Spin the Bottle is a popular party game amongst older kids. It's essentially a Parlor Game that requires a bottle.
Get all your friends in a circle, place a bottle on its side in the center of the circle, and go round-robin in spinning the bottle (a la Wheel of Fortune). In the game's most basic version, you MUST smooch on the lips whoever the bottle points to when it comes to rest. Individual House Rules can determine who you can and cannot kiss (e.g. whether and which same-sex kisses are required, whether one has to kiss one's brother, sister, or other relation, etc., etc.), what the penalty is for NOT kissing a spun person, and other actions you can take.
Naturally, because of the comedic or dramatic potential that this game entices, it crops up in fiction every now and then, especially if said fiction has teenagers or other young people. It normally shows up as a source of anxiety for a teenage protagonist, faced with the prospect of kissing others.
Compare Ten Minutes in the Closet, another teen party game that exists to create romantic tension.
Not to be confused with the production company that made Pop Up Video.
- A 1990 PSA from the Canadian organization Companies Committed to Kids "Moe Funky" encourages kids to not play games when making important decisions and to "use their heads" instead. Bottle spinning is one of the games depicted.
- McDonald's filmed a commercial with Britney Spears and *NSYNC playing the game. Lance Bass spins the bottle, and the spot ends with the bottle landing on...Justin Timberlake.
- An animated commercial from the 60s for Dr. Pepper with the character from the comic strip B.C. had the men and the Fat Broad playing Spin The Bottle with a bottle of Dr. Pepper. The Fat Broad spins it; it lands on B.C. She runs up to kiss him; he runs up—past her and guzzles down the bottle of the drink.
- A high school gang used this at a party to attempt to trick the blind protagonist of The Way He Looks. They intended to make him kiss the dog of the party girl, but instead, it caused the first kiss of Leonardo and Gabriel.
- Garden State features a game of Spin the Bottle from the protagonist's Alone in a Crowd presprective.
- Skylark and Kim Jong-un play this in The Interview in which the bottle landed on them so they have to French kiss.
- Features in a flashback in To All the Boys I've Loved Before, to explain why Lara Jean and Gen are longer friends, because Lara Jean kissed Gen's crush Peter in a game of spin the bottle.
- Played a couple of rounds at a party in Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.. The kids agree from the start that it's corny and abandon it to play "two minutes in the closet".
- Played in the book Arthur's Birthday. In the Animated Adaptation, Francine spins it and the bottle lands on Arthur's dog...
- Also mentioned in The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Birthday. Leads to
BrotherSister IncestBrother and Sister kissing.
- In Jacqueline Wilson's novel Kiss, the protagonists have to play this at a friend's party. Cue angst from Sylvia as her crush Carl must kiss another girl.
- In The State of Grace, Grace is invited to Charlotte's birthday party, where Spin the Bottle is played. At first she's terrified, especially when she has to kiss Gabe, the new boy all the girls are interested in. To her surprise, she likes it, and Gabe is surprisingly nice. They start going out afterwards.
- The Freaks and Geeks episode "Smooching and Mooching" has Bill sent to the laundry room for "Seven Minutes In Heaven" with head cheerleader Vicki Appleby after she "loses" at Spin the Bottle. Vicki, previously depicted as the Alpha Bitch, actually ends up bonding with Bill and even gives him his First Kiss before all is said and done.
- In Friends, Rachel proposes a game of "spin the bottle", so she could kiss her love interest, Joshua. When she's about to succeed, Phoebe's baby kicks for the first time, taking away the attention.
- In Full House, DJ's 13th birthday party features a spin the bottle game orchestrated by Kimmy Gibbler to bring together DJ with her crush. As they are about to kiss, of course thats when Danny, Jesse and Joey burst in to ruin the moment, having overheard what was going on downstairs.
- The Monkees played this game in the episode One Man Shy to convince a heartbroken Peter that he still has a fair chance to win girls. However, this experiment fails when the bottle points to nay, magnetizes to Chick Magnet Davy on every single spin literally.
- Laverne & Shirley had an episode that took place on a ship, and had a quick scene of Laverne playing "spin the anchor" with a bunch of the sailors.
