30 Things No One Over 30 Should Do in a Bar

30 year old at a bar
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

When you're in your 20s, the bar's like a big boozy playground, a place where you can grab a few drinks, cut loose, and maybe meet some new friends. Hell, maybe you'll find somebody willing to make sex with you. Or at least somebody who will make out with you. Or, barring that, you can just knock back a shot and play Erotic Photo Hunt.

But as you get older, there are some behaviors that become less acceptable. If you were alive last time the Bears won the Super Bowl (or were conceived to the "Super Bowl Shuffle" that very night), maybe consider not doing any of the following ever again.

Body shots

At this point in your life, you're not pouring a shot in your navel. You're pouring half a goddamned pint in there.

Try to hook up with the person celebrating their 21st birthday

That means no buying them a Buttery Nipple. No talking to them about your 21st birthday revelry. And certainly no talking about how they remind you of your oldest kid.

Photo booth make-out session
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Make out in a photo booth

Do you really want photographic evidence of yourself slobbering on a stranger in a small box in which other people slobber on strangers? Who are you even going to share that with? Please, please don't say Facebook.

Make out anywhere else

Unless, you know, you're in a swingers bar. Most of those people are well over 30.

Steal glassware

Be a goddamned adult and steal your glassware from IKEA.

Twerk, grind, or otherwise thrust your pelvis

Nope, not even ironically.

The worm

The number of serious back injuries and broken noses that result from post-30 worm attempts would shock you.

Preemptively buy prophylactics from a bathroom vending machine

If you're over 30 and planning a bar pickup, you might want to load your wallet with something that isn't covered in powder and studs and wrapped in a nude picture of a '70s porn star.

Pee Pee McGee, doing what he knows best
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Pee on or in anything that's not a toilet

This includes the alleys, sinks, and your pants.

Complain about the music on the jukebox

You know what every bar has? Some dude who sits there all night and complains about anything that comes on the jukebox that was released after Third Eye Blind's self-titled debut/masterpiece. That guy's usually called "that old asshole."

Ask if they can change the game to Longmire

Yes, the reviews in TV Guide are great and all, but the kids these days just don't get the slow-paced nuances. Wait until you're home to watch it after that nice neighbor kid shows you how to work the TV.

Crop dust

Just own it. Most of the millennials in the place don't drink Metamucil, so you can't pass your fiber farts off on them anyway. So just let 'er rip and enjoy the extra room around you.

Challenge strangers to a drinking contest

Unless you meet Marion Ravenwood, who clearly has a thing for older dudes and will also drink you under the table. But she'll also help you find the Ark, so…

Fall asleep

Keep your eyes open at all times, gramps, because watching you nod off at 6pm in a booth is making everyone feel like they're drinking in a nursing home. You can fall asleep later during Longmire.

Eat food off somebody else's table

Because dirt-bagging a handful of cold tater tots off a stranger's table is a younger man's game. You can buy your own.

Shirtless man in a bar
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Be shirtless

Or pantsless. Or shoeless. Nobody wants to see that. Or smell that.

Forget your credit card

When you're younger, you look naive. When you're older, you start to look like a grifter played by Mickey Rourke in some horrifying Bukowski adaptation. And not Barfly either. Like, old Mickey Rourke. The one with the Chihuahua and droopy eye and no credit card.

Get kicked out

Again, Mickey Rourke. Post-Wrestler. Get it together, man.

Punch someone

You know what they love in the county jail? The music of Elvis. Just kidding. It's dickheads who get arrested for punching people in bars but don't have the stamina to run away immediately afterward.

Wait in line to get in

See the large dude with the clipboard at the end of the line? He's got a list of individuals to let in. You're… probably not on it. And guess what? It's not worth it anyway.


When you were younger, this might have been something you could cover up with a hard swallow and a handful of mints and an utterance of "it went down the wrong pipe." Now? It's like a lawn sprinkler stuffed with bits of tater tots you took off somebody's table. If you're a puker, your drinking partner should be Longmire.

Cry publicly

At least go in the bathroom and weep alone in the dark like an adult.

A vapist vaping in a bar
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist


No matter how old you are, you look like you're going down on a robot. But if you're old enough to remember smoking real cigarettes in a bar, you shouldn't be blowing out a big pink cloud of Hawaiian punch-scented vape juice.

Take a bunch of selfies

One shot for the ol' memory bank is fine (but questionable). But nobody wants to see you duck-lipsing in front of every single drink, especially when your pursed lips make your face look like a football left out in the rain.

Argue with a significant other

Especially if it's somebody else's significant other. But if it's your own and you're in a long-term relationship, the mature thing to do is to save your argument for the Uber ride home. You don't have to tip that guy for enduring your hissing whisper fight, but you do have to tip the bartender.

Dance on the bar

Just because you have fond memories of Coyote Ugly being a thing doesn't mean anyone else does.

Order a shot containing more than one ingredient

If there's a single gray hair on your body, you should not be asking for some cutesy shot. If you insist, the smart thing to do is order a shot of each individual liquor for the table, then go mix your own Slippery Chundlefart shot in the bathroom so nobody can see. Or, you know, get whiskey or tequila like a quasi-grown-up.

Stiff the bartender

There's a special place in hell for people who do this. And there's an even worse circle reserved for people who do it despite having a 401k.

Drink anything out of a test tube

Come on. You're not at a foam party, are you?! Get your shit together!

Arm wrestle someone for custody of your child

Fine, Stallone can get away with this still. But no one else. Got it? NO ONE ELSE!

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Andy Kryza is a 35-year-old senior editor at Thrillist who still does the worm in public. He blames it on one fateful arm-wrestling match he witnessed as a boy. Follow him over the top @apkryza.