demands a stripper. So they get one, and Hilarity Ensues.

Western Animation
  • Rugrats actually subverts this in a few episodes. For example, the episode where Charlotte throws a costume party for the neighborhood. It ends with a big fight between Stu and Drew (resulting in Stu being arrested for attempting to "break back into" the house). And there's an obnoxious Man Child guest who dresses like a baby and winds up creeping everybody out. Also subverted in the episode where Randy Carmichael's boss comes over for a dinner party. The party ends in a wild food fight between the adults.

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