- When Carrie on Sex and the City dates a 20-something bisexual guy, she goes to a party at his friends place that features this game. Her spin lands on a woman played by Alanis Morrisette, and after kissing her realizes that she's just not cut out for these wacky young people and their wacky bisexuality, and promptly leaves without even explaining why to her guy.
- The Mighty Boosh: Vince organises a game of Spin the Bottle with some girls from the party they're holding and invites Howard to join in. For some reason, his spins always stopped on the creepy old guy.
- All That took it to the next level that one had to kiss ANYTHING the bottle landed on. So Kel had to kiss a cactus. Ouch.
- Everybody Hates Chris has Chris playing this game in the hopes of getting his first kiss from Tasha. He gets his first kiss from another girl named Crystal. Crystal's boyfriend is jealous and so is Tasha. Hilarity Ensues.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Where the Wild Things Are" has a game in the possessed frat house. Along with all the weird occurrences, the bottle ends up spinning on its own and exploding into everyone's faces.
- One Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide episode involves a party with this game being played, among other things. One of the main plots involved Moze attempting to rig the bottle (via magnets) to land on Ned when she spun it, to get him to kiss her.
- Happens in an episode of Glee when Puck talks Rachel into having a party at her house while her dads are out of town. Rachel ends up kissing Blaine, Kurt's love interest, who begins to question his sexuality as a result.
- Occurs in Peep Show with hilarious effects. The bottle lands on Mark and Jez, who kiss to impress their significant others.
- Saturday Night Live did a Digital Short centered on this game, with episode host Daniel Radcliffe kissing homeless guys who randomly appear at the party.
- Riverdale: In the first episode, Cheryl insists everyone play this game at her party. Archie spins and it lands on Veronica, but Veronica refuses since she knows her new friend Betty has a crush on Archie. Cheryl says that if Veronica refuses, she (as the hostess) gets to take Archie into the closet, so Veronica agrees just to keep Cheryl away from him. Of course, once they're alone in the closet, Archie and Veronica aren't able to keep their hands off each other for long.
- Schitt's Creek: Patrick holds a Slumber Party themed housewarming and during a game of spin-the-bottle, Ted drunkenly kisses David to both Patrick and Alexis's chagrin.
- In a Christmas Episode of The Big Bang Theory, when the girls take Raj, who was killed in the guys' Dungeons & Dragons Christmans themed game, out to a club, he and Amy compare romantic horror stories, and he says that when he was seven years old, he was playing spin-the-bottle with some other kids, and when he tried to kiss the girl it landed on, she threatened to break the bottle and "cut me."
- Juliana Hatfield had a hit song called "Spin the Bottle".
- Yaz Pistachio gets invited to a Spin the Bottle party in Bloom County, where she promptly gets stuck with Weird Harold on her first spin. Later in the same arc, she narrowly avoids playing a game with Opus and Portnoy.
- In an early 1960s strip, baby Sally sets her empty milk bottle on the floor and spins it. The nipple points at Snoopy, who tries to kiss her.
- In another strip, when Charlie Brown slips on the ice and is unable to get up, Patty and Violet come past discussing a game of Spin the Bottle one of them played at a party, and — without expressing any concern or even surprise at finding him like this — spin Charlie Brown to demonstrate how it works. After they've gone, Charlie Brown says "It sounds like a fun game. I wonder who I'm pointing to?"
- In this College Humor video from the third Hardly Working All-Nighter, the staff play this. Sarah is selected to go first, bu she and David keep spinning and getting each other. The instructions as to what to do with each time they land on each other get surreal, to the point that when Sarah spins and lands on Sam, David lunges at Sam and has to be restrained.
- Episode 13 of RWBY Chibi has Nora, Ren, Jaune, Pyrrha, Weiss and Neptune playing this. Jaune spins the bottle, and after passing by a disappointed Pyrrha and a relieved Weiss, it lands on Ren. As everyone looks to him, he simply pulls out the Anticipatory Breath Spray.
- Bob's Burgers: In "The Hormone-iums", Tina is looking forward to playing a covert game of Spin the Bottle at Jocelyn's party, but her chances are threatened when becoming the new soloist for the Hormone-iums also means becoming the face of Mr. Frond's anti-mono scare campaign.
- Bobby in King of the Hill gets invited to a Spin the Bottle shindig at his buddy Joseph's house. Naturally, this causes Bobby some anxiety, until he finds Luanne's plastic beauty school head to practice on. Hilarity Ensues.
- In one episode of Pepper Ann, the title character gets the jitters about a possible Spin the Bottle game at an upcoming (unsupervised) birthday party, because any such kiss would become her first. The game does indeed take place, but the popular kids decide that the game is uncool before Pepper Ann spins or can be spun.
- The Simpsons:
- The beginning of "The Way We Weren't" has Bart, Milhouse, Terri and Sherri (along with their cousin who has a crush on Bart) play this game in Bart's Treehouse. Milhouse spins the bottle and stops at Terri/Sherri's cousin. When Milhouse attempts to kiss her, he accidentally kisses Homer instead when he climbed Bart's Treehouse.
- In "Colonel Homer", after being locked in the room with Lurleen Lumpkin and being kissed by her, flashbacks of Homer's kissing attempts is seen, when in his childhood, he is seen playing this game only to get slapped by the girl who the bottle is stopped at.
- An episode of Tiny Toon Adventures where a party was held at Hamton Pig's house used this game. On the first spin, the bottle tracked Buster Bunny when he moved out of the way, and convinced Babs Bunny it pointed to an ugly man with big lips when Buster hid behind him. On the second spin, it pointed to Buster again even though he was well outside the circle.
- The Herman and Henry Noveltoon "Sudden Fried Chicken" has Henry the rooster playing this game with four sexy hens when celebrating his victory after winning a boxing match against Hogan thanks to Herman's help by knocking him out with a mallet. However, his wife intervenes when Henry kisses her thinking it's the sexy hen.
- One episode of Teen Titans Go! involved Beast Boy and Cyborg magically cloning themselves several times over. When the clones throw a huge party near the end of the episode, this is one of the games they're playing.
- In another episode, the Titans play Spin the Bottle to determine who will kiss Starfire to help her communicate more clearly.
- An episode of The Fairly OddParents (or rather, one of the Oh Yeah! Cartoons shorts) had Tootie playing this game at her birthday party, and spun it, hoping it would land on Timmy. It ends up pointing at another boy, much to Timmy's joy and Tootie's disappointment, until said boy blows the bottle in the opposite direction making it point at Timmy.
- In The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, Jimmy was throwing a party and Sheen suggested they play this game. When it points on Libby, he tries to kiss her, only for Libby to smack him away.
- In the Wander over Yonder episode "The Birthday Boy", Wander is "invited" to Lord Hater's birthday party, where Hater tries to blast him with a Death Ray. Wander thinks the ray is a giant bottle, due to the shape of it, and spins it to see who gets a kiss from him. It points to the popcorn vendor, until Sylvia whacks it with her tail. It then points to Hater, who gets blasted.
- In the tie-in comics for Young Justice, Barbara Gordon ends up kissing Dick Grayson thanks to a game of spin-the-bottle at Dick's birthday.
- In an episode of Ed, Edd n Eddy, the kids play Spin the Bottle but leave when the Eds arrive. Ed also spins himself.
- Gravity Falls:
- Bill's Henchmaniacs play "Spin the Person" in the first part of the Grand Finale. The spinner eats whoever the petrified human points to.
- In "Bottomless Pit!", Mabel, Soos and Wendy parody this as "Spin the Pig" with Waddles.
- In "Arthur's Birthday", this is Francine's suggestion for a party activity and she's quite excited about it, to Arthur and Buster's discomfort. Arthur plans to thwart her by making sure there are no bottles in the house at all on the day of the party but she clearly anticipated this as her present is "a Spin the Bottle game". She coyly offers to show him how it works but ends up getting kissed by Pal to everyone's amusement, including, eventually, her own.
- Drawn Together has Captain Hero, Spanky Hamm and Wooldor Sockbat playing Spin the Bottle while discussing Princess Clara's cousin Bleh. They're very into it.