The 21 Unforgivable Sins No BBQ Guest Should Commit

Jeremy Nguyen/Thrillist

Think back to every barbecue you’ve ever been to. While the host has a lot of responsibility (mainly, making sure there is always a bite to eat and a drink to drink in everyone’s hand the whole night), the guests aren’t off the hook. To really pull off this epic summer party, everyone’s gotta pull their weight and play by the rules -- some of which are seriously not meant to be broken. If you want to be a great BBQ guest this summer, it’s time to study up. We’ve compiled a list of 21 things you definitely shouldn’t do….

Make fun of someone’s diet

Just because you can digest anything and have zero allergies doesn’t mean everyone is that lucky. Instead of teasing someone or asking them a million questions, offer to get them something that fits within their dietary restrictions. Now that’s how to be a good guest.

Spritz bug spray near the food

Nothing ruins a teriyaki marinade like a coat of DEET. Take it to the driveway.

Steal the aux cord

Plugging the aux cord into your phone sets off a chain reaction -- and not a good one. All of the sudden everyone thinks they’re Tiesto -- only their limited music libraries send the party down a nostalgia rabbit hole that bottoms out with S Club 7 and Ryan Cabrera.

Double dip

I don’t see your name on that ranch dressing. If you didn’t bring your own, keep your germs to yourself.

Push people into the pool

Unless you see a bathing suit... actually, scratch that. No one likes being pushed in the pool. It kind of hurts; they’re usually holding their cell phone; and then they’re wet for the night. Don’t do it.

Pick out the best parts out of a fruit salad so that all that’s left is cantaloupe

This is only acceptable behavior if you’re 3 years old. Or if you’re allergic to cantaloupe.

Brag about a dish you make without actually bringing it

We’ve been hearing about this seven-layer bean dip since college, but we’ve yet to taste a single layer. Unless you’re bringing the dip, not one more peep about it.

Play music you know no one else likes

We’re really happy you finally saw Hamilton, but showtunes and barbecues just don’t work. Save that playlist for the shower.

Demand to put on the game and stay inside watching TV the whole night

You were invited to socialize, so get out there and catch up with friends. (Besides, no one minds if you check the score on your phone every now and then.) If you were so intent on watching the game, you should’ve faked sick and stayed home.

Jeremy Nguyen/Thrillist

Bring nothing, then eat/drink your fill

Not bringing at least a bag of chips is an absolute no-no, but filling up like you’ll never see food again on top of that? Maybe you’ll never see an invitation ever again.

Bring something that requires a lot of prep

This is a barbecue, OK. No one’s turning on the oven for your cobbler or breaking out the food processor for your plant-based vegan ice cream.

Take seconds before everyone else has had some

Totally cool that you’re hungry, but some people were inside plating the side dishes so they haven’t even had firsts yet. If you like a dish enough to go back to the well, then you like it enough to give people you care about the chance to enjoy it.

Criticize the chef’s cooking

Oh, is your burger not cooked to the exact temperature you like it? Your host has been sweating over a hot grill for four hours and has fed 30 people and counting. You’ll get what you get and you won’t get upset.

Complain the veggie burgers aren’t the kind you like

Your host went to the trouble to make sure you had something to eat at this burger-hot dog-rib-fest, so don’t complain about the veggie burgers featuring the wrong type of organic black beans. Just appreciate the gesture. Or bring your own.

Leave your empty bottles and cans everywhere

As much fun as it was at the time, none of us live in a frat house anymore. Plus, all the stale beer hanging around is messing with the smell of that sweet, sweet barbecue. Toss ’em.


Jeremy Nguyen/Thrillist

Show up crazy early

The invite says 7pm, so why are you awkwardly peeking through the front window at 5? Your host is still in the shower and the flank steak is still marinating. Watch a few episodes of House of Cards and show up with the rest of the crew.

Show up crazy late and ask for food

The grill’s cold and the grillmaster just sat down for the first time since the sun went down. Your choices are pasta salad or… arriving on time.

Stay way too late

Though it’s very nice of you to show us photos from your unbelievable honeymoon in Maui, the leftovers are put away and your host is falling asleep. Take a hint.

Bring a bunch of friends without asking

Not cool. Bringing five friends without checking with your host throws off the entire ratio. Now someone’s gotta run out and get more patties, buns, ice, beer -- everything. Also, there’s probably a reason they weren’t invited in the first place.

Not help clean up/wait to be asked to clean up

Your host went to the trouble of organizing this barbecue, plus buying and cooking all the provisions -- the least you can do is help them clean up as they go.

Leave without saying goodbye

This isn’t a bar. Your friends threw an awesome barbecue and fed you. Say thanks.