10 New Rules for Taking Shots

Anthony Humphreys/Thrillist

Taking shots is the funnest possible way to bond people together -- that statement is so true, it doesn't even matter whether or not "funnest" is a real word. These rules aren't designed to detract from the fun, they're designed to enhance it, by eliminating negative influences and leaving only pure, unadulterated good times. Some of these rules thumb their nose at tradition, and some of them are just good, old-fashioned common sense. You probably know most of the common-sense rules instinctively, but you also probably have at least one friend who doesn't have your instincts, so be sure to share.

Ordering shots
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1. Know what shot you're going to order. Have a plan!

You'd never go up to the bar and say "We're going to drink beers," so why would anybody ever tell the bartender "We're going to do some shots"? The penalty for assuming that this statement is in any way actionable should be that everyone has to do shots of blue curacao. Or as the professionals call it, blue curaçao.

Odd shot
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2. Always take what's offered

Buying a round of shots is the ultimate gesture of camaraderie. Saying you'll only participate if you can shoot something besides the buyer's choice is the ultimate gesture of "My dainty preferences are more important than our friendship."

Staring before taking shots
Anthony Humphreys/Thrillist

3. Don’t stare every single person in the eyes

Since the beginning of time, or maybe only since the 1980s, people have been staring each other in the eyes before taking shots to avoid being cursed with 7 years of bad sex. This is a terrible tradition -- not because it’s superstitious mumbo jumbo, but because staring each other in the eyes makes us look like silly crazy people, and looking like a silly crazy person is a surefire route to having no sex of any kind.

Let's bond together in friendship, and not mutual irrational fear that we might be making lousy whoopie for the next 2555 days.

Instagramming shots
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4. Do not Instagram this moment

"All right, let's kick off this weekend right! Wait, hold on a second, Bruce, you're not in frame..."

Shots clinking
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5. Raise your shot glasses, but don't worry about clinking them

If you've got an easy clinking opportunity, take it, but don't feel like you need to put the liquid in danger just to touch glass with everyone present. Why lose half your shot to the floor for the sake of a tradition started by wine lovers drinking out of relatively spill-proof glasses? It just isn't right.

Shot glasses
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6. Do not use plastic shot glasses

A shot glass should have some heft to it. Not so much heft that it's basically all glass and no shot, but at least enough to feel like you're not about to drink Robitussin.

Ed Sheeran?
Anthony Humphreys/Thrillist

7. Never do shots while Ed Sheeran's "We Found Love" is playing

If that song enters your ear-hole as a shot enters your mouth-hole, the universe will explode.

Anthony Humphreys/Thrillist

8. Do include "new friends"

If you're buying a round for a big group and some of them have been talking with strangers for more than, say, 7 minutes, include those strangers in the round even if you haven't talked to them, because if your friends actually want to BS with them that long they're probably pretty all right. Plus this avoids that awkward moment when your old friend has to basically tell their new friend, "Hey, I'll be right back, I've got to go do a shot with my REAL friends."

Waiting for the crew
Anthony Humphreys/Thrillist

9. Do not wait forever for stragglers

Having something this beautiful in your hands and not being able to drink it is incredibly painful. If a straggler knows the shot's coming and decides that's the perfect time to hit the bathroom or make a phone call or buy glow-in-the-dark sunglasses from the random peddler who just walked in off the street, that straggler can wait 'til the next round of shots.

Sipping a shot
Anthony Humphreys/Thrillist

10. Never sip

If you don't want a shot, just say you're not in a mood for a shot. Don't accept the shot and then take it down milliliter by milliliter like you're drinking a steaming glass of PG Tips Fragrant Jasmine Green Tea -- nobody's in the mood to see that. Shots are meant to go down fast. It's why they're called shots! Do them with zest and vigor, and you'll be cementing friendships that will last a lifetime.

Unless you disappear to the bathroom when it's your turn to buy everyone a round.

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