5 Hilarious Bar Tricks to Impress Your Friends
A night out at the bar ranks pretty high among life’s great, simple pleasures—and yet there’s no shortage of ways to make it even better. Since you’re always one to spark a gathering to the next level, enjoyment-wise, check out these five easy bar tricks and add them to your repertoire, along with that weird double-jointed thing you do (seriously, you need to get that looked at). They’re guaranteed to spike the fun factor to 11.
1. Drink Under a Hat
This one originates at least as far back as a classic 1980s sitcom, and a con-man character named “Harry the Hat.” He sidles up to his mark, places his hat over an adult beverage on the bar, and tells the guy he can drink the cocktail without touching the hat. The guy takes the bait, naturally. The trickster leans under the bar, makes a ludicrous gulping noise, stands up, and tells the guy: that’s it, he’s done, he drank the drink. The mark goes “Pfffft, what are you talking about? You did not,” and lifts the hat—allowing Harry to scoop up the glass and drink it down.
2. Bet You Can’t Lift Your Right Leg
This trick has everything: simplicity, absurdity—and good old foolproof science (literally foolproof, in this case). Ask your friend to stand with the entire left side of her body against the wall—that’s ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, and cheek, all touching the wall. Now challenge her to lift her right leg. She won’t be able to do it without falling over. That’s because when you lift your leg in a normal situation, your body automatically leans the other way to keep you balanced. In this case, the wall prevents that.
3. Turning Water into Rum
Science is a beautiful thing, and you can use it to wow the barroom: Set a shot glass of rum next to a shot of water, and proclaim your ability to get them to completely change places using only a playing card. Your friends will scoff, but they’ll be curious. Lay the playing card on top of the water, and hold it tightly enough so that you can turn the glass upside down. Place it on top of the rum, lining up the rims of the two glasses.
Next, gently slide the card slightly to one side, enough to create a small space between the two vessels. Stand back and watch your friends marvel as the rum magically floats upward while the water streams in the opposite direction. After a few minutes, the rum will be on top and the water on the bottom. Why? You’re a wizard, of course. Also, the water is heavier than the rum.
4. Newspaper Bottle opener
A newspaper can open up your perspective on the world, but did you know it can also open a beer bottle? With a few simple folds, you can transform the wispy pages of newsprint into a very sturdy wedging implement. Just tightly fold the paper lengthwise until it becomes a thick tube, then fold that tube in half, and use the underside of the tube, where the edge is harder, to pop off your bottle cap. This also works with a sheet of paper, and, for the braver souls among you, a dollar bill (but watch your finger on that one). Hey, with the ongoing shift to digital media, this may be all newspapers are good for soon.
5. Inverted Bottle Challenge
This classic trick actually has two solutions. Set it up by placing a bill flat on a bar table and standing an inverted beer bottle on it. Challenge anyone to remove it without touching the bottle or knocking it over. Ninety-nine point nine percent of people will try the old “tablecloth” move of ripping out the bill as quickly as possible. And 100% of them will fail.
You can show them how it’s done by a) slowly rolling up the bill until it gently frees itself from under the bottle, or b) by lightly banging the table with the fist of one hand while gradually sliding out the bill with the other.
Claim you can stay underwater for two minutes
Hold a glass of water over your head… and start counting. Yes, your friends will groan, but you will take comfort in the fact that you are a master of ironically deployed Dad humor.
H/T: Art of Manliness, and Esquire's 1949 Handbook for Hosts.
Place an olive (or cherry tomato, or similar object) on a coaster next to an empty Martini glass, with an empty wine glass standing by. With a twinkle in your eye, and mischief in your heart, tell a friend you can move the olive to the glass without touching coaster, olive, or martini glass. Then place the wine glass over the olive and start deftly circling it, generating enough centrifugal force to lift it and make the transfer.
Promise you can talk for one minute without using a word with the letter ‘a’ in it.
Count from 1 to 100, which takes about a minute. None of the numbers you’ll say contain the letter ‘a.’