Though snacks definitely help, nothing makes a party like a solid guest list. It goes double for a pool party, where the general attire gets everyone on an immediate third date level of intimacy, and the big kids/slightly unhinged are just as essential to the fun as the guests who keep the grill running. We’ve rounded up everyone you need to invite (along with a plea to bring their own towel).

Dan Evans/Thrillist

The person whose pool it is

It seems obvious, but many a party has happened where some newcomer looks around and goes “Wait, whose place is this?” Give thanks to your hosts, people! There would be no party without them/YOU.

The official DJ

Someone who actually knows what the song of the summer is and not the song of 2003. How many pool parties have been screeched to a halt from the incorrect use of early ‘00’s emo? Far, far too many (one is too many).

The big kid

They’re never afraid to break out the slip ‘n’ slide or do a cannonball. Just watch out for when they switch to bellyflops: like a big kid, they need an adult’s supervision.

Dan Evans/Thrillist

The helper

While everyone else heads straight to the pool, picnic table, or cooler, this hero is quietly assisting the host even though nobody expects a guest to do so. Look for the person gracefully bowing out of a great conversation to open the screen door unasked. Without these people, society would probably crumble.

The weird new significant other

She brought HIM? What do those two have in common? He mumbled something about his band, and now he’s swimming with his shirt on. Finally, something to gossip about later!

The person who overdressed

You know the one -- definitely not in pool party attire, but also the most likely candidate to get thrown in at the end of the night (probably by The Big Kid) to complaints of a ruined brand new shirt and running makeup.


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The official pit master

A crucial party member -- the guy who makes sure everyone is stocked up on burgers and dogs until they’re ready to nap. What exactly possesses this person to play chef for the party is unclear, but we’re not complaining. Saint.

The person who can’t swim

There’s always one guy who never really learned how to swim, which is fun because everyone gets to go, “You don’t know how to WHAT?!?” incredulously, before trying to teach them, thereby discovering that their own form is horrible. It’s one of the few times in life that everyone can bond over someone flailing around in the shallow end.

The splasher

Just kidding, that guy's not invited.


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