10 TV Shows That Would Make Great Theme Parties


It’s officially springtime, folks! If you’re anything like us, you may or may not have exploited the, “I can’t come out tonight, it’s too cold outside” excuse to hole up all winter and indulge in Downton Abbey and Community marathons, and now you’re ready to face the spring warmth as a social butterfly. But what should you do with the vast, invaluable TV knowledge you acquired over your Netflix hibernation period? Throw a party, of course! But not just any party — a Mad Men or Freaks and Geeks-style bash. We brought you movies and albums that would make great party themes, and now we’ve gathered ten TV shows that will similarly get the party started.

The Cosby Show

Picture this — a Huxtable-themed ugly sweater party, a playlist of the show’s musically inclined special guests (Stevie Wonder, B.B. King, Special Ed), and alcoholic Jell-O pudding pops. Halfway through the evening, announce a good ol’ Cosby dance-off. The winner gets to raid the fridge, Cliff Huxtable-style.

Mad Men

We learned a lot about Mad Men parties from Sunday’s season premiere. First, make sure someone is willing to sing “Zou Bisou Bisou,” because it’s absolutely necessary to a (sort of) successful Draper shindig. Then, fill your home with wine, colorful cocktails, saxophones, co-workers, this mixtape, and mid-’60s garb, and enjoy as a wonderful Mad Men-themed party ensues. Hopefully, you don’t have white carpets.

Downton Abbey

This dinner party is “BYOG” (Bring Your Own Grandmother). All chairs at the table must swivel and the hot jams should be provided by the Chamber Orchestra of London, of course. If you want to go all out, make this a split-level party — a party in the basement and a party on the main floor (to reinforce social groups). For beverages, these Sybil, Edith, and Mary cocktails are perfect.

Party Down

A Party Down party would be a great opportunity to throw a potluck — every guest serves one dish to the table. Attendees are required to wear white tops, black bottoms, and a pink accessory. Another option: Gather some friends, dress like the Party Down cast, and go crash (and confuse) another party. Sounds fun, right?

Saturday Night Live

For a Saturday Night Live-themed party, guests are encouraged to arrive as their favorite SNL touchstone — a Weekend Update host, these guys, a cowbell, and so on and so forth. Snacks will be Schweddy Balls, and dessert will be Ben & Jerry’s Schweddy Balls ice cream. For added fun, play some party games, but insist that everyone stays in character.

Friday Night Lights

Hang a banner that reads, “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose” across your living room and call it a Friday Night Lights party. Wear the colors of your favorite Dillon team and say “y’all” as much as humanly possible. Drink beer, eat meat from Costco, and be merry. Texas forever!

Freaks and Geeks

If you’d like get freaky with a Freaks and Geeks party, have everyone dress like a “freak” or a “geek,” by the show’s early-’80s standards. Get two kegs — one with real beer and one with nonalcoholic beer. Enjoy as the placebo effect takes its toll, and make sure you have a chick like this to provide the rockin’ tunes.

Arrested Development

This party should be catered by “Bluth’s Frozen Banana,” so create a spread of frozen bananas with options for chocolatey and nutty toppings. Instead of riding a mechanical bull, have guests ride a Segway. Leave ample amounts of blue makeup around the party, as guests are encourage to blue themselves. Oh, and hire a magician and — whether he likes it or not — call him “G.O.B.”

Saved by the Bell

For a Saved by the Bell party, have everyone dress like early-’90s high schoolers. Tell guests the theme a few weeks in advance, because this party requires some mini-mullets. Make a playlist of all your favorite songs from 1989 to 1993, and be sure to throw Zack Attack’s acclaimed “Friends Forever” into the shuffle.

Breaking Bad

Just kidding. Don’t throw Breaking Bad-themed parties, folks, unless you happen to be Walter White.