Party Foul Recovery Guide

By NY Barfly
Created March 21, 2017
With the holiday party season upon us, a misstep or two is inevitable. Here are some common party fouls and a guide to what you should do to recover. MORE+ LESS-

With the holiday party season upon us, a misstep or two is inevitable.

It’s the moment that has ruined countless nights and holiday parties. You’re at a party having a good time and suddenly – PARTY FOUL – you do something that’s sloppy and embarrassing, right in front of the other guests. Should you just put your tail between your legs and retreat, deciding never to venture out of your house again?

Unless it’s your life goal to end up on an episode of “Hoarders,” probably not. It is possible to recover and party on – as long as you play it right. Check out some common party fouls below and see what you should do to recover.

Spilling Your Drink

This is the most common party foul, and can range from not an issue (you drip a little bit on the counter as you’re pouring a fresh one) to catastrophic (you spill a glass of deep red Barolo on your hostess, who was sporting a new white dress for the occasion). If you did ruin the dress – well, that’s pretty bad. Seltzer works wonders on preventing stains from setting, and you should immediately offer to foot the dry-cleaning bill. For any other lesser infraction, just chill. Odds are, if you’re at the point where you’re spilling, it’s likely that the others in the room are also tipsy (read: they won’t care). The trick is not to make a big deal out of it: grab some paper towels, clean up the mess, pour yourself another round, and be done with it. In most cases, it’s not the spilling that’s the true foul – it’s the subsequent freak out, so just keep calm and carry on.

Forgetting Someone’s Name

While you’re schmoozing at a party, you’re bound to be introduced to countless new people. And yes, you will forget some of their names. If you’ve been tippling, you might even forget a name within seconds of meeting someone. If you find yourself at a loss, grab someone you know and introduce him or her to your new, nameless friend. Once you make the introduction, let the nameless one handle the return introduction, and this time remember! If you do call someone by the wrong name, just own it and apologize as soon as possible. You may look like a fool for accidentally calling Steve “Billy-Bob,” but you’ll look like a major moron if you don’t speak up once you realize your mistake.


If you knock back one too many, your legs may feel a little wobbly. We’ve all seen it: someone consumes a little too much and does the mini-stumble as they’re walking to the bathroom (or the epic spill as they’re walking back to the bar). The best way to deal with this situation is to avoid it: don’t drink too much! Just about the worst thing you can do after losing your footing is play the blame game. Do NOT start blaming the carpet (“They really should pin down the corners!”), the crowd (“If everyone would have just moved out of the way…”), or the host (“She really should have cleared a better path to the bathroom!”). If you’re not hurt, the best way out of this scenario is with a little self-deprecating humor. Get up and whip out a one-liner like, “Oh, I thought they said the way to the bathroom was to make a left at the stairs and then fall on your butt.”

Whatever happens with any of these party fouls, just remember the great equalizer: everyone in the room has likely committed at least one of them before. They may chuckle at you—but deep down, they feel your pain.

A Little Cocktail Knowledge Goes a Long Way

While you're making a speedy party foul recovery, it never hurts to suggest a cocktail refresh as a mends to your infraction. Here's a list of some classic favorites (some with a twist!) that will have you going from party foe to friend in no time.