Every Person You'll See at Your Hometown Bar on Thanksgiving Eve

people you see at thanksgiving bars
Jason Hoffman/Thrillist
Jason Hoffman/Thrillist

The night before Thanksgiving is the biggest bar night of the year... and essentially a less awkward, boozier version of your high school reunion. Pretty much everybody who grew up in your hometown is gonna be thronging the bar, from old teachers to old crushes, and they're gonna be sooooooo glad to see you! Until the crying starts. Here are 25 folks you're pretty much guaranteed to see. Be thankful for booze.

The (Ex) Football Star

He's 35 now, but back in the day he was the best quarterback in the conference, maybe even the southeastern part of the state! He even played a little in college. But now he's barely dominating the southeastern part of his regional sales position, and spends his nights watching old VHS tapes of the time he threw four TDs against Braintree, and silently weeping that his firstborn was a girl.

The Still-Hot Teacher

When you were 14, you got a C in English class because you were daydreaming about the day you'd finally meet her in a bar. Now, it's happening -- for you and every other dude here. She hasn't paid for a drink in 15 years of pre-Thanksgiving nights out. She very kindly pretends to be interested when you tell her about how you've read everything Camus wrote. Also, you know she's like 50 now, right?

The Spouse Flaunter

They're here for one reason, and one reason only: to show off their unbelievably attractive spouse to all the people who were previously deemed "out of their league" back when zits and Right Said Fred were a daily reality. This results in constant public necking.


He still introduces himself by his childhood nickname, and has crushed three cans with his head already. He hasn't changed since high school. This isn't necessarily a good thing.

Gym Teacher
Jason Hofman/Thrillist

The Old Gym Teacher

He's been at the bar in an old-timey sweatsuit since happy hour talking about how the current football team is a bunch of pansies because they wear helmets and drink water, occasionally. When he recognizes you, he immediately demands you drop and give him 20. For some reason, you oblige. The next day, you have a welt shaped like his hand on your ass.

The Hippie Who Is Still a Hippie

He won't shut up about how great it is to live in Colorado, or about how over Phish he is now, despite the fact that he's still wearing a Phish shirt from the Billy Breathes tour. He keeps tempting you to come out into his car to roast a bone and listen to a gnarly Umphrey’s McGee bootleg. And weirdly, you're kind of into it.

The Class President

Everybody knew he would be a success. He had charm. He had moxie. And now, he's got a beer belly. But he's still making the rounds. He remembers everyone's name and makes it a point to talk to every person he recognizes... and leaves them with a business card, because, dammit, you don't become the best junior insurance salesman in the county by slacking off/keeping all your own business cards.

Mary Effing Kay

Did you know that you can get a full paycheck just by selling… I dunno… face cream? Fitness regimens? Facial fitness regimens based on extremely moisturized, CrossFit-based smiling? Either way, once you start this conversation, the odds of you emerging with a pamphlet, a quick peek at a super-branded car they only give to “top sellers,” and a two years’ worth of passive-aggressive follow-up emails are 100%. Do you even like money? Do you even know what kind of magic you can work for the same price as your daily $5 latte??? 

The Newly Rich Nerd

Everyone ignored him in high school, and now he's loaded because he invented an app that tells you when you're close to a public restroom and is tossing money around in the hopes that he'll finally get to make out with the women who spurned him. They're still spurning him. But they appreciate the free drinks and all that random money on the ground.

The Baby-Picture Ninja

You've been talking for 11 seconds and then WHAM -- you've got an iPhone a centimeter from your eyeball showing you a picture of this schmuck's new baby. Even worse? The baby is a dog. And it's wearing an Elvira costume.

The Newly Skinny Dude

"How’d you lose all that weight?" you didn't ask. But he's gonna tell you anyway, because he just finished his first half-marathon and hasn't been to Arby’s in like two years. "You can do it too," he says while interrupting your conversation about Arby's.

The (Very Near) Future Facebook Waver

Step 1: Send out a friend request to everybody he saw at the bar. Step 2: Push the wave button. Step 3: Do it again. Step 4: Do it again. Step 5: Make a joke about sending a wave. Step 6….heeeeey!

Jason Hoffman/Thrillist

The Nostalgic Bully

The minute you walk through the door, he loudly recalls the time you sharted in Mrs. Metcalfe's class in second grade, and asks you if you remember it at least five times. He has a barbed wire tattoo that no longer fits his arm, an impressive collection of Oakleys, and co-owns a lawn care service in town with Boner, though lately, they have NOT been getting along.

The Recent Divorcee

She got married right out of high school, and it didn't go so well. Now she's dusted off her old outfits and is on the prowl. Her shirt is soaked in spilled drinks and her voice is hoarse from fake laughing at everything. Things are looking good for anyone who played football/baseball/sports in high school.

The Guy Who's Too Good to Be There

He's been nursing a beer at the same table all night, and can't believe he's here right now. I mean, he shouldn't be here, right? He doesn't even like these people! He will be the last guy at the bar, for some reason.

The Person You Forgot You Made Out with in 8th Grade

The braces interlocked. The feelings were real. Was it true love? You have absolutely no idea what this person is taking about, despite watching their spouse becoming increasingly uncomfortable as this horrifying conversation unfolds.

Glory Days-er
Jason Hoffman/Thrillist

The Glory Days-er

This is the most excited person at the bar, the one who calls everyone by their old nicknames, carries around a yearbook to get signatures they missed, and recently developed a disposable camera from senior sleepover. Every conversation begins with "remember that time when..." and whenever you ask what they've been up to, they change the subject. That's probably for the best.

The Newly Minted Hipster

He just flew in from Williamsburg, and won't stop complaining about how neither Brooklyn Brewing nor Pabst is on tap, and how nobody rolls their own cigarettes. He just asked the bartender if the pickled eggs are house-made. They are not.

The Band Geek Who Got Super Hot

In high school, she was an awkward tromboner. Now, she's gorgeous, but still shy and awkward. That won't stop someone from attempting to make at least three tromboner jokes though.

The "Best Friend" Whose Name You Can't Remember

He knows everything about you and your family, your spouse's name, what you do for a living, where you went to school, and your pet's name. You have absolutely no idea who this person is. DAMN YOU FACEBOOK!

The Sweethearts Who Are Still Together

They were the cutest couple. The prom king and queen. They got married while in college. They have four kids whose names all start with "J." The Recent Divorcee grits her teeth whenever they walk by.

The Teacher Everybody Hated

He remembers your name. Right away. Fondly. You debate telling him what an a-hole he was, but instead buy him a drink. He always wins, dammit.

Jason Hoffman/Thrillist

The Cheerleader-Turned-Cheerleading Coach

She spends most of her salary on teeth-whitening strips and tanning, and she still looks fantastic. Just don't ask whether she coaches varsity or JV, unless you want things to turn from perky to painful.

The Guy Who Never Moved Out of His Parents' House

He's having a kegger! Tonight! And a bonfire! Same spot you used to go to back in the day! Come on, dude, it's gonna be EPIC! Come around back, though, cuz mom's gotta work in the morning.

The Guy in the Suit

"Dress for success," they say. Or to make people think you're successful. He promised his dad he would dry clean the suit when he was done.

The Unfortunate Legend

Maybe it's the kid who pulled the fire alarm to start off senior skip day. Or got expelled for unleashing a crate of hamsters in the cafetorium. Or threw up during graduation. Or laid an upper decker in the teacher’s lounge bathroom. This person has one claim to fame during adolescence, and they’re gonna keep hammering on it to every person who comes through the door. It will be at once glorious and sad… and cause you to check the back of the toilet tank every time you need a break. Also, buy this person a drink. Legends drink for free. 

Crossfit Chess Player
Jason Hoffman/Thrillist

The Chess Club President Who Does CrossFit Now

Before, his biggest move was taking a king with a pawn. Now he can do 100 push-ups with somebody on his back while drinking a beer. He has been eyeballing the gym teacher sinisterly all night. "Payback is a bitch," he says quietly, to himself, in the bathroom mirror.

The Newly Accented Traveler

They spent two months in London for work, and already talk like they walked out of a bloody Guy Ritchie movie. This usually goes over when they're not surrounded by people they grew up with.


Rick’s never changed. Let's hope he never does.

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Andy Kryza is a senior Food & Drink editor. He was Flushing High School's class of 2000 president for four years, and has a great rate for boat insurance comin' your way. Follow him to a kegger at Soto's (where the ladies drink free!) via @apkryza.