How to Lose a Bar Fight Like a REAL Man

bar fight

At some point in your life, you’re going to get into a bar fight. Perhaps you already have! Physical altercation in drinking establishments is a time-honored tradition of American manhood, after all, and its basic structure has remained largely unchanged since the beginning of time. One of the participants -- usually whichever side has a more potent combination of size, strength, speed, and Tapout T-shirts -- bludgeons the other into a disgraceful surrender. Then the rest of the bar cheers while the bouncers kick both of ‘em out.

For obvious reasons, everyone wants to be the bludgeoner. This is understandable, but impossible, for every bar fight must have a bludgeonee. In other words: a loser, a wimp, a pussy. Losing a bar fight gives people the impression that you’re not a man, man.

Poppycock! As a diehard fan of supposedly feminine shandies, and one of the biggest losers I know, I’m here to set the record straight. Here’s the foolproof method for losing a bar fight like a real man.

Before the fight: prepare to fail by failing to prepare

The road to getting pummeled masculinely in front of liquored-up strangers (potentially even a bachelorette party, if you're lucky) begins long before the first punch is thrown. In fact, it begins with a single step... towards the bar, because to lose this fight with any dignity, you’ll need a ready alcoholic alibi. So imbibe, dammit! Drink deeply all day; or if it’s the end of the night, knock back a shot and make some bad decisions. Get weird with it! The more basted you are, the better. After all, if you’re lit up like the Vegas Strip, it’s not really a fair fight -- even if you most certainly would’ve gotten your ass kicked dead sober. And when it’s not a fair fight, there ain’t no shame in losing it. Logic!

Pro tips: close your eyes and flail wildly!

Consider other excuses you can set up before the beatdown, too. Restrictive clothing is a perfect pretext for getting your face completely owned. Everyone agrees a well-tailored suit is the mark of a true gentleman, and yet a modern three-piece limits your range of motion to the point where you’re little more than an immobile flesh-sausage wrapped in a high thread count. Eating a large meal of food directly prior is a tremendously useful cop-out for getting utterly rocked, as are flip-flops. Whatever “rolling deep” means to you these days, do the opposite of it. No one should be there to bail you out.

If you’re willing to really commit to this hammering, I recommend ceasing all forms of physical exercise in the months (or even better, years!) leading up to any throwdown. This ensures minimal stamina for fending off punches, and minimal strength for throwing your own.


Read the room and choose the right opponent

Alright, that’s ample forethought. Now it’s time to pick the right bar fight to lose. Obviously, this starts with finding the right bar. The ideal battleground will be dimly lit, with a slippery, sludgy floor and few weaponizable blunt objects within reach. Ideally, even the seating in this tavern will be bolted to the ground. This way, when you start really getting mauled in a few minutes, there’ll be neither stool nor pool cue handy to help you turn the tides.

Speaking of your adversary: you’ll need to find one. This won’t be hard. But if you’re gonna lose this thing -- really lose it, like "thousands-of-dollars-in-reconstructive-rhinoplasty" lose it -- you’ll need to find the right one. Here are some characteristics to look for when selecting an ideal antagonist to upcycle your front teeth into back teeth:

  • Vastly larger than you. Picking on someone who is not your own size? Perfect for crushing your larynx  on the sidewalk.
  • Surrounded by friends. More effective if you’re totally alone.
  • Significantly less wasted than you. Duh.
  • Tattoos. Bonus points for military ink. Double bonus for Russian prison ink.
  • Work boots. Steel-toed if at all possible.

Once you’ve found your match (for which you are actually not at all a match), it’s time to get ready to rumble. Or be rumbled upon, I guess.

bar fight

Initiating the fight: just be yourself

“Spill” a drink on someone’s head! Piss on someone’s shoes! Throw a pint glass full of daiquiri at a table full of obnoxious bros! It’s all gravy, as bar fights can be ignited over nearly any quibble, no matter how small. Many people who are “responsible,” and “laid back,” and “the owner of this goddamned bar, please stop fighting in here,” hate full-on pub pugilism for this reason.

For you, this is great news, because you can do pretty much anything to elicit this smackdown. (Besides insulting someone's girlfriend to get them to fight. That’s just not manly.) The world of physical violence is your oyster -- so figure out your most annoying characteristics, and use them to drive your chosen skull-fister fucking berserk. You’ll know you’ve nailed this important step when he (or she; doling out mondo thumpage is an equal opportunity task) asks you to go outside, or just starts swinging on you right there in the bar. Success!

bar fight

During the brawl

If you’ve followed this plan, you won’t have to do much throughout the actual fight. You lost this sucker a long time ago. But if things seem too evenly matched, or -- heaven forbid -- your foe seems like he might take mercy on you before things move from “shoving match” to “manual organ rearrangement therapy,” you can help things along. Some suggestions:

  • Demand that he takes the first punch. And the second. Maybe the third, if needed.
  • Flail wildly.
  • Turn your back on your assailant. Then, fling your arms skyward and scream “ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!”
  • Close your eyes!
  • Do that never-lie-down thing Brad Pitt does in Fight Club. (And Snatch, come to think of it.) 

Finish strong

The fight is over, and you lost. You did lose, right? Okay, good. Congratulations! But don’t celebrate just yet because the most essential moment of losing a bar fight like a real man comes after you’ve been reduced to a bloody welt-sack lying prostrate on the cold, hard floor. To really stick the landing, circle back around and start proffering those excuses you brilliantly arranged way back while you still had solid-state kidneys.

“Bro, I could have taken him,” you should bray loudly at bystanders while your own fluids gush from your nose & mouth. “If I wasn’t in these sandals, and he wasn’t way bigger than me, and I wasn’t so loaded, and he didn’t have a whole crew with him...  woulda been a totally different bar fight.”

Indeed it would have been. But as it stands, you earned this bar-fighting loss with a combination of precise calculations and flawless execution. And if there’s anything real men do after getting walloped, it’s rationalizing a reason for it other than the very obvious fact that they shouldn't have been fighting in the first place.

Dave Infante is a senior writer for Thrillist. Come at him, bro. Follow @dinfontay on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